The pairs of strangers who are tying the knot at first sight on Season 13 are Bao and Johnny, Myrla and Gil, Brett and Ryan, Michaela and Zack, and Rachel and Jose.
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The couples were matched by Married at First Sight experts Dr. Viviana Coles, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, and Pastor Calvin Roberson.
The Married at First Sight broadcast began two weeks before the Houston-based couples’ wedding day.
The couples were shown delivering the news of their upcoming nuptials with friends and family members, and first up were Myrla, known as the “Picture Perfect Princess,” and Gil, known as Mr. Caring and Charismatic.”
The experts thought Myrla and Gil would be great spouses due to their similar upbringing and cultural connections. Pastor Cal, Pepper and Viviana assumed the pair would balance each other out.
The firefighter and self-described “full-blooded Colombian,” said women view him as a caring and selfless person but he hasn’t found the person who is “wifey material” for himself yet. Gil also explained his job can be physically and mentally demanding, especially when he has 24-hour shifts, but he loves to dance and unwind.
“I’m looking for a 90s R&B type of love, and what I mean by that is very passionate, very real and very just straightforward,” Gil explained.
Gil said he’s looking for a woman whom he can trust and feel safe and comfortable talking to, especially because there was tragedy in his past. Gil’s father was apparently killed by a gunshot in a home invasion when two guys broke into his home and Gil was only 14 years old.
Gil revealed that he “loves the phrase ‘leap of faith,'” and was ready to put his trust in the experts and his stranger wife.
When Gil broke the news to his friends, they were admittedly in shock and disbelief. His pal Willie even questioned if the entire thing was “a joke.”
Myrla revealed she’s “bougie” and not ashamed of that, and she said she’s tired of dating and interviewing men one after the next. Myrla said she takes pride in self-care, from getting her lashes done to doing facials and wearing matching outfits at the gym, but she grew up poor and moved around a lot as a kid.
Myrla was looking for a religious man who’s tall, dark, handsome and bearded — without a bald head (which Gil had at the time). She hoped her match would enjoy similar activities and stop her from shopping all the time.
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Pastor Cal said Gil and Myrla “know who they are” and their traits would complement one another.
Gil apparently has sensitivity and understanding that Myrla needs while Myrla has “a big heart” and was just being superficial in terms of not wanting a bald guy.
The second couple of Season 13 is Michaela, “The Stubborn Sweetheart,” and Zack, “The Romantic Idealist.”
Michaela wanted to find a man who could keep up with her emotionally and intellectually, while Pepper said Zack is romantic, smart and creative.
Zack revealed he’s never been in love before and wanted to find someone to share his life with. The pianist had been longing to have a beautiful wife and kids, saying he was tired of being the single one out of his brothers.
Zack said he didn’t have a problem in the dating scene but had an ideal woman built up in his head that he hoped to find.
When Zack told his parents about his wedding in two weeks, they broke down crying and seemed skeptical about the process.
Michaela, a realtor who has never been in love, is the youngest of four sisters who confessed she had put too much weight on looks in the past.
Michaela was homeless at one point but joked about how “people from the hood can be refined.” She apparently was close to her father but lost him in a drunk-driving accident and hoped to find a man who could be equally patient, supportive and protective.
Pastor Cal said Michaela is exciting and full of joy and Zack would bring some stability to her life.
The third couple is Bao, “Ms. High Bar,” and Johnny, “Life of the Picky Party.” Pepper said they’re both sharp, intelligent and devoted to family.
Johnny shared he’s still single because he’s probably too picky and “borderline OCD.” He’s apparently attracted to good hygiene and had been without a girlfriend for seven years.
He likes a woman to make the first move but admits he struggles to give up control in relationships. Johnny has a love-hate relationship with his father, who divorced his mother and moved to California when Johnny was young.
Johnny told his loved ones that his father was “close-minded” about what a marriage should be and so he hadn’t told his dad anything about participating in this extreme social experiment.
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Bao said her parents want grandchildren soon given she’s 35 and she uses Excel sheets for everything. Bao revealed she’s been on a lot of good first dates but always wondered if a man was out there who might be a better fit.
Bao recalled growing up poor in a trailer and not speaking a word of English in school, which resulted in her being bullied and going through “a very dark time.”
