MAFS star's take on the Jono and Ellie scandal: 'Validation for every woman'

Tahnee Cook shares her honest thoughts on the final commitment ceremony and final dinner party.

It’s officially the last week of the experiment before Final Vows on MAFS. I remember at this time I was so done with filming and ready to get back into normal life. You’re so close to the end and you’ve had enough at this point.

We saw a huge bombshell drop about Jono and Lauren, which didn’t really come as a surprise given the spoilers we saw earlier in the season. At the commitment ceremony, Tori shared with the group that she had received some intel that Jono had been messaging Ellie.

MAFS’ Jono McCullough and Lauren Dunn.
MAFS’ Jono McCullough was called out for texting Ellie Dix behind his partner Lauren Dunn's back. Photo: Channel Nine

I just know Tori loved being able to put the heat on Jono and Lauren for once instead of them coming at her. It was just SO uncomfortable to see how Jono was so obviously lying about the relationship he had with Ellie at the time.

We uncovered the volume of messages that were being exchanged between the two and honestly, it was pretty shocking. I know I wouldn’t be comfortable if my husband was messaging another woman over 100 times in the space of a few weeks. I don’t even think I message my close friends that much!


Now that we know Jono and Ellie are together. The killer for me was Jono saying that Elle is “not his type”. So wild. I feel this is just collective validation for every woman out there who has been suspicious of someone their man has been speaking to. All I’m going to say is, if your gut is telling you something is suss it most likely is.

Apart from the honesty box between Jono and Lauren, I found the dinner party to be relatively boring - but that’s the toxic side of me speaking. It makes me reflect back and they really gave us so much drama at the dinner parties this year. I’m sure the producers were loving that!

MAFS' Lauren and Jono at the final dinner party.
Apart from the honesty box between Jono and Lauren, I found the dinner party to be relatively boring. Photo: Channel Nine

'A bit rich coming from her of all people'

The honesty box was always going to be a prickly task with everyone. In our year, it caused fights with every single couple apart from Ollie and me. You are all given very targeted and pointy questions which are guaranteed for an uncomfortable time. But we were first, which was somewhat of a relief to get it over and done with.

Here is a bit of behind-the-scenes from my season. One of our questions was centred around if we were in love. I remember how much I didn’t want to answer this question because Ollie and I had actually already told each other “I love you” but in private. We didn’t really want to share that with everyone (and the world) at that time. I think we were just being cautious to see how things would play out in the real world.

It was just such a crazy concept to meet someone on a TV show and feel that way so quickly. But I think sometimes the viewers forget that 3 months in MAFS time is probably like 6-12 months in real-time.

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The main course of drama for the night was of course the new cheating allegations of Jono. It took no time for Sara to bring it up at the table - which I have to say did feel a bit rich coming from her of all people, but I digress. It’s very clear to us that more is going on between Jono and Ellie than he is giving off.

Photo: Channel Nine
I thought it was a bit rich that Sara was the one to bring up the cheating allegations. Photo: Channel Nine

'Feels so icky to me'

However, I have seen floating around that Lauren previously knew about them texting before it was brought up in the group. Apparently, Tori had flagged this to her and they agreed to bring it up at the commitment ceremony couch. Which to be honest, is exactly how producers would’ve wanted that scenario to play out. I haven’t really seen a huge spark between Jono and Lauren in these last few weeks but I did think it was pretty s**tty of Jono to be messaging Ellie when Lauren was in hospital AND in Perth whilst sleeping with her at the same time. It just feels so icky to me.

Although I don’t particularly agree with how Jono and Ellie went about getting together, I feel it’s important to note that if we are going to support other couples who have got together from the experiment, I think we need to keep the same energy for Jono and Ellie. It begs the question, could MAFS do a better job at putting different people in the experiment together? Are there people in the experiment who may be better suited or is it just a roll of the dice to see what works (or doesn’t work) best? I’d honestly love to know!


The other couples seem to be chugging along just fine. No major dramas with the others so I think it’s looking pretty obvious what will happen at Final Vows but we know MAFS loves to throw a spanner in the works sometimes so we’ll have to wait and see what happens next week.

I can’t believe we are almost at the end of MAFS for 2024. It’s been such a journey and I'm honestly sad we only have 2 weeks left. Bring on the final vows!

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