MAFS star reveals surprising 'positive' from controversial photo ranking task

EXCLUSIVE: Here's why a former bride says she's grateful for the challenge.

While Married At First Sight is known for creating frequent reality TV controversy, themed weeks like Confessions Week and Intimacy Week often fuel some of the more dramatic storylines as the season continues.

But not all Confessions Week tasks are made equal. While there is an obvious point in some tasks like the values ranking, things like the photo ranking task often cause arguments and distrust amongst the couples.

ICYMI, the photo ranking tasks involve the brides and grooms ranking the other participants of the opposite sex based on their attractiveness. While some deem it a challenge in often brutal honesty, this week we saw contestant Timothy Smith call out the task and label it as 'unfair and unrealistic'.

MAFS’ Richard Sauerman doing the photo ranking task
MAFS' photo ranking challenge often causes controversy amongst the cast. Photo: Channel Nine

Season 10 bride Caitlin McConville had arguably one of worst experiences during the photo ranking challenge last year when her partner Shannon Adams ranked her second but brutally moved her to third place upon further consideration.

During an appearance on Yahoo Australia’s Behind the Edit podcast this week, Caitlin shared that in hindsight she is grateful for the task and what it revealed about her ‘husband’.

“The positive thing and the benefit that I did get from the photo ranking challenge was that it did give me the opportunity to see how my partner spoke about other people,” she said.


“And to see how he kind of held himself and behaved coming into a challenge like that, it gave me the opportunity to see whether he spoke positively about others and nasty about others, or whether he would pick people apart and put them down.

“It gave me the opportunity to see how he would be towards me and the comments he would make towards me and whether they were honest but respectful and caring, or whether they were rude and derogatory. So the benefit of that was I got to know, on a deeper level, what my partner was like and how he handled himself.”

MAFS’ Caitlin McConville.
Season 10 bride Caitlin McConville says she's grateful for the photo ranking challenge. Photo: Channel Nine

'Ranking other people's hotness isn't going to bring you closer'

Yahoo Lifestyle also spoke to Lovehoney Sex & Relationship Expert Christine Rafe about the photo ranking task and whether she believes there's any chance it could strengthen a relationship - or if it is just setting people up to fail.

"Straight up, asking someone to rank other people's hotness isn't going to bring you closer. It's like throwing a match into a pile of kindling and expecting it not to ignite," Christine said.

"This task is more likely to fan the flames of jealousy and insecurity than warm up your love life. And when you're already in the pressure cooker of a reality TV marriage, that's the last thing you need."

Christine explained that a way to actually build intimacy within a relationship would be to instead focus on what they find attractive in one another.

"Talking about what specifically draws you to your partner can be a game-changer," she said. "Imagine sitting down with your partner and sharing what you find most attractive about them, and vice versa. It's not just a feel-good moment; it's a way to build intimacy and reinforce your connection.

"This practice can make both of you feel valued, seen, and appreciated, laying down layers of trust and emotional intimacy that are essential for a strong relationship."

Jono and Lauren doing MAFS' photo ranking task
'This task is more likely to fan the flames of jealousy and insecurity than warm up your love life.' Photo: Channel Nine

Christine also pointed out that while the photo ranking challenge may bring in viewers who tune in for the drama of it, it doesn't foster a healthy environment for the couples partaking in the task.

"While the photo ranking challenge might offer a momentary spike in viewer engagement, its utility in fostering genuine connection and intimacy among couples is questionable. Instead, we should prioritise tasks and discussions that build trust, respect, and understanding," she shared.

"Cultivating a relationship based on these principles is far more likely to result in a lasting and fulfilling partnership than a manufactured test of physical attraction."

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