reality tv

Three months ago, we were laughing at these women on TV. Then the cameras stopped rolling.

Three months ago, we were laughing at the women on Married At First Sight for entertainment.

Every weeknight for what felt like months – there were 41 episodes – we watched the likes of Elizabeth, Ines and Jessika throw drinks and insults at each other across the dinner party table, and we chuckled.

The behaviour from most, if not all, the reality TV dating show’s contestants was laughable. To watch men and women flirt, bicker, backstab and lie on national TV was amusing because it’s hard to believe anyone could actually behave that way. Let alone grown adults, who are being broadcast across the country.

Side note – Mamamia’s The Quicky podcast went inside the cat fight culture of reality TV in the episode below. Post continues after audio.

If there’s anything we know about reality TV, especially reality TV shows centred around finding love, it’s that a lot of it isn’t… real. Situations are set up using a handy cocktail of manipulation and alcohol to achieve the most dramatic results for us, the viewers.

But what about once the show has finished? When there’s no more wine and everyone’s gone home?

For some, life after reality TV isn’t so funny anymore. Here’s how three of the women whose antics entertained us most are going now, based on their online activity and the celebrity news cycle.

Elizabeth Sobinoff.

 

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A post shared by Elizabeth Sobinoff (@lizalizzieelizabeth) on

After being fake married to Sam Ball, who then cheated on her with fellow contestant Ines Basic, Elizabeth Sobinoff left the show without having found love.

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While the show aired, there was a lot of scrutiny about her appearance, both from her ‘partner’ Sam, who routinely commented about her weight, and the public.

By all accounts, Lizzie has returned to her normal life, and is back working as the store manager of jewellery store Zamel’s.

This week, Lizzie appeared on Nine’s Today Extra to talk about the online abuse she’s received since appearing on TV.

“I don’t understand why it’s OK to ignore such harassment online…. Married at First Sight was entertainment… but when people go too far… the insults are incredible, and it’s like, how do you feel OK saying these things?” she said.

“I’m somebody’s daughter. I’m somebody’s sister. I’m somebody’s close friend. So if my… members of my family and friends are reading these comments, and if they were to retaliate and stand up for me, then they’d get harassed as well. How is that OK? One thing I’ve seen thrown back is ‘you were on reality TV, you should expect this.’ I don’t understand this.”

You can listen to Lizzie speaking on Today Extra below, post continues after video.

Video by Nine

Lizzie also shared an Instagram story which addressed the negative impact the show has had on her personally.

“Recently I’ve let a part of myself go, and not in a positive manner. I began to let people walk over me in fear of upsetting them,” Lizzie wrote.

“I have always prided myself on being candidly honest, letting go of negative influences. I do have a tendency to people please, even if it’s not true to myself. That comes from a fear of not letting anyone feel left out.

“I worked really hard on standing up for what’s right, but in the last few months, I’ve let that go, just becoming submissive. It’s time for me to take some of my own advice and practice what I worked so hard on previously.”

Ines Basic.

 

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Everyone gets two photos today ????

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what? im going rock climbing

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Since the MAFS finale, Ines Basic has continued to feed the celebrity news cycle with bizarre Instagram stories and posts.

The former reality star, who was arguably the most controversial contestant on the 2019 season of MAFS, has been working as an influencer posting sponsored content on her feed. Many of her Instagram photos also appear to be heavily photoshopped.

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Ines’ Instagram stories have become fairly… strange, posting paparazzi photos of herself with the captions:

“On my way to root your mom.”

“I wonder if there’s any dogs here I can have sex with.”

“Excuse me sir do you sell cocaine here.”

“On Valium.”

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Images: Instagram.
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In a statement to news.com.au about the posts, Ines claimed her online activity was just her "taking the piss out of herself".

"I’m actually taking the piss out of myself and the horrendous photographs and stories that are being published and written about me,” she told the publication.

"I have a great sense of humour which I am using my Instagram feed to demonstrate. I want to draw attention to, and expose, the paparazzi photographers who are living in cars in my street and ideally stop them bullying me. They are a disgrace to their profession, and it reflects badly on the media as a whole."

These Instagram stories were posted days after Ines gave a live radio interview on KISS FM's Kyle and Jackie O detailing a sexual encounter she had with fellow contestant Sam Ball on the reality show.

“Was that a choreographed scene, or did that just happen naturally?” Jackie O asked, to which Ines replied, "I’m a hoe, so I was down for that."

“I was keen to do a full-on porno. I was like, ‘Let’s get this party started’. I was keen to do doggy style,” she added.

When Kyle Sandilands asked if she would have genuinely let producers film that, she said she was keen to "make it as real as possible".

Jessika Power.

 

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Jessika Power was labelled a villain on the reality show. Returning to her normal life, the former reality star appears to now be working as a social media influencer.

On Tuesday, Jessika shared an Instagram story asking her followers to stop the online abuse she and her brother Rhyce Power have been exposed to, after Rhyce has received continuous trolling over domestic violence allegations made against him earlier this year.

"As a loving sister who has watched my brother struggle with suicide for years, I will not sit beside a hospital bed again with him. My brother has never been charged for these allegations made against him. I don't condone everything [Rhyce] does... but enough is enough," she wrote.

"I'm sick of watching my brother defend himself constantly. I am sure that anyone of you reading this and getting ready to ridicule or abuse me in my DM's would do the exact thing in my position. I have lost a partner to suicide and I know how important mental health is to men.

"Please let this rest until the law has decided my brother is guilty."

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Jessika's Instagram story. Image: Instagram.
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Jessika also shared a video on her Instagram feed with the caption:

"Isn’t it funny that when you start loving yourself and setting healthy boundaries you also start to attract and piss of toxic people ???? it’s up to you how you let it affect you, I often pretend to care, but most of the time I’m just staring at my bank account."

This week, Jessika announced she and her new boyfriend of two weeks had split up on her Instagram story.

The reality star, who was spotted kissing Suleiman ‘Sam’ Abdulrahim in Melbourne last month, confirmed the news on her Instagram story.

“To answer all the questions, we are not together,” Jess said, sharing a photo of the pair.

“He is a beautiful person and someone who I will always have respect for but I’ve had a very stressful year and I’m investing myself before I can invest in another person.”

Underneath all the news headlines and Instagram posts, reality TV exists because, ultimately, watching other people's lives unravel makes us feel like our own is less of a train wreck.

We'll likely never stop watching Married At First Sight. We know it, the network knows it, and so do the people who sign up to amuse us.

But that doesn't change the fact that it's worth examining how 15 minutes in the spotlight affects the lives of those involved once we're done laughing.

Did you watch Married At First Sight? Do you follow the contestants now the show has finished?

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