They are the self-confessed “mean girls” and remaining members of the Pretty Committee, but Ben Blackwell and Vicky Gleeson-Stokes refuse to be MAFS’s villains.
“We’re both straight-up people who cut out all the bull,” says insurance consultant Ben, 26, who married ambulance officer Aaron Chisholm.
“We’d much prefer to address any issues have and hash them out rather than stew on them for weeks.”
Indeed, the sharp-tongued pals – who instigated a war of words that prompted producers to call off the infamous dinner party – have formed an unwavering bond.
“The experts are great to talk to, but they don’t really know what you’re going through. Ben and I struggled to connect with our partners at first, but rather than give up, like other couples did, we supported and encouraged each other to stay committed to the experiment. I don’t see what makes us so deserving of all the hate. We gave our marriages the best shot.”
While the screaming match with Haydn got out of hand, Ben insists they’re now good friends. “I can see why people might think I’m a bad guy,” he says. “I’m a very direct person, which isn’t to everyone’s taste, but what you see is what you get with me, which is why you’ve watched me laugh, cry and go psycho across the dinner table.”
But it’s what we haven’t seen that irks Ben. While marriage to Aaron has had its challenges, plenty of good times never made it to air.
“I’m not surprised the public are wondering why Aaron’s still even talking to me,” says Ben. “I look like I’m in a mood 90% of the time. We did have fun – we’d get our hair done together or go for long walks.”
Luckily, Ben can show off his “unedited self” to his 21,000 Instagram fans.
He grins, “I’ve got the biggest social-media following of all the contestants. I must be the most well-loved villain there is.”