Dr. Viviana discusses Married at First Sight Season 12 couples and going virtual.
Lifetime’s hit franchise Married at First Sight is ushering in a whole new set of newly-matched singles in Season 12, beginning Wednesday, January 13.
Kicking off in Atlanta, five couples will take the experimental plunge into marriage with a stranger, and expert Dr. Viviana Coles is giving us an exclusive preview of what viewers can anticipate. Along with taking place over the course of a pandemic, Season 12 will make way for new challenges and fresh drama.
Below, Coles, who is a leading sex therapist and one of three matchmaking experts, offers fans some insight.
This is the first season to ever kick off during an ongoing pandemic. What was the process like in finding the singles who were going to be matched? Was there a lower turnout considering the circumstances?
Dr. Viviana Coles: I don’t know if the numbers were all that different, but I can tell you that they were very, very serious. One of the first questions they would ask about would be what our COVID protocols were. I was honestly impressed by that because you would think that some people who are trying to go through this process would be like, “Let’s go. I don’t care what’s going on,” but everybody was very mindful. I’m glad that they were conscious of it and cautious of it because we needed to protect each other first and foremost.
Apart from COVID, what other changes can fans anticipate in Season 12?
There’s definitely a lot more involvement … More than ever we were just very mindful that we don’t want anyone to feel like just because it’s virtual, it’s not good. So whenever possible we would fly out to them or do a phone call. We did a lot of things that weren’t even captured on camera, just because we were very mindful that going through this virtual experience can feel really lonely. So I think we kind of went overboard at times making sure that they realized that we were there for them, whether they were struggling or not, and so that’s different.
Speaking of going virtual, what challenges do you face as a professional when helping others that way?
My whole private practice right now is virtual as far as me seeing clients. So I’ve gotten very used to talking to people virtually. I think that with New Orleans having to go virtual for some of the end of [Season 11], and a lot of that just didn’t make it to episodes. It wasn’t as important as some of the other things they were going through. Nowadays it’s a lot more welcome, and I think viewers don’t mind it as much either.