MAFS RECAP: Bryce Has Disappeared (Hooray!) But He’s Been Replaced By The Honesty Box (Fuck!)

Good Sunday and hello to you, my fellow MAFS hobgoblins. I am very hungover and filled with regret, which seems an appropriate mode in which to approach tonight’s inevitable onslaught of bad behaviour, overt psychological manipulation and alcohol-fuelled trauma known to us mortals as the Final MAFS Dinner Party. Heave the deep sigh of the very tired with me, friends, and let’s get right into it.

In case you’ve somehow blocked out the events of Wednesday’s boys’ and girls’ nights (and well done you if so), last ep revealed that those rumours about Bryce‘s “girlfriend on the outside” are TRUE – at least, according to Samantha. It’s all anyone can talk about in the MAFS tower of torment this morning. All the gals are filling in their respective gossip-hungry fellas, and getting exactly the correct responses (gasps all round!).

the goss is as juicy as this delicious [squints] Hammer & Tongs

Jason is more concerned that if the rumour is true, that means that Bryce has been lying to him, too! How could he do such a thing to his loyal henchlizard?!

Daddy John explains that tonight is the last dinner party before the couples split up and decide what they’re gonna say in their final vows. What this really means is that it’s everyone’s last chance to be psycho gremlins to each other while taking advantage of the consequence-free playpen of reality TV.

Speaking of playpens, Belinda has returned to the dress-up box of retired Cirque du Soleil costumes and selected this spectacular look.

zut alors!

Apparently it belonged to her sister, age 13, and Bel is finally feeling spunky enough to pull it off. Fucking superb, you funky little sorceress. Never change.

Liam‘s doing some light complaining about Georgia taking forever to get ready. At least it gives him time to get into the minibar!

what’s that, tiny wine bottle? drink you all?

They seem all cute and happy otherwise, but we’ve all seen that deeply disappointing video of Jason, Georgia and Johnny being horrible homophobic grots about Liam so the shine has really worn off my former favourite swingers.

Bec and Jake are both saying things to each other and the camera but I just cannot pay attention or care. The tenacity with which the MAFS producers have clung to this total mismatch ought to be applauded, but come the fuck on: Bec is an immortal ice creature whose sole job is to embody the very essence of winter itself, and Jake is a gentle human hottie. It’s just never going to work. Stop making me watch these two circle each other in mutual bewilderment! It’s bad TV!

Jason is gearing up for another night of Bryce getting piled on by the rest of the group. He reckons it’s 50/50 whether Bryce will even turn up. He hopes he does, though, because Bryce has told him to his face that he has no girlfriend on the outside and if he’s been lying then the lizard’s feelings will be very hurt indeed!

But who cares about reptilian feelings at a time like this: Melissa is the one who should be given unimpeded access to our sympathies.

my longest “hello darkness my old friend” ever

Our stranded intergalactic visitor isn’t even getting ready for the party. She says she almost walked off the experiment last night after hearing what Samantha had to say. But she doesn’t want to be a coward! “I think he deserves a chance to explain,” she says.


Even though she doesn’t like confrontation, she is going to confront him. My stomach is in knots, and it’s not just the Berocca I’ve been chugging for the past six hours.

“Sam came last night,” she says. “Who’s [the girl]?” Side note: they’re still beeping out the name of this mystery woman, and while I know it’s a privacy thing my tiny little rat brain absolutely froths the added mystery it conjures.

“A friend of a friend of mine,” says Bryce. “Why, has she said something?”

“[Beep]’s the girl that’s waiting for you outside of the experiment,” says Liss.

“She was the girl before the experiment,” says Bryce, in the tones of someone who’d really like their hand back now please.

Melissa… you’re… hurting… me….

Melissa says that according to Sam, the girl is still waiting. “Pff,” says Bryce. “That’s news to me.” How I fucking loathe this man. Tear his arm off, Liss!

She says that Sam heard about the girl from Bryce’s mate Jason. “So you’re going to believe Sam of all people?” says Bryce.

