'Married at First Sight' Season 16 premiere: Five couples prepare to wed and celebrate last night of being single
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/05/2023
Married at First Sight's sixteenth season premiered with 10 singles preparing to wed, choosing their wedding attire, and celebrating at a joint bachelor or bachelorette party during the two-hour episode Wednesday night on Lifetime.
Married at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson and Dr. Pepper Schwartz matched the five couples for matrimony in Tennessee.
The show 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.
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 premiere broadcast began with 14 days remaining until the weddings.
The first couple the experts matched was Kirsten, "Ms. Great Expectations," and Shaquille, "The Devout Workaholic."
Kirsten, 32, said she wants to have kids and sometimes it bothers her if people don't do things her way. Kirsten admitted she's picky about her food, her hair, her clothes, and her men.
"I definitely pick over men too," Kirsten said, adding how she has high standards for her future partner because she has high standards for herself.
Kirsten has her Master's Degree in Business Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Health Service Administration. She's also a real estate agent. Kirsten said she wants a tall, handsome, good looking smart and successful man with nice teeth, ambition, and a desire to go to church with her.
Shaquille, 31, shared how he's been through trials and tribulations in his life. When he was seven, he was involved in a car accident that threw his entire family out of a cat.
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Shaquille apparently woke up wrapped around a barbed wire fence, and since doctors said he couldn't play sports in elementary school, he focused on his education. Shaquille now serves as the executive director of enrollment services Tennessee University.
"I've always found myself in long-distance relationships, and coming home and no one's there, it hits different," Shaquille explained.
Shaquille thought God was going to bless him with finding true love because he admitted he was tired of being alone.
Shaquille wanted to find an ambitious, passionate and religious wife, and Pastor Cal said marrying an educated person was important to the both of them.
The experts then matched Domynique, "The Old Soul," with Mackinley, "The Introverted Dreamer."
Domynique, 25, described herself as a mature woman. She's an only child to a single mother, who is her best friend as well as independent and strong. Domynique said she spoke to her mother multiple times a day, even on her lunch break at work. Domynique shared how her mother had signed her up for the show after a string of bad dating luck.
"It just seems there's a lack of commitment... and so what better way to avoid that than going into a process like [this]?" Domynique explained.
However, Domynique's friends said her future husband better be fine with her having girl nights and hanging with her friends.
Mackinley, 34, moved from Michigan and was staying with his best friend's family. Mackinley explained how he's "a sleeper" who's shy at first but can be outgoing and sassy.
Mackinley dropped out of college and started his own business. His parents have been married for 45 years and when he was on the verge of proposing marriage and getting engaged, the woman apparently texted him a picture of her engagement ring from another man.
Mackinley said the heartbreak was real but he's ready for love and to settle down.
"I want a long-term life partner, somebody to bring me out of my shell," Mackinley noted.
Pastor Cal said Mackinley and Domynique have similar attachment styles in relationships in that they both like their independence and wouldn't desire a spouse who's overly needy or immature. Mackinley wanted an optimistic and outgoing partner like Domynique to expand his horizons.
The third couple matched was Nicole, "Serving the Sass," and Chris, "Mr. Nice Guy."
Nicole, 32, said she's loving and compassionate but also sassy. She grew up in New York and has an Italian mother and a Jewish father. She has a dog named Charlie who is her baby and a fellow Libra. Nicole said she puts on puppet shows for her pet and has had a series of bad dates and relationships.
Nicole said she pushed too hard in relationships before because she was giving them everything she had. She insisted she's ready to be a wife and give love.
"There is so much love in this little petite body that needs to come out!" Nicole shared, adding how she's probably so animated because she's full of love.
Nicole's friends were worried this man was going to be bad in bed, but she said she could teach her man and work on that.
Chris, 36, had never been engaged or lived with a girl before, but he claimed he was ready to take the plunge. Chris said he loves to make people laugh and doing impersonations of celebrities.
"I'm a very hopeless romantic. I do not believe that chivalry is dead... [like] giving flowers for no reason. I am definitely selfless and I put people before me. And I think sometimes that can burn me and people can take advantage of that," Chris admitted.
Chris had his heart broken before, and he confessed he was "baffled" he's still single. The dog owner said he's been awful at choosing his own partners and hopes a woman will put him first, just like he does for a woman in his life. Chris didn't want to be the nice guy finishing last -- again.
"I'm going to do everything I can to make her proud that I'm her husband," Chris told his pal.
Pastor Cal said they are both big hearted and deeply committed, and he thought Chris could be a safe space for Nicole, who is quirky and never takes herself too seriously.
The next couple revealed was Jasmine, "Queen Without a King," and Airris, "Reformed and Ready for Love."
Airris, 39, said he made himself emotionally available once before at age 28 but it backfired and he got ghosted, which he said really hurt. Airris said he spent the next decade with his guard up.
