Michael and Hayley's affair
While we never saw the duo actually cheat on their respective partners, Michael and Hayley's drunken hook up not only affected his marriage but became a massive storyline on this season of MAFS.
As we know, despite despising the lawyer from the get-go, Hayley has been forthright about their affair and owned up to her mistakes— even candidly admitting "It wasn't just one kiss, we went from chair to chair".
Meanwhile, the party boy businessman maintains he can't remember anything from that night thanks to one too many beers. But just when we thought he really was too lit to recall what happened on that fateful night, Stacey shockingly confirmed that he actually owned up!
"Well, because I am spilling the tea, he actually told me in the end when my 'rumour' came out that I cheated, that he did actually kiss her and he remembers," she said during an Instagram Live.
So why did he continuously deny their affair when the cameras were rolling? Hayley reckons Michael is embarrassed he "macked on with a bogan".
She also believes he's scared his actions could compromise inheriting his family's fortune.
"He's waiting for mummy and daddy's money and he's scared he's going to be kicked out of his family," she shockingly added. "He comes from an affluent family, he's hooked up with a bogan on the show. He's embarrassed."
Stacey and Mikey's affair
Whether or not Stacey and Mikey slept together has been a point of contention. Many of their MAFS co-stars are throwing their support behind the groom, with David Cannon recently claiming the scandal is exposed at the reunion and a nasty fight ensues.
According to David, it all kicks off after Mikey's ex-wife, Natasha Spencer, took it upon herself to stir the pot and expose the duo to the rest of the cast, eventually resulting in an ugly and out-of-control screaming match.
"Natasha stands up and she goes ‘ding ding ding’ on her glass," David told James Weir on news.com.au's podcast Not Here To Make Friends. “She goes, ‘Thank you everyone for coming, past and present’, blah blah blah. Then she goes to Stacey and goes, ‘And thank you Stacey for f**king my husband’. And that was round one.”
Naturally, Stacey explodes at Mikey however is left red-faced when he provides concrete evidence that seemingly proves they secretly slept together while filming the dating experiment.
"Mikey gets his phone out and there’s a lot of stuff that goes on," David said. "He pulls out receipts, pulls out messages, it was very contrived. Everything was very wishy washy. Still to this day... I like Mikey and I like Stacey as individuals, but I still don’t know who to believe.”
As we know, Mikey maintains he hooked up with Stacey after he parted ways with his television wife— and even said he plans to take a lie detector test to prove she's not so innocent after all.
“I can confirm we did have sex, but it was clearly after Natasha and I had agreed with producers that our relationship was over, and Natasha knew we weren’t together,” he also told News.com.au after the scandal made headlines. “I actually didn’t want this (story) out as it’s not the best way to end my time on the show, but it did happen.”
Meanwhile, Stacey insists she's not attracted to the 29-year-old and would never cheat on her partner, regardless of whether they remained faithful.
"Mikey looks like my son, there's no way," Stacey said in February. "He is not my type. What happened was I was in Adelaide when he hooked up with Hayley and no one told me what was going on and I was all alone.
She echoed a similar sentiment in a recent interview with New Idea, saying: "Nothing happened between Mikey Pembroke and I. No sexual relations. Nothing. I can guarantee that. And I can sit here and swear on anything. I understand where the rumours came from. We did share coffee and we did hang out. I swear that Mikey and I have never shared any sexual intimacy."
But what does husband Michael Goonan think about this whole situation? He says he's not sure who to believe anymore.
"I don’t know, I’m not going to speculate anything but imagine if that was true... Imagine a guy that’s literally getting been torn apart every single week for a kissing allegation, changing this whole life, running around and jumping over hoops for this girl, just image," he said while chatting to Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam & Browny. "I’ve changed everything, I’ve literally become a saint you know."
Jonethen and Connie's split and being forced by to remain in the experiment
We laughed and cried with Jonethen Musulin and Connie Crayden as the gorgeous bride tried to figure out whether her TV husband had feelings for her. Thankfully, after going back and forth, they finally decided to part ways amicably.
However, their friendship didn't last long! Just weeks after calling it quits, the FIFO worker ditched his ex-wife's birthday celebrations for a paid club promotion— Leaving Connie understandably furious.
"He was with Mikey, Ivan, Steve and Dave... I get it, these guys are celebrities, they're D grade celebrities," the fiery bride said. "They had this very important event to go through and they said after it was done they'd come and meet me for a drink. I thought, awesome, that'd mean the world to me. But after saying they'd come, they didn't even bother."
"I half expected it, but after everything we've been through together, I thought he could... Even David and Steve I was really shocked with as well. I thought they could take an hour after lapping up that D grade life to have a drink with a mate."
She continued: "They were too busy with their meet and greets and thinking they're really relevant and important."
While Jonethen's absence came as a shock to some, he boldly told New Idea that he had no choice but to stay in the experiment after MAFS producers tore up his contract and bribed him into sticking it out.
"I told producers that I was leaving and that there was nothing they could do about it," he shockingly admitted."They had already lost so many contestants so that’s when they said to me, 'What can we do to make you stay?'"
