MAFS bride in ‘massive debt’ from show
Married At First Sight bride Mishel Karen has revealed she is in "massive" debt after going on the dating show.
The mother-of-two from Brisbane, who is matched with Steve on the series, said on news.com.au's Not Here To Make Friends podcast she had racked up almost $40,000 just from being on the experiment.
She also said other contestants were "definitely" in debt as a result of the show, though she didn't say who.
Mishel said she was out of pocket after tearing her meniscus skiing on her TV honeymoon in Queenstown, New Zealand.
"I had the injury on the snowfield, so I tore my meniscus and had to have surgery and all up I'm in debt about $38,000," she told host James Weir.
"It's massive. I'm a single mum, I've paid for my kids to grow up, private school fees, this is a big dint.
"And everyone thinks you get all these freebies. Do we? Wow, we got free water, giddy up."
The 48-year-old teacher said the contestants got paid $150 per day of filming, adding returning MAFS bride Lizzie reportedly got paid $100,000.
"I don't think she (Lizzie) wanted to be there. I think she wanted to be there, but I don't think she actually wanted to be a part of the group," Mishel said, prompting Weir to ask why Lizzie would have returned.
"Money …" she said. "I don't know, it's speculation, but I think it was $100,000.
"We (the rest of the cast) get paid $150 a day every day we film.
"But the thing is if you've got a property or home loans then you still have to pay that and you're not getting paid from work.
"And the girls want to look half decent, and we can't ever wear the same outfit twice, so we were hiring clothes, we pay for all of it. We do (our own makeup)."
Mishel also revealed producers pressured her to write "stay" at Sunday night's commitment ceremony, despite her having initially written "leave".
"Basically it was eight hours of delated production, everyone was waiting for the commitment ceremony and it was convincing me to write stay," she said.
"Because they know Steve was going to write leave and I think our characters hadn't finished our roles yet.
"It's not that they make you write stay, no one forced my hand, but after eight hours you realise … Everyone is sitting in a tent starving, or they've not got any food or drink, and people are just saying, 'For f**ks sake just write stay and let's get this night over with.'"
As for the toothbrush dinner party disaster two weeks ago, Mishel said the producers had actually reset the table at about midnight and made the contestants start filming again.
"The latest I was there was until about 3am, that was Dave's night," Mishel said.
"The (took everything off the table and reset it) around 12am, everyone had already gone through all the drama, we hadn't brought up the toothbrush yet.
"We hadn't shown Hayley enough support, so they just wanted an even balance."
Giving a rundown of how the dinner party nights unfold, Mishel revealed they begin filming at 11am, and are made to wait in a tent for several hours before entering the room, adding producers needed "two dramas every night".
"We get there about 3pm or 4pm and generally get a bottle of water, they gave us popcorn and a Freddo and an icy pole, they gave us Sudoku," Mishel said.
"You get taken in when it starts to get dark, so you've already been in this tent.
"You've got lots of alcohol, if you want a glass of water or a Coke, seriously you've got to go to the next suburb.
"I think that we needed two dramas every night. We worked that out. Last week Steve and I had a drama. We weren't going to leave that night unless I had a fight with Steve.
"I just said, 'You know what, f**k it I'm gonna do it.'
"It was 11 o'clock and guess what? We got to go home at 11.15pm, giddy up we're out."
Married At First Sight is on Channel 9 on Sunday at 7pm