An Auckland influencer has front-footed it with Spy to ward off criticism that he is on the second season of Married at First Sight NZ seeking fame, rather than love.
Viewers will soon see fashion man about town Samuel Levi, 25, marry a husband at first glance.
Levi has become friends with reality show contestants over the past several years, has shown an interest in getting on television before and is good friends with last season’s gay bad boy Benjamin Blackwell, whose marriage to Aaron Chisholm had viewers at home cringing.
“I am going into the show with much more of an open mind than Ben did, I didn’t go to the altar with my perfect guy in my mind. I went to the experts as a blank canvas, told them about me, that I am at an age where I would like to settle down with someone and happily put my trust in them. I can say I have gone into this experiment a lot more positively and deeply than Ben did.” Levi tells Spy.
Blackwell was part of the infamous “Pretty Committee” that developed last season, where friendships developed in social media groups while filming was happening, causing havoc and scandal around the show.
“This year’s group are awesome people, there are no mean people so to speak and so far, no personal insults, no social media groups. Everyone is focusing on their relationships and supporting each other in their journeys in the experiment.”
So, is the guy well known to the scene in Auckland, on the show for fame and followers?
“I’ll tell you this, my social media is a business I have cultivated over years. I had to weigh up when I jumped in this bubble who would cringe and who would support me, and I can tell you many of the followers I already have would cringe at me doing a reality show.
“That being said, I have always been a fan of the show and the idea that the experts could find something for me I have not found myself. I am definitely in this looking for love.”
The most important approval was from his family, who are based in Auckland and Australia.
“I had a good chat with all my family; they have always supported what I do and after a few hesitations and good questions about 'what if', they are really happy and supportive and were there at my wedding.”
Levi says he had the people at his wedding that he would have had in real life. His brother was best man and a childhood friend, who isn’t a fan of the fame game, as groomsman. He did have some high-profile friends as guests; media personality Erin Simpson, who MC’d and social media leader Makaia Carr gave a speech. On the reality TV front, Season one Bachelorette Alysha Brown was there, as too was Blackwell, who is evidently happy for his mate.
The 25-year-old told the show’s experts he wanted someone taller than himself, with a nice smile, who is as motivated and career-driven as he is.
So, what happened at the altar?
“I was hitting myself actually, the enormity of what I was doing, but without giving too much away, it went a lot better than Ben and Aaron’s ceremony. From there I have had a positive outlook and get a lot of the things the experts were thinking, I learn more each week and so far, so good.”