Blogger MafsFan has stated that out of the ten people cast for Married at First Sight this season, only two of them actually applied to be on the show. The other eight were reportedly recruited.
This information from Mafsfan has led to a lot of questions about the way people are recruited for the show. According to Tres Russell’s (Season 4, married to Vanessa Nelson) tweet in 2016, Married at First Sight recruited from church groups, dating sites, and social groups.
— Tres Russell (@Tres_MAFS) February 10, 2016
Keith Manley from Season 9 has also said that he was recruited for the show. In an interview with Monsters & Critics from June, when asked why he applied for the show, Keith responded, “Well, I didn’t actually apply for Married at First Sight. A casting director reached out to me explaining what it was about and the possibility of finding the love of your life was not something I could pass up on!”
The screening process is the same for all applicants whether they are recruited or applied. First, the applicants go through interviews via the phone or Skype. Next comes an extensive questionnaire, where people are excluded for various reasons.
That leaves 100-200 applicants who then go through workshops, that are separated by sex, so the castmates can’t see their potential spouse. The experts are not a part of the process until after the filtering is done.
The experts join the process next, and there is a meet and greet. They then sit down individually with the applicants. The experts then individually meet with the applicants for a psychological and background evaluation.
The final stages are when viewers see Dr. Pepper Schwartz go to the houses to peek into their underwear drawers.
Recruited or not, these singles agree to be married to a complete stranger, and the viewers love to see it.
Married at First Sight airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Lifetime.