Bao told the cameras she wants to find her person so badly and with big risks sometimes comes big rewards. She was optimistic the show could introduce her to the love of her life, whom her family might approve of and grow to love.
Bao’s brothers called her “intense and difficult at times” as well as “hot-headed and stubborn.” However, they said she is smart and can be reasonable, and Bao hoped to meet a man who could be more flexible in life.
Pastor Cal predicted the two picky individuals would hold each other accountable, with Johnny bringing happiness and fun to Bao’s slightly-rigid lifestyle.
The fourth couple of Season 13 is Brett, “Ms. Hopelessly Devoted,” and Ryan, “Mr. Reformed Serial Dater.”
Viviana guessed Ryan would love Brett’s romantic and bubbly personality and that she would be drawn to Ryan’s sense of adventure.
Ryan admitted he’s dated “an obscene” amount in Houston, maybe 50 or more women in the last three of four years, and exhausted many resources trying to find his future partner. He joked that there are certain towns he avoids in order to not bump into an ex.
Ryan had lost his best friend 18 months ago and realized he must value his time with people who matter. The former country boy therefore wanted to stop casually dating and looking forward to finding a woman with whom he could eat pie and watch The Notebook.
Ryan’s sister Alexa called the former flames in Ryan’s life his “Flavors of the Week” or “Flavors of the Month” once he got a little older. Alexa teased that Ryan falls in love easily, and Ryan’s parents were afraid of what their son was getting himself into.
Brett said she hadn’t been intimate with a man in two years, and that included kissing. She explained how she prefers “quality over quantity” in that she wants to get to know a man deeply, which takes a lot of time, and then men don’t want to commit to her.
Brett has been told by guys that she’s intimidating, and she confessed to being “a little crazy.” She feared the potential of getting her heartbroken.
Viviana said Brett and Ryan both have a sensitive spirit that’s been searching for its counterpart. The experts predicted sparks would fly right off the bat and they’d share instant chemistry, with Brett appreciating Ryan’s athletic and sporty side.
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And finally, Rachel, “The Blossoming Bride,” and Jose, “Mr. Perfectionist,” also agreed to marry at first sight.
Rachel revealed she’s lost over 35 pounds recently and feels more energetic than ever. Rachel said she cooks for two and wants to feed her partner and her last relationship, which was long-distance, ended six months ago when the pair attempted to quarantine together.
The man had been unfaithful to Rachel and so she ended the relationship, which was heartbreaking for the bride-to-be. But she said she was ready to give all of herself to someone who deserves her.
Rachel’s best friend advised her to be honest and not so accommodating.
Jose is a flight mission specialist for NASA who has bought and paid for two homes. He also paid off his truck and student loans, so everything in his life is in place except for having a wife.
Jose acknowledged he’s a perfectionist and hasn’t met a woman who’s on his level yet. He’s apparently routine, structured and tidy and has high standards for a relationship because he doesn’t want to get divorced.
Jose’s father had been unfaithful to his mother, and so Jose said “absolute trust” is vital to him in relationships. He also hoped to be matched with a bride who is classy, sporty, communicative, and ready to give the relationship 50/50.
“It’s either going to be a fairy tale or it could unfortunately be a trainwreck. I’ve assessed that and I understand, and I am 110 percent committed,” Jose shared with the cameras.
Rachel is strong and confident, according to Pastor Cal, and Jose is ready to take on the world with a supportive and challenging wife by his side. While they’re not on the same level with chores and spending, Pastor Cal said compromise could bring them a great, successful marriage.
With 12 days remaining until their wedding ceremonies, Johnny called his father and revealed he’d be getting married at first sight on January 31st. Johnny’s father has reservations about the process and then told his son that he didn’t approve of the decision and refused to be filmed for the show.
Johnny, who desperately wanted his father’s approval and blessing, was brought to tears and said his father’s reaction disappointed him and made him feel angry. Johnny said his father kept repeating how marrying a stranger was “dangerous” and he sounded “furious.”
With 10 days to go until their weddings, the grooms met each other at a bar and the brides also gathered together to bond.
The guys joked about how they didn’t want to be matched with an Instagram model or influencer because they tend to be too self-absorbed, and Johnny said he wants a woman who is very clean and has a little spice to her.
