Married at First Sight Australia 2021 has just finished airing in the UK and viewers have many thoughts about controversial groom Bryce Ruthven.
When the series was broadcast Down Under, fans were disgusted by the way the 30-year-old treated his TV wife Melissa Rawson.
Now, UK onlookers have also taken issue with the way Bryce repeatedly put down his partner, and other participants of the experiment.
Yes, Bryce and Melissa are currently one of the season’s few success stories. But while they are happily engaged to get married for real and have recently welcomed twin sons Levi and Tate, it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses for the pair.
Keep scrolling for the batsh*t behind-the-scenes details on Married at First Sight‘s Worst Groom Ever as voted by all Australians.
Bryce Ruthven Dumped His Fiancée To Go On Married at First Sight
In episode 51 of the So Dramatic! podcast, a source close to Bryce dished that he was still engaged to his partner of FIVE FREAKIN’ YEARS when he applied for MAFS.
“Bryce applied for Married At First Sight when he was still engaged to his partner, Lana [Bongioletti],” they revealed. “They had been engaged for over a year at this point and they had been together for five years.”
Laying out the timeline for host Megan Pustetto, the source said Bryce applied for the show in early 2020. However, he didn’t split with Lana until May 2020 when he moved to Canberra. The series then began filming in September.
Despite this, Bryce told TV WEEK that he and his ex split six months prior to filming — this suggests they broke up in March, which still feels a little too soon to be applying for a marriage show within the same month!
Another source rubbished Bryce’s claims that he had separated from Lana at the time of application, adding that he’s a “fame whore”.
“Bryce has applied for heaps of shows in the past,” they explained. “Most recently before MAFS, he applied for Holey Moley…and was rejected. Then he applied for MAFS, got on and broke up with her. He’s an attention-seeker who just wants to be famous. Wanker.”
A former colleague of Bryce’s also wrote into the podcast, telling Megan he boasted about going on Married at First Sight “even though he was still with a girl at the time”.
“And he was proud of it,” they added. “It was so bizarre.”
Bryce Ruthven Also Had A Secret Girlfriend While Filming Married at First Sight
As if dumping his fiancée for a TV show wasn’t enough of a dick move, Bryce allegedly also had a secret gal pal (see also: GIRLFRIEND) while filming the social experiment.
“They started dating her not long after Lana when he had already been accepted for MAFS,” they spilled.
What’s worse, is that he “convinced her that he was just doing the show to further his career and asked her to wait for him”.
The insider then said Courtney agreed to Bryce going on the show and Bryce “kept her on the sly the entire time”… before he dropped her right before finale week!
Bryce’s co-star Beck Zemek also told Melissa during a dinner party that he had confessed to her about his “girl on the outside”, to who he allegedly said he was going to send a gift.
Despite all of this, Bryce has denied the claims (of course) and Melissa believed him.
However, despite Bryce denying his girlfriend ever existed, So Dramatic! then found pictures of the pair taken at a wedding just a few days before Bryce went off to film MAFS and marry another woman.
Friends of Courtney’s told So Dramatic! at the time that she was scared to speak out because Bryce had warned her not to and if she did he would “ruin her life.”
When Bryce returned to Canberra after filming, his friends say he manipulated Courtney and demanded that she text Melissa to dispel the rumours they dated and he said he would lose his job if she didn’t!
He also said, he would leave Melissa and get back with her if she did this for him! But he didn’t… Bryce allegedly continued to “threaten” and “shame” Courtney after filming and has said he will “make her life hell” if she speaks out about him!
Bryce’s friend Jason Roses who appeared on MAFS, did a number of videos during the show, confirming that Bryce did have a secret girlfriend named Courtney on the outside.
Beck Zemek On Bryce Ruthven’s Forceful Kiss
After a heated argument resulted in Bryce dubbing Beck and her TV husband Jake Edwards the “king and queen of the experiment”, fans were shocked when he then leaned in to plant a forceful kiss on Beck’s cheek.
But while viewers were uncomfortable with what had unfolded, Beck revealed it was actually much worse than what was shown on TV!
“At this stage of the experiment, everyone had had enough of Bryce,” she revealed in a tell-all interview with So Dramatic!.
“It was not… the smart-ass kiss that actually traumatised me from this experience, it was him grabbing my arm and actually trying to pull me up.”
She then revealed production shut down as soon as the incident happened, but Bryce didn’t stop there.
“Even as I was walking up the stairs with some other producers, Bryce… started yelling absolute horrible things out to me,” Beck confessed.
Following the incident, contestants were put into lockdown, and phones were confiscated to avoid anyone contacting the police.
Bryce Ruthven Was Kicked Out Of Nightclub After Spitting On Security Guard
In April, footage emerged of Bryce being booted from Melbourne nightclub, Bond, following an altercation.
An onlooker sent the incident to So Dramatic!, claiming “Bryce and his group were a bunch of idiots”.
Earlier in the night, Bryce was pictured with Melissa and fellow grooms Jason Engler and James Susler.
Initially, it was suspected that the former radio host was denied entry to the venue. The source revealed, however, that he had definitely been into the club.
“I can tell you Bryce was not denied entry. He was 100% inside the venue,” they explained.
Bryce allegedly also “spit at a guard” after being “kicked out because of the fight”. According to the source, his posse “were the instigators”.
“He carried on outside of the club for an hour,” they concluded.
The Investigation Into Channel Nine Airing Footage Of Bryce Ruthven “Gaslighting” Melissa Rawson
Married at First Sight 2021 was the most complained-about season in the show’s history.
Many fans of the show took issue with the way Bryce was treating Melissa, dubbing his behaviour as “gaslighting” and “abusive”. In addition, viewers were concerned that Channel Nine was setting a bad example for people by giving his poor behaviour a platform.
After 50 complaints were made to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Nine’s decision to air “abusive” scenes became the focus of an investigation by the organisation.
However, in October, ACMA concluded that the episodes containing these scenes did not breach the Commercial Television Code of Practice.
The three episodes aired in March 2021, with two classified as PG and one classified M. When assessed by the ACMA, it was found that “no breach” had taken place.
ACMA’s Official Statement Regarding Nine Airing “Abusive” Behaviour
A spokesperson said “the content could be accommodated within the respective classifications”. They added that the adult theme in the M-rated broadcast was “handled with care, extensively critiqued and adequately contextualised.”
It is important to note that the media watchdog was not tasked with ruling whether the couple’s relationship was abusive. Nor whether Nine or production company Endemol Shine had failed in their duty of care towards certain participants.
It was only asked to assess whether the episodes complied with the requirements of the Commercial Television Code of Practice.
“The ACMA acknowledges the classification provisions in the code are not specifically designed to deal with some of the concerns raised by complainants.”
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