Married at First Sight NZ: Season 2 success Dan McLaughlan ranks this year's couples

With Married At First Sight NZ couples dropping like flies - two down, three to go - it's easy to write off the show as a factory for broken relationships. 

Not so for Dan McLaughlan, who has just celebrated his one-year anniversary with wife Yuki Sato - who he met and married on the show last year. 

"We're living together now, it's going really well," he told Newshub this week. 

"I signed up for exactly what I've got right now, so I'm very happy." 

Married at First Sight NZ: Season 2 success Dan McLaughlan ranks this year's couples
Photo credit: MediaWorks

The pair are one of only two MAFS NZ couples to survive the reality TV experiment - the other being Brett and Angel, who celebrated two years together in August. 

This season, we've already witnessed the demise of Rose and Chris, for whom chemistry was a pipe dream, and Ray and Jono, who couldn't get past a night of partying gone wrong.

With the end of the experiment looming, who better to weigh in on the couples' chances than someone who defied the odds and found their own happily ever after? 

Here are Dan's thoughts on the final three newlyweds: 

Vicky and Stefaan 

Married at First Sight NZ: Season 2 success Dan McLaughlan ranks this year's couples
Photo credit: MediaWorks

"It doesn't look good for them," Dan admits. 

"Sometimes I think people should be a bit more mature when they sign up for the show, and have a bit more life experience," Dan says. 

Vicky has had doubts about husband Stefaan since their wedding day, when she discovered he was younger than her, and had never had a real relationship. 

Vicky's going 'oh, this isn't what I was expecting,' and obviously that would have been a shock for her. 

She'll have been thinking 'he's a bit younger than me, he hasn't done this, hasn't done that,' but then she started to like him, she started growing those feelings. 

Vicky was later left in tears after she was told Stefaan had accused her of being fake while discussing their relationship at the dinner party. When confronted at the commitment ceremony, he dug his heels in and said he'd have "no feelings" if his wife left. 

"I'm sure everyone has made those dumb decisions in life. I'm sure Stefaan will regret some of those decisions, once he sees himself on the tele he'll go 'shit, I shouldn't have done that.' 

His final advice for Stefaan? "Mate, you don't realise how good you've got it. Don't knock it." 

Jordan and Anna 

Married at First Sight NZ: Season 2 success Dan McLaughlan ranks this year's couples
Photo credit: MediaWorks

"Jordan seems like a really nice bloke. He's just been run around Tinder and had girls let him down, and he's like 'screw it, I'll put my name in the hat, see how I go,'" Dan says. 

Dan sees a lot of similarities between what he and Jordan were looking for in signing up for the show. 

"This seems like a couple that is really trying to make it work, you can see that." 

The couple has been rocked by revelations that a sex tape of Anna's was leaked, and she must continue to work with the man who made it with her and sent it to his friends. Dan says he feels for Jordan having to get his head around the issue. 

There's certainly a couple of hurdles they have to jump over first," he says. 

"I would have been like 'woah, shit, how many people have seen this?'. He probably wasn't expecting something like that when he signed up to the show. 

Sometimes those things can hit you like a shovel to the face. At the same time, everyone's had a past, no one is perfect. We're all human. 

"If he's keen on Anna, he'll make it work." 

Carmen and James 

Married at First Sight NZ: Season 2 success Dan McLaughlan ranks this year's couples
Photo credit: MediaWorks

"They're the front-runner, they're the favourite," Dan says of his pick of the season.  

"They seem really loved up, a really nice couple. They both like having fun, they're both bubbly people. 

"I could see them working in the real world." 

Crucially, Dan says, they've got the necessary chemistry. 

"You can see it in their body language," he says. 

Dan thinks there will be plenty going on behind the scenes with this couple - lots of time spent talking and learning about each other that doesn't get captured on camera. 

"I'm sure there'll be chatting heaps when the cameras aren't there," he says. 

"When the conversation flows that easily, you build that relationship very quickly." 

As for their inability to keep their mitts off eachother, Dan says whatever works, works. 

"There's no rulebook for those sorts of things. If they're clicking - who am I to judge how they're clicking?" 

Dan's final words of wisdom for anyone keen to marry a stranger on national TV are all about focusing on who you've been matched with. 

"You've just got to concentrate on the relationship you've got, and don't worry about all the BS with everybody else," he says. 

"That's one of the main principles you should look at when you do this thing." 

Married At First Sight NZ airs Sunday at 7.00pm and Monday - Tuesday at 7.30pm on Three. Previous episodes can be viewed on ThreeNow

Newshub. 

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