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MAFS 2023 | James Weir recaps episode 12: Jaws drop over insane cheating scandal

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Married At First Sight’s boozy dinner party is rocked by the franchise’s most confusing cheating scandal on Wednesday as one salad-eating husband gleefully dodges allegations and another throws a third groom under the bus to escape repercussions for his own misdemeanours in an episode where lies run deeper than one of the cheater’s bad tan.

Yes, that sentence barely makes sense. No, further context will not help.

We wistfully dream of a simpler time, where cheating scandals just involved some guy called Dean blime-fibe-ing Tracey Jewel.

JAMES WEIR RECAPS:Read all the recaps here

“Tonight, I just wanna have a nice time,” Bronte smiles at us.

Oh, Bron. One of you fools always makes a statement like this before every dinner party. The countdown to absolute destruction is now on in five, four, three, two …

“So the other morning I was walking and I saw Shannon with his daughter and another woman and Shannon turned around to me and was like, ‘Sshhhh’,” eyewitness Claire raises a finger to her lips as she breathlessly recalls the sinister scene.

Whoa, whoa … first thing’s first: he SHUSHED you? Who does he think he is — Jesse?

“We know how I feel about a shush,” Claire raises an eyebrow.

Shannon’s wife Caitlin just cannot catch a break. First he tells her she’s not attractive. Then he admits he’s still in love with his ex, who he slept with just days before entering the experiment. Then he tells her she’s not attractive … again. And now it seems he’s seeing his ex … again.

Claire pledges to interrogate Shannon about this incident at the dinner party and then cross-examine Lyndall, who also saw the shushing.

Excellent! We’ll add this to the evening’s agenda. We love when everyone arrives with interesting topics of dinner discussion: new Netflix shows they’ve been bingeing, books they’re pretending to read, and spouses who they suspect of cheating.

In fact, there’s a lot going on tonight and we’ll probably need to refer back to the details at some point. We’ll get Melissa to keep the minutes. After all, she needs something to channel her sexual frustration into.

Meanwhile, Lyndall’s also contemplating exposing Shannon. It comes just days after she exposed Adam at the commitment ceremony. See? We predicted she’d develop a taste for the drama and start outing everyone’s secrets. Well done, Lynds!

Someone who is not enjoying Lyndall’s Gossip Girl evolution is her husband Cameron. They get in a big fight over whether she should expose Shannon and it ends with Cameron yelling, “stay in ya lane! I’m stayin’ in my lane! Everyone just needs to stay in their laaaaaanes!”

Cameron, it’s MAFS. There are no lanes on this show. It’s just one big dust bowl and all the go-karts are smashing into each other. Not to sound like Jesse and Shannon, but you need to shush.

Lyndall arrives at the cocktail party and promptly veers out of her lane, smashing through the bollards and into a swamp.

“Do you know if Shannon’s still seeing his ex?” she asks Caitlin as all the girls gather around.

“As far as I’m aware, he has blocked her,” Caitlin replies.

Lyndall knocks back her wine and musters the courage to expose yet another co-star.

“I saw him with his kid and his ex and he saw me in the street and I said, ‘Hey Shannon’, and he went, ‘Ssshhhhh’,” she raises a finger to her lips.

Caitlin collapses on the couch.

What is there to say in a moment like this? How do you comfort someone whose life is falling apart by the second?

“He’s just as shady as his f**kin’ tan,” Janelle mutters.

Melissa, doll, make sure you write down Janelle’s accurate observation regarding Shannon’s orange complexion in the minutes. We may need to refer back so we can giggle.

Dinner is served and the gals immediately act on their mission to bamboozle Shannon and identify his mystery woman. It requires skill, strategy and a sharp understanding of psycholog-

“Who were ya with on the weekend?” Claire blurts out to him while chewing a hunk of steak.

The question shocks Shannon. If it weren’t for his shady tan, he’d be as white as a ghost.

“Who do you think I was with on the weekend?” he hits back, getting defensive.

“Was that your daughter?” Claire plays dumb.

“Do you think it was my daughter?” he shrugs.

Then he bides his time by shovelling salad into his face hole.

“It wasn’t my ex and it wasn’t my kid,” he eventually says. “It was my cousin and my second cousin. I caught up with my cousins on the weekend.”

Oh! OK. Makes sense. That’s a reasonable explanation. Everyone clinks their glasses and sighs in relief that Shannon isn’t lyin-

“Even with the boys, I’ve got a new nickname now: Tefal – everything just slips off me,” he grins at us.

Shannon, with all that sweat and hair gel, you don’t need frying pan analogies to illustrate your slipperiness.

“It’s like, ‘How does he get away with it?’ I don’t even know how I get away with it!” he lets out a maniacal laugh.

