Reality TV

MAFS’s Experts in crisis: What are they hiding?

Forget the participants, the professionals are bringing the drama.
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Married At First Sight sees a lot of wild dinner parties and cheating scandals among the brides and grooms. But it turns out there’s just as much drama behind the scenes as their is on-screen… and it’s all thanks to the experiment’s experts.    

WATCH: MAFS’ Bryce’s secret girlfriend is exposed

When they’re not matching couples, examining their behaviours and giving out love advice, the MAFS experts have plenty of going on that we’re not privy to. 

From their gripes with the show itself, the behaviour of the contestants, to their plans to quit the experiment entirely, here is all the behind the scenes goss surrounding the MAFS experts.  

We’re unpacking all the relationship, sex and dating woes of this season’s Married At First Sight stars in our juicy new podcast, Love In Reality. Listen, like and subscribe below!

Alessandra blindsided

Married at First Sight’s new sexologist, Alessandra Rampolla, wasn’t impressed when she unwittingly became the target of a groom’s wandering eye last week – and now insiders insist the ‘sexpert’ has been left “rocked” by the controversial show.

“Coming into this, Alessandra didn’t really have any idea about what she signed up for,” dishes an insider. “She didn’t understand how heavily edited the show is or that the participants hardly take the experts seriously.”

In fact, Alessandra, who replaced Dr Trisha Stratford, found herself constantly in shock by the “lack of respect some participants had”.

Certainly, things are said to have taken a turn for the worse when flirty groom James Susler confessed his romantic feelings for the Puerto Rican beauty.

“That was kind of a tipping point for her,” says the insider, who adds, “Most of this year’s cast got the impression she won’t be rushing to sign up for another season.”

MAFS Alessandra
Apparently new expert Alessandra is not too pleased with some of the contestants. (Credit: Channel Nine)

Mel set to quit!

Mel Schilling has served as one of the show’s experts for five years, guiding participants through the trials and tribulations of the controversial experiment – but now, New Idea hears that Season 8 could be her very last!

According to a network insider, psychologist Mel has spent the past 12 months quietly “exploring other options” at Nine, where she is currently pitching her own original dating show. She’s also eyeing up work opportunities over in the UK, which recently aired Season six of MAFS.

“Mel has a passion for relationships and helping people transform, but MAFS isn’t exactly pushing those buttons anymore,” dishes the source. “She is now looking at opportunities and projects where there is a stronger focus on personal development.”

Our source tells us that Mel is lining up other gigs. (Credit: Channel Nine)

According to the insider, while Mel has no grievances with the rating juggernaut, she has long desired to launch and produce something of her own.

“She has a very good relationship with the network and the producers, and has been pitching her ideas in meetings,” the insider reveals.

Interestingly, the insider also explains that Mel secretly hopes she will end up on the UK version of the hit show.

“She jumped at the chance to lead the panel of experts on the new supersized version of MAFS UK, and that’s her main priority right now,” says the source.

“She knows it has the potential to be ten times bigger than our Aussie version and would be watched by millions more people,” says the source, who adds that Mel understands she has “reached her peak on our small screens”.

“John was made for TV, and everyone jokes he’ll never leave and they’ll never let him leave,” our insider tells us. (Credit: Channel Nine)

John: One big act

It’s no secret the clever and cunning producers of Married at First Sight work hard to incite drama, scandal, and headline-grabbing moments that Australian audiences love.

However, New Idea’s insider says it’s not just the participants who oblige! According to insiders, relationship expert John Aiken is more than happy to support the show’s contentious on-screen antics.

“The experts are essentially producers’ puppets and have to act out scenes, occasionally wear earpieces, and do as they’re told,” explains the insider.

“John was made for TV, and everyone jokes he’ll never leave and they’ll never let him leave,” the source says, who insists he “makes great money, gets great exposure and he loves being a part of it all”.

MAFS Trish
Ex-expert Trisha has given a scathing recount of her time on MAFS. (Credit: Channel Nine)

Trisha hits back!

Despite once working as a war correspondent, MAFS proved to be too much for the show’s former relationship expert Dr Trisha Stratford, who quit the show last year.

The New Zealand-born clinical neuropsychotherapist recently gave a scathing recount of her time on the series, insisting she could no longer “compromise” her professional and personal standards.

“There were participants on the show who I felt shouldn’t have been there,” Trisha revealed, explaining producers didn’t listen to her pre-casting assessments.

“Big egos became the norm. We got participants who came on the show to boost their Instagram numbers. MAFS gives you permission to act out your shadow side, but there were no boundaries with those participants.”

For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!

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