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Whatever Is Next For Married At First Sight (Australia)?

Updated on March 25, 2019
creativearts2009 profile image

Cecelia grew up in South Australia. During her work in Kindergartens, Cecelia also became interested in speech development as literacy.

MAFS promotional image from the official Facebook page.
MAFS promotional image from the official Facebook page.

Early Seasons Had The Novelty Factor

Married at First Sight (Australia) is billed as a controversial "social experiment", but it is all about drama. During the first few seasons, the producers thought people would tune in to see the shocking spectacle of people who were previously unknown to each other paired off in a fake “marriage”. And people did!

Fashion, Venues, Decorations and Voyeurism

The 2015 and 2016 seasons of the show delivered spectacle, because everybody loves a wedding.

  • A televised wedding is even better, with lavish spending on venues, dresses and flowers.
  • Then there is the curiosity factor: who are these people? And who are they matched with?
  • Will they like each other?
  • Will there be any chemistry and will they act upon it during the show?
  • What exotic luxury location will they be flown to on the honeymoon?


More Excitement Needed As Time Progressed

The following seasons tried unsuccessfully to introduce diversity. In Season 3, later in 2016 there was a same sex couple, Craig and Andy, who only lasted a few episodes. I cannot find a documented reference, but I think one of the partners said in interview that you could not expect two people to want a relationship simply because both were gay. (The same could be said of heterosexual couples – they will not necessarily click simply because one is a man and the other is a woman.)

With season three in 2017, the show began to play the numbers game. It began with 10 couples instead of the usual five or six, because one set of couples at least would be sure to give something to the audience. The show also had a lot more episodes. Most of the couples had little chemistry and my interest in the series flagged at this point.

Season Four Was Personality Driven

Season 4 in 2018 commenced with eleven couples, and one begins to wonder if it had become an advertising vehicle for wedding venues and travel destinations. I am not privy to the sponsorship deals to say – but blogs leaked the details of locations, for viewers to book their own functions if interested. (See my References below.)

A few of the couples dropped out early and remained unmemorable. A number of other couples developed strong television personas and gathered a following. Sarah was glamorous, Telv was lovable, Melissa and John were sweet, and everyone felt for Jo and Sean because of their clear incompatibility. Even a free holiday is not fun without an amiable companion.

2018 participants (graphic teaser from MAFS official Facebook page.)
2018 participants (graphic teaser from MAFS official Facebook page.)

Cheating And Wife Swapping Scandals

Dean Wells received the villain edit and the show played it’s trump card – the cheating scandal with Dean and Davina exchanging a few texts. Nothing happened, at least on screen, and Dean chose to stay with Tracey. Tracey ultimately trumped Dean in the villain stakes, having strung him along all show, made him do numerous penances and mouth multiple apologies, only to dump him at the vow renewal ceremony. And then turn up at the reunion with the husband of another contestant.

Carly was neglected by her match and Troy was repeatedly rejected by his screen wife. We longed for them to gather up their self-respect and walk out, although we weren’t so sure about them walking back in together later.

Overall the cheating was tacky and contrived – but viewers were hooked. Ratings soared and appetites were whet for the next season.

MAFS 2019 poster from the official Facebook page appears to show Martha and Sam who were actually matched with Michael and Elizabeth.
MAFS 2019 poster from the official Facebook page appears to show Martha and Sam who were actually matched with Michael and Elizabeth.

Season Six Tried To Encore Five's Cheating Scandal

Season six began in 2019 with everyone wondering what the production would do to top season five.

  • The first dramatic ploy was the cheating scandal. Ines and Sam showed a brief preference for each other over their on-screen matches. They exchanged texts, met for drinks and talked woodenly. The cameras teased viewers with an inconclusive hotel room scene. It all blew up pretty quickly and did not engender the interest that the previous season’s cheating scandal did.
  • So, either on purpose or by coincidence, the producers appear to have tried again with Jessika and Dan. Jess received the villain edit, while Dan got to appear slightly more honourable and hesitated about commencing an ‘affair’, finally suggesting they come clean and tell the group at commitment ceremony. Their matches were dismissed and they were granted permission to continue together.

