Married At First Sight is unveiling its exciting Nashville season TONIGHT and one of the experts is breaking down what’s to come. Pastor Cal Roberson will once again be counseling couples that he and Dr. Pepper Schwartz carefully selected to tie the knot.
This time, the show scoured through love-seeking singles in Music City to make five couples who’ll wed as strangers and embark on a journey as husband and wife.
Below Pastor Cal tells BOSSIP about the matchmaking process and the “surprising rollercoaster ride” of season 16 that apparently has a shocking twist.
Looking back at season 15, which couple’s post-Decision Day outcome surprised you the most?
I would definitely say Krysten and Mitch was the biggest surprise. I believe sometimes people have all the potential to succeed and are matched perfectly as in their case. But because they (Mitch) made so many mistakes in how he communicated to Krysten early on, it was just difficult to recover. For Pete’s sake, they were still kissing after Decision Day! Also, I believe Justin and Alexis just gave up too soon. They could have made it but sometimes thinking you’re ready and actually being ready for a long term commitment are two different things. Alexis may have not been as ready as she thought she was.
What makes an ideal candidate for Married At First Sight? Do you think there’s a certain age or maturity level that makes people better #MAFS participants than others?
I believe the ideal candidates are those who are willing to learn. Teachability is the number one trait I look for. The ability to change your long-held beliefs and listen to wisdom is vital. A lot of times, this does come with some age and experience. If someone has been in a committed long-term relationship and has actually been in love is a key factor I look for. Marrying a complete stranger is not the time to experience love for the first time.
This season we’re in Nashville, what were the singles like there? Was there a ton of potential for some great matches?
Nashville is a vibrant and alive city. Because of the musical influence and party-town vibe, there will be tons of energy and excitement. There is incredible potential for great matches in Nashville and I sincerely hope that positivity is realized throughout the season. The singles are tired of swiping left and right. Most of them told me they are ready to settle down with the love of their lives. Of course, I’ve heard that story before so time will tell.
How do you and Dr. Pepper decipher between people who are genuinely ready to be married and people who are just ready to be on camera?
We have the participants answer over 600 questions in preparation for the experiment. In addition, our psych evaluations often pick out the pretenders. Dr. Pepper and I often ask questions about motive. We pull no punches in telling them that there are more effective ways to be on TV than getting married to a stranger. Usually, we’re able to pinpoint those who have the wrong motives.
In the past we’ve seen previous #MAFS participants say they’re completely open to the process of marrying a stranger and then switch up after meeting their match because of their level of attraction (like Alyssa from #MAFS season 14 and Chris from #MAFS season 12)—how disappointing is it when that happens?
You cannot imagine how disappointing it is when we see that happen. For some reason, people seem to want us to give them what they’ve never had in their regular dating experiences. I make it plain that if you’ve never dated a supermodel, there’s a reason and you won’t get one on MAFS. Nevertheless, when the cameras roll and the tension of filming hits them like a ton of bricks sometimes a truly undesirable side emerges as in the cases you mentioned. Our hearts break for recipients of that ugliness and we often have choice words for them that you never see on tv. Every thing we film is not aired and Dr. Pepper and I spend much more time with the disappointed participants than what is aired weekly.
This season Dr. Pia and DeVon Franklin are back, what do you hope the MAFS couples learn from them?
I respect Dr. Pia and Devon and their unique perspectives. We are always endeavoring to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to our participants to give them even greater chances at success. We know that successful marriage takes a literal village of advice, especially ones that are at first sight.
Dr. Pia and Devon have been great members of the village and we are happy to have them. Devon brings a passionate view on how to deal with success and failure in marriage and I believe the participants really relate to him. Dr. Pia is an accomplished professional in the areas of sex therapy and psychotherapy and her input have been invaluable.
Let’s break down some of the newbies of MAFS season 16
Clint said he would LOVE for his wife to make more money than him. That might be a #MAFS first, what were your impressions of him after meeting with him during the matchmaking special?
Clint is a fun-loving, accomplished guy who is realistic about life and love. I love his energy and optimistic outlook on life. In addition, he is a true gentleman. We’re always looking for mature, older singles so I was elated to meet him. I also agree. It takes an enlightened and confident man to encourage his mate to make more money than he does.
How do you quell the worries of #MAFS participants like Kirsten who’ve been previously cheated on and how can Shaquille help her get over that?
Shaquille is a sensitive and stable man, which is why we matched him with Kirsten. We are believing that his maturity, stability, and spirituality will be more than enough to send Kirsten the strong message that there are good men out here who know how to be faithful.
What do you think about Domynique’s mom signing her up for MAFS—and why do you think she was a great match for Mackinley?
Honestly, we are usually a little hesitant about singles who are 25 years old. However, Dom was very convincing as to her maturity and readiness for marriage.
The fact that her mom signed her up actually tipped the scale as we were considering her for this experiment. Her mom told us that Domynique is an old soul and has been ready for marriage for years. Hey, it’s her mom! We have to consider it a shining endorsement when a mom says her daughter is ready to walk down the aisle and has the maturity to complete this process. We believe, and we pray time will tell that her mom and our evaluations were right.
Which couple do you think #MAFS watchers will root for the most?
Great question! My answer is, “take your pick!” There are a number of great people who are getting Married at First Sight this season and I believe everyone will see themselves and their own relationships reflected in at least one of these couples. So, get ready! It’s going to be a great and surprising rollercoaster ride!
Married at First Sight, produced by Kinetic Content, premieres Wednesday, January 4, at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.