If there’s one thing Netflix is great at, it’s creating outlandish reality dating shows starring hot people who just! can’t! seem! to find love. While some series are more geared toward sex (*cough* Too Hot to Handle) others, like Love is Blind, are supposed to help these poor, painfully attractive people find what they’ve been searching for:
social media followers their soul mates. And in what might be the most dramatic twist in reality show history, Love is Blind season 2 did just that. In fact, when ranking the Love is Blind: After the Altar couples, it’s clear there might actually be some real connections here… just maybe not the ones you expected.
ICYMI, After the Altar — which hit Netflix on Sept. 16 — showcases three 45ish-minute episodes that follow *most* of the couples/singles seen in season 2. I say most because head villain Abhishek Chatterjee (Shake) was noticeably absent. Whether he wanted to stick to his “everyone else is cloud-chasing” narrative or he simply wasn’t invited after his awkward Love is Blind reunion appearance, the jury’s out.
Shake aside, the brief glimpse at life post pods gives a clear look at which duos were worth the emotional investment this season. Ranked from worst to best, here’s our rundown of the After the Altar couples. Major spoilers ahead so consider this your one and only warning to take a sick day and catch up if you’re behind.
9. Shayne and Natalie
Leading up to the wedding it seemed like Shayne and Natalie might actually work. They were complete opposites — a rom-com tradition — and they appeared to at least like each other, which is more than you can say for some other on-screen pairings. Things went downhill, though, when Shayne got drunk the night before their wedding and said some pretty sh*tty things to Natalie (like, that he hated her, just to give you an idea).
Clearly, Natalie saying “no” at the altar was a good idea because hi, talk about spotting a huuuuuge red flag. But alcohol-fueled fights aside, this couple is still the epitome of messy after the altar. Naturally, they did the break-up-get-back-together dance multiple times before Natalie officially called it quits upon finding some scandy messages from (who else?) Shaina in Shayne’s DMs. The guy you gave a second chance to texting his ex? How disappointingly unoriginal.
Everyone except Natalie denied the messages exist, of course, but it was still a crucial plot point of the three-episode special, as is the fact that Shayne and Natalie obviously aren’t over each other. What makes this duo the worst isn’t their breakup, though, but it’s the fact that their relationship lowkey looks like every failed one we’ve ever had. A guy who gets mean when he’s drunk and (allegedly) lies about DMing other girls? C’mon, Netflix. We’re here for fun reality, not reality reality.
8. Jarrette and Iyanna
The only reason this couple isn’t ranked the worst is because Iyanna definitely liked the idea of being married to Jarette. I mean, she put up with every literal f*ck boy trait he exhibited in the name of the experiment, so there’s that. Truthfully, though, I don’t know if two people were ever less suited for each other. Jarrette loves to touch Iyanna; Iyanna doesn’t like being groped so much. Jarrette gives oddly wet kisses; Iyanna doesn’t like that much spit. Jarrette parties with his boys until the literal morning multiple times a week; Iyanna thinks that’s not cool because she’s an adult human with responsibilities and shows to binge.
That’s why it was a surprise to absolutely no one when Iyanna revealed she moved out of the couple’s shared apartment. The major twist, though, was when Iyanna admitted she never really had a direct talk with Jarrette about his actions. Now I’m no relationship therapist, but communication is kind of essential in a marriage, no? I mean, what do you get when you mix an extroverted party boy with an introvert who runs away from confrontation (all while giggling nervously)? A divorce, in this couple’s case. The pair announced their split in August, which is probably great for all involved, especially the bars Jarette frequents in Chicago.
7. Nick and Danielle
As the first duo to get engaged in the pods, Nick and Danielle were one of those couples that either made you smile or made you squirm. While their eight-year age difference was A Thing at first, post-wedding it looked like they found their groove. These two weirdos couldn’t stop talking about the themed parties they hosted together (THEY’RE FUN, OKAY?!), and for a minute, we almost forgot how controlling Nick could be. I mean, he got along with her family, and the pair loved hanging out with cast members to gossip about other cast members, just like a real married couple!
But — and here’s the thing only three rewatches in 24 hours will get you — there were signs, people. From the stiff body language to the lack of ease in conservation and this glint in Nick’s eyes when things weren’t going his way, things seemed off in a maybe scary way? If you’ve read literally any book involving a woman looking out a window, you know what I’m talking about. It wasn’t until the scene where Danielle tried to feed Nick sushi blindfolded, though, that the couple’s future split was evident. They also announced they were separating in August, and I think we should all thank that over-sauced sashimi for setting Danielle free.
6. Shaina and Kyle
If you completely forgot that season 2’s villain lite Shaina and nice guy Kyle were once engaged, you’re not alone. Their storyline lasted for approximately five minutes before Shaina literally left a free trip to Mexico because they didn’t mesh. It mostly came down to differing religious views (not to mention a clear lack of chemistry), but neither of them seemed remotely sad that their coupling didn’t last. Their relationship was brought up like, twice, in After the Altar, and they were both completely nonchalant about it.
Truthfully, Shaina and Kyle hover in the middle of our listing simply because they bring a lot to the reality table as individuals, even if their initial pairing together felt like a joke. Plus, these two did end up in relationships at the end of After the Altar, so clearly casting was on to something when they put them in the pods.
5. Shaina and Christos
The first new face of the season came in the form of Shaina’s now-husband, Christos. The couple got engaged on After the Altar, and Shaina wasted no time flashing her engagement ring at Natalie’s 30th birthday party—a classic mean girl move you just have to admire. Cattiness aside, Christos actually showed an impressive level of devotion when Danielle told the just-engaged couple about the swirling Shaina-Shayne DMs rumors. Instead of getting pissed or questioning his bride, Christos steadfastly had Shaina’s back. Whether or not he should is another story, but hey, at least her man is loyal!
The couple officially tied the knot in Greece this summer, and while you can’t determine much from the little bit of airtime their relationship got in After the Altar, Christos is an obvious catch. He’s a developer and restaurant owner, he’s got those mythical Greek looks, and he said he was first attracted to the sound of his wife’s voice (which is likely something not many other people can say). While Shaina might not be your favorite, this duo somehow seems pretty solid as a couple…for now, at least.
4. Mallory and Salv(ador)
Everyone knew from the start that Mal and Sal weren’t going to last, but as two relatively respectable, quieter people, they didn’t have a ton of drama throughout the show. That doesn’t make them bad, but for watchability purposes, it doesn’t make them good either. Other than some issues when Mallory and Jarrette had a moment in Mexico, these two were basically just the ill-suited ukulele couple.
Truthfully, the pair really only got interesting in After the Altar, which is why they’re ranked so high. Mallory showed more emotion in three episodes than she did the entire first part season, tearing up over the way her relationship ended. In fact, she said the experience made her recognize the walls she puts up to protect herself, so she started going to therapy. We love to see some personal growth! What made things really interesting, though, was when Sal brought his new girlfriend, Jessi, to Natalie’s birthday party. It was like a weekend getaway from hell for Mallory watching her ex make out with someone new. For a couple who provided very little entertainment before the altar, the Sallory drama officially had my attention after the “I don’ts.”
3. Salv(ador) and Jessi
Attempting to turn his “guy who plays the uke” typecast around, Sal might just be the most changed cast member of season 2. There’s so much to love about his evolution, from the savage confession that he was right not to marry Mallory to bringing his new girlfriend, Jessi with an “i”, to a weekend-long, pod squad-only getaway. And uh, speaking of Jessi, if you were straight watching the show, you have to at least be bi-curious after seeing Sal’s new boo.
According to Sal, Jessi is a “firecracker,” and according to viewers (it’s me, I’m viewers), she’s a living, breathing, crop top-wearing 10. Not only is she bold and loud and unapologetically sexy, but she appeared to be rubbing off on Sal. Case in point: While everyone else showed up to Nick and Danielle’s ‘80s party in tights and bodysuits, Jassi (Jessador?) arrived in full leather getups and joked about leaving the whip in the bedroom. Considering this was a guy who once serenaded an uninterested girl with a miniature-looking guitar, this is a major glow-up for season 2’s sweetie pie. After the Altar ended with Sal showing his siblings a ring and saying he wanted to marry Jessi, which feels fast but hey, if he doesn’t lock her down, someone else will. Go get her, bb.
2. Deepti and Kyle
The rumored will-they won’t-they pair finally is, and the world is a brighter, happier, more love-filled place. After the Altar showed Deepti and Kyle navigating a situationship-style friendship before agreeing to be an ~official~ couple in the final moments. Even though they didn’t get engaged on the show, they were actually pretty close to it before they each made comically wrong choices in the name of love (read: Shake and Shaina).
Still, it all worked out because these two proved the friends-to-lovers trope forever reigns supreme. If anything made watching a series of failed relationships worth it, it was the way Kyle kept kissing Deepti when she agreed to be his girlfriend. They both said this could be a forever kind of thing, so if all goes well, there just might be another season 2 LiB wedding in the making.
