the grill

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS - Pho­to­graph by Abi­gail Dougherty Words by Britt Mann

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.

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