Do Married at First Sight producers script the unbelievable? Nope! You can’t make this stuff up

MAFS Is it real?

John Walsh: “We’ve got to follow those stories”

Back bigger than ever, Australia’s favourite social experiment Married at First Sight is promising its most polarising season yet in 2024, but if you thought the producers had a hand in creating the next-level drama, you’d be sorely mistaken.

According to Nine’s MAFS EP John Walsh, the team “don’t know what will happen” but they “know something is going to happen”.

“We’ve got to follow those stories that come,” Walsh told Mediaweek in an interview before January 29’s season 11 premiere. “That’s the big job. Then, it’s about telling those stories because these people all have something to share. Something engaging about them.”

For Endemol Shine Australia Executive Producers Alex Spurway and Mollie Harwood, there’s a certain “pressure” in delivering “something new, fresh and different” each year.

“A lot of that comes down to the cast and the casting of the show, the matches,” Spurway said during the same interview.  “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.

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

MAFS 2024

Married at First Sight 2024. Nine

MAFS 2024 is an “amazing season” full of twists and turns

Walsh, who joined the series in season four alongside Tara McWilliams, Endemol’s Director of Content, admitted that while they don’t aim “to top the previous year”, the “expectations are very high” given it’s the “number one program”.

“Alex, Molly and Tara have delivered an amazing season,” he said before adding that the team had to be “confident in the product which is MAFS” to continue the touchstone’s legacy. “We have a great foundation for the show.”

Further to this, Walsh said there’s a storyline this season that they “never anticipated”, a “hero character who tells a story during confessions week.”

Tim. MAFS 2024

Tim, MAFS Groom 2024. Nine

“And we went, ‘Mate. I wish you hadn’t told that story because it suddenly derails momentarily or otherwise, his story arc.”

While he wouldn’t admit who the cast member was he was referring to, Walsh did divulge that he is a “complex character”.

“You see him one way for the first few weeks and then he says something else and you go, ‘Wow’ and it makes you stop and think. But that’s the show and you’ve got to follow that right through.”

Harwood added: “You’ve got to trust the process and react. You’re like, ‘I wish that didn’t happen but we’ll go there!'”

Season 11 of Married at First Sight premieres on Monday, January 29 at 7.30 pm on Nine and 9Now.

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