1. Shake and Deepti
Hear me out: In terms of being good together, Shake and Deepti were like fire and Moira Rose’s wig wall. Deeps was all in, while Shake just couldn’t stop talking about how *not* attracted to her he was. After he finally came around and saw what was in front of him, though, I think the entire world screamed with joy when Deepti left Shake at the altar.
So why are they the best couple? First, Shake spoke the truth in regard to the fact that everyone goes on LiB for fame. Like, I’m sorry, you’re not going to reality show auditions if you DGAF about followers, no matter how genuine you seem. But more than that, Shake’s sh*ttiness truly gave viewers the chance to cheer Deepti on. She went from being a woman who wasn’t appreciated to a role model of boundaries, independence, and self-worth. Plus, in the end, she got the hottest guy on the show and over a million followers on Instagram. If that’s not what true love stories are made of, I don’t know what is.
Images: Patrick Wymore, Adam Rose, Adrian S. Burrows Sr./Netflix; Courtesy of Netflix (9). Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.
Love Is Blind has returned for season two and is once again taking Netflix and the internet by storm. The reality dating show is currently trending top 2 in the U.S. on Netflix, and with the final episode now out, #LoveIsBlind is also trending on Twitter. The popular reality show revolves around 30 eligible singles talking to potential matches from a solitary room behind an opaque wall—known on the show as a “pod”—and getting engaged without ever seeing each other’s faces. As hosts Vanessa and Nick Lachey painstakingly remind us, the objective is to form a “deep emotional connection” to find out, “Is love truly blind?” A common criticism of season 1 boiled down to, “well, sure, if you’re hot and thin.” Season 2 seemed like it could have been trying to address those criticisms: the trailer depicts contestant Danielle Ruhl talking about her insecurities from growing up heavier. In the teaser, Iyanna McNeeley says, “this experiment interests me because I don’t have boobs and a butt.” And there were notably a few plus-size contestants in the pods. While season 2 gave a little more in the way of body diversity, was it enough?
Season 1 of Love Is Blind came out in February 2020 and by that April, had been watched by some 30 million people, but not everyone was enamored with the concept. Jerrica Tisdale noted in Screenrant in March 2020 of season 1’s cast, ““No one is overweight, no one has bad skin, and very few are different races.” She wrote, “Love Is Blind had the ability to challenge norms by going beyond the stereotypical looking cast,” but “Instead the show proved that yes, love is blind—if you fit into the standards of beauty.” Mathew Rodriguez wrote for Teen Vogue that season 1’s omission of fat people “stings of structural anti-fat bias.”
There is a stark lack of body diversity on reality TV in general, but part of the criticism toward this show specifically has to do with the fact that Love Is Blind isn’t just a reality dating show—or, at least, it doesn’t position itself that way. It’s a “social experiment” designed to explore if people can find lasting love without seeing a romantic prospect first. But experiments are supposed to reveal something, and is it much of a revelation to discover that attractive people can fall in love sight unseen, so long as the object of their affection also fits what’s typically associated with being conventionally attractive—thin, symmetrical features, non-disabled, well-groomed, etc.?
Season 2, which premiered on February 11, had a few contestants who stretched the mold of the types of bodies we usually see on reality TV, namely, Hope Antoniello-Foley, Chassidy Mickale, and Haseeb Husn. But any hope of seeing plus-size people fall in love was dashed by the end of the first episode, when they effectively faded from our screens and our memories. When all is said and done, Hope gets by far the most screen time—about 30 seconds altogether in the first episode. Chassidy gets 10 seconds. Haseeb gets to speak for three seconds, when he makes a crack to fellow contestant Nick Thompson about turning his notebook into an Excel spreadsheet.
Some Twitter users felt like the body positive message of including plus-size cast members was a bait-and-switch. “I was so excited to see plus-sized women on Love Is Blind and then we didn’t see them after the first episode,” wrote one Twitter user. “The show acts like it’s promoting body diversity but then perpetuates the idea that only skinny/fit people fall in love. Love is blind? Still seemed physical to me.”
Chris Coelen, creator and executive producer of Love Is Blind, tells Betches that Love Is Blind is not purposefully perpetuating any one ideal. “We throw the doors open to all kinds of people, and we don’t have time on the show to tell lots of stories of people who are there, but don’t ultimately make connections.” He says Hope, Chassidy, and Haseeb went away “because they didn’t find love, and if they had found love, we would tell those stories. We completely approach the show from a non-prejudicial place.”
Additionally, Coelen doesn’t necessarily agree that the show sets out to prove its own hypothesis. “The POV of the show is not love is blind, the POV of the show is, could it be?” he says. “I think it proves that the potential is there for us to love one another… but I think it’s also honest, in that there’s a lot of other factors in the world that are important to people.”
