The highs and lows of love are on show on The Farmer Wants a Wife, writes Kritika Seksaria
IF YOU want to be successful on The Farmer Wants a Wife, you’d better be an extrovert. That is the opinion of psychologist Dr Janet Hall, who says it takes a certain kind of person to deal with the exposure and pressure that comes with the Channel 9 dating show.
Farmer is a public forum where about one million viewers each week witness contestants’ romantic successes and failures. Now in its sixth season, Farmer has produced three marriages, two engagements and a baby.
Chris Newsome and Kim Tierney, who met and fell in love on the first series of the hit Channel 9 show in 2007, became the proud parents of Charlotte in 2009.
Rob Hodges and Jo Fincham from season two are married and expecting a child, and season four’s Brad Crane married Stacie Marmion.
‘‘ Only people with a certain (outgoing) personality type can get ahead in this kind of situation,’’ Dr Hall says.
Victorian potato farmer Nick Carey, 26, says The Farmer Wants a Wife has a unique edge over the singles scene pubs and clubs and internet dating.
You get to try before you buy. The farmers spend a fortnight on their properties with potential wives.
The downside is the constant presence of TV cameras trying to capture every hug, kiss or break-up.
‘‘ In the evenings after 8 or 9 o’clock, when the camera goes off, there is an opportunity to get some privacy and build a good relationship, form chemistry and share feelings,’’ Carey says.
Host Natalie Gruzlewski says Farmer has had a better success rate than The Bachelor or The Bachelorette (one marriage out of 15 seasons and one out of six seasons, respectively) because it is fair dinkum.
‘‘ The beauty of the show is its sincerity,’’ she says. ‘‘ What you see is what you get.’’
South Australian farmer Ben Wandel, 33, agrees it can be scary to open up and form a bond with a potential partner when the cameras are rolling and you know more than one million people will be watching.
The speed dating round, he says, was definitely the hardest part of the show.
‘‘ Eventually I realised that if I relax, it helps the others (ladies) relax as well,’’ he says.
Sue Yortsen, from Relationships Australia, says anyone who goes on The Farmer Wants a Wife is being incredibly brave.
The highs and lows of romance or rejection are heigh- tened when they are played out on a high-rating TV show.
‘‘ There is always a chance of disappointment, rejection and heartbreak. Dealing with that in public is extremely difficult,’’ Yortsen says.
Those effects continue even when the cameras stop rolling.
The harsh glare of publicity played a part in the split between Jambaroo dairy farmer Ben Honey and Sydney nanny Sarah Walton, who hooked up on the second series of Farmer.
Honey shunned the media spotlight when he announced his engagement to Wollongong woman Kate Morgan, saying he preferred a more private romance the second time around.
SERIES five farmers Devon Mills and Jamie Morgan called it quits with the partners they chose on the show.
Mills stopped seeing fashion designer Leila Sweeney not long after the show finale.
Pearl farmer Morgan’s relationship with West Australian native Emma Bramwell ‘‘ lasted the flight home’’.
In spite of that, neither has regrets. Mills says Farmer made him more confident around women.
Morgan is set to be a groomsman to fellow contestant Nathan McClymont, who will marry Amanda Ecker, whom he met on the show.
McClymont, from remote WA, proposed to Ecker in the 2010 season finale of The Farmer Wants a Wife. The Farmer Wants a Wife, Channel 9, Wednesday, 8.30pm
Matchmaker: The Farmer Wants a Wife host Natalie Gruzlewski.