MAFS, The Block, The Challenge: The most controversial TV moments of 2022
From cheating scandals to alleged glass smashings – here are the wildest on-screen moments this year.
There’s never a dull moment when it comes to reality television, and we sure have weathered a few storms throughout 2022 in some of Australia’s best binge-worthy reality series. From cheating scandals, fiery standoffs, alleged glassings, on-air walkouts and steamy shower trysts; we’ve seen it all.
We round up the year’s most controversial moments in crowd-favourites MAFS, The Block and The Challenge; moments that have made for some stellar love-to-hate viewing in 2022.
MAFS nude picture scandal, warring brides and alleged glassings
Arguably the most dramatic controversy to hit TV screens this year was the spectacular feud between MAFS brides Domenica Calarco and Olivia Frazer.
Viewers were kept on the edge of their seats with the explosive rivalry escalating over a series of episodes in the 2022 series of Married At First Sight.
Tensions between the brides ignited over a nude photo scandal brought to light by Olivia, leading to a fiery clash between brides and on-air walkout.
When Olivia uncovered her fellow bride Domenica’s private OnlyFans account and subsequently leaked a nude photo of Dom to the rest of the group, talk of the salacious image continued to ripple through the cast across multiple episodes of the reality TV show.
With Domenica and her onscreen partner the only contestants unaware the photo had been shared, the pair were subsequently blindsided during one of the show’s weekly dinner parties.
“We’ve all seen an image of you pretty much naked on a couch,” Married At First Sight groom Cody Bromley blurted across the table to Domenica during the dinner party.
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It went on to become the dinner party that had all of Australia talking, as the story came to light with Olivia eventually admitting her part in sharing the nude photo to the group, claiming the image surfaced when she googled Domenica’s name online. Olivia remained unrepentant for circulating the image over the course of the show and afterwards.
“When someone smashes a glass in your face, you Google them,” she famously told fellow bride Tamara Djordjevic, referring to another controversy that played out to viewers during the season.
That’s right, the fiery nude photo scandal showdown wasn’t the first onscreen blow-up between the two. with the pair facing off at a couples retreat after Olivia told Domenica to rethink how she “speaks to people”, sending the former makeup artist into a rage.
Dom went on to smash a wine glass on the table during the argument before walking off, with talk of an alleged MAFS ‘glassing’ incident boiling over onto the internet in the lead-up to the season.
Olivia went on to go as far as calling the incident an assault and claimed Domenica waved the glass in her face, while it was clear to viewers Domenica rather simply smashed it on the table and put it down.
The warring brides have not been able to make amends post-show, with the feud continuing to spill over to social media long after MAFS finished airing for the year.
$50K cheating scandal and rule-breaking rocks The Block 2022
In recent years, The Block hasn’t been able to escape cheating scandals, with the 2022 season no exception with not one but two cheating scandals rocking the contestants.
The first drama unfolded when one of the contestants' regular weekly ‘challenges’ saw the teams asked to recreate Levantine Hill’s 2015 Samantha’s Paddock Wine, which came with a hefty prize of $50,000 worth of wine.
Teams were given a selection of grapes to mix, with most tasting and smelling the wine in an attempt to understand the blend. Blockheads Ankur and Sharon, however, took a different tact.
The pair turned to Google to research the tasting notes for the 2015 Samantha’s Paddock Wine and found the exact quantities needed to recreate the blend.
Taking only nine minutes to finish their wine—with fellow Blockheads not finishing for a further hour—the tactic left the other teams furious, especially when Ankur and Sharon’s wine was chosen as the winner almost immediately.
The advantage gained during the wine-themed task saw the pair win the coveted $50,000 worth of wine for their wine cellar.
Fellow contestants had some questions, asking how Ankur and Sharon had concocted a near-perfect replica so quickly.
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As Ankur explained, he’d drunk that exact wine, which retails at $250 a bottle, “every day during Covid".
Their fellow competitors were less than convinced by the couple’s explanation for knowing the exact blend of the premium wine.
The piano that cost a Block team the win
The $50,000 cheating scandal wasn’t the only controversy to rock The Block this season, with contestants Omar and Oz disqualified from winning the living and dining room challenge, with three points deducted from their total score, also impacting their overall ranking.
The controversy boiled down to one baby grand piano the pair only paid $7,000 for. According to the rules of The Block, contestants can only receive up to 50 per cent discount on items purchased for their houses, but the baby grand piano reportedly retailed for $36,000, with the pair forking out well below the 50 per cent discount cap.
The boys attempted to talk their way out of the punishment, claiming the piano maker quoted them a cost price because he was struggling to sell it, however, host Scotty Cam said the rule refers to the retail price and they should have spent at least $11,000 more on the instrument.
The Block houses that won’t sell
In what should probably be classed as the biggest controversy of the season, two of the houses from what was billed to be the biggest season of The Block yet failed to even sell at auction.
After contestants Tom and Sarah-Jane only made a meagre $20,000 profit on the sale of their house, two further teams made the decision to pass their houses in at auction in the hopes they might negotiate better prices post-show.
Bed stealing and steamy shower scandals in The Challenge Australia
The Challenge brings together 22 of Australia’s most popular sports legends, influencers and reality TV stars to compete in a series of physical challenges for a prize of $200,000.
The Challenge sees some of reality TV’s most explosive contestants brought together in the one show, including “Cyclone” Cyrell Paule of MAFS fame, Abbie Chatfield's former partner Konrad Bien-Stephen and the notoriously lippy Ryan Gallagher.
It only took a single episode for the first scandal to surface with contestants Ciarran Stott (The Bachelorette) and Love Island’s Audrey Kanongara jumping into a late-night steamy shower sesh despite both being in relationships outside the show.
The raunchy incident left viewers wondering what had actually happened and the pair with a lot of explaining to do to their respective real-life partners.
In fact, the first 60-minute episode of The Challenge Australia was rife with mind-numbing drama involving Audrey Kanongara, with Cyrell Paule kicking off in her direction almost immediately around the etiquette of 'dibbsing' a bed.
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In what seemed like a controversy usually reserved for eight-year-olds, Audrey threw her heels onto one of the house beds to 'bags' it while Cyrell tossed down her own placeholder T-shirt to claim the bed as her own.
Cyrell went on to scream the house down, claiming that the “first challenge” was to reserve a bed using a T-shirt given to them by The Challenge Australia. A story based in pure fiction, but that made for a solid first five minutes of reality drama.
Eventually, Cyrell conceded and told Audrey to "shove that f**king bed up your a** then".
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