'Married at First Sight: Australia' recap: First Commitment Ceremony -- Struggling couples David and Hayley and Amanda and Tash stay married!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/25/2020
Married at First Sight: Australia featured all 10 of the season's couples choosing to "stay" in their relationships rather than "leave" the show at Season 7's first Commitment Ceremony -- even David and Hayley, who had an explosive start to their marriage -- during Wednesday night's episode on Lifetime.
Season 7 of Married at First Sight: Australia -- which premiered in Australia in February and aired it's finale Down Under in April -- starred 12 couples, including one same-sex couple. But the Lifetime version of the show features 10 couples.
The 10 couples include Stacey Hampton, a 25-year-old law school graduate, and Michael Goonan, a 28-year-old company director; Mishel Karen, a 48-year-old teacher, and Steve Burley, a 52-year-old barber shop owner; Natasha, a 26-year-old financial analyst, and Mikey, a 28-year-old operations manager; Tash, a 31-year-old bartender, and Amanda, a 34-year-old strength coach; and Josh, a 28-year-old truck driver, and Cathy, a 26-year-old logistics investigator.
The remaining couples are Hayley, a 32-year-old finance broker, and David, a 31-year-old truck driver; Poppy, a 38-year-old photographer, and Luke, a 38-year-old maintenance supervisor with two teenage daughters; Connie, a 27-year-old retail assistant and aspiring marine biologist, and Jonethen, a 27-year-old projects officer; Vanessa, a 31-year-old pharmacy manager, and Chris, a 37-year-old youth worker; and Aleks, a 26-year-old real estate agent, and Ivan, a 31-year-old real estate agent.
The matchmaking experts for Season 7 of Married at First Sight: Australia are John Aiken, Mel Schiling, and Dr. Trisha Stafford, who matched the pairs for 10 weeks of married life.
Like the American version of Married at First Sight, Married at First Sight: Australia features couples getting "married" to a stranger, going on honeymoons, and then moving in together and attempting to form a new life together.
But unlike the American version, the couples "marry" at a Commitment Ceremony and then participate in subsequent regular Commitment Ceremonies in which each partner must decide whether they want to continue with the relationship or end it. The Australian couples also do not get married legally.
The Married at First Sight: Australia broadcast began with all of the couples gathering at a dinner party to air out their issues, lean on each other for support, and compare their relationships and how far along they were in the experiment.
David arrived solo and said he was there out of obligation after his big fight with Hayley, and he wasn't sure there was much of a marriage to salvage. The group immediately noticed David wasn't wearing a wedding ring.
Everyone wanted to know the gossip, but David refused to talk about his wife or their problems without Hayley being in the room and having a chance to defend herself.
Stacey and Michael were grateful for each other, thinking their connection was stronger than what most of the other couples seemed to have.
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Amanda felt she hadn't received the attention she deserved from Tash, so she wasn't sure of how the night was going to go.
Hayley then arrived alone and vented to the cameras, "I've never had so many issues with someone in all my life. I've never dealt with a man who like -- I'm just going to say it -- has a bigger vagina than a woman. It could go either way. It could be really civil or it could be an absolute sh-tshow."
Hayley immediately told the girls at the party how David had an issue with a "joke" she had made about his income not cutting it for her. Hayley essentially presented her case and insisted she didn't care about money or how much David earned.
When Hayley found out David had acted like a gentleman and never spoke badly of her, she had hope they could resolve their issues and stay together. David, however, was waiting for an apology and for Hayley to surprise him.
At dinner, Hayley told the cast David wasn't wearing his ring because it was too big for him, but David said that wasn't the case at all and Hayley was trying to give the appearance they were a perfect couple when they were actually very far from that.
David eventually opened up to Steve about how that single moment when Hayley said his $25-per hour wasn't "going to cut it" made her unattractive smoking habit seem like nothing.
Steve advised David to give his relationship a bit more time because things could change in the future and he and Hayley had a real shot at happiness.
Meanwhile, Tash was noticeably flirting with other women in the cast and ignoring Amanda. Tash worked her way around the dinner table and had a super friendly conversation with each and every woman.
"I don't want to date someone who is sucking down wine and sitting on every Tom, Dick and Harry," Amanda said in a confessional.
"It's just not the sort of woman I would date, but I didn't choose Tash -- she was chosen for me. It's only Week 1. For now, she can do what she wants."
Hayley acknowledged David was a really "good dude" as she watched him interact with their co-stars, so she pulled him aside to talk and try to flirt with and kiss him.
But David wasn't having it -- at all. He seemed totally turned off and rejected all of Hayley's physical advances. David admitted he felt "uncomfortable" because Hayley suddenly came on to him strongly when she had previously showed him little to no affection, allegedly.
Afterward, Hayley got into a little tiff with Ivan at the table. Ivan, who supposedly has no filter, asked Hayley questions about the drama she had been causing and called her "the talk of the town."
Hayley thought Ivan was a weasel who pushed his opinion on others, and she said she didn't appreciate him talking at her rather than to her.
Hayley told Ivan to "f-ck off," and Aleks watched Ivan essentially create tension at the table -- and Aleks didn't like his behavior at all because she had hoped her husband would be "the bigger person."
"He knows my limits. I told him not to get involved in drama. Yeah, he has embarrassed me," Aleks vented to the cameras, realizing he was in big trouble with his wife.
It then became time for the very first Commitment Ceremony in which each couple had to decide whether to stay together or go their separate ways.
The experts wanted each couple to ask themselves, "Have you given this relationship a fair go yet?"
Cathy and Josh were up first, and Josh said it was a "no-brainer" to stay married to her because their relationship had been "a walk in the park." Cathy also thought her relationship was "so fun," and she mentioned she was "so happy."
Tash said she didn't join this experiment to find a friend but Amanda was feeling like her friend rather than a lover.
Tash and Amanda agreed the wedding was beautiful, but then Amanda pointed out Tash said she lacked sexual chemistry with her, which resulted in Tash spending a lot of time along on their honeymoon.
Amanda confessed she felt "rejected," and Tash said she wished she felt burning, strong chemistry but didn't. Tash just wanted to be honest and not bullsh-t her wife.
"How do you go from having such an amazing wedding to then not even wanting to be in the same orbit as you?" Amanda asked. "Where do you go from there?"
Tash said she and Amanda did spend time together but sex in a relationship defines whether it's a friendship or a relationship. Tash acknowledged she and Amanda decided to try building a friendship that could hopefully blossom into romance.
Amanda wanted more quality time and desired to get to know Tash better, so the girls announced their decision to stay together since they felt mutual respect.
Michael then admitted Stacey had her walls up in the beginning but he was able to slowly break them down. Michael made it clear his decision to stay in the marriage was an obvious one, and Stacey was on the same page.
Connie and Jonethen were connecting and chose to "stay," followed by Vanessa and Chris, who found a chemistry that was starting to grow.
Natasha and Mikey revealed they wanted their relationship to work, and Natasha called Mikey "wonderful" and said she wanted to see more of him. The pair both decided to "stay" as a result.
Steve and Mishel agreed to stay married and shared a kiss in front of the experts, and then Poppy and Luke also chose to make things work even though Poppy was still feeling a bit conflicted since her sons were at home without her.
Since Poppy had shut down, Luke just hoped his wife was going to open her heart to him.
Aleks wanted Ivan to bite his tongue going forward because she didn't want to be "the laughing stock of the group" or be disrespected, but she opted to continue their relationship.
Ivan thought they were heading in the right direction, and due to his growing feelings for her, he chose to "stay" as well. Ivan apologized for embarrassing his wife and promised to behave better.
David and Hayley were next to reveal their decision to the experts after a rocky time.
David told the experts Hayley was "rude" and "inconsiderate," adding that smoking was a dealbreaker for him.
David said he didn't want to change Hayley but he wasn't okay with her habits, but Hayley insisted she rarely smoked and was just doing it because of recent stress.
Hayley also told David the comment about his income was a joke, but it apparently "really, really hurt" David. David also felt Hayley cut him off when he tried to speak his truth.
"Here I am with a recovering drug addict that's a smoker," David griped.
"Oh my God! I can't believe you just said that! It's not a 'recovering drug addict,' it's a 'recovered drug addict.' [That's] terrible," Hayley said before breaking down into tears.
"I'm not my past! You're saying it's a bad thing, that you were matched with him because of that... This situation has brought out the worst in my because there's been so much pressure."
Hayley insisted she had done so much work on herself and had moved past her substance abuse issues. She said she's a finance broker who got her sh-t together.
As Hayley bawled her eyes out, David seemingly felt guilty and ashamed, and the experts told David that Hayley is a "resilient" woman who's far different from her past self.
"David, you can't judge her on her past. She is not chained by it," John said.
Hayley said money meant nothing to her and the comment about David's income was a throw-away silly comment. Hayley felt "terrible" and apologized to David for hurting him.
David said Hayley's public apology meant a lot to him, and Hayley noted she wanted the situation -- but not her relationship -- to be over.
Despite all their issues, Hayley said she didn't want to give up on David and it wasn't a tough decision to "stay."
"I don't quit and I like a challenge. I want to prove to this boy I am a girl worth hanging in there for. I want him to see my real character, because I am going to knock his socks off once he gets to know me," Hayley said.
"I've got the biggest heart. I'm the biggest lover ever; I am just so out of my element."
In turn, David also decided to continue his marriage, but he admitted it wasn't an easy decision for him and he had changed his mind along the way thanks to Steve's guidance and advice.
Hayley and David shared that they're both fighters in different ways, and they planned to be raw and honest with each other going forward.