“I don’t believe Sam, I believe your best mate,” says Liss, and then, wow – watching Bryce go from zero to nuclear is truly, actually chilling. He goes from trying to deflect blame onto someone else to threatening to leave in the space of a single sentence.

“I’m going to go home. I’m sick of this. It’s not you – you can sort your shit out,” he says. “But I’m going to go.”

“Please don’t,” says Liss. Fat chance. Off he flounces, out of the room, down the hall, demanding that the producers take his mic off YET AGAIN.

see how the brick expertly camouflages into his carpeted surroundings

Poor, poor Melissa is left sitting on the tiles, hugging her knees, the absolute picture of despair. He’s gone and done the thing that she has repeatedly said she fears the most, and abandoned her. Someone please call the police. Amnesty International. Scooby Doo. Someone!!!! This woman needs a rescue squad, a hug and a very large very strong drink, stat!!!

Bryce announces that he’s done with the experiment and he’s going back to Canberra today. Hopefully Melissa goes with him, but if she doesn’t, that’ll be the end of them. Wow. What a super cool and healthy approach to your relationship! Everyone loves being strong-armed into decisions by their significant other! It’s the sexiest thing someone can do!

A producer has clearly waved his contract and a knife at him again because he comes back to talk things over properly with Liss. He denies that he’s still been talking to this girl, and says he’s leaving. Is Liss coming with him?

“I don’t want to leave,” she says. They have one day left in the experiment. She doesn’t want to look like they have something to hide.

Bryce has somehow managed once again to make it all about him. He’s just so sick of being put in this situation! Boo hoo!!! What about your long-suffering wife, whose emotions have been kicked around for the last several months like a hacky-sack at a liberal arts college O-Week?

but my feewings!!!

He has a little cry about wanting to go home. Usually seeing a bloke cry is an instant shortcut to my sympathy and forgiveness but this pathetic little pity-party is getting diddly squat from me. Go ahead and sook, you big fucking baby. The only person you’re upset for is yourself. How embarrassing for you.

Of course Melissa interprets this breakdown as a demonstration of how strongly he feels about their relationship. I dunno what he’s putting in his burgundy Kool-Aid but it is potent. At least she’s still not 100% sure about what the actual truth is. Hold on to that uncertainty, Liss! I believe in you!!

Woof okay let’s shake off some of that profound unpleasantness and head into the pregaming lobby. Johnny and Kerry are the first to arrive and they are just as matchy and blandly appealing as always.

though the design choices on that dress do rather demand a second look

The experts have taken up residence in their subterranean panopticon again, and I’m very pleased to see that Alessandra is back on her aggressively cleavage-y bullshit.

the sexologists’ code demands it

Liam and Georgia are next, and the experts are all fangirling out about how well-adjusted the two newest couples are. Once again I must say to the MAFS producers: sucked the fuck in. I cannot get enough of them accidentally casting real human people on the show for once!!!

Anyway none of these guys are here to talk about themselves, they’re here to GOSSIP about the GIRLFRIEND ON THE OUTSIDE. Kerry says that last night really changed how Melissa saw their relationship after she spent the last million weeks defending Bryce against these rumours.

Johnny is like, I defended him too! I’m going to feel so betrayed if this all turns out to be true!

“He’s taken the mickey out of not just Mel – everyone in the experiment,” he says, PG-rated right to the end.

what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is his deal?

Shut up, everyone, here come Belinda and Patrick and THAT LEWK.

I like my velvet like I like my enemies: crushed

I’m so glad Coco set the catsuit bar so high so early in the season. I am not glad that everyone is still dead set on grilling Bel and Pat about their sex lives. Look at the state of that velvet! How dare you question the resplendent enchantress who wears it!

Bec and Jake arrive and the experts accurately point out that it’s very difficult to read the pair of them. No-one else cares, they’re all still talking about whether Bryce and Melissa are actually going to show up. Kerry is trying to goad Bec into having another go at Bryce (which I fully support), but what’s this! The glass is being tapped! They are summoned to dinner – and Bryce and Melissa are NOT THERE.

wait you can just not turn up???

