Married at First Sight Premiere Red Wine recap: Steak and eggs with a side of daddy issues in the ATL!

MAFS Season 12 ladies Virginia, Clara, and Paige laughing at bachelorette party
Married at First Sight Season 12 premiere started off with a bang for brides-to-be Virginia (left), Clara (center), and Paige (right). Pic credit: Lifetime

Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps Married at First Sight Premiere, Season 12, Episode 1, Countdown to Meltdown, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two) …

Well, MAFS-Lovers, I gotta say … I was a bit worried Season 12 of Married at First Sight wouldn’t stack up to the season we just had in New Orleans … but after watching tonight’s premiere, I admit, I’m pretty pumped about this Atlanta cast!

In tonight’s episode, the five couples broke the news to their friends and family that they are about to marry a stranger. They partied together at their respective bachelor and bachelorette parties. And, yes, Chris brought a blowup doll complete with a mask.

And though we may forever wonder what the experts are thinking sometimes (Chris & Paige), at least we have some characters who should bring the entertainment to our thirsty souls on a weekly basis, right?

So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at what we learned about these adventurous 10 individuals from tonight’s episode.

Some of them were just full of surprises, weren’t they? (I’m looking at you, Vincent!)

Clara & Ryan – Too boring for Miss Sweet & Sassy?

MAFS 12 Clara smiling
Clara is a bubbly ball of fun at her bachelorette party. Pic credit: Lifetime

Clara is a nice mix of outgoing yet still smart enough to reign it in and not get sloppy drunk at the bachelorette party.

(Not naming any names here …)


She is sort of the ringleader of the ladies, initiating the sex talk with the gals over mimosas and even buying them all lingerie! (Sweet and thoughtful, but I’m left wondering, did she actually ask for all their bra sizes and when did she actually do this?).

She’s sort of a lovable character, discussing the string of losers she’s dated (yes, one really did Venmo her money so that he could date her friend!)

I was initially extremely excited about her pairing with Ryan, a guy who wears fedoras with feathers and has his s**t together. But does he have it too together? Like to the point that he doesn’t have any fun? And herein lies my concern.

Case in point when his friends (or really anyone for that matter) made a joke:

MAFS Season 12 Ryan with a blank face
This is my excited face. Pic credit: Lifetime

Okay, so he cracked one or two amazing smiles tonight, but he was just a little too stiff. And, okay, okay, he DID give Clara the most amazing pre-wedding ceremony present ever (a letter and modern-day mixtape that made her weep like a baby) … BUT, might she be too bubbly and chock full of personality for him?

My hopes remain high, though, because the potential is there for them to compliment each other. If only they stay … let’s say it all together … “OPEN.”

Prediction: Clara falls in love with Ryan right away but ends up frustrated that she can’t pull the fun out of him.

Paige & Chris – A walking contradiction for a closet freak?

MAFS 12 Chris talking with the other grooms
The MAFS 12 men are a bit dumbfounded by Chris. Pic credit: Lifetime

So these two might be the most confusing of the bunch. Chris is, in fact, a walking contradiction. And, while I wouldn’t call Paige a walking contradiction, she certainly has some surprises up her sleeve.

Let’s start with Chris. He wants a submissive freak who is “not ugly” or “after him for his money.” By all initial accounts, he is the token douche of the season.

But then he does things like going to his pastor for advice. And was it just me, or did it feel like his pastor friend just kind of felt sorry for him–like he knows he needs to handle Chris with kid gloves or something.

MAFS 12 Chris friend Pastor Dwight with a funny face
Pastor Dwight trying to keep a serious face listening to Chris tell him he is fresh out of an engagement. Pic credit: Lifetime

Chris also was an easy target, bringing and dancing with a blowup doll (complete with mask) to the Bachelor Party. And, yes, most of the other grooms looked at Chris sideways the whole night, but Chris sort of redeemed himself WITH the blowup doll, reasoning that it’s better to dance with her than a real human stripper! (I’m looking at you, Vincent!)

So it appears he is TRYING to be a better man, but he has a lot of maturing to do, especially considering Paige is his match.

Paige definitely seems like a woman who knows herself. She is reserved but talks when she has something to say. She wants a God-fearing man, but as Clara pointed out — she might be this season’s closet freak!

MAFS 12 Paige and Briana drinking mimosas
“My sexual deal-breakers are …” Pic credit: Lifetime

Prediction: Paige grows tired of Chris’s B.S. after the initial excitement wears off.

