Welcome back to the Joy Void, aka Married At First Sight. It’s the first MAFS commitment ceremony and everyone’s back in the same room. God, there’s eighteen of these dummies? That’s too many dummies. Whatever, let’s get into all the sordid action, shall we?

A quick refresher on the commitment ceremony schtick: the couples all get together in a room and take turns sitting on a couch to dish on their relationships and say whether they want to stay or leave. Everyone else gets to tear strips off them in the name of “receiving honest feedback”. If one person in a couple wants to leave but the other wants to stay, then they both have to stick around. Very healthy!

Everyone appears to be perceiving the whole situation accurately: as a competition. Alana and Jake, Belinda and Patrick and, for some reason, Bryce and Melissa all reckon that they’re the “strongest” couples. I’m personally giving that award to Alana and Jake because they’ve built their relationship on a rock solid foundation of being two simple hotties who love to fuck.

remember when we did it

Obviously the big impending drama is Samantha and Cameron, who have been living apart ever since Cam performed his expert-level flounce on their honeymoon. Sam is agonising over whether to give the whole thing up. She says, “It’s kind of… stay and try, or go home to nothing and start from square one again.” Babe! Start from square one! Throw the whole man away!!!

On Cam’s end, he clearly doesn’t want to leave the experiment because he’s got the throbbing hots for Coco, with whom he had a delightful bitch session about Pig Sam the other night.

call him a pig again

He doesn’t know whether to stay to see if things will improve with Samantha, or if he should stay and see how things go with Coco. You dog! I love it.

Coco has the hots for Cam too, obviously, and has quite rightly moved out of the apartment she shared with Sam the Pig, who has been recreationally dunking on how Coco looks for the past three weeks. She says Cam’s a “good looking rooster”, which is… definitely a string of words that you can say in the English language.

Okay they’ve all shown up for the very first MAFS commitment ceremony and expert John Aiken is attempting to deliver his spiel about the validity of that abominable “Commitment Week” with a straight face. Shut up, John, you ghoul, we all know Commitment Week was about manufacturing drama and NOTHING ELSE.

Everyone gets split up into boys’ and girls’ groups to make their decisions about whether they want to stay in the experiment and be bludgeoned by further psychological humiliations, or leave and sink back into anonymity. There’s a lot of ominous music designed to make me feel tense and suspenseful but it doesn’t work as I am VERY distracted by Booka‘s BOOTS.

scusi where 2 cop

We start off with the gals, and Bec is already launching into full Ice Queen mode and talking about how Jake made her “walls go up” and “treated her like an object”. She says that she found his attempt to slip her some tongue at the wedding to be really disrespectful. I have remained ignorant about this because my visual cortex shorts out whenever there’s any suggestion of physical intimacy on screen.

what is happening here, I simply cannot perceive it

Bec reckons Jake‘s all about physical attraction, and that she could have the worst personality in the world and it wouldn’t matter to him. This is funny, as she does have the worst personality in the world, and it does in fact matter to gentle AFL charity-work himbo Jake. Remember how she called him old and boring? “How do you connect with someone who treats you like that,” he says. Jake! You can connect with me, babe! I promise to tell you you’re young and fascinating!


am I pensive or am I dreaming of a homely P.TV writer with a sparkling wit and a terrible secret

Samantha and Cameron are both unloading to their respective goss groups about how difficult their relationship has been so far. Cam has a moment of self-awareness and says that he’s trying to fight his immediate reaction to the situation, which is (surprise) to run away. Sam says she has so much to give, and that Cam has barely scraped the surface with her. There’s a glint in her eye that suggests she’s here to Win the Game of MAFS, whether that means finding “love” or not.

you don’t have to love me. fear will do fine

Pig Sam is bitching to Jason and James about Coco being too “full on”, and James delivers the best call of the night when he says mildly that Sam is “a pretty colourful bloke, too”.

u fkn wot

Sam reckons he can honestly say that, despite their differences, he’s put his “best foot forward to be a good guy”, to which I have nothing to say but:

Really GIFs | Tenor

Meanwhile Coco is explaining to the gals about how much of a prick Pig Sam has been to her, and Beth, who’s serving impeccable Crystal Aunt energy, is providing the exact right response.

chafe me chakras babe, you serious?

