MAFS' Kate reveals the emotional breakdown that never aired: 'Inconsolable'
While there have been a number of Married At First Sight stars who have complained about their on-screen portrayals, Domenica Calarco and Ella Ding said earlier this month that they believe Kate Laidlaw received the worst ‘edit’ on this year's season.
Now, the 38-year-old clinical nutritionist has opened up about what really happened on the reality TV show and shared the explosive moments that never made it to air during her ‘marriage’ to Matt Ridley.
Speaking candidly with Yahoo Lifestyle, Kate admits that she found it “really hard” watching the show on TV and seeing how she was portrayed.
“I was in tears every day, it was tough,” she says. “I think that the main thing was seeing myself being portrayed on TV as something I don't see myself as.”
As the season aired, Kate faced an onslaught of criticism from viewers online who deemed that she had “no personality whatsoever” and never gave Matt a fair chance. However, she says this couldn’t be further from the truth.
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“I always tried to be really respectful towards Matt, I tried to build a friendship with him and I did try to actually feel it, whether it showed or not,” she asserts.
“I didn't just cut it off at the wedding. I was like, ‘Maybe I will like this guy, maybe I should try to kiss him’. I did think about it. Whereas I felt like it just showed that I just dismissed him right from the start and didn’t give him a go, and I did. I tried to feel it, I really did, but it just didn't get there.
“Also, little scenes where Matt and I were actually getting along and laughing together, none of that was really shown.”
‘This is my last chance’
Kate went on to say that she was often left confused by what the producers chose to air, adding that she thinks some scenes were added purely to make her look like a “horrible person”, but she has an idea of why she was portrayed so negatively.
“I went into the show seriously as someone who was about to turn 40 going, ‘This is my last chance at kids, this is my last chance at marriage’,” she details.
“And so when I got down the end of the aisle and I didn't feel anything, I was going in my head, ‘Oh no, this hasn't worked out. The one chance I thought I had has not worked out’.
“I guess from there I was a little bit withdrawn, so I think maybe they played on that a little bit where they're like, ‘Oh, we're seeing little bits where she's not talking or a bit dismissive, so we're going to give that her as a full character’. Whereas that's not who I am as a full person, that's little snippets of what they thought.”
‘I just cried and cried and cried’
Speaking about moments that never viewers never got to see on TV, Kate admits that she was surprised that the show never aired her “emotional breakdowns”.
“I had one the morning after the wedding where it just all hit me,” she confesses. “Because you're auditioning for months at a time, you're getting all these high hopes and you have the wedding, and I expected it to just be fireworks and the dream and we were going to go off skipping into the sunset.
“And when that didn't happen, I kind of woke up the morning after the wedding and I literally went to the bathroom and I just cried and cried and cried. Because I was like, ‘Aw no, it hasn't worked out’.
“So what you don't see is I had to pull myself together and go, ‘You know what? This guy's auditioned, he’s gone through the same process as me, I’ve got to give this a go. Not only for myself, but for him because he has put himself in this position just like I have’. So I had to pull myself out of that and go on the honeymoon.”
‘This is going to ruin my life’
Kate also says that she had a second “breakdown” later in the season that was also edited out of the show, despite airing during an earlier promo from the season.
“I did have another moment at the commitment ceremony where I guess, by what the experts were saying, I was kind of gathering, ‘Uh oh, they’re not on my side’,” she recalls.
“They were saying I was a bit nasty towards Matt and it kind of clicked in my brain. I just had a complete breakdown where I just walked out of the ceremony, like actually inconsolable. I was literally like, ‘Get me out of here, I don't want to be here anymore. This is going to ruin my life’ type of thing.
“I was at the point where I just wanted to leave because I had tried all I could, but it almost felt like the experts were saying, ‘You have to like this guy’, and I think the pressure of everyone telling me to like someone that I just wasn't feeling for just got too much.”
Kate adds that the scene was a “huge moment” in her MAFS journey, and viewers never got to see that she had to pick herself up “from rock bottom” to continue in the experiment.
“A lot of people online were like, ‘Oh this girl’s putting in no effort, she’s not trying’, but I was,” she continues. “I didn’t want to give up. I wanted to give it one hundred per cent before I was like, ‘Alright, I’m out of here’.
“So Dom actually came after me and she was literally like, ‘You can do this, keep going, go back in there’. I woke up the next day and I was ready to go, I’ll be honest. But I didn’t and I stayed because we were going on the retreat.”
‘A little bit comical now’
Although she wouldn’t classify Matt as an ‘ex-boyfriend’ - “He’s someone that I got into a situation with and we spent time together” - she says that they have a good relationship now after everything that happened in the experiment.
“We went through this whole thing together and we’re not best friends or anything, but we’re okay,” she remarks. “We might have the occasional comment on Instagram or we’ll reply to Stories.”
Post-show, Kate says she is now “more thick-skinned” after copping hate online and she’s starting to see more positives from the experience.
“I watched my wedding recently and now I can laugh about it a little bit,” she says.
“When it was going to air and it was a big joke and everyone was laughing about bad breath and Chicken Twisties and all that, that was emotionally triggering for me. I was annoyed that I had a joke wedding. But now I watch it back and I’m like, ‘Oh okay, well it's a little bit comical now. It’s a little bit cringe’.”
As for dating, Kate is still open to finding love but hasn’t recoupled as quickly as her on-screen husband has.
“I haven’t even thought about dating because I’ve been too busy going through the emotions of the show to revisit that whole dating thing, but one day. We’ll see.”
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