Married at First Sight Australia season five contestant Dean Wells says he was cast as the villain of season five of the reality show and it’s something he will have to live with for the rest of his life.
According to Dean, he is not the villain he was portrayed as by the producers, insisting instead that producers wanted a bad boy to drive the drama – and the ratings – of the series that drew massive audiences in Australia in 2018, then became a hit in the UK more recently.
Despite how his deceit with Davina Rankin in season five appeared on screen, he describes himself as a serial monogamist who was looking for love on the show.
“I genuinely went into it looking for love, looking for the right person,” he told RadioTimes.com. “I was sitting at my local in Manly [in Sydney]… and some casting people were going around asking all the men if they wanted to be on the show. I’d never heard of it. They were like ‘Dean, you’re perfect for the show and we think we’ve already found the perfect woman for you.'”
“I was intrigued: ‘Wow, you’ll use science to find the perfect woman for me?’.”
Dean now thinks, however, that the Married at First Sight Australia producers “saw [him] coming a mile away”. “They’re clever, they’ve got this system down, they’ve been doing it for six seasons or whatever. They know what they’re doing.”
Dean says he knew on the first day that he and his new wife, Tracey Jewel, were not going to be a couple – and he claims he told her and the producers that on the day.
“One of the things they edited out – the very first day of the wedding I knew I was not right for Tracey and Tracey knew I wasn’t right for her. I knew that in my heart. There was nothing that was going to change that. I told the producers that. I said it on camera, I said it to Tracey in the nicest possible way.”
But according to Dean, he was persuaded to go on the honeymoon to Fiji with Tracey regardless, knowing that he would vote to Leave at the first commitment ceremony.
Only, Tracey decided she wanted to Stay, and due to the rules of the show, Dean had to stay another week.
The deceit with Davina
Dean continued: “That night, when I met Davina, I had checked out of my relationship with Tracey and I had a conversation with Ryan [Gallagher] off camera and he encouraged me to hook up with Davina. I said it on the show, too, and no one believed me. He said to me ‘Davina and I aren’t a thing, she’s into you’.”
The trouble was, once it came out in the open Ryan denied the conversation happened. He “threw me under the bus”, according to Dean.
Worse was to come: when the revelation occurred at the second commitment ceremony, Dean had a change of heart and decided to stay with Tracey rather than pursue a relationship with Davina.
“Davina and I genuinely had a fiery connection when we did first meet, we locked eyes and had a flirty thing,” he said. “There was some real passion between us. And I never denied it was something I wanted to explore. And we did go down that road and had a couple of dates, but once I got to know her I realised she was completely not right for me either.
“That’s when I went and made that big crazy scene at the commitment ceremony and said, ‘Sorry I’m not going to go with Davina I’m going to stay with Tracey’. The producers made me do that on camera, I wanted to tell Tracey off camera.”
Looking back, how did he feel about his comment that “Tracey’s looks are not her best quality”?
“[There’s] no excuse for that one. It was a nasty thing to say and I regret I said it… [There are] definitely a few things I regret and a few situations I could have handled better.”
The Boys’ Night drama
Dean feels he and some of the other husbands were stitched up on the Boys’ Night coverage. The evening had actually been quite staid and uneventful, he says, but it was after midnight and the head producer wasn’t happy with the footage they captured.
The producer allegedly insisted on the men giving them “something to work with”.
“We just wanted to get out of there,” said Dean. “That’s when that conversation started about wife swapping and it was literally to give them something to work with and go home.”
He described the Married at First Sight Australia group as a “raunchy, sexually OTT group of people”. There were a lot of parties back at the hotel where they all stayed and “little hook-ups were happening off camera”.
But Dean alleges that the producers never showed the girls being nasty or promiscuous because “even though the girls were just as bad as us. The audience is mums at home, so they’re always going to make the boys look bad and the girls look like angels. The girls played the exact same game, the ‘who would you swap with’ game as well!”
The final commitment ceremony break-up
Dean looked devastated when Tracey jilted him at the final commitment ceremony. The emotions and the tears were real, he said, but he wasn’t crying because he had been dumped – it was because she had broken their “pact”, plus the sheer emotional toll the series had taken on him.
“She had written two place cards and she decided for whatever reason to go completely against our pact, to say Leave and ‘you don’t deserve me’. That’s when you see me get quite angry and sad and throw my cards away and why I was upset was not because she didn’t want to be with me, but because she broke our pact.”
He was also exhausted. “You film for 12 hours, it’s gruelling. By that last scene I was emotionally drained, mentally drained, in every way, it was a huge release. Big weight off my shoulders at this point because I knew I could go home for the first time after two months.”
It’s more than two years since the show screened in Australia and, despite becoming public enemy number one and feeling like’d been “in prison” for two months, Dean doesn’t regret taking part in it.
He insists that Married at First Sight Australia has given him some great opportunities. Earlier this year he appeared on their version of Strictly, Dancing With the Stars (although he was voted off first!), and he was running a premium wine company, Little Ripples, which had a humanitarian side to it.
He’d also set up a YouTube channel, Dangerous Ideas With Deano, where he expressed his worldviews and featured conversations with guests like Tracey.
Would he advise anyone else to appear on Married at First Sight, though?
“Be very careful,” he warned. “It’s a great experience, I made some great friends and had some great times. But I got pictured as a villain and that’s something I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life. It’s not to be taken lightly… [The producers] can change what actually happened 100 per cent into a completely different story.”
RadioTimes.com reached out to the producers of Married at First Sight Australia for comment but has not yet received a response.
The UK version of Married at First Sight returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday.