CH­ERYL TRADES UP FOR LOVE

Tradies won’t get this lady – the Gold Coast’s Ch­eryl Mait­land en­ters Mar­ried at First Sight with plans to at­tract any­one but a bloke who’s good on the tools

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV - SALLY COATES

Re­al­ity TV loves Gold Coast­ers just as much as Gold Coast­ers love re­al­ity TV, and sea­son four of con­tro­ver­sial re­la­tion­ship se­ries Mar­ried at First Sight is no ex­cep­tion. Hair sa­lon man­ager Ch­eryl Mait­land has a prom­i­nent sto­ry­line on the show, air­ing Mon­day, and says she ap­plied to at­tract any­one but a tradie.

“I went on the show say­ing I didn’t want what I usu­ally at­tract my­self; I wanted some­one I never would usu­ally ap­proach,” she says.

“I usu­ally go for the tradies, I don’t mean to, but I usu­ally find my­self go­ing for that bad boy im­age. That’s what I usu­ally at­tract but I don’t want it.”

With Ch­eryl’s phys­i­cal at­trac­tion to the “tradie” stereo­type – mus­cles, tat­toos and a work­ing man’s tan – she was du­bi­ous that a dif­fer­ent type of guy could catch her eye.

“I ini­tially knew I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have an at­trac­tion or a con­nec­tion (with my match) so I wanted to work on that and see if it could grow,” she says.

“I feel like at­trac­tion is the one thing that starts off a re­la­tion­ship, so I was wor­ried I wouldn’t be at­tracted to him.

“What if I wasn’t at­tracted to them – would I ever be at­tracted to them?”

The no­tion that her match wouldn’t find her at­trac­tive, how­ever, barely crossed the self-con­fi­dent sa­lon man­ager’s mind.

“I do get a lot of at­ten­tion from the op­po­site sex, so I don’t think I was wor­ried that they wouldn’t find me at­trac­tive. I’m def­i­nitely not ev­ery­one’s cup of tea but at the end of the day I’m con­fi­dent,” she says. “I feel like con­fi­dence is at­trac­tive.” So how does a woman with looks, con­fi­dence and a readi­ness to settle down get to the point of al­low­ing strangers to pick her life part­ner un­der the voyeuris­tic eye of a na­tional tele­vi­sion au­di­ence?

“I just feel like in this so­ci­ety it’s easy to avoid com­mit­ment or for re­la­tion­ships to end – it’s so con­ve­nient th­ese days to get at­ten­tion,” Ch­eryl says.

“Es­pe­cially with Tin­der ... if you have a fight with your boyfriend all you have to do is go on your phone and swipe and there’s some­one avail­able to you.

“They didn’t have that when my mum and dad got to­gether. They worked for a re­la­tion­ship and worked through their prob­lems. Th­ese days ev­ery­one just goes else­where to get what they want. It’s hard.”

Ch­eryl has been stung by a non­com­mit­tal dat­ing land­scape be­fore, la­belling Tin­der a “dis­as­ter,” af­ter in­ter­ac­tions with men who were in­ter­ested in one night rather than a life­time.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve tried ev­ery­thing, but I’ve tried Tin­der and that was a dis­as­ter,” she says.

“I think a lot of peo­ple just want to party and have fun and I don’t want that.

“I’ve been there, I’ve done that I want to settle down and have some­thing more se­ri­ous.

“I am a good judge of char­ac­ter straight away, so when I go on dates, es­pe­cially on the Gold Coast, I get a vibe.”

Film­ing is all wrapped up and, if the pre­vi­ous sea­sons are any­thing to go by, it won’t be in a neat lit­tle pack­age.

Tears, ar­gu­ments, vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties, break-ups and emo­tional fall­out are com­mon­place on Mar­ried at First Sight, but Ch­eryl, never watch­ing the show much, says she was un­aware of that.

“I didn’t re­li­giously watch it, I watched a cou­ple of episodes,” she says.

“I didn’t watch the end so I don’t know who stayed to­gether and who didn’t.

“It’s hard to say if it’s a good idea or if it’s not be­cause ev­ery­one wants dif­fer­ent things. I just put my trust in the ex­perts.”

Viewer back­lash has also been an is­sue for past Mar­ried at First Sight con­tes­tants, with sea­son three’s lo­cal ra­dio an­nouncer Bella Frizza say­ing on air that she un­der­stands how peo­ple can be­come sui­ci­dal af­ter suf­fer­ing on­line abuse. Ch­eryl isn’t wor­ried. “I know it’s go­ing to be bad, but I’m not go­ing to let it get to me,” she says.

“I don’t care what peo­ple who don’t know me have to say about me.

“It’s stupid to worry about some­thing that’s go­ing to hap­pen any­way, so I’ve just got to sur­round my­self with friends and fam­ily who know the real me.”

Al­though the out­come of her foray into tele­vised match­mak­ing won’t be pub­licly re­vealed un­til the sea­son fi­nale, Ch­eryl has one piece of ad­vice for oth­ers who might feel like giv­ing up on a happy and healthy re­la­tion­ship.

“Don’t settle just for any­thing. I def­i­nitely know my self-worth and I feel like peo­ple shouldn’t settle just to be com­fort­able or be­cause it’s easy.

“Know your worth.” Mar­ried at First Sight sea­son four pre­mieres Mon­day, Chan­nel 9.

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