Married At First Sight Australia will feature the dramatic moment one of the show’s gay grooms quits the show’s new season at the last minute.
Season 11 of MAFS will start on Nine from January 29. The new season will feature gay grooms for the first time in years.
Married At First Australia finished filming last year, but at the time gossip swirled about production headaches behind the scenes.
Gay man Mike Felix (he’s pictured above) is one of the grooms picked for the new season. He’s not the one who leaves.
Last August, Mike’s husband-to-be Simon Flocco (he’s below) got cold feet at the last minute and quit the show, throwing producers for a loop.
As a result, it was unclear at the time if the new season would feature a same-sex couple at all after the runaway groom’s exit.
Production sources later spilled that Mike would walk down the aisle after all with a new groom, Perth-based hairdresser Stephen Stewart (he’s pictured below).
Mike and Stephen were spotted filming together and it’s understood the pair are intruders on the new MAFS season.
But in a new development, Nine has started promoting the season 11 cast, and Simon does appear among the grooms after all.
Yahoo! Lifestyle has explained that behind the scenes, producers debated whether to edit him out entirely.
“Shortly after filming his backstory and the grooms’ bucks party, he changed his mind about doing the show and quit,” an insider confirmed to the outlet.
However, the source claimed the decision was made to leave him in for a ~bit of drama~ at the start of the season.
The producers ultimately decided to include Simon as his exit was a “real moment” that shows “not everyone can handle the pressure of the experiment,” they said.
Simon’s official promo picture released by Nine (the one you can see above) appears shot on an iPhone. This is because he left the show before the cast’s official studio photoshoot.
“The picture of Simon is one he submitted to producers himself during pre-production to show them his suit,” the source told Yahoo! Lifestyle.
“Shortly after filming his backstory and the grooms’ bucks party, he changed his mind about doing the show and quit.”
Married at First Sight Australia returns on Nine from January 29.
MAFS Australia has a poor track record on same-sex weddings
In 2020, Married At First Sight Australia featured its first lesbian couple. Amanda Micallef, 34, and Tash Herz, 31, tied the knot.
Since premiering in 2015, MAFS 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.
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.
For the latest LGBTIQA+ Sister Girl and Brother Boy news, entertainment, community stories in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagra