On Married at First Sight: Honeymoon Island, the experts are taking a backseat to 16 singles looking for their happily ever after.
Married at First Sight expert Dr. Jessica Griffin talked to PopCulture.com prior to the Oct. 23 premiere of the Lifetime reality series (produced by Kinetic Content) about how the new franchise spin-off flips the script on Married at First Sight's premise of matchmakers pairing compatible couples in hopes of finding love.
While Griffin and her fellow experts will be helping the couples as they navigate the early days of their potential relationships at the beautiful St. James's Club Morgan Bay in St. Lucia, the clinical psychologist said they will be letting "chemistry" lead the Married at First Sight castoffs in their hunt for love.
"I think it's different for us because, of course, we're not involved in the matching part of it," she told PopCulture. "It's really up to them, but at the same time, Married at First Sight, we don't always get it right when it comes to chemistry. We can't predict what's gonna happen when people see themselves at the altar, if they're going to have that physical connection, that spark, that chemistry between them."
"I think this idea that we're sort of turning Married at First Sight upside down a little bit and starting with the chemistry will be fascinating to watch and whether or not that that's a good thing or a bad thing. I think [viewers will] enjoy some of the expert consultation that we give the couples," she added.
The singles on Honeymoon Island are quite the catch, she added, with some coming from previous seasons of Married at First Sight and others having applied for the process and not found a match.
"You know, every season on Married at First Sight there are people who we adore in the matching process, and when they applied going through the matching process, but ultimately we can't find someone who's the right fit for them," Griffin explained. "That's always sad when that happens because we may have some sort of our own personal favorites. There's so many of them that we can't find matches for because we're not just gonna just match someone with somebody who's completely incompatible with them. But we will remember them."
This isn't a Bachelor in Paradise setup, however.
"All of the people who are coming to Honeymoon Island have stated and emphasized that they are looking for love and not just something short term," she emphasized. "This is not hook-up island. It's really not supposed to be hook-up island. It's really people who have the intention of wanting to find that lifelong person, the person they want to marry and be with longterm."
That isn't to say there won't be drama on Honeymoon Island.
Griffin explained, "It's fascinating to watch actually from a sociological perspective and at some point [Pastor Cal Roberson] and I get to sit back and just watch them interact and you can see sort of different themes emerge — jealousy, insecurity. All of that happens as you would expect that to happen when you're all trying to vie for love. First example is there is one person who several people are interested in. You're going to see naturally how competition unfolds and are people going to handle that well and with grace, in a respectful way or are people gonna handle that not so well and in a way in which they don't care if they hurt someone else's feelings?"
Married at First Sight: Honeymoon Island (produced by Kinetic Content) premieres Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Photo credit: Kinetic Content