Sadly, Connie was also battling it out with MAFS showrunners, with an insider surprisingly telling the outlet she was pressured into writing "stay" during multiple commitment ceremonies.
"[Two producers] pulled Connie aside for over two hours and they made her rewrite what she had written on her card," the source dished.
"They stood over her and put pressure on her to write ‘stay’ instead of ‘leave’. Connie came out and she had been crying. It was a very harrowing situation for her and filming was delayed for 2.5 hours that night because of it all."
The marine biologist addressed these accusations three days later, saying: "At the end of the day, it's a TV show and there are storylines. Producers like to do whatever they can to execute that storyline."
Vanessa trying to partner swap with Michael
Although Vanessa leaked Hayley and Michael's affair to the press, Chris Nicholls says she also tried to shoot her shot with the entrepreneur— however he wasn't having a bar of it.
Taking to Instagram last week, Chris posted a screenshot of a direct message Vanessa had supposedly sent Michael during filming, asking him to call her so she could go over the logistics and how it'd score them more air time.
The DM read: Whats ur number... I dont trust talking on here."
Chris then tagged Michael and added the caption: "When ya wife tries a partner swap during the experiment!!"
Poppy's shock accusations against Nine Network
It's safe to say Poppy's time on the controversial experiment was fraught drama. After walking off set without providing what was deemed to be a reasonable explanation, the photographer blasted the network for allegedly covering up "terrifying" incident which directly involved her husband Luke.
"I was matched with someone who cheated on his wife, didn't live in the same state and wasn't dad of the year by any means," the bride said in a lengthy Facebook rant, calling Luke's character into question. "The experts never met him!!! He was fake on camera and a complete dick behind the scenes! It was infuriating.
"I was uncomfortable with all the things about this person I was matched with that didn't add up. But I was told, 'Poppy, on camera and off camera doesn't exist to the public,'" she said.
"I was so scared I was saying sh*t like, 'this could work' because they [producers] told me Australia was going to f***ing hate me. F**k, I'd probably hate me too! From what I heard that's all they play of me!"
After her shock takedown, Poppy's best friend confirmed she's taken legal action against the network.
"[Poppy] needs to have an understanding of what she can and can't say," Susie explained, adding she also sought legal support because she's been barred by MAFS producers from saying her piece. "It's all about the show, no one is really caring about how she is feeling. Something happened to her that made her feel uncomfortable, and everybody has just brushed it off like it's not important.
"She definitely told producers, and they just said, 'Poppy, you can't come forward with this as it's way too controversial for the show.' They've made her out like she's left him for no reason, and she just doesn't like him and misses her kids. This is not correct at all."
Josh blasts MAFS producers
Viewers turned on Josh Pihlak when he allowed his mother to berate Cathy Evans during homestays, despite promising he'd have her back if their get together turned south.
Copping backlash for the nasty treatment of his television bride along with his viscious Facebook spray, the tradie had no choice but to take to Instagram to defend himself.
In an emotional Instagram post, he opened up about his family receiving death threats, blaming MAFS showrunners for his "gaslighting" portrayal knowing full well speaking out against the network always comes with dire consequences.
"We are not meant to be using our social media and we're meant to keep it hush-hush, but sometimes it is better to speak out. I knew going into this that it'd be highly edited, I was sweet with that. But watching back last night, what transpired and what actually happened is an absolute joke."
"I have always put my hand up when I have done something wrong but what really transpired at that lunch yesterday was a crock of sh*t. My main concern is the hate to my mum and little brother... It's absolutely ridiculous."
Josh went on to urge fans of the unconventional dating series or those desperate to seek fame on a reality show to "seriously think" about the repercussions that inevitably come with appearing on our screens.
"I just can't stress enough to people who are thinking about trying out for this show... have a good hard think because when you sign that contract, any footage and audio can be spliced and cut up however they choose. It says in the fine print, 'you may or may not be received in a positive light' and me being naive, I thought, why not? It is so disappointing to see how they made that come across and how much they left out."
"I will cop the slack but it's not fair that my mum is copping it when it's not true. I was happy with getting a bad edit, but when it gets personal like that and everyone's receiving death threats, it's a joke."
Mishel slams Nine Network
In an explosive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mishel unleashed on the show that made her a household name, claiming she "didn't have any human rights" while filming last year.
"We were sleep-deprived, we had everything we owned taken from us, we were spoken to like pieces of sh*t," she told the outlet.
To make matters worse, the mum said the warehouse they used for filming was "teeming with cockroaches", the cast was "rarely fed" and she wasn't allowed water at the dinner parties. She even recalled being forced to wait for ice in her glass to melt so she could rehydrate.
Joining a long list of MAFS stars who have opened up about being forced to remain in the experiment, the police worker said the show's manipulative producers made her write "stay" during commitment ceremonies, despite wanting to leave her 52-year-old husband, Steve Burley.
"I was saying I want to go home, I don't think anything is going to happen with this person ever," Mishel said, referring to her relationship with the barbershop owner.
"But I was forced to stay. At one commitment ceremony production was held up for eight hours because I wouldn't write 'stay'. I was saying, 'no, I'm not going to,' so eight hours we were delayed."