MAFS: Is It Real?
Married At First Sight calls itself “Australia’s biggest social experiment”, and it is watched by over a million viewers per episode. It started off as a six-episode reality show where two couples would be matched by a team of “experts” and then “wed” the first time they meet in episode one. Viewers then follow the couples as they discover whether they can make their arranged marriage work.
Now, are they really married? Legally, no, because the Australian Marriage Act mandates couples notify the court one month and one day in advance before heading to the altar. So there isn’t actually any need to file for divorce should the couples decide to split after show.
Nonetheless, the show garnered loyal fans and has since gotten bolder and brasher. This year’s iteration of the show had 12 couples get married at the beginning of the show and try to stick it out over the course of 40 episodes. Couples would have to go to regular dinner parties with the rest of the cast, as well as attend weekly “commitment” ceremonies.
Being a reality show, MAFS isn’t supposed to be scripted, but tell-alls from ex-contestants have answered long-standing questions about just how much “reality” is in the show.
Is MAFS Scripted?
Former contestants Tracey Jewel (whose partner Dean quickly became season five’s villain) and Nasser Sultan spoke to WHO earlier this year to share 11 shocking truths about the show, including that it is indeed scripted.
“You get fed lines. It’s all scripted and all staged,” said Nasser. Meanwhile, Tracey said that producers “play with your emotions” by making stars “sit alone and think about everything for hours”.
For dinner party scenes, Tracey said they had to “rock up at noon and sit in a tent until 4pm on your own and you have all these emotions bubbling to the surface and seething before you walk in”. It’s no wonder that some of the show’s most intense arguments happened during dinner parties. Who can forget the time Martha dumped an entire glass of wine over Cyrell’s head?
On the commitment ceremonies, Nasser explained that if someone wanted to go but the producers were interested in keeping them, they’d “take you into a private room and convince you that you need to stay”.
In light of this information, it isn’t hard to understand the experts’ decision to let the scandalous Jess and Dan stay on board despite protestations from pretty much everyone.
Were The Houses Even Real?
Nope, even the filming locations were fake. That is, according to sleuthing fans who found Jess’ home listed on AirBnB. So where is Married At First Sight filmed? Tamara Joy, Dan’s initial wife, revealed that the houses they used in the homestays were various AirBnB rentals. Jess’ house is actually a 3-bedroom you can book yourself in Hillarys, Western Australia.
Are The Reality Stars Actually Paid Actors?
In March, the Daily Mail accused several contestants of being actors. Billy, as it turns out, was a model and an actor, while Tamara Joy lists herself on her StarNow profile as an “actor, extra, and model.” In a recent interview, Ines goes as far as saying that being on the show, “you may as well be contracted as an actor”.
However, a spokesperson for Endemol Shine Australia, the production outfit that produced MAFS, denied the allegations saying. Whether or not it’s true, we sure are getting sceptical!
How Does It Work Out For Couples After The Show?
Not very well. In fact, even during the show, not all the couples get on as they hoped they would. Former bride Simone Lee Brennan spilled the beans on her on-screen romance with Xavier. Off-screen, it was virtually non-existent. Simone dished it all out in her blog, where she said Xavier was more interested in the fame than the potential of finding a partner for life.
“It became clear as day when my TV husband took great pleasure in asking the sound crew, camera crew, producers and what-have-you about potential front-of-house sports presenting gigs”, wrote Simone. “Truth be told, he just wasn’t that into me, the experiment, or sharing his humble man cave with a random single girl. He didn’t want a bar of it.”
How Many Couples Are Still Together?
So who is still married as of today? As it turns out, only two other couples from the show have stayed together. First: Erin and Bryce from season two. The lovebirds even told New Idea about their future plans to get married and have kids. However, as of right now, they’d rather not rush things. Given how they breezed through the whole marriage thing the first time around, we can totally understand!
Jules and Cameron of season six also remained coupled up by the end of the show. Where are they now? The two are actually engaged and there are rumours circulating that the couple is expecting a baby! We’ll just have to wait and see if the couple reveal any more updates soon.
In the US version of the show, one couple already did have a baby together: Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner.
What’s Life After Married At First Sight Like?
It depends on the contestant, really. For someone like Dean Wells, who became a villain in his season, he’s had to deal with vitriol and scepticism from friends and family. Meanwhile, other more successful contestants like Jess Power (despite getting a villain arc as well in her season) and Ines have racked up thousands of followers online and have moved up to social media influencer status.
Married At First Sight has quickly become one of the most, if not the most, entertaining reality shows in Australia. With so much drama and scandal happening on the show, it’s easy to get sucked into the world of awkwardly arranged marriages and tumultuous dinner parties.
The show’s “reality” has been questioned a lot, and much has been said about what happened when the cameras were turned off.
Are the stars of Married At First Sight really married? Nope!
Is the show a hundred percent authentic? Not by a long shot.
But is it the most fun show out there? Definitely!