Married At First Sight Australia bride Amanda Micallef has apologised to the gay community for the way her rocky marriage with TV wife Tash Herz played out on television.
Of all the marriages on the show, Amanda and Tash's was probably the most fiery, marked by constant arguments and tension as Amanda struggled to deal with Tash's lack of interest in her.
At the second commitment ceremony, which aired in New Zealand on Sunday night - both opted to leave the experiment, with Amanda making the following tearful apology to the gay community:
"Unfortunately this relationship has not been a representation of what gay relationships are really like.
"There are a lot of good functioning gay couples out there and I'm sorry that this didn't do the gay community justice this time around.
"I think Married At First Sight were hoping that we were going to really work and that we were really going to do justice for the gay community at large. I know a lot of good gay functioning couples and they can see it as we're just another couple and we just didn't work - and it was that simple."
A subdued Tash nodded in agreement, saying: "Exactly. I fully support that and believe that."
Tash and Amanda were the first lesbian couple to appear on the show and only the second gay couple - so both undoubtedly felt a responsibility to show their community in a positive light.
At their wedding they seemed to share an initial attraction but then on their honeymoon Tash confessed that she was struggling to feel any chemistry.
"I've put a lot on the line to be here it's deflating as f... I'll tell you straight," Amanda told her.
At the first commitment ceremony viewers could only empathise with Amanda as she revealed that she felt rejected.
Things went from bad to worse, with Tash spending time with everyone but her wife at the show's first dinner party, then at the second they didn't even arrive together, despite a midweek counselling session with show expert John Aiken where he inspired them to just try and have fun together.
"They're done," John observed as the pair sat beside one another at the table but failed to share any warmth.
At Sunday night's commitment ceremony they did, indeed, demonstrate that they were done.
Since leaving the show Tash has confessed that if she had her time again she would have held back more at the wedding.
"I think that was quite confusing for her [Amanda] because I was really affectionate and really got swept up in the moment and I guess the sudden crash from that," she explained. "I spent every day of that honeymoon basically beating myself up because I didn't feel an attraction for Amanda, I just felt awful."
Amanda has claimed that Tash was seeing girlfriend Madison Hewitt, who Tash went Instagram-official with this week, during filming.
Amanda has said, "I'm just sad it didn't work, I'm sad there wasn't enough fight for the relationship. We represent such an underdog community — we didn't do it proud."
The only other gay couple to have starred on MAFS Australia was Craig Roach and Andy Ankers, who were in season three.
The couple tied the knot in New Zealand, marrying and honeymooning in Queenstown.
Like Tash and Amanda's, their marriage was rocky from the start, with Craig wanting to move things forward and Andy keen to "take things slowly."
"We're on top of the mountain living the dream and he doesn't even want to touch me. He doesn't even want to kiss me," Craig said during their honeymoon.
He walked away from the union just days after the wedding, and later took to social media to reveal that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after appearing on the reality show.
The 42-year-old hairdresser said, "'I suffered PTSD and it also affected my relationship with family friends and I almost lost my job as a result of it all, I was stupid going on the show and was blindsided by the thought I may actually find love."
"Never had I ever been so tired and drained in my life and to do it all with a camera up your a..." he wrote. "You only have to look at the footage of me and you will see the pain it's so real and I couldn't hide it!"
None of the couples from that season lasted the distance.
The gay couples in New Zealand's three seasons of the show have not had much luck either.
Ray and Jonathan's 2019 marriage was a train wreck, with Jonathan telling Now To Love, "The whole experience was so negative it hurts my heart".
Ray said "Well, it was definitely an experience. I wish the experts had matched us properly and didn't rely on a script so much."
Kiwi viewers had high hopes for 2018's couple Sam Levi and Tayler Morgan, who quit the experiment early but continued their relationship away from the cameras.
Plans were in place for Tayler to relocate to Auckland and move in with his influencer hubby, but after four months together the pair broke up.
In season one Ben Blackwell and Aaron Chisholm made it to the final commitment ceremony, but their marriage often seemed to be hanging by a thread.
Ben dumped ambulance driver Aaron when they exchanged their final vows, after letting Aaron speak first with a heartfelt promise to continue working on their relationship.
The failure rate, of course, says less about the gay community and more about the show itself.
Of all the couples that have been matched in Australia's seven seasons, only three remain together. Erin and Bryce from 2016 are still together as well as Martha and Michael from last season. Jules Cameron and Cam Merchant recently renewed their vows in a second wedding.
In New Zealand season one's Angel and Brett Renall remain together and Carmen and James are still together from season three. Angel and Brett celebrated their love by getting a puppy and Carmen and James are about to buy a house together in Christchurch.
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