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MAFS: The huge change to this year's season that no one has noticed

Married At First Sight’s eleventh season has switched things up in a major way.

Married At First Sight bosses have made a very subtle yet significant tweak to this year's season of the reality show that many viewers haven't even noticed, despite it completely changing how the general public perceives the series.

After years of fans questioning how genuine the experiment is, Yahoo Lifestyle can reveal that producers Endemol Shine Australia and Channel Nine decided to “re-assess their whole approach” for season 11 to remind people that, first and foremost, MAFS is a television show intended to entertain and any relationships that blossom are simply a bonus.

MAFS' Cassandra / Natalie being picked up by the producers at her wedding.
MAFS producers have chosen to ‘break the fourth wall’ numerous times this season. Photos: Channel Nine

The way they have achieved that this year is by “breaking the fourth wall” - a method used where a performer or show acknowledges the presence of the audience, the camera, or any other observer.

While producers usually take a backseat in the experiment and make sure not to be seen, this year they have done the complete opposite. Crew members have been present in almost every episode since the weddings, and they were even shown carrying bride Natalie Parham down the aisle at her wedding and calling her “precious cargo”.

Producers can also be heard engaging with the cast members in their piece-to-camera interviews, whereas previously the participants were told to repeat all questions back in their answers so the producers’ voices could be edited out.

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Following the first commitment ceremony, the editors even decided to include a shot showing two crew members blowing out candles across the set and a cameraman putting his camera down.

Sunday night’s episode also included an interesting shot of Tori Adams and Jack Dunkley sitting together on one of the commitment ceremony couches as the producers cleaned up around them.

MAFS producer packing up after the commitment ceremony.
Crew members have been featured in nearly every episode this season. Photo: Channel Nine

Why have producers decided to switch things up?

A production insider tells Yahoo Lifestyle that these subtle changes were made to “reinvigorate the whole program”.

“Breaking the fourth wall also takes the power away from the participants when they walk away and blame everything on producers,” the source adds.

“Previously the producers have been perceived as these nameless, faceless entities. Viewers can now see them, hear them and realise they're not villains.”

The insider also shares that the decision to cast former Home and Away star Madeleine Maxwell as an intruder was a “conscious choice” made to almost “hit back” at how many people accuse the cast of being “secret actors” every year.

By bringing her in and acknowledging she's a former actress from her first episode, this again reminds viewers that MAFS is a television show designed to entertain.

On another note, the insider believes making this change this year also helps “humanise” the participants and remind viewers they are real people filming a television show.

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