Hope Antoniello-Foley, one of the plus-size women cast in season 2, also says she wasn’t bothered by the cuts. “Even if it was a couple minutes each episode, I was very happy with what was shown for me,” she says. “They represented me, my looks that I think were shown a couple times—that’s me in general, that’s me in life.”
Kate Stayman-London, activist and author of One To Watch, a romance novel about a plus-size woman being the lead of a reality TV dating show (à la The Bachelorette), was disappointed by the cuts, however, and equally upset with the footage we did see. “What I didn’t anticipate was that the fat people on the show simply wouldn’t get to speak at all and would disappear without any interaction other than one fat woman getting to say that she doesn’t like to work out,” Stayman-London says.
That soundbite in particular reinforces harmful stereotypes, she says. “It is implying that any person who is fat is that because they choose to be fat, and they’re lazy. And if they would just get off their butt and go for a run or eat a vegetable once in a while, that they wouldn’t have to be fat anymore.” In fact, there was a reason Antoniello-Foley wasn’t working out around the time Love Is Blind filmed. “I had just lost 40 pounds,” she says. “I was at a calorie deficit.” She was walking a lot and “eating really clean.”
And for a show whose premise is moving past the physical, there were a number of discussions revolving around weight loss in season 2 of Love Is Blind. In the first episode, Danielle Ruhl tells Nick Thompson about how she lost 70 pounds. She says, “but now every single interaction I have with someone I’m afraid they’re gonna be like, ‘oh her arms look big here’ or ‘her stomach looks big here.’”
“I’m sure that’s painful and uncomfortable for her,” says Stayman-London, adding, “What a shitty thing to say, to say that your fear in dating is that someone might see you as looking like the way that most women look.” (The average woman in America is a size 16 or 18.)
Meanwhile, Antoniello-Foley says that she was inspired to apply for the show after getting discouraged with how shallow dating apps can be. “I think too many times men want this, you know, tall blonde or this stick thin woman. And that’s not the norm. And I think we need to change that a little.”
A big reality TV fan, Antoniello-Foley knows that most of the contestants she sees on the other reality TV shows she watches (The Bachelor, Are You The One?, Love Island) are thin—but Love Is Blind felt like an opportunity for her to participate in a show like this anyway. “I’m not sure I would have the confidence to go apply to The Bachelorette—or if I did, I feel as if they’ve got a body type that I may not even been moved to the next round because of that, whereas applying to Love Is Blind, that’s the whole concept,” she says.
“It’s no secret that a lot of reality television and particularly where romance plots are involved don’t tend to have a lot of diversity, and particularly not when it comes to inclusive body representation,” Stayman-London says. “Two thirds of women in America wear size 14 and above, but you are almost never going to see women wearing those sizes, or men, for that matter, on almost any of these shows.”
When Antonio-Foley was ultimately cast on Love Is Blind, even the “blind” part of the “social experiment” didn’t shield her from insecurities, knowing the typical make-up of a reality TV cast. “What if they were to compare me to the other 15 Girls? What would the guy—if I ended up with somebody—be like, ‘Oh, well, I think so-and-so’s prettier. She’s skinnier.”
Love Is Blind season 2 isn’t the first time a reality dating show’s treatment of body insecurities has left fans feeling underwhelmed. A January 2022 episode of The Bachelor, in which a group of thin, conventionally attractive women read aloud their body insecurities on a group date, was met with criticism since the show has yet to cast a plus-size woman as either a lead or even a contestant. (Also, immediately after the group date, Bachelor Clayton Echard went on a one-on-one in which he and Sarah had to strip down to their underwear. Talk about mixed messages.)
“I think we’re making progress,” says Antoniello-Foley nonetheless of body diversity on reality TV—and Stayman-London has a good guess why.
“I think one of the biggest tricks that’s been played on fat people is to feel ashamed and to feel like you don’t deserve to demand what you want and what you want to see,” she says. But when viewers speak up—whether about representation or racism—networks seem to be listening.
“I think what we’re seeing now is some real changes, seeing more and more fat people speak up and say, ‘hey, it’s bullshit that I can’t turn on my television and see more people who look like me.’ We are seeing that change much, much more than we had before. And hopefully, we’ll start to see it change in a really dramatic way going forward.
Antoniello-Foley hopes her Love Is Blind journey, however brief, encourages women who might not fit the typical reality TV mold to go after their dreams—on-screen or otherwise. “ I want to change that mentality and be that voice for females that feel confident enough in who they are to apply,” she says.
While Love Is Blind has a way to go in becoming an experiment for people of all sizes, it’s worth noting that the whole premise may be a bit of a misnomer. The Merchant of Venice quote from which the phrase derives goes, “But love is blind, and lovers cannot see / The pretty follies that themselves commit.” It has less to do with emotional feelings overcoming initial physical attraction and more to do with people in love ignoring red flags or not realizing their own irrational behavior. As far as that interpretation goes, the show definitely proves that’s the case—and that type of blindness can affect people of any size, not just the couples we follow on shows like Love Is Blind.
Image: Ser Baffo/Netflix
The Love is Blind finale dropped yesterday, and now we FINALLY know if love truly is blind, or if it just wants to sell you FabFitFun boxes on Instagram. Life’s eternal question! What’s also exciting about the fact that we now have all the Love is Blind episodes (Don’t you EVER do this network TV staggered drop sh*t to me again, Netflix) is that we finally get the full picture of our contestants. I don’t love when I’m on a contestant’s side for a solid eight hours of TV, profess my love for them in an article that you all read, and then have them zip off their skin suit in the finale to reveal they were actually the devil himself all along, and then I have to take it back. Admitting I was wrong is so not my style. I’m a Taurus, people! So now that I’ve watched all the episodes, and have a full view of who these people are, I feel confident that I can bring you all my DEFINITIVE ranking of the Love is Blind contestants, ranging from “I wouldn’t run away if I saw you in Duane Reade” to “I’m calling the police.” And if they eventually zip off their skin suit on a reunion, I will be SO MAD.
*Also, before you carry on, SPOILER ALERT. Do not keep reading if you haven’t watched the finale yet! I don’t want to hear about it in the comments, mmkay?*
Lauren is obviously the big winner in Love is Blind. She never seemed psycho, I mean, other than the fact that she got engaged on like, day four. She also realized she could still be herself, and advocate for what she believes in, despite the race of the person she married. I watched the finale episode with my mom, who had not seen any other episode, and she said of Lauren and her bridal party, “they’re all cute” which is simultaneously the nicest and only printable comment she made the whole episode, which obviously means Lauren was impressive. Plus, I’m glad she and Cam got married because I feel like the show really needed one functioning relationship to take the plunge. And yes, she said dammit in her vows and that’s when my love for her was truly cemented. Lauren, I’ll see you at Duane Reade!
Mark was too pure for this world. Even though he was the 24-year-old in a relationship with a 34-year-old, he was the one that acted like the adult. Sure, I questioned his taste when he watched Jessica share a glass of wine with her dog and he didn’t immediately call Animal Control, but we all have blindspots. I really do wish he had realized that Jessica didn’t deserve him, and that he was the one to say no at the wedding, but if that had happened we wouldn’t have gotten that sweet scene of Mark crying with his mom. *Insert heart eyes emoji*. Mark, I have a feeling you’ll be just fine without Jessica. Definitely check your DMs today.
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Mid-week Trajectory ⚡️ On the eve of the release of @netflix first season of #loveisblind I wanted to share some insight into my head space ⚡️ Happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possession, it is a mental attitude. It derives from the appreciation of what we have and not consuming ourselves with the thought of what we do not have. Easy to comprehend, but difficult to apply on a regular basis ⚡️ In the world, within humanity, good and bad will always exist. It is up to us to cultivate life’s lessons and compel the corresponding events to occur according to plan
“Please stop recording, Jimmy” is my new catchphrase. When my boss asks me about an assignment that I most definitely did not do? Please stop recording, Jimmy. When my aunt asks me why I’ve showed up at yet another wedding single and alone? Please stop recording, Jimmy. And when my puppy judges me for another Saturday where I don’t get out of bed until 1pm? Please stop recording, Jimmy. Thanks for the help, Kenny, I too felt “Sure, Jan” was getting a little tired. You deserved better!
Let’s be real, Cameron only ranks in the middle of the pack because he was smart enough to lock down Lauren. Well, that, and he has a house. The men I go out with usually Venmo request me after our date for the cost of my two glasses of wine they were kind enough to grab from the bartender at the dive bar they took me to. They might as well also Venmo request my dignity, because that sh*t is gone now too. Anyway, as my friend said to me at the beginning of this show, Cameron is the definition of milquetoast. Which I could not agree with more, and is also why I can’t really seem to muster up feelings for this man either way. So I guess congrats, Cameron? You’re one of very few men I don’t want to run over with a car bought in cash that can’t be traced back to me. Call it a win!
