The 2023 MAFS cast was forced to wait almost two months to regain access to their Instagram accounts after the finale aired overseas, with Channel 9 finally handing their accounts back to them last week.
And many of the reality stars wasted no time in defending Alyssa Barmonde, telling fans she is nothing like she was edited to appear on the show after the 35-year-old copped heavy backlash online from viewers who criticised the way she was shown treating her ‘husband’ Duncan James.
Yahoo Lifestyle is told that the co-ordinated statements of support were not planned, but the stars had all been biding their time until they could speak up for Alyssa as they feel producers “went too far” with her scenes.
A cast member, who asked not to be named, tells us: “We all knew things would be twisted and taken out of context, that's the risk you take going on a show like MAFS, but they [producers] went too far with Alyssa. It wasn't fair and she didn't deserve that.”
In a statement provided to Yahoo Lifestyle, Alyssa said: “I never in a trillion years wanted single mums to look crazy. Mums are more than mums. They juggle life, kids, work, friendships, a household – the list goes on and on.
"There's such sh***y stigma attached and I walked away from filming knowing, if anything, that I would do single mamas proud by sticking true to myself, find love for me again, knowing what's best for me and my son and putting my child first."
She added, "But it got so manipulated and twisted, it's actually disgusting how it was portrayed."
MAFS stars defend Alyssa
During a Q&A, Lyndall Grace shared a video saying that viewers might be surprised to learn that every single person in the cast absolutely loved Alyssa.
“I probably couldn’t name one person that didn’t,” she remarked.
She also posted a collage of snaps of herself and Alyssa and described her as one of her best friends from the show.
“She’d go to war for me, and I’d do the same for her,” she wrote. “She’s not perfect, but she has a heart of gold. She deserved better, we ALL agree.”
“She’s a sweetheart, I don’t know how they did that to her,” Rupert said. “I went to the gym with Duncan often and he was saying nothing about that. He was always talking nicely about her.”
Tahnee Cook also spoke about Alyssa during her Instagram Q&A on Friday and said she was “one of the most beautiful people” she has ever met.
“She is that friend that will always be there for you no matter what,” she wrote. “I know this show can really bring out the worst in people and highlight more negative aspects but I really wish you got to see more of how warm and kind she is. It's such a shame.
“She would always bake us treats and leave [them] at our door in Skye Suites, let me borrow her shoes, bring me period pain medication when I needed. At the end of the day, you only see such a small snippet of who we are (for better or for worse) BUT we are human. We make mistakes and we can only grow from our experiences.”
Melinda Willis echoed her co-stars’ sentiments and said Alyssa was “one of the best” people on this year’s season.
“I’m getting on this bandwagon too because I feel like every single [cast member] has exactly the same thing to say about Alyssa, hashtag ‘Free Alyssa’,” she told her followers. “Let’s get this movement going because you guys are giving her such a horrible time and I promise you if you were there and doing the show with Alyssa, she would absolutely be one of your best friends.”
The business owner also compared her own ‘edit’ to Alyssa’s and how she was portrayed completely differently at her wedding to how she was for the rest of the season.
“Also fun fact,” she wrote on another Instagram Story. “Duncan’s literal words to me the last time I saw him were, ‘Alyssa didn’t deserve that edit’.”
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