Married At First Sight NZ 2019 episode 1 recap: A toast to warm bread

The Block NZ is finished, the sound of Mark Richardson's wolf-whistle is but a distant ringing in our ears, and there's a strange sense of impending doom in the air that can only mean one thing: Married at First Sight NZ is back. 

We begin with a jaunt down memory lane from the show's previous two seasons, which feels less like a nostalgic look back and more like a Les Mills commercial between the shots of Haydn's shirtless flexing and Claire at her pole dancing class. 

Sadly, neither Haydn nor Claire found love with their complete strangers. Thankfully, though, the 'happily ever after' legacies of Dan & Yuki and Brett & Angel live on, as we're frequently reminded in this otherwise vaguely traumatic montage. 

See, guys? Getting hitched to a total rando infront of no less than 13 cameras and at several 'not mad, just disappointed' family members can pay off after all. 

Surely, that's what this fresh batch of MAFS contestants must have been thinking when they applied for season three. I can only imagine they had Dan's Instagram page - complete with cute snaps of Yuki and their Pomeranian dog - open on the next tab as inspiration. 

Whatever their motivations, it's time for these romantic hopefuls to put their money where their mouth is, along with a few beersies, because we're straight into the hen and stag dos. 

Despite Jonathan the marketing manager's dreams of "some nudity", his prediction that the night is "probably going to be pretty tame" is spot on. The raunchiest point of both events happens when love experts Steph and Tony turn up, instantly becoming the object of affection for a couple of the most horned-up singles. 

Married at First Sight NZ S03E01 screenshot.
Relationship experts Tony and Steph were big hits with the singles. Photo credit: MediaWorks

"You're all looking wonderful!" expert Tony tells the hens party. "Not as good as you," shoots back Ray, who appears to have briefly forgotten he is betrothed. 

Meanwhile at the stag night, jet-setter James mumbles that he wouldn't mind marrying expert Steph. Salt-of-the-earth Jordan says he thinks James seems to be a bit of a troublemaker. 

Oblivious to all of this is free-spirited school teacher Vicky, who you know is telling the truth when she says she's free-spirited because she wears more than four bracelets at a time and lots of rings. 

Not one to be upstaged, singer/songwriter Anna is showing off her pipes with an impromptu performance. This does not take much convincing. Nor does it result in her being asked to leave the establishment because she's "bothering the other patrons", which I of course know nothing about, but have heard can happen. 

Who will possibly be able to keep up with Anna? By her own admission, she lives a "double lifestyle" between Cambridge and "hanging out in mansions with Randy Jackson" in Hollywood. 

According to Steph and Tony, whose taste in smart casual evening wear I deeply respect but whose match-making skills are occasionally questionable, it's Jordan. 

Jordan Dare likes to drive race cars and has a name that makes him sound like you could shoot him out of a cannon and he'd be all good.

In reality, however, he's the human equivalent of a very well made cup of tea - sweet, warm and best-suited to a quiet night in. 

The experts gleefully announce they're "locking in" Anna and Jordan as a match, and I feel a tiny bit sick. 

Jordan's mum is unconvinced, too - and she hasn't even met Anna yet, or heard about her LA sex-tape-making days. 

Married at First Sight NZ S03E01 screenshot.
Family reactions to marriage plans aren't always what you want. Photo credit: MediaWorks

"Really? Oh my God, what have you done? Are you mad?" she says, sounding eerily like my flatmate when I've been caught making my third Uber Eats order of the day. 

Anna's nana probably sums it up the best, though: "Oh, oh! It gets worse and worse!"

If the wedding doesn't work out, I'd strongly advise Anna to consider lifting that line when she goes to pen her break-up single. 

Time now for the big day - the doom and gloom will have to wait, as will Anna and Jordan for their wedding rings, seeing as Jordan's mate Wayne forgot them on the table at home. 

Wayne, you had one job.

Married at First Sight NZ S03E01 screenshot.
Wayne had one job. Photo credit: MediaWorks

I will forgive you, however, because you were extremely adorable in the car earlier, along with that other guy Quade, making Jordan cry by telling him you'll always have his back. 

Just not his rings. 

Which are, like, a pretty vital part of the whole thing. 

Okay, I'm sorry Wayne, I'll stop. 

No one's going to remember that part anyway, because they'll never ever be able to forget the fact that in a completely out-of-character moment Anna SANG HER VOWS to Jordan. 

SANG. THEM. 

"Wow, she's beautiful and she can sing," Jordan tells producers later. 

"At the same time though, I didn't know what to do."

None of us did, Jordan. Not a one of us. 

Even more confusing, if that's possible, were Jordan's vows, which were really toast-focused.

"If you pop it out too early, you've just got warm bread. If you leave it in too long, you might just burn the house down," he said. 

I'll let you process that for just one moment.

I'll be over here by my toaster, trying to pinpoint the exact moment my Vogels ceases to be warm bread, and becomes a supportive loving relationship. 

If not an especially poignant analogy, at the very least, Jordan has provided us with a handy how-to guide on toast preparation, and a sombre warning against a premature pop. 

Once married, expert Tony says it's going to be fascinating to watch the "pacing of the intimacy" between these two. 

He's right. What begins with a very respectful peck on the lips escalates into an intimacy tug-o-war, and Anna's got a firm grip on the rope. 

Married at First Sight NZ S03E01 screenshot.
Two people sharing the exact same amount of enjoyment in a kiss. Photo credit: MediaWorks

She plants a big one on Jordan during the newlywed photoshoot, which he thinks is a bit forward, but as she reminds him, she does do modelling. 

Later, her squeaks of outrage echo around the walls of the couple's Rydges hotel room as Jordan suggests building a pillow wall between them in bed. 

Jordan relents and allows for a spot of over the covers cuddling, providing Anna is the big spoon. In one swift movement, she throws a leg around him and calls him a baby, which is a bit warm bread of her, to be honest. 

Married at First Sight NZ S03E01 screenshot.
What was the safe word again? Photo credit: MediaWorks

If, like Jordan, you're starting to feel this is all a bit much, never fear. Tomorrow night's episode promises to include at least a few seconds of sweet, never-been-in-love Stefaan slow-dancing with his cat. 

Hang on to that heartwarming image, God knows we're all going to need it if we're to survive what's ahead. 

Married at First Sight NZ will return on Monday night on Three at 7:30pm and can be viewed again via ThreeNow.

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