As around 1.5 million Australians sit down tonight to watch Elizabeth Sobinoff make her much-anticipated comeback to Married at First Sight on Monday night, there’s one Canberran who definitely won’t be watching.
That Canberran is Lizzie’s Season 6 husband Sam Ball, one of the most loathed characters in the show’s history for his on-air behaviour, including controversial comments on Lizzie’s weight and cheating on his wife with fellow MAFS star Ines.
At least, that’s how the producers portrayed him – and Australia ate it up.
Talking to C! News on Monday morning, ahead of Lizzie’s fated return to the show at 7.30pm, Sam said there was “no chance” he’d be watching MAFS tonight.
“I haven’t watched this season at all,” he says. “It doesn’t interest me.
“I already know what happens behind the scenes of that show.
“My message to Lizzie is just best of luck, I think she’ll go great. She’s having another go and hopefully this time the experts match her and they’ll do the right job.
“I think she said from the start, we both weren’t each other’s type and we both wanted to find love but it’s just hard, when we got put in such a stressful situation like that.”
He’s constantly asked by fans online if he’d be more interested in Lizzie now that she has dark hair and has lost weight.
“I just think good on her, I think she’s doing well,” he says.
“It’s a lifestyle thing, and as long as she’s happy, that’s all that matters.
“Some of the comments I made back then, the way they made it sound was not how I meant it, I answered the same question five times before what I said came out.
“I said great smile, great eyes, I’m sure we’ll get along fine. And the producers were like, ‘Come on Sam, give us something extra – you wanted this, you wanted that’ and they keep pushing you.
“As long as she’s happy and she’s doing what she enjoys that’s the best thing. I just meant what I said in a light that I’ve always dated shorter girls.”
Sam describes life post-MAFS as “a living hell”. He removed himself completely from social media for six months after the show aired, and was banned by Channel 9 from speaking to the media.
He blames himself for being “oblivious” to how he’d be portrayed by the show’s producers.
“To anyone thinking of going on a reality television show, I’d say don’t do it,” Sam says.
“Knowing what I know now, the amount that I wanted to talk about what happened – the funeral was real but for instance when Lizzie was looking for me, I was in Coogee, she was in Zetlins – I was back for a whole week i just wasn’t allowed to see her,” he says.
“And that first dinner party, I was there for four hours beforehand just chilling, I wasn’t late at all, I was there before most of them.
“Viewers don’t see it, they don’t see for instance, all the filming of me getting in the plane [to go to the funeral] and stuff, nobody sees it, they filmed the whole lot, they filmed me on mobile phones getting on the plane in the airport.
“The extent they went to – they didn’t show the reveal I did with my mum, I had five speeches at my wedding, they didn’t show any of the speeches.
“The whole Ines thing was set up, there’s so much to it.
“I’m gonna do a big tell-all, I’m gonna use my platform to do that, I’m just waiting.”
Among the heartbreak of being portrayed on MAFS as Australia’s most arrogant playboy – “Blokes would come up to me and say, ‘My missus loathes you’” – Sam fell in love. He moved to Canberra to be with his public servant girlfriend, and while that relationship is now over, he says he’s found his dream home town in the ACT.
“It’s basically a big country town,” he says.
“I was brought up in the country, we’ve got a farm ourselves, so cows and cattle and motorbikes, chickens, Canberra feels just like home.”
He’s definitely single but you won’t find him at Hopscotch or Fiction; he’s not into clubbing and prefers a good meal along Bunda Street – Alterego and Akiba are his faves.
“I’d love to fall in love in Canberra,” Sam says.
“It’s a great place to raise a family, I really want to be a dad, so ladies, I might see you at the gym or somewhere out and about in town.”