Everyone’s devvoed – except ME. I’m thrilled! The less time I have to spend looking at Bryce’s brick idiot face the better! In fact this news is such a load off that I’m going to go dig out that half-finished beer from last night. A flat raspberry weisse is exactly the celebratory beverage this occasion deserves.

Despite the group’s frustrations at not getting to hassle Bryce for The Truth, Dammit, the atmosphere in the dining room is nothing short of jubilant. Incredible how light one feels when a brick’s worth of weight is lifted from one’s shoulders!

liberté! egalité! no masonry!

Unfortunately removing the main vector of chaos does not make for good television. We all know this lack of drama can not stand! Yep, they’re back to talking about Bryce. Jason explains that his vermillion friend is facing a lose-lose situation – if he showed up and denied everything, he’d get roasted by the group. If he showed up and copped to lying, he’d get roasted by the group (and probably straight-up murdered with a piece of budget stemware).

More importantly though, does Jason actually believe the rumours? He just does not know. There’s a lot of evidence but he doesn’t know if it’s 100% true!

Georgia suggests that the group could simply call Samantha, so that everyone can hear what happened at that fateful encounter in Our Nation’s Capital. What a marvellous idea! Bec dials Sam’s number on Georgia’s obnoxiously pink phone. Jason looks like he’s about to dissolve into his constituent amino acids from the stress.

*muffled lizard screams*

Hell fucking yes: Samantha picks up. Hey bitch!!!

omg haaaaaaay

Bec is like, Bryce and Melissa haven’t shown up! What’s the goss? Do you have any other info? Have you been able to get in touch with the girl?

She hasn’t – BECAUSE: “Basically Bryce has been on the phone to everyone today and just basically told everyone to shut up,” she says.

consider the royal interest piqued

“So yeah, I think it’s just Bryce is in defence mode now,” she continues. Alana wants to know exactly what happened in the bar when Sam heard about the rumour in the first place, and wouldn’t you know it, Sam is right now sitting with the very same mate she was with in the bar! A witness!!!

Sam’s best mate Paul (hi Paul! love your work!) confirms that Bryce’s mate Jason told the pair of them about Bryce’s Girl on the Outside and treated it like it was 100% common knowledge. Samantha repeats what she told the girls, that Bryce only came on the show as a means of publicising himself to further his career (…I mean, are we really shocked by contestants having ulterior motives for going on MAFS? surely this isn’t the major bombshell of the whole rumour thing – but eh, whatever, gasp to your hearts’ content, fellas).

Jason is… very upset by all this.

I miss my heat lamp

That’s all the goss Sam has to give. “Oh and do you know what? I’m so sad that Liss is in the middle of all this to be honest,” she says. Aren’t we all.

Bec hands the phone back to Georgia and says “Oh, no,” with a completely unconcealed look of glee. Look I simply cannot be mad at her for unreservedly digging the drama. Go off, your Royal Iciness.

Meanwhile the experts are having their own little goss sesh. I always forget how little they actually know about what goes on in “their” experiment.

“So if this is true, Bryce has basically stayed the course the whole experiment and lied about it,” says Daddy John, sounding capital-D Disappointed.

Back in the dining room, everyone has slammed their judges’ hammers down. The verdict: GUILTY. GUILTY!!!!! Johnny feels embarrassed for defending Bryce and Liss’s relationship. How does Jason feel?

“I’m not going to say ‘heartbroken’”, he says, looking like an encyclopaedia entry titled ‘heartbreak’. “I hope he did sort it out with Liss, because this whole time I’ve said they are the strongest couple, but I mean the wool could have been pulled over my eyes as well.”

Poor little lizard. “It’s bad – it’s baaad,” he says. “This whole experiment has been me backing up Bryce, but now I feel like a dickhead, because Alana and I almost broke up over it.” Is this the end of our favourite rooty reptile’s tenure as the supervillain’s henchworm?