Virginia & Erik – Young, drunk and free with daddy issues

For some odd reason, this is the couple I am most excited to watch. I have grown to like Erik after tonight. (During the Matchmaking Special, he just appeared too old–at least, for Virginia.)

But tonight, he came across cutely boyish at times, laughing at the other guys’ antics, yet keeping a mature demeanor about him that was not dull (Ryan) or downright weird (Jacob).

He just might be the daddy Virginia is looking for!

MAFS Season 12 Erik laughing
Awwww shucks, Liz. Pic credit: Lifetime

Come on, guys, she admitted herself she has daddy issues.

She also admitted that she’s not wanting to “settle down” and mainly seeks from her partner someone who enjoys music concerts as much as her. (Sigh.)

So, yeah, I immediately had my doubts, thinking she’s way too immature for Erik, but I’m warming up to the idea that this might just work! He’s capable of fun and she’s capable of seriousness…

MAFS 12 Virginia looking drunk
What can I say? I’ve been dubbed “Ms. Fun-Loving.” Pic credit: Lifetime

Well, she’s serious about her shots, at least.

Prediction: Virginia brings out a closet freak in Erik, and he’s down to entertain it.

Brianna & Vincent – Closet shadiness lurks here!

MAFS Season 12 Vincent talking to a stripper on bachelor party
Why did you have to disappoint me like that, Vincent? Pic credit: Lifetime

Vincent, Vincent, Vincent. Why oh why did we have to see you chatting with the strippers?! I had high hopes for you, man! I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to interact with the strippers (remember Bennett, Woody, and Miles last season?). It’s the WAY Vincent interacted with “Candy.”

Like he would actually get her number and meet up with her later. Eeks. I don’t like it, guys.

Meanwhile, Brianna (or “Bri” as Clara lovingly called her) is being all perfect–so much so that Clara is all “just love me, Bri!” (I love seeing the way the cast interacts with one another!)

MAFS Season 12 Brianna looking pretty at her bachelorette party
MAFS Brianna was classy yet sexy at her bachelorette party. Pic credit: Lifetime

Bri is an engineer, beautiful, knows how to have fun, and is just an all-around catch. Vincent, you better shape up! You are our “legacy builder” after all … this season’s Miles … so shape up Mister. We have high hopes!

Prediction: These two get along great for a while … until Vincent’s closet shade reveals itself.

Haley & Jacob – All I see is steak and eggs

MAFS Season 12 Haley drinking champagne in her wedding dress
Cheers! Don’t forget about me! Pic credit: Lifetime

Haley is the one whose name keeps slipping my mind. So far, she’s just kind of “there.” She apparently travels to Germany on whims and is the one who is always the dumper and not the dumpee. But, as compared to the other ladies so far, she sort of fades into the background.

Jacob, on the other hand, stands out for all the wrong reasons. The man only eats steak and eggs. Like, seriously … he has done this for THREE years now. “Lucky” for us, we witnessed it tonight:

MAFS Season 12 Jacob sitting at kitchen table eating steaks with family
Nothing but steaks on those plates for Jacob and his family! Pic credit: Lifetime

And you better believe I had my little magnifying glass to the TV when he was at the get together with the guys and there were apps on the table. Findings: I spotted a hamburger near him, but it’s undetermined whether this was actually his.

I’m so bothered by the whole steak and eggs thing, he is seriously starting to look like a giant egg to me! Ugh. He also has an overactive excitement for the 80s, and, look … I love me some 80s music and the occasional 80s themed party, but I don’t live and breathe it, and I certainly don’t have some neon lights in the basement.

But to each their own. I’m just not sure how Haley will “vibe” with all this.

Prediction: Haley won’t be feeling him and all his quirks, and she definitely might vomit when she sees him eating steak and eggs every night.

Of course, we haven’t seen any of our couples officially marry yet. This is the closest we’ve gotten …

MAFS 12 couple Clara and Ryan blindfolded holding hands at wedding altar
“Well, this is awkward.” Pic credit: Lifetime

So that about does it for this week, MAFS-Lovers! Who are you the most excited about? Did anyone surprise you tonight? Would you be able to stomach the whole steak and eggs thing? Most importantly, how excited are you for the actual weddings next week! I’m in! Hope to see you there.

Til’ next week! Cheers!

Married at First Sight airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on Lifetime.

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