MAFS: Bride’s cold walkout on wedding
A massive pimple has pushed a Married At First Sight bride so far over the edge she experiences a hysterical breakdown and walks out of her own reception in a perplexing series premiere where neither a blemish nor foul behaviour can be disguised with supermarket concealer.
"This is a trainwreck," the bride's new husband says when she refuses to look him in the eye.
This bride can't even see the terrific man standing in front of her - partly because she's so caught up in her emotions but mainly because this pimple is so big it physically blocks her sight.
Watch James Weir, Gretel Killeen and Ben Fordham pick through the wreckage of tonight's episode live.
Producers dedicate an entire storyline to this pimple in Monday night's series premiere of Channel 9's controversial social experiment. Obviously they're leading with their strongest plot points.
The pimple's development and progress is arced over 24 hours. The bride, Poppy, is our protagonist, and her face volcano is our antagonist. The drama peaks when, after the ceremony, Poppy falls into a disgusting pit of despair and is so cold to her new husband it results in bad wedding photos. Who says quality Australian storytelling is dead? Rachel Griffiths should direct an episode.
Just to put things into perspective, this pimple is so big NSW Government proposed an initiative to install base camps on it, lest tourists try to climb it. But more on this later.
Despite online petitions calling for this show to be axed, it's back. All those uptight bloggers whining about little things like "taste and decency" and "personal welfare" can churn out as many critical op-eds as they like, no one's reading them. Critics just need to come to terms with the fact moving to the Gold Coast, getting lip filler and applying for Married At First Sight is the new Australian dream.
Will contestants find love? Or will they be left alone, with nothing to show for it but a series of viral GIFs depicting their most disgusting moments and, if they're lucky, an Instagram endorsement deal for teeth-whitening lasers?
Fetch your wine straws, pluck a Coles muffin off your junk food platters and prepare to be blime-fibe-eb, ya buncha yahoos.
"This year, it's all about the love," Nine chief executive Hugh Marks has said, assuring the concerned members of the public this year's series would be more sophisticated and understated. Reflecting this more demure approach, each contestant arrives at the hens and bucks night in their own personal lummer. That's a limo Hummer.
Of course, they all roll up with their pre-prepared jokes about single life that they've stolen off Instagram meme accounts. We don't remember any of their names as we're simply not invested in them at this point in time. But it's great to see producers have lent the show some star power with the inclusion of UK pop sensation Jessie J.
Everyone's on their best behaviour tonight. First impressions are so important and everyone spends the evening gradually revealing their true selves in the most delicate and polite ways possible.
Next up, we meet some chick called Hayley and the only reason we remember her name is because we read in a magazine that she has overcome a battle with addiction. But you better believe she's back on track and now channelling her focus into life.
"I've got a lot of drive, I've got a lot of goals, I got ambitions," she asserts to the ladies.
They all try to change the subject because Hayley is too intense.
"So what's my ideal kinda man?" Hayley ponders loudly.
"We literally didn't ask," we eye-roll, but she answers her own question anyway.
"Well, I want someone who can balance me," she muses.
"Yeah, cool, so anyway," we say, turning our backs to her.
"And I need someone who's masculine, someone who's …"
"HAYLEY! WE NEED TO REEL THIS IN. WE KNOW YOU'RE AMAZING," some random lady snaps at her.
Hayley's reaction is as bold as her eyebrows.
We go around the circle and that chick who looks like Jessie J tells everyone she's a lesbian but Hayley gets bored and starts loudly talking about herself again.
"So, I need a guy who can keep up with me," she slurs to no one in particular.
Then we meet Poppy, whose husband cheated on her just six weeks after she gave birth to their twin boys. The heartbreak and humiliation almost broke her, and her solution was to come on Married At First Sight - legitimately the worst place to find a stable and monogamous relationship. Coming on Married At First Sight and not expecting to get cheated on is like going barefoot in the showers at a backpackers hostel and being surprised when you contract at least one variety of fungal infection that requires a prescription ointment.
"We are so incredibly lucky to be here!" Poppy squeals to the girls. "Let's do a toast that no one's gonna bang anyone else's husband!"
The clink of their glasses activates a spell that ensures at least two of these dames will bang Poppy's husband within the week.
The guys over at the buck's party are just as bad but we don't even have the energy to deal with them. It's the usual suspects - an entrepreneur here, a wanker there.
We leave midway through the hen's and buck's parties and don't see how they end. It goes without saying at least one of them gets so drunk they pass out and wake up the next morning slumped in the doorway of a Woolworths Metro.
It's about now the experts reconvene for the year to ruin lives. They sort through headshots and read interview transcripts and that lady in the lab coat craps on about that test where she makes all the contestants sniff each other's rank, sweaty T-shirts. It's all the same stuff. Even that plate of macarons is back and, just like past years, it will remain untouched for the duration of the matchmaking process. These uneaten macarons are perhaps the biggest disappointment of the entire show. If an online petition should be started about anything, it's the flagrant waste of macarons.
The first two nobodies matched by the experts are Poppy - the mum whose husband cheated on her - and Luke, a FIFO worker. They look like a fantastic couple and by that, I mean I can picture them shopping at Aldi together.
On the morning of her wedding day, Poppy is having a freak-out.
"I've cried so many times," she sobs to us.
"Because you're worried you'll be cheated on again?" we empathise.
"No, mostly just because of this pimple," she weeps, pointing to her mouth.
And there it is. Look, the pimple is only in its early stages, but, we're not gonna lie, it's pretty horrific. At first it's just a blind pimple embedded deep in the skin, but we step in and start trying to pop it. All our squeezing just makes it even angrier and more noticeable than it was before. Oops. We call the makeup artist and tell her she's going to need to bring the heavy duty stuff she'd usually reserve for eisteddfods and clown parties.
Poppy starts hyperventilating. Pacing around the room, she breaks out in a sweat and the panic attack ramps up. She says it's because she feels guilty about leaving her kids to be in this experiment but, really, it's because of the pimple.
It's about now we cut to the wedding of Josh and Cathy. Look, Cathy starts having her own freak-out on the way to the ceremony. But without an explosive pimple so big it's causing aircraft to re-route their flight paths, we're simply not interested in her big day.
Anyway, we drag Poppy down the aisle and Luke's a very cheery gentleman who pretends like he can't even see the pimple. Despite his kindness, Poppy refuses to even look at him and her panic attack is in full swing again.
They're taken away to a clearing in the forest to pose for wedding photographs and Luke tries to laugh and make small talk with his new wife to loosen her up. But she ices him out. She keeps thinking about her boys (but mainly her massive pimple). The wedding photographer is trying to work with what she's got and begs them to at least hug. It results in Very Awkward Wedding Photos. Awkward because it looks like they're standing on a shallow grave in the forest, but also because Poppy does not want to be this physically close to Luke and still refuses to look at him.
"It's all good," he assures her.
"It's not," she snips. "I don't know if I made the right decision."
Sitting next to her new husband at the reception table, she takes a sip of champagne and tears of regret start rolling down her cheeks. She pushes her chair back and shoots up. She walks over to a table full of her mates and she breaks down. Her new husband can literally see and hear everything.
"I want to go home," she sobs to her mother.
Luke is heartbroken. Still cheery, but definitely heartbroken.
"I know she doesn't mean to, but it is pretty hurtful," he admits.
We've had enough of Poppy's bad behaviour. We drag her outside, tell her to stop being a moll and threaten to hide the Clearasil if she doesn't march back inside and play nice.
She does just that. And when forced to look at the gentleman in front of her, she realises he has a heart as big as her pimple.