Seven seasons in, reality TV juggernaut Married At First Sight has been hit by one of its most critical issues.
Six of the 10 couples have left – or are threatening to quit – the most watched program on Australian TV.
"There's a lot of drama and turmoil behind the scenes," a show insider tells OK!.
"Producers are scrambling to both prop up the remaining couples and try to persuade the couples whose relationships are hanging by a thread to stay."
This week, MAFS fans have already seen tearful mum-of-two Poppy Jennings and her bewildered husband Luke Eglin leave the show before they'd even reached their second commitment ceremony.
"While the signs were there from the very beginning that Poppy wasn't coping, she wasn't expected to walk off so soon," the insider tells.
The reality bride has since blasted her ex in a Facebook rant, calling him "a complete dick".
That departure, combined with a number of fragile marriages including Mishel and Steve's, Michael and Stacey's, Amanda and Tash's, Hayley and David's, Natasha and Mikey's and Connie and Jonethen's, means that marriages could potentially fail before the hit series is at its halfway point.
"We've never known anything like it," the insider tells.
"Producers are seriously worried."
That some brides and grooms are doing little to conceal they're single publicly – while their marriages are still playing out on air – is also causing headaches for production.
Bride Tash Herz has been spotted kissing another woman at the beach, Hayley Vernon enjoyed a wild night out at a strip club with Jessika Power and Natasha Spencer has been spotted out in Sydney with an ex.
"It's chaos," the insider tells.
While MAFS still tops TV ratings, some fans are questioning whether it will ever really succeed in helping people find love.
"It's just all about the drama now," said one online.
With drama already threatening six couples, perhaps the show should be rechristened Divorced At First Sight…
With so many couples struggling on MAFS, producers made a last-minute decision to reach out to 2019 bride Lizzie Sobinoff.
Her marriage to Sam Ball famously faltered early on last year.
A new-look Lizzie didn't hesitate to marry a stranger once again.
"I'm back to get the love I deserve," she says – and help save the show that made her famous, too!
WATCH: See Lizz'es empowering speech in the MAFS 2019 finale. Post continues...
Natsha's secret past
While Natasha Spencer and Mikey Pembroke's relationship heated up this week (following the revelation they'd consumated their marriage), off screen, Natasha has shared with OK! she experienced domestic violence during a relationship in her early 20s.
"One ex was a really horrible person," Natasha, 26, says.
"He was physically and emotionally abusive."
The financial analyst says she managed to leave the relationship with 'great' support from her family, but admits it "took me a long time to get to a place where I felt happy again".
Thankfully, Natasha says she's "in a good place now and ready to find love with someone kind".
Our fingers are crossed for you!
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