MAFS' Carolina and Daniel reveal the producers' impact on their cheating scandal

Married At First Sight Australia's Carolina and Daniel spoke to Yahoo Lifestyle Australia about their controversial relationship and the impact the producers had.

Video transcript

CAROLINA SANTOS: Neither one of us had anything at all with the-- with the people that they matched us with. So we never thought that we would portrayed as much as cheaters.


- If we go back right to the start, the first dinner party where you met, the spark was pretty instant, right?

DANIEL HOLMES: It was for me. I don't know about you. You don't have to pretend like, yeah, I loved him. Like, no. [LAUGHS] It was-- because she was like, oh, I didn't really pay much attention to you. But I was like, I was looking at you.


CAROLINA SANTOS: No, I definitely did. It was-- I think I was distressed. And you know, you're always like, oh my god. What's everyone's going to think? So, no, you're not allowed to like this guy. So it was-- yeah, so maybe it was a bit of that.

- I mean, things obviously had kind of come to an end, Daniel, with you and Jessica. Carolina, was there kind of an inkling of, hmm, this guy is great. Like, there might be something here. [CHUCKLES]

CAROLINA SANTOS: Ah, look, yeah, when I first saw Daniel, I did think he was extremely handsome, um, more-- yeah, [LAUGHS] more my type. But I didn't-- I don't know. I think maybe I didn't let myself think too much of that because the circumstances and all that.

DANIEL HOLMES: And to be fair, I was actually convinced that they had put her there to lure me into a cheating scandal because I was like, on paper, she seems like everything I asked for. And the producers, I don't know-- the producers actually pulled me aside twice and like, Daniel, is anyone here that you-- you know? And I was like-- and then towards the end of the night when I did it again, I was a bit drunk by that point. I was like, I know what he's doing.

It's Carol. You're trying to get me to say something about Carolina, aren't you? And they were like-- I was like, just say it. I know it. And then like, why don't you talk to her then? Why don't you talk to her? I was like, maybe I will.

- Well, yeah, there is a cheating scandal every season. So everyone kind of wanted to know was it just luck that you guys had such an attraction for one another or did the producers kind of explicitly say to you, Carolina, hey, things might not be working with Dion. But Daniel's there. He says his keen.

CAROLINA SANTOS: They definitely didn't say anything to me, no, not at that point. But once I've showed interest, they were obviously like, yeah, let's go for it. Let's, you know, set up with the catchups and all of that, yeah.

- Did you go onto the show kind of thinking, I want to cause drama. I would love to be a part of the cheating scandal. They had the biggest characters. Like, did that ever play into any of your decisions?

DANIEL HOLMES: I think a part of our personalities like we were both very go for what you want. We know it is a television show. And above all, it's not marriage, it's an experiment. So we're willing to-- you know, this is television, man. Um--

CAROLINA SANTOS: Yeah, I definitely didn't go there thinking like, oh my god, I want to be part of a cheating scandal and any of that. But I was definitely happy to cause some dramas. And yeah, like, give the entertainment to the viewers. Why not?

DANIEL HOLMES: And now they love us with all their abusive comments.


- Well, how is the fan reaction, I guess? Like surely, where a couple of weeks after, people would have come around to, OK, they're actually a real item. Is it getting any better?

CAROLINA SANTOS: Haven't experienced anything like any bad commenting like on the streets or anything like that. The people were really nice on the streets. Mainly like on social media.

DANIEL HOLMES: But I've seen a massive turnaround in comments. That's for sure.

CAROLINA SANTOS: I think 'cause we're still together, so people are kind of like starting to, OK, well it's not too bad. They stick together. It was real. So why not?

- And then after that first dinner party as well, I'm guessing you guys exchanged phone numbers? Or how did you stay in contact then after that?

