MAFS star exposes producer tactics to get participants to 'open up'

EXCLUSIVE: One of the show’s most outspoken brides has shared a major behind-the-scenes secret.

A former Married At First Sight participant has revealed the surprising tactics producers use to encourage cast members to open up about their feelings on camera.

During the recent couples retreat viewers saw Timothy Smith walk off set after sharing a vulnerable moment with his partner Lucinda Light about how losing several family members ultimately made him lose himself.

MAFS’ Timothy Smith crying.
MAFS’ Timothy Smith teared up while filming a piece-to-camera interview on the retreat. Photos: Channel Nine

The 51-year-old groom was shown crying in the driveway of the Byron Bay property before returning to film a piece-to-camera interview later that evening.

“Everyone has an anchor, and it’s generally you’re family,” he said through tears. “I guess just being around everybody and hearing everybody, it just brings it all to light.

“You just don’t know who you are anymore.”


Season 10 bride Alyssa Barmonde unpacked the emotional moment on this week’s episode of Yahoo Lifestyle’s Behind the Edit podcast and pointed out that producers would’ve had to run after Timothy and “coax him into being on camera” after he stormed off.

“At that point in time you're just like, ‘I don't want to be around anyone, I need to get out of the situation, I need to be with my feelings’, and they're like, ‘Can you get it on camera? I need to get it on camera’,” she detailed.

“That's the thing that makes me feel really ick about the whole production side of things. He was probably still really in his emotions and he probably wasn't ready to speak to the producer about what he was going through. So bravo for him to kind of pick up the pieces and do that.”

MAFS’ Alyssa Barmonde.
Season 10 bride Alyssa Barmonde exposed the producers' tactics to get participants to open up. Photo: Yahoo

How do producers get participants to open up?

Alyssa revealed that from her experience, producers “act like your best friend” so participants feel close enough that they will be open and honest with them.

“So when you're having this emotional breakdown, they're the first ones to run after you like, ‘Are you okay? What’s going on? Do you want to talk about it? It might feel better if you talk about it a little bit. Do you need a break? Do you need some water? Can I get you anything?’,” she shared.

“So they try to, I guess, calm you down before [they say], ‘Do you think you can do just a few minutes just to get your emotions out? I feel like it's a really important part of your story’. And then in your head, you're like, ‘Well, I think maybe it is good that I talk about it’.”


She added that producers constantly remind participants of the viewers watching at home and encourage them to open up so people can connect with them and understand their story.

“You're already so broken as a person at this point, like they've been in the experiment six or seven weeks [by the time you go to retreat], so you're so shattered at this point - emotionally, mentally, physically,” she remarked. “It’s taxing, and then you have to just be thrown into the deep end.”

Subscribe to Yahoo Lifestyle's podcast Behind The Edit and listen to the full interview with Alyssa Barmonde here.

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