~unbreak my heart~

Because he is not a wicked lizard, just a simple one, everyone’s like Oh well, let’s move on. No use punishing him further. It’s the last dinner party! Blow off some steam, babes! This takes the form of talking more about Pat and Belinda’s sex life, obviously – until the appearance of (gasp) the experts! In person! To deliver… good news, surely?

ha ha you must be new here

Of course it’s not good news, you hapless fools! It’s the fucking honesty box, in multiplicate, come to wreak ruin upon the fragile relationships you’ve so bravely forged! Hahaha, and you thought you were through the worst of your trials! Buffoons! This is MAFS! The trials NEVER CEASE!!!

“The experts know what our triggers are, they know the questions we’ve been trying to avoid,” says Johnny presciently. It is absolutely psychotic that they’re making the couples do this in front of everyone but I really should stop being surprised at this show reaching new lows of depravity.

*ominous receptacle noises*

Jason and Alana go first. What concerns does Alana have about them leaving the experiment? How about if they get into an argument and they don’t have the experiment to work as a safety net to bring them back together?

“Okay, cool,” says Jason. Then there’s a smash cut to him in front of the camera going, “No, I was not happy with the question box! No!” It’s fucking stellar stuff from a lizard who’s finally reached the end of his branch. He’s fed the fuck up! No more drama please!

not for all the crickets in the world

His question: does he think their relationship would have lasted this long if they didn’t have such a good sex life? Well, no – they’re compatible at a genital level first and foremost. Also, in a refreshingly simian approach, they tend to solve their conflicts with orgasms. Alana agrees. Fabulous! Lizard: 1. Honesty box: 0.

Oh dear, except that the next question is: does Jason trust that Alana will always have his back? Uh, no. No he does not.

“After what happened last week at the dinner party, no I don’t trust that you’ll always have my back,” he says, twiddling his thumbs in a move we’ve seen about a hundred times this ep already, and which I’m predicting will become a tic long after the season has wrapped. Poor lizard.

Alana clarifies that the only reason she hasn’t had his back is because she didn’t support what Bryce was doing, and she’s always going to support Jason if he’s in the right. If he’s going against her morals, though, she’s not going to support him. He just doesn’t approach things the same way. However, the guy is simply so fucking over the ongoing emotional abrasion of being in the experiment that he refuses to get sucked into another conflict.

“Okay,” he says mildly. “Fair call.” I have never felt this level of respect for our favourite horny toad (which is actually a lizard).

then why do they call it a toad?!

It’s Kerry and Johnny’s turn now. Their question is about the only real conflict in their relationship to date: how Johnny feels about Kerry’s relationship with her ex. Johnny is like, Look, I was scared at first, but I have a really bad relationship with my ex-wife and I’d never wish that on you. Kerry is touched, and I am crowing, because forcing drama out of these two just does not work! When will you learn, MAFS!!!

The producers can’t even come up with another barbed question, giving Johnny a free pass instead. He asks if Kerry is ready for another serious relationship after the end of her marriage. She gets a bit emotional for I think the first ever time on the show, and chokes up while talking about how much guilt she felt at ending her first marriage after such a short time. After last night’s mistakes I am not in any way emotionally equipped to handle this and immediately burst into tears.

“By the time you get to a point when you’re ready to jump back in and try that all again, and risk the same bullshit and the same hurt again – yeah, fuck yeah I’m ready,” she says. Everyone erupts in applause, me included.

je suis Liam

Liam’s box-ordained task is to list one thing he really likes about Georgia and one thing he doesn’t. Oof. He likes that she has a big heart, even though she doesn’t like to talk about her feelings. He doesn’t like her glamour. Sorry! He’s a bogan! He doesn’t care about Instagram! And yeah, he’s worried that he won’t be good enough for her in the outside world.

“Do you think that your close network, as in friends and brothers and stuff, would actually accept me into your life?” asks Georgia.

“No,” says Liam immediately. Yikes.

