Sean Hollands at the commitment ceremony. he was told by 'wife' Susan Rawlings they should remain friends rather than continuing a relationship.
Sean Hollands at the commitment ceremony. he was told by 'wife' Susan Rawlings they should remain friends rather than continuing a relationship. Channel 9

GROOM SPEAKS OUT: 'Couples are being mismatched for ratings'

FORMER Married at First Sight groom Sean Hollands says couples are being blatantly mismatched this season to improve ratings.

Like millions of others across Australia, the Fraser Coast farmer has been watching the popular reality television show.

But unlike most, he knows exactly what goes on behind the scenes.

Sean first appeared on the series two seasons ago when he was paired with Perth's Susan Rawlings.

This season however, Sean says producers have strayed from genuinely trying to assist couples in finding lasting love.

"I've watched most of the weddings," he said.

"I'm a little bit disappointed in how they've taken the concept of marriage."

The change in course is an added blow for Sean who has long been critical of the editing process.

In Mr Hollands' season, Anthony Manton was often seen as  an agitator.

While it was true that you couldn't put words in someone's mouth, he said Mr Manton was a genuine person who also had many positive moments.

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9pm on Sunday March 26* Susan Rawlings and Sean Hollands pictured during their vow renewal ceremony on Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.
*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9pm on Sunday March 26* Susan Rawlings and Sean Hollands pictured during their vow renewal ceremony on Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

In the aftermath of the reality show, Mr Manton received death threats from incensed viewers, Mr Hollands said.

"He nearly lost his job and his whole career," he said.

His own time on the show was not without drama.

While he and Ms Rawlings were portrayed as being a perfect couple, Mr Hollands said he knew from day one it wouldn't work.

A keen participant in rodeos, Ms Rawlings expressed to him that she was "against all that".

"It was a total mismatch with the girl I was with," he said.

With bride Ines Basic telling cameras her first instinct upon seeing her husband was to "punch him in the jaw", Mr Hollands said that was another concerning aspect of the show.

With whispers that there would be intruders on the show this year, Mr Hollands said the show was moving away from the concept of building lasting love between two people.

"It's really disappointing," he said.

While the show boasted receiving  thousands of applications to star on the show, Mr Hollands said he knew some people had been approached to star in the reality series - and not everyone was there for the right reasons.

On his season, Mr Hollands said a couple of people were there for what they could get out of it, but now he believed there were few people on the show to genuinely find love.

"They totally mismatch people," he said.

One case in particular was matching Gympie farmer Mick Gould with model Jessika Power.

Mr Gould has already accused the Instagram fanatic of being on the show for likes on social media rather than to find love.

"Why put Mick with the Instagram model? That's not a match," Mr Hollands said.

In addition to concerns about the direction of the show, he said former contestants had been treated poorly.

Not only have each of them been blocked from the Married at First Sight social media platforms, the current contestants had also blocked the former stars of the show.

"The duty of care is crap. We're guinea pigs for TV ratings," he said.

Despite it all, Mr Hollands said he had no regrets about going on the show and says the program even helped him get together with his fiance Roslyn Buerckner.

They had known each other for two years before the show, but met in person for the first time when Ms Buerckner organised a charity event and auctioned the reality star for a date.

Ironically, it was the two of them that started dating soon after.

They became engaged at last year's Melbourne Cup.

Mr Hollands was coy about when they would celebrate their wedding, but said they had a date in mind.

A spokesman from Nine said support was available for former contestants.

"We take our duty of care seriously," he said.

Do you think couples are being mismatched to create more drama?

This poll ended on 14 February 2019.

Current Results

Yes

97%

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"There is a dedicated show psychologist and support team available to every participant throughout the entire production, broadcast and beyond."

The spokesman said blocking contestants on social media was nothing new.

"We have blocked participants in the past, so there is nothing unusual about it," he said.

"We are focused on the new season of Married At First Sight and the journeys of the new participants."

The spokesman said all social media followers on Nine's social media platforms were expected to adhere to the Community Guidelines, with Nine reserving the right to ban, block and moderate users.