Sooo … he’s admitting it WAS his daughter with the ex he’s still in love with?

We’re confused. But we don’t have time to get to the bottom of it because another perplexing cheating scandal is about to be exposed. Melissa! Make a note of Shannon’s psychotic frying pan comments in the minutes and we’ll revisit them at Sunday’s commitment ceremony.

We see Janelle whispering to her husband Adam so we excitedly eavesdrop, thinking she’s talking more smack about Shannon’s bad tan. We’re shocked to realise she’s actually talking about a … bad Dan.

“If I had to deal with that situation myself, I would pull Sandy aside – it would be one-on-one, it wouldn’t be in a group setting,” she says, before glancing across the table at Dan and Sandy being the touchy-feely couple we know and love.

“After seeing the group hold Shannon to account, it just made me feel so guilty that I couldn’t share what I knew to Sandy.”

We yank Janelle aside and threaten to douse her in Shannon’s bad fake tan while she sleeps if she doesn’t immediately reveal everything she knows. She sings like a bird.

“(I) have heard that when the boys went out on the weekend, one of the boys got a girl’s number,” she says. “And that boy is Dan.”

How does she even know this? Her husband Adam was on a loudspeaker phone call with Harrison, who started crapping on about how he was at a bar with Dan when some girls approached. Janelle pulls Tahnee and Ollie outside with Adam to gauge whether she should tell Sandy. Side note: There are too many names in this scandal and now we have no idea who’s who.

It all starts to get convoluted, so producers helpfully pull Harrison aside and ask him to explain what happened. His eyes shoot open. We can almost hear his racing heart through the TV.

“We were at a bar … some girls came up to Dan and I …” he rushes to give an explanation. “And the comment one of the girls made to Dan was, “You’re hot. Can I get your number? And I said, ‘I can’t give you my number, I’ll take yours’. (I) Literally got it and deleted it as soon as she walked off. That’s all that there is to the story. I personally don’t see it as a big deal.”

Wait … you took the girl’s number? Or Dan? The confusion is supercharged when Harrison stomps into Janelle’s top secret meeting with the others and tries to snuff out whatever they’re planning.

“My two cents on this is if it’s gonna continue to happen, it’ll come out on its own. Drop it,” he tells the group. “Why do you wanna throw ME under the bus?”

Tahnee squints at him. “I didn’t even know you were involved to be honest.”

Janelle furrows her brow and lowers her voice to a whisper. “I just wanna talk to Sandy …”

Harrison cocks his head and squints. “SANDY?

“(And tell her) That Dan got a girl’s number,” Janelle spells it out.

Harrison pauses. Huh.

“By some miracle, it seems that Janelle heard that Dan’s got a phone number – and not me,” he smiles at us. “Like, I’m just dumbfounded.”

Join the club, Harold.

He tells Janelle and her musketeers that he’ll handle it and have a conversation with that scumbag Dan and, y’know, really pull him into line.

So … he’s completely throwing Dan under the bus? Like, we’re not surprised … We just wanna clarify what’s happening.

“I just have to let him take the hit on that,” Harrison shrugs.

So he marches Dan outside and uses all the manipulation skills he’s honed with Bronte.

“I just told them that we deleted their numbers as soon as we walked off – so there’s nothing more to the story,” he nods.

Dan scrunches up his face. “Oh mate, I didn’t even take that number, so I was all fine.”

Melissa! Please jot this down in the minutes: Dan did not get any girl’s number. And Harrison is-

“A snake!” Mel Schilling yells at the CCTV footage from the dungeon. “Harrison just sat there … and completely lied. It wasn’t Dan! It was Harrison all along.”

Harrison thinks he has successfully put out that fire. But now Dan is terrified of the drama that seems to have been sparked and runs back to the table to tell his missus that he didn’t take any girl’s number. His pleas of innocence are all out of context and it just upsets Sandy, who runs off, thinking her husband is cheating.

“He’s not in the marriage – he’s not here for me,” she tells the cameraman as she storms through the warehouse.

It just draws even more attention to the issue and Harrison is left defending himself to his fellow dinner guests.

“Why would I give her my phone number? I’d have to be an idiot!” he yells at them. “I feel like, in that situation, I did the right thing – I didn’t give her MY number, I took hers!” Harrison puffs out his chest. “Like, I get hit on when I go out. And I didn’t wanna reject her in front of the boys. So I gave her my phone just to humour her.”

Hey, ladies! Chivalry is not dead!

Everyone screws up their faces at the ridiculous logic. Everyone except Bronte, who insists there’s nothing wrong with the situation because she’s a modern woman dating an attractive man and this is absolutely normal social behaviour.

We give their marriage a week — about the same lifespan of Shannon’s fake tan before it starts to flake.

Twitter, Facebook: @hellojamesweir

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