In a never-seen-before moment on Married At First Sight Australia last night, one of the grooms sensationally quit the show before filming had even begun.
MAFS producers found themselves in unfamiliar territory as expert John Aiken was forced to travel to Melbourne to inform groom Michael Felix that his match had decided to quit the show via email right before their wedding.
While John explained Simon Flocco's decision to withdraw was down to “the pressure” and “the unknown” of the experiment, Yahoo Lifestyle can reveal there was a bit more to it than that.
A show insider revealed: “The day after filming the bucks party, show bosses called all the grooms in for a meeting whilst they were in Sydney.
“They spent hours going over their contracts which they'd all now signed, discussing in great detail the potential ramifications if they breach them and breaking down exactly what the next six months would be like, including press intrusion and people from their pasts speaking out.”
The production source added that producers do this “scare tactic” every year as a way to “keep the cast in line” once filming officially starts, but it “backfired with Simon”.
Simon, who has a teenage son from his previous marriage, was already “having doubts” about doing the show and how this may impact his family – and that meeting is said to have “convinced him to go with his gut” and “quit before it went any further”.
Simon refuses to hand over his Instagram account
Last week, it was revealed by Daily Mail Australia that while Simon initially permitted Channel Nine to access his Instagram account pre-show, he has since changed his mind, with the publication reporting he has ‘mentally checked out’.
He told the outlet it was a ‘real shocker’ when he saw himself in the official line-up for the show after presuming he would be edited out.
“Why am I even in the line-up? I suppose they’d do anything for ratings, right?” he said.