If Tinder, Match, OkCupid, eHarmony or any of the myriad modern dating services available aren’t working for you, Lifetime may have a solution. The network, which is home to docuseries Married at First Sight, is currently seeking Philadelphia area singles to participate in its 7th season.
The show, which debuted in 2014, ups the stakes on more traditional dating series by skipping straight to the wedding. A panel of three experts—those currently include Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Dr. Jessica Griffin—weed through thousands of applicants, typically casting six individuals. Those individuals are selected with a match in mind, and, sight unseen, are married. After a honeymoon, couples return to their hometown where they must live together for eight weeks, all documented for a national television audience.
The show recently announced that its upcoming season will showcase the City of Brotherly Love and ideal candidates live within an hour of Philadelphia. Past seasons have filmed in South Florida, Chicago, and Atlanta. “I think geography is critical, especially for something like getting married at first sight because our couples have enough to contend with in that they are marrying a stranger,” explains Dr. Griffin, a clinical and forensic psychologist. This will be her third season as an expert on the show. “We know that the more support you have from your social networks and family, the more successful your relationship is likely to be.”
Singles interested in being on the show need only fill out an application, complete with 63 questions, ranging from education and occupation to physical appearance to relationship history, for initial consideration.
Getting on the show isn’t so straightforward, though. Those who make it to the next round of casting should expect a dissection of their lives, from interviews with family members and friends to a history of past relationships.
“Some of the best candidates for Married at First Sight are people who have an open mind, are genuinely looking for love and who have tried multiple routes to love that lasts and have struck out,” says Dr. Griffin. “We don’t want people who’ve had just one or two relationships and haven’t really tried,” she adds. “We want people who have gotten out there in the dating world and have struck out, those who are willing to rely on and be open to working with experts in that process.”
Past seasons have accumulated upwards of 50,000 applicants, so the odds of getting on the show are even lower than the odds of the relationship succeeding. Excluding the 6th season, which is currently airing, just three of the show’s 15 couples have remained married.