Following Married At First Sight’s explosive first commitment ceremony where Collins Christian clashed with expert John Aiken, Collins’ ‘wife’ Natalie Parham made the surprising decision to leave the experiment during Monday night’s episode.
While it was clear their relationship was non-existent, Collins wrote ‘stay’ at the commitment ceremony to remain on the show for another week so he could “work on things” with Natalie - despite her already having written ‘leave’.
As per the rules of the experiment, if one person writes ‘stay’ the couple must remain on the show for another week until they both re-evaluate their decision at the following week's commitment ceremony.
However, this clearly did not happen as Collins and Natalie abruptly left the experiment less than 48 hours later, with an insider telling Yahoo Lifestyle that the couple were actually ‘removed’ from the show.
“The rules and premise of the show are irrelevant if they compromise a participant's wellbeing or mental health, and ESA [producers Endemol Shine Australia] take their duty of care seriously,” the source shares.
“Natalie had already tried to quit at the first dinner party, but was talked into remaining until the first commitment ceremony to ‘see their storyline through’. When it then became apparent she would have to stay another week, bosses stepped in and removed her and Collins from the show as soon as they could wrap it up on camera.”
The insider continues: “The experiment is an emotional rollercoaster as it is, but factor in Natalie's vulnerability from her lack of relationship experience prior to filming and the grief she was experiencing following her father's very recent death and she was in no state to continue production.”
Meanwhile, Yahoo Lifestyle understands that away from being “disappointed” his time on TV was cut short, Collins has also been “extremely anxious” ahead of the show airing.
Collins is set to return for the reunion dinner party, which was filmed in November, and will come face-to-face with Natalie for the first time since their exit.
Natalie spills on her current relationship with Collins
In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle following her departure from the show, Natalie confirmed that she and Collins are no longer on speaking terms.
The physiotherapist said that viewers will have to wait until the reunion to see an update on their relationship, but that was the first time she “properly” heard from him after they left the experiment.
“We don't talk,” she shared. “What really hurt was he could see how sad and how affected I was by being on the experiment, and he never checked in.
“I checked in with him, he gave me one-word answers, but he never reached out just to see if I was okay.”