Ben & Christie
Seven’s new reality show The Super Switch begins tonight, the third incarnation of its Seven Year Switch format.
The series sees young couples struggling in their relationship agree to swap partners (for reasons which still escape me). It also includes couples therapist Guy Vicars and psychologist Jacqui Manning.
Promos indicate the series plans volatile exchanges between many of the couples, as well as sharing joint mansions.
But when I compare The Super Switch with Married at First Sight, there’s a subtle difference which I’ll be interested to see in ratings. MAFS starts from a “fairytale” position of looking for their dream partner, so the audience buys into their hopes and dreams before it detours into some ultimately nasty scenes.
The Super Switch is cast around partners whose love is already on the rocks, and they then try to salvage it ..through jeopardising their fidelity. You can see in these publicity shots the couples are grim-face, back to back, not happy.
The “likability” factor is very important in reality casts as Nine’s The Last Resort found out the hard way….
The Seven Year Switch has previously performed well for Seven, here’s who you can expect to see in the revamped version:
Ben & Christie
Larrikin / Headstrong
Outgoing coal miner and property developer Ben, 35, has been dating project manager Christie, 28, for one year.
“What attracted me to Ben was his humour,” Christie says. “He’s just a ball of energy.”
Meeting in a bar on a casual Friday night, Ben says he chased her for three weeks before she let him take her on a date.
“She is the calmness in my chaotic life,” Ben says. “She is my best friend and she makes me want to be the best boyfriend I can be.”
Things haven’t been smooth sailing for the Wollongong couple. They have been through their ups and downs and one year in to their relationship, they are constantly fighting.
They don’t live together and struggle to find one-on-one time. Christie is ready to take the next step and share a home but Ben is less sure, admitting he has “pulled back a little bit”.
Ben’s a bit of a larrikin and Christie wants him to take their relationship a little more seriously. “Christie is more focused than me on settling,” Ben says.
Christie feels like her feelings are on pause and she’s willing to walk away. “If we’re not going to move forward, I’m really not going to waste my effort with this person.”
Ben is more focused on setting up a financial future for himself, but where does that leave Christie?
“If this experiment is successful than I can probably clear out a few drawers for her,” he jokes.
Marcus & Aimee
Man-child / Inflexible
Marcus, 33, and Aimee, 29, first connected when he sent her a spontaneous friend request on Facebook, and quickly became inseparable.
But in the 12 months since they got together, the pair have been on and off again.
Aimee is a single mum of two boys from a prior relationship. She works full time and has a household to run. She wants an equal partner who she can rely on, but Marcus isn’t ready to take responsibility for anything.
“Marcus being immature at times and joking around does make it feel like I have a third child,” Aimee says.
The couple reunited recently after a short break, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing.
“When we broke up I missed her but now it’s about working out if I was missing her as a friend or as a partner,” Marcus says.
“We continuously fight about the same things and never resolve anything properly,” Aimee adds.
Aimee needs Marcus to grow up and take more responsibility, while Marcus wants Aimee to be less demanding and more flexible.
Communication is a big stumbling block for this couple. They want the same things but need to work out if they want them together.
Lachlan & Miranda
Possessive / Conservative
Lachlan, 27, and Miranda, 24, have been dating for two years.
They first met five years ago at a nightclub on Christmas Eve but the timing wasn’t right. Three years later they met again at the same club and the rest is history.
Lachlan has never met a girl with a bigger heart. “I would love to go through all the stages of life with Miranda.”
“We are fully committed with lots of plans for the future and couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else but him,” Miranda adds.
Originally from country Victoria, the couple moved to Port Douglas last year when Lachlan was offered a position on the local footy team.
The move was challenging but the couple’s main issue is Lachlan’s overprotective nature. Lachlan thinks Miranda is naïve and her behaviour attracts attention from other men.
Lachlan wants to marry Miranda in the next two years. Miranda would like that too but Lachlan’s possessive behaviour makes Miranda feel uncomfortable.
