reality tv

Unbearable heat and forced couple swaps: How the MAFS drama is created behind-the-scenes.


MAFS is really bad at creating fulfilling, long-lasting, healthy relationships, but that’s okay because it is very good at creating drama.

And as humans who enjoy watching from their couches, and are no way near silly enough to sign up for such a train wreck, it is the drama that is most important.

The MAFS experts take their jobs very seriously. Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia

It seems the producers know this too, because they have reportedly been… manufacturing it.


I know, I know. Manufactured, fake scandal on MAFS? It's a shock.

The season's couples have gone fully rogue, effectively ruining the outcome of the show before it ends after 856 weeks on Sunday, and talking about a lot of things they definitely shouldn't be, including the extreme lengths producers have reportedly gone to to rile them up and create more drama.

Extreme heat.

Speaking to Mamamia about her time on the show, Natasha said the commitment ceremonies and dinner parties were particularly hard.

natasha mafs 2020
Image: Channel 9.

"I cannot even explain to people what it’s like. While the set looks really beautiful, the actual warehouse isn’t insulated, so if it's 40 degrees outside, it’s 40 degrees in the warehouse – and they even have the fires going for ambience," Natasha recalled.

"They really do tape the whole thing in high temperatures and harsh conditions to manipulate you, to get you as cranky as you can be. It’s not okay what they do at all."

This seemed to be the case with Tuesday's reunion dinner party episode, where the cast looked to be sweating and red in the face.

Couple swaps.

Thanks to the contestants' loose lips, we've learnt about a bunch of couple swaps that happened on and off screen this season.

Connie and Johnny MAFS
Image: Channel 9.

In late March, Connie told Hit 96.9 Goulburn Valley that her (fake) husband Jonethen hooked up with another (fake) bride during the experiment.

"There was an almost couple swap between KC and Jonethen that never came to air," Connie told radio hosts Josiah and Herbie.

"There was a little something going on there, I don’t know the full extent of it though."

On Instagram this week, KC was asked whether the rumours were true about her ~date~ with Jonethen.

"We all did. It was set up by producers," KC responded, before adding that her on-screen husband Drew and Connie also went on a date.

"Connie went on a date with Drew also. None of it was shown cause nothing happened," she added.

In recent weeks, a number of contestants have confirmed reports that producers pressured the remaining contestants to couple swap in the last few weeks of the experiment.

MAFS 2020
Image: Channel Nine.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Natasha, who exited the experiment in early March, confirmed that KC was encouraged by producers to go on a date with Jonethen.

"They got partnered together and sent on a high-class date," she said.

Hayley, who was partnered with David on the show, also confirmed the claims.

"All the remaining couples switched partners," she told the Daily Mail. "It wasn’t just [KC and Jonethen]."

Being forced to stay.

Multiple cast members have said they were forced to stay in the 'experiment' longer than they wanted to.

mafs mishel steve
Image: Channel 9.

"I was saying I want to go home, I don't think anything is going to happen with this person ever," Mishel told The Daily Telegraph, referring to her relationship Steve.

"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."

Her co-star Jonethen said something similar happened to him when he told producers he was leaving the show.


"I told producers that I was leaving and that there was nothing they could do about it," he told New Idea. "They had already lost so many contestants so that’s when they said to me, 'What can we do to make you stay?'"

They made a deal that Jonethen could fly home to see his father, who had suffered a stroke during filming, if he agreed to stay in the experiment.

"I got the terms of my contract rewritten halfway through," he said.


2019 cast member Jessika Power told Hit Mid North Coast's Krysti & Bodge producers attempted to create a cheating scandal involving KC's (fake) husband Drew.

"So the new intruder, Drew, he's spoken to me a few times and he mentioned that there were situations that he was put in by producers that he didn't want to be put in," she said.

"They were trying to make him the new Dan. And everyone knows Dan and I swapped partners on the show. They basically wanted a swap out of Drew and he said no."

The radio hosts then spoke to Drew, who was cagey in response.

"I've literally got a gun to my head from Channel 9 right at this minute, I can't give away any spoilers," he said.

"I think I'm on there to be one of the good people and I definitely don't do anything like that. If that did present itself, it would definitely be something that I would turn down."

Whether any (or more?) of this drama comes to light in the final episode of the season remains to be seen... But we hope it does.