MAFS' Alyssa reveals explosive details about the show in first Q&A
The TV star has spilled on what never made it to air.
Married At First Sight’s Alyssa Barmonde has spoken out about her controversial ‘edit’ on the reality show and revealed what viewers didn’t get to see on TV.
The 35-year-old single mother, whose on-screen ‘husband’ Duncan James broke her heart at final vows, took to Instagram on Wednesday to answer a number of questions about her experience during her first Q&A since the show finished airing last month.
Her mental health
Alyssa opened the Q&A by saying that while she’s ok now, she found it “really really really tough” when MAFS was airing on TV.
“When my story started to flip was probably the darkest time in my entire life, and I have gone through some s**t in my life,” she shared. “So for me to say that is a lot.
“I'm just really grateful that I had so much therapy behind me and such a big support system or else I probably wouldn't have been okay.”
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In response to one follower who asked about her proposed agreement that she would only see Duncan “on Wednesdays and every second Saturday” after the experiment, Alyssa explained the reason behind this schedule.
“When you have a child and you are not ready, for me at least, to introduce that child to your new partner, you have limited time and you have different priorities,” she said. “His sister when we had a chat with her was like, ‘Duncan it's just temporary until you meet her child and then you guys can spend all the time together’.
“So the people that say this kind of stuff clearly must not have children because your time is definitely limited when you are a single parent and when you're dating and it is one of the hardest things ever because sometimes it just doesn't align and that's just how it is.”
She also revealed that she made sure to never say her son’s name on camera to protect his privacy, which is why she said “my child” so frequently.
When asked about how she thought she would be portrayed on the show before she saw her ‘edit’, Alyssa admitted she felt really positive and was proud of the way she had conducted herself throughout filming.
“My final vows were so good, production was like ‘Yes, you're doing such a great job, you're doing so well’,” she detailed.
“Every time I tried to leave, which is probably like half a dozen times, they would stop me and be like, ‘Alyssa you're so raw and real, Australia is gonna love you! You need to expose him, we can see that he's not being genuine, we can see that he's not being authentic, we can see that he's a politician, you need to expose him’. Like, this is what happens behind the scenes.”
She added that she’s so grateful she wrote a journal during the experiment as it helped her distinguish what really happened and what the ‘edit’ tried to portray.
“One of the biggest things that made me so upset was they edited out [Duncan] saying it was a concern that my son was going to be first priority,” she claimed.
“But when you watch it, Alessandra [Rampolla] asked him, ‘Is it a concern that Alyssa’s son is going to be first priority’ and he goes, ‘No, it's not a concern’. That was not true, he said it was a concern.”
Her attempted exits
Alyssa told her followers she tried to leave the experiment “a lot of times” during filming but never fully went through with it.
“There were some weekends where I was meant to go back to Skye Suites and I just never did,” she revealed. “They just make it very hard for you to leave. They will tell you anything you want to hear so you can stay, like when they were saying, ‘You’re doing such a good job’.
“When I was in the purple dress and I stormed off set, that was a panic attack. They completely edited that to make it look like I had a tantrum and I ran off. They had a perfect opportunity to talk about anxiety and mental health. I was finished, I was done.”
She explained that she was really upset during the commitment ceremony because Duncan kept throwing her under the bus and “blindsiding” her in front of the experts - which they had previously agreed to never do.
“I was literally down the street ready to quit,” she continued. “But [the producers] kept bringing up my trigger. So they were starting to learn at this point what triggered my anxiety and what triggered my reactions and they would use that on the couch and then cut out those bits that they would trigger me with and then have me react to something different.
“So I got upset, walked off set, had a full panic attack and production ran me down and they were like, ‘Alyssa, we see you, we hear you, you are being such an inspiration to other mothers, you are so strong, you’ve got this. Please, you need to stay, you need to go back in there’. They will literally say anything to get you to stay.”
Her relationship with the experts
Speaking about the experts, Alyssa said she believes they are instructed by producers on what to say during the commitment ceremonies.
“They have little earpieces in their ear,” she pointed out. “So when you're on the couch, they'll ask you a question and then you answer it and then they sit there for a minute and you can hear voices in their ear about what they're gonna say. I'm pretty sure that's production telling them what to say.
“The few times that I had panic attacks, there was one time when it started raining really bad where we had to stop production when Duncan and I were on the couch and they had to separate us so we wouldn't speak.
“I was in tears obviously, and Mel [Schilling] and Alessandra came over and gave me a hug. They were like, ‘We’re not supposed to do this, but you've got this, you're gonna be okay’, so that was really kind. So I don't hold the experts accountable for anything, they’re just there to voice what the producers are telling them.”
Her relationship with Duncan
Despite things not working out in the end, Alyssa asserted she “absolutely had real feelings” for Duncan and they had “so many good times together” that viewers never got to see.
“There were so many good things left out about me and Duncan,” she said. “They never wanted to show me as funny or relatable. I did a really cute indoor camping date for Duncan where I taught him how to make s'mores and we played board games. It was so beautiful.
“We had so much fun together. We were probably one of the very rare couples who would actually spend time together when we didn't have to, like if we had like a break or something Duncan and I would always be together because we just really enjoyed each other's company.”
She adds that there was “definitely more good than bad” in their relationship from her perspective, which is why she was so surprised he decided to end things at final vows.
“There was a part of me that kind of felt like he was going to say no because he had been so distant the last couple of weeks of the experiment,” she confessed.
“And so even coming up to the morning of our final vows I had two answers, a yes and a no. And my producer really, really, really stressed on me to say yes, telling me, ‘You guys keep telling each other you live so close together, it’d be so easy to continue on the relationship outside, you’ve got to give it a go, you’d be cheating yourself if you didn't give it a go in the real world’. And I was like, ‘That's true, you’re right’.
“And then I realised she was doing that so much because she knew that his answer was no, so they were trying to get me to say yes and him to say no so it would tie into the storyline. So those are real tears guys, I really was upset.”
Her ideal match
Alyssa revealed that out of the other season 10 grooms, she would’ve really liked to have been paired with Josh White.
“We both live in Sydney, we both have kids, he is so funny,” she shared. “He has Utah Jazz basketball shorts, Disney dad, he is the most kind-hearted person I've ever met in my entire life. He is one of the people that just calls you to just check on you for a mental health check, which is so nice, and we just get along really well.
“He wasn't on MAFS for very long, but we've caught up a few times after the show and we chat very often, so definitely Josh without a doubt, hands down. We used to work at the same company which is crazy, it's just a bit serendipitous. But Josh knows that I have a lot of love for him.”
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