“Married at First Sight” Season 3 is here and the couples are more nervous than ever. The four experts are back to pair singles with their scientifically matched soul mates, but they’re in Atlanta this year. They’ve found more than 20,000 applicants who are willing to marry total strangers. They find three couples who look great together on paper, but the participants will have to see if they can really make marriage with a stranger work. “The only way out is divorce or death,” Dr. Logan Levkoff, a sexologist, says. In the premiere, the experts introduce viewers to the couples.
David and Ashley
In their extensive interviews with the experts, David Norton says he isn’t worried about physical attraction. He believes that can grow over time as they build their relationship.
During Ashley Doherty’s interviews, she reveals that religion and helping people are both important to her. She also explains that she feels a little behind in life. She is in school for nursing and single at age 30.
Dr. Joseph Cilona, a psychologist, says Ashley needs a little help opening up, and he believes David could do that. They both put an important emphasis on their careers as well.
David’s friends are not super excited for him. He wasn't expecting so much negativity. They tell him marrying a stranger isn't smart and it makes David question his decision. Luckily, his family is much more supportive. Ashley’s mother and stepfather are also ready to support her. She asks her stepfather to walk her down the aisle and he calls it an “honor.”
David goes to pick out his fiancée’s ring and the salesman asks for information about her personality. David laughs and calls her a “risk taker.” Meanwhile, Ashley takes her time picking out her wedding dress. She wants to impress her husband the first time they meet.
The night before their wedding, each have bachelor and bachelorette parties. David hangs out at a bar and acts goofy with his buddies, and Ashley is having a quiet get-together with a couple friends. When strippers come in, Ashley gets uncomfortable and walks out. Her friends are surprised that Ashley is cool with marrying a stranger but she doesn’t want anything to do with a sexy dancer.
Unfortunately, Ashley is doing her homework before getting ready for her wedding. Once she submits her assignment, she can finally get ready for the ceremony.
David sends a letter to Ashley’s parents before the ceremony. He promises that she would be his number one priority for the rest of his life. It impresses Ashley. Still, right before going down the aisle, she feels like she is on a roller coaster.
Neil and Samantha
Neil Bowlus is still good friends with his ex, Diana, so when Dr. Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist, comes to visit, he invites his ex. Their friendship impresses Dr. Pepper, but Neil needs to make one major change: the beard has to go. The sociologist explains that someone meeting him for the first time might find it “a little scary.” He trims it down so it’s much closer to his face.
Samantha Role reveals to the experts that she talked to her grandmother about joining the show right before she died. Her grandmother supported the idea, so Samantha really wants to be matched. She also wants to find a relationship like the one her grandparents had.
Dr. Pepper discovers that she has a lot of animals, including sugar babies. She knows that Samantha needs someone who is nurturing and willing to support her love of animals.
Both Neil and Sam have multicultural backgrounds, and the experts think their fun, quirky personalities will match well.
Sam and Neil are thrilled when they hear that they’ve found matches, but their families have concerns. Sam’s mother starts to cry, but Sam maintains that she has never been traditional. Her mother wants her to fall in love beforehand. Neil’s mother says she’s excited but also nervous.
Sam worries that she won’t be attracted to her husband, but she also thinks that might be a good thing. She wants to become good friends with her husband first.
Samantha looks for a wedding dress that reminds her of her grandmother’s dress, while Neil looks for a funky suit. He wants something patterned and a little different for his big day.
During her last night as a single person, Sam’s friends take her to a stripper pole dance class. Meanwhile, Neil watches a belly dancer who tries to get him to dance, but he just awkwardly stands there for the most part.
On their wedding day, Sam sends Neil a blank canvas that just says, “Our Story.” Neil loves painting, so he is excited that his wife gave him an art piece. He gives his new bride a gift with a little spoon and a big spoon that she found adorable.
Neil’s grandmother tells him to be patient. His grandparents had an arranged marriage, so he is happy to listen to her advice. While Neil talks to his grandmother, Sam puts on her grandmother's ring to remember the family matriarch on her big day.
Right before walking down the aisle, Samantha says this is crazy. “OK, I changed my mind. Let’s go back,” she says. Her dad tells her that she isn’t backing out now.
Tres and Vanessa
Tres Russell tells Dr. Cilona about his background. He was abandoned by his mother and was raised by other women in his family. Dr. Cilona thinks he is sensitive and strong. Tres reveals to the camera that he fears people leaving him, but he trusts the experts.
During Vanessa Nelson’s interviews, she says that her parents got divorced while she was in high school, and now she doesn’t have a relationship with her dad. She doesn’t want divorce to be an option for her.
The experts believe that Vanessa's and Tres' values match up, and they’re what the other is looking for in a partner.
Tres’ family isn't thrilled, but they tell him they will accept it if it is what he really wants. His friends aren’t exactly running to plan the bachelor party, either. “You’ve done some dumb stuff in your life, but this might be the dumbest,” his friend Andrew says. His friends wish him luck, though.
Vanessa’s family is immediately excited, but her mother is concerned that she is marrying a stranger. Her sister Kenya says Vanessa has been in some difficult relationships, so it’s overwhelming to know that she’ll meet her husband soon.
Their friends both want to know about what they think their relationship will be like. Vanessa tells her friends that she won’t have sex on their wedding night. Tres tells his friends that he wants to have sex during the experiment, but he understands that it might not happen the first night.
Vanessa has her mother with her to walk her down the aisle. She thought she’d be upset about her father’s absence, but she says she hasn’t thought about it much at all. Her mother is all she needs.
Before walking her down the aisle, Vanessa’s mom asks if this is really what she wants to do. Vanessa admits she is questioning her choice, but she still goes ahead and walks down the aisle. Everyone, including their family members, are relieved that Vanessa and Tres are both attractive.
Tres explains that he could barely think while at the altar. “I’m not sure if I can go through with the experiment,” he admits to the cameras before the ceremony. When they’re saying their vows, Tres starts to get nervous and walks off the stage where he and Vanessa are getting married. “I’m sorry, I just ... so, I’m sorry, you guys,” he says.
“Married at First Sight” Season 3 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on FYI.