Married At First Sight Australia will feature a gay male couple for the first time in years in the reality show’s upcoming season.
Season 11 of the show will premiere on Nine from January 29.
The show hasn’t revealed its entire cast of brides and grooms just yet. But we know the new season will see the first pair of gay male grooms get a MAFS “wedding” since season three in 2016.
Yahoo! Lifestyle has confirmed groom Mike Felix is set to walk down the aisle.
Mike (pictured above) was raised in the US and currently lives in Melbourne where he recently finished working as a Tesla sales advisor for the past three years, the outlet reports.
The gay man hasn’t officially been named but has popped up in a Nine promo. It’s believed he’ll marry Perth-based hairdresser Stephen Stewart (pictured below) in season 11.
Married At First Australia completed filming last year, after a lot of chatter about production headaches behind the scenes. Whether a pair of gay grooms would feature at all was up in the air for a while.
Last August, Mike’s first partner Simon reportedly dramatically quit the show, leaving producers scrambling to find a last-minute replacement.
Yahoo! reports Mike and Stephen have been spotted filming but the pair may debut on season 11 as intruders.
Married at First Sight Australia returns on Nine from January 29.
MAFS Australia has poor track record on same-sex weddings
In 2020, MAFS Australia featured its first lesbian couple. Amanda Micallef, 34, and Tash Herz, 31, tied the knot.
Married At First Sight resident expert Mel Schilling has previously admitted the show’s poor track record on same-sex relationships.
“For us it was really important for us to find people who genuinely wanted to find love, and to really delve into the intricacies of their attraction and their types, what that means for them,” Mel told Metro in 2022.
“We’re not just saying ‘you’re gay, you’re gay’.”
Mel admitted “we got that horribly wrong in the early Australian series.”
“I think there’s great lessons to be learned from that,” she said.
Since premiering in 2015, MAFS Australia has only featured one gay male couple, season three’s Craig and Andy.
The pair “married” on the show in 2016 at a ceremony in New Zealand. However, their relationship ended just a few days later.
In a scathing social media post, Craig later claimed the wedding was “torture” and left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.
But in the past, Married At First Sight has openly disclosed its struggle to find suitable queer single applicants to match on the show.
A Channel Nine spokesperson said in 2019, “We did go into casting for series six … with the hope of finding a gay couple.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t feel there was a good enough match and we didn’t want to include a gay couple just for the sake of appearances.”
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