Married At First Sight

Is Married At First Sight real or fake? Let's examine the evidence

How much reality is there in reality TV?

By Alex Lilly
Married At First Sight is arguably the most explosive show on Australian television with catfights, cheating scandals and wine-throwing galore.
But despite the premise of the show being about singles looking for the love of their life in the country's "biggest social experiment", fans often question whether the show is as genuine as it claims to be.
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Is it real or a whole lot of baloney? (Image: Nine Network)
First up, the marriages are not legally binding.
Despite the illusion that it's their big day, the couple's wedding ceremonies are all for show, as the Australian Marriage Act orders couples to notify the court one month and one day ahead of tying the knot.
"Each participant embarked on a commitment ceremony with a wedding celebrant with all due intention to commit fully to this union for the duration of the experiment," a Nine Network rep confirmed.
"At the end of the experiment, they are given the option to continue with the relationship or go their separate ways."
And seeing as many couples split after or even during the show, can you imagine the amount of paperwork Channel Nine would have to churn through?
Thank goodness these two weren't bound together in holy matrimony. (Image: Nine Network)
As for the contestants, they're real, although not all of them apply for the show.
Former MAFS grooms Jono Pitman and Ryan Gallagher were both headhunted for the series, the former of whom was hit-up at a Sunday footy game.
"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!" Jono told TV WEEK.
WATCH BELOW: Clare and Jono's honeymoon tantrum. Post continues after video...
However, there are rumours that producers hire a sprinkling of actors to help amp up the drama.
"... I wonder how many paid actors they've hired this year? I know most were actors in our season. I can't believe it hasn't come out yet," former groom Telv Williams wrote on Instagram when discussing the 2019 cast.
Some of last year's cast, including disaster couple Billy Vincent and Susie Bradley, along with Mike Gunner, Sam Ball and Dino Hira, were revealed to have backgrounds in acting, while Jessika Power and Melissa Lucarelli have modelling experience.
Dino and Jessika even appeared on an ad together before MAFS aired! (Image: Supplied)
As for the burning question about whether the show is scripted, past contestants have revealed that producers play a big part in what's said, and that participants are made to repeat their lines until the producers are happy with how it sounds.
"They're always fishing for one-liners," Jono explained.
"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."
And don't even get us started on the editing fails of last year that made us really doubt the validity of the whole show.
The different door numbers editing fail made people think Sam and Ines's affair was a ploy by producers. (Image: Nine Network)
2018 groom Nasser Sultan also confessed in an open letter to future contestants that even if you thought filming went well, it never turns out how you expect it, and that you can be easily painted as a villain.
"I was edited as a villain because I didn't want to sleep with my wife who happened to wear a wig. She didn't want to sleep with me either, but that magical edit made it seem like she was longing for little Nass to make a cameo," he wrote.
"They're clever... You're probably in the midst of being manipulated right now and have no idea."
"I was edited as a villain because I didn't want to sleep with my wife who happened to wear a wig," Nasser Sultan revealed. (Image: Nine Network)
The situations aren't the only things that are fake though - even the 'home visits' are a bit of a stretch.
Fans were left scratching their heads when bride Susie visited Billy's luxurious beach home. For a 28-year-old barista to own a home in Byron Bay, that's a stretch for sure.
Even former groom Dean Wells took to Instagram to voice his disbelief at the situation, writing: "No offence to Billy, but how does a 28-year-old barista live in a mansion in Byron?"
He even added a detail about his own season, saying: "The house for my home stay was an Airbnb, as at my real home I had a flatmate that didn't want to be filmed."
Dean Wells confessed that the house for his home stay was an Airbnb. (Image: Instagram @deanwells)
One former contestant even wrote a book about what goes on behind the scenes.
2018 star Sean Thomsen released his tell-all memoir Married Lies…Secrets Behind Reality TV that detailed his time on MAFS and said that the hardest thing about it was "having the expectations of getting treated a certain way."
"They can't really edit it badly if you go in there with the right intentions and then realising how manipulated and storyboarded the whole thing is," he told NW.
Wonder what will kick off this season!
Bring on the new season! (Images: Nine Network)

For more juicy Married At First Sight 2020 goss and scandals, check these links out below!