Well, dear friends, Married at First Sight is blessedly over for another year — leaving us with Australia’s latest favourite couple, Patrick Dwyer and Belinda Vickers, and the country’s least favourite, Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson.
Yes, we know there were also a bunch of other couples on the show (some who even seemed to find “the one”) but let’s call a spade a spade and admit that we kept watching each week because we were transfixed by the often problematic dynamic between Ruthven and Rawson.
In fact, so many people found their relationship to be worrying that a petition was circulated by viewers who claimed that Channel 9 had “failed in their duty of care” and that Rawson was “being subjected to mental torture, very obviously to the viewer, creating a distressing viewing experience, especially those who are victims of DV (domestic violence) relationships.”
The call to action may have attracted over 15,000 signatures but, evidently, that hasn’t affected the couple, as their latest big reveal has been splashed across the latest issue of New Idea: they are engaged and expecting twins.
“People saw on the show how loyal Mel was. I’m pleased to say that this has transitioned to the real world,” Bryce said in the interview with New Idea, saying that they’ve blossomed after the show, without any producers or editors around.
“We’re not doing this for anybody else – it’s about us, we’re cementing our love. Melissa deserves to be happy and apparently, I’m very good at that, so I’m looking forward to making it all official.”
Although it’s (really) tough not to cringe reading those quotes in the voice of Bryce, their pursuit of love has carried through since they left the experiment together, having been one of the more successful couples to come from MAFS.
“We’d already been married on the show and, with our relationship getting stronger, this just felt like the logical next step,” Melissa says in the cover story interview with New Idea.
And, because it’s true that drama makes good television and, apparently, people want to see more of Bryce and Melissa. Recently, Ruthven also previously told Women’s Day magazine that he and his wife are in talks for their own MAFS spinoff.
“We’re actually in talks to have our own reality show,” Ruthven told the magazine.
That’s right, in case the news of Netflix’s ill-conceived unscripted Instagram influencer series Byron Baes wasn’t gag-inducing enough, Australia’s most problematic couple might also be given a bigger platform with which to make us facepalm.
Said Rawson, “It’d be amazing to showcase why we love each other so much and who we are as people outside of the show because we’re just two normal people, and maybe we weren’t supposed to be together but we’ve overcome all the odds.”
The show could potentially be a one-off wedding special — especially now that they are officially engaged — or it could be something a tad more fleshed out and spanning multiple episodes.
Ruthven and Rawson’s relationship, and Ruthven’s apparent gaslighting of his wife, did not just draw ire from distressed audience members but from fellow participants too. Ruthven’s alleged transgressions outside of the experiment — which included sending a gift to a secret girlfriend — became the central point of drama on the reality series with the former radio announcer butting heads with the majority of his fellow participants.
Despite all of the discord, Ruthven and Rawson chose to stay together in the final vows and, as we now know, are set to expand their family by two.
Whether or not their reality series will actually go ahead remains to be seen, but here’s hoping Channel 9 take into account the voices of those who signed the petition and, at the very least, slap a trigger warning on whatever format the project ends up taking on.