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Are you as anxious today waiting on the #LoveIsBlind finale as I was waiting to meet what might be my now HUSBAND!?!😳 👉🏼swipe . Literally in this moment my entire body was quivering, any and every thought ran through my mind, I was sweating yet shivering, trying to practice the simple “4 square breathing technique”; the most INTENSE moment in my life…well, other than what you’ll see on the Season Finale!!!😬 . @netflix #LoveIsBlind . . #chaselifewithkelly #chaselifetogether #loveisblind #netflix #becomeabetteryou
Kelly, I really wanted to like you. Early on in the show when you, a woman with a normal, fit body, said that you felt like you weren’t comfortable with how you looked, I could relate HARD. I wanted us to be friends. But then you picked Kenny, a pretty good dude, and then took it back. You should have just listened to your sister and married him! Take the risk! Half of marriages these days end in divorce. Why not? Being unsure certainly never stopped Kim Kardashian from getting married! This is the only time in my whole life where I’ve had to tell someone to be more like Kim Kardashian, and now I dislike you even more for that, Kelly. FOR SHAME.
When this show first started, I could not fathom a world where Barnett was not last on my list of contestants. But then he grew on me. Frat dude jokes? Bad. Playing multiple women in the pods? Very bad. A real job? Good. Responsible with money? Very good. Not leading Jessica on even though she was clearly pursuing him after the pods? Very veryyyy good. BUT. He also said yes to a marriage that seems more toxic than the water in Newark, NJ, so here we are. Barnett, please take your “most improved” ribbon, and hang it on your wall in the sad one-bedroom apartment you lease after your marriage breaks up.
Damian, you were one-half of my most hated relationship on this show, and the only thing you did right was not marrying Giannina. Things you did wrong include: calling yourself a gift, fighting with Gigi at a party with your friends, and constantly mentioning what Gigi was doing wrong in every single argument. Oh yeah, and apparently you f*cked her wrong too. But I’m just repeating what I heard, don’t blame the messenger!
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So many people have asked me about this dress, imma hook y’all up ladies! If y’all saw me wearing anything cute on @netflix #LoveIsBlind I definitely got it from @fashionnova! Ya girl is all about ballin on a budget! I love the #FNFit❤️😘 . . Update: everyone was so interested I had to go back in my emails from 2018 and I found the name of the dress for y’all lol I don’t think it’s available anymore but if you let FN know you want it they may bring it back 😉 -LIVIA MIDI DRESS in SAGE
Amber doesn’t live to work, she works to live. And that’s the moment I knew I hated her. No one wants to work, Amber! But we do want to pay off our student debt! It appears Amber only wants to work to pay off her boob job. She is also the kind of person that will most definitely cut off Barnett’s genitals and throw them in a field if he does something stupid, like telling his niece that she’s the prettiest princess he ever saw. That bitch better not steal her man!
Gigi is lucky that there was someone else on this show so heinous that she narrowly missed last place. Gigi was just really not self-aware. She treated Damian terribly, and then said things like, “I always treated you with kindness.” She complained about him being on his phone, and then literally could not stop herself from checking her own phone. Also, it’s pretty rude to tell someone on camera that they are not the best sex of your life. People can hear you, Gigi! That’s what the big microphones above your head are for! And tbh, the rhyming wedding card she sent Damian is what really set me over the edge. Her only redeeming moment was when she metaphorically gave Damian his bow back. Even someone as self-centered as Gigi can recognize when someone else does something so horrifically embarrassing.
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Finale day is here – well at least for us on the West Coast. Thanks for watching and for your love and kindness. We couldn't have imagined how much the show would resonate with so many. There's a ton that happens behind the scenes and does not make it to the screen —> this is just a glimpse. The best part of all was the little family we created called The Purple Team – even amidst the drama and entertainment element of the show, we had the best and happiest of times. I have so much love for these people. 💜 Also swipe to see footage of a really fun date over ATL! 🚁 #loveisblindnetflix #thepurpleteam #behindthescenes #grandvelas #paytonhester #melkwon #oneteamonedream
I could literally write an entire thesis on Jessica, and I’m only not doing that because I’m in Florida and I’d rather go to the beach than relearn MLA citations for this article. First of all, Jessica cannot hold her liquor. I think we can all agree on that, considering at one point she was so drunk she told Mark that she thought Barnett was sexy, and then at the bachelorette party she attempted to order a drink and an appetizer from the performer on stage (fine, same). She claimed she wasn’t pursuing Barnett, but she invited him for wine by the fire alone.
And then, THE FINALE. First of all, Jessica, quoting It Takes Two will not get you into my good graces this late in the game. You’ve gone too far to the dark side to even win me over with the Olsen Twins. She also says, “You will always have a special place in my heart” about her FIANCÉ! That’s literally what you say to your sh*tty first boss after you reveal you will be taking a new, higher-paying job. Not to the dude who still loved you after you bit his head off for admiring his mother.
