Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Married at First Sight - A Chat With Cortney Hendrix

Married At First Sight

Twitter erupted during FYI's Married at First Sight's  Season 1 Finale on September 9th, when three couples in this social experiment chose whether to stay married or get divorced. 

Two couples chose to stay married; EMT Jason Carrion, 27, and make-up artist, Cortney Hendrix, 26,  and labor and delivery nurse, Jamie Otis, 27 and commercial sales rep, Doug Hehner, 31. 

One couple chose to divorce. Fashion product development manager, Monet Bell, 33, and industrial technician, Vaughn Copeland, 30, were not able to work through their communication breakdown, despite reaching out to experts during filming. 

I had a chance to speak with Cortney Hendrix this morning. She is every bit as genuine and sincere as what we saw on our screens...and so much more. Her beauty emanates from within. In this interview, I wanted her lens on why this show was such a success for her and Jason.

The Morning After the Finale

The excitement and enthusiasm in her voice was palpable over the thousands of miles that separated us. "I'm so relieved that everything is out in the open and that I can talk about it now," says Cortney. Along with their busy schedules, the fear of being recognized in public kept her and Jason from going out in public for most of the 4 months between decision day (d-day), April 26th and when the Finale aired, September 9th. "Every time we'd go out, which was maybe once a week, we'd always get recognized," adds Cortney. During those times, it was Jason that would calm her fears and tell her that it's okay. As long as they just smiled and walked away, everything was fine.

The authenticity of FYI Network's, Married at First Sight, is what drew millions of viewers in. The word spread like wildfire on social media and the show quickly became an overwhelming success. 

Cortney confirms, "It was very, very real. Jason and I had a lot of discussions for the first time on camera. The code between us and production, so they would know this was the first time we ever talked about something, was 'real talk'. When we'd say 'real talk', production would know that this is 100% real, raw emotion that they were getting for the first time."

The format of "Married at First Sight," made five weeks feel like five months to Cortney. She adds, "I felt like we had done so much and experienced so many emotions that were packed-in. We had good moments, bad moments, happy, sad and it was all in such a short amount of time, so it was definitely accelerated.

It was clear from watching Jason and Cortney, that they were able to ignore the cameras during difficult and emotional conversations. Cortney says, "It was really easy for us to completely tune everything else out and look in each other's eyes and keep that eye contact. That's how we stayed as connected as we did."

Jason admits to having deeper conversations with Cortney than he's had with anyone else. Despite their busy schedules, they took advantage of every opportunity to spend time together. 

Cortney shares, "We talked all the time and we never slept. There would be night's where we would lay there and talk like teenagers for three or four hours and maybe get one or two hours of sleep. Then we'd get up and do it all over again the next day. But those moments that were off camera, were what we really needed to connect."

Finding time for filming was a challenge. "During all of our interviews, there was one producer, one camera man and a sound guy. We would be in interviews for eight hours, one day a week, because of our schedules," she says. 

One of the things that didn't air, was the games they played of 20 questions, which allowed Cortney and Jason to get to know each other. "We were dating and still in that discovery phase. We were learning so much about each other every single day. You have to put the time in and do your homework, if you want it to work," she adds.

Photo from cortrae on Instagram
Jason and Cortney made a trip to North Carolina in July to meet her immediate family. "They LOVED him," she says exuberantly. 

For two months, Cortney's sister and mom have been planning a couple's shower for them to be held in October. "I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a great time. I was  so flattered and honored when my sister called me. Jason is going to get a chance to meet my grandparents and people outside of my immediate family that I didn't even tell," she exclaims. 

"We're just excited for what's going to happen next. We want to do bachelor and bachelorette parties and we're looking forward to the holidays together. We want to travel. We're both firm believers that you don't really know someone until you travel with them," says Cortney. A warm tropical climate is high on their wish list. 

After speaking with Cortney, I am actually in awe with how committed they are to making this work. What may have started as a social experiment, is a real marriage in every way. 

The message that they want to get across? "There is no one right way to do marriage in this day and age. People have to be open minded and really take a look at how our culture and society view marriage," says Cortney. 

A two-hour reunion special, "Married at First Sight: Six Months Later," will air September 16th from 8:00-10:00pm CST

For great behind the scenes insight: Married at First Sight: From the lens of Dr. Joseph Cilona 

All screen caps are made by Bee, courtesy of 
FYI network's Married at First Sight. 


  1. Beautiful Interview and well done Article. Cortney in my opinion is the "heart of the show". Her emotions are real, raw, and way beyond her years. As for Jason, as we look from the outside, this relationship couldn't have happened at a better time in his life. A beautiful woman by his side to give to and grow with is exactly what will ignite his life with real meaning and energy. He already has the attitude to succeed with anything he puts his mind to. They will be remembered for a long time to come. A Toast to them! Good Luck and God Bless your union.

  2. Love the show. Courtney was a great piece of life for Jason.