Hello and welcome to the final episode of MAFS‘ “Confessions Week”, the stomach-turning charade in which overt attempts to manufacture interpersonal drama are presented as thoughtful relationship-building exercises. Take an antacid and join me, won’t you?

“During this time our couples will face a series of confronting and challenging tasks based on honesty,” says expert Mel Schilling. “The aim is that confessions week will expose their most vulnerable thoughts and feelings in order to fast track open and honest communication,” and only an enormous fast-tracked fucking pay check could be responsible for how straight her face is as she spouts these LIES. How does she sleep at night?!

on a big pile of MONEY

But let us do as Mel does and put aside our moral compasses as we stride into the quagmire of emotional barbarism that is MAFS. No navigational devices can rescue us in here, friends. Oh look, here comes Russell with his bride, I mean dirt bike.

it’s a wheelie good match

His actual wife, Beth, looks like she’s entertaining vivid fantasies of him riding the fucking thing off the balcony and into peak-hour traffic. Let’s not linger in this landscape of despair; across the hall, Patrick and Belinda are having a conversation about opening up their relationship (to Belinda’s childhood stuffed toy).

he messaged me on Fetlife the little perv

Cameron and Samantha are still sleeping in separate bedrooms, but after a stern counselling session from John Aiken, Cam has committed to giving the relationship another shot. Sam just wants to try to have fun together. Her hopes are… not super high. We’ve all seen the previews, so neither are ours.

Meanwhile, Coco wakes up alone after absolutely melting grade-A hypocrite Sam/Marshall Mathers IV last night. Remember? When he absolutely cracked the shits about getting ranked in the bottom four blokes during last night’s appalling hot-or-not exercise, and Coco quite rightly pointed out that he’s happy to criticise her appearance all fucken day, so why exactly is she not allowed to make her preferences clear?


just one tiny asteroid, Lord, that’s all it’d take

Sam is such a fucking gronk, I just can’t. “She’s a female and she’s got feelings,” he says coolly, after throwing the biggest and most feelings-having tantrum on the show to date. “I’m willing to catch up with her. Maybe I’ll apologise.” How magnanimous.

The other couple mortally wounded by the hotness-ranking exercise is Melissa and Bryce. They wake up and get right into it. Bryce asks her how she feels, and Mel reckons it would have been worse if Bryce hadn’t been honest with the photos. On a scale of one to ten, how upset is she? “Probably a two,” she says, and Bryce goes, “Oh I can handle that,” and gets out of bed.

problem solved

BUT: “I’m just too scared to rock the boat and express how I really feel,” says Melissa to the camera, “in case that sent him over the edge and he walked out.”

Fuck!!!!!!!

Because these two haven’t been tortured enough, here’s another selection from the demon’s carousel of “Commitment Week” tasks: they get to do the letter-writing thing! Great!!

@ Channel 9 who’s responsible for your kerning you munters

Melissa seems to have some enormous secret to reveal about her previous relationship, which Bryce certainly doesn’t know about because of COURSE he still hasn’t ASKED HER ANYTHING ABOUT HERSELF the dolt. Anyway we already know from the previews that it’s going to be the fact that Melissa slept with her ex a bunch of times, including when he was married. Y i k e s.

“My ex and I never got back together, however over the years he’s remained a friend and we’ve been intimate,” she says.

“How long did that actually go for?” asks Bryce.

“Up until a year ago.”

“So for twelve years???” Bryce seems absolutely blown the fuck away that someone could remain on booty-call terms with an ex for so long, but considering he (allegedly) dumped his fiancee of five years to come on this godforsaken hell show, he’s probably not the best arbiter of appropriate levels of adult engagement.

And then it comes out that, yes, during some of those hookups – which Melissa’s ex always initiated, apparently! – the guy was married. She didn’t know this until afterwards. Bryce is already hoisting himself upon his martyr’s cross and trying to figure out how to nail himself up there while also patting himself on the back.

“It’s just like, what the fuck?” he yelps, sucking down his breakfast beer.


it’s always 5 o’clock in MAFS

He grills her about whether she’s still in love with her ex and she, understandably, feels a little judged. Let us remember that this is the guy who cheated on a previous partner, called his new wife “not ugly”, and thinks honesty is an unassailable defence for being a huge bumbling jerk. Mel is… not impressed by this holier-than-thou attitude.

