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Married At First Sight‘s ninth season will premiere on Monday night.
And if you thought previous seasons were dramatic, this year’s couples are set to take things to a whole new level – despite the challenges of a global pandemic.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the first episode.
Just hours to go: Here’s everything you need to know about the Married At First Sight season nine premiere – including the breakout stars and bitter feuds
Who are this year’s breakout stars?
Tamara Djordjevic, Selin Mengu and Domenica Calarco are three names fans won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
The controversial trio, who are all fond of cosmetic procedures and aren’t afraid of confrontation, look set to bring plenty of drama.
As for the grooms, Sydney hospitality guru Brent Vitiello, party boy Al Perkins and Mitch Eynaud will be stand-outs.
Get ready for laughs! Hunky party boy Al Perkins (pictured) will keep viewers entertained
Famous friends and exes
Many of the new cast members are connected to famous reality stars.
Most notably, Mitchell Eynaud was in a relationship with former Love Island star Edyn ‘Mac’ Mackney.
The pair are understood to have dated for several months in 2013 before deciding they were better off as friends.
Case of the ex: Groom-to-be Mitchell Eynaud (left) was once in a relationship with former Love Island star Edyn ‘Mac’ Mackney (right)
‘We dated many moons ago, we were much younger,’ Edyn, who also hails from the Gold Coast, told Daily Mail Australia.
Ella Ding is understood to be close friends with MAFS alumni Sam Carraro and Michael Brunelli, and follows both on Instagram.
Brent Vitiello’s famous pals include Big Brother VIP’s Josh Carroll, The Bachelor’s Kiki Morris and Sogand Mohtat, and model Rachael Lee.
Al Perkins went to school with Love Island star Ronni Krongold and is the older brother of glamorous Sydney influencers Mimi and Leah Perkins, who have a combined following of 400,000.
Selina Chhaur previously starred on Channel Seven’s short-lived dating series The Proposal, where she vied for the heart of Love Islander Aaron Shaw.
Explosive fights and feuds
Daily Mail Australia understands there will be plenty of rows and rivalries this year.
Sydney makeup artist Domenica Calarco is a force not to be reckoned with, a source says, and will clash with several brides throughout the season.
She may be pint-sized, but one dinner party showdown involving Domenica will make the wine-throwing incident from 2019 involving Martha Kalifatidis and Cyrell Paule ‘look like a Disney Channel movie’.
Drama: Sydney makeup artist Domenica Calarco (left) is a force not to be reckoned with. Pictured with her partner Jack Millar (right)
Domenica is set for a falling out with Tamara Djordjevic.
Tamara, a Gold Coast-based operations manager, will also find herself at the centre of drama with fellow brides Ella Ding and Olivia Frazer.
‘Tamara will go down in history as one of the most outspoken brides who has ever appeared on the series,’ an on-set source revealed.
Narcissist: Tamara Djordjevic (pictured), a Gold Coast-based operations manager, will also find herself at the centre of drama with fellow brides Ella Ding and Olivia Frazer
Drama: Tamara will clash with fellow brides Ella Ding (left) and Olivia Frazer (right)
The reason for her feuds is unknown, but battle lines have been firmly drawn with about half the cast siding with Tamara and the other half loyal to Domenica.
Daily Mail Australia understands their rivalry remains ongoing.
There are also whispers this year’s intruders will cause an unprecedented level of drama, with some cast members even asked to leave the experiment.
Oh, no! There are also whispers this year’s intruders will cause an unprecedented level of drama, with some cast members even asked to leave the experiment. Pictured: Jess Seracino
Several key changes were made to accommodate Covid safety measures so the show could be filmed without any delays during Sydney’s lockdown.
Fans hoping for lavish weddings full of disapproving family members may be slightly disappointed because guest numbers were scaled back.
Daily Mail Australia understands that while some couples were able to invite one or two guests, others had to walk down the aisle on their own.
Downsized nuptials: Fans hoping for lavish weddings full of disapproving family members may be slightly disappointed, as guest numbers were scaled back
With international travel out of the question, couples stayed in New South Wales for their honeymoons.
Several pairings were married in Richmond and the Hunter Valley, and one couple was treated to a penthouse suite at a Sydney hotel.
With parts of the country in lockdown, the couples were required to check in virtually with experts Mel Schilling, John Aiken and Alessandra Rampolla.
The brides and grooms also had daily catch-ups with their producer, as well as group meetings with head honcho Tara McWilliams.
Remote counselling: Similar to last season, the couples will be required to check in virtually with experts Mel Schilling, John Aiken and Alessandra Rampolla (pictured)
Fully vaccinated cast and crew
All the brides and grooms were required to be fully vaccinated against Covid before filming commenced in late August.
The crew, including on-location producers, were also required to be double jabbed.
Essential! Despite the challenges of a global pandemic and NSW being in lockdown, executive producer Tara McWilliams (left) was determined the new season go ahead as planned
For the first time, the show’s cast and crew were chauffeured around in black-tinted luxury cars rather than catching taxis and Ubers.
Each couple was assigned a driver and no ride-sharing was allowed.
Riding solo? Each couple was assigned a designated driver and no ride-sharing was allowed. Pictured: MAFS groom Brent Vitiello arriving back to his apartment
Regular Covid testing
The cast and crew were required to undergo mandatory Covid tests every 48 hours.
Sydney-based grooms Brent Vitiello and Jack Millar, and Melbourne-based bride Ella Ding, were spotted visiting the doctors and vaccination clinics during filming.
Safety first! The cast and crew were required to undergo mandatory testing for coronavirus every 48 hours. Ella Ding (left), Brent Vitiello and Al Perkins (right) were spotted visiting the doctors and vaccination clinics during filming
Accompanied by minders at all times
Cast members were required to be accompanied by minders at all times during the first few weeks, even during their filming breaks.
This included when they went out for their hourly exercise.
A source told Daily Mail Australia this was to ensure the cast ‘followed the lockdown rules and didn’t put the entire production at risk’.
Company: Cast members were accompanied by minders at all times during the first few weeks, even during their filming breaks. Pictured: Tamara Djordjevic (right) with a minder (left)
For obvious reasons, the crew and participants are all required to wear masks on set throughout production.
The cast were only able to take their masks off when filming was underway indoors, but had to wear them during car scenes and when arriving for the dinner parties.
Meanwhile, camera operators were required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and makeup artists had to wear face shields.
Safety measure: For obvious reasons, the crew and participants are all required to wear masks on set throughout production. Pictured: a MAFS groom (left) and two cameramen (right)
Explosive! The new season will feature more highly addictive drama when the experiment is rocked by scandal in an explosive MAFS first
Experts left gobsmacked
The new season will feature more highly addictive drama when the experiment is rocked by scandal in an explosive MAFS first.
Daily Mail Australia understands a cheating scandal will take place that sees one new couple attempt to continue in the experiment together.
The incident leaves the relationship experts gobsmacked and causes several participants to walk out.
Married At First Sight 2022 will premiere Monday, January 31, at 7.30pm on Nine
Not again! Daily Mail Australia understands a cheating scandal will take place that sees one new couple attempt to continue in the experiment together
Speechless: The incident leaves the relationship experts gobsmacked and causes several participants to walk out. Pictured L-R: Alessandra Rampolla, Mel Schilling and John Aiken