You’ve both been married before, does that make you wary about rushing into another marriage?
Johnny: Yes, you’re 100 per cent right. After my previous relationship, I was very cynical about another relationship. The MAFS experiment was very good for me because it forced me to break down my walls, learn to trust and let love back in again. It really helped me learn that is ok to fall in love again and to feel those extraordinary feelings. Because of that it opened me up to wanting to get married again.
Kerry: I agree with Johnny. Before the experiment I was a bit ‘been there, done that’ when it came to marriage but now because of the experiment, I’ve realised that, in wanting a family one day, for me, that means a tight solid unit and that for me means getting married again one day. So I guess we’re not as cynical as I thought we were.
It sounds like you’re both very family-oriented. Do you want kids?
Kerry: Yeah. My mum always told me ‘if you want to make God laugh talk about your plans out loud’. There’s no concrete timeline but one of the things we’ve really bonded over is, we both want to grab all the opportunities that come our way, we’re both really spontaneous so we both love to say yes to things. So don’t rule anything out!
Johnny: I think we’ll know when the time is right.
Have you met each other’s families?
Johnny: Yes. That was a really important thing for me coming out of the experiment. My family plays a massive role in my life. Kerry met my family the day we got home from the experiment and it was just before Christmas. It felt like a movie. We were sitting outside on my sister’s front lawn and my brother in law put up the Christmas lights and we had Christmas carols on and it was really nice seeing Kerry meet my family and how much they instantly loved her. It was like they’d known Kerry for years. It was really special.
Kerry: They were lovely and made me feel super comfortable. We have a lot of similarities with our families. We both come from super close knit, tight families and really similar core values. It was a deal breaker for both of us if we couldn’t bring our family’s kind of with us to our new relationship. My parents are a bit older and live in Adelaide so we’ve been doing a lot of FaceTiming. But they’re actually coming up to Brisbane this week and they’ll get to meet Johnny and his family in person for the first time. We’ve got a big family dinner organised for this Friday night.
Johnny: I have met Kerry’s family and spoken to them on Facetime but this is the first time I’ll have met them in person. I’m excited.
Kerry you talked a bit on the show about how you’re still close to your ex husband, has Johnny met him?
Kerry: Johnny hasn’t met my ex. Something I’ve talked about pretty openly is that the experiment was a really good circuit breaker for me. Before that, I didn’t really have any reason to cut him, or switch gears with my ex. He was a part of my life, we were amicable and so there was no reason to break away. Doing the experiment really broke the cycle for me. I wasn’t using him to fill any kind of void any more. For the first time I was in a really serious relationship with someone I cared about.There’s now been no need to reconnect in the way I was with my ex before. It’s very transactional now. It’s all totally amicable but there’s no need for that closeness any more. It’s changed.
You’ve both come out of marriages, why do you think your relationship works so well in comparison?
Johnny: It’s a tough one. For me, when I think about it, my past has now made sense of my present. When I think back, I feel like my past has created these beautiful stepping stones to who I am today. I don’t think I would be as open as I am to another serious relationship as I am if it wasn’t for my past. I can’t compare the relationships but I do think my past has lead me to the place I’m at now.
Kerry: I think the unique thing for us after both being in serious relationships in the past neither of us are in any hurry to marry again. We’ve both done it and now we’re here because it’s a choice. We’re both in a similar place. We’re both 30, we’ve come through our 20s and I’m very sure in who I am and in what I want and what I’m willing to accept. Knowing that I’ve got someone here now who seriously complements me and brings out the best in me is just the best. It’s everything I could’ve asked for.
Do you have any regrets about doing the show?
Kerry: No, none, only maybe that we said blue balls on TV. My mum wasn’t very happy with me for that one. The best thing about meeting on the experiment in that weird, TV environment was that we could really build something solid together in a couple of months when it would normally take years. There’s a lot of pressure on the show and it can be a warper, weird environment but what we could build in that time was pretty special.
What was it like watching your relationship blossom on the show?
Johnny: I think the most unique thing about doing reality TV is that you get to see yourself through the eyes of other people. Not many people get to experience that. For us it was truly unique.
Kerry: We always had to watch each episode twice though because the first time, Johnny was just watching himself. The second time around, I’d get the compliments. “Oh you looked nice then!’
Johnny: I was like a bird in front of a mirror. I’d be like ‘Oh my God, look at the big pimple.” And the camera really does add 5kgs!
What was your first thoughts when you first met each other at your TV wedding?
Johnny: I remember nearly collapsing. I looked up at the sky and was like ‘thank goodness.’ I was so glad that she at least looked vaguely normal. I felt that vibe straight away.
Kerry: I remember seeing his back first of all and thinking ‘oh wow, he’s broad!’ Then he turned around and he just had the kindest face and then I saw his brother smiling and I felt immediately felt like I was in safe hands.
How has the public responded to you?
Johnny: The amount of love we’ve received from the public has been absolutely amazing. The greatest compliment we’ve received is that our story has inspired people and given other hope. We’re super proud of our story and we made ourselves really vulnerable so it’s great to get that feedback from people, that they’ve responded positively to us.
Kerry: It’s been overwhelming.
How are you still in touch with from the experiment?
Kerry: I’m actually living with Georgia now. I’m having so much fun with her. Her family are so lovely and her friends have been really accepting and welcoming. I’ve got access to a whole new wardrobe now too.
Johnny: She’s wearing so much more pink now!
I guess you’re in a unique situation in that you can only know what it’s like to do a show like MAFS if you’ve done it..
Kerry: Yes, we bonded pretty much straight away. We went in at the same time as intruders and so we just clicked because we were always playing catch up and surviving together.
What are your plans now. Would you do another reality TV show?
Johnny: I’m the type of person who loves to flip homes. Before the experiment I was flipping and selling homes. I’ve just bought another project home but this time it’s exciting because it’s with Kerry. So being able to tap in to her flair for interior design, it’s an exciting time for us. We’re like a real life Block couple. In fact, I’d love for us to go on The Block!
Kerry: I’d so go on The Block!
That would be amazing. You’re starting up as house flippers together then?
Kerry: yes, It’s a fun little project. I’m excited. We’re having a really great time together and we’re excited for the future.
Would you do a show like I’m a Celeb?
Kerry: I don’t know, I can’t see myself eating bugs. We just survived one jungle, I don’t think we’re ready to jump back in to another.
What is he like to live with Kerry, is Johnny messy?
Kerry: He doesn’t cook, he’s never cooked for me once. He’s good at ordering Uber Eats!
Johnny: She cracked it with me the other day because I left my undies on the floor. I pick up every part of my clothing but the undies just keep falling out of the bundle.
Kerry: We had to live together in a shoebox in Sydney when we first got together on the show and he handled that so well because it often looked like a bomb site. I knew he was a keeper because he gave me all the wardrobe space and he stored his undies, when they weren’t on the floor, in the kitchen drawers and TV cabinets.