Anyway let’s not dawdle in this cursed territory – resident ~quirky couple~ Brett and Booka are also having Commitment Week trials foisted upon them. Booka says she’s worried about whether he finds her physically attractive, which suggests that she might be blind, as Brett seems to spend most of his time gazing adoringly at his magnificent, towering bride.

permission to climb aboard, m’lady?

Good lord, their task is to write “positives and negatives” about each other. Brett is forced to think up five things he dislikes about Booka on Post-It notes which he then has to STICK ON HER PERSON.

oh goody

He can only come up with two things: that they don’t have identical music tastes, and that sometimes she can’t dial down the intensity. But positives? He’s got heaps, and they’re adorable: her beautiful eyes, the way she scrunches her nose up when she laughs, her intelligence, her SELF. He writes that he loves how she’s “unapologetically Booka”, she is struck speechless, and no! NO!!! NO I’M NOT CRYING. I’M NOT. HOW DARE YOU.


who let an actual human being slip through the net, Channel 9???

Oh thank god we’re not going to dally too long in the realm of genuine connection, ‘cos I simply do not have the resources to unpack THOSE feelings. Instead we’re heading back to the site of more Coco-v-Sam emotional violence, where I feel much more comfortable. They’ve been tasked with sitting down together to watch their original audition videos. Why? Absolutely no fucken clue. I hate it.

Before they can get into their cursed little movie marathon, though, Sam has something to say: he’s sorry????? Not for saying mean things about Coco’s appearance, mind you – he’s sorry for not “taking it on the chin” when she served it back to him. I simply do not know what to think as I watch this shot sail so wide of the mark it lands in another sports complex completely, but… okay.

Anyway let’s watch the tapes. Coco’s is heartbreaking, which seems to be the theme for this episode (or maybe I’m just premenstrual). “I’ve never been with a boy who gives me a compliment,” she says. “I’ve never been with a boy who calls me beautiful, who calls me babe, honey, lovely, love of my life. Nothing.” God, things are fucking bleak out there.

Coco is upset to revisit the site of her trauma (weird), and Sam, whose main source of education over the course of his life has clearly been television, appears to finally get it.

I make girl feel… bad?

“I thought that was really good,” he says thoughtfully to a weeping Coco. This bozo simply doesn’t have the language to be genuinely supportive, but I get what he’s trying to do. “You are bloody attractive,” he says, with the cadence of a six-year-old being forced to apologise to a classmate. “You are beautiful. You are.” Woof.

Over in camp Sam n’ Cam, they’re indulging in a spot of youthful recreation: hitting the driving range.

how do you do, fellow hardbodies

Smacking the shit out of some balls does seem like a good way for Sam to work through her less than positive feelings about the whole situation. She also manages to throw her entire golf club into a tree. I feel very close to this woman right now.

Still, they’re not doing great on the whole “connection” front. Sam asks Cam what TV shows he likes, and he says he “tries to steer clear of the TV”. Sam and I make the exact same face at the exact same time.

that’s a yikes from me dawg

Back in the house of dirt bikes and incense, Russell and Beth are struggling through the hot-to-not exercise. Russ has placed Coco at number one, because they had a good chat about barbecue and that really gets him going.

I can think of something I’d like to see on a barbecue

Jason and Alana are also watching their audition videos (in which Alana holds a bra while complaining about not being taken seriously as a teacher), and Belinda and Patrick are covering each other in Post-Its that say things like “eats apples too loudly”. I stan them all.

But what’s this? Tension between peak hotties Bec and Jake? Bec thinks it’s disrespectful to turn the light on while she’s sleeping. Jake says it was just for twenty seconds. I have had this exact argument and am extremely relieved that we’re now moving on to the real meat of this episode: Coco seeking, uh, advice from Cameron.

She says that since Cam knows Sam from back home, maybe she could get some insight from him into Sam’s behaviour – like, for example, is he a monstrous prick in all his relationships?

u down for a goss sesh hun

More on that later though – we’re visiting Jo and James for what feels like the first time in years. They have to do the hotness ranking exercise too. I am just so beaten down by this repeated emotional brutality that all I can do is lay my head on my lap and wait for a meteor to hit my house.

