Reality TV

MAFS expert Alessandra Rampolla teases at which couples will make it

''People will be surprised.''
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It’s been a long, brutal season of Married At First Sight. But with the final episode fast approaching, Alessandra Rampolla is positive.

”We do have love stories this year that I’m very proud and excited about,” the clinical sexologist tells TV WEEK.

Alessandra says Tahnee and Ollie – who, at 27 and 26, are the youngest couple in the experiment – have been ”shining bright from day one.”

”But aside from Tahnee and Ollie I’m very excited about some of the couples this year that actually make it through and build good strong relationships,” she adds.

”So it’s possible, it takes work, and I think people are going to be surprised.”

Alessandra can’t wait for the big season finale.

(IMAGE: Nine)

Of course, it hasn’t all been love stories. The experts have spent a lot of time calling people out, including the experiment’s most controversial participant, Harrison, who’s been in an on-again-off-again relationship with Bronte.

”It’s very obvious that Harrison has some very polarising and very bad behaviour – the tone, the way that he deflects, the way that he throws grenades, his meddling,” Alessandra says.

”’It’s interesting when you see Bronte making excuses so often for the bad behaviours. I think it’s important that we call out when things that shouldn’t be made light of are being made light of.”

Alessandra says we can all learn from the MAFS experiment.

(IMAGE: Nine)

Alessandra, who shares the experts’ couch with John Aiken and Mel Schilling, wants to stress that the three of them don’t choose the MAFS participants – ”there’s casting done and then we match according to the people who are cast” – and she doesn’t really know their motivations.

”A lot of people want to be on reality TV just to be on TV,” she points out.

But she believes that doesn’t matter, so long as viewers learn from the show.

”Ultimately, the idea is to get a message out there for people to see, to maybe go, ‘Oh, I do that. I really need to stop,’ or perhaps, ‘I’m putting up with something that I shouldn’t be putting up with.”’

Tahnee and Ollie are season favourites.

(IMAGE: Nine)

Alessandra, 48, is speaking to TV WEEK from Colombia, where she’s attending a conference and having a check-up with the doctor who did her gastric bypass surgery in 2008.

”Just taking care of my health, making sure everything’s good,” she explains.

Her home base is Puerto Rico, the country where she was born and raised. Growing up, she felt a connection to Australia from a young age.

”I was a massive Olivia Newton-John fan when Xanadu came out years and years ago, so I’ve always had a thing for Australia.”

MAFS experts Mel, Alessandra and John.

(IMAGE: Nine)

Feeling a calling to become a sexologist, Alessandra spent years appearing on TV shows in different countries, talking about sexuality and female pleasure – and also taking on the occasional acting role.

”I don’t think I want to go changing careers, but I’m very open to [new] life experiences,” she explains.

Three years ago, MAFS came calling. Now she spends several months each year in Australia.

However, she’s no longer looking to date Aussie men…

”I’m seeing somebody,” she reveals, but she has ”great girlfriends” in Australia.

”It feels very much like home, almost, in a strange way.”

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