Warning: Spoilers ahead
In a first for the “Married at First Sight” franchise, all three Chicago-area couples revealed on Thursday’s Season 5 finale they decided to stay married at the end of the eight-week experiment.
“I’ve thought a lot about this. We aren’t in a perfect place. Been tough at times. This is the biggest decision of my life. I would like to… I think I’d like to stay married and keep working,” dietitian Danielle DeGroot said on the two-hour episode.
DeGroot and Genoa native Cody Knapek are two of six strangers who met each other for the first time at the altar at the Palmer House Hilton in August 2016. Cameras followed these couples, who were paired by the show’s specialists, through the wedding day, honeymoon and move-in process.
At the end of eight weeks, the newlyweds decide if they will continue or end their arranged marriage. Seven of the 12 couples in the prior four seasons agreed on decision day to stay married. Only two of these couples are still together.
This season’s marriage between West Town marketing executive Anthony D’Amico and suburban bar manager Ashley Petta seemed solid, save for a few petty fights. Still, it was a surprise that all the local couples decided to stick with their marriages because DeGroot and Knapek seemed stuck in the friend zone, while Round Lake facilities director Sheila Downs and former Chicago State University basketball player Nate Duhon experienced nasty fights.
Throughout much of the season, Downs expressed doubt about whether she should stay with Duhon and was even shown moving out of their home on an episode that aired this month.
“This experience was a huge leap of faith, and the thing about taking a leap is that you don’t know where you’ll land. On our wedding day, you sent me a card that said, ‘Things that are understood need not be explained.’ With that said, I want to be your wife until the day I die,” Downs told Duhon on…