TV

Married at First Sight NZ season two: Monique and Fraser and Wayne and Ksenia tie the knot

One couple looks like they could be facing a successful marriage, but the jury is out on the other match.
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It’s finally here. The first episode of the hotly anticipated second season of Married at First Sight NZ has screened and we’re already invested in this new batch of couples.

Trying to shake off the dismal success rate of last season (but hey, not as bad as the last series of MAFS Australia where none of the couples survived!), the show opens with their very own shining beacon of love – Brett and Angel Renall who met and fell in love at first sight on the last series. They’re the poster couple for the series – and the producers are going to squeeze as much out of them as they can.

Married at First Sight was amazing for us,” gushes Brett.

“We never dreamed it was possible,” Angel chimes in.

“We’ve had the happiest ending that we could have.”

Brett reveals that they’re in the process of buying a house together. And that children are on the cards. Well, no pressure for the new couples!

The experts have changed – Pani Farvid has left and has been replaced with Stephanie Dowse – and we’re buoyed to see the addition of Dr Trisha Stratford from the Australian show. Trisha has a number of series behind her belt, and not only is she a Kiwi, she’s a clinical neuro-psychotherapist, so is bringing a scientific background to the matching process. We can’t wait to see how these matches turn out.

Self confessed nerd Fraser meets “clucky” Monique

Fraser Pearce is 27 and a policy analyst in Wellington. He calls himself a nerd and we believe him when he uses the word “nerdgasm” when referring to video games.

He reveals that he was ready to marry a past love, but she ended things. Cut to him sitting in an armchair reading ‘Why Relationships Fail.’ We can’t help but wonder if he happened to have that lying around the house, or if the producers handed him a copy, but either way, it works.

The experts decide Monique is the right match for him, and straight off the bat Trisha labels them as “conservative”. Already we’re guessing we’re not going to get the partner swapping scandal that rocked the Australian version of the show but hey, you never know. Sometimes it’s the ones you least expect, right?

Monique is a 25-year-old teacher who lives in Christchurch. We already see a bit of a roadblock there (we’re having flashbacks to Ben and Aaron and the Christchurch/Auckland distance debacle). She’s never been in love. Not having children is a deal-breaker.

“I am extremely clucky,” she reveals.

Monique gives her family a bit of a shock when she breaks the news that she’s getting married “next Monday” but it was nothing compared to poor Fraser, who had to break the news to his Jehovah’s Witness father. Describing them as “a more conservative branch of Christian,” Fraser jokes “I really hope I don’t give him a heart attack.”

But after some dramatic music and a bit of a pause, Fraser’s dad laughs. He proceeds to tell him that whatever happens, he just wants the best for him. Fraser endears himself to us even more when he signs off the phone call “I love you lots”. We have high hopes for this marriage.

Cut to Fraser going suit shopping, where he delivers the line of the episode.

“I’m really excited to see what my bride will look like…. I would really like for them to have two legs. That’s a good start. And, two of everything – when that’s the normal number of things to have.”

Monique reveals she usually goes for a “geeky man” and our hopes notch up to a nine out of 10. Fraser scores husband points by giving her a gift before they head to the altar and it turns out grammar is a big turn-on.

“I think I’m in love with him because he used the right ‘you’re’,” she exclaims.

Fraser proves that he’s already poles apart in maturity from some of last year’s contestants.

“I’m not quite sure how I’d react if my new wife and I are not each other’s cup of tea. But even if the first impression isn’t there I’d like to think that both of us can work together to find out what it is that makes us click.”

There are a few signs that Fraser’s sense of humour could get him into hot water with his new wife.

“Yes!” he exclaims as the bridesmaids walk in. “That’s not the bride? Damnit.” Cue awkward laughter.

But things get better when he sees his bride.

“When she steps up through that door it felt absolutely electric,” he says. “I can just tell that she’s got this presence that lights up the room… I can tell we’re going to get along really well.”

Monique looks a little bewildered throughout it all, but she gets through it and they share a cute kiss when they’re pronounced husband and wife.

“I think the kiss went well,” she says.

Fraser definitely thought so as he fist pumps. In fact he liked it so much he goes in for another cheeky kiss during the photos. He tells the camera that he’s already feeling a connection.

Monique, on the other hand, feels like she’s having an out-of-body experience.

“I’m not feeling like myself right now.”

Fraser tells Monique’s dad that he’s “stoked” with his new wife. Monique’s friends and family love him.

“Couldn’t have asked for a better reaction from them,” Monique says of Fraser’s impression on her family.

Once they get to the honeymoon suite the rules are set down.

“Happy to share a bed, not doing any activities” Monique tells her new husband.

Fraser agrees, although we can’t help but feel that the look on his face betrays him slightly…

Self-declared romantic Wayne meets Russian bride Ksenia

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32-year-old Wayne is a helicopter engineer from Taranaki. He has a tragic back story. His father died saving his life in a jet-ski accident when he was a child. As a result of this near-death experience, Wayne crams as much adventure and excitement into his life as he can.

There are a few warning signs as the experts decide to challenge his ‘type’ of a small, petite blonde who is younger than him. They match him with 33-year-old Ksenia, who moved to New Zealand from Russia when she was 18 but has such a strong accent that producers have decided to give her subtitles.

Ksenia describes herself as bubbly. She loves feeding the ducks.

“God, I would marry myself if I could,” she laughs.

It turns out ducks are a big part of her life as they’re mentioned on a number of occasions throughout the episode.

The experts are concerned that if she doesn’t like him she’s not going to be bothered finding out more about him. Feeding the ducks, apparently, is her “love language”.

The producers arrange for Ksenia to break the news of her impending marriage at Auckland’s Vodka Room. Because, apparently, Russians don’t drink any other type of alcohol.

Wayne, on the other hand, breaks the news to his friends at ‘taco Tuesday’.

“It’s so crazy to have taco Tuesday and then this gets announced,” says one of his friends.

Wayne hopes he’s not matched with someone who thinks “their s*hit don’t stink”. Ksenia hopes she’s matched with someone who has a good last name.

Wayne describes the day of the wedding as life-changing.

“I’m not scared for that, I’m excited for that. I’m just hoping it all goes good and everyone falls in love.”

But then he thinks he’s having a heart attack as he gets an unexplained sharp pain in his chest.

“I’m not after a physical attraction,” he says. “I just want to see a pretty big smile and just be happy and know that she’s in a good frame of mind doing this.”

Wayne’s jaw drops as he first catches sight of his new bride.

“Holy s*it she’s gorgeous.”

He tells her at the altar how pretty she is.

“He’s not bald, short and doesn’t have crooked teeth,” Ksenia declares, “so, yeah, so far so good.”

Wayne declares her a 10, but alas, the promo for the next few episodes suggest this marriage might be on shaky ground. We have to wait until the next episode to see how the rest of the wedding turns out.

It looks like the producers are hoping to ramp up some drama this season because a huge twist has been revealed – all of the couples are honeymooning in Bali….together.

*sits back, waits for the sparks to fly

Married At First NZ airs Sunday’s at 7pm and continues Monday’s and Tuesday’s at 7.30pm on THREE.

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