As the nation prepares for another round of Married at First Sight, former participants Tracey Jewel and Nasser Sultan want to warn viewers not to be fooled.
In fact, the pair insist not all is as it seems...
From limited access to the experts to medical tests and being kept separated, the pair reveal to WHO just what really happens when the cameras stop rolling.
“They want the dinner parties to be as explosive as possible,” says Jewel. “You have to rock up at noon and sit in a tent until like 4pm on your own and you have all these emotions bubbling to the surface and seething before you walk in.”
“You sit in the ‘pig pen’ for about three hours and then at about 5pm they get you to write down your decision – whether you want to stay or go. If you want to leave but the producers want you to stay, they take you into a private room and convince you that you need to stay,” Sultan explains. “But if they want you to go, or if you don’t have a good story line, then you’ll go.”
Security on set
“Everyone is manned by a producer. You can’t talk to anyone so you have a lot of time to think about what you’re going to say once you’re on screen,” Jewel adds.
Couples kept separated
“That’s really hard when you’re having an argument with your partner and you don’t get the opportunity to resolve it. Psychologically, that’s hard,” Jewel says.
According to Sultan, each contestant must undergo a sexual health and a psychological test. “You go in and they test you to make sure you don’t have any diseases,” he explains. “They also make you sleep in the same shirt for a week and send it back in for pheromone testing. Then we meet with Trisha, who asks us to smell the shirts and tell us what we think or feel just by the scent.”
“I’ve actually spoken on the phone to one of this year’s contestants. He reached out to me because he is worried he will be portrayed as the new Dean. He’s worried that he’s going to be the most hated man and worried about the way he’s going to be edited,” Jewel says.
“There’s a lot of alcohol on set,” says Sultan. “And a lot of the men are big drinkers. Also, when you’re on set for hours you get bored, so everyone wants to drink.”
No expert interaction
Sultan is adamant the experts have very little to do with the contestants behind the scenes. “They come in, get their hair and makeup done and then they’re fed everything through their ear pieces. They don’t actually interact with us at all, only a hello in the hallways.”
“Producers don’t want us commenting anything negatively or revealing anything about the show, especially any behind-the- scenes stuff with the show,” Jewel explains. Sultan adds participants are only allowed to use their phones once filming is done for the day. “But even then they have control of our social-media accounts,” he adds.
“It’s 100 per cent manipulated because all you do is sit alone and think about everything for hours – they want to capture everything on camera. They really play with your emotions,” Jewel says. Sultan agrees: “You get fed lines. It’s all scripted and all staged.”
“We each have to send photos of our outfits to producers prior to the dinner parties and commitment ceremonies to make sure they like them and that they work on camera,” says Sultan.