ENTERTAINMENT

Mark Philippoussis once starred in a wild Bachelor-esque reality show

DOES. AGE. MATTER?
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SAS Australia is not Mark Philippoussis’s first reality TV rodeo.

WATCH BELOW: SAS Australia’s Koby Abberton grills Mark Philippoussis about his salary

In case you missed it, the former tennis champ starred in the only ever season of Age of Love in 2007, a dating show that hoped to answer the age-old question: does age matter?

Although almost any trace of the series has disappeared, an ancient trailer still exists on YouTube that explains the basic premise: women in their forties and women in their twenties would compete for Mark’s heart in the hope of answering that question in the cringiest way possible.

The groups of women were split into their “old” and “young” age groups, and respectively named the “kittens” and the “cougars”, in a move that would not fly post-2008.

Watch the trailer below:

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Mark found himself at the centre of all this, and, although he was reportedly shocked once he found out that the women would be referred to as “kittens” and “cougars”, decided to go ahead anyway.

He was 30 at the time, leaving him in the apparent ideal centre to figure out if age mattered.

His youngest contestant, Megan Klehr, was 21, and his eldest, Jennifer Braff, was 48. Both women became finalists.

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Mark with his eldest contestant, Jennifer Braff. (Credit: Getty)

Six kittens and seven cougars competed across eight episodes, until Mark whittled them down to a final three, who were to be flown to Melbourne to meet his family.

In the end, it came down to Amanda Salinas, who was 25, and Jennifer, when his third finalist, Megan, was too terrified of flying to attend the pseudo-hometown date.

He chose Amanda at the very end, claiming it “wouldn’t work out” with Jen.

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Mark with his winner, Amanda Salinas. (Credit: Getty)

The pair dated for a whopping five months, and with a success rate like that, we’re not surprised we haven’t heard of Age of Love since.

Amanda popped back up to share some brutal goss in 2009, when Mark was in the news facing serious financial troubles.

“He just didn’t think things through [financially]. He seemed pretty sheltered, but I guess that’s from turning pro so young,” she told the Herald Sun.

“He was supposed to be training but he didn’t train a day that I knew him. He seemed aloof. I just called and left a message saying… please don’t contact me anymore.”

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Mark in SAS Australia. (Credit: Channel Seven)

These days, Mark is married to the Romanian-born model Silvana Lovin, and the pair have two kids together.

He spoke about his financial struggles on SAS Australia, revealing that he had suffered financially because he felt saving would be a sign of weakness.

“I got into a tough situation with injuries where everything stopped. When you’re an athlete, the last thing you want to think about – they always say ‘save for a rainy day, save for a rainy day’, and you’re weak if you feel like you might get injured and you have to have something to backup to – that’s a sign of weakness,” he revealed.

Constant injury and surgeries on his knee meant he couldn’t play and earn money for his family, which he referred to on the show as his greatest shame.

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