Married at First Sight experts have gone through over 80,000 applicants nationwide to match potential marriages and for the first time ever in franchise history, a bride has decided to not go through the process after meeting her future husband at the altar.
While cameras hid the “runway bride’s” identity, fans are curious about who the season 17 star is who walked away from the experiment.
Who Is the ‘MAFS’ Runaway Bride?
During the October 2023 premiere of season 17, fans watched as Michael stood at the altar as he prepared to meet his future wife for the first time.
“My biggest hope for this marriage is that we truly are a great match together,” he told cameras before his nuptials to a stranger, hoping it was going to be “fireworks” when he met her. “That it’ll be evident to us as we grow together.”
Also admitting he was an “acquired taste,” Michael said he was open to his wife giving him her feedback regarding his appearance. “My biggest fear is when she sees me, and lays eyes on me, if it’s clear that maybe she’s not really attracted to me,” he confessed to producers.
As his bride walked down the aisle, she was only seen from behind, with the cameras hiding her distinguishing features. “I see her. She’s extremely beautiful,” the senior project manager said as he laid eyes on her.
However, after introducing himself, the unidentified woman says, “I don’t think I can do this,” before the ceremony abruptly ends in everyone’s shock.
“That hurt,” the disappointed groom is heard saying before his friends and family run to comfort him.
Who Is ‘MAFS’ Star Chloe Brown?
While the runaway bride’s identity was never shown on screen, In Touch confirmed that Michael married Chloe Brown in March 2023, nearly six weeks after the original four MAFS couples were married in late January.
Michael was rumored to be matched by the MAFS experts to a woman named Chloe; however, it was initially unclear if she was the “runaway bride.”
Chloe is set to appear on screen for the first time during the January 10, 2024, episode. The 39-year-old senior director of development opened up about why she opted to participate in the social experiment in a teaser shared by People.
“If you asked me in my early 20s what I wanted in a man, what I wanted then and what I want now are two completely different things,” the new bride explained. “I have an opportunity to do something I’ve never imagined in my life doing ever, really thinking about being married at first sight!”
What Did the Other ‘MAFS’ Brides Think of the ‘Runaway’?
During the MAFS Afterparty segment following the episode, host Keshia Knight Pulliam asked fellow brides Lauren, Emily and Claire, for their opinion on the interaction after rewatching the clip.
“What kills me the most is that she took an opportunity from someone else who went through this very long, grueling process,” Lauren explained. “Who like us, were very confident in what we wanted and were committed to marriage and the process. And she took that away from Michael in the moment, but someone else who would have filled her shoes and done just that.
Lauren called it a “waste of time” after going through the matching process, something the MAFS experts have called hours of rigorous and emotional interviews. “I would feel just so devastated, and I can’t imagine what other emotions Michael was feeling but I know I would just feel completely devastated.”
“Crushed,” Claire concluded. “I would just feel all the things that I was picturing about the future and having a partner would just dissolve.”
However, the former Cosby Show star offered a different perspective, saying she was “grateful” that the runaway bride made the decision instead of “dragging” Michael through the process and “not being present along the way.”
Keshia hinted that she received “intel” from behind the scenes that the bride had “made the decision before walking down the aisle.” However, the host emphasized that it was “hearsay” as she wasn’t present herself to confirm.
What Did Michael Say About His ‘Runaway Bride’?
Michael opened up about getting left at the altar during the October 25, 2023, episode. “I will admit, probably the thing that had frustrated me the most at the altar was like, did it really have to be this way,” the season 17 star explained on MAFS: Afterparty. “Like, you didn’t have to tell me up here [in front of everyone].”
He added that his rejection happening in front of his friends and family is what hurt him the most. “Like seeing my friends and family and knowing that I brought you guys out here to celebrate with me, and you guys have been so supportive, and this is what ends up happening,” Michael continued. “This is more just like, just the feelings I had.”
During the January 3, 2024, episode, MAFS expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz asked Michael if he would be open to another opportunity to find love on the franchise.
“You know, you emotionally and mentally tune yourself for this and I discovered things about myself that I didn’t realize in the moment like I knew I was ready for marriage, but I didn’t know I was that ready,” he responded. “So to answer your question, I would 100% do this again.”
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