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.
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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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