EXCLUSIVE: Olivia Frazer claims MAFS intentionally mismatches couples

“Loud and clear: MAFS does not want successful couples. They just want drama.”
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For years, fans have wondered if some couples are set up to fail on Married At First Sight – now, Olivia Frazer has weighed in with bombshell claims.

After seeing so many romances crash and burn despite being matched by a panel of experts, a theory has emerged that some couples are mismatched on purpose for the drama.

WATCH: Season nine’s Married at First Sight walkout

Think Melissa Lucarelli and Dino Hira, Sam Ball and Elizabeth Sobinoff, Carolina Santos and Dion Giannarelli – each season it seems that one or more couples are doomed from the start.

So are some MAFS contestants really paired with the wrong partner to make good TV?

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As season nine bride Olivia Frazer tells WHO exclusively, “Loud and clear: MAFS does not want successful couples. They just want drama.”

She claims couples are often mismatched on purpose and says producers hold the real power when it comes to pairing brides and grooms, and only “consult” with the experts.

Olivia has spilled on the theory that MAFS couples are mismatched on purpose. (Credit: Nine)

“This has never been confirmed directly to me, I overheard producers talking about it on set. I believe that people are mismatched to create drama,” she alleges.

Alessandra Rampolla and Mel Schilling denied such claims in early 2022, telling Now To Love that matches are decided by all three experts, with some producer “collaboration”.

“We will have a say and we bring all that information together and we make a decision on the whole,” Mel said.

“You’ve got the three of us bringing in our own assessments and our own specialities but then we have the producers involved as well in terms of what’s going to work for the experiment.”

The MAFS experts insist they work hard to match contestants appropriately. (Credit: Nine)

Alessandra added: “We certainly discuss, talk about pros and cons. I think it’s rare when everybody 100 per cent [agrees]. But it’s certainly a consensus.”

But fans have noticed that the experts seem to mess up with at least one couple every season, producing “outrageous mismatches” that stir up TV drama.

Just look at Carolina Santos and Dion Giannarelli, who Olivia says “have nothing in common other than both liking designer labels”.

RELATED: MAFS’ Dion Giannarelli debuts his new romance

“I believe they’re a good example of [producers thinking] ‘let’s match these two spicy characters to create drama,’” Olivia claims, adding she and Carolina spoke regularly about how odd the match was during filming.

WATCH: Carolina admits she could have been nicer to Dion on MAFS

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Other MAFS alums felt the same way, season six contestant Melissa telling Grazia in 2021 of her match with Dino: “from looks, personality, values – nothing aligned.”

The pair realised they were the “joke couple” after seeing how perfectly the rest of the cast were coupled, a discovery which left Melissa struggling emotionally.

“I was just so upset because they say 10,000 people apply. And what you’re telling me is that there is nobody [I could be matched with]? It’s kind of depressing,” she confessed.

It’s a trend that appears to have continued into the show’s ninth season, with Olivia claiming: “A lot of cast members felt this way.”

Melissa was left battling feelings of “depression” after being poorly matched with Dino. (Credit: Nine)

She continues: “Most couples asked the experts at Commitment Ceremonies ‘Why are we matched? What made you put us together?’ at least once. The answer was always a brush off – no one ever got a clear response.”

Earlier this year experts Mel, John and Alessandra insisted that any mismatches are simply the result of the experiment’s “unpredictable nature”.

“There are times where we have such high hopes for a couple and then we just watch them break down before our very eyes,” Mel told Yahoo!

And MAFS executive producer Peter Walsh told news.com.au in 2019 that it’s “not in our interest” to create bad matches, as it could theoretically prompt the entire cast to leave during filming.

Olivia and Jackson were lucky to be put in a more appropriate pairing. (Credit: Nine)

“We can’t afford to have everyone drop out … it’s not in our interest to match people for drama. Because they could just drop out and then we have no show,” he said.

Some however would rebuke this by suggesting couples have plenty of reasons to stay on the show: media exposure and social media growth to name a few.

Just look at Olivia and Jackson Lonie; they appeared to be a perfect match and remain one of the only season nine couples who have made their romance work in the real world.

RELATED: MAFS’ Olivia Frazer and Jackson Lonie speak together on cheating scandal

But Olivia says that’s all part of the formula, explaining: “They have to seriously match at least one couple to entice others to apply for the show the next year.

“I applied hoping for the Jules [Robinson] and Cam [Merchant] fairy-tale. There needs to be somewhat of a love story in every season.”

WATCH: Cam and Jules first meet on Married At First Sight 2019

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According to her, couples are paired based on what will make good TV, whether that’s the perfect love story or an explosive failure – and “the truth doesn’t get in the way of a good MAFS storyline”.

“It’s all about the ratings baby,” she alleges. “And if the couples don’t fight, they’ll edit them to fight.”

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She claims she and Jackson were the victim of this TV editing, with scenes manipulated to make the couple appear to argue during home stays and at their final date.

“At our final date the producers wouldn’t let us wrap until they got Jackson to question how I’d handle fighting with his friends (unbeknownst to us that was a storyline they were running with),” she alleges.

Olivia claims even the successful couples like she and Jackson were edited to make their relationships appear more tumultuous. (Credit: Nine)

“Even his final vows – they wrote some really mean digs at me into his palm cards without his permission.”

Olivia insists that there will always be a few great matches on the show, as well as a few “outrageous mismatches” to keep the winning reality TV formula going.

WHO has reached out to Nine for comment.

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