Melinda From ‘MAFS’ Doesn’t Speak To Certain Brides And TBH, We Don’t Blame Her
Not only did she call out shady behaviour, but when she teamed up with Layton Mills at the end of the couples retreat to confront Bronte Schofield and Harrison Boon, we all cheered the power couple on from our couches.
ICYMI, Harrison told Bronte that Layton was unhappy in his relationship, news which Bronte delivered to Melinda with a smile. That ended up just being a rumour that Harrison seemingly started, and after all that went down between the two couples, Punkee can reveal that Melinda and Bronte are no longer on speaking terms.
A few contestants we’ve spoken to this year have said that watching the TV show was like reliving all the drama once again, and Melinda admits that seeing the retreat episode was particularly hard.
“With the retreat, I actually spent most [of] that week crying if I’m honest… I knew I was, you know, being bullied or whatever it was by [Bronte and Harrison] but I didn’t realise how much behind closed doors. So to watch myself see that and see it come to light, and me go, ‘I’m not crazy’, and to see what was being said about me, it was really hurtful,” Melinda tells Punkee.
Once Melinda realised how much went on behind the blow-up at the retreat, she reached out to Bronte to see if the brunette could prepare her for the couple swap episode (where Melinda had to live with Harrison for three days, and Layton was supposed to do the same with Bronte).
“I had reached out to Bronte to say, ‘Hey, couple swap [is] coming up. You were obviously in the room with Layton… is there anything that I need to know?’,” she recalls. “And she did the ‘No babe, absolutely not’.”
Of course, we all know what happened next. Layton was firmly against the couple swap and talked with Bronte about Melinda’s decision to stay with Harrison. Bronte eagerly agreed with everything Layton said, and described Melinda’s choice to carry on with the task as a “red flag”. Ouch.
“[Bronte and I] were on talking terms… then I [found] out what she was in the room saying to my partner about me, so I never heard from her again after that, I guess [she’s] guilty,” Melinda added.
Melinda Willis and Layton Mills talk about the “divide” in the cast:
There’s also been rumours of a “divide” between the cast members flying around, and some participants have seemed closer than others. From what we can gather, on the brides’ side, Claire Nomarhas, Sandy Jawanda, Lyndall Grace and Bronte Schofield are quite close, while Melinda is good friends with Evelyn Ellis, Janelle Han, Alyssa Barmonde, Tahnee Cook and Caitlyn McConville.
Melinda has confirmed that while she’s on “talking terms with everyone”, there are some people she doesn’t initiate conversation with, and she apparently receives the same treatment from them.
“During the show there [were] different groups, and when you watch it back it does look more merged together. [But] coming out of the show… it’s gone back a little bit to what it was,” Melinda says.
“I don’t go out of my way to talk to a fair few people and they don’t talk to me either, I haven’t really heard from them. The ones I’m in contact with is Tahnee, Alyssa, Janelle, Evelyn, Caitlin… every now and again Lyndall [and] Josh [White],” she adds. “People were worried about different people’s edits… it’s just all a bit weird at the moment.”
The cheating scandal didn’t help with the relationships on the show either, with Melinda saying it “crossed the line for everyone”, and Layton adds that it was “really hard” to watch it on TV.
Here’s what was hard for the contestants (and viewers) to stomach: after Claire shared a sneaky kiss with Adam Seed(y), she berated Jesse both in their apartment, and on the couch, for doubting Claire’s commitment to the relationship.
“The worst thing about the scandal was not so much the fact it happened, it’s that [Claire and Adam] let… [Jesse] be so vulnerable on the couch and feel so bad about how he acted,” Layton recalls.
So, are Melinda and Layton friends with Claire now? It seems as though there’s a bit of distance between the contestants, and after months of messy drama between the cast, that’s not surprising.
“I haven’t gone out of my way to speak to Claire [and] she hasn’t gone out her way to speak to me,” Melinda says. “I think everyone thinks it’s over the scandal and this and that. Some people will be like, ‘Oh let it go, [because] there was remorse’, but there’s so much more that happens behind the scenes.”
“There’s still many reasons that I will decide who I go out of my way to talk to, and who I don’t. That’s just my values and my intuition and things I personally experienced, cheating scandal aside.”
Image credits: Channel 9, MAFS