As she says ever so saltily after blowing up her own wedding, she will apologize to whoever she needs to apologize to. Great. I am waiting for my apology, Jessica. And I would like MLA citations.
And that is the official ranking of the Love is Blind contestants! There better be a season two of this show, because it’s truly the only thing that makes me feel better about being single. Let me know your own rankings in the comments!
Images: Netflix; need4lspeed, markanthonycuevas_, kennybarnes11, cameronreidhamilton, chaselifewithkelly, barnettisblind, damian_powers, atypicalamber, gianninagibelli, jessicabatten24/Instagram
Perhaps you, like me, spent your whole weekend binging Netflix’s new dating show Love Is Blind, and now you have a ton of questions. The main one being, why would someone ever want to go on this show? Are there seriously no other options for you, Barnett?
The show describes itself as a “social experiment” in which 30 participants have ten days to meet and propose to a partner. The twist? All of their dates take place in isolated pods, and they talk to their potential matches through a wall. And for some unclear reason, they still get more dressed up to sit alone in a room than I ever have in my entire life. After some couples find “the one”, the show jets everyone off to a resort in Mexico to see if they can create a physical connection, and then back to Atlanta to test if they will make it work in the real world. If they survive, like, a day with their partner in a random neutral apartment, they’ll be walking down the aisle and into the rest of their lives.
The show suspiciously does not give us many details as to how they chose their singles, but in an interview with E! Network after the show started streaming on Netflix, co-creator Chris Coelen revealed that all the singles were all based in Atlanta, and that the show was also filmed there. Okay, so, I’m just guessing here, but the social scene in Atlanta for young, attractive people willing to go on reality TV to get married cannot be that big.
I feel like there was a casting call posted in the greater Atlanta area that was like, “Want to be Instagram famous, but don’t want to move to LA or New York to do it? Can’t take a month off work because your feed isn’t paying for itself yet? We’ve got the opportunity for you!”
Marriage seems like a pretty high price to pay if the only reason you want to be on a reality TV show is to promote your brand. After digging a little deeper into their backgrounds, I found that half of the cast was willing to pay it. Alas, my faith in humanity grows ever smaller. Many of the contestants have personal brands or are the CEOs of their own media companies, or hold jobs like model, social media consultant, brand consultant, personal trainer, personal stylist, makeup artist, etc. Jobs that basically need all the exposure to clients they can get, and Netflix is just the place for that. (I have to give Netflix some credit, because they took away the cast’s phones during the month that they were filming, which seriously limited the number of times someone could reference their fake Instagram job in a confessional.)
I mean, the second we meet everyone at the start of the show, I was immediately suspicious. Everyone is way too hot. Like, definitely a few steps below The Bachelor, but still. Hot as far as regular, non-surgically-enhanced people go. I mean, Diamond Jack is literally an NBA dancer, which, as we all know, is a model who can also dance. And, as it turns out, a lot of them are actually models. Take Amber, for instance, who reminisces on her days in the Georgia Army in the first episode. Based on her Instagram, though, her current job is modeling for Tropic Beauty, whose Instagram bio is literally: “We produce model influencer events, photoshoots, travel and branding opportunities.”
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Know your worth… then add interest😘 . . . 📷: @bcphotography_ @tropicbeauty @_spraylavie
Lauren Speed is another example. Her bio on the show says “Content Creator”, which is the vaguest job description I have ever seen, and then we never hear another peep about it again. That is, until she shows Cameron, her new fiancé, her apartment, and there is a full-on photo studio in the living room. It turns out Lauren runs her own media company called The Speed Brand AND she has modeled in New York Fashion Week. I respect the hustle, but now I’ve got to ask how two literal models can really be on national TV claiming they hate dating apps because they get judged by their pictures.
Speaking of New York Fashion Week, another of the show’s participants, Danielle Drouin, recently posted from the runway. I don’t even remember her being on the show, and she clearly didn’t get engaged to anyone, so Netflix really wasted her hotness for nothing.