If only. Instead we all have to suffer through Jo insisting on rating the blokes just by looks (rather than, as James requests, taking their personality into consideration) with a level of enthusiasm that borders on the unseemly. She puts everyone’s favourite himbo, Jake, in the number one spot.

mummy likey

Once James’s headshot is on the table, she attempts to curb her thirstiness for the sake of her relationship, but alas, thirst wins out, and she puts him in spot “one and a half”.

perfect

“Why is Jake first?” says James, and we get treated to the least convincing bit of acting on MAFS so far, in which Jo says, “Jake is first… because I like… his mind…”

particularly the bit of his body that houses his… mind…

Poor James is pretty hurt. He says it makes him feel a little bit insecure, and you know what, I can’t blame him! I’d be insecure if my wife was visibly salivating over the headshot of some other bloke, too!

Time for a palate-cleanser: it’s Brett and Booka, and they’ve totally done it. Brett can’t stop making this face, which I feel is an appropriate reaction.

fkn scoooooore

Brett reckons it was good that they waited until they had an emotional connection before they started shagging, and then plays Booka a song about bacon and eggs. I wish this wasn’t my exact fetish but unfortunately… it is.

mafs contestant brett holds a guitarcome here you little shit

We all know that people getting along isn’t good TV though, so it’s back to the cavern of insecurities with Jo and James. See? It’s not just chicks who get insecure about their looks! James is hurt because he feels like Jo doesn’t think before she speaks – why would she tell him that “Jake wouldn’t go for a girl like her”? Is she saying that she’d get with him if she had the chance?! He’s getting suspicious about her disappearing all the time as well. Great.

They have an unpleasant conversation in which James accuses her of being shady and Jo thinks he’s being paranoid. It’s kind of wild watching a guy spiral into a jealousy vortex like this, and Jo is being less than helpful. “You’re making things up that aren’t happening,” she says, which might be true but also does exactly nothing to soothe anyone’s inflamed insecurities.

have you tried just not being a little bitch about it

Eventually James is like, “Are you even into me?” Jo says it’s up and down. Sometimes she’s so into him, but sometimes he’s like this! She says he makes these assumptions, and more importantly, once he’s made those assumptions he won’t believe anything she says. I think I’ve had this exact argument, too. Can MAFS please stop triggering me, I am all out of Valium and NOT prepared for this!!!

Out in the wilderness that is Confessions Week, the other couples are also battling their way through the tasks with varying levels of success. Russell has interpreted the “share a secret” activity as an opportunity to talk about his secret blend of BBQ herbs and spices. Beth, who appears to be wearing most of the inventory of the Ballina Crystal Castle gift shop, has fixed her gaze on the middle distance in what’s become a signature move.

you are a celestial being… you are floating among the stars… no barbecue can harm you here…

Now it’s Bec and Jake’s turn to rank each other on the hot-to-not scale. Despite having a completely recreational go at Jake earlier about turning on the bloody light, Bec still puts him at number one. And then she says that she actually doesn’t feel that kind of physical attraction to any of the men in the experiment, including Jake. Is Bec… asexual???? Is this the clandestine LGBTQIA+ representation we’re getting on this MAFS season? God I want that to be true.

we stan an ace ice queen

Jake arranges the gals in order of hotness and puts Bec in the top spot, but then clarifies that this is purely based on physical appearance – he actually finds aspects of her personality pretty unattractive. Yet again I am forced to admit that the himbo has depth!

I do find it unattractive when you are gratuitously mean to me, yes

Bec looks hurt by this, but then Jake is like, Sometimes I can tell that deep, deeeeep down you are a sort of nice person, and in those moments you’re perfect! Bec interprets this as “Jake doesn’t like honesty” which is the most Mean Girl shit I’ve ever heard. I love it and I love her. She’s going to try to be more “compassionate” and I will believe THAT when I fucken see it.

In the Insecurity Zone, James has decided to apologise for being so jealous and unreasonable. He brings Jo flowers and opens up about his trust issues (with “females”, but I like this guy so I’ll let that slide).

“I overreacted,” he says. “I’m sorry.”

“My behaviour, what I said, it’s triggering something inside you, and I don’t want to do that,” says Jo. “I don’t want your past to come between us.”

