Married At First Sight

What really went down during Davina Rankin and Ryan Gallagher's history-making MAFS cheating scandal

While they weren't meant to be, Davina and Ryan's on-screen romance sure was entertaining!

By Alana Mazzoni
In recent years, Married At First Sight has become synonymous with cheating scandals. But cast your mind back to 2018 when the show's first ever infidelity saga made national headlines.
That's right, we're referring to Davina Rankin and her on-screen husband Ryan Gallagher.
The duo were paired together during season five of MAFS, before Davina went behind Ryan's back and orchestrated a sneaky partner swap with another groom, Dean Wells - earning her the infamous "villain" title.
Davina and Ryan were paired together in 2018 for the fifth season of MAFS. (Nine)
Davina and Dean, who at the time was paired up with single mum Tracey Jewel, snuck away from a dinner party to spend alone time together, unbeknownst to their on-screen partners or the other contestants.
"I want to kiss you so bad," Davina repeatedly told Dean in private, kicking off the explosive affair.
"There is that fire in the belly with Davina that I haven't had with Tracey," Dean then explained to the cameras.
After the episode aired, Ryan admitted he went into the experiment with his heart wide open, but it backfired on him.
"I feel like an idiot because I didn't know what was going on," he said.
Davina and Ryan were mismatched from the start. (Nine)
Dean and Davina agreed to leave their respective partners and requested to continue the experiment together, but it all fell apart when Dean got cold feet and back-pedalled.
He announced "the affair" at a shocking commitment ceremony, and promised renewed commitment to his bride, Tracey, leaving Davina exposed and utterly blindsided.
Despite trying to convince Ryan to stay in the experiment, Davina ultimately chose to walk away, much to Ryan's relief.
"Well, I figured I haven't put you through enough hell yet," she began, alluding to a "stay" decision. "You're going to hate me," she joked before saying, "I'm kidding! I'm leaving."
Davina struck up an on-screen "affair" with Dean Wells. (Nine)
Despite not being attracted to Ryan, the bikini model remarked, "You are the absolute life of the party and you make everyone's smile and it's definitely bittersweet to be leaving."
"Ryan is so loveable, I know he's going to have no trouble in the outside world finding himself his Sheila, his farm girl," she gushed.
While they were both involved, public sentiment immediately turned against Davina, which has been highlighted in her recent appearance on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!
"I think a lot of people remember me as the villain... I guess every show needs its villain. I was the most trolled person in Australia," the mother-of-one said in her intro to the jungle.
"It was a tough time, but, I mean, it has made me very resilient. If I can get through that, I think I can get through almost anything. I am truly ready for it."
When asked by campmate Beau Ryan how the "villain" portrayal had affected her, Davina revealed she didn't leave her house for months. (Ten)
On Monday night's episode, when asked by campmate Beau Ryan how the "villain" portrayal had affected her, Davina revealed she didn't leave her house for months.
"When it all came out and MAFS was airing, I didn't leave the house for three months," she tearfully said.
"I had all my friends and family at the wedding. They saw how it all went down and how he [Ryan] was, and when they watched the wedding on TV they were like: 'Wow!'
"There was so much stuff that went down at the wedding that made him look bad, but none of it got aired. It was just me and my bitchy bridesmaids."
Davina went on to say she's now in a "great place" in her life, after recently getting engaged and welcoming her daughter in 2019.
As I'm a Celeb fans would remember, Ryan also entered the jungle in early 2020, where he touched on their short-lived televised romance.
"We were on the honeymoon and we were intimate and stuff, it was all pretty flash," Ryan told his fellow celeb campmates, including his love interest at the time, Charlotte Crosby.
"As we're flying back from the honeymoon, as we were landing, she goes, 'You know when we get back we meet other people and you can hook up with anyone'.
"It was awkward, because you both have to hold 'leave' and she wrote 'stay'… because she wanted to be with Dean."
"I think a lot of people remember me as the villain," Davina said as she entered the jungle. (Nine)
The tradie explained he was left in an awful situation, forced to stay on the show, knowing Davina was not interested in him at all, and was instead fooling around with Dean.
"I've got to live with her for another week ... knowing she cheated on me. I had to take her to my parent's place. I've only introduced four girls to my family," he explained.
"I didn't tell mum and dad what happened. I knew they would treat her different, so I left it. But Davina apparently had other plans. She told my mum [about the affair]. She started crying and everything."
Even Dean weighed in on the drama after Ryan's comments on I'm A Celeb, slamming his former MAFS co-star and calling Ryan's comments "inappropriate".
"Ryan's a funny one. Him and I used to be friends and we don't really get along anymore. You know, he plays his role really well. Not many people from Married At First Sight really speak to Ryan anymore, including myself," Dean told 10 Daily at the time.
"The fact that he brought up stuff about Davina, who's just recently had a baby, you know I think it's a little bit inappropriate."
Davina and fiancé Jaxon Manue share one-year-old daughter Mila-Mae. (Instagram)
After Davina entered the jungle as an intruder on Wednesday night, Ryan, seeing his old flame appear on his screen, took to Instagram to address it.
"Yes, I am very aware that my ex-wife is on a TV show. I'm quite aware of it," he reassured his followers. "No, I don't wish her any bad at all," he continued.
"It's a shame it wasn't filmed in South Africa … where cheetahs are native," he joked, taking a not-so-subtle dig at Davina's on-screen infidelity.
But Davina has well and truly put her MAFS days behind her, and has since gotten engaged to partner fiance Jaxon Manuel, whom she shares one-year-old daughter Mila-Mae with.