What Is Married At First Sight?
Married at First Sight is a reality show that takes “love at first sight” to a whole new level. It brings together strangers from all over Australia, pairs them together, and gets them married immediately! It sounds absolutely crazy – making it the perfect reality show format.
The show started out in 2013 as Gift Ved Første Blik, which translates to “married at first sight” in Danish. Yes, MAFS is originally from Denmark! It has local versions in lots of different countries – Australia, USA, France, Germany, and even Israel!
How Does It Work?
MAFS brands itself as an “extreme social experiment” and we totally agree. Participants undergo a lengthy screening process that includes a personality test that will allow relationship experts to determine ideal matches. After that, the groom will meet his bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle!
Are They Really Married?
Participants on Married At First Sight aren’t really married – at least not legally. The Australia Marriage Act requires that a Notice of Intended Marriage to be given at least a month and a day before the actual ceremony, so an “instant” marriage isn’t actually possible. Divorce is as simple as just breaking up, no messy legalities needed!
After the initial wedding, cameras follow the “newlyweds” to their honeymoon. Throughout the show, couples go to dinner parties that everyone attends (this where drama gets amped up!), go on dates, and have commitment ceremonies where they either choose to keep going or call it quits.
MAFS: Is It Real Or Scripted?
The main selling point of a reality show is that it’s supposed to be showing, well, reality. But real life can get a little boring and mundane, so producers have to find ways to keep it interesting.
A constant source of drama is the dinner party. To amp it up, participants are kept on lockdown for hours before the party! This gives them plenty of time to mull over the crazy events prior and lets their emotions get higher and higher. And this pays off – fights break out, flirtationships flourish, and so on.
Technically, there is no script for MAFS. But with all the manipulation going on, it might as well be. Jono of Season Two claims that producers had him repeat his famous “she isn’t what I ordered” line over and over again until he said just the way they liked it.
Where Is Married At First Sight Filmed?
MAFS is filmed all over Australia, following the participants to their hometowns. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s their real houses – it’s been revealed that several MAFS stars have actually been staying in AirBnBs!
This was first discovered when fans raised an eyebrow at how 27-year-old admin assistant Jessika Power could possibly afford such a lavish home. Billy of Season Six, a barista, was also questioned about how he could afford a home in Byron Bay, one of Australia’s most expensive towns! It was later confirmed by other participants: Tamara Joy, Gabrielle, and Dean have admitted that their homes were actually rentals.
How Many Couples Are On MAFS?
When the show first started airing in Australia back in 2015, it was a far cry from what it is now: there were only four couples then, and there were only six episodes! MAFS pretty much maintained this steady number until Season 3 before deciding to scale up: Season 4 had 11 couples and 29 episodes!
The latest season took it even further with 13 couples and a whopping 41 episodes! That’s nearly seven times more than what they started with!
Life After Married At First Sight
What Happened To The Couples?
At the end of the season, couples choose whether they want to stay together or break up in a commitment ceremony. For the first three seasons, a good number do decide to stick it out and try to make it work in the real world. But with the numbers skyrocketing in the next seasons, the number of couples quitting also rose. Now, there are more couples who decide they wanted out of the relationship before the season even came to a close.
Who Is Still Married and Where Are They Now?
While plenty of couples end up parting ways even before the show ends, there are the few who do decide to stick it out even after the cameras are gone. Erin and Bryce of Season 2 are the perfect example: the lovebirds are already planning their real wedding and even their future family!
A wedding is also on the agenda for Season Six lovers Jules and Cameron! They got engaged for real on MAFS’s final commitment ceremony, and have thrown a grand engagement party in preparation for their wedding next year. Jules has hinted at their plans for a family, saying that she wants “to be pregnant this time next year”.
MAFS’s greatest success story so far is with Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner of the US version. The couple welcomed a daughter back in 2017, and this year announced that they are expecting another! Jamie and Doug are certainly still going strong.
A seventh season of Married At First Sight is in the works, set to be released in 2020. Whether they choose to keep going with how things are or feature an updated format remains to be seen. But no matter what, we’re quite sure that MAFS will keep a firm grip on its top ranking in reality shows.