MAFS’ Mishel: ‘Roach infested show worse than prison’
Married At First Sight "bride" Mishel Karen has unleashed on the show's producers, saying she has worked in prisons and "they have more human rights in prison".
"We didn't have any human rights," she told Confidential.
"We were sleep-deprived, we had everything we owned taken from us, we were spoken to like pieces of s..t."
Karen said one production staffer "called us c...s all the time. We're boring, she makes or breaks us, Australia is going to hate us."
Karen, 48, was matched with Steve Burley, 52, and there were problems from day one. Producers of the show knew she had been cheated on seven times yet paired her with Burley, a self-confessed cheat.
Karen claimed producers violated their duty of care, forcing her to write "stay" during the weekly commitment ceremony.
She said that if one person in a couple wrote stay, both had to stay, leaving viewers exasperated when one person in the couple continued to write "stay" when a relationship was clearly not working.
"I was saying I just want to go home, I don't think anything is going to happen with this person ever," she said.
"But I was forced to stay. At one commitment ceremony production was held up for eight hours because I wouldn't write 'stay'. He had already written leave and I had to write 'stay' and I was saying, 'no, I'm not going to,' so eight hours we were delayed."
She eventually cracked as the pressure became too much.
"Everyone was already sitting on the couch for two hours saying, 'For f...'s sake Mishel, just write stay', I'm delaying everything for everyone, everyone is hungry and tired.
"They brought Lizzie and Connie in to convince me to stay, and Lizzie's like, 'this is an opportunity of a lifetime,' and I still said, 'no, I really don't care.' Eventually I said, 'OK, I'll write stay,' because it was just easier."
Karen said there was constant manipulation. Every episode had to have two fights, so sometimes contestants would fight just to get it over with.
One dinner party was filmed to completion but producers re-set the table and filmed the whole thing again straight after because one person was being ganged up on.
She said the warehouse used for filming was teeming with cockroaches, and they were rarely fed - and when they were they had to share a meat pie or single-serve box of rice because production had not ordered enough.
At dinner parties, contestants were not allowed water. Karen recalled having to wait for ice in a glass to melt so she had water to drink.
Channel 9 did not respond to a request for comment.
Originally published as MAFS' Mishel: 'Roach infested show worse than prison'