MAFS, it’s time to get rid of Jessika
We've long suspected it, but last night Married At First Sight bosses proved to us once and for all that they do not possess a single soul between them.
We've watched couples cheat and lie, and gaslight like it's 1999, but this week we watched Jessika decide to stay - without anyone calling her BS to a screeching halt - all because she wants to pursue a relationship with Dan, and he lives, like a really long way away from her.
Nobody is suggesting that meeting a stranger on reality TV and being forced into an intimate living arrangement with them means you owe them a whole lot. We know they're not actually married in real life - but that doesn't mean contestants are exempt from the general code of being a decent human being.
We've seen Jessika bleating endlessly about how she has four people's hearts in her hands - that of her, "husband" Mick, dalliance Dan, and Dan's "wife" Tamara - and she takes all of that super seriously. Except she doesn't. She's got the horn for Dan and she won't let anything stand in her way.
That in itself isn't the terrible bit though. It's not like Jessika is the first narcissist that's ever appeared on reality TV - in fact, it's pretty much a prerequisite. The problem lies in MAFS producers letting her get away with dragging poor Mick through this torturous process week after week.
They've seen all the footage of Jessika and Dan pashing on at the dinner parties. Hell, they edited the footage so we could all see it too.
And nobody can tell me the three relationship experts, John Aiken, Dr Trisha Stratford and Mel Schilling don't know exactly what's going on. But they sit on the couch and stare blankly as Jessika claims to not be finished trying to make things work with Mick.
They don't even challenge her as she pretends she's struggling with her decision to stay or go. That's left to fellow contestants, who cannot believe she's still pretending she's into Mick.
"This decision was really hard," Jessika said on Sunday night, and we all scratched our heads as we wondered what was so hard about it.
But she pushed on, pretending they have unfinished business.
"After last night's dinner party, there's so many things that need to still be spoken about here," she continued.
Then she addressed Mick directly, suggesting he's the one who's given up on their relationship - a classic manoeuvre from chapter 1, page 1 of Gaslighting for Dummies - saying: "Even if you've checked out there should still be a level of respect for what we did share."
Weirdly she doesn't think that respect should apply to not lying and cheating, or dragging your spouse through pretend-marriage exercises just so you can get laid by someone else.
Mick saw her decision coming and groaned, "No, you're not are you?"
But she was. Jessika held up her card with "stay" written on it (albeit upside down, but we knew what she meant).
All of the other contestants were annoyed, even the really nice ones.
"There's a lot of things Jess says that don't add up," Jules told the experts, who continued their clever tactic of staring blankly and not asking what's going on.
"It's all the lies," Mick said.
Jessika then went on to tell everyone she doesn't owe them anything. Which is fine, but the MAFS bosses owe us common decency. And more than us, they owe it to Mick. He's the one who's suffering here.
Mick seems like a good guy. He came into this experiment and gave things a red hot go with Jessika. Sure, the guy puts together a pretty embarrassing cheese platter, but last time we checked that wasn't technically a crime.
Jessika's behaviour towards Mick, pretending to still have an inkling of interest in him, is embarrassing to watch. He knows she's full of it, we know she's full of it, but she pushes on regardless.
At what point do MAFS producers recognise that Australia is a signatory to the Geneva Convention and put an end to this torture? Jessika is being a heinous human being, after two pashes have convinced her she's in love, and they're milking it for whatever ratings come their way.
Cyrell has been calling Jessika on her duplicitous behaviour for weeks now, but somehow - perhaps because she's quite shouty and sometimes violent - she has been the one constantly taken to task for her behaviour.
But we could all learn a lot from Cyrell. At least she's got a functioning moral compass - the MAFS producers might need to recalibrate theirs.
Carolyn Tate is a freelance writer. Continue the conversation @tatewords