Dun dun dun, it’s Decision Day.
Season 10 of “Married at First Sight” has come to an end and the five D.C. area couples made the choice if they wanted to stay married or get a divorce.
Two months ago, they met as strangers at the aisle after getting matched by relationship experts Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Cal Roberson and Dr. Viviana Coles. The pairs then went on a honeymoon, moved in together and blended their lives.
It wasn’t the easiest road: two of the couples broke up before decision day. Exes came into the picture. Best friends betrayed each other. Lies were told. Feelings were broadcast on Instagram. There were even fights with the production team.
Next week, Lifetime will air a “where are they now” special to update the audience on what’s happened in the five months since this night.
Here is how each of the couples fared on Decision Day.
Jessica Studer, 31, and Austin Hurd, 31
Jess and Austin had the easiest marriage of all the five couples. They got along great from the start and didn’t fight.
Still, their nuptials weren’t without stress. Jess, a neat freak, struggled to adjust to Austin’s messy style. Jess was also worried that Austin withheld the severity of his work travel. She knew he would be gone, but not more than half of the month.
She fell in love with her husband nonetheless — though he has refused to say it back, something that scared her. “That’s a big word to me,” Austin told his wife and the experts of his hesitation.
Austin let his wall down and said “I love you” before they both committed to stay married.
Brandon Reid, 34, and Taylor Dunklin, 27
Brandon had trouble keeping his temper in check from the start. After blowing up on Taylor, the other couples and the production crew on the honeymoon, he promised to change his ways. He didn’t like that his wife was a social media star, especially when she took to Instagram to complain that no men meet her standards and acted like she was single. Brandon thought Taylor was in their marriage for fame.
The two broke up and got back together, only to have Brandon unleash rage on Taylor and the production crew yet again. He refused to be filmed for the remainder of the series and promised Taylor that he would act differently once the cameras were gone.
On Decision Day, Brandon surprised Taylor by showing up. He fought with the experts over his nasty attitude, which he claims was because filming the show made him late for work during the process. “We’ve been doing this show now for 10 seasons, I’ve been on for seven,” said Pastor Cal. “Not once have we ever hindered anyone from showing up at their job.”
Taylor had enough of his behavior. “With all the things that transpired, it might not be the best for us to try to continue,” she said, asking for a divorce.
“I’m over it,” replied Brandon, getting up from his chair and walking out. “I’m over all of this.”
Meka Jones, 25, and Michael Watson, 31
Michael had been lying to Meka throughout the marriage, about his job, teaching yoga and his salary. Meka couldn’t trust him and got angry, making Michael scared to be vulnerable with her. Meka wasn’t emotional or caring when Michael lost a family member, something that bothered him.
Going into decision day, they were both unsure about their status. Both partners saw separating as a loss. “If we get a divorce, it’s going to be the biggest failure I’ve had in my life,” said Meka.
The experts had Michael reflect on how serious his lies were and what impact they had on his marriage. Finally, he took responsibility and stopped making excuses for his actions.
But it was too late for Meka. “There’s been too much deception… I still don’t feel like I know who my husband is,” she told the experts. “For that reason, I do want a divorce.”
“For me, I don’t believe in divorce,” responded Michael. “It’s disappointing.”
Derek Sherman, 26, and Katie Conrad, 25
Derek had never been in love before, something that worried romantic Katie. Though they bonded quickly, their spark quickly faded as their differences became apparent.
Katie, a realist, worried that Derek could never fall in love with her. She was scared their relationship was becoming more of a friendship. Derek’s immaturity was also a problem for her: his constant dreaming and wildish plans for the future — and his fart jokes — made her wanting someone more grown-up.
Derek wasn’t feeling supported by his wife, who would often chide him for not meeting her expectations.
The experts were quick to remind the young pair that passion can grow, especially once the pressure of the show is off.
“I want to stay married with you because I do believe I can fall in love with you,” Derek told his wife.
“Part of me feels like my heart’s not in it,” Katie said back. “But I’m not ready to give up yet, so I would like to stay married.”
They signed a yearlong lease together after deciding to stay together.
Zach Justice, 32, and Mindy Shiben, 34
Mindy and Zach called it quits weeks before Decision Day.
From the start of the relationship, Zach refused to fully commit himself to the marriage. He didn’t move in with Mindy, he wouldn’t spend time with her off-camera. After weeks of disappointment from her husband, Mindy was stunned to learn that her best friend and Zach had been having text conversations and phone calls behind her back. She called it off.
This was the first time they had seen each other since their breakup.
Zach was remorseful and maintained her didn’t enter this marriage to get on TV. “I do think you came into my life for a reason,” he said to his ex.
“I feel like deciding to separate from Zach was the best thing I could have done,” said Mindy. “Ever since that day, I feel such a huge weight lifted off me.”