MAFS bride Susan says Sean isn’t the man viewers think he is
THEY'RE painted as the Married At First Sight "lovebirds" but Susan Rawlings says her farmer husband Sean Hollands isn't the nice guy viewers think he is - and claims he stayed for money.
"I wanted to leave half way through," the 37-year-old Perth truck driver told news.com.au. "His kids were crying to him on Skype: 'Please come home daddy, we don't really know why you're away for so long'. And I said, 'No, you need to go, we're just friends, you need to go'. And he's like, 'Nah, I need the money, I'm going to New Zealand in April on my first overseas trip ever. I need some spending money'."
Contestants were paid $200 per day to participate in the series.
Rawlings doesn't hold it against the 35-year-old farmer and miner, and said they still genuinely cared for each other.
"Because we were friends - we weren't sleeping together, no matter what people thought - I felt, like, OK why not? I thought, he is a good guy, he did stand up for what was right - on camera - he is a completely different person off camera."
In a statement to news.com.au, Hollands said he "really loves the person Susan is".
"She has given me hope that there's a woman out there for me," he said. "I am really grateful for our friendship and the things that we experienced together."
Throughout the two months of the series, Rawlings and Hollands have been portrayed as deeply in love, trying to battle the obstacle of distance that's standing in the way of their romance. Rawlings is a fly-in-fly-out truck driver at the mines in Perth while Hollands is also a FIFO worker at a mine in Queensland.
Sensing the difficulties, Rawlings decided early on in the experiment they'd "give it a go as friends" after the show. She says she tried to lock in dates for the pair to see each other - but Hollands pushed back.
"I was completely ready," she said. "And his exact response (was), 'I'm too busy breeding my horses that weekend'. And I went, what? And he said, 'I'm too busy breeding my horses that break. I'm going to a rodeo on the weekend and I want my horses bread that break and I need to be out there breeding them with the stallions'."
Rawlings said she tried to be flexible, telling Hollands she "doesn't need 24-hour care", but he insisted.
"And he's like, 'Nope, not gonna work'. And then I found out later that (fellow contestant) Simon actually went up and visited him on that break and they went to the rodeo together and had a lovely time," she said.
"I just thought, oh man, this is never gonna work."
It's a different side to the shy farmer that viewers didn't see on the series. While fans of the show watched on as Hollands was left heartbroken by his wife when she chose to end the relationship at the final vow renewal ceremony, Rawlings spoke out over the weekend saying it's "completely not true at all".
Since their vow renewal, both Rawlings and Hollands have said they both agreed to leave the relationship during the vows.
In the episodes that followed, a happy ending has still been teased for what seemed like reality TV's most drama-free couple.
But Rawlings is quick to snuff out hope.
"At the end of the episode they go, 'Is it really over between Sean and Susan'. Of course it was," she said.
The Married At First Sight finale airs tonight on Nine at 7.30pm.