Johnny joked how Ryan seemed “jaded,” or like “a weary traveler,” as if the husband-to-be had traveled a very long path to get to where he is today.
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Rachel revealed to the ladies she had gained a lot of weight during quarantine but put herself back together.
“What if [my husband] deteriorates my confidence? What if they break me? Will I be able to get myself together again?” Rachel questioned.
Rachel also said she didn’t want an aggressive or controlling man, and Myrla agreed she doesn’t like a man with a temper.
Michaela said her husband not wanting kids or smoking would be a dealbreaker, and Myrla also admitted her husband needs to be financially stable so she can continue living the lifestyle she is used to.
Bao explained how she didn’t want a man who’s overly obnoxious or eccentric. She didn’t want to be matched with “the class clown” and someone who’s egocentric or else it would bring out “the ugly side” in her.
“I think Bao is probably one of the nicest, sweetest women that I have ever met, but I feel like she has an undercover spicy side to her,” Brett explained. “She’s a woman of little words, but the words she does say are very powerful. She really needs somebody that is going to concede wearing the pants.”
Myrla didn’t plan on kissing her husband at the altar, and Bao could tell she was reserved and guarded and needed to be matched with a patient man. Meanwhile, Gil revealed he’s very affectionate and would like to start off his marriage with some tongue and “a bang.”
Brett shared how she hadn’t been intimate with a man in two years, but the girls also had her back and said her husband would probably like that and assume she’s clean and classy.
Afterward, the brides picked out their wedding dresses as the grooms shopped for tuxedos and suits.
Michaela selected a long-sleeve lace, A-line gown with a low-cut neckline, and she just hoped she’d be able to let her husband in and not shut him out. She assumed her deceased father and grandmother had given their blessings for her to marry a stranger.
As Zack tried on his blue suit, he worried that his wife wasn’t going to be attracted to him and that he may not be good enough for her.
Johnny chose a burgundy jacket with a bow tie as Bao looked for a simple, elegant dress with pockets. Bao fell in love with an off-the-shoulder lace dress, and she intended to give her marriage her best effort to the fullest of her ability.
The girls then enjoyed their joint bachelorette party — which included Bao riding a mechanic bull with a veil on and Michaela receiving multiple stripteases and throwing dollar bills around — while the guys also partied with strippers at a country-themed bar.
Gil totally let loose dancing and having fun, and Jose revealed he had compiled a list of 256 questions for his future wife.
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Johnny called him “a rare” and “unique Pokemon” who definitely had been searching for an ideal woman.
“If I was a chick, I would be into Jose,” Johnny said with a big smile.
At the end of her bachelorette-party night, Michaela was shown telling her girlfriends that she’s “not opposed to smashing on the first night” if her husband is attractive.
One day before their weddings, Johnny was very scared considering he had no control over the situation and tends to plan out every single aspect of his life. Johnny also desired a clingy wife who needs and wants to be with him all the time, and he was concerned that might turn his wife off.
Johnny wanted to be matched with someone “hyper-affectionate,” mainly because he hadn’t received many hugs or “I love yous” growing up from his parents, and Bao was a little nervous about sharing her poor upbringing and humble beginnings in fear her husband’s family may look down on her.
On the couples’ wedding day, Bao was experiencing a wide range of emotions and joked with the cameras, “Let him be nerdy!” Bao said she had consumed a lot of calories trying to ease her nerves and had so many questions in her mind.
Bao worried her personality may clash with her future spouse considering she’s shy at first but is actually a straight-shooter who is opinionated and has a strong personality.
Prior to the their wedding, Bao and Johnny exchanged gifts. Bao gave Johnny a hilarious “sympathy” card, which showed off her sense of humor. Bao said she was downing a cheeseburger as she wrote the card, and Johnny appreciated how his future wife was able to laugh at herself.
Bao gave Johnny a wedding-day survival kit, including tiger socks, and Johnny told Bao that they were going to travel and see the world together. He wrapped her gift in a jersey and said he loves sports, which was an immediate turnoff for Bao, who admitted she didn’t want to be matched with “a bro.”
“I hope he’s not the kind of guy who would buy me power tools for our anniversary gift,” Bao lamented. “And he doesn’t know how to wrap! Oh man, holy moly. The lack of detail is painful… I wanted a nerd, not a bro!”
