'Married at First Sight' recap: Nicole's dad calls Chris a potential serial killer, Airris' cousin questions Jasmine's sincerity, and Kirsten still refuses to kiss Shaquille!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/26/2023
Married at First Sight featured the five couples enjoying their wedding night, brunching with their new in-laws, and then traveling to Jamaica for their honeymoons during the Season 16 episode that aired Wednesday night on Lifetime.
The show features 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.
And at the end of the experiment, Married at First Sight's Season 16 couples will reach "Decision Day" and have to decide whether to remain married or decide to end their marriages and divorce.
The Married at First Sight broadcast began with Kirsten and Shaquille entering their hotel room. Kirsten said she had a great time at her wedding and it was a very "joyful" moment for her and her family. Shaquille told his wife that her beauty made him "speechless" and he wanted to make their marriage work.
Kirsten then sighed and said, "It's a lot."
"Why did you do that?" Shaquille asked.
"Because I'm just taking it all in. It is a lot. I want to continue to get to know you... and we're definitely going to do that," Kirsten explained.
Shaquille then asked Kirsten for a kiss, and she hesitated.
"You'll have to wait," Kirsten responded.
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Kirsten said she didn't want a kiss to lead to intimacy or sex too early and she'd prefer they take things slow and really get to know each other. Shaquille said he respected Kirsten's boundaries because they were strangers after all.
Domynique and Mackinley were also shown drinking champagne in their hotel room.
"I'm very attracted to my wife. I think she's incredibly gorgeous and sexy," Mackinley told the cameras. "I'm very satisfied with not only her physical appearance but we've had time to chat and there's more than that already. I'm just excited... to be a gentleman and see what happens."
Domynique said she actually wasn't nervous getting into bed. Mackinley was hoping to cuddle despite Domynique's body pillow in the bed, and then suddenly, the couple went under the sheets together and started giggling.
In Airris and Jasmine's hotel room, Airris said he was thankful to the experts, for the process and for Jasmine. Jasmine thought that was sweet, and then she let herself be vulnerable by taking off her makeup, letting down her hair, and being in her natural state.
Airris said he was so tired that he was hoping Jasmine would just want to go to bed, and then the couple was shown cuddling and giving each other a peck in bed.
Meanwhile, Clint and Gina said they felt great about their wedding and their union, commenting how it wasn't awkward at all.
"My husband is peaceful, he's comforting, he's super easygoing... [and] he can also bring a room to life, which is pretty cool -- and he's pretty easy on the eyes. I can definitely see a start to the future with Clint," Gina shared in a confessional.
After Clint helped Gina take off her dress, he noted how the physical attraction was there and the pair both felt it. Gina also thought things were just falling into place. She said Clint was "super sexy, a 12 out of 10 babe."
Clint told the cameras that if intimacy escalated that evening with Gina, then "game on!"
On Day 1 of marriage, each couple woke up together, and Jasmine rated Airris' cuddle game a nine out of 10.
Clint and Gina apparently slept for only three hours, but Clint said sleeping with Gina felt "so natural."
"We did not have sex last night. I definitely wanted to have sex last night... she's beautiful," Clint said. "But I do not want that to be what this is about... I want to have a solid relationship and do things for the right reasons."
Clint revealed how he wakes up at 5:30-6AM ready to go every morning, and Gina is apparently wired the same way and works very hard. She said she was excited to loosen the reins.
Kirsten then revealed she and Shaquille did not have sex but she had fun dancing with her husband the prior night. She said it didn't feel like they were strangers at all, and Shaquille called their dynamic "a Cinderella story."
Shaquille shared how he loves teeth and wanted to be a dentist at one point, and Kirsten admitted sometimes she skips brushing her teeth before bed.
Over at Domynique and Mackinley's room, Mackinley said everything felt natural with his wife but they did not have sex. Mackinley noted how they were both exhausted and it was ultimately Domynique's decision when they'd consummate their marriage.
"We're getting along great. He is so nice and so sweet and very thoughtful. I do feel like there's a connection there and I can't wait to see where it goes!" Domynique shared in a confessional.
Domynique told Mackinley that she's a good cook who has a freezer full of catfish that she caught and cleaned herself. She said she's a country girl at heart who doesn't mind getting her hands dirty and she hoped Mackinley would be the same way.
Meanwhile, Chris gushed about how it felt great to wake up to his naturally beautiful wife, and Nicole cried because Chris made her feel so special and happy. The couple agreed over breakfast their first fight would probably be over something stupid, possibly about Nicole making them late for an outing or event.
Jasmine also said it felt great waking up next to Airris. Jasmine apparently fell asleep laying on his chest, and Airris confirmed that's as steamy as things got.
Jasmine looked forward to Airris receiving a stamp of approval from her brother and father, but Airris worried his cousin Fallina -- who thought this marriage experiment was "over the top and extreme" -- may not be accepting of his wife.
Each spouse then individually sat down for brunch with their new in-laws or friends.
Kirsten told Shaquille's family that she had great conversation with Shaquille and she'd be a very supportive and understanding wife. Kirsten, however, noted how she'd like to be her husband's priority.
