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The clues exposing this year's MAFS cheating scandal were there all along.

We might only be a few weeks into Married at First Sight, but we already have an appointed villain (ahem, Jack Dunkley), an obvious hero (Lucinda Light), and a cheating scandal brewing.

There had been rumours of a couple-swap for months before season 11 of MAFS even began, and now it looks like we know who is involved.

And tbh, it's not anyone we expected.

Ellie Dix, who's currently matched with Ben Walters, has been photographed looking very much like one half of a happy couple with Jonathan McCullough, who is married to Lauren Dunn.

So Dramatic! and The Wash initially shared the allegations, with both publications citing sources that claimed Ellie and Jonathan had become an item.


"Ellie left earlier than Jono, so poor Lauren had no idea until later in the experiment when the brides decided to tell her what had been going on," a source told So Dramatic!.

"Lauren was blindsided, it was so awful."

Ellie and Johnny will reportedly rock up at the reunion "hand-in-hand", leaving Lauren feeling "humiliated and embarrassed", a So Dramatic! source claimed.

The Wash shared images of Jonathan attending Ellie's work Christmas party in December — and it looks like they're still going strong, with the Daily Mail releasing pictures of Ellie and Jonathan holding hands and kissing at the beach.

But while it's clear now that these two are firmly at the centre of this season's "cheating scandal", the clues may have been there all along.

In the February 14 dinner party episode, Jonathan got heavily involved in an argument involving Ellie and Ben which was uncharacteristic for a groom who has steered clear of drama so far.

Off the back of intimacy week, the women were grilling Ben about an incident earlier in the week where he blew up at his bride and told her she wasn't his match. Ben attempted to shrug off the moment as him feeling overwhelmed by the experiment but the ladies weren't having it. 

"You told her that she wasn’t your match... I call bullsh*t," Sara Mesa said. At this stage, Jonathan randomly pipped up to add: "That’s absolute bullsh*t." 


Jonathan got heated defending Ellie. Image: Nine. 

In a confessional, Jonathan expressed a distrust for Ellie's partner. "I don’t buy Ben’s story at all, nothing he says seems real to me," he said. 

The subject of whether Ben wanted kids came up, and the groom became increasingly evasive in his response. 

"That’s not a yes or no answer!" Jonathan shouted, in the groom’s most animated moment all season. "You would do anything to have them [kids], if you want them."


Back in his confessional, Jonathan suggested Ellie could do better than Ben. "She seems to be willing to stick by him — I don’t think that’s going to last," he said. 

"Ellie is lovely and I feel like he’s batting way above his average." 

We get it, buddy! Say less! 

As if Jonathan hadn’t made his point abundantly clear up to this point, Jonathan turned to Ben and said Ellie was "a lovely, beautiful girl," a sentiment he awkwardly shared while sitting beside his actual TV wife, Lauren. 


Knowing what we know now, Jonathan's involvement in the heated discussion is cast under a different light. 

Earlier in the season on the February 7 episode of MAFS, couples were asked to rank the contestants of the opposite sex, based on who they found most attractive. And Jonathan had no qualms sharing what he thought of Ellie.

"Ellie is really lovely," Jonathan said. Lauren replied, "She's got massive titties and I know you're a titty man."

He selected Ellie as his top pick... below his appointed wife, Lauren, who he put in the top spot.

Jonathan ranks Ellie as one of the experiment's most attractive women, fancy that! Image: Nine. 


It was a brief moment, but knowing what we now know, it suddenly looks very much like an early indication of Jonathan's attraction to Ellie.

Earlier in the episode, a scene also went down between Ellie and Ben that spoke volumes about the disconnect between arguably the experiment's most forgettable couple (sorry, but you know it's true).

Ellie listed being "family-orientated" and "wanting children" as two of her most important values in a relationship, which was at odds with Ben's hierarchy, which featured having a 'healthy lifestyle', 'financial stability' and 'good looks' at the top.

It wasn't so much the discrepancy, but the way podcast host Ben spoke about this difference in values, that seemed to be an issue, with his tone coming across as rather demeaning to Ellie's aspirations to become a mother.

"I'm open to the possibility of having kids," he told Ellie. "But it's not [like], 'I'll have children with anybody! I don't care!'" he added in a mocking tone. 

Ellie butted in, saying "I don't want to have children with anybody either!"

Ben replied, "Some people in society do, they go, 'there's a man with all his teeth, he has a job' — they settle!"


WATCH: Mamamia's resident MAFS recapper Chelsea McLaughlin breaks down this week's red and green flags.

@mamamiaaus Ha ha ha what a day. It's red flags vs. green flags (and every flag in between) from MAFS this week #mafs #mafsaustralia #marriedatfirstsight #marriedatfirstsightaustrailia ♬ original sound - Mamamia

It was all sorts of awkward, with Ben clearly carrying assumptions about women who want children and not seeming to really hear what Ellie was telling him. "Kids are very important for females," he bizarrely added in a confessional.

This seemed to be a pretty big (flashing neon) sign that these two were probably destined for an early exit from the experiment.

And as for Lauren and Jonathan? Well, they haven't exactly been the experiment's strongest couple thus far, with Lauren repeatedly saying her husband is "too nice" for her.

Could this be the series' first cheating scandal that's actually... supported by fans?

Ellie and Jonathan do seem like a good match, tbh. Jonathan's MAFS bio says the groom is "eager to become a father and is hoping to meet someone as equally motivated". Who could that be??

Until the couple swap *officially* goes down, we'll keep our ears to the ground to stay across any more clues. What a time to be alive!

Feature image: Nine. 

This article was originally published on February 8, 2024 and has since been updated with new information.

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