The limited-run series brings together past contestants (‘all stars’) with newcomers (‘wildcards’) as they battle it out for the glitterball trophy.
Modest success: Dancing with the Stars: All Stars delivered strong ratings for Channel Seven on Sunday night, but it wasn’t enough to topple Nine’s Married At First Sight. Pictured: DWTS hosts Sonia Kruger and Daryl Somers
While Seven will no doubt be pleased with the modest ratings success, Nine still continued its dominance with MAFS on Sunday night.
The reunion dinner party had a metro audience of 1.127 million, making it the most-watched entertainment program of the night.
Married At First Sight holds an untouchable position in the ratings, forcing other networks to schedule their programming around it.
Back with a bang: The dance competition pulled in an average of 744,000 metro viewers, making it the strongest season launch for DWTS since 2015. Pictured (left to right): host Daryl Somers with ‘wildcard’ contestant Schapelle Corby and professional dancer Shae Mountain
For example, Channel 10 is holding back the premiere of its flagship reality show MasterChef until after MAFS has finished its run.
Despite boasting a large amount of viewers, Nine’s social experiment has generated plenty on controversy this season.
Almost 15,000 Australians have signed a Change.org petition calling for the network to apologise for failing in its duty of care towards participant Melissa Rawson.
The petition argues Melissa has been subjected to ‘gaslighting, emotional manipulation, isolation, and countless other textbook signs of a controlling and / or abusive relationship’ at the hands of her ‘husband’ Bryce Ruthven.
Unbeatable: Married At First Sight’s reunion dinner party had a metro audience of 1.127 million on Sunday, making it the most-watched entertainment program of the night. Pictured: MAFS couple Johnny Balbuziente and Kerry Knight
However, Married At First Sight’s executive producer John Walsh issued a statement denying Melissa and Bryce’s relationship was ‘characterised by domestic violence’ and reaffirming that producers always uphold a high level of care for participants.
‘The petition in question does not reflect the nature of Bryce and Melissa’s relationship and at no time did [production company] Endemol Shine Australia or Nine consider Bryce and Melissa’s relationship to be characterised by domestic violence or the like,’ Mr Walsh told B&T on Wednesday.
‘If that had been the case we would have intervened immediately. Our first priority in making MAFS is to make sure all the participants feel they are operating in a safe environment,’ he continued.
Under scrutiny: Despite boasting a large amount of viewers, MAFS has generated plenty on controversy this season. Almost 15,000 Australians have signed a Change.org petition calling for the network to apologise for failing in its duty of care towards participant Melissa Rawson (pictured with her ‘husband’ Bryce Ruthven during filming in Sydney in November)
Mr Walsh went on to highlight that participants are actively encouraged to report situations where they feel unsafe during filming.
He also listed the ‘rigorous processes’ that are used during filming to protect participants from toxic situations, including giving them access to a dedicated psychologist.
The brides and grooms are also provided with access to a psychologist after the show finishes production.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk