'Married at First Sight' expert Dr. Viviana Coles defends the show's matchmaking -- We don't try to create explosive trainwrecks!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/12/2021
Married at First Sight expert Dr. Viviana Coles is defending the integrity of the show and its matchmaking process only days after appearing dismissive about viewers' concerns about Chris Williams and Paige Banks' pairing by urging fans to "chill out" and not react so strongly.
Viviana addressed speculation she and her fellow Married at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson and Dr. Pepper Schwartz put some couples together to cause drama and create entertainment in an interview with The Associated Press released Wednesday.
"I can unequivocally tell you that that is not ever a concern for us," Viviana told The AP.
"There have been couples who we thought were 100% -- as much as we can say that, on paper, side-by-side [and] meeting them single -- head over heels in love with each other, and they were explosive, nasty, really degrading."
Viviana said she is sometimes surprised by cast members' behavior in their marriages.
"[They'd] be having conversations that made us think, 'Who are these people?'" Viviana admitted, suggesting certain participants showed the experts a different version of themselves in the casting process.
When asked if there's ever a thought to pair two people together because a trainwreck could possibly happen, Viviana explained she would never want to put any Married at First Sight participants in an unsafe environment.
"If we would have actually tried to make that happen and create explosive trainwrecks, I almost feel like it could be beyond dangerous -- not just emotionally, but even physically," Viviana explained.
"And so we try to avoid that as much as possible because getting married to a stranger is explosive and dynamic and dramatic enough."
Even if a marriage ends in divorce, Viviana apparently sees a bright side to appearing on the show.
"The reward of being on our show is a loving, lasting marriage," Viviana noted in her interview.
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"If that's not what ends up coming from this, I hope that the reward is a lot of internal introspection, a lot of self-love, self-understanding, self-acceptance, and moving on towards just having a better relationship or possibly marriage, because lots of people go on to have amazing marriages beyond this. I think that's the reward of being on this."
Viviana also said watching the rise or fall of couples has been valuable to the show's experts.
"I do think [the experts] learn from any past mistakes, any errors that we think -- anything that may have slipped through the cracks, if we feel like something has happened, you can bet that our next group is going to feel the wrath, and I can tell you that is absolutely in play with our next season too," Viviana teased.
Viviana is apparently proud Married at First Sight viewers have come to expect so much from the experts every season in terms of whom they choose to match.
"I kind of love that our viewers are starting to expect that we get every single couple right, because we go into it wanting to get every single couple right and setting them up for this lifetime of love," Viviana shared.
"Unfortunately, that hasn't happened yet. We haven't had a five-for-five season yet; I really hope that that happens in the near future and then from then on."
"Of course there is pressure with that and you probably won't please anybody with that either," she continued. "But I don't care, I just want happy marriages."
Chris and Paige's marriage on Married at First Sight's twelfth season has pretty much been a disaster from the start.
Chris brought up his recent ex-fiancee multiple times and peppered Paige with questions about sex during their wedding dinner.
Chris also admitted he was not attracted to his wife, although he made degrading or sexist comments about Paige's curvy body and her "fat azz."
Despite lacking an attraction to his wife, Chris chose to immediately have sex with Paige on their wedding night and again the following morning.
And once the couple took off for their honeymoon, Chris discovered his ex-fiancee is pregnant, which left Paige feeling confused and devastated.
"I can see why people are really struggling to understand why we would put this couple together, and I don't blame them," Viviana confessed to The AP.
"I think that the harsh judgment on each person can feel warranted; I just feel so badly for them though, right? Because nobody knows what it's like to be in this process."
Viviana said "there is still so much to see" from Season 12 and viewers should probably brace themselves for what's to come.
"If you think you know, you have no idea! My head just reels and my heart starts pounding the minute I start thinking about it because I start to kind of relive a lot of it, and I know we're going to have to go through it because I watched the season live and I am it every Wednesday night just like a lot of you are," Viviana said.
"I can't even tell you -- it's kind of overwhelming and incredibly shocking and surprising."
Given viewers have been so vocal about the disappointing match of Chris and Paige -- one of several in Married at First Sight's 12-season history -- Viviana took to her Instagram Stories last week to address all the backlash.
Viviana, however, upset MAFS fans with her apparent dismissive attitude in which she seemed to brush off their concerns with a big smile.
"Don't stress so much about it. I mean, like, yes, they are real people. Yes, some of these things that you're seeing are shocking, for sure, believe me, I'm there too. But you know, stop freaking out," Viviana said in a series of videos reposted by the @mafsfan Instagram account.
Viviana added, "I can't imagine that every fanbase has, I don't know, this strong of a reaction to every episode of every reality TV show... Let's chill out a little bit. Take a deep breath."
"She says 'Don't stress? Chill out?' WOW. So we witness abuse on this show and now they're telling fans to stop talking about it," Kate complained.
"Fans are not overreacting. These are real people," continued Kate, who wasn't matched by Viviana as Viviana only joined Married at First Sight's matchmaking panel in Season 9 as a replacement for Dr. Jessica Griffin.
Kate fought an uphill battle trying to save her marriage to Luke, who admitted he wasn't attracted to her and left her feeling unwanted and unappreciated throughout the experiment.
Kate engaged in conversation with several Instagram users in the comments and went on to make some serious allegations against Married at First Sight production.
"Producers used to ask me if I felt 'safe' before they left me with [Luke] for the night... I said yes but I realize now that they should never have to ask me that about a husband they chose for me," Kate wrote.