The producers of “Married At First Sight” (MAFS) have said the content of Season 10 is “pretty ballsy” and will “get the country talking again”.
The bold claims come ahead of the Season 10 premiere on Jan. 30.
The controversial reality program – which bills itself as a relationship experiment – has increasingly courted headlines and outrage in recent years, including accusations of glorifying or excusing toxic relationships, showcasing racism and pairing fundamentally incompatible people together in the name of creating drama.
The producers, however, insisted they were immensely proud of this season, and predicted it would capture the imagination of the country.
“[Season 10] does not disappoint. It comes out punching from literally the first seconds on air and it continues to do that,” Tara McWilliams, director of content at Endemol Shine Australia, said.
“This year we’re absolutely going to tackle more things. Gaslighting gets tackled again, but other things about the way people treat each other in relationships, which for us – we think we’ve seen it all – is shocking… If we’re being shocked still, then you know the content’s pretty ballsy.”
The series will run for 36 episodes, giving it plenty of time to showcase more scandals.
“We have scandals again, but scandals that you haven’t seen. And that’s what I love about this, the reality Gods have really kind of smiled down on us… because it’s never a rinse and repeat. It’s not the same thing [as previous seasons],” McWilliams said.
“And we are absolutely going to get the country talking again. What I love about “MAFS” is it starts a lot of dialogue. Last year it was the Only Fans dialogue. It was the racism dialogue… This season does the same thing, and it’s going to have people divided about a lot of things, and it’s going to have people fired up about a lot of things.”
John Walsh, the executive producer for the Nine Network, noted the dangers of constantly trying to top or outdo previous seasons – particularly for a show which consistently rates No. 1 in the country.
“It was a real challenge to come in with this. People’s expectations of “MAFS” are very high. And I used to get asked a lot ‘How are you going to top Season 9?’ And it’s a path fraught with danger to set out to try and top it,” he said.
“So we’ve just set out to make another season of very, very compelling content, with different characters that you haven’t seen before [and] scandals – but not quite the scandals you’ve seen before.
“So there’s lots of great things that hit all the “MAFS” marks, but things play out in ways that you just won’t expect.”
McWilliams was similarly stoked with the end product.
“When we first took over in Season 4 and kind of blew it up, I never thought I would be here talking about Season 10, and it still being I guess the No. 1 show in the country and still capturing the imagination of the country and still being – we know when it goes to air everyone’s talking about it. So we’re immensely proud of that,” she said.
“Every year… we go ‘How do we top last year? How do we do it?’ And every season seems to be better than the last… We’re very, very proud of [that]. And [we have] new storylines and new different types of characters, and every year we’re surprised by what these people bring and how they open up and how they, I guess, reveal themselves and how they respond to certain situations and their partners and being in certain relationships – and this is absolutely no different.”