From the very first episode, this season of Married at First Sight felt different.
Now in its eighth year, loyal fans returned to the show last week expecting three things:
1. Cheating scandals and wine throwing drama,
2. A few genuine, goofy, loveable characters, and
3. The slim possibility of maybe one pairing going the distance in real life.
What we weren't expecting was the casual cruelness this season has served up. And how that would make for such uncomfortable viewing.
Watch: Sam tells Coco he needs a girl with "big boobs". Post continues below.
In the first episode we met Melissa, a beautiful 32-year-old woman who genuinely believed she didn't deserve love. Melissa hadn't been in a relationship for 13 years and she was very self-conscious about her appearance.
The experts matched Melissa with Bryce, a radio DJ from Canberra who had broken up with his fiancée only a few months before going on the show. Bryce has been working in the entertainment industry for years, he had interviewed many of the past season contestants and he was very aware of the opportunities that can come with going on a reality TV show like MAFS.
It was clear from the beginning that Melissa and Bryce had very different reasons for going on the show and they were coming from very different places.
We then met Coco, a confident, outspoken woman who was very comfortable in her own skin. The experts matched Coco with Sam, a man who just wanted her to shut up.
Later we met Samantha, who entered a relationship with a much older man when she was 17. She was looking for an equal relationship, someone who could meet her with honesty and openness. She was matched with Cameron, a man of few words.
In the final wedding episode, we met Beth, a 39-year-old woman who wanted to find love and have a baby. Beth was matched with a man who referred to Kiwi fruit as "exotic".
The first blow came during an honesty box challenge when the guys were asked whether their wives were their "type".
Bryce bluntly told Melissa she wasn't his usual type.
"I’ve always gone for the blonde hair, blue eyes, tan kinda girl. And usually tall. I can’t say 100 per cent I’d come up to you in a bar and buy you a drink," he said.