Everything you need to know about Married at First Sight (MAFS)

Married at First Sight
Image: Nine Network

Married at First Sight or also known as MAFS is a reality TV series in Australia. This is based on the same show that airs in different countries throughout the world, including the United States. In Australia, MAFS is aired on the Channel Nine.

What is the premise of MAFS?

MAFS is based on couples getting married, and trying to make their marriages work. Check out what MAFS is all about:

  • The show features couples looking for love.
  • They have never met before and are matched by experts who take into account their lifestyle, likes and dislikes and career.
  • Once they are matched, they are married – though they literally see each other for the first time at the altar.
  • Unlike other versions, there is no legally binding marriage because of legalities in Australia.
  • The couples spend their wedding night together before heading off on their honeymoons.
  • Once they return from the honeymoon, they are expected to live together for the length of the show.
  • They go through commitment ceremonies through the show, and choose whether to stay together or part ways based on their compatibility with the partners chosen for them.

Married at First Sight Season 1

Roni and Michael look to therapy: Married at First Sight Season 1
Roni and Michael look to therapy: Married at First Sight Season 1, Source: Channel 9

The first season of MAFS aired on 18th May 2015 on Channel 9. It featured 4 couples who were matched by a panel of experts.

  • The season started with two couples – Michael and Roni, and Claire and Lachlan.
  • The next episode featured the next two couples – Alex and Zoe, and James and Michelle.
  • The couples spent the rest of the season going through married life and met each other for the first time in the fourth episode of the season.
  • None of the couples are together from this season.

Married at First Sight Season 2

Mark and Christie found the distance hard.Source:Channel 9
Mark and Christie found the distance hard. Source: Channel 9

After the first episode of Season 1, Nine announced the show’s renewal for second season on 19th May 2015. The second season aired on 4th April 2016.

  • In the second season, four couples were matched together by the panel of experts.
  • The season started with two couples Christie and Mark, and Bryce and Erin.
  • The next episode featured the next two couples Simone and Xavier, and Jono and Clare.
  • All the couples embarked on married life during the services and met for the first time in the fifth episode of the season.
  • While all other couples have broken up, Erin and Bryce appear to still be together.

Married at First Sight Season 3

Mark and Monica Married at First Sight Season 3
Mark and Monica. Source: Channel 9

In February 2016, an announcement was made that MAFS would return for a third season.

  • The third season had a casting move and had five couples on the show with the first male couple.
  • Four men and women were matched together, along with two men – making up the five couples of the show.
  • The season started with two couples – Mark and Monica, and Keller and Nicole.
  • The next episode featured two couples Bella and Michael, and Dave and Jess.
  • The next episode featured Andy and Craig getting married.
  • The couples then experienced being married and met in the sixth episode (barring one couple).

Married at First Sight Season 4

Sean and Susan were “married” on MAFS
Sean and Susan were “married” on MAFS. Source: Channel 9

On 12th September 2016, an announcement was made that MAFS would come back for an extended fourth season with 10 couples.

  • 10 couples brought together by the panel of experts for the fourth season.
  • The season started with two couples – Susan and Sean, and Cheryl and Jonathan.
  • The next episode featured two couples Nadia and Anthony, and Scarlett and Michael.
  • The next episode featured two couples Vanessa and Andy, and Alene and Simon.
  • The next episode featured another two couples Deborah and John, and Lauren and Andrew.
  • The next episode featured the last two couples Sharon and Nick, and Jesse and Michelle.

Married at First Sight Season 5

MAFS
Melissa and John. Source: Channel 9

In February 2017, an announcement was made that the fifth season of MAFS would be renewed.

  • During the fifth season, 11 couples were matched together with their partners by the panel of experts who received multiple applications from across the country.
  • The season started with two couples who came together – Tracey and Dean, and Telv and Sarah.
  • In the next episode, two couples came together – Alycia and Mat, and Sean and Jo.
  • In the next episode, two couples were wed – Charlene and Patrick, and Ryan and Davina.
  • In the next episode, two couples got together – Melissa and John, and Troy and Ashley.
  • In the next episode, two couples got together – Carly and Justin, and Nasser and Gabrielle.
  • The final couple – Blair and Sean – got together and married in the next episode.
  • The season featured the couples getting to know each other, dinner parties and plenty of drama.

