Married at First Sight: Australia premieres on Lifetime May 27. For many U.S. viewers, it will be their first look at the Aussie take on the hit reality show. And it won’t be quite like the American version. There will be a different set of relationship experts, way more couples (12 versus the five feature in MAFS Season 10), and those Australian accents. Plus, there’s one same-sex couple and several cast members have children. But the biggest difference might not be immediately obvious to viewers.
The couples on ‘Married at First Sight: Australia’ don’t actually get married
As fans of Married at First Sight know, the show isn’t all made-for-TV drama. The couples on the series really do say “I do” to a person they’ve never met, entering a legally binding marriage for the duration of the show. However, all participants sign a prenup so that if they decide not to stay together, they can get out of the relationship with a minimum of financial fallout.
That’s not the case on Married at First Sight: Australia. The on-camera ceremonies aren’t legally binding. In Australia, people who plan to wed must file a Notice of Intended Marriage 30 days before the big day, Now to Love explained. Instead, the Australian couples go through a commitment ceremony (that looks a lot like a wedding) and are giving the option of formalizing their union at the end of the show.
The Australian version of ‘Married at First Sight’ is different in other ways
Not only are the “weddings” on MAFS: Australia not legal, but the show has a completely different vibe than the U.S. version. For one, there’s apparently way more drama, according to a person on Reddit who has watched the show. And the cast members are in it for fame, not true love, they added.
“AUS is basically a bunch of social media influencers/wannabe actors looking to get more attention, exposure, and followers,” the person wrote.
A number of commenters on Instagram wrote that the Australian version of the show looked “trashy.”
“It’s a no for me dawg,” one wrote. “Based off the previews of this show it looks like these couples are making a mockery of marriage.”
‘MAFS’ alum Jamie Otis says she can’t wait to watch
While some devoted MAFS fans say they won’t tune in to watch the Australian show, others can’t wait to see what happens. That includes Married at First Sight Season 1 alum Jamie Otis.
“I heard the Australian version is bonkers,” Otis commented on Instagram. “Like couples switch partners, etc. I’m glad we keep it more simple & real here in America. (And our couples – well, *most* of our couples – are married bc they genuinely want true love/marriage) ….BUT, I def wanna watch this version bc I’ve heard it’s absolutely NUTTY.”
Season 8’s AJ Vollmoeller had a less enthusiastic reaction. “The Australian version is an insult to the experiment and all of us who are actually in it for love,” wrote Vollmoeller, who appears on the new series Married at First Sight: Couples’ Cam. “It’s trashy as trashy gets.”
Married at First Sight: Australia airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime.