'Married at First Sight: Australia' recap: Stacey and Michael have bumpy road to consummating marriage, Mishel and Steve overcome cheating hurdle and first argument
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/18/2020
Married at First Sight: Australia featured the final 2 couples -- Stacey Hampton and Michael Goonan as well as Mishel Karen and Steve Burley -- getting married and going through major ups and downs, from explosive arguments to one couple consummating their marriage, during Wednesday night's Season 7 episode on Lifetime.
Season 7 of Married at First Sight: Australia premiered in Australia in February and aired it's finale Down Under in April. The show features nearly a dozen couples, including one same-sex couple.
The matchmaking experts for Season 7 of Married at First Sight: Australia are John Aiken, Mel Schiling, and Dr. Trisha Stafford, who matched the couples 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.
Mishel, a 48-year-old teacher who's the mother of two grown kids from Brisbane, has suffered her fair share of heartache, including her divorce 15 years ago.
Mishel called herself "batsh-t crazy" but a family person who loves spending time with her kids.
Mishel was married for almost 13 years but was cheated on. Apparently every guy Mishel has ever been with, except for one, cheated on her -- so she joked she must be "a dud."
Mishel didn't want her kids to feel like they had to take care of her or entertain her for the rest of her life, so she wanted to find a partner and figured Married at First Sight would be a good way to do it.
Given Mishel is "highly emotional" and "can be anxious," according to Trisha, the experts thought a great match for her would be Steve, who has a big personality and might embrace her quirkiness.
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Steve, a 52-year-old barber shop owner, said he loves to laugh and entertain himself and was in love once with a woman who was younger. The pair got engaged but then Steve was diagnosed with cancer.
Steve called it "the scariest time of [his] life" and said his cancer put a lot of strain on his relationship and so it ended, which absolutely broke his heart.
Steve had been cancer-free by the time he applied for Married at First Sight, and he admitted to the experts he tends to go for younger women, or at least women who are on the same stage in life.
The experts thought Mishel could come to trust Steve, who tends to be upfront and outspoken about his feelings and emotions. They also assumed Steve would be patient with Mishel.
Next up was Stacey, a 25-year-old law school graduate, and Michael. Stacey, who enjoys the finer things in life, is a recent graduate lawyer who says men like to spoil her but they don't see past her outer beauty.
Stacey considered herself driven and she's also a single mom of two sons, whom she said she has unconditional love for. Stacey needed a hardworking and driven man who could be a role model for her kids, but the experts said she's self-protective.
Stacey apparently suffered a lot of trauma in her life, including the death of her father at a young age and a broken engagement. Stacey's brother ended up being her best friend and father figure, but he died in a tragic motorcycle accident on the day one of her sons was due to be born.
Stacey said she had to push all of her emotions and step up for her family following her brother's unexpected passing, and so she had walls up and didn't want to get hurt again.
Stacey needed stability and patience from a man who could open her heart, and the experts thought that man was going to be Michael, a 28-year-old company director who was able to buy a million-dollar property at age 24.
Michael said he typically dates women who would be stereotyped as ditzy blondes with puffed-up lips, fake nails and designer handbags. Michael was with a woman for four years and they welcomed a child together, but because he worked so much, the woman left him and he regretted not being home more from his family.
Michael admitted he's loud and fun, but he was very nervous about the experiment and said he wanted to be the best husband he could be. Michael wanted to grow up and be a man -- not a little boy anymore.
It then became time for the two couples to walk down the aisle, and Stacey said her biggest fear was getting cheated on again. As for Stacey, she was recovering from food poisoning and vomiting on the morning of her wedding ceremony.
Stacey wished she was feeling better because she didn't want to show her husband an "80 percent version" of herself, but Michael was optimistic his wife was going to be wonderful and "hot."
When Mishel's mother saw Steve for the first time when Steve set himself up at the top of the aisle, she was very excited for her daughter and repeated how she definitely approved of the handsome man.
As Mishel walked down the aisle, Steve smiled and told her not to be nervous. He told her that she looked "absolutely lovely," before gushing to the cameras about how she's beautiful with "insanely" beautiful eyes and "a killer smile."
Meanwhile, Mishel thought Steve was very handsome and liked how he immediately held her hands and attempted to comfort her. Steve assured his bride they were going to be fine and then promised to be there for her, be loyalty to her, and care for her.
Mishel thought Steve seemed genuine, unique and kind, and she pledged to be Steve's faithful friend and partner as well as thoughtful and respectful. She hoped Steve would come to adore her "unique" qualities -- which Steve said he already did -- and so Mishel discovered during their vow exchange he's "a smooth talker."
Mishel thought their first kiss was nice, and she could envision herself kissing him again.
"My gut says this will be something nice -- this will be good," Mishel told the cameras.
When Michael approached the altar for his wedding, one of the female guests kept repeating, "No," saying there was no way Stacey was going to like him.
Michael hoped a gorgeous girl -- "an ace" -- was going to walk towards him, which he said would be "a dream come true," and when Stacey was on her way, he said, "Wow!"
"As I laid my eyes on her, I thought, 'What is this creation?!' This is just absolute magnificence. I just opened the cover of a magazine. This chick is stunning!" Michael told the cameras.
Stacey said Michael was "not ugly" but he's also not the guy she would "normally go for."
Even Stacey's mom was shown whispering to the bridesmaids that Michael wasn't her type. Stacey brought up the weather, which made Michael worry and giggle with nerves, and then she wondered why her groom was laughing.
Michael cracked up while saying his vows, but Stacey and her friends weren't amused -- until he changed the tone and said he was optimistic they could find something real and unique with each other. Stacey liked when Michael said he wanted a "banter buddy, go-to girl and princess."
Stacey vowed to put her love and energy into this journey despite being hurt in the past, and she promised to let Michael break down her walls and get to know the real her. She planned to be her authentic self, and Michael was upset hearing his bride had "a troubled past."
"He doesn't look like my usual type of guy, but obviously that hasn't worked in the past," Stacey said after the ceremony.
Michael said Stacey was definitely his type of girl but he wanted to find out whether she has depth to her as well. One thing was for sure -- he said he wasn't going to let her get away!
At Mishel's wedding reception, she went to the bathroom and Steve spoke to Mishel's daughter at the head table.
Mishel's daughter said everything would be fine as long as Steve didn't cheat on his wife, and then Steve admitted, "I have cheated on somebody before. It was like 19 or 18 years ago. It was a massive mistake and I wasn't proud of it, and it will never happen again."
But Mishel's daughter said that might be "a dealbreaker" for her mother, who believes "once a cheater, always a cheater."
Once Mishel returned to the head table, her daughter broke the bad news, and Mishel appeared absolutely distraught while Steve was off winning over her relatives. She slowly began to panic to the point of not being able to function or being around people.
Mishel told Steve that she needed a stiff drink, like a tequila shot, and when that wasn't available, she escaped outside for a smoke. Mishel was really "thrown" by the "red flag" and just wasn't convinced people can truly change.
"It's disgusting, like seriously! This is dejavu. Same old, same old -- just a different package," Mishel vented.
Meanwhile, Michael's guests found him entertaining, but Stacey felt Michael seemed a tad young and immature. She called him a "manchild" and began thinking her marriage might turn out to be "a disaster."
Michael thought Stacey was standoffish, cold and a bit rude. He said he was trying to get to know her, but Stacey appeared to spend more of her wedding reception with her friends.
Stacey admitted to her friends it felt "awkward" with Michael and seemed like he wasn't taking their marriage seriously.
Stacey seemed to totally disapprove of Michael and dislike him -- until a friend at the wedding revealed to Stacey she had read an article on Michael that disclosed Michael has an ice company and has "money."
Stacey told the cameras it was a good sign Michael is a businessman because he must have a lot of drama. Stacey's friends insisted Michael was just "a normal guy," and so Stacey reasoned, "Maybe I judged him too quickly."
As Stacey was starting to come around on her marriage, Steve asked Mishel to speak in private. Steve explained he's not the type of man who cheats anymore and what he did nearly two decades ago was a "massive mistake" and "stupid error" he would never repeat.
"It's a long, long way in the past. I am here in the present with you. You are my bride and my wife today, and to see you cry, it really upsets me," Steve told Mishel.
Steve added, "I swear to God, I will not be cheating on you. There is no way on this planet I'm going to cheat on you. Right? I swear to God. Do you understand? Alright? All good."
Mishel felt Steve cared how she felt, and she found the conversation totally reassuring. Mishel admitted she might have overreacted and needed to trust Steve, or at least give him a chance.
Stacey also decided to step up her game and talk to Michael alone. Stacey opted to give the relationship a chance and take a leap, confessing to Michael she had only given him 50 percent of herself that day because she was tired, sick and overwhelmed.
On the wedding night, Steve and Mishel kissed goodnight and cuddled, and Stacey and Michael bonded in their honeymoon suite by exchanging a few laughs and getting more comfortable with each other.
The next day, Stacey called Michael "a gentleman," and Michael appreciated the banter they were having. Michael, however, wanted to break his wife's walls down and get to know who she really is.
Each of the last four couples then learned where they'd be going on their honeymoon, and they were all headed to different destinations such as Fiji or New Zealand.
Aleks and Ivan on the Gold Coast began their honeymoon with a daybed by the pool and some of Aleks' favorite cuisine, and Ivan said he had no complaints whatsoever. However, Aleks came to find out Ivan used his work phone too much.
And Stacey and Michael enjoyed a romantic dinner in Fiji, with Michael admitting Stacey was keeping him on his toes.
Stacey told Michael that she had been through a lot and so her heart was very guarded. She was trying to protect herself, but Stacey assured her husband that she was interested in him and was going to slowly let him crack her hard outer shell.
But just a few hours later, Stacey and Michael got into a huge fight. Michael admitted he went out after their dinner and got "wasted" with a few other Married at First Sight couples. Michael confessed to the cameras he had been "arrogant" and an "assh-le" to Stacey.
Stacey accused Michael of ignoring her the morning after his wild night out rather than apologizing for his behavior, but Michael said Stacey wasn't interested in hearing his apology.
"Stacey doesn't loosen up. She is a surfboard; she is a plank," Michael told the cameras, adding, "She was giving me that attitude that could cut through butter [this morning] and so I was just like, 'Get me the f-ck out of here!'"
Michael added, "You could have Shakespeare out here and he couldn't write a better apology than I said. That was to the heart!"
Stacey scolded her husband and said, "You're a joke. You embarrassed me... I don't give a f-ck."
The couple argued and Michael said he saw a different "stubborn" side of Stacey, but he apologized again for his actions and "genuinely" begged his wife for a second chance. Stacey decided to forgive her husband but joked, "I hope a shark eats you... a big one."
Michael said he respected Stacey more for having such high regard for herself, and then he admitted she wasn't the only one with walls up. The couple later had great teamwork when kayaking together on the ocean.
In Broome, Connie gushed about how Jonethen is very attractive, and she was so giddy around her new husband.
Jonethen thought their chemistry was good, but he was nervous to make a first move and called himself "a snail." The couple hadn't enjoyed their first kiss yet, although they got a little touchy-feely with each other during a playful swim.
And Mishel and Steve went to Queenstown, where Mishel's adventurous side came out. Mishel wanted to bungee swing, but Steve didn't, and then the pair had a competition on a luge, which Mishel won by a mile. (Steve crashed and seemed terrified on "the slow course").
But the tables turned when Mishel and Steve went skiing together, which was an activity Mishel -- who's very competitive -- really struggled with.
Mishel fell more than she was on her feet, and Steve grew annoyed with how much she complained, moaned and groaned when he was just trying to have a good time with his new wife.
Steve felt he was the one out of his element, so he was surprised by Mishel's sore attitude and pissed off she kept finding "issue after issue after issue."
"I am so frustrated... It wasn't fun. I want these hideous boots off and cant' wait to get out of these clothes and just get out of here," Mishel told the cameras.
Towards the end of the day, Stacey and Michael had a picnic together, and Stacey opened up to her husband about how her father had committed suicide. Stacey explained that's why she struggled to show and feel emotion, and the news didn't scare Michael off at all.
Stacey explained she never got to see her mother and father being lovey-dovey with each other and so she never really learned how to give or receive affection. Michael was supportive and said he'd be there for Stacey, and she was clearly relieved.
Michael told the cameras that Stacey deserved all the happiness in the world after she had experienced true tragedy in her brother dying as well.
"I was glad to see his softer side. It shows that he's kind of loving and caring. I feel a lot more comfortable now getting more intimate with him. It just goes to show how we are progressing really well and quickly, and it's good," Stacey said in a confessional.
Meanwhile, Steve came clean to Mishel about how her behavior had really bothered him that day. Steve said he felt "a lot of negativity" from Mishel, but she just noted she didn't like the activity and isn't a fan of cold or the snow. She also said her knee was in pain.
The conversation bled into an argument, with Mishel saying she couldn't believe Steve wasn't being more sympathetic to the pain she was feeling, but Steve didn't appreciate his wife swearing at him.
"There's a way of talking to someone, Mishel, without swearing. I don't deserve it," Steve said.
Mishel apologized for swearing at him, and Steve clarified he felt deflated about the fact Mishel didn't enjoy an activity with him. Mishel promised to work on her delivery, and then the couple was able to move on from their fight and end it with a kiss and some Italian food.
As for Connie and Jonethen, they finally kissed at a romantic sunset dinner. Connie said she loved how her husband looked at her, and Jonethen noted he had a "gut feeling" about them and their potential together.