When Married at First Sight bride Debbie walked down the aisle on Sunday night, she delivered one of my favourite TV lines to date, according to Mamamia. She saw her fake-husband John standing at the altar, and in a cutaway interview said, “I was expecting a Polynesian from the islands.”
Debbie was disappointed, because John was very, very un-Polynesian. She continued to lament his Caucasian-ness throughout the wedding, and it genuinely looks like it will be a deal breaker for their relationship.
For viewers, Debbie’s Polynesian preference was a little awkward, given that she incorporated Polynesian culture into her wedding, despite the fact that there were approximately zero Polynesian people present. But part of me did wonder, if this woman was so adamant on having a Polynesian husband… couldn’t the experts have… found her one?
Is having a cultural preference so bad? So we asked one of the Married at First Sight experts, Dr Trisha Stratford, why they decided to match Debbie with John.
Stratford explained that when it comes to matching couples, the experts “don’t match to order”. They don’t necessarily give the singles what they ask for, but they do “put them together for a reason”.
“[Debbie’s] had a few relationships with Polynesians and they haven’t worked out, for one reason or another, I don’t know,” Stratford said. “But she also wanted a family man, she wanted a partner where she could sit around the table, have a meal with his children, have someone she could rely on and trust.”
“She’d never had that before in her life,” Stratford said. “She hadn’t had a man who had supported her on all levels.” So maybe clever editing made it seem like all Debbie wanted was a Polynesian man, even though she had lots of preferences.
Overall, Stratford said, “we put them together because it’s an experiment, there are lots of factors in there.” “She wanted to be near the beach, John lives near the beach,” she added. The experts aren’t afraid to put the singles out of their comfort zone, especially when they think it could make for a special relationship.
“There were a whole lot of things [Debbie] hadn’t done before,” Stratford said. “And we thought she might do them with John.” From the preview of Tuesday night’s episode, it doesn’t look like Debbie and John’s honeymoon goes particularly smoothly. But perhaps the experts know exactly what they’re doing by not matching Debbie with a Polynesian man, even if she’s completely unaware of it.