Ex-MAFS star spills on producer tricks
Former Married At First Sight contestant Tracey Jewel has hit out at the show, claiming producers "manipulate" contestants and use threats about negative editing to prevent them quitting.
Jewel, who appeared on the 2017 season and was caught up in a "cheating" drama with on-screen partner Dean Wells and Davina Rankin, opened up about her experience in the latest episode of news.com.au's MAFS podcast Not Here To Make Friends.
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The Perth-based reality star compared her treatment to that of Poppy Jennings, who last week sensationally claimed she was convinced to stay in the experiment despite making it clear she wanted to leave much earlier and said she wasn't allowed to reveal what had actually happened "behind the scenes".
"Behind the scenes, truth be told, I was pressured like Poppy and other contestants to stay as well. I was manipulated," Jewel said.
"How do (producers) do that? What do they say to you?" host James Weir asked.
"You just kind of get coerced down this little road based on them telling you, 'Oh, if you leave now it's just going to look bad on you, you're going to look like the bad one', - and no one wants to be the bad one," she explained.
"Because you don't understand television and how it works, you just kind of trust these people … you're in a bubble."
Jewel also explained the tactics producers used to heighten emotions prior to the weekly commitment ceremonies.
"You're all separated beforehand, so you can't talk to each other, and they've isolated you so you're stuck with your thoughts wondering if the other person's gonna say 'leave or stay' for hours before you get into that room," she said.
Jewel became a target for online trolls following her stint on the show, leading to a well-publicised mental health breakdown - and she claims she was offered no help from Nine.
"I can't talk about it too much, but I am pursuing legal action and it's just because of the lack of support … and the duty of care," she said.
"I kept reaching out to Nine and I got ignored, no response to any of my emails, even though I was under contract.
"So I had to go at my own expense to psychologists and create my own wellness without any financial help - or any help at all - which I think was unacceptable, because there was a direct correlation between the show and my mental health problem."
News.com.au has reached out to Channel Nine for comment.
Jewel also revealed she'd had conversations with Poppy about what had transpired between her and ex-"husband" Luke Eglin.
"I really feel for Poppy because they (producers) manipulate us and say, 'If you leave or if you talk to the media, we're going to portray you badly' - but they do anyway!" Jewel explained.
Married At First Sight continues at 7.30pm tonight on Nine.
Watch Not Here To Make Friends live every Sunday and Wednesday straight after MAFS, when James Weir is joined by guests live on Facebook and news.com.au, discussing the couples' ups, downs, sideways, pimples, pashing and misjudged PDAs.
The podcast will be available on news.com.au, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all the usual suspects straight after the live stream.