'Married at First Sight' expert Pastor Cal: I'm so glad Dr. Pepper convinced me to match Amelia and Bennett!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/09/2020
Married at First Sight expert Pastor Calvin Roberson admits he's glad fellow expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz pushed to match Bennett Kirschner and Amelia Fatsi, given Pastor Cal initially wasn't a fan of pairing them up for marriage.
Pastor Cal, Pepper, and fellow Married at First Sight expert Dr. Viviana Coles matched Bennett, a 28-year-old artistic director from Montvale, NJ, with Amelia, 27-year-old medical resident from Richmond, VA, to wed on Season 11 of the series -- but only after Pepper had to fight for the couple and do some serious convincing.
On Wednesday night's episode of Married at First Sight: Unfiltered, host Jamie Otis pointed out to her guest, "[Pastor Cal], I know you were skeptical of matching Bennett and Amelia during the matchmaking process."
In the matchmaking process, the show's three experts matched five New Orleans-based couples for marriage after thorough evaluations, discussions and even debates.
A clip from the Married at First Sight: Matchmaking Special then aired in which Pastor Cal expressed his hesitancy to the other experts about matching Amelia and Bennett to wed.
"I like Amelia, but Bennett, I have reservations about his life choices," Pastor Cal explained in the clip, referencing how Bennett bounces between various jobs and hobbies.
"I don't think he has a direction as to where he is going in life... [The] problem [is], he has a number of directions."
On Unfiltered, Jamie, who starred on Season 1 of Married at First Sight, asked Pastor Cal what he thought about Amelia and Bennett as a couple now that several episodes of Season 11 have aired.
"I am so glad that Dr. Pepper was there and that I was convinced otherwise, because what I see now are two people who seem to fill each other's boxes," Pastor Cal admitted.
Bennett and Amelia were attracted to each other and could laugh together on their wedding day.
Amelia thought Bennett was adorable and cool, and they seemed to appreciate the quirks in each other. Bennett, for example, wore an orange dress to bed on his wedding night and Bennett liked the bird's nest on Amelia's head and the fact she doesn't shave her armpits.
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Jamie therefore pointed out on Unfiltered that if Amelia and Bennett work out as a couple on "Decision Day" and maybe even long-term, fans can "applaud" Dr. Pepper for hooking them up.
"Absolutely. Freely! I'll give her 90 percent of the credit here," Pastor Cal said.
On the Matchmaking Special that aired in early July, Pastor Cal and Pepper were shown being at odds over whether to pair Bennett up with Amelia.
"So the couple I am really excited to talk about is Amelia and Bennett. Now, I know we've had conversations, so hold your peace for a moment, Cal, and let me put it out why I think they're great," Pepper insisted.
"I think they are both quirky and eccentric in ways that they will love in each other. He is a guy who drives a pedicab in New Orleans because he's an artist, he's a theater person. Yes, she's trained as a doctor, but she's somebody who will walk a tightrope in a park!"
Pepper elaborated on her stance, "She's somebody who will play a one-man band -- doing the harmonica while she's doing the drums. She's just Amelia and he's just Bennett."
"I think they will find each other attractive, whimsical, lovable, and stay together forever," Pepper concluded.
But then Pastor Cal argued how Bennett's life was heading in too many directions without a focus, voicing how "that's a problem."
"No," Pepper disagreed. "Sorry."
"He doesn't have," Pastor Cal continued, "okay, I hear you."
"He is all over the place, Pepper," Viviana stated, taking Pastor Cal's side for a moment.
"Well, wait, he has his Master's in theater, he has written a number of one-act plays. What's nondirectional about that?" Pepper asked the two other experts.
"Okay, first of all, they are not income-producing," Pastor Cal said.
The experts discussed how Amelia had just completed medical school to be a doctor but Bennett lived in a "tiny house" with no bathroom that he had initially created to be the set of one of his theater plays prior to the show.
Bennett called himself a freelance writer, pedicab driver, and "landscape-architect helper."
But Viviana pointed out to Pepper and Pastor Cal, "[Amelia] is more than willing to say, 'I will be the breadwinner. If he does want to work, great. If he doesn't, great.' She actually prefers someone who wants to stay at home."
"And I'm so happy to hear that because he has no bread," Pastor Cal responded.
"And the other thing is -- is Bennett willing to move? She's going to have a [medical] residency who knows where, hopefully in a warm state where he can pedicab."
Pastor Cal added, "But will he be willing to move? Will his lifestyle permit him to?"
Pepper said she did, in fact, ask Bennett that question while getting to know him better.
"I did ask him, 'Is he movable?' Because she does not know where she's going to go," Pepper explained, adding that Bennett had told her during an interview he's "extremely portable" and would be willing to move around for his wife.
"So what I'm saying is, here is a woman we all like. We think she's a doll," Pepper said.
"And she's talented in so many ways and quirky in so many ways, but she can only be with someone who's extremely flexible, who can take what they love with them, and who is also willing to be kind of a new man, who would in fact take what has been traditionally the female role."
Pepper continued, "And this is also a guy who can do all of that."
"That I agree with," Pastor Cal noted. "I still have reservations, but I can see where they would be compatible."
After listening to Pepper and Pastor Cal "go round and round for weeks on this," Viviana reasoned, "It's time to make a decision."
"You can do this!" Pepper urged Pastor Cal.
"I do agree that it looks like on paper that they are perfectly matched, but when the reality hits," Pastor Cal began.
"While your hesitations are protected, when you take a look at what they say they want, it is so clearly each other," Pepper argued.
Pepper admitted she was being "a little obnoxious" with her opinion but just felt so passionately about this couple working out long-term.
"I am thrilled to say that Amelia and Bennett are going to be married at first sight!" Pepper shouted.
"Yay," Pastor Cal said unenthusiastically.
"I'm with ya!" Viviana revealed while turning towards Pepper.
In the subsequent Married at First Sight: Kick Off Special hosted by Kevin Frazier, the three experts connected with each other via videoconference and were asked how they handle situations in which one or two experts are waffling over whether to match a couple and one expert is convinced the pair would work well together.
"Bribery," Pastor Cal joked.
"No, I wish it were!" Pepper replied.
"We just keep talking and talking and talking, and occasionally, we just bow to the other person's intense positive opinion. Like, 'Okay, I don't quite see it the way you do, but I'm going to trust you on this one.'"
Viviana also shared with Kevin, "I was a big fan of Amelia and Bennett, but no one has been such a supporter like Dr. Pepper."
"I knew that they belonged together," Pepper admitted. "I think it helped that I was older and been through the 70s. I saw these people as compatriots from Woodstock."
Kevin said it was clear, however, Pastor Cal wasn't sold on this couple at first.
"You may think 'doctor' and that doctor may seem materialistic to you, but some doctors are all mission, and I believe Amelia is all mission, and I think she will appreciate the quirkiness of how [Bennett] lives," Pepper explained.
"This is one of those situations where I gave in to Dr. Pepper's wealth of expertise and knowledge and sociological know-how," Pastor Cal shared.
Similar to prior seasons, Married at First Sight's eleventh season will feature the newlywed couples embarking on a honeymoon, moving in together, and navigating the joys and struggles of daily life together.
And at the end of the experiment that typically lasts between six to eight weeks, Married at First Sight's five Season 11 couples will reach "Decision Day" when they must decide whether to remain married or end their marriages and divorce.
In addition to Amelia and Bennett, the new season also stars Amani and Woody, Karen and Miles, Olivia and Brett, and Christina and Henry.