Sam is busy telling the camera that he’s “just been honest” with Coco, and he’s done it in “a respectful way”, causing me once again to spray my beverage across the living room. Fortunately: “Horrible things cannot be said under the guise of being honest,” says Coco, “and I never want to feel like I have to dim my light to make someone else comfortable.” Give this girl a life coaching business, stat.

Everyone’s back in the Judgement Pit, and first on the interrogation block are Belinda and Patrick. Pat immediately brings the cringe by busting out his grade 7 Spanish on sexy sexologist Alessandra, who is Puerto Rican. She tolerates it. Barely.

I’ll como your fucken estas in a minute

Bel and Pat are really happy with how things are going. They click. Belinda feels secure. Patrick breaks a new record for the most dumb jokes told in a single television segment. John reacts appropriately.

I miss my parmy

Obviously they both choose to stay. We stan an unproblematic adorkable romance!!

Next up are Beth and Russell, the other set of nerds. Beth has spent the last hour unblocking her energy lines and is ready to let loose. Things have not been going well. He didn’t know what salmon was! Everyone knows what salmon is!

Russ makes a surprisingly apt metaphor about how when you’re building a house you need a solid foundation, and they’re just not gelling together in the manner of, for example, a concrete slab. Alessandra has the gall to suggest there might be room for a “slow burn” here.

you know what I’d love to see slowly burn

Fortunately Russ comes to the rescue: “We’re friends. That slow burn isn’t even a spark.” Russell says he wants to leave MAFS, but Beth says she wants to stay. I find this difficult to swallow considering the bone-deep tiredness that visibly emanates from Beth every time she’s forced to look at her husband, but okay. Russ says he will try sleeping in the same bed as Beth (very generous). I want to give them both a cuddle but no time for that! Next up is Bec and Jake.

Bec reckons the two of them aren’t even friends. Jake is upset by how rude Bec is to him – for example, calling him boring. John’s like, “Is that true? Did you call him boring?” And Bec goes – get this – “We have acknowledged that we have different definitions of words.” That’s a new one.

‘boring’ means ‘boring’ even for lizards, babe

Bec has really fixated on Jake making her “feel like an object”, which she reckons brings up issues from past relationships where she was treated like just some hot thing instead of a real person. Jake’s like, I’m not going to apologise for thinking you’re a babe?! He says they talked about footy at the wedding and he was like, Omg, she’s my dream girl. But now? He gets no affection or compassion. “All I’m asking for is like… hold my hand. Give me a hug. There’s none of that.” My heart is breaking for this gentle hottie. Why on earth would anyone match him up with the Empress of Distant Haughtiness?

She’s like, He told me he was a Capricorn and then when I asked him if he was into astrology he said no, I thought you might be and that indicates to me that really he’s trying to be something he’s not, just to impress me. To my great dismay I find myself making the exact same face as Pig Sam.

yep, that’s the one

Jake says that the other day, Bec turned to him and said, “You know what? You just suck the life out of me,” and like, yeah, of course he does; she’s an ancient being made of ice and spite, she needs to be restored to her natural habitat of the deep tundra, not forced to act like a human being with a heart or feelings.

your pathetic mewling tires me, mammal

In all seriousness Bec’s callousness is kind of breathtaking. It’s really hard to watch Jake genuinely trying to be open and make a connection, and Bec respond with frosty indifference. For once, John Aiken says something I agree with: “I’ve listened to this, I’ve heard it, and I’m exhausted.” Oi! Same!!

“Your standards are so unrelenting,” he tells Bec, “that no man – not Jake, not anybody – is going to measure up to that. That’s not going to work in a relationship.”

He makes the surprisingly perceptive point that Bec has decided that she’s already dated this guy: an AFL bloke who treats her like a piece of meat and doesn’t respect her. But Jake is a different person, and she needs to treat him as such. To her credit, she recognises that she’s falling back into patterns put in place by her past experiences and she agrees that she could focus on the positive in her relationship with Jake. They both agree to stay. I need a recovery biscuit.

