It’s one of the most popular reality shows on TV, and while there’s no shortage of drama in front of the camera, there appears to be even more behind the scenes.
Past and present Married At First Sight stars have spoken out against the series, claiming they were ‘manipulated’ by the show’s producers.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, current participant Chris Nicholls said he felt like he was being ‘verbally beaten’.
Exposed: Married At First Sight stars have given a scathing insight into what goes on behind the scenes on the hit reality TV series. Pictured Vanessa Romito and Chris Nicholls
‘You are forced basically into saying what it is they want,’ he claimed.
‘If they don’t get that, they will ask another 10 different questions in other ways to get basically what they want and that is what they will roll with.’
A female contestant from this year’s series, who asked to remain anonymous, said producers had told her she was ‘boring’.
‘They told me I was boring and Australia wouldn’t want to watch me. So they told me to drum up the drama at the dinner parties,’ she told The Daily Telegraph.
Revealed: 2018 MAFS star Dean Wells (pictured) claimed he felt ‘trapped’ on the show
Meanwhile, 2018 MAFS star Dean Wells claimed he felt ‘trapped’ during his appearance on the show.
‘The producers would encourage you to say or do certain things and… the way things would be edited if you didn’t do what they wanted you to do. You feel trapped,’ he confessed to The Daily Telegraph.
He added: ‘You feel cornered and you have no power. You feel like you have to do everything they say or you will get in trouble.’
His truth: ‘… Our sole purpose as human beings on the show was to play into the stereotypical roles they’d assigned to us,’ said Sean Thomsen (pictured)
Sean Thomsen, who also appeared on the 2018 season of MAFS, even wrote a book about his experience on the show.
‘I realised that the producers… were treating us like their puppets, that there was never any intent of actually matching people up, that the commitment ceremonies were a lie, and that our sole purpose as human beings on the show was to play into the stereotypical roles they’d assigned to us,’ he wrote.
He added: ‘The participants have no input whatsoever. Every decision, every development is dictated by these manipulative producers.’
Harsh: ‘We were told regularly that if we didn’t do what they wanted, we would be edited to look bad,’ claimed Tracey Jewel (pictured)
Tracey Jewel, another 2018 participant, also claimed they were given stern directions by the show’s producers.
‘We were told regularly that if we didn’t do what they wanted, we would be edited to look bad,’ she claimed.
In an interview with Channel Seven’s Sunday Night last year, 2016 participant Clare Verrall predicted someone would eventually ‘die’ after appearing on the show.
‘I didn’t sign up to have my life completely ripped to shreds,’ said Clare Verrall (pictured)
‘I just wanted a love story and I thought this was the way it was going to happen. I didn’t sign up to have my life completely ripped to shreds,’ she said, as reported by News.com.au.
‘Someone is going to die. That someone was very nearly me.’
In a post on Instagram after her 2018 appearance on the show, Sarah Roza claimed the show’s stars needed more support.
Cry for help: In a post on Instagram after her 2018 appearance on the show, Sarah Roza (pictured) claimed the show’s stars needed more support
‘Honestly so much more needs to be done. There are no check-ins, no reimbursement, no care factor,’ she wrote, as reported by Punkee.
‘I’ve literally spent a very considerable amount of money getting help for myself post-MAFS.’
This year’s participant, Mikey Pembroke, said he was ‘convinced’ by producers to stay on the show, even though he decided he wanted off during the honeymoon.
‘I just kept saying, “I’ve had enough, I don’t like this, I don’t want to be part of this”, on the honeymoon and I told producers it wasn’t going to work,’ he told News.com.au.
Ultimatum: This year’s participant, Mikey Pembroke (pictured), said he was ‘convinced’ by producers to stay on the show, even though he decided he wanted off during the honeymoon
‘But they basically convinced me to try and make it work and give it a chance.’
In an open letter to last year’s contestants, 2018 participant Nasser Sultan said he was edited to look like a ‘villain’.
‘The producers will have the final say in how you come across and there’s nothing you can do about it,’ he wrote for Woman’s Day in January last year.
He added: ‘They’re clever… You’re probably in the midst of being manipulated right now and have no idea.’
‘The producers will have the final say in how you come across and there’s nothing you can do about it,’ Nasser Sultan (pictured) wrote for Woman’s Day in January last year