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Feeling like a Queen 👸 in @jorgecontrerasmexico collection! 👑 #nyfw #fashionweek #nyfw2020 #newyorkfashionweek #nyc #nycmodel #modelling #model #2020collection #designergowns #fashionshow #fashion #fashionmodel #runwayfashion #runwaymodel #runway #runwayshow #newyork #ascfashionweek #queen #queenstatus
I also found in my
midnight Googling spiral investigation that, in addition to all of these contestants being models, a bunch of them are weirdly connected. It does add up that some contestants would’ve known each other beforehand, given that it’s a show for the very specific demographic of model-adjacent singles in Atlanta, but something seems fishy here. It is a little hard to say, but more than a few contestants can be linked to Jezebel Magazine (a publisher of luxury lifestyle magazines, not the feminist website), which hosts tons of parties throughout the year. They named the show’s very own Mark Cuevas, (personal trainer, lover of Jessica, known 24-year-old) one of 2019’s 50 Most Beautiful Atlantans. Weird flex, but okay.
Matt Thomas, Mark’s confirmed friend, (which we know from this Instagram at an event for Thomas’ non-profit, Brawl for a Cause) and fellow contestant has also appeared in the magazine, as one of Atlanta’s Best Bodies of 2017. Not sure who gave the green light for that article, but that’s neither here nor there.
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Double tap + Scroll if you’re THAT girl that plays in a dress 😂 ⠀ Feeling some serious #FOMO? ⠀ What cities do you want to see these Sweat With US + @brawlforacause events? ⠀ Shoutout your city in the comments so we know where to take you! ⠀ GEORGIA AQUARIUM WE’RE COMING FOR YOU TOMORROW! Link in bio to join the Workout Under Water fun!! #atl ⠀ 📷@randmcphoto
Lexie Skipper, a personal stylist (another vague job description) on Love is Blind, also had a profile in the magazine, although she unfortunately did not, at least to the extent of my research, make one of their rankings. Maybe next year, Lexie. Lastly, for what it’s worth, I found a picture of Jessica at a Jezebel party in 2011, so basically that confirms that everyone knows each other and the entire show is a scam.
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**Sappy post ahead.** sorry in advance. About 5 months ago I took a chance, ran with an opportunity and focused solely on myself. I let go and let God. And let me tell you, although I thought it was one of the craziest things Ive ever done..it changed my perspective on so much in life. I have been wondering for 2 years what plans God had for me in Atlanta and what was my purpose for being here? I learned so much in my first year here and @nfinityshoes played such a huge role in developing my confidence in a new city and new experiences that I will always be grateful for. God took me on another path and then lead me to a stylist position at Alice+Olivia. (I MEAN REALLY??!!) I have always dreamed of a job in fashion (and a summer in NYC!!) but never felt “qualified” enough. God also had a plan, and here I am. I am so lucky to be able to work with the most amazing women who motivate me every day to be better. @casey_schott @brittneyrwheeler @jocelyn_bowman @christina_bauman . Overall, I am so grateful for every opportunity Atlanta has given me over the past 2 years and the friendships I have made. I finally began to only do things that bring me joy. 2019 you are exceeding my expectations already and we are only 2 months in. LETS GO!
Just kidding, but an anonymous source close to the show did tell Betches, “LC and Lexie are childhood friends.” The source told us that they went to the same middle school and have been pretty tight since then. Also, LC and Westley, who went to high school together, were one of LIB’s couples (that didn’t get engaged).
Look, I guess it kind of makes sense. Like maybe, some of them said to their friends, “I’m only going to apply for this if you do it with me.” And then their mom popped up out of nowhere and said “if every single in Atlanta jumped off a bridge, would you?” Pretty sure that’s how that went.
In the remainder of the cast, (those that aren’t models or fitfluencers), there are quite a few “brand consultants” and “social media entrepreneurs”. Giannina describes herself in her Instagram bio as a “soulpreneur.” I thought about what this could mean for a full five minutes and still couldn’t come up with anything. Carlton describes himself as a social media manager, which is fine, but LET US NOT FORGET he was Cynthia Bailey’s assistant on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, so Love is Blind is simply his way of continuing his foray into reality TV.
I’m definitely not trying to say that these people have fake jobs, because some of them do seem to run successful media companies, like Ebony Alexis (Ebony Alexis Entertainment) and Lille Mae (Glambitious I Am). However, I am saying that these are all jobs that function by gaining clients and serve to benefit from increased exposure to their brand. Production tried to throw us off the scent by throwing a bunch of tall, nondescript white men whose jobs are “scientist” and “engineer” into the mix, but I am not falling for it for one second.
Now, you may be thinking, so what if everyone was just there to promote their brand to a room of 30 singles that they already knew? But, I have to wonder, is love really blind if everyone is a model? Was the cast promised that everyone was going to be pretty attractive before they fully committed? Why was the show filmed so goddamn long ago? Everything about this show confuses me, and yet I have canceled all of my plans for Thursday night in order to watch the finale.
Images: Love Is Blind / Netflix, Giphy