Next on the couch are Brett, Booka, and Booka’s boots. We spend about forty-five seconds with them because they’re perfect for each other and obviously both choose to stay.

you little shit

James and Jo are next and their chemistry is weird. James is keen to keep things going, despite their little spat over the hot-to-not exercise, but Jo is all giggling reticence. She writes “Stay (for now)”. What the fuck?!

cursed

Melissa and Bryce are next, and I am constantly blown away by how bad a read he has on this whole situation. He’s like, We’re going great! No problems here 🙂 while I stare into the middle distance remembering the casual emotional violence he visited on his sweet wife during the rate-the-brides exercise. Side note: we’re calling her Liss now? That’s weird and adorable, i.e. spot on for my favourite alien.

Their main point of tension is Bryce’s reaction to finding out that Liss had an ongoing friends-with-benefits relationship with her ex-boyfriend. He, uh, did not like that. She says she felt judged.

Here comes Alessandra with the truth bomb: how interesting, she says, that Bryce received such an accepting response from Melissa when she found out he’d cheated on a partner in the past, and the moment she tells him about her own past, he gets all judgemental. He cops to being a judgemental person, and then for some reason brings up YET AGAIN the fact that if he saw Melissa in a bar he probably wouldn’t approach her.

*Spanish fury intensifies*

Everyone is understandably appalled by this. He’s like, “But we’ve progressed past what’s on the outside and it’s what’s on the inside, the personality, that emotional connection…” John jumps in and is like, Hang on, how do you feel about this, Melissa? She says that obviously it’s hard to hear but she’s happy to let those feelings go. A nobler extraterrestrial you simply could not find.

Bryce is trying to be all generous and say that Melissa does actually have most of the qualities that he wants in his “type”, but then he says that “one little feature is missing” and Alessandra, whose displeasure with Bryce is developing at a rate of knots, says, “What feature is missing?”

“Blue eyes,” he says confidently, while everyone else does this:

stop!! digging!!!

Expert Mel is like, Okay you need to get the hell over that. We all agree. They both unequivocally decide to stay, setting a deeply upsetting standard that I refuse to look at too closely or I shall cry.

Next up is Alana and Jason. He feels great about it, but she’s not sure if he’s ready to settle down. He reckons he totally is! Alessandra is like, I wonder what the physical side of the relationship is like? And Alana just straight up says, “We have really good sex.” Good for them! Alessandra warns that good sex isn’t enough to fix a relationship. Shut up, Alessandra!

John asks Alana what she likes about Jason, and she says he’s trustworthy. Does she like anything else about him? I’m so glad you asked, John!

“When we have sex Jason will always make me come as well,” she says matter-of-factly, while Jason goes a beautiful shade of maroon. (Also sorry quick Q: why is the word “come” beeped out???? We can’t say COME now, Channel 9???)

*happy lizard noises*

“Nice work, Jason,” nods John appreciatively. “This is actually the best moment of my life,” laughs Jason. They both decide to stay, obviously.

Oh great, now we get to see Cam and Sam hash it out on the MAFS Couch of Torment. Just let them go, you monsters! We get to revisit the fact that things just… aren’t working for them. They’ve spent more time apart than they have together. They had that cute golf moment but the communication between them is still difficult. We’re back at the whole “intimacy” and “emotional connection” thing – it’s boring. I’m bored! John is like, Why haven’t you been able to get past it? And Sam is like, “Cameron. 100%.”

this fucken thumb right here

Sam says she wants to leave. I support it, especially considering my reality TV premonition talents are telling me that nothing but low-grade humiliation and tears are in store for her if she stays with this diabolical experiment.

Too bad! Cameron wants to stay, which totally doesn’t have anything to do with Coco doing this at him from across the room.

 
yummy thumby

Last up are Coco and Pig Sam, and I for one am ready to see the little piglet get roasted. Sam’s like, “Coco’s been feeling rejected,” and John asks, “Why have you been feeling rejected, Coco?” to which Coco very smoothly replies, “I haven’t been feeling rejected, I feel like I’ve been continually disrespected and torn down every day.” YES. GET HIM.