DANIEL HOLMES: I-- the producers had just left. And they said, is there anyone you want to speak to? And they obviously watched a footage of me and Carolina. And I was like, hmm, Carolina? And they're like, ooh, really? So they lined up all the number and that kind of stuff. And it was actually genuine. Like, I did-- they got the number, but I text her. And I have to formulate a game plan of like, my god, this girl is coming over that I've met once.

What am I doing? So she came over, and I was just being like flirtatious, a bit silly, but there was definitely something real there. And we just kept catching up.

- What was your reaction when you got that text, Carolina? Like, obviously, you're not really expecting that, I'm imagining. [CHUCKLES]

CAROLINA SANTOS: No, I was not expecting that at all. So I was basically doing some cleaning in the sky suites and the apartment and they were like filming me doing that cleaning. And it was going on for an hour. And I'm like, what the hell am I cleaning this apartment for hour? Haven't you have, like, enough footage of me cleaning? So they were kind of like they wanted to catch the moment of me receiving the message. So I'm like literally cleaning for a whole hour.

And I'm like, this place is clean. There's nothing else to clean. They're like, no, keep cleaning. I'm like, OK. So I got the message. I was not expecting at all.

- Did they show that? I don't remember seeing--

CAROLINA SANTOS: I don't think they did. No, they never showed it.

DANIEL HOLMES: And they didn't show me send. I actually had to write the message and I was like, what do I say? Like, what up? It's Dan. Like, she doesn't even know who-- it was-- I didn't know what to say.



- And then how long after that was the first gym day?

CAROLINA SANTOS: Next day. Yeah, it would have been next day. Yeah, or a couple of days after. It was pretty soon after, yeah.

DANIEL HOLMES: I actually left the gym day thinking I've blown it. I've blown-- I'm going home because I thought that she wasn't interested at all. And it was too risky. And I was like, what am I even doing? And I'm like trying to deal with this craziness.

CAROLINA SANTOS: I guess what's never shown is that, on that day, we-- actually, a lot of our dates, we had a lot of deep chats. And that particular day, we had a very long chat about struggles, upbringing, and Daniel shared with me like, you know, what he had gone through growing up and all of that. And I remember at that point being complaining that Dion wasn't opening up much. And I was struggling because I didn't find any physical attraction or chemistry with him.

So I was trying to find a connection in a more of a deeper level. And-- and he wasn't really talking or sharing anything. And I remember confronting him about it. And he was like, no, look, I'm sorry I have had an amazing upbringing. And even if I didn't, I'm not going to-- I signed up for the show. My family and friends haven't. So I'm not going to expose anyone. I'm not willing to share anything deep at this stage. And I'm like, OK.

So-- so when Daniel left the gym day, I did that interview, like the [INAUDIBLE]. And then I was saying to him, like, oh yeah, like, look, this guy has so much to share so much that this is kind of weird because I do find him attractive. I do find him handsome. And then I also have that emotional connection there now because he's sharing all this-- he's being vulnerable and sharing so much the first time that I actually talked to him.

- What is that like then when you watch the show and you know what has happened? You know that you've built up this emotional connection but they show a couple of minutes of just the flirty banter, the kissing? Like, how does that feel watching that?

DANIEL HOLMES: Oh, it kind of sucks. But we understand that you can't make the cheaters look like humans essentially. Yeah, and there's no way that we would really be willing to put ourselves through that if there wasn't a real connection. And based on what they showed, it just seemed like this fabricated sexual silly thing. Like, every scene they show about I'm making a weird face or we're just saying something silly or be portrayed as looking silly.

So even like small things, like they're very smart with what they do. Like, I've got nothing but respect for the producers and the whole team behind the channel. And I-- like, they do such a good show. And there's so many people involved. But, man, they're good at like painting narratives. Like, small things, like the music, it's like World War III music when we walk in. Never-- there's never like scenes of a smile having like silly goose time. Yeah, it's always-- yeah.

- How long are those actual dates as well? Like, we only do see a little bit. Are they hours?

DANIEL HOLMES: Three hours.

