TV

TV star Samuel exposes the show: ‘No one goes on MAFS for love!’

The skincare entrepreneur has some advice for the new contestants

When Woman’s Day speaks to Samuel Levi, he’s on top of the world. It’s the morning of his 31st birthday and life is good for the former Married At First Sight New Zealand contestant. He’s in a solid relationship with Liam Cooper from the Australian version of MAFS, his skincare brand LuxeSticks is doing well and he’s just landed his own 26-episode show, Take Your Shot With Samuel Levi.

“It’s huge!” he grins, speaking to us from his Melbourne home. “I’m really passionate about business, so my show is dedicated to entrepreneurs and innovators. I’ll be bringing on special guests for each episode to talk about their experiences in business. And not just the highlight reel, but the stuff they’ve struggled with too.

“I don’t always show that side of business myself, but for every yes, there are 10 noes. Business is hard work – it’s a hustle. A lot of heartache can go into business.”

Being recognized as a successful businessperson and hosting a show a proud moment for Auckland-born Samuel. Despite it being six years ago, he admits to struggling to break free from the MAFS experience.

With MAFS hubby Tayler. “No one had a good time,” says Samuel.

“I will forever be grateful for the show – it helped me build a great audience and was a great thing. But I have had to try so hard to separate from it and be taken seriously. Not one MAFS person in the NZ franchise has built a business and succeeded overseas. People think you get handed things after being on the show, but you don’t.

“The show might be so massive in the ratings, but the reputation you get isn’t always good. The only thing we can all share about the experience is no one had a good time. The advice I’d give the next contestants is that no one is going on these shows to look for love and if you are, that show is not the place.”

Despite that, Samuel did find love through MAFS, albeit in a very roundabout way. His match with Tayler Morgan on the show didn’t work out. However, he’s now happily shacking up with MAFS Australia groom Liam, who the show matched with Georgia Fairweather on its eighth season.

Samuel remains coy when asked about his relationship with Liam. He insists that although they both searched for love in a public way and split for a while in April 2023, they want to keep their relationship out of the limelight now.

“We’re still together – it’s been three years now,” says Samuel. “We are happy living together and the next step is seeing what we can build together. We’re both off to America in four weeks’ time for our friend’s wedding.”

He says he still keeps in touch with Yuki Sato and Julia Malley from his MAFS season. He caught up with Julia on his recent whistle-stop visit to Aotearoa to promote his new show and meet with potential LuxeSticks stockists.

“I’m all about business these days,” he says. “It’s my full-time gig. I’ve got 22 products in my range and I’m stocked nationwide in Australia and New Zealand. I’m focusing now on cracking into the US and UK markets.

Samuel found love with Liam. “It’s been three years now.”

“My new TV show will screen internationally, so I’m excited about the global exposure and what that could mean for my business. I’m trying to build an empire.”

Hosting his own show is the latest feather in his cap. Each episode of Take Your Shot is six to 12 minutes and will see Samuel interview an entrepreneur about their business journey. The series launched this month on Ticker News, available both online and on streaming services in Australia, the US, UK, Europe, and Canada.

He remains tight-lipped about future guests but inadvertently reveals that one is an international ’90s girl band member and another is a former Dancing With The Stars contestant.

“I have complete control of the guests that I want and I’m keen to include some Kiwi entrepreneurs because I know how hard it is to get your brand out there I want to help Kiwis use that international platform.

“One of my first guests is a friend of mine, David the Medium, who is big in Australia. He worked in counterterrorism until he found he has this gift which he decided to follow.”

When asked who is on his wish list for Take Your Shot guests and who inspires him in business, Samuel says, “I actually don’t watch the news and I don’t follow any other entrepreneurial people – I’m just in my own lane focusing on me. This will sound stupid, but I actually am inspired by myself and what I’ve achieved.”

Now officially in his business era, Samuel is excited about being able to showcase his passion for entrepreneurship to the wider world.

“When I was on MAFS, it was a whole different ballgame – I didn’t have control of my own edit. Now people can see me on this show in a more serious light. It’s my own narrative and what you will see is me being me, thriving in my element of business. No drama!”

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