But underneath the jersey was a framed picture that read, “I married a stranger and I’m having the time of my life,” which Bao also hated and said she wouldn’t hang up!
“I work with some of the most brilliant minds in cancer research. I don’t know a single one that’s a huge sports fan enough to give their unknown bride sports gifts. That says a lot; I’m not feeling good about this,” Bao complained to her mother.
“My biggest fear is that the man standing at the other end of the altar is not The One… This is my life! I would have much rathered his gift been books. This is a big red flag for me.”
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Bao said she could not hide her “utter disappointment” because she never had success dating big sports fans but she was prepared to take a big risk for love.
And Johnny was extremely nervous before his bride walked down the aisle. He worried she may not even go through with the wedding.
When Johnny and Bao looked at each other for the first time, Johnny’s draw dropped to the floor and he appeared ecstatic. And Bao told her father, “I know him! And I think he knows me!”
Bao even said, “Oh sh-t” as she walked down the aisle and yelled, “Oh my God!”
Johnny told the cameras, “Out of the entire world of possibilities that I thought might happen today, this is, like, Pluto!”
Bao told her husband at the altar that she “never in a million years” thought her groom would be him. The pair engaged in nervous laughter, and Johnny pointed out how they hadn’t seen each other in a very long time.
Johnny told Bao that she looked beautiful, and Bao told her groom that he looked “very handsome.”
Johnny learned from Bao’s loved ones that she can come off a little strong and be critical at times but she’s very meticulous and is special and unique. Johnny was told listening to the Backstreet Boys would always cheer Bao up and Bao truly values her family.
Bao was told Johnny is like an ocean full of life, depth and insight. She was challenged to be open-minded and share her views, even if they differ from Johnny’s. Bao also discovered she could lean on Johnny for emotional support and would be the ray of sunshine that brightens his day.
Bao and Johnny exchanged self-written vows, and Johnny promised to prove the risk was well worth the reward and make their conversations full of witty observations, bad puns and inside jokes, to which Bao gushed, “Yes!”
Johnny vowed to listen intently and lift Bao up when she’s down. He also gave her a coupon for an endless supply of affection, adding that he would respect her and give his whole heart.
Bao wrote a poem for Johnny titled “We Will,” promising to celebrate the fun and cheesy and dancing and laughing together in a world of their own. She shared sweet words about watching paint dry together or enjoying adventures that would ultimately help them grow in love and no longer be lonely.
Bao and Johnny had a nice kiss at the altar, and Johnny said out loud, “This is going to work! I think it’s going to work!”
Bao and Johnny’s paths crossed many years ago, and Johnny gushed about how his wife is “beautiful, hot, sexy and everything [he’s] been looking for.”
When Bao and Johnny were in college, they both served as presidents of student organizations at the same time. She was president of the Vietnamese Students Association at the University of Houston and Johnny had served as president of the same organization at the University of Texas at Austin.
“We did cross at events and I met her, like “a president meets a president thing.” Johnny said he thought Bao was fun and bubbly at the time but he wasn’t looking for a serious relationship at that point in his life.
Bao found the wedding photos a little awkward and said it was overwhelming to have Johnny as her groom.
“In college, he had the reputation of being a little bit of a playboy,” Bao said with a laugh. “And I can see why — he is suave! He’s handsome, he’s well-dressed and put together, and he has a way with words, and a lot of ladies like that!”
When they finally got a chance to sit down and talk, Bao realized Johnny has many layers to him and can “dig deep” with her.
Bao had sent the experts a “long list of exclusions,” mainly exes or people she had worked with in the community that she didn’t want to marry.
Bao shared with Johnny how he had been on her list of “maybes” on all the dating apps she had been using. Johnny joked Bao could have saved them a lot of time by just sending him “a like.”
Johnny then asked Bao if she’d be up for a traditional tea ceremony, and Bao shared how she had actually insisted on the same thing. The pair flashed smiles at each other, and Johnny gushed, “This feels like destiny. It just blows my mind that yeah, she’s the one who would’ve made sense all along.”
Johnny told Bao that they seemed totally compatible, and she agreed, “Yeah, I think so!”
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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.