Jono and Lauren on MAFS
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Investigation: Do MAFS producers encourage the drama like Jonothan and Lauren claim?

Who's actually the puppet master?

There’s a tonne of drama on MAFS 2024 already, but according to Jono McCullough and Lauren Dunn, a lot of it was orchestrated by producers.

The couple called Daily Mail Australia to dish the dirt about what went down at the first Dinner Party.

Jono told the publication the MAFS cast was told by producers to amp up the drama between the couples and cast members.

“Everyone was having an awesome time and then we got a stern talking to that we needed to be real and honest,” he said.

“Soon everyone just starts unleashing, so expect some sparks to fly.”

MAFS. Nine.

MAFS EP denies encouraging the contestants to create drama

Although Jono and Lauren went rogue and said that the producer pushed them to create drama, the show’s Executive Producer said that wasn’t the cast.

During an interview with Chattr, Nine’s MAFS EP John Walsh said that the job of the producers is to follow the storyline lines that the couples create themselves.

“A lot of that [the stories] comes down to the cast and the casting of the show, the matches,” Alex said. “When you’re casting 20 different people to what you cast in the last series, you’re always going to get completely different storylines, completely different reactions, dinner parties, weddings and relationships,” he said.

“We never truly know what will happen between each of these couples, and without a doubt, you’re always going to have something different.”

“We’ve got to follow those stories that come,” he said. “That’s the big job. Then, it’s about telling those stories because these people all have something to share. Something engaging about them.”

MAFS. Nine.

A past contestant backed Lauren and Jono’s claims

Former MAFS groom Michael Brunelli, who is engaged and has a baby with her bride Martha K, revealed that producers do play puppet master to a degree.

“If they know you have a problem with someone [and] they know you’re feeling a little bit emotional, they might put you at a dinner party sitting across from them, knowing that after a few hours, something is going to brew,” he said on TikTok.

@mbrunelli Reply to @a.neke #MAFS #MAFSA ♬ original sound – Michael Brunelli

However, Michael denied that the drama on MAFS is fake.

“The emotions are real, the issues are real,” he added.

So, do producers create the drama?

The jury’s still out, however, it appears that a lot of the issues form organically between the cast members. That being said, it definitely sounds as though the producers don’t mind giving the drama an extra little push.

Watch Married at First Sight Sundays at 7.00pm and Monday – Thursday at 7.30pm on Nine and 9Now.

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