Shaquille, in turn, assured Kirsten's loved ones that he never sought out this opportunity and it just fell into his lap. Shaquille was warned Kirsten was going to be slow to open up but she'd blossom if Shaquille took the driver's seat and showed up for her.
Mackinley told Domynique's family that he had been in a couple serious relationships and he was looking for "the real deal." Mackinley said he had been on dates with Black women but just didn't have a lot of luck on that side.
Domynique told Mackinley's family that Mackinley didn't seem shy to her and he was being sassy. She said he expectations had been "highly exceeded." Mackinley's mom admitted that she found the experiment to be "nuts," and there appeared to be awkward silence. Domynique even vented, "It's getting warm in here."
Domynique also confessed it would be "tough" if Mackinley asked her to move back to Michigan. She clearly liked living close to her mother, who is her best friend.
Meanwhile, Gina said her typical type is tall, dark and handsome but her last relationship was with a blonde man with a red beard. Gina said Clint's personality also made him so much more attractive to her.
Gina's sister-in-law said one red flag she saw with Clint is that he and Gina "are so similar." Gina's brother also warned Clint that Gina works a lot at the salon she owns, travels and has a busy schedule.
"We both live very full lives individually, and we're going to have to merge those worlds together and find that good common place," Clint explained in a confessional, adding how it was going to be a challenge but he intended to "work through it" with Gina.
Chris was then shown meeting with Nicole's parents and stepdad. Chris insisted he's genuine, serious about commitment, and ready to be a husband, but Nicole's dad joked about how Chris could still be a serial killer and actions speak louder than words.
Nicole's father just hoped Chris was "in it" with his daughter 100 percent. Nicole was then told Chris would cook for her, take care of her and lift her up.
Chris' family told Nicole that she was going to be Chris' main priority and focus in life, but Nicole she was going to encourage Chris to have his own life because she likes to hang out with her friends and come and go as she pleases.
Nicole realized she must protect Chris' heart because he's a giver and the ultimate nice man.
Jasmine's father was then shown telling Airris that he was counting on Airris to be the new man in his daughter's life and be there for him. When Fallina was asked if she liked Airris' new wife, Fallina just cracked up laughing.
Jasmine had gotten out of a relationship seven months prior, and so Fallina asked Jasmine how she knew she was ready. Jasmine explained that when a couple breaks up, they've probably been ready for that split mentally and emotionally for a while.
Fallina criticized Jasmine for being from "the pageant world" and always being ready with an eloquent answer. Fallina wasn't sure Jasmine's answers -- which seemed so poised, prepared and confident -- were genuine.
Jasmine could tell that Fallina just wanted to protect her cousin, and she felt she was being authentic, which is all that mattered.
Once Airris heard Fallina had been hard on his wife, he told the cameras, "Maybe she was a little hard on Jasmine, but I just hope that relationship nurtures and gets better over time," Airris said.
Once Shaquille and Kirsten reunited, they promised to be open, communicative and transparent with each other. Kirsten didn't want Shaquille to hide his emotions while trying to be the strong man of the house.
Each couple then received a gift basket designed to celebrate their new marriages, and they were informed their honeymoons were going to be in Lucea, Jamaica.
"We haven't had an opportunity to be romantic yet, and I think once we're in a different element, things will heat up quickly," Nicole said in a confessional.
But because Shaquille was still in school, he let his wife know that he had a research conference that weekend.
Shaquille had to present his research before traveling to Jamaica, and so he told Kirsten that she'd be joining him in Mississippi. Kirsten was disappointed and seemingly pissed off. She wanted to relax and enjoy drinks on the beach with her new friends.
"You've got a lot of making up to do," Kirsten warned her husband.
"Add it to my bill," Shaquille joked.
Before four of the couples gathered in a shuttle bus and headed to the airport, Airris announced how he was looking forward to turning up the heat and getting intimate with his wife on the trip. Clint joked about how Airris was "frothing at the mouth."
Four of the five couples then arrived in Jamaica and got settled into their respective hotel rooms. Airris said he felt like a king and Jasmine fed him grapes.
Chris then revealed to Nicole how his ex-girlfriend was mean to him and treated him poorly.
Nicole loved how Chris was willing to share his feelings, and then Nicole admitted she can have vacation anxiety when traveling with other people. Nicole was worried people would think she's crazy or not like her.
Nicole then opened up to Chris about how her first relationship was "toxic" and the guy had told her that she's not worthy of love. Nicole said she started to believe that and the man burned her with a cigarette.
Nicole's ex-boyfriend apparently claimed that Nicole would let him burn her if she loved him, and so she let him do it. Nicole broke down into tears, explaining that she believed everything her ex said about her because she loved him. Nicole said she had to pretend in the relationship and always felt the need to prove herself.
"I am deserving of love... and I have changed for the better," Nicole told her husband.
Chris thanked Nicole for telling him that story, and he gave her a kiss. Chris appreciated her honesty and being so up front with him, and he said he admired her "strength, beauty and courage."
"I feel like I've known her my whole life, not just three days," Chris gushed in a confessional.