Mel Lucarelli shot to fame on season six of Married at First Sight when she was paired with a spiritual meditation coach, Dino Hira.
From the moment she locked eyes on him — late and entering on a white horse —, Lucarelli knew she was in way over her head — because let’s face it. Hira was her total opposite.
From the producers announcing she hadn’t had sex in eight years to that phone recording scandal, the 39-year-old certainly didn’t have it easy.
So, what if she could do it all over again?
In an exclusive for TheLatch—, Mel gives her past self some and future contestants serious advice with the benefit of hindsight.
What I Want Future MAFS Contestants to Know
by Mel Lucarelli
It’s hard to believe that it is already that time of year.
A brand new season and brand new couples are about to enter the Married at First Sight experiment and from what we’re hearing, there’s more scandal and more drama than ever before.
This year, I get to sit back and enjoy the drama with the rest of the country. But, last year? Last year painted a very different picture.
In the lead up to the series premiere, the wait was nerve-inducing, especially because we had no idea what was about to air.
And then it happened. The all-important moment when the full cast of brides and grooms were first introduced.
“Melissa is ‘desperate to find a man so she can give up the exhausting hunt for a husband.”
“Melissa who is deeply insecure about her looks and, drum roll please…. hasn’t had sex in EIGHT years!”
I was mortified.
Before I knew it, my picture (I very definitely appeared cross-eyed) and my bio were everywhere. Plastered all over magazines, online sites, and on social media.
It was at this moment I realised just how real this was; and just how big this whole experiment was about to become…
So, what advice would I give myself knowing what I know now?
1. MONITOR YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
When I signed up for MAFS, I had been manless, dateless and let’s face it, sexless for eight years, so the thought of having three experts finding, testing and matching me with a significant other was literally the dream. And honestly? I thought this was going to be “it” for me.
While I had no idea what to expect of the experience, one thing I hadn’t counted on was being totally mismatched.
The experiment was challenging — emotionally, mentally, physically and the environment and situations you are put in are extreme.
But the hardest thing? Who you are matched with defines your entire experience.
Everything from our personalities to our belief systems; our values and our interests, and even the way we communicate — Dino and I literally had nothing in common.
My Advice: Your match is out of your control. Remind yourself of this constantly and be practical with your expectations. It is a TV experiment after all and as such, it will not rely on matching everyone well.
2. DON’T EAT ON CAMERA
On average each couple were filming for 16 hours a day, give or take.
Apart from the dinner parties you are rarely seen eating on camera.
Except for me. Melissa Lucarelli.
In 90% of my shots, I am eating. And it’s not polite eating. It’s mouth open, chewing furiously. In fact, a guy even DM’d me asking ‘if I would please stop eating on camera’ like it was in my control.
Honestly, I would never have thought they would use such footage, but it turns out, it depends on what role the producers see you as.
My Advice: Be mindful of the cameras when you’re eating because you just might turn out to be the DUFF of the season.
3. PEOPLE CAN BE MEAN, BUT THEY CAN ALSO BE AMAZING
Going into this experience, you are aware that people are going to have many thoughts and many, many opinions — whether they’re good or bad.
But going in I had no idea how invested people actually get in this show and was shocked at people voiced this. Was it always like this?
On the flip side, I was blown away by the love received.
My inbox literally blew up with heartfelt and supportive messages. Actually, to this day, I still receive lovely DMs and it’s just so special and the absolute best feeling.
My Advice: (And this applies to everyone, everywhere) Don’t let the tiny portion of hate-filled trolls cancel out the 99% of wonderful, supportive people who love what you do.
FINAL THOUGHTS: MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS
I’m laughed at daily and I laugh at myself daily… and actually, I love it!
Without the potential to see the lighter side of things, it would mean a dull existence.
Instead of dwelling on missteps and embarrassments, look back and have a laugh instead.
I wish I knew about all of this from the beginning because if I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn’t or at least, I would have done it very differently.
While knowing all of this now might have helped me back then, at least I can look back and laugh, because life is too short to be serious all the time.