'Married at First Sight' experts match Amelia and Bennett to marry despite disagreeing if they're a good match
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/09/2020
Married at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Dr. Viviana Coles matched Amelia and Bennett to marry on Season 11 despite disagreeing if the singles would truly be a good match for each other.
Married at First Sight's Season 11 Matchmaking Special and Kick Off Special aired on Lifetime on Wednesday night, and the show's three experts were shown matching five New Orleans-based couples for marriage after thorough evaluations, discussions and even debates.
Pastor Cal and Pepper were especially at odds over whether to pair up Amelia, a 27-year-old medical resident from Richmond, VA, with Bennett, a 28-year-old artistic director from Montvale, NJ.
"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 Pastor Cal argued, "Look, I like Amelia. But Bennett, I have reservations about his life choices. I don't think he has a direction as to where he's going in life. I know he's..."
"I think he has lots of directions!" Viviana interjected with a laugh.
"That's a problem," Pastor Cal noted. "That's a problem. He has a number of directions."
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"No," Pepper disagreed. "Sorry."
"He doesn't have," Pastor Cal continued, "okay, I hear you."
"He is all over the place, Pepper," Viviana stated, having Pastor Cal's back 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.
Amelia, dubbed "The Driven Dreamer" by Lifetime, has just completed medical school to be a doctor but has creative hobbies such as playing multiple musical instruments and taking on artistic projects.
Amelia said her mother was the breadwinner in her family growing up, and so Amelia would apparently love to find a man who'd be willing to raise her babies at home while she's at work.
Bennett, dubbed "The Romantic Thespian," lives in a "tiny house" with no bathroom that he had initially created to be the set of one of his theater plays. The theater artist shared how he's also 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.
Footage then flashed back to Bennett telling Pepper in one of his interviews he's "extremely portable" and 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."
In the subsequent 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.
The eleventh season of Married at First Sight officially premieres Wednesday, July 15 at 8PM ET/PT on Lifetime with a two-hour episode.
Similar to prior seasons, Married at First Sight's eleventh season will feature strangers meeting at the wedding altar and then spending the next eight weeks embarking on a honeymoon, moving in together, and navigating the joys and struggles of daily life together.
In addition to Amelia and Bennett, the new season will also star Amani, a 29-year-old non-profit worker who was raised in Chicago, IL, and Woody, a 30-year-old teacher and coach from New Orleans as well as Olivia, a 30-year-old nurse from Bossier City, LA, and Brett, a 35-year-old with a career in information technology from Gretna, LA.
The other two starring couples will be Christina, a 30-year-old flight attendant from Houma, LA, and Henry, a 35-year-old clinical recruiter from Arabi, LA, as well as Karen, a 30-year-old consultant from New Orleans, LA, and Miles, a 26-year-old who works with youth from Spartanburg, SC.