Bryce signed up for MAFS just days after breaking up with his fiancée
A mere five days to be exact. It was a revelation that proved just how different the application process is for contestants on Married At First Sight. Whereas Melissa admitted that she had started and then gave up on applying to the show, it seems Bryce had no reservations after his relationship with his fiancée fell through.
Melissa told listeners, “I got a quarter of the way through the application - because there were so many questions - and I left it at that. About a month later I got a text message from a producer, and that’s where it started. The whole process took about six months.”
In contrast, Bryce admitted that he was actually approached to go on the show. The ex-radio announcer said that it was his failed engagement that inspired him to say yes. “There’s no secret that I was previously engaged up until just after Easter last year - just over a year ago. And yeah, I’d been watching the show for the last couple of seasons and had known people who had done the show and heard various pieces of feedback.”
He went on to add, “I ended up getting a phone call out of the blue one day from one of the producers. I’m not sure how they got my phone number - maybe through a social media avenue like LinkedIn? I was doing some Instagram Live stuff with contestants from last year, too.”
Bryce said the phone call came just five days after breaking up with his ex and while Melissa was quick to exclaim just how quick a turnaround it all was for him, he defended his actions. “I’ve made it no secret that I had emotionally checked out of that relationship. So as far as I was concerned, when I had ended the engagement I was free as could be. I had myself to worry about, and we were still living together at the time, but we were in separate rooms and trying to end things as amicably as possible.”
The pair have received death threats since the show
While on the show, contestants have their social media accounts managed by producers. While it makes sense given how frequently spoilers are leaked to the press and fan accounts, it can also be incredibly confronting for contestants when they do eventually reclaim possession of their social media accounts. For Bryce and Melissa, it was certainly an adjustment. Thankfully, it seems Bryce didn’t receive the kind of hatred many expected following his appearance on the show. “80 per cent of people are nice and friendly and can see through everything that was shown not he show, and the other 20 per cent have their own opinions - and they’re entitled to those.”
But with the pair now discussing the potential of children in the not-so-distant future, Melissa has questioned if it’s the environment she wants to bring a child into when they occasionally receive death threats. “I’m terrified and it’s been such a concern because I’ve experienced what it’s like to be harassed, bullied. The death threats that we’ve been getting online…I won’t even begin to highlight how disgusting that is,” said Melissa.
“To bring a child into the world, giving them access to social media at a young age…I couldn’t fathom a child having to deal with such disgusting, hurtful, bullying, body shaming comments. I’m so terrified to think that if we were to have kids one day, I would just want to shield them from that.”
Bryce has a ‘type’ when it comes to dating
He left many viewers in a rage when he criticised Melissa’s appearance on the show, and judging by what’s been said on his podcast, Bryce hasn’t spent a lot of time reflecting on just how his actions were perceived. Instead, he proclaimed that he still has a type which, as he describes, is the “beachy, blonde type.”
Still, Bryce admits that after breaking off his engagement, he did realise that his type wasn’t really working for him. Melissa then interjects and calls out Bryce for being so superficial, saying: “The blonde hair, blue eyes thing is very judgmental. A specific colour of eyes does not make a person.” And really, who can argue with that? She makes a strong point.
Bryce made a lot of friends because of the show
Despite the show’s experts questioning Bryce’s character after he tended to pick fights or get into disputes with nearly every contestant on the series, Bryce admitted that he has in fact made a lot of friends because of the show - and even finds it easy to make friends thanks to his radio background. Melissa added that she always sees his phone “blowing up with new people”, something the radio announcer credits to his “transient” lifestyle.
That said, the show also revealed just who Bryce can trust and who his true friends are. He explained that a number of friends have attempted to ‘use’ his platform and share things with the media just to “get a leg up wherever they can.” He added, “It’s been quite evident where I’ve had people I thought were my friends get involved with gossip pages and media outlets to try and make a name for themselves.”
Melissa then added, “They may have seen elements of you that they didn’t like, and that’s why you’ve had a falling out.”
Melissa reveals the gruelling reality of social media interviews
With the track record of those who have found love on shows like MAFS and The Bachelor being incredibly low, it’s easy to reduce all contestants to those simply using the fame of reality TV for their own gains. From those looking to become influencers to others using the spotlight to then promote their own products, company or workout program, many a contestant has gone on to penetrate the bubble of Insta-fame. But the two aren’t mutually exclusive and you can be successful and genuine, as many who have gone on the shows have illustrated with startling clarity.
For Melissa, she vocalised just how gruelling the life of reality TV stars is, particularly when you leave the environment to walk into an endless arrangement of press interviews and promotional videos. During the show’s airing, Melissa was notably absent from a lot of the promotional interviews, and as she described on the podcast, it was a result of her mental health struggles.
“It was a really difficult time from when the show aired to when ti ended. There was a period of three weeks where I really struggled with my mental health. I didn’t want to communicate with anybody. At all. Not even my own family and friends.”
She added, “I get that I put myself out there. I out myself on national television. I was made aware of the consequences and the changes that would happen - so there are no negative associations with that. But with my type of personality, I definitely did struggle with my emotions.”
Melissa went on to say, “I’ve had mental health issues int he past. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety from quite a young age. It was definitely documented throughout my process of applying for the show. And I was supported, but I had some very dark days.”
“There were days when I couldn’t get off the couch,” she said. “I didn’t want to get dressed. I couldn’t work. I barely ate. My sleep was all over the place. It has taken a bit of time to get back to where I want to be mentally, and [Bryce] you’ve been a great support, but nothing could have prepared me for that.”
Bryce admitted that it was tough watching someone he loved go through that, and that it also took an emotional and mental toll on him too. “I’ve never been with someone who’s visibly struggled in front of me. Watching you go through it, I was very concerned for your mental health. And helping you get through it wore me down as well.”