Is ‘Married at First Sight’ Real?

We’ve all fallen in love with some of the most addicting reality television shows — including Married at First Sight. However, it’s hard to believe two people could actually get married at first sign. But we’re all wondering the same thing while we watch it: How real is the show?

Married at First Sight
Is Married at First Sight Real? | Married at First Sight Australia via Instagram

When contestants initially signed up, they didn’t know it was for ‘Married at First Sight’

When the show first got its start in both the United States and the United Kingdom, those who signed up weren’t actually told what it was for. One former U.K. contestant told Cosmopolitan that an advertisement for a social experiment came up on his Tinder, so he decided to fill out his information. He was chosen for the show but didn’t find out until after he’d already been through a few rounds of interviews. The same goes for the U.S.; initially, people didn’t know they were “auditioning” for a show — especially not one that required marriage.

The show says it does an extremely thorough matchmaking

Both contestants and those who work on the show say there is an extremely thorough matchmaking process that requires both a scientific section (such as measuring height, weight, fingers, etc.) and a 500-question survey. The survey is meant to determine what people are interested and not interested in, their sexual activity, religious views, political views, and more, according to Cosmopolitan. And the show has sociologists on board to make sure everything runs smoothly. According to E! News, once the contestants found out the show’s premise, many of them left. However, some do stay and are genuinely interested to see where things go.

The process begins with an application, then the pool is sorted through and the producers get down to about 200 people. From there, they meet with everyone and visit people at their homes to truly get a feel for what they’re like before deciding if they should be on the show.

But some past contestants say there was no matchmaking at all

The show has been filmed in various countries, and one woman from Australia claimed the man she married had never even applied for the show. She also said the network made her reshoot the wedding scene several times and that she was forced to walk down the aisle four times to get it right. She also said her on-screen husband had suggested he was only in it for the networking and to get noticed, which made her lose faith entirely in the matchmaking process.

The contestant said conversations between her and her husband felt forced, and the two only talked when the cameras were on them — they had seemingly no connection at all.

But the marriages are real

While the connection might not be real, and the process might differ per contestant (as far as whether people actually apply for the show), the marriages between the two are entirely and legally real. The couples must remain married for eight weeks, then at the end of the eight weeks, they decide if they want to continue the marriage or not. The experts are around for the entire eight weeks to help the couples through the beginning of their marriage. As of 2018, the show had a 22.2% success rate, so it’s up for prospective contestants to decide if it’s worth giving it a shot.

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