Airris also never had a father figure because his father was murdered. Airris said he has some holes or voids to fill in his life and he'd love to have a father-in-law and family of his own one day. Airris hoped to find a woman who would love him and elevate him like never before.
Airris' family was worried about him going from "playing the field" to being married for the rest of his life. Airris had also never been in a fully committed and traditional relationship.
Airris' cousin Fallina asked him, "Please don't do this."
Jasmine, 31, said she's a cheerleading coach and beauty queen -- who had won multiple big pageants -- who wants to find a black king. Jasmine said she's just missing a husband and children of her own.
Jasmine hoped to find a committed man but admitted she can be stubborn and is often gone working. All of her previous relationships lasted four or five years but then she said the guys wouldn't "man up" and appreciate what she had to offer.
Pastor Cal said Airris, who is suave and thoughtful, has done a lot of self-healing and Jasmine is accepting and devoted. He said the pair are like-minded and may come together to form a long lasting marriage.
And the fifth -- and final -- couple of Season 16 was Gina, "Spontaneous, Styling and Slaying," and Clint, "Seeking a First Mate."
Gina, 35, explained how she believes great reward comes with great risk. She's a salon owner and a hairstylist, and she said the world is her oyster. She booked a trip to Italy a month before she went and said people miss out on too much when they're not spontaneous. She grew up with a single mom and an uninvolved father.
Gina's last relationship was long-term and she thought he was The One. However, she said their lifestyles didn't align because she's very career driven and so he broke up with her because he wasn't happy. Gina focused on her business and shared how men sometimes think she's intimidating due to her success.
Clint, 40, said he's a professional "life liver," who loves adventures, sailing and trying new foods. He came from generations of sailors and even started flying planes because he loved the movie Top Gun as a kid.
"I've had a unique existence on this earth, but I feel like there's more and I think that missing component is being married and having that true love... that's the amount Everest, and I'm willing to go to extremes to find that right person, to find the love of my life," Clint told the cameras.
Clint said he was ready to embrace "the crazy" and "the different."
With 10 days to go until the weddings, the brides met each other at a restaurant, and the men greeted one another over beer and pizza.
The guys could tell Clint is an outdoorsman and so his wife would need to be okay with mosquitos, and Mackinley said he'd be happy with "a solid seven [on a scale from 1-10] who is funny" for a wife because he'd love to have kids.
Nicole talked a lot and so she shared with the women how she was going to have a safe word -- "pineapple" -- with husband when he wanted her to shut up. Domynique mentioned how she loves going out with her girls, which made Kirsten worried she wouldn't be able to keep a husband.
Kirsten announced how she'd like to have two to three kids, and Jasmine said she was having baby fever and so she gets dog instead. Jasmine has four dogs and said her biological clock is ticking.
Chris confessed he went a year without having sex but he wasn't "about that," and Kirsten said she had asked the experts to "roll out the tank," aka a well endowed man. Nicole shared how she hadn't had sex since moving to Nashville, but Airris and Clint had sex only two weeks prior.
Gina said she had sex once in the last year, and then the men discussed how they didn't have expectations for sex on the first night of marriage. Clint, however, said Night 1 would be "game time" for him if everything went according to plan with his wife.
With eight days to go until the wedding, Kirsten was shown shopping for a wedding dress while her groom-to-be, Shaquille, selected his tuxedos. Shaquille's mentees helped him pick an outfit for his big day since they had done so much for him.
The brides then celebrated with a joint bachelorette party featuring exotic male dancers. Nicole licked one of the dancer's abs. And the grooms got the same treatment, with female dancers in booty shorts and whipping around tassels on their see through bras.
Domynique confessed that she spent too much time with the male strippers, but Jasmine sat back and said she was ready to meet her husband. The strippers were not her cup of tea. Domynique nearly gave a stripped her phone number.
Kirsten told her girlfriends that she sometimes likes a dominant man in the bedroom, and she joked about having sex all over her honeymoon suite or apartment.
It then became time for the couples to wed, and Kirsten and Shaquille were up first.
Kirsten couldn't get ahold of her mother, who eventually arrived late. And Kirsten was upset to learn her father had decided not to attend the wedding because he didn't want to adhere to COVID-19 policies.
Shaquille cried before meeting his bride because he didn't want to be alone anymore, and he was so afraid about the process not working out for him that he sought his beloved grandmother for comfort.
Kirsten hoped she'd feel a strong connection at first sight, but she told her friends that she'd probably kiss her husband on the cheek if she's not feeling him.
"I'm very particular in the man that I like, and if he's not what I was expecting then I'll be disappointed," Kirstin said before walking down the aisle.
The episode then ended on a cliffhanger, before Kirsten and Shaquille met each other for the first time.