Reality TV

The real reason why the runaway groom Simon Flocco left MAFS

The drama is unravelling.
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Married At First Sight Australia 2024 has already proven to be a wild new season, with lots of exciting things in store. Fans are on the edge of their seats and we’re only one week into the season!

From MAFS’ oldest-ever participant to a same-sex couple, to a former MAFS groom’s younger brother, and now, a runaway groom… this season is bound to be an interesting one.

In Wednesday night’s episode we were introduced to groom Michael Felix as expert John Aiken was forced the fly out to Melbourne to inform him that his match, Simon Flocco, had decided to quit MAFS via email.

WATCH NOW: MAFS’ Evelyn Ellis on Getaway. Article continues after video.

John explained to the devastated groom that Simon’s decision was because of “the pressure” and “the unknown” of the experiment.

However, a show insider revealed to Yahoo Lifestyle that this wasn’t the full reason. 

“The day after filming the bucks party, show bosses called all the grooms in for a meeting whilst they were in Sydney,” they said.

“They spent hours going over their contracts which they’d all now signed, discussing in great detail the potential ramifications if they breach them and breaking down exactly what the next six months would be like, including press intrusion and people from their pasts speaking out.”

Simon was previously married and has a teenage son and therefore was already “having doubts” about how going on MAFS would impact his family. 

The aforementioned meeting is what caused him to quit as it “convinced him to go with his gut.”

Michael was left devastated. (Credit: Nine)

MAFS fans first became aware that there would be a runaway groom this season when the trailer was released in early January. 

“In all of our years of this experiment, this is unprecedented,” expert John Aiken is heard saying, as he steps out of his car and knocks on someone’s door.

“Everyone’s going to want to know about it,” another groom is heard whispering before a bride adds: “Did you hear one of the grooms… is gone.”

As this situation pans out in the trailer, the voiceover confirms the fact… “for the very first time, a groom does a runner.”

The sneak peek keep the identity of the groom private. (Credit: Nine)

The sneak peek did not reveal who the groom could be, however, the news had many MAFS fans putting on their investigative caps to figure out who the mystery groom could be. 

The rumours surrounding the drama suggested that the runaway groom was 39-year-old Simon Flocco which was later confirmed. The speculation was originally formulated around Flocco due to the low-resolution picture used for the cast list, which features high-res professional photos of the rest of the cast members. 

RELATED: Meet the brides and grooms of Married At First Sight 2024

A source spoke to Yahoo Lifestyle revealing that the producers used a picture Flocco that he had already sent in. 

“The picture of Simon is one he submitted to producers himself during pre-production to show them his suit,” the source said.

“Shortly after filming his backstory and the groom’s bucks party, he changed his mind about doing the show and quit.”

Simon’s photo used in the MAFS 2024 cast list. (Credit: Nine)

Simon also spoke to Daily Mailsharing that he initially tried to leave the show.

MAFS wasn’t what I thought I wanted at this point in my life, that’s all,” he said.

“I just felt bad for whoever they set me up with. I did initially leave, but they managed to coax me back… I gotta look out for myself.”

It has been reported by Yahoo Lifestyle that Flocco has been replaced by Stephen Stewart, a hairdresser from Perth.

Married At First Sight Australia airs Monday to Thursday, 7:30pm, and Sunday, 7pm, on Channel 9 and 9Now.

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