‘Married at First Sight’: Dr. Viviana Coles Defends Matching Chris Williams with Paige Banks

Chris Williams and Paige Banks were never a fan-favorite couple on Lifetime’s Married at First Sight season 12 in Atlanta. But Chris and Paige became more controversial than ever after Chris admitted he wasn’t attracted to his wife. On the Feb. 10 episode of Married at First Sight, Paige and Chris polarized fans even more when Chris announced that his ex-fiancée was six weeks pregnant.

Naturally, fans weren’t happy to see Paige being mistreated – and many blamed Lifetime’s matchmakers for choosing drama and ratings over love. One of the Married at First Sight experts, Dr. Viviana Coles, recently defended the matchmakers’ choice. She insisted that their choice was never based on the potential of more viewers and attention.

‘Married at First Sight’ fans weren’t happy about Chris and Paige being matched

Almost immediately, Married at First Sight fans weren’t impressed with Chris. He talked about Paige’s looks and sex drive – as well as his ex – far too much for their liking. What’s more, after having sex on their wedding night (twice), Chris told Paige he wasn’t completely attracted to her physically.

“I don’t think the attraction is fully there yet for me,” Chris told Paige on the Feb. 3 episode of Married at First Sight.

On the Feb. 10 episode, Chris and Paige’s situation turned from bad to worse. Chris admitted that he had a secret that could be “devastating,” but he didn’t want to tell his wife the truth. When he finally came clean about the unexpected pregnancy, Paige was nothing short of heartbroken.

“I’m really numb right now,” Paige told Lifetime producers after Chris’ confession. “It feels like everything I want is just being taken away from me. I honestly don’t know if I can move forward from this.”

Later, Paige admitted that she felt like she got the “short end of the stick” and would have to walk away if today was Decision Day. Still, the newlyweds agreed to stay together and try to work things out – at least for now.  

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Dr. Viviana claimed the experts only had the best intentions for the ‘Married at First Sight’ couple

In a statement to the Associated Press on Feb. 10, Dr. Vivana responded to some of the criticism from Married at First Sight fans. Many of them felt that Paige was being taken advantage of, while others argued that the Married at First Sight experts hand-picked Chris for the drama.

“I can see why people are really struggling to understand why we would put this couple together, and I don’t blame them,” Dr. Viviana admitted. “I think that the harsh judgment on each person can feel warranted. I just feel so badly for them, though, right? Because nobody knows what it’s like to be in this process.”

Still, she insisted that she, Pastor Cal Roberson, and Dr. Pepper Schwartz never took ratings into account when making their matches each season.

“I can unequivocally tell you that that is not ever a concern for us,” Dr. Viviana declared.

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She said there was still ‘so much to see’ from Paige and Chris

The Married at First Sight expert went on to say that, if the matchmakers had wanted drama, they could have had a lot more. But she claimed that they actively avoided any overly “explosive” scenarios as much as they could.

“There have been couples that we thought were 100 percent – as much as we can possibly say that, on paper, side by side, meeting them single – head over heels in love with each other,” Dr. Viviana explained. “And they were explosive, nasty, really degrading – having conversations that we would think, ‘Who are these people?’”

“So if we were actually trying to make that happen and create explosive trainwrecks, I almost feel like it could be beyond dangerous, not just emotionally, but even physically,” she went on to say about the Married at First Sight selection process. “So we try to avoid that as much as possible, because getting married to a stranger is explosive and dynamic and dramatic enough.”

Dr. Viviana also hinted at far more drama to come between Paige and Chris, saying there was “still so much to see.”

“You think you know, you have no idea,” she said ominously. “And my head just reels, my heart starts pounding every time I think about it, because I start to kind of relive a lot of it.”

The Married at First Sight expert said that season 12 was unusually “overwhelming,” as well as “shocking and surprising.” Even she found it challenging to wrap her head around everything that had happened.