EXCLUSIVE: ‘Married at First Sight’ Stars Beth Bice and Jamie Thompson Open Up About Marriage, Quarantine, Starting a Family, and Filming ‘Couples Cam’
Elizabeth Bice and Jamie Thompson immediately had chemistry and passion when they got hitched on the ninth season of Lifetime’s Married at First Sight in Charlotte, NC. They were known for their willingness to be authentic on camera—when it came to their conflicts as well as vulnerability and romance.
Jamie and Beth are one of the nine Married at First Sight couples who will appear on the new quarantine spinoff, Married at First Sight: Couples Cam. The six-episode, self-shot limited series premieres on Lifetime at 8 p.m. EST.
In an exclusive interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Beth and Jamie opened up about their emotional growth since appearing on the show, what it was like to film themselves for Couples Cam, and how they’re making it through quarantine as a couple.
Can you give us an overview of what Married at First Sight: Couples Cam is all about?
Beth: So basically, Couples Cam is us self-recording everything, which is an interesting dynamic in reality TV right now. It’s us going through our everyday lives in quarantine.
Some things you can expect—at least from Jamie and I—are that, because we were married as strangers, and life has been so busy, this is the first time we’ve really had to slow down and learn about each other.
You’ll see a lot of that with all the couples: how we’re dealing with it, how our lives have changed [in quarantine]. So hopefully, it’s relatable to everyone out there, and they can feel better about how life has stopped for them as well.
It must have been a really different dynamic from filming your original season of Married at First Sight. What was it like to film yourselves?
Jamie: It was actually really neat. When we filmed Married at First Sight, of course, we had production crews that worked with us, day in and day out. You get used to them coming in and giving direction. So with Beth and I, we had to really think about what we wanted to record. We’re both creative people, so it was actually a fun opportunity.
Beth: It’s hard, too, because you want to stay raw. You want to make sure you’re giving the audience the raw stuff, the real stuff. The one challenge Jamie and I had was to stay raw and real when we’re in control of what we film. We don’t want to fake anything or sit here and pretend it’s all rainbows and butterflies. We’re definitely really authentic.
Jamie: We told ourselves that we were going to be real. We weren’t going to try to tell this fairy tale story.
Beth: I definitely cried a time or two! With the struggles of quarantine and being 3,000 miles away from your family, there have been some tears in there. But there’s been a silver lining as well, so we try to stay transparent with both sides.
Married life in quarantine
I know you can’t give too much away, but what are some things that fans can expect from your storyline?
Jamie: We just moved to San Francisco last fall, and of course, it’s one of the most expensive places to live. We just have a one-bedroom apartment here. It was fine when we were both going places and I was at work every day.
But when quarantine hit, I started working from home, and all of a sudden, we realized we don’t have enough space. The walls started closing in on us. So in our story, we’re looking for a new place.
Beth: That apartment started getting tinier and tinier. And with the shutdown, you can’t go onsite to look at places. So it’s interesting to see how we maybe find a new place…maybe not, who knows? That’s the fun part of the show.
How has quarantine affected you as a couple? Have you had to adjust anything about your relationship or learned anything about your marriage?
Beth: Honestly, right now, the biggest struggle is being away from family. We’re in the middle of quarantine, and we don’t know anyone around us.
Luckily, Jamie and I have had each other, and that’s been really awesome. We have days where we’re normal, and there are some days when we just struggle. I’m not gonna lie, there are times when I look at Jamie, and I just go, “I’m not okay right now. I feel like I’m just floating here.”
Jamie: We’ve obviously been spending a lot of time together, so we’ve been getting to know each other a little more.
Beth: You’re a great cook, Jamie! Honestly, I didn’t know that, because Jamie was always at work before. It’s been fun finding out new things about each other.
Marrying a stranger
How do you feel like your relationship has changed since you first appeared on Married at First Sight? What have you learned about yourselves and each other?
Beth: I had to deal with issues that I’d never felt before and never approached before in front of America. That was definitely really eye-opening.
I’ve changed a lot for the better, and I can be a better wife to Jamie now. I thank the show for that, because it’s priceless. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to deal with your emotions head-on like that.
Jamie: Beth and I are both super independent people, so it was difficult to think about rewiring the way we fit someone else into our lives. We’ve learned how to communicate better, to be more empathetic and compassionate towards the other person.
Have you gotten to know any of the other couples from the show? What has that experience been like?
Beth: I love the couples! I’ve built really great relationships with all of the women and some of the husbands as well. We’re all just trying to encourage each other through this time.
It’s cool to know people who’ve gone through the same experience as you. You build this connection with them. It feels good to have a support system like that.
I hate to say it like this, but we’re all just a bunch of weirdos together—who all decided to marry strangers on TV.
What would you say is one misconception that fans had about you after the ninth season of Married at First Sight, whether individually or as a couple?
Beth: I think people might have thought I was angry on the inside, and I’m not. I’m actually a very happy person. But on the show, I had to deal with emotions I’ve never had before. And the situations were just heightened. So you kind of put up this defense mode.
And it doesn’t matter how much you say you’re going to act a certain way. You don’t know how you’re going to act until you’re in the situation. It opened my eyes to some issues that I’ve improved on, for sure.
Beth [to Jamie]: Jamie, I think you’re a lot kinder and more giving than you got a chance to reveal on the show. Jamie is so sweet. He really is. He’s sweet and romantic and thoughtful. But the show only has time to show so much.
What are your goals for the future? Do you have any specific career goals or things you’d like you work on in your relationship?
Beth: Jamie and I are eventually going to run the San Francisco Marathon. We’ve been training for that. It keeps getting pushed back, but we just keep trying harder. And we are trying to work on expanding our real estate portfolio.
Jamie: We’ve had a lot of discussions about our financial goals as a couple and what we want our lives to look like. It’s really neat, because Beth and I have similar visions.
Beth: I’m actually about to freeze my eggs. Jamie and I are talking about having kids, but I’m 31, so I just want to play it safe and make sure that if something were to happen—if I got a little bit older—it would still be a viable option. So I’m freezing my eggs, hopefully, in the next few months.
And last but not least: Looking back, what made you make the choice to get married to a stranger on Married at First Sight?
Jamie: I was doing well in my life; my career was doing well. I was dating, but I wasn’t meeting the people I wanted to meet. The show came along, and I knew I wanted a relationship, and I thought, “Why not?”
I also always knew that the traditional way of doing things didn’t appeal to me. So the idea of getting married, just “big or go home” style, I was like, “Sign me up!”
Beth: I always joked with my friends that if I ever got married, they’d better do it right then and there, or I may run. That’s just my free spirit talking. It’s ironic how I used to always say that to my friends, and that’s actually what happened!
I was very comfortable in my life. I had a great career going. I had a lot of goals I wanted to achieve. But I was also very open to something new. It was just the perfect time in my life. And clearly, the universe did its job.