Kids, take notes: somehow, it seems true love doesn’t come from marrying a complete stranger on a low-rent Channel Nine TV show.
Simone Lee Brennan, a former contestant from Nine’s Married At First Sight, has penned a scathing blog post on her time on the show, summing up the experience in one word: “f—ed”.
Brennan, a 29-year-old make-up artist, was matched with Xavier, a 26-year-old sales manager, on the second season of the series which aired in April last year.
She ended the relationship during the show’s dramatic ‘Final Decision’, citing a lack of romance and intimacy.
In a lengthy post on her blog The Dating Journal, Brennan slammed the show’s misleading editing and implied producers set her up for failure – “after six months of filling in tedious questionnaires” – by matching her up with a guy who hadn’t even applied for the show.
“Conversations and events were cut, copied and pasted. I walked down the aisle four times, said my vows three times, and we kissed at the altar twice,” she wrote.
“My faith in the ‘matchmaking’ process dwindled away somewhat when my TV husband shared with me immediately post-wedding ceremony that he hadn’t dated for years and never actually applied for the experiment.
“He was recruited from a local cafe and thought, ‘Yeah sure, why not?'”
She said she realised “the matchmakers had failed at their one job” when it became apparent her TV husband was angling for a hosting gig rather than a life partner.
“It became clear as day when [he] took great pleasure in asking the sound crew, camera crew, producers and what-have-you about potential front-of-house sports presenting gigs,” she wrote.
“He didn’t want a bar of it… Week two, day three, of the five-week experiment, while folding a pile of bathroom towels during a filming break, he said to me, and I quote: ‘I’m just not that into it’.
“I wanted nothing more than to go back to my ‘old’ life. Real reality. But I couldn’t,” she added.
“Why didn’t I leave? Simple. It wouldn’t have made sense to our ‘story’. How could I walk away when everything caught on film was nothing short of a blossoming ‘marriage’ starring the perfect ‘husband’. It was, in one word, f—ed.”
Yep, that’s definitely the word for it.
Describing the day she quit the experiment as “the happiest day of my life to date” (“I’d never been happier to be all alone, isolated, in my quiet empty apartment… I was free,” she wrote), Brennan added that she didn’t entirely regret “committing myself to the unrealistic experience”.
“What I do regret, however, is using up all of my accrued annual leave on a honeymoon to Fiji with someone who was not quite the match made in heaven I was expecting #anotherpinacoladathanks.”
The series, which has somehow resulted in a baby and a pair of happily married couples since it first debuted in 2015, has been struck by controversy before.
Another couple matched-up on Brennan’s season, Clare and Jono, split before filming wrapped after Clare voiced her discomfort with Jono’s aggressive outbursts.
Producers drew criticism after it was later revealed that Jono had previously been arrested and charged with assault following a bar brawl, while Clare had been suffering PTSD after being attacked by a stranger on the street just months prior to appearing on the show.
The new season of the series, which has been heavily promoted by Channel Nine as “the biggest show of the year”, premieres on January 30.