Would you agree to legally marry a stranger who is your scientifically compatible soul mate? Believe it or not, this isn't some insane marketing scheme for Match.com or a "would you rather?" question you'd ask your single friends after having one too many margaritas at happy hour — it's the premise of a new reality show, Married at First Sight.
Six singles from the New York tri-state area have not only committed to arranged marriages in the hopes of finding their true love, but they've also allowed camera crews to document the four weeks following the wedding, where they'll have to decide whether they want to stay together or get a divorce.
So how in the world did they determine whether or not they would be attracted to one another and share the same values, let alone say "I do?" First, the contestants had to fill out personality tests and attend counseling sessions. Then four experts — a sexologist, a spirtualist, a psychologist and a sociologist — narrowed down 625 possible matches to what they deem are three ideologically perfect couples.
Greg Epstein, the show's spiritual adviser, tells The Huffington Post that the show isn't meant to promote arranged marriage. "What the show is promoting is for people to think long and hard about what really makes for a long-term relationship, what really makes for a good marriage. The show is trying to get people to think in a different way on how they are choosing potential partners," he says.
Jamie Otis, a 27-year-old delivery nurse (you may remember her from Ben Flajnik's season of The Bachelor) balked when the show's producers approached her. "At first I was like, ‘No way. What are they, nuts?’" she tells The New York Post. However, after watching the Danish version of the show, she decided to give it a shot: "The feeling I had when I watched these other couples — to feel like I could potentially meet someone . . . it’s wildly crazy, but it could work," she said.
Groom Jason Carrion explains that signing on for the show was also something he "needed to do" and experience in order to avoid "what if?" regret for the rest of his life. We'll just have to tune in to see if they get the happily-ever-ending they've hoped for!
Married at First Sight premieres tonight on the FYI network (formerly known as Biography) at 9 p.m. EST:
Photos courtesy of FYI
Tell us: What do you think of this controversial show?