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Interview: John Aiken loves calling out MAFS couples on their sh*t behaviour

"I find that very exciting"

Relationship expert John Aiken isn’t afraid to get stuck into the Married At First Sight brides and grooms when he doesn’t agree with their views, and MAFS 2024 will be no exception.

During an interview with Chattr, ahead of the season ten premiere, the relationship specialist said that he feels as though it’s his “responsibility” to ensure that he points out questionable behaviour that he notices in the participant’s relationships.

“Over the last three seasons, I’ve become more direct,” he said. “You’re in a privileged position where you can give them really hard-hitting feedback in a short amount of time, in the hope that it lands and it changes.”

“You really have a responsibility as an expert to call out bad behaviour and make them accountable.”

John Aiken on MAFS
MAFS. Nine.

John Aiken says many of the participants haven’t been called out before

John believes that a lot of the participants haven’t experienced being told that they’re doing things wrong before, and he thinks that his honest assessments of their relationship help them.

“I’m of the opinion now that a lot of the time, they [the participants have] never heard anything like that. They’ve grown up in families, around friendships, who are basically saying yes, so I’m one of the first people that say no, and I find that very exciting.”

John Aiken finds the opportunity to give the participants honest feedback exciting

As one of the three MAFS experts, alongside Mel Shilling and Alessandra Rampolla, John feels honoured to be in a position where he can give the participants honest, and sometimes brutal, feedback.

MAFS experts
MAFS. Nine.

“In a lot of reality shows the judges are put on a pedestal, whereas in this experiment, when I go at them, they’re likely to come right back and, and that’s very compelling.”

John listed MAFS season nine groom Harrison Boon as one of the participants who fired back when he was given advice.

And, John said that his feedback doesn’t always “land” with the brides and grooms.

“Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t, but you really have a responsibility as an expert to call out bad behaviour and make them accountable,” he said.

“What’s great is for me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say when I sit down, but I’m very, very excited about what is going to unfold.”

“But it goes to that whole idea that we’re talking about the unpredictable, unscripted nature of it. Yeah, you know, we’re sitting there as experts going, what are we going to hear tonight? And how are we going to respond? So it’s, it’s fantastic to be part of it.”

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

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