Married at First Sight Australia has had its fair share of scandal across its nine seasons and we’d be lying if we said we don’t absolutely LIVE for it.
While some of Married at First Sight‘s pairings have actually made us believe in true TV love (Jules Robinson and Cam Merchant, we are looking at you), others have been less than wholesome, to say the least.
Total strangers marrying each other on national TV leading to SERIOUS beef… Who would’ve thunk it?!
From petty Instagram spats to full-blown fistfights, plus a petition to boycott the show, MAFS is all about the drama both on and off-screen.
Given the sheer amount of controversy to have come from the show, it can be hard to keep up with all the juicy drama. So, join us as we take a trip down memory lane and revisit the biggest MAFS scandals of all time.
Dean Wells and Davina Rankin’s Cheating Scandal
Somehow, Married at First Sight Australia managed to avoid major controversy for its first few seasons.
The show’s clean streak was broken in 2018 by season five contestants Dean Wells and Davina Rankin.
Dean and Davina found themselves in a saucy cheating scandal after hooking up behind their expert-appointed partners’ backs.
Hidden out of sight from the other participants, Davina (now-infamously) told Dean “I feel like you and I like each other more than anyone else in that room.”
Speaking to Fitzy and Wippa on their eponymous radio show ahead of the MAFS reunion special, Dean opened up about the cheating scandal.
He expressed that the experts encouraged contestants to “be true” to themselves and their feelings.
“Well this is me being true,” he said, of his hook-up with Davina.
“I’m sorry I’m not really into Tracey, I have a more interesting vibe with Davina – let’s explore this on camera.”
Bronson Norrish Calls Ines Basic a C U Next Tuesday
Married at First Sight season six started with a bang – and a scandal!
In the very first commitment ceremony of the 2019 season, Bronson Norrish raised some eyebrows with an off-colour comment about his ‘wife’ Ines Basic.
After having known her for roughly a week, Bronson told the entire cast that his new wife was “acting like a c**t”.
His harsh language left everyone speechless, especially expert Mel Schilling, who was less than impressed with his use of the derogatory term.
Mel scolded Bronson, giving him a lesson in the weight behind the word.
However, it was NOT Bronson that viewers were angry with (or where the major MAFS scandal found its roots).
Fans of the show were, in fact, angry that Mel had opted to call out Bronson, but declined to address Ines’ behaviour.
The expert later defended herself in a post-show interview on Talking Married.
Mel reiterated: “That language is inappropriate in any setting towards any person. I’m going to call that out, whether it’s a man or woman.”
Martha Kalifatidis and Cyrell Paule’s Fued
#C*ntgate wasn’t the first Married at First Sight scandal of 2019.
That same season, the show was rocked by yet another controversy when brides Martha Kalifatidis and Cyrell Paule came close to blows.
The pair got into a verbal spat which escalated – fast!
A producer was forced to step in to diffuse the situation after Cyrell grabbed Martha by her dressing gown.
Martha then laughed as Cyrell walked off and so, in typical MAFS fashion, she smashed a fruit bowl upon her exit.
This wasn’t the end of their beef, either.
At the next dinner party Martha was still seething from their spat and told fellow bride Ines that she was going to “pour her drink on [Cyrell]”.
She followed through on her threats, tipping a glass of red over her rivals head. Naturally, total mayhem ensued.
Viewers were quick to condemn the brides’ petty actions, and the episode quickly became a feature in the MAFS scandal hall of fame.
Sam Ball and Ines Basic’s Cheating Scandal
Okay, so we totally forgot just how much drama there actually was during Married at First Sight 2019.
After a relatively drama-free run up until 2018, season six certainly made up for the previous lack of MAFS scandals.
After WEEKS of secret text messages and flirty meet-cutes, Ines hooked up with Sam Ball behind their respective partners’ backs.
Their “affair” caused great frustration amongst viewers. Many fans were furious that the experts didn’t step in and put a stop to it.
However, as we now know, the experts aren’t privy to the day-to-day happenings of the contestants’ lives. They (allegedly) had no knowledge of the blossoming affair.
Speaking to TV WEEK after the show had wrapped, Sam’s TV wife Elizabeth Sobinoff said the pair “belong with each other”.
“They would act sweet to my face and then tear me apart behind my back. I think they’re disgusting,” she added.
Bryce Ruthven: The Gaslighting Groom
We really can’t talk about MAFS scandals without mentioning Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson‘s controversial coupling.
During the show’s eighth season, drama clung to pair week to week.
The notorious P.I.G kicked off the season with a brutal dig at his bride during the honesty box.
When asked whether Mel was his usual type, Bryce shamelessly admitted: “I’ll be completely honest, not 100 per cent.
“I’ve always gone for the blonde hair, blue eyes, tan kinda girl. And usually tall. I can’t say 100 per cent I’d come up to you in a bar and buy you a drink. When I first saw you I thought, ‘Not my type’. But, I thought, she’s not … ugly?”
That pretty much set the tone for the pair’s relationship during the course of MAFS 2021.
He was later exposed for having a secret girlfriend and continuously gaslighted Mel into thinking she was imagining it (spoiler: she wasn’t).
If that wasn’t enough, on episode 51 of the So Dramatic! Podcast a source close to Bryce spilled to host Megan Pustetto that he had actually dumped his fiancé Lana [Bongioletti] to appear on the show.
His behaviour outraged fans to the point where a Change.org petition titled “Make the Nine network apologise for failing duty of care (Bryce and Melissa, MAFS)” was created.
Media watchdog ACMA eventually cleared the Nine Network of any responsibility.
Simon Blackburn Was Axed From MAFS Before the Season Began
Married at First Sight 2022 got off to a rocky (read; scandalous) start.
Season nine groom Simon Blackburn was axed from the show before it even began after vile videos posted to his TikTok account resurfaced.
Simon was identified as one of the 2022 MAFS grooms after being spotted in an early promo clip for the ninth series.
However, it wasn’t long before he was outed as a misogynist and homophobe.
In a series of videos, Simon can be seen degrading comments towards women and the LGBTIQA+ community.
“When unacceptable social media content was discovered in relation to Simon Blackburn we immediately took steps to remove him from the program. We won’t be making further comment,” a Channel Nine spokesperson told So Dramatic!.
Since the premiere of the 2022 season, Simon has continued to post derogatory TikToks aimed at his former “wife”Jessica Seracino as well as other brides from the show.
Olivia Frazer and Domenica Calarco’s Explosive Rivalry
MAFS 2022 brides Domenica Calarco and Olivia Frazer were embroiled in one of the most explosive rivalries the franchise had ever seen.
Okay, now for the biggest, ongoing scandal of Married at First Sight Australia 2022.
Things really (like, really) kicked off however when Olivia “called out” the feisty Italian for “calling out” Carolina’s treatment of Dion.
This was followed by a heated exchange at the couples retreat, which led to Domenica smashing a glass on the table in frustration.
Olivia, who “holds a grudge,” proceeded to stalk her rival online and discovered her OnlyFans account. She proceeded to save the image and distribute it around the group.
When she was called out by the experts for the (high-key illegal) act, Olivia divulged that she simply has “no empathy” and really couldn’t understand why Domenica was so upset.
This whole shamozzle was the two-for one scandal special that topped all other MAFS scandals.
Want even more Married at First Sight Australia goss? Listen to episode 165 of the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto below!
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