Experts have been forced to step in and perform a dramatic intervention on a Married At First Sight couple after a C-word scandal rocked the series.
Producers made it clear weeks ago the latest series of the controversial dating show would eclipse last year's Dean and Davina cheating scandal. Lots of people wanted to throw the C-word around during that predicament but no one did.
Frankly, we thought things were already getting edgy earlier this week when Ines took aim at lesbian McDonald's drive-thru attendants. It was a bold call — lesbian McDonald's drive-thru attendants basically run this country. But the McSledge was nothing compared to the scenes that unfold on Sunday night.
The C-word is dropped. Several times. It's said so many times that it's just going to get annoying if I keep writing the term "C-word", so let's think of another way to refer to it. Cantaloupe? Why not.
At the first commitment ceremony of the series, Bronson is pushed to the limit. After a week of being called a rubbish bin and inbred and having reams of expletives hurled at him by his wife Ines, he snaps. And he calls his wife a big cantaloupe. Well, he doesn't call her a cantaloupe. He says her behaviour is very cantaloupe-y — that she is acting like a really rude cantaloupe.
Throwing cantaloupes around is a dangerous game. I mean that both literally and figuratively.
But before we start dodging cantaloupes, we have to deal with everyone else's issues at the commitment ceremony.
You all know the rules — everyone has to write "stay" or "leave" on a card. If both partners choose to leave, we push them into an Uber and never speak of them again. But if one says "stay" and the other says "leave", the person who wants to escape is tortured and trapped inside the relationship for another week. It's just like the real world.
Jessika has woken up today feeling like an idiot. And, look, on Sunday mornings — when the drunken flashbacks start flooding in — we all feel like idiots.
Through her hazy hangover, Jessika can't really pinpoint what exactly she's feeling humiliated about. Is it the fact she drank way too much Chandon and then accused Mike of calling her fake before hysterically spitting the dummy at husband Mick? Or is it the moment she drunkenly threatened to draw a picture of a "diaphragm"? It's all a real blur.
"It's bloody embarrassing. You abused me in front of everyone. Over crap. Like a spoiled little bloody brat," Mick yells, specifically referring to the abuse he copped but we're sure the whole diaphragm/diagram mix-up has probably added to his mortification. "I'm embarrassed to be here."
Jessika explains to the experts she threw the tantrum because she thought she maybe, possibly heard someone say the word "fake" and she just assumed it was about her.
They both decide to stay together because Jessika says she kinda liked it when Mick yelled at her and, honestly, there are issues here that should be explored but whatever, we don't have time for actual therapy.
By the time Lizzie and Sam roll up to the couch, we've already heard everything they have to say. Lizzie starts screaming again about the voicemail she left Sam while he was at his fake funeral and Sam's reply is still, "Who checks voicemail lol?"
Lizzie's waiting for the experts to back her up. They don't.
Lizzie wants to leave, but she knows Sam also wants to leave, so she takes the high road and chooses to stay, thus trapping her husband in a marriage he really doesn't want to be a part of. It's called justice.
The crowd can't believe it. Lizzie has just spent 15 minutes telling the experts she hates Sam while flicking her hair extensions and waving her nails around. Why would she do this? She doesn't want to stay — all she's doing here is making pizza-toast and watching YouTube make up tutorials.
Suddenly a bald man berates her from the crowd.
"Why are you staying?!" the bald man yells. "You haven't said one good thing about him and you wanna stay? So you're just gonna punish him for a week? Is that ya plan? Just to punish poor Sam for a week."
Yeah, poor Sam.
Lizzie can't believe she's being attacked by the crowd after what she's endured. After all, she didn't get a free budget holiday to New Zealand or Port Douglas like everyone else and that's just not fair.
"I didn't get my honeymoon!," she screams at the jeering crowd. "I didn't get my honeymoon!'
Something weird is happening with Ning and Mark. Just days ago, she rejected him and kicked pool water in his face after a terrible kiss. But apparently we just don't understand body language because that actually means she likes him.
"We have so much fun! We laugh and we giggle!" Ning gushes to the experts.
Lauren and Matthew are only here so we can make them do the Cosmo quiz.
"He's just diving right into the deep end," Lauren says and, ugh, honestly Lauren that's just a really gross way of saying you guys had sex.
Both obviously choose to stay but we secretly wish Matthew did a bash and dash.
When it comes time for Mike and Heidi, he reckons she's mad keen but she's still bruised he didn't like her government housing story.