Married at First Sight Season 6

Cam and Jules’ wedding and reception | MAFS 2019

The first episode of season 6 aired on 28th January 2019. This season featured a few differences compared to previous seasons.

  • All couples got married in the same week
  • The met at different dinner parties and commitment ceremonies and could only leave the experiment if both chose to do so. If one partner decided to stay, the other had to stay for another week – until the next commitment ceremony.
  • The couples got a chance to spend time apart for girl’s night and boy’s night.
  • Two new couples (Dan and Tamara and Susanna and Billy) came together midway through the experiment.
  • The couples on the show were Jules and Cam, Dan and Tamara, Billy and Susanna, Michael and Martha, Jessika and Mick, Nick and Cyrelle, Melissa and Dino, Mark and Ning, Mike and Heidi, Samuel and Liz, Matt and Lauren, and Ines and Bronson.
  • Sam and Ines cheated on their partners Liz and Bronson with each other. But they ended up parting ways and leaving the experiment once the secret was out.
  • Jessika cheated on Mick with Dan and asked to re-join the experiment with him, which the experts allowed after deliberating with each other.
  • During the final vows, Cam proposed for real to Jules and she said yes. The couple continue to plan their legal wedding.
  • The sixth season had over 10,000 applications, which made it one of the most popular seasons yet. The show confirmed they were looking for all kinds of couples and were not just heterosexual in choice.

Married at First Sight Season 7

Married at First Sight Season 7
Source: Bigstock

What will bring episodes of season 7 in 2020? We are so excited to watch Married at First Sight Season 7 in 2020 on Chanel Nine.

Who is on The Panel Of Experts?

married at first sight experts
Experts Mel Schilling, Trisha Stratford and John Aiken.

The panel of experts for MAFS includes relationship experts Mel Schilling, John Aiken and Dr Trisha Stratford, a neuropsychotherapist.

John Aiken

John Aiken Married at First Sight
John Aiken appears as an expert on Married at First Sight. Source: Channel 9

John Aiken has been working as a relationship expert for over 20 years and has hosted numerous TV shows including Making Couples Happy. He has also appeared on the Today Show and A Current Affair as a relationship expert. John is also a best-selling author and has published several books. He is a highly sought-after speaker and runs relationship retreats.

Mel Schilling

Mel Schilling - an expert at Married at First Sigh
Mel Schilling – an expert at Married at First Sight. Source: Channel 9

Mel Schilling is a relationship and dating expert. She has worked with clients across all stages. She has been in the industry for over 20 years and has worked as both a personal and business coach across Australasia and the Middle East. Mel met her husband Gareth at 40, and went through IVF before having her daughter Maddie at the age of 42. She and her husband live in Bali, where they also got married.

Trisha Stratford

married at first sight Trisha Stratford
Trisha Stratford – an expert at Married at First Sight. Source: Channel 9

Trisha Stratford – as a clinical neuropsychotherapist, Dr Trisha specialises in relationships using neuroscience. Her goal is to help singles and couples understand how the brain impacts ability to find love. She works with different couples and individuals at her practice and also works in the fields of corporate learning and development focusing on areas like relationships and leadership. She has a strong background in corporate training, developmental psychology and executive coaching. She has also directed and produced over 20 documentaries and has written two books.

Despite their multiple qualifications, the experts have always maintained that they are not fortune tellers and it is up to the individual contestants to make things work after being matched.

Controversies Surrounding MAFS

Before the first season of MAFS even aired, there were nearly 15,000 signatures collected in an online petition calling for the show to be axed.

  • In the second season, Simone Lee Brennan claimed the show was not portrayed authentically and suggested that Xavier Forsberg (her partner) had been recruited as an actor and was not looking for a relationship.
  • In the fifth season, Dan and Davina cheated on their partners Tracey and Ryan, but continued to remain in the experiment after things turned sour between them.
  • In the sixth and possibly most controversial season till date, the panel of experts had to take into account a controversial request from Dan Webb and Jessika Power to stay in the experiment despite initially being paired up with different partners.

The show has been widely criticised for its non-binding marriages under Australian law and to comply with the Australian Marriage Act but continues to air because of its popularity with viewers.

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