Inside the 'Grueling' Casting Process for 'Married at First Sight'
By Raphael Chestang
The concept of A&E's' Married at First Sightmight seem crazy at first, until you learn about the extensive matchmaking process.
As the title suggests, the show sets strangers up on blind weddings in which two people say "I do" within moments of meeting each other. ET went behind the scenes and found out that there is a method to the madness.
"The matchmaking process is incredibly intense," executive producer Sam Dean said. "The very first thing we do is hold group workshops ... Within the participant agreement there is a section on prenups, which essentially says that if this doesn't work out, the participants will leave the marriage with what they entered into it."
More than 7,000 singles apply to be "married at first sight," but only a fraction of those people make it through the workshops, which includes psych evaluations and background checks. For the 60 people who do make it through, it's on to the next stage: research.
"Each of the four experts conducts their own individual research, and this is an incredibly grueling process," Sam said. "It requires hours and hours and hours of each of the participants' time ... Our psychologist gives each of the candidates an open-ended psychological questionnaire, which has approximately 50 questions. If done correctly, it will take you upwards of 12 hours."
From this process, two of the couples from the first season (Doug with Jamie and Cortney with Jason) have stayed together. Contestants Ryan Ranellone and Jessica Castro are paired with different people in the show's season premiere and they admitted that the show's track record played a part in their decision to sign on.
"The most terrifying part of this whole thing is really you're waiting up at that alter and just seeing who that person is who's going to come down the aisle," Ryan said. "I figured with the great results they had in last season, why not just give this a shot?"