“I’m really struggling to see marriage and kids and a house if he can’t change,” Miranda says. “I can’t keep doing this, it hurts too much.”
“I know that if I don’t fix my own issue there is a very good chance that my relationship with Miranda could be over,” Lachlan says.
Justin & Neesha
Traditional / Needy
Justin, 29, and Neesha, 22, have been dating for a year-and-a half after meeting at a football function.
“We hit it off straight away,” Neesha smiles.
The Melbourne based couple are madly in love but need to learn to communicate on the important things if they are to move forward.
Justin would like to start a family in the near future, which is where their seven-year age gap comes into play.
Justin wants the traditional lifestyle with a stay-at-home wife, but Neesha is a modern woman who has been running a successful eyelash extension business for over a year.
“Justin wants children within the next two years – I cannot promise that. I want to get engaged and have my career set up before thinking about having children.”
Can they meet in the middle?
Although the couple don’t live together, they have spent every night together since their relationship began and Justin struggles with the lack of space. “She is so needy and clingy. She doesn’t let me have time to myself.”
Justin and Neesha are at the opposite ends of the extrovert/introvert scale. Neesha avoids alone time, which Justin sees as neediness.
The couple are at make or break. If Neesha isn’t willing to give Justin more space in the relationship, then he is ready to call it quits.
“We have a lot of these little issues that just keep building up. It’s got to the stage where if it’s not going to improve, we can’t go on,” Justin admits.
Tyler & Olga
Tyler, 28, and Olga, 27, met during a night out in Ottawa, Canada six years ago and it was love at first sight.
But when they moved to Australia four years ago, Tyler found he couldn’t give Olga the attention she craves.
Olga’s jealousy pushes Tyler away. “She doesn’t trust me,” he says. “Trust is everything.”
Tyler isn’t sure their relationship can survive this. “It annoys me how much attention she needs.”
While Olga is one hundred percent committed to the relationship, she feels like Tyler cares more about his work.
Tyler runs a digital marketing business and struggles to balance work and life.
Tyler’s obsession for work may be setting him up for his and Olga’s future, but if his behaviour doesn’t change he may not have a future with Olga.
The couple live on the Gold Coast and have been engaged for one year.
“He surprised me by flying my parents over here from Canada when he proposed to me. The sweetest thing ever,” says Olga.
While they should be planning their wedding, it’s not a top priority for either of them.
Olga is lonely and misses Canada, but Tyler wants to stay in Australia which puts a strain on their relationship. “I’m not ready to give up on everything we’ve built here,” he says.
Olga refuses to marry him until they decide on where they will settle down.
“I really miss my family and I have missed a lot of big things in their life by being on the other side of the world, so this makes it hard to want to plan a wedding and make future goals together,” says Olga
Those future goals include starting a family for Tyler, but Olga isn’t so sure. “I have a lot I want to achieve and children would just set me back.”
“I’m hoping one of us changes our mind,” adds Tyler.
Kendrick & Romina
Closed-book / Temperamental
Latin dance instructors Kendrick, 33, and Romina, 34, have been dating for three years.
Romina is a dance teacher and Kendrick used to be her student. The passionate pair has been inseparable since day one.
“Our love of dance brought us together,” Kendrick says. “It was like an explosion. Boom!” Romina adds.
But it has also created their biggest obstacle, living together and running a Latin dance studio.
“It’s been extremely hard to separate our personal relationship from our business relationship,” Romina admits.
Communication is their biggest issue. Romina isn’t afraid of a fight, whereas Kendrick will do anything to avoid confrontation, which means the situation is never resolved and builds up over time.
“I tend to keep things in but eventually I blow up,” says Kendrick. The Melbourne-based couple have a lot at stake.
Romina’s fiery personality causes Kendrick to shut down. If they can’t find the middle ground it will be the end of their relationship and their business.
Marriage is the natural next step, but both have their doubts.
“We love each other very much but we are having problems,” Kendrick says. “If things don’t change then I don’t think we’ll have a future.”
7:30pm Tuesday & Wednesday on Seven.