Second Cheating Scandal For More Drama in 2019

So now we have a very few episodes left to see what will happen towards the end in the 2019 season.

Some of those people still watching are participating in a social media frenzy, and participants Jessika and Dan report that they are getting threats via social media. Viewer outrage is purportedly high, and the production is being accused of promoting adultery! (Maybe it is, but the adultery technically occurs when the participants are pressured into consummating the fake marriage; not when the fake marriage is dissolved.)

Remember, this show is all based on the premise that an on-screen ‘marriage’ with NO LEGAL PAPERWORK SIGNED and therefore NO LEGAL VALIDITY is worthy of being honoured with the title of matrimony.

It sounds like a lot of hyped up drama to me!

What Else Can Happen?

By now, the viewers and even much of the media are convinced that these matches are designed to cause trouble instead of work. Cyrelle was cast because she had a fiery temper. Ines perhaps for similar reasons. The ‘experts’ look silly mouthing relationship platitudes when everybody knows that is not what we are there for – we are watching the drama!

Oh except, Cam and Jules – against all odds and their own best efforts – the producers have managed to match two people who actually liked each other. They didn’t look so great at their wedding, but they appear very happy now.

2020 has been casting – I wonder what they could come up with for another year?


References

  • 2019 Wedding Venues and Outfits:

https://homes.nine.com.au/2019/01/29/13/18/married-at-first-sight-mafs-wedding-venues-2019#4

https://9now.nine.com.au/married-at-first-sight/mafs-wedding-venues-season-6/0c66e4e6-5d90-4ee0-9d86-4b00aa2aab41#19

  • 2018 Wedding Venues and Outfits:

https://homes.nine.com.au/2018/02/12/13/08/mafs-wedding-venues

  • 2018 - 2019 Honeymoon Destinations:

https://travel.nine.com.au/2019/01/31/17/30/mafs-married-at-first-sight-honeymoons-season-6

https://travel.nine.com.au/2018/02/01/19/24/honeymoon-destinations-and-hotels-of-mafs-season-five#3

  • General Information and Episodes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Married_at_First_Sight_(Australian_TV_series)

https://www.9now.com.au/married-at-first-sight

https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/reality-tv/married-at-first-sight/married-at-first-sight-dan-and-jess-have-received-death-threats/news-story/d4f6591f8264f4aca42b71fbd611cd4b

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cecelia

Comments

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    • creativearts2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cecelia 

      6 months ago from Australia

      Thank you for your fantastic input. Accusations of scripting have been made against the Married at First Sight (Australia) show. The show has responded it does not script and that hundreds of hours of script would be required to produce what the participants do spontaneously. Several contestants complain they were "pressured" by producers to exaggerate their activities however. (See: dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-6727045/Channel-Nine-says-scripted-MAFS.html).

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      6 months ago

      Maintaining a large audience so that the TV studio can charge top dollars for advertising/commercial slots is the goal of any TV show.

      That is the driving force for continuous tweaking of shows and oftentimes going over the top for dramatic purposes.

      So called "water cooler" moments whereby people tell their co-workers or friends what happened great word of mouth advertising.

      In the U.S. many "reality shows" are far from spontaneous.

      Producers and showrunners often set up conditions for the "entertainers" to bounce off one another.

      In the U.S. "The Bachelor" and "Real Housewives of...etc." are very popular. The smart people on the show have figured out if they are "over the top" and do or say outlandish things they will get more camera time and a shot at fame which they can monetize into an ongoing career after their stint on the show is completed.

      The fact that the "cast of characters" have to audition/interview with casting directors prior to getting on the show is proof the producers are not interested in "reality". They intentionally seek out the "meek one", the "hothead", the "manipulator" and the "good one" to give the audience someone root for, hate, or be shocked by.

      As the seasons come and go viewers recognize a pattern and gradually become less emotionally invested in the outcome.

      The reason being is they come to know "reality shows" are not reality!

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