Married At First Sight

Is Married At First Sight fake?

MAFS’ Jono Pitman and John Robertson reveal what really goes on behind the scenes.

By Thomas Mitchell

The latest season of Married At First Sight has certainly been entertaining. From full-blown affairs to zero chemistry, the participants have given us all plenty to talk about over the past six weeks.

But just how much of MAFS was real, and how much was clever editing? Was it just plain scripted?

TV WEEK chats to former MAFS villain Jono Pitman, 30, and this year's groom John Robertson, 54, to get the scoop on what went on behind-the-scenes.

The experts Mel Schilling, Trisha Stratford and John Aiken.
The experts Mel Schilling, Trisha Stratford and John Aiken.

The experts hardly help

"The guy [psychologist] I spoke to during my season was awesome," Jono reveals.

"And he listened to what I had to say and what I was feeling. He helped me through some dark times and was the polar opposite of the relationship experts the show used."

Contestants and experts don’t mingle

According to Jono, the couples and relationship experts rarely talk.

"I spent at most half a day with John, one-on-one," he says.

Justin and Carly hoped their love was a hole-in-one.
Justin and Carly hoped their love was a hole-in-one.

Dates are timed

According to John, participants often want to stay longer on their dates, but they're restricted by time.

Cameras follow their every move

You can run, but you can't hide.

"They tried to constantly film me," Jono says. "If I didn't want to be on camera, I'd switch off my mic. They'd [the producers] tell me to turn it back on."

The dinner parties continue well into the night, with plenty of drink on offer.
The dinner parties continue well into the night, with plenty of drink on offer.

Drinks flow free

At the dreaded dinner parties, the drinks are endlessly flowing.

"You're full of booze," Jono recalls. "There are endless drinks available, and there's not much food on offer. But the esky was always full."

Filming goes for hours

Jono says filming the dinner parties can sometimes go into the early hours of the morning.

"They last for hours," he reveals. "Conversations get out of hand."

Footage is recycled

Sometimes old footage is reused.

"One time, the camera crew didn't want to film us getting up at 4am," John reveals. "So they used some old footage of me instead."

Davina and Dean's cheating scandal was pure TV gold, but was it too perfect?
Davina and Dean's cheating scandal was pure TV gold, but was it too perfect?

Drama is encouraged

This season, it was all about the D words – Dean, Davina and drama. But Jono says not all is as it seems.

"Dean and Davina would've been encouraged to go for it," he says. "I felt bad for them."

Revealing what happens behind the scenes, he adds: "They would've been encouraged by producers and producers would've helped set it up."

Scenes are scripted

According to Jono, the producers make participants repeat their lines until they're happy with how it sounds.

"They're always fishing for one-liners," he explains. "My famous line was, 'She wasn't what I ordered' when my partner, Clare, was walking down the aisle.

"They got me to say it a thousand different times."

Not all participants apply for the show

Future contestants needn't apply – Jono and this season's Ryan were both headhunted for the series.

"I was hit-up at a footy game on a Sunday," Jono says.

"I said no, but took the producer's card. Then they called me when I was at the pub and was convinced it was a good idea!"

Is Married At First Sight legal in Australia?

Are these expert-approved TV weddings actually real? Ultimately, it's all for the cameras.

Here's what you need to know about the legality of the Married At First Sight weddings.

read more from