Tonight on Married At First Sight NZ, it's the first official dinner party.
We've all learned enough in three seasons of this show to know by now it should really be called the Drink Too Much And Not Actually Eat Anything Fight Club Party (working title).
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This is an event that promises tension, tight clothing and tequila shots - it's a lot to contend with. For that reason, and in order to maintain my mental health, I've decided to break my usual catty judgements down into easy-to-swallow categories for everyone's convenience.
- Pre-party prep
- Evening wear
- Challenges/Strengths - based on the responses to expert Steph and Tony's fun parlour game
- Quote of the night
Line your stomachs, we're off.
Anna and Jordan
Pre-party prep: Well, there are matching outfits laid out on the bed, so if that's not a sure sign of everything being hunky-dory at home, I don't know what is.
Jordan reckons he's decided to step things up with his "out the gate" choice of a shirt with red roses on it that matches Anna's jumpsuit. We all know Anna absolutely hunted that shirt down online and express overnight shipped it to the apartment, but we'll let Jordan have this one.
Evening wear: See above. The colour coordinated look makes Carmen go: "Are you guys matching? Aw, my heart!" which will be exactly what Anna was hoping for.
Challenges/Strengths: Jordan says there have been issues but won't say what. He's clearly willing to sacrifice for the relationship - with his arm tightly hooked around Anna the ENTIRE dinner, he'll be dealing with pins and needles for at least 30 minutes when they stand up.
Anna reckons she's "really falling" for the good guy this time. The others call them "The Hollywood Couple," which fits Anna's LA-singer-hanging-with-Randy-Jackson-in-mansions vibe well.
Beef: Jordan mightn't say boo to a fly, but he will say "Ray, Ray, Ray!" to Ray when he starts hassling Chris about ordering strippers for a stag do. It's very exhilarating.
Quote of the night: "You're the same colour as my stock car! I'll call you the Red Waka!" - Jordan to Anna in her red jumpsuit.
Ray and Jono
Pre-party prep: Jono heads off to a cafe for a much-needed rant about Ray, who he claims has been drunkenly harassing him in his sleep in the middle of the night.
"He gets into bed and tells me: 'I want you to know I think you're two-faced,'" Jono tells his distraught friends and sister.
Things you should say to your partner at 2 am after a night out:
"Can you take my shoes off for me"
"Help, I've stepped on the cat"
"Do you want some Maccas?"
Things you shouldn't say to your partner at 2 am after a night out:
"You're a liar"
"You're two different people"
"Oh, 'cos you're so f**king perfect"
TAKE NOTE, RAY. Oh, sorry, Ray's not here right now. He's off pre-graming by drinking more than a high school graduate heading to their first Rhythm and Vines festival.
Evening wear: These two always both look excellent. I think Ray might be reprising his velvet jacket from his wedding day and I am all for that. If not, he just has an enviable collection of jackets and I am also all for that.
Challenges/Strengths: Literally everything is a struggle for Ray and Jono right now. We can't possibly hear one more word about them "not seeing eye-to-eye", least we pluck out our own in frustration.
Their one strength was their sexual chemistry, but that's gone kaput too. "He's felt my c**k, but I haven't felt his!" Ray explains.
Beef: Apart from the obvious inter-couple issues, the pair do unite briefly over their outrage at Chris calling them "the gay guys over there," which is e-bloody-nough.
Quote of the night: "My penis has shrivelled up like the Wicked Witch of the East." - Jono on his and Ray's sex life.
Carmen and James
Pre-party prep: This couple comes to a dinner party prepared - they've got a gameplan to beeline straight to the end of the table to avoid the dramas.
Meanwhile, they're rehearsing their 'react not respond' approach to conversation, which I think is designed to stop James saying something inappropriate.
Evening wear: Carmen is a goddess, how does she look like that? How does she rock a deep purple lip without smudging it everywhere? How long does it take her blow dry her rapunzel-level locks? James scrubs up alright having ditched his default 'Lost Boys' singlet.
Challenges/Strengths: Strength: SEX. Challenge: Not talking about SEX for more than two seconds.
These guys are doing sex heaps, and they want you to know about it. They even want Jono to know James made them both post-coital brie and avocado sandwiches once.
"All I've ever wanted from a relationship is sex and sandwiches," Jono replies wistfully
Once they've exhausted their own sex stories, Carmen takes the plunge and makes everyone else say whether or not they've done sex, too. Only Anna and Jordan deserve a 'cheers' because they admitted to doing the dirty.
Beef: Obviously, Vicky. She reminded everyone she "knew Jimmy from back in Greece," which is where they BANGED, guys.
It might seem like they're all great mates, but girls who are proper friends don't blow passive-aggressive kisses at each other across a dinner table like that, trust me.
Quote of the night: "If there is something that grates my gears and I'm sitting there on the tip of my tongue about to go 'bleugh', I will be taking two minutes and reassessing it." - James
Vicky and Stefaan
Pre-party prep: Stefaan has a go at curling Vicky's hair, which is very husband-y and adorable. He tells her "not to have too much fun," and "not to make a dick of herself," which Vicky does not find husband-y or adorable.
People who touched Jordan's hands the other night should not cast the first stone, Vicky.
Evening wear: 'Matakana wedding' chic. Stefaan's new 'do continues to serve him well.
Challenges/Strengths: Vicky is into pretty much everyone except her husband, so that's a bit of a hurdle.
They do both manage to rate their relationship a "seven" out of 10 simultaneously in a miraculous display of both telepathic connection and Vicky's relentless optimism and ability to improvise.
Beef: Vicky's MAFS nemesis is Jordan's hands. They got her into trouble the other night, and now they're firmly wrapped around Anna, which is not where she wants them.
Quote of the night: "Vicky enjoys the boys too, doesn't she?" - Expert Steph on Vicky's vibe.
Rose and Christopher
Pre-party prep: Rose and Chris opt to sit very, very far apart on the couch and make stilted conversation before piling into the cab and making more stilted conversation.
"We're the A-team!" Chris offers hopefully.
Evening wear: Stunning. Chris is wearing a custom retro shirt and Rose is a Real Houswife-esque vision in a fitting black number.
"You're looking, ah, very…'you' today," she tells her new husband - I found this triggering as it reminded me of the reaction I got when I wore my snakeskin pants to work, but Chris takes it well.
Challenges/Strengths: They may not be vibing each other, but Rose and Chris embrace the lit vibe of the dinner party by taking a tequila shot. Expert Tony wonders how much of it is peer pressure. None of it is, Tony, they don't have any peers here.
Still, they're trying. Chris calls the shot a "taste explosion," which is the singular way in which I intend on ordering them from now one.
Other highlights include Chris confirming he can in fact still get an erection - "don't worry guys" - and Rose trying to find one positive thing in that they both like the same food.
Beef: Chris spends a good chunk of the night defending his honour after Ray inexplicably goes in on him about a supposedly sordid stag do he once took part in.
Quote of the night: "I didn't organise the lesbian strippers on the table!" - Chris, at least two taste explosions deep.
Tomorrow night, the couples decide whether to stay or leave the experiment, which I suspect will depend largely on the size of their hangovers.
Married At First Sight NZ returns Monday at 7.30pm on Three. Previous episodes can be viewed on ThreeNow.