‘Married at First Sight’ Chicago Podcasters Attract Series Creator Bergqvist to Their Show

We’ve all had dating woes. Some of us have had marriage woes. And almost all of us have taken pleasure at some point in the titillating TV turbulence that is Married at First Sight. A couple of Chicago-LA diehards took a chance on podcasting with the latest season of the U.S. show… and they soon found themselves locking eyes with an unexpected and highly coveted guest: the creator of Married at First Sight Lotte Bergqvist.

The podcasters are Chicago-LA talents Jamie Black and Sommer Austin and their show is called Mad and Finally Single, A Married At First Sight fan podcast with a very unique take. Each week, the two divorced comedians discuss each episode with a guest… who’s never seen the show.

“It’s fun to get people’s perspectives when they have no context,” Jamie shared with SCREEN.

They made an understandable exception for series creator Bergqvist, who has, of course, seen more than her fair share of the show, though she declares she hasn’t seen a lick of the current Nashville season.

So what did it mean to the two newbie podcasters to land such a spectacular guest? “Listen, I have no control and I was giggling like a little school girl,” Black shared with SCREEN in an exclusive interview. “It was so cool and such an honor for her to be on our little ole podcast!”

Chicago-LA talents Sommer Austin and Jamie Black are having a blast on their new MAFS podcast

The chat with Bergvist – who was joined on the episode by reality TV casting director Kim Clevenger – offered some surprising insight that will have MAFS fans spending some quality time with the new podcast. Bergvist gave Jamie and Sommer the scoop on how she started the phenomenon, declaring, “There’s nothing I hate more than dating shows. So to make a dating show work, that would be the best challenge for me. So that is basically how it started off.”

Bergvist continued, “I took it to my bosses…and they were like, ‘Oh, over our dead bodies are we gonna do something about arranged marriages!’ …When you get turned down like that, and you still believe in your idea, then you know that it’s a good idea.”

For the full interview with series creator Lotte Bergvist, you’ll have to click right here and say yes to Jamie and Sommer’s thoroughly entertaining chat with Lotte and Kim.

Why do Jamie and Sommer love the show so dearly? “I am fascinated by these people who put themselves out there to married a stranger and go through the process,” Jamie shared with SCREEN. “And watching them through the lens of my own failed marriage is therapeutic, validating, and sometimes just straight up entertaining!”

Austin agrees, adding, “I love this show because it is a love reality program with a huge heart, and that came across when I heard Lotte describe the impetus for creating the show. These couples have everything they could need to set them up for success, but, as in the case of some of my former relationships, human beings have the tendency to get in their own way on their journey toward finding meaningful, lasting love.”

What’s Next for Jamie and Sommer

Beyond the auspicious MAFS podcast success, 2023 is shaping up to be a busy year for Jamie and Sommer. Jamie is an award-winning writer and actor known for his solo show It’s My Penis and I’ll Cry If I Want To and up next, he is co-writer and producer of the feature film We Want Harold, centering on the iconic Chicago mayor, starring Oscar nom Eric Roberts and Miguel Nunez, Jr, currently in development. 

Sommer made her mark in Chicago teaching improv at the mecca that is Second City, thriving in the city’s standup comedy scene for over a decade, and co-founding The Agency Theater Collective. Sommer is currently traversing between LA and Chicago on the standup comedy circuit and serving as the manager of Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop in Chicago.

Sommer wrapped up our exclusive chat with the duo by declaring, “We are two divorced comedians who really believe in love, and love reality TV, especially MAFS! Jamie and I discovered that we both loved this show and now we get to watch it together to figure out where we both went wrong in our failed relationships.”

MAFS fans can click here to enjoy the Mad and Finally Single podcast and you can click here to catch up on the Nashville season of Married at First Sight.

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