He’s like look, my friends will judge you when they first meet you. You don’t make a good first impression! Everyone is like, Uh, that’s simply not true, we love Elle Woods over there.

you’re breaking up with me because I’m too… blonde?!

Kerry’s not having a bar of this. “Your mates should accept her for who she is,” she says. “She’s got depth, she’s got intelligence, she’s got a brain. And I would have an issue with your friends before I’d have an issue with her. And I’d fight for her.”

“But it’s two different worlds,” complains Liam.

“I don’t care,” says Kerry. “I want to hear you say that if they didn’t accept her that you’d back her, because she’s worth it.”

Liam’s like, that’s not what we were talking about. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’m not going to dump you if my friends don’t like you, and they’ll come round eventually. The experts accurately point out that Liam is definitely not being as delicate as he could be, especially considering that Georgia is in tears. She just wants someone who will accept her for who she is, and he seems to be doing exactly the opposite.

Alright, let’s leave that particular foreshadowing segment and hassle Belinda and Patrick instead. Bel’s first question for Pat is about how physically attracted he is to her. Please – PLEASE – can we stop hounding these two about their sexual antics? Nerds fuck, Channel 9! Have you never been on a jazz band excursion? Jesus Christ!

and what else do can those euphonium fingers do

Anyway doy obviously Pat has the hots for Belinda. The next question, though, is slightly more serious: “Are you falling in love with me?” asks Belinda.

“Yes, I am,” says Patrick. They cue the hopeful strings. I hope everyone’s taking notes from our noble hero here, who’s really leading the pack in making confident, transparent statements about his feelings.

Now Pat gets to ask her whatever he likes. He wants to know if she loves him.

“Do I love you?” she says, aghast.

wait that was an option?

It’s a lot of pressure to put on a sea witch who’s only just gained full use of her human body (and wardrobe). She feels strongly for him, sure! But does she love him? Not… yet.

“I am scared to fall in love,” she says. “I’ve been single my whole entire life…” And now it’s Belinda’s turn to cry! God, MAFS. Leave all these gentle babies alone. “I came into this experiment obviously because I wanted that, but I guess all of this is new to me,” she says. “But I do feel like I’m developing feelings that I haven’t felt before.”

I find this mortal offering… acceptable

Last up against the honesty box is Jake and Bec. Here we fucken go. Who’s more committed to the relationship? Jake thinks he is, Bec thinks she is. Obviously. Then Jake gets to ask Bec whatever he wants, and he chooses to ask this woman – who has made it staggeringly clear, despite his impeccable handsomeness, unwavering support and consistent attempts to connect with her, that she could not be less interested in him if she tried – whether she sees them together in three months’ time.

“No,” she says. Fucking DUH! Of course she doesn’t! Once again I must remind you that this is an ancient creature forged from elemental forces and passive aggressive compliments! Her timescale doesn’t even go down as small as “months”, for Christ’s sake!

I have watched eons pass in the blink of an eye but sure, talk more about our 90-day anniversary

Poor Jake looks as defeated as I feel. Bec says some nothings about how she doesn’t think that far ahead (simply lies), but the damage is done. It’s Jake’s turn to ask a question, and he asks how she feels about him.

She says she feels confused – that his walls have been up, that it’s been hard to make a connection. He’s like, Do you even like me? Jake! My beautiful himbo! If you need someone to tell you they like you, just give me a call!

aaaaany time sweetie

It really sucks watching her be mean to the guy who’s probably the biggest catch on the show. She says she knows he likes her more than she likes him. He just wants to know where he stands. If she doesn’t like him, just tell him! He’s a big boy! There is a lot of loud and dramatic music and then… that’s the end of the episode. That’s it?! That’s it.

If the previews for the final vows are telling us the truth, tomorrow’s ep is going to be just as loud and dramatic as that whole forced mess. Also I totally forgot that if you want to break up with someone during this segment of the show you’re contractually obligated to leave them at the altar. Truly debilitating, psycho stuff for which I simply cannot wait. See you then!!!