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Tres Russell, 'Married At First Sight'

Last week, we spoke with Married At First Sight star Vanessa Nelson about the insane yet rewarding experience of marrying a perfect stranger on television, but when you’re paired with Tres Russell, it can’t be that bad. Tres may just be the biggest breakout star of FYI’s hit show. One of the youngest participants this season, he’s shed the “player” stereotype early on, proving that he is, in fact, ready for marriage.

Tres talks about his Married At First Sight experience with the woman he’s absolutely crazy about, and being flattered by the J. Cole comparisons. And yes, he does have brothers! Check out our exclusive with Tres below.

Global Grind: Married At First Sight looks like a beyond intense situation. What was the process like for you?

Tres Russell: The interview process was very intense. We had to do all kinds of surveys, there were a bunch of phone interviews, Dr. Joseph [Cilona] especially had a lot of 100 question interviews. I would stay up until like 5 a.m. for some of the interviews to get everything done… I knew that I wanted to make sure that I was fully upfront about everything, and any kind of deal breakers.

How did you feel the moment when you first stepped on the altar? What was going through your mind?

When I first stepped on the altar, that was the first time I actually got nervous. I was perfectly fine leading up to the ceremony. Just standing right there I was like, what did I get myself into? How do you agree to marry a complete stranger? It makes no sense. And then when she finally walked out from behind the curtain, it was a huge relief. It does help to be attracted to someone [laughs]. She looked stunning that day, so I knew that I could do this. And I knew that there was a lot more than just looks to it, and that’s why I was so interested just talking to her, and seeing why we got matched exactly.

Vanessa said what calmed her down was hearing you laughing with her family.

I wanted to make sure that everyone felt comfortable. No one knows who I am on her side of the family, so I wanted to make sure that I introduced myself to everyone and made sure that, hey, I promise I’m not a terrible person. I know you don’t know me at all, but I promise I’m not the worst person in the world [laughs]. She’ll be just fine.

One of my favorite moments of a wedding is when the groom sees their bride for the first time. What was your first thought when Vanessa walked down the aisle? 

I just felt like I was the luckiest person ever. Because I really just didn’t know what to expect as far as just like looks and everything. And when I saw her, I was just like, oh my gosh. She’s absolutely stunning. And I wished that I had known her for years so this was done the right way [laughs]. And that’s why the impromptu proposal…

When you stopped to propose officially I was like, I’m done! I love them!

It was funny how it happened, because I had thought about it maybe five minutes before we walked out. I felt like, I’m shorting her in this whole thing. But once I saw Vanessa I knew that yes, I need to do this, she needs to have this the right way. So I wanted to make sure I made her feel special and not skip out on the proposal part.

Everyone is team Tres and Vanessa, but some of the other couples aren’t gelling as well, and they’re getting a lot of flack for it. I saw that you defended the girls on Twitter. 

You have to realize that they were put in a very stressful and ridiculous situation. I look at Ashley, I think she’s probably the sweetest girl in the world, you could just tell that she’s so sweet and innocent, but she’s scared. I completely understand being scared. And David’s just this hopeless romantic, and wants this fairy tale ending, and I feel so bad that she’s not attracted to him, and so I feel terrible for them, but I don’t think that necessarily makes either one of them a bad person. So I hate when people say stuff negatively about them. Sam just speaks her mind. There’s nothing wrong with being honest. She’s blunt at times, and sometimes I’m like, c’mon, Sam, you didn’t have to say it that way [laughs]. I think that every single individual that was picked were great individuals, and you know it’s still to be seen what happens to each couple.

Girls in general are skeptical of getting serious with a guy who’s been dating a lot, or who’s out partying. Do you think that young guys are getting a bad rap for that in general?

Yeah, I definitely think so. Unfortunately, people view dating as this player thing, and it’s not. I was dating so much to try to find the right one. And how am I supposed to meet that person if I don’t date and get to know people? So, it’s not like I’m dating and hooking up with all these different people or anything, every single night or something. Dinner, going out, just doing different stuff. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to have the experts match me up, I realized, why would I pass up something like this? The way I saw it was, that out of 25,000 people, there’s no way I’m going to get matched. But if I do get matched, I get matched for a reason. And I have to give 100 percent at all times and just make sure that you don’t just shut down and let yourself walk away. You have to continue to just fight for it, no matter how hard it goes. I just put in the time and effort that you would if you were just dating.

That’s so brave and the returns have been incredible. I’ve heard people say you’re a young J. Cole. What do you think of the comparisons, and do you have a favorite song?

J. Cole is one of my favorite artists. And I’ve heard it for years now. When I finally saw J. Cole I was like, oh shoot, I can actually accept that comparison [laughs]. He actually does look pretty similar to me! He’s an amazing artist. And, he’s a great person. That’s what I like about him so much. I like his freestyles because he’s talking about empowering youth, and doing the right thing. He’s such a great role model. So I have no problem at all taking comparisons to J. Cole [laughs]. I would hope that one day I’d be so lucky to have the impact that he’s had on people.

And the second thing, everyone wants to know if you have any brothers!

Yes, I have brothers [laughs]. Well, I have a young brother, he’s 21. And then I have another younger brother. But one’s in middle school [laughs], so I don’t know they’re ready necessarily. But I have a lot of great friends and cousins. My cousin Tony, who was in wedding party, he’s pretty much my brother. So I have eligible bachelors out there if people need anybody [laughs].

I feel like that could be the spinoff!

Right, I could just hook them up with people. I have great single friends, so I can help people out with that [laughs].

Your infamous taco salad… what are the ingredients?

The taco salad, which has been taken way bigger than I ever expected [laughs]. The ingredients are pretty simple honestly, but it’s so good! It makes no sense how good it is. Doritos of course, I believe nacho cheese is the best way to make it, and then seasoned beef, and I use hot salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, sour cream and shredded cheese, the Mexican cheese, three blend cheese. It’s always my cheat day, it’s totally amazing. Hopefully #TacoSaladTuesday lives on for awhile.

Catch Married At First Sight Tuesdays at 9pm, on FYI. 


Tres Russell, Half Of Adorable “Married At First Sight” Duo, On J. Cole Comparisons & Being Misunderstood  was originally published on