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'Married at First Sight' contestants admit to paying rent after moving in with stranger-turned-spouse

The money the 'Married at First Sight' cast receives, according to a former contestant, is more like a daily stipend
'MAFS' Season 16 of 'Married at First Sight' premiered on Lifetime on January 4, 2023 (Instagram/mafslifetime)
'MAFS' Season 16 of 'Married at First Sight' premiered on Lifetime on January 4, 2023 (Instagram/mafslifetime)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: People go on the famous reality TV show 'Married at First Sight' for a variety of reasons, though they usually won't admit to all of them openly. Of course, it's entirely possible that they genuinely want to fall in love, that they want to become popular or kickstart their career as an Instagram influencer, or that they simply want to make some money.

We have a lot of questions as 'MAFS' Season 16 approaches! For example, is the marriage legal? And how effective has this experiment previously been? Nevertheless, since the stars give up two months of their lives in America's greatest couples experiment, one question remains unanswered: how much does the 'Married at First Sight' participants truly get paid? Or must they pay their own rent?


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Justin and Alexis in 'MAFS' Season 15 (YouTube/Lifetime)
Justin and Alexis in 'MAFS' Season 15 (YouTube/Lifetime)

Who pays the rent on 'Married at First Sight'?

Since, you know, getting married to a random stranger on the spur of the moment is a lot to go through if all you get out of it is 15 minutes of fame and more Instagram followers. It turns out that the 'MAFS' cast does get paid, but not a lot. They are paid a stipend — effectively a per diem — because the production frequently films with them for 50 to 60 hours each week.

'MAFS' executive producer Chris Coelen told Reality Blurred that the spouses are only given a "nothing stipend," adding, "We did not want people who were motivated by the wrong things." However, Chris later spoke with The Wrap and confirmed that participants get compensated, although "almost nothing."

Nevertheless, a production assistant who worked on the second season of 'MAFS' revealed on an online forum that the couples are really paid $1,500 for every episode. Although the sourcing is questionable, $1,500 per person is far from "almost nothing."

Past contestants, however, have stated otherwise. "You get $150 for the day, that's it," Nassar Sultan, a 'MAFS' Season 5 star, stated on the Australian TV show 'Now to Love,' according to MSN. "But on top of that, you have to pay expenses — your living expenses with the woman that you marry." "It's not $150 clear. You still have to pay rent if you're renting...and it's 12-hour filming days," Nassar went on to say. That was difficult to live on, he admitted. "None of our groceries were covered," he stated. "They filmed us going shopping, and we had to shop at the same grocery store—which was really expensive, but it was out of our own money." Gabrielle Bartlett, his fiancee, "would sometimes spend up to $70 a day on just living, so we didn't have much left after that," he explained.


Season 16 of 'Married at First Sight' will premiere on Lifetime on January 4, 2023, at 8 pm ET/ 7 pm CT. Readers can find additional information in their local listings. If a viewer misses an episode, they can watch it again on the official website. Individuals who do not have cable can watch the show live on YouTube TV if they have a valid login and a subscription.