Married At First Sight

MAFS expert Mel Schilling sets the record straight on producers' sneaky editing tactics

''Editing can't make you into a bad bloke, if you're not one.''

By Alana Mazzoni
Since its inception in 2015, Married At First Sight has been plagued by rumours that producers use clever editing tricks to create "villains" and dramatic storylines.
Now, MAFS expert Mel Schilling has weighed in on former contestants' claims that they were portrayed in a false light.
Speaking on Nova's Separate Bathrooms podcast, Mel said producers can't edit what contestants don't say.
Speaking on Nova's Separate Bathrooms podcast, Mel said producers can't edit what contestant's don't say. (Image: Nine)
"You hear a lot of people come off not just our show, but all reality shows really, and talk about not being happy with their edit," she said.
"And there's often a lot of debate about well, you know, editing can't make you into a bad bloke, if you're not one. Whatever comes out of your mouth is within your control and that sort of thing.
"But, there is a level of editing that is biased and is to create a story, this show has morphed into something that is so big and such an entertaining juggernaut that that's where the focus is."
Many MAFS viewers over the years have questioned just how genuine the experts' advice to the couples is. But Mel insists she and fellow experts John Aiken and Alessandra Rampolla play very different roles to the producers.
Mel insists she and fellow experts John Aiken and Alessandra Rampolla play very different roles to the producers. (Image: Nine)
"Our role is very much just focused in on those couples and what is right for them. The producers do their job, and we do ours. So, it's very separate," she said.
"I think there's often this misconception that we're the ones who are doing a lot of that behind-the-scenes stuff. We don't even see them for therapy, or any kind other counselling behind the scenes.
"There is another whole well-being team that do that from psychologists through to counsellors, doing all of that, you know, the welfare checks and everything day to day. So, we're very separate from all of that."
Mel admitted it's disappointing that so much footage from the commitment ceremonies never makes it to air.
"It's so frustrating, because those commitment ceremonies can last 10 hours or so. And so we can have two hours with one couple sometimes. And you might see, three or four minutes of that time," she said.
"It's so in-depth, there's so much back and forth and advice you really don't see us giving. As the editing process goes, what often makes it to air is the more colourful part of it... whether that's conflict or tears
"There's certainly always people in there who don't want to play ball with us. But we do play a really quite significant role in the room there. And it does last for hours and hours."
Mel, a professional dating and relationship expert, also cleared up rumours that she, John and Alessandra see footage of the contestants' drama before heading into the commitment ceremonies.
"I'm not saying we know nothing, let me be clear. I'm saying we do get an overview from producers. Absolutely. Just generally what's happening with each couple," she said.
Mel said she believes in the power of MAFS to match successful couples. (Image: Nine)
"But we don't see any footage. So we haven't seen anything play out, we haven't even seen the weddings. It is just that sort of topline idea of what's going on and the rest is up to us."
Despite having minor grievances, Mel said she ultimately believes MAFS is conducive to finding a life-long partner.
"I couldn't get up and go to work every day and do it if I didn't believe in it. That's just not in me," she said.
"I've definitely had my belief in it shaken over the years, but ultimately... I do believe in is the power of this experiment to create growth for people."