With the ninth season of Married At First Sight Australia upon us, we have A LOT of questions!
Like, is the marriage legal? And how successful has this experiment been in the past?
However, since the stars give up three months of their lives in Australia's largest couples experiment, there's one question we're always asking - how much do the Married at First Sight Australia contestants really get paid?
We've gone straight to a very well-versed source in the matter, Nasser Sultan, who is arguably one of season five's most polarising contestants, to find out exactly how much these stars get paid for giving up their lives and appearing on the popular show!
"You get $150 for the day, that's it," Nasser told Now to Love Australia. "But on top of that, you have to pay expenses - your living expenses with the woman that you marry."
"It's not $150 clear. You still have to pay rent if you're renting, you've gotta pay your rego and it's 12 hour filming days."
According to Nasser, the Married at First Sight contracts states that contestants "get a per diem" or a daily allowance, so they're not being "paid for work" but receiving money to cover expenses.
"That's what you live on," he said.
While this is information has already been widely publicised since the show's inception, some other tidbits that Nasser told us were pretty surprising!
"None of our groceries were covered," he said. "They filmed us going shopping and we had to shop at the same grocery store - which was really expensive, but it was out of our own money."
"Gab and I would sometimes spend up to $70 a day on just living, so we didn't have much left after that."
While Nasser felt that $150 a day wasn't sufficient to cover his living needs, he also expressed the fact that some of the other couples (especially the brides), were receiving more than he was.
"Sarah [Roza] and a few others, like Davina [Rankin], got more money," he revealed. "They got $50 more a day. Basically, the more you did for the show, the more you got."
But it wasn't only money that some of the brides were getting.
"The girls would message companies on Instagram and ask for free clothes to be sent to them, and so we'd be sitting there and these deliveries would show up."
"Basically, they were getting everything that they wanted. If they cried, they got counselling, and to stay on the show, they asked for more money. It worked out really well for them."
For those who have full-time jobs, they have to either take annual leave, unpaid holidays or even quit - but you know what they say, the cost of finding true love is priceless.
Of course, it can be a financial burden for contestants - but hopefully the fame and after-show perks (whiter teeth, hair extensions and invitations to events) make it all worth it.
However, Mikey Pembroke from the 2020 season claimed that participants don't earn anything while appearing on MAFS.
Speaking on the I've Got News For You podcast, Mikey said that while contestants get paid money to "live off" during filming, this barely covers the cost of living.
"You don't get paid at all – this is a thing that needs to change," he said, adding that he pocketed "about 1,000 bucks" in profit during his MAFS stints.
"But the show makes an incredible amount of money. And say you were on, you know, a TV show that does really well, the actors get paid more and more because it's doing so well. And that's the way it should be for MAFS."
Mikey, who was paired with Natasha Spencer, said contestants should be properly compensated for giving up their personal lives and careers for filming.
"They're the ones putting themselves out there, and then the channel makes millions and millions of dollars in advertising," he continued.
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