The experts politely ask how they are. Mike immediately takes this as an invitation to talk about their mad sex life. Calm down pal, you're not Matthew.
"I'm sleepin' like a baby put it that way," he grunts.
"The honeymoon was amazing," he says.
Heidi twitches. Emotions bubble up and she can't hold it in. She reveals all about how they were on the beach in the Whitsundays and all she wanted to do was tell Mike about how she used to live in government housing and how he told her it was a snoozefest and left midway to go snorkelling.
"I was telling my story and I was only about two minutes in and he said I didn't get to the point quicker," she sobs.
To prove how good the story is, she starts telling it again. But when she looks up, Mel Schilling has literally fallen asleep.
Ines continues to be the ray of sunshine this show needs.
"I'm going into the commitment ceremony with full blown depression," she spits to us.
She's really started to connect with Bronson and the chemistry between them is electric.
Bronson is upset. He's been trying for a week to get close to Ines but she has been beyond difficult.
"The first thing she said when she saw me was, 'Take that f*cking eyebrow ring out'," he tells the experts.
They show no sympathy.
Ines insists there's been an unfortunate mix up and there's a very reasonable explanation for her statements.
"Who the f*ck has an eyebrow ring?" she explains. "I don't want him f*cking touching me. I don't want him in the same room as me."
We cut to Lizzie and she's just grateful the worst thing her partner ever did was fake a death and flee the country.
Ines decides to throw it to the crowd. They all seem sane and level-headed, which is why they're on this show. She politely asks if anyone would like to donate one of their husbands.
"I'm all about getting a divorce and finding a new husband. I'd never engage in sexual relationships whilst being married," she says.
The statement lands with a thud. Silence falls across the room. And then Jules pipes up to challenge.
"Can I backtrack here? At the dinner table, you did say in front of everyone, 'I had a premonition we're all gonna group f*ck'. I personally didn't appreciate that. I heard you say that," she says.
Suddenly, we find ourselves at the centre of an impromptu take-down.
Nothing is more electrifying than being involved in a take-down. The entire group turns on Ines.
Lizzie joins the fight.
"We know you said that!" she yells from the crowd.
Of course, Ines reacts appropriately.
Bronson tells the experts he's confused because there have been moments — nanoseconds — where Ines seems OK. Like the night on the honeymoon they did the relationship quiz together. But out of nowhere, she flipped.
And then he says it. She became a cantaloupe.
"The next morning, the hulk came out. Straight back to being a c**t," he says.
He's quick to clarify.
"I'm not calling her a c**t. I'm saying she acts like a c**t," he says.
Suddenly, Mel Schilling wakes up from the deep slumber she fell into during Heidi's government housing story to reprimand Bronson.
"Bronson, when you use language like that in relation to a woman, how do you expect her to respond to you?" she scolds.
This scolding is going to divide Australia.
The experts' empowering moment has fallen flat seeing as the person they're defending is completely awful and has actively insulted every demographic and sub-demographic in this country including lesbian McDonald's drive-thru attendants with eyebrow rings.
Yeah, maybe don't say your wife is acting a bit cantaloupe-y. But it can't be denied Ines was being putrid well before being labelled a cantaloupe.
"A tip from me to you? Don't use language like that if you want any chance of a relationship with a woman," Schilling continues.
The experts have seen enough. This show was once highbrow and sophisticated. It's now crossed the line and fallen into the gutter — marred by cantaloupes and boring government housing stories. It's just chaos.
We throw to Ines and Bronson for their decisions. They're both miserable. Ines wants to leave but Bronson pulls a Lizzie and seeks justice the only way he knows how. He chooses to stay.
"I want to double check to see if things can improve …" he explains.
Ines articulates her feelings very well.
"Double check my f***** **** **** **** ***," she sneers, the Nine Network censor forced to hold down the bleep button uninterrupted for the entire sentence. "What the f**k? You wanna stay after you called me a c**t?"
The experts don't seem to have an issue with Ines' language.
The experts step in on this mess. Mainly because it seems dangerous to let these two live together in the same apartment for a week.
"What we see tonight is you've not connected at all," John Aiken keenly observes. "Things have spiralled and your communication style is frankly appalling. And it's toxic. And that's why we're gonna need to intervene immediately."
Ines has a lot of pluck — she's not the kind to just sit back and wallow. It's her life's mission to turn lemons into lemonade. Yeah, she's stuck here for another week — so what? She hatches a very practical plan to take control of the situation. She vows to cheat with Sam.
We can't wait to see it unfold. Or maybe that's just me being a big cantaloupe.