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What happens to the MAFS cast once the cameras stop rolling?

We know Ashley Irvine has gone back to work as a flight attendant, but not everyone from the latest season of MAFS has been so lucky.

By: Holly Royce

Once the cameras stop rolling, the public mobbings come to an end and they cease to make headlines, what really happens to our favourite MAFS reality television stars?

A few continue to shine on thanks to glowing social media accounts and good publicists. The vast majority, however, are left to pick up their old lives and stuck with new reputations - like Dorothy going back to Kansas to work on the farm after Aunty Em (and viewers around the nation) saw her cheat on the Tin Man with the Scarecrow while she was living it up in Oz.

It's an emotional roller coaster we can't even begin to imagine.

We know Ashley Irvine has gone back to work as a flight attendant, but not everyone from the latest season of MAFS has been so lucky.

After her disastrous "marriage" to Sean, Jo McPharlin revealed she has "gone back to [her] sad little mum life."

"Because I wasn't going to be home for a while my mother said her grandkids come first in her life and quit her job to look after them while I was away," single mum Jo McPharlin told NW during an interview.

"We were all under the impression It'd be the whole experiment – not just a couple of weeks until someone does a runner. She sacrificed her job forever, she's 65 now, and she couldn't get it back."

When asked if the family will survive financially, Jo responded, "I'm not quite sure."

Similarly, both Davina and Dean have spoken about receiving death threats after their portrayal on the show.

Jono Pitman from Season One is another MAFS alumni who struggled with his transition back to reality after the show.

"I had two to three months where the anxiety was crazy. I never even knew what anxiety was until then. One day I woke up, and it just sort of hit me."

Jono admits that he suffered massively after a controversial match to "wife" Clare back in 2015. A vague social media post from Clare following the experiment led people to believe Jono emotionally & even physically abused his partner.

Eventually, Jono turned to a good friend and a psychologist for help. "I was lucky enough to have a mate who had been on reality TV before, who had been through a situation that put him in a sh*tload of hot water on that show."

"Then I saw a psychologist up in Brisbane for a while and he was an absolute legend, he really helped me out. From there, I learnt a lot from him and I've even used his tools to help other people."

Tully Smyth, a former Big Brother contestant, has been very public about the struggles reality TV stars face when they're transitioning back to their old lives, after having the best and more often, the worst of themselves broadcast to the entire country.

"I can't speak on behalf of other reality television programs however at Big Brother, apart from the initial chat with the psychologist immediately after you are evicted- there isn't a whole lot of help in that regard," Tully reveals in a blog post titled the "The Reality of Reality TV."

"One minute you are being pampered and cared for by everyone from executive producers of the show who can't stop telling you how fantastic you are, to chaperones who's one job in life for the next ten days is to look after your every whim."

"And then it all stops."

Tully goes on to suggest that you could indeed have your old job back, but not without the whispering and the looks, not to mention you're broke and are struggling to reconnect with your family and friends.

Cindy Nour, Clinical Psychologist at MindFrame Psychology in Sydney CBD, explains that being rejected publicly and having your worst moments exhibited on such a large scale would leave many of the contestants to question their self-worth- on top of being exposed to unsolicited comments from the viewers.

One of the most important things any of the contestants can do after they leave a reality TV show is "getting outside support to learn to deal with unwanted attention and invasions of privacy," explains Cindy.

Her advice to the MAFS stars just starting their shift would be to "stay under the radar for a little while until the hype passes."

"Resume a normal life as soon and as much as they can. Avoid reading about themselves on social media. Talk to someone about dealing with trolls and negative feedback. Think carefully about what they want to do with any media opportunities that come out of the show."

With many MAFS parents heading back to their lives, Cindy also believes the MAFS crew should take the time to sit down and talk to openly to their children and families.

Explain to them what happened on the show, be prepared to answer the same questions repeatedly "and help them understand the cleverness of editing."

It can be so easy to forget that these are real people, and while they may have understood broadly what they'd put themselves in for in theory - the reality of life on the other side of the camera would be unimaginably difficult.