Married At First Sight

EXCLUSIVE: Former MAFS star Aleks “feels sorry” for this year’s cast after shock Instagram ban leaves them without deals

Social media was all but banned for this season's explosive cast.

By Woman's Day team
The world is certainly your oyster when you sign up to marry someone who you've never met before on national television, especially if that program is "Married At First Sight*, the number one reality show in the country.
Except if you're a current cast member, that is.
Insiders tell Woman's Day the season eight stars have been dudded, with producers denying the wannabe influencers the chance to earn tens of thousands of dollars in sponsorships and endorsements this year by refusing to let them use their social media accounts.
Insiders tell Woman's Day that Channel Nine have placed a strict ban on social media sponsorships for contestants this year, making it hard for them to earn extra cash while appearing on the show. (Channel Nine)
"I feel sorry for them and if I were them, I'd be pretty pissed off," says Aleks Markovic, 28, who married Ivan Sarakula on last year's show.
"The contestants in my season milked their Instagram accounts, organising all sorts of deals with magazines, plus free [dental work] and clothing.
"It's a big thing to take away from someone and I can't help thinking this season's contestants are paying for it because my season messed up."
Our sources say that this season's brides and grooms are allowed to write captions on the photos that the Nine publicity machine tells them to post, but comments have been turned off and they are not allowed to see any direct messages – which is the main way sponsors and fans reach out.
Some are so desperate to make money and attract freebies that they're working with third parties to line up opportunities.
The former contestant says she "feels sorry" for this years' crop of MAFS stars, saying she felt like it was her year that "messed" it up for everyone else. (Instagram)
"Even media outlets are doing the wheeling and dealing on behalf of some contestants, because they have no voice this year," reveals one insider.
"I suppose it's a way of keeping them on-side." Adds Aleks, "It's a double-edged sword... You want all that stuff, but knowing what I know now, you're better off not seeing all the death threats and ugly messages that slide into your account.
"The hate is next level, and after my season finished, Nine had to pay for 10 sessions with a kinesiologist for me, because I was having real issues. Natasha [Spencer], too."
It's believed many of the women in particular are unhappy they can't communicate with fans and respond to collaboration requests, and are demanding they be given the opportunity to earn more – or else.
However, not everyone is angry. "It's good that we're not seeing our socials and can't initiate any posts," admits one participant, who can't be identified.
"Reading the negative stories about us in the media is bad enough.
"I'm happy that I don't have to read pages of hate from people who are sucked into believing what they see on their screens, is what actually happened."
Previous stars have taken advantage of Instagram sponsorships, with many stars commanding such as Elizabeth Sobinoff commanding to up to $2,500 per sponsored post on the social networking platform. (Instagram)

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