She lists the many very rude things that Sam has been saying to her (she’s not cool, she’s not funny, she’s unattractive, etc.), and then it sounds very much as though she’s working her way up to ripping the experts a new one: “I walked into this experiment the happiest and most confident I have ever been. And having someone every day–“

“Oh, wow,” interrupts Sam. “Every day, someone putting you down. Because you say the most ridiculous corny one-liners that would make anyone cringe, I’m putting you down. Seriously?”

 
I rest my fucking case

Jesus it’s horrible to watch. Coco tries to talk about how hard it is to cop someone yawning in your face while you’re crying and revealing deep truths about yourself, and Pig Sam just completely dismisses her. He calls it “nonsense” and says he can’t even remember one time when he put her down and was nasty to her. Does this bottle-blond bozo not recall that he has literally been filmed for every waking moment of the last several weeks? WE HAVE THE RECEIPTS, YOU FUCK KNUCKLE.

Expert Mel jumps in and is like, Do you know how your body language is coming across here? And Sam takes the moment to talk about how he is feeling really attacked right now and Coco is being really unreasonable – but what’s this? It’s Bryce the Brave, charging in to tell Sam that, “No offence, you sound like a dickhead.”

from one sufferer of penilic craniosis to another, mate

Mel asks Sam if he’s attracted to Coco. “I think she is attractive,” he hedges.

“Are you attracted to her?” she asks.

“…yes,” he says, teeth clenched.

you sit upon a couch of LIES

Bryce is getting all into his role as Defender of Feminine Honour, and is like, Doesn’t seem like it mate! Also didn’t you say you didn’t like her body? Mel asks Coco what types of comments Sam has made about her body. “Just like I’m not curvaceous, that I’m not attractive. Like it’s just not something that I want to hear out of a partner,” she says. Cameron is whispering my favourite phrase of the season again.

music to my ears

“A woman’s worth is not dependent on her cup size,” she says. Can I get that on a throw pillow, along with Coco’s face, please?

Coco wants to leave, unsurprisingly. Sam wrote “stay”, because he “didn’t think it was gonna go that bad.” But if he knew what was going to happen tonight (i.e. if he knew everyone was going to dunk on him for being a grubby little swine), then he would have chosen to leave.

Alessandra quite rightly points out that this reaction certainly implies that he has not been paying attention to his partner. Uh, no shit. Coco has openly broken down at the thought of being trapped in this circle of hell for another week.

I don’t want to hang out in the pig pen any more 🙁

Mel asks if Sam has anything he’d like to say to Coco, and oh-ho, it’s Sam Sam the Pig Man’s turn to storm off! We get treated to a MAFS-style Greek chorus of shocked faces from everyone else:

oooooooooooooh

Everyone’s like, You’re doing great Coco, we love you Coco, while Sam is out the back somewhere oinking indignantly about how badly he’s been treated.

“I’ve always been kind and nice to Coco,” he says with the kind of confidence I can only attribute to a recent bout of amnesia. “How am I the bad guy here? I don’t get it.”

mafs contestant sam the pig“how am I the bad guy” wonders documented bad guy

His storm-off doesn’t last long – just long enough for Beth to sweep over in a cloud of patchouli and give Coco a supportive little cuddle – and then he’s back, bitching about how he wishes that Coco had expressed how she’s feeling to him more, the only correct response to which is Coco’s face right here:

you sure about that hun

John Aiken is like, you’ve still got a chance to turn it around. Just start with being more friendly! Christ in a clown car, remind me again how much this spiv is getting paid?

Whatever, it’s the end of the episode and I need a fucken shower. Which MAFS producer’s idea was it to give everyone veto power over staying in the relationship? In real life, if one person wants out of a partnership then that’s it. You don’t have to stick around just because the other person wants to – especially if you, like Coco, are having your confidence and happiness whittled away bit by bit. Bad lessons, bad TV, bad vibes. Someone get me one of Beth’s smudge sticks and I’ll see you tomorrow for “intimacy week”, whatever the fuck that means (more orgasms for Alana, I assume). Toodles!