“I trust you,” he says, and then raises the surprisingly perceptive point that if they didn’t like each other they probably wouldn’t be having such strong reactions. This level of adult communication! I am astonished!!! They put the flowers in a vase together and hopeful music plays and I am satisfactorily manipulated into believing that everything will turn out okay.

mafs contestants jo and james look at a bouquetthe couple that floral arranges together makes positive changes together

Meanwhile, Sam/Marshall Mathers IV is alone and baffled that his lukewarm apology hasn’t caused Coco to come sprinting back to him with open arms. He reckons he’s there if she wants to talk. Oh, my peroxide-addled friend. She doesn’t want to talk to you.

she wants to talk to him, for some reason

Coco and Cam sit down together in Coco’s apartment (where is Sam for this??? drinking little bitch juice in a greenroom somewhere?). She tells Cam that she wants some advice, because “Sam’s been pretty brutal to me from day one.” Should she stay with it? Is this just… who he is?

“I was surprised that anybody was going to be matched with Sam,” says Cameron, while I spray my living room with sav blanc.

the thing about Sam is that he is a moron for whom I have no respect

“I had a feeling that whoever was going to be matched with him, there’s going to be issues,” he continues. “I don’t really like him at all to hang around with him, ‘cos there’s always drama. There’s always issues and you always get embarrassed when you’re around him.” Fucking melt him, Cam!!! God the blokes on this show love a bitch sesh and I am HERE FOR IT.

Coco says she’s never been with someone like that, and brings up how Sam proudly told her that he’d dumped his last girlfriend for not having big enough tits. Cameron says the line Sam crosses is when he’s disrespectful to women.

“I think he’s a pig,” he says, and I’ve never felt such warmth towards a thumb before. Coco feels vindicated. The music is ominous. Nothing like a mutual enemy to bring two lonely schmucks together!

mafs contestant sam drinks wine sadly*oinks sadly*

While Coco and Cam are bonding over their shared contempt for Sam the Pig, upstairs Samantha has invited over everyone’s favourite dorks, Belinda and Patrick. She needs people to chat with about the Cam situation, and apparently the best people to give relationship advice are the two least experienced babies in the experiment. Love it. Belinda launches into her advice with the confidence of a thirteen-year-old girl sharing sex tips from Cosmopolitan magazine on MSN Messenger.

“I can tell you’re not someone who easily gives up,” she says, “so just give it more time.”

have you tried putting a scrunchie on his balls?

“It’s hard,” says Sam presciently, “because my instincts are telling me he’s not here for me.”

Patrick reckons she should stay another week. Belinda agrees. Sterling advice from our kindergarten exchange students.

Downstairs, the electricity between Coco and Cam is making my hair stand on end. They’ve moved on to discussing the other Sam. Cam just doesn’t feel the connection there. But with Coco??? They’re laughing! They’re chatting! It’s easy!

oi how good’s the gym but

At this point it seems plain that this whole infidelity subplot has been a set-up right from the start and I am steaming about it. Cameron and Samantha were always going to be a bust; no-one in the world should be matched with Pig Sam, especially not whip-smart sweetie Coco; and who lined up the meeting between these potential cheaters but the diabolical MAFS producers? All so we have a juicy villainous forbidden love narrative, completely manufactured and with the only casualties being several real human hearts. If someone doesn’t go full Maximus Meridius by the end of the season I will riot.

Before we wrap up the episode, we revisit Melissa and Bryce, and Mel’s piece to camera continues to mercilessly chip away at what remains of my shattered little heart.

“Bryce knows that I’m a weird cat,” she says. “I’m a very unique type of person. And I’m still okay with where we’re at. People are not going to like that. They’re going to think that there’s something seriously wrong with me, that I’m not reactive.”

A producer asks her, Are you okay with how he handled that, and how he spoke to you?

Mel says, “I don’t know any better,” and gives a brave little smile. Someone please send this gentle alien back to her home planet, Earth is far too brutal for her.

Sam the Pig is spending the night alone with a spot of classic literature…

*sleepy pig noises*

And Coco and Cam are continuing to make prolongued eye contact. He’s like, I would have been stoked to match with you, and then he calls her Coco Pops. They hug goodbye. The sexual tension is at a nauseating high, and it’s all starting to feel a bit indecent.

Thank god, then, that we’ve finally reached the end of this torturous experience. Next time: our first commitment ceremony, and if the previews are anything to go by, we get to see the Pigman get absolutely roasted. I hope Rusty brought his secret spice blend. See ya then!