MAFS star spills on honeymoon secrets, curfews and other hidden details

EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Lucarelli reveals what viewers don't get to see on TV.

If you ask any Married At First Sight fan what their favourite season of the reality show is, chances are they will say season six.

The 2019 season featured some of the most memorable brides and grooms in the history of the experiment, as well as countless iconic scandals, arguments and one-liners.

MAFS' Melissa Lucarelli / Melissa and Dino Hira.
MAFS’ Melissa Lucarelli has opened up about her time on the show and revealed behind-the-scenes secrets. Photos: Channel Nine

Melissa Lucarelli, who had a short-lived ‘marriage’ to Dino Hira in the experiment, has now shared a surprising insight into her experience on season six and revealed what viewers didn’t get to see on TV.

Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, the 42-year-old opened up about her on-screen portrayal, answered burning questions from viewers and spilled a number of behind-the-scenes secrets.


The 'edit'

While most participants are concerned with getting the ‘villain edit’ on MAFS, Melissa argues the way she was portrayed on the reality show was just as bad.

“I got the very subtle ‘you’re going to be single for the rest of your life’ edit,” she says.

“It all started pre-MAFS. They gave me a cross-eyed promo pic, then my bio was pretty much ‘desperate’, and then my intro video was just a minute of me going bats**t crazy. So basically, going into MAFS I was the desperate, cross-eyed, bats**t crazy bride.”

She also believes the only reason she was matched with Dino, a mediation coach, was for “entertainment value” because there was such a big juxtaposition between them.

“Dino was my polar opposite,” she remarks. “I am high energy, so I didn’t need to be matched with someone that makes me look even more full on, but they did.”

The honeymoons

One of the biggest questions MAFS fans often ask is how it’s decided which couples receive an overseas honeymoon and which couples stay in Australia.

Melissa explains that the decision ultimately comes down to when your wedding takes place over a two-week schedule.

“The weddings are divided over two weeks, so if you're married in the first week you go international, and if you're in the second you go local because you all have to be back on that weekend to do the first dinner party,” she details.

“I went international because I was married in the first week. So yes, it means I went international, but it also meant another week with my husband. Could be good for some, maybe not for others!”

MAFS' Alyssa and Duncan kissing on their honeymoon / MAFS' Ollie and Tahnee kissing on their honeymoon.
Melissa says the timing of the weddings has to do with where the couples spend their honeymoons. Photos: Channel Nine

The apartments

Unlike season 10 where the brides and grooms appeared to socialise away from the cameras during the experiment, Melissa says her season was completely different.

“We had an eight o'clock curfew from the get-go that we had to be in our apartments with our partner, so we weren’t allowed to socialise at all,” she shares.

“My room would get swept for girls, because they would come over to have a chat and have a wine, and I'd always get caught and I was always in trouble.

“Also, we couldn't just have separate apartments. This season it feels like they're all in separate apartments, they’re all going out together, and they all seem to be catching up with their friends or whatever. Man, I wouldn't have left if that was the case! Like, that sounds awesome! It feels like it's a different experiment.”

The experts

Melissa adds that another key difference between her season and the current season is the role of the three relationship experts.

“The experts actually have a much bigger role now,” she says. “They didn't really on our season.

“They were kind of just there to listen and they didn't really give advice like they do now or call people out or really anything like that. Now they really get involved, and I think it's great.

MAFS experts Alessandra, Mel and John
Melissa believes the experts have ‘a much bigger role’ on the show now compared to season six. Photo: Channel Nine

The dinner parties

While the show’s iconic dinner parties are edited to fit a 90-minute episode, Melissa reveals it’s “exhausting” how long they actually take to film.

“The dinner parties can sometimes go until four in the morning, and then you're up again for the commitment ceremony,” she describes.

“Watching people come into the cocktail parties it looks like they come in quite quickly, but sometimes it's a half an hour gap between people coming in.”

She adds that the dinner parties are “a very controlled environment”, which means there are certain restrictions in place.

“When people go, ‘How did you not know they were cheating in the next room?’, it's not like you're allowed to just get up,” she says.

“So we would always just assume they were going to the toilet, because even going to the toilet you had to have a runner take you, or we thought they were filming their voxies. And they never got caught, obviously, because the producers wouldn't let us out if they were cheating in the next room.

Also, a lot of the time I see people going, ‘Ooh they’ve got earpieces because they're speaking into the mike’. That's us going, ‘We need a bathroom break' or something. So we're talking into the mike, but we can’t hear them. “

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