CAROLINA SANTOS: Yeah, two, three hours. And we had a lot of off scenes, like behind the cameras kind of dates as well. We would meet up like often, sneak out.

DANIEL HOLMES: Ooh, naughty.


DANIEL HOLMES: Even like the scene where I kiss Carolina and she gave me the cheek. But no, national TV, I got the cheek. And then we actually kissed after that at the table what they showed us like down an alleyway kissing like grabbing our arse and stuff.


DANIEL HOLMES: Because after she gave me the cheek, she's like, oh. And then like eventually went in for a real kiss. But I didn't show that because it's too cute.

CAROLINA SANTOS: Yeah, and that's the most upsetting part because we-- like, we wanted to see our first ever kiss.


CAROLINA SANTOS: And we never got to see it. [LAUGHS]

- Organizing those dates as well, there's so many cameras and they're trying to hide it and make it look as if they're spying on you. Does it feel natural or does it feel just--

DANIEL HOLMES: Doesn't feel natural.

CAROLINA SANTOS: No, no, there's cameras--

DANIEL HOLMES: Doesn't feel natural, like-- . but I just want to say, because I was actually like pursuing her. So I was like, damn, I have to not only, like, put my game on this chick, but I'm still in front of national TV. Plus, it's a cheating scandal. A lot of pricking pressure on this.

- So how would that work then in terms of the other dates? Would you have to message Daniel and be like, hey, I want to see her again? Or how did it work out with the producers?

DANIEL HOLMES: It was literally that. They were like, you can not under no circumstances talk to each other outside of us knowing and knowing the context and everything, which we were, because I was like, I actually really like this chick. So if I try to build a connection with her based on just what the producers dictate, we're never going to probably happen. So I was like, I've got to put some work in behind the scenes. But yeah, when the producers was like, OK, like, you date or like text in front of them, and they know everything.

CAROLINA SANTOS: Yeah, no, but we were talking like everyday and seeing each other quite a lot as well behind cameras without anyone knowing.

- Yeah, were there those dates that we didn't see then? Like, what were they like?

CAROLINA SANTOS: Oh, we [INAUDIBLE]. So we're just like going for a walk, going for like the beach a couple of times. [INAUDIBLE].

- Did the producers at all, did they kind of give you an insight into how you would be portrayed as well?

DANIEL HOLMES: They told us like, you guys are doing the right thing. Like, just left. Dion is an idiot. Like he's doing the right thing. Like everything bad you do, they're like, oh, you're doing just perfect. Like, they made you think that you're doing the right shit.

CAROLINA SANTOS: I think, yeah, that's the way it should trick you kind of things, just whatever feeling you're having, even if it's a negative thought that you always validated, yeah, you're so right.

- Was it because of that then you thought the edit was going to be flattering, I guess?

DANIEL HOLMES: No, you knew.

CAROLINA SANTOS: I kind-- yeah, no, we kind of know. We kind of knew that wasn't going to be--

DANIEL HOLMES: You, in particular, knew.

CAROLINA SANTOS: Yeah, I kind of knew it wasn't going to be great. But we definitely didn't think that they would think of us as cheaters, because at the end of the day, like, we never had anything apart from the fake marriage. It wasn't like the cheaters in previous season when seasons where they actually had some sort of connection, whether it was a kiss or had sex or something. We-- neither one of us had anything at all with the people that they matched us with. So we never thought that we would portray as much as cheaters.

DANIEL HOLMES: No one romantic thing happened between me and Jess. No-- not even like I hold her hand for a second or anything. If we had like had sex with them and stuff and then we did a swap or whatever you want to call it like, then I'll be like, oh, we really don't feel right.



CAROLINA SANTOS: But with us, it was different. So we never thought that we would be called cheaters or like--

DANIEL HOLMES: The producers are constantly like, yeah, I've had nothing with your partners. It's fine. Like, oh, yeah, this is love.


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