Every year, Married at First Sight Australia grips the nation with brand new couples and brand new drama, but one thing that remains the same — the behind-the-scenes production.
In an exclusive interview with Megan Pustetto in episode 149 of the So Dramatic! podcast AFTERMAF(S) series, former 2021 bride Beck Zemek lifted the lid on what happens at the commitment ceremonies and dinner parties.
What Really Happens During a Married at First Australia Dinner Party
No doubt one of the most controversial and drama-filled episodes of MAFS are the infamous dinner parties.
And while couples seemingly have zero idea about what’s been going on, Beck revealed this is not the case!
“You need to remember going into the dinner parties, they’re pretending that they don’t know things that have happened,” Beck revealed.
“We all live on the same floor. We all talk to each other. We’re all sitting [together] ten minutes before we go into the pre-party whispering to each other, like, it’s not as if we have never seen each other and we don’t know what’s going on.” Que scusi?
Beck also revealed that the other couples can also see what’s unfolding during a commitment ceremony, so really, everyone knows errythang!
Do the Experts Watch the Dinner Parties Live?
In no surprise to anyone, the experts actually don’t watch the dinner parties live. Obviously, there would be waaay too much to focus on.
Instead, they are given “key moments and storyline bites” and record later.
“Then they will actually watch a little TV and react to certain things,” Beck said. “So, if they need more, I guess more information on something that’s going on in the storyline, they will then sit there and actually put the pieces together.”
The Commitment Ceremonies on MAFS Go For Hours
While we only get a condensed version, the former bride revealed that the cast begin filming the MAFS commitment ceremonies at 12.00pm.
“Sometimes they’ll drive us all the way to the warehouse to do arrivals and then we’ll do our breakout sessions afterwards, and they’ll drive everyone back to sky suites to do other shots in the room.
“It’s a long day. Literally, by the time you’re sitting there waiting for that couch, you don’t care anymore, you just want your bed.”
Each couple then sits on the couch for 40 minutes each and five to 10 per cent of that is shown! WUT?!
The Experts Have an Ear Piece During the Commitment Ceremony
Even though the experts have real degrees in their field, getting a story may not actually be something they can do on their own.
“When you are on the couch, you can actually be in the moment, like in the heat of a discussion and if something really relevant to the storyline gets said, the experts will actually cut you off,” Beck said.
This is because someone is in their earpieces and told them to! They will then go back and reiterate points or ask them to say something again and explore that.
“It’s only because that’s exactly what they need for the storyline,” she added, before saying: “The experts are the actors in the entire production.
“They’re leading the way,” she said. “They’re saying, what’s right and wrong and they’re like God on the show.”
In fact, the experts are also fed the storylines prior.
“You’d have to know what’s going on with each couple to be able to even sit there on the couch confidently and quiz people,” she said.
It Is a Huge Production BTS of a MAFS Dinner Party
During a MAFS dinner party, there is a room out there back with about “20 people” watching the screens. Some of them have the volume up and others are just muted. And this is where the storylines begin to unfold.
“[They’ll be] writing down next script things or things that they’re looking for,” Beck said. “It’s insanely cool how they do it.”
Like, would Al Perkins really go talk to Holly Greenstein — someone 10 years older than him — and give her relationship advice? We think not! That’s the producer’s input, you guys!
What Really Happens In the Cars on the Way to the Dinner Parties and Who Decides When and What Order Couples Arrive In?
“Everyone will have a car that will come and pick them up,” Beck said. “They need to make sure everyone’s going to get to the warehouse on time — traffic pending, all those things.
“What people don’t see is that aircon messes with your microphone, so you actually have to sit in the hot car and drive around until they get enough shots and answer some questions before you actually get to the warehouse.
Once they arrive at the warehouse, the contestants are ushered into separate tents.
“No one actually goes into the room until absolutely everyone is in a tent,” she said. “Tara [the executive producer] is very good at planning who will go from first to last.
“Sometimes you wait and wait like 20 to 30 minutes behind that door before you go in.”
During the 12th episode of MAFS, Holly made a spectacular entrance.
“Holly’s entrance could have been 12 seconds after the first person, but you just don’t see it that way,” Beck said. “They decide to show you what they want to show you at that kind of dinner party.”
Even Writing “Leave” or “Stay” Before the Commitment Ceremony Is Fake
“You have to write a fake leave or stay so they can get different angles,” Beck admitted about writing those pesky words.
“So, you literally fake write three times before you actually write what you’re going to write.”
In the case of Andrew Davis (a.k.a Bryce Ruthven 2.0), writing leave and crossing it out was actually a play by the producers.
According to Beck, they would have told him to change it to “stay” because they knew what Holly was going to write. MIND-BLOWN.
“And that would have literally just been a few conversations around how you’re [Andrew] going to be maybe portrayed or that you’re going to have to stay anyway.”
“The producers changed it for him and obviously, that’s why he walked out.”
The Couples Are Not Filmed the Entire Time During the Commitment Ceremonies
While some of the cast have epic facial expressions (see below), the contestants are not actually filmed for the entire time.
In fact, Beck admitted, that some of the cast even fall asleep and need to be nudged awake!
“They don’t have cameras on everyone at all times,” she explained. “So, they’ve got good six hours of everyone’s facial expressions. What they’ll do is, they’ll find those facial expressions in the six hours that they will use.”
“By half time, everyone’s falling asleep,” she added. “They’ll call everyone to the couch without actually doing the commitment ceremony part and then you actually don’t know what audio is going in after that.” Juicy!
What Do the Contestants Eat During a Commitment Ceremony?
As for feeding time at the MAFS zoo, contestants are given food to eat during filming, however, on the way home, the first stop was always Maccas!
“It’s good food,” she said of the production catering, before adding: “But at that time, you’re just like, ‘I’m so hungry.’ Give me anything you got!”
During Intimacy Week, Do the Contestants Actually Speak to Alessandra Rampolla?
This one was a question put in from our own team at So Dramatic! who thought that the editing made it look like expert Alessandra Rampolla had zero real interaction with the contestants during the zoom calls. But boy, were we wrong!
“You are speaking to Alessandra. This happens before filming starts,” Beck revealed. “You do a lot of pre-filming and she will ask a lot of different questions to everyone, well similar, but different questions. So they get a really good sneaky shot that they can put in front of intimacy week.”
Since Beck’s season was the first to have the Chilean goddess, they didn’t realise she was an actual expert until it was announced! LOL!
Want even more goss? Listen to AFTERMAF(S) episode 149 of the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto below!
Know something that we don’t? Spill the tea here!
Get the tea first! Follow So Dramatic! on Instagram and tune in on Mondays to get your reality tea fix with the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto.