Sam Cowen gives us inside deets of Married at First Sight SA

2017-02-03 08:42

Cape Town – Would you marry a complete stranger?

Well, that's what three couples in Married at First Sight South Africa will do.

With the help of specialists they will be matched 'scientifically' and will be guided on their journey by a team of experts. 

While this is the first season of the reality show in South Africa it has been running in 23 territories and there have been 45 seasons of it. 

And the success rate? 

In an interview with Screenafrica creative producer David Barber said that out of four couples who get married at least two of them stay together.

Meet the Experts

The panel of experts are: relationship expert Paula Quinsee, Counselling Psychologist Neo Tshireletso Pule, Sex Health Specialist Professor Shingai Mutambirwa, Financial Expert Winnie Kunene and radio and television presenter, Sam Cowen who will be the life expert.

We had a quick chat with Sam about the show and what viewers can expect.

Have you watched any of the other versions of the show – and what were your thoughts on it?

I've watched quite a few of the other versions and what struck me was how interesting it was that no matter what version I watched, the problems were the same. It was the little things that affected couples over and over again. And those things are seen again in this series. It was obvious right from the start who was taking it seriously. It's marriage, not a competition.

You're the life expert on the show – what does your role entail?

I've been a bit of a 'couple's whisperer'. There are times that people needed to chat, not to a therapist, and not as a couple, but just to someone who could say 'I hear you' and "I've been there.' I think it made a difference for people to be able to unfold with the cameras off.

What are some of the behind the scenes things about the show that surprised you?

What surprised me most, in the best way, is how hard everyone tried. Everyone was the same off camera as they were on camera. There was an authenticity that was very heartening. Also how many people fight over who is doing the dishes!

Do you think arranged marriages could make a comeback if people can be matched with their scientific soulmate?

I think arranged marriages, done properly and without being forced, could definitely make a comeback. Someone once said to me that if you look at marriage as a forever thing, you will accept that there will be months or even years where you don't get along, but if it's something you commit to, you'll make it through. And perhaps we should look at bypassing social media and its sometimes false hopes out the way, a more practical approach might make a huge difference.

What has been your favourite part of working on the show?

I love people. Everyone has a story and I love chatting to them and finding it out. A show like this gave me a huge opportunity to meet people and find out their stories.

What do you hope viewers take away from watching the show?

I hope viewers enjoy the show and watching how the couples tick. And I hope it makes them think a little bit about how their own relationships are, either better or worse. And the weddings! They are so beautiful! I hope they enjoy the weddings.

See a teaser here:

Catch Married at First Sight SA on Friday at 20:50 on Lifetime (DStv 131).

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