The biggest reality show in Australasia has outdone itself again. Alex Casey and Tara Ward recap the explosive finale of Married at First Sight.
The tenth season of Married at First Sight Australia has torn up the ratings in Aotearoa faster than Cameron whipping his kit off at a nightclub. Given that we’ve had lies, cheating scandals, monster reveals, a screaming match about an open cupboard door and a bride kissing a fish, it is perhaps no surprise that the final weeks have outrated 1News in the 25-54 age bracket. Could the show’s final week – a multi-episode reunion humdinger that featured a dramatic dinner party and a controversial couch session – be the icing on the wedding cake?
We made it through 54 hours of marital mayhem this season, and now we’re more pumped than Melissa in a sparkly dress singing “this is how you do it”. Crank up the butt dial and let’s crack into the ten most explosive moments from MAFS’ reunion week.
The sexting scandal
Nothing could have prepared us for how much mid-2000s cellular slang would enter the experiment this season. There was of course Rupert’s dreaded “butt dial”, where the nervous electrician accidentally called his wife during a lads’ night out and chaos ensued. But the reunion brought with it news of a “sexting” scandal between Cameron and Tayla, who weren’t matched together but both bonded over their love of Luke James and having unspeakably long strawberry blonde hair.
As it turns out, that wasn’t the only thing they were sharing. “There’s a lot of word on the grapevine” said detective Melinda. “They have been sexting and exchanging nudes.” Cam first tried to brush it off by claiming that he was simply “a friendly guy”, before confessing that he had derobed in a nightclub while FaceTiming Tayla. “If you call that sexting then fine, I sexted,” he spat. “Yes, I saw his willy,” corroborated Tayla. Please tell me that is not Cam’s penis! / AC
Harrison’s half-chewed receipts
Having clearly split his time post-experiment between a spray tan tent and a Warehouse Stationery, Harrison showed up to the dinner party boasting both a deep orange hue and a crisp white print-out of some extremely uncontroversial DMs between former wife Bronte and his Girl On The Outside. When he presented the bizarrely bitten piece of paper to the room, he was not met with gasps, nor applause, but delicious uproarious laughter.
“I’m surprised he knew how to work a printer,” shrieked Claire. “Have you ever seen anyone brings props to MAFS?!?” spluttered Ollie. Jesse was so amused he couldn’t even speak, choosing instead to lay a napkin across his face in ecstasy. Cam folded his sham “evidence” into a paper plane and threw it across the table, and one of the biggest villains in MAFS history was left completely dismantled by the power of the collective chuckle. / AC
Dan’s sleeves need a reunion of their own
Forget Harrison’s chewed receipts and Tayla and Cam’s sexting scandal, the real elephant in the room at the reunion was the state of Dan’s sleeves. They appeared to be gaslighting the rest of his jacket, so thoughts and prayers for those troubled arm sheaths. Thoughts and prayers for us all. / TW
Alyssa tries to unmask Duncan
Having decided overnight that the world’s most emotionally intelligent, patient, kind and considerate man was, in fact, a cave troll in disguise, Alyssa dedicated the reunion to screaming at Duncan to take off his non-existent mask. “I FEEL LIKE HE WAS WEARING A MASK” she barked at cameras before the dinner party. “TAKE OFF THE MASK” she later bellowed at his poor, maskless face. There’s talk of Duncan becoming the next Bachelor in Australia, but perhaps the Masked Singer would be more appropriate? / AC
Something big was happening outside but we will NEVER know the truth
In a final week filled with explosive moments, it seems the biggest explosion of all happened off camera. That’s the only explanation for why everyone spent so many precious minutes staring pensively out the window at the start of the reunion, when they could have been watching Jesse put his napkin over his face during dinner. What was it out that window that captured their attention? Was it Duncan without his mask? Was it the rest of Dan’s sleeves? Those net curtains know more than they’re letting on and I’m as mad as hell. / TW
Ollie’s outstanding John Aiken impression
Get this man to Saturday Night Live, get the man a viral TikTok account, get this man a commercial radio contract. I’ve truly never looked forward to seeing anyone’s impression of anyone or anything before, but Ollie’s pitch-perfect rendition of Dr Eyebrows John Aiken is truly some of the greatest acting ever committed to the silver screen. Laurence Olivier found dead. / AC
No Harrison and Bronte on the commitment couch
After dominating the drama all season, we missed out on one last bonfire conversation between Harrison and Bronte during the final commitment ceremony. We’ll never know what sad dog-eared props Harrison might have pulled from his burning pockets of man-truth, but his absence meant the show ended on an optimistic note. It also meant our last MAFS memory of Harrison will be his sad printouts flying around the dinner party, soaring higher than his dreams of a successful relationship ever could. / TW
Jesse and Claire… together? But not?
How good was it to see Jesse again, the wedding celebrant turned total dickhead turned sensitive wee crystal-clutching soul? As he rocked out to heavy metal alone in his hotel room, everyone had just one question on their mind – will him and Claire ever get back together after their famed kissing scandal? As it turns out: sort of no, but also maybe? Jesse first arrived to the dinner party a ball of energy, completely wowing the completely empty room with his charisma.
After a quiet dinner party, the experts kept the pair till very last in the final couch ceremony, which made everyone think there was going to be a huge announcement. Jesse’s had a palm reading? Claire has taken up bongos? They are going to have a tattooed baby with a clicking jaw? Alas, all that was revealed is that Claire is… going to Perth? Not necessarily moving in with him, or dating him, but definitely making plans to be in the same city as him. Progress! / AC
Hugo’s corridor confession
Rupert’s butt dial was the gift that kept giving this season, but the final commitment ceremony proved that if you really want to find out what happened in a situation, you simply ask someone a question and then film their answer. In never-before-seen footage, we watched Hugo reveal the terrible things Dan really said about Sandy during that infamous boys’ night out, as a steaming mad Dan tried to glare his way out of trouble. If there was ever a moment when Hugo needed Jesse’s face napkin, this was it. / TW
‘If you want a happy ending, get a job at Disneyland’
An incredible insight from Cam, the man who spent the last few weeks of the experiment refusing to hug or kiss his wife. Who knows why Cam bought the happiest place on earth into his tortured relationship with Lyndall, because you’d never see Mickey Mouse getting nude at a nightclub and FaceTiming Donald Duck’s wife Tayla, just because “we’re good mates”. After 36 MAFS episodes, what did we take from all of this? Cam did not want a happy ending. Cam did not get a job at Disneyland. / TW
Married at First Sight Australia is available to stream on ThreeNow.