Matilda Rice and Art Green are the gold standard of reality TV couples. It’s been three years since Rice captured Green’s heart on the first season of The Bachelor NZ. The couple, now aged 27 and 30 respectively, are planning to get married next year. In the meantime, they’re social media stars, Auckland socialites, and at the forefront of Plate Up, a nationwide meal delivery service aimed at the similarly health-conscious. In addition, Rice has found herself back on reality TV. This time, she’s not a contestant but is a co-host of TVNZ’s Heartbreak Island.
It remains to be seen whether couples forged over six weeks in the Fijian rainy season will attain the success of the Green-Rice industrial complex. Rice has been repeating to would-be viewers they’ll have to wait and see. Her experience on New Zealand’s guiltiest primetime pleasure did allow her special insight into what the Heartbreak Island crew were facing, however – even if contestants were lumbering through hectic challenges rather than smouldering on romantic dates. “I could put myself in their shoes the entire time,” Rice says. As for the surrealness of finding love on screen? “I wonder if the amount of reality TV couples will grow so much, it just becomes the norm…”
Ahead of Heartbreak Island’s New Zealand premiere, Rice took our Sunday Grill.