Love is Blind season 2 might be over, but the cast tea is still piping hot. Whether shared on their own social media channels or in interviews—the cast is leaving no pop culture podcast hanging—news stories come out daily. It’s hard to keep up with all the drama, so we rounded up what you need to know.
First up, a very unexpected Love is Blind engagement is making headlines. Shaina, aka Kyle’s ex-fiancé, aka the one who tried to break up Shayne and Natalie, said yes. Not to anyone in the pods, but to a man named Christos Lardakis. Based on the cross emoji Shaina included in the caption of her engagement announcement, her new fiancé is a man who can “spiritually lead her”—unlike Kyle. You might be thinking, well that was a little fast, but a source told People that “she’s been dating Christos for almost a year.“ However, internet sleuths believe there might be more to the story.
Per his private Instagram bio, Shaina’s fiancé works for the Chicago restaurant Kanela, where Kyle and Shaina filmed a scene for Love is Blind. Is this just a crazy coincidence? It could be she met her now-fiancé on that awkward day of filming. (That would be some meet-cute.) Or was she already dating Lardakis, went on the show to grow her brand, and convinced producers to film at this restaurant to get her secret boyfriend’s place some PR? We are not one for conspiracy theories, but this is just crazy enough that we kind of believe it.
If you’re still rooting for Natalie and Shayne, we recommend you find a new couple to champion. Natalie told host Alyssa Amoroso on Barstool Sports’ Tea with Publyssity podcast that the door to that relationship is closed. And no wonder, because her ex-fiancé is stirring the pot on Instagram.
Shayne sparked romance rumors between Natalie and their fellow cast member Sal during an Instagram Q&A. When asked, “Do you and Natalie hate each other now?” Shayne overlaid a shirtless selfie with the text “ASK @SALVADIOR08,” tagging Sal directly. In the selfie, Shayne’s face reads “Sal broke bro code.” But before you could say #Satalie (Or Nalvador?) Natalie quickly shut down the rumor on Barstool Sports’ Tea with Publyssity, telling Amoroso, “I know there have been speculations of me and Sal dating. We are not. We are just really close friends.” If this rumor is totally false, it does leave us wondering what Shayne intended with that answer.
As for her current relationship status, it looks like Natalie is not planning to move her love life out of the spotlight anytime soon. She told Amoroso she was “exploring some things” and to “stay tuned.” Is this a new way to soft launch a boyfriend? Or a podcast? Hopefully the former, tbh, but we’ll do as Nat says and hang tight for now.
In the meantime, we’re busy following another rumored Love is Blind couple: Kyle and Deepti. Between teasing their relationship on social media and sightings around Chicago, this duo is certainly up to something. But the internet is questioning if that something is love or a desire for more publicity.
Let’s start from the beginning. At the reunion, in a move literally no one saw coming, Kyle declared he wished he had proposed to Deepti in the pods. Now, the two are saying they shared a connection that didn’t make the show’s final cut. It could be the producers didn’t think their connection was necessary to the story, or perhaps this is their attempt to add validity to a relationship that seemingly came out of nowhere. Funnily enough, the two were spotted earlier this month getting brunch at none other than Kanela Breakfast Club. Maybe Shaina isn’t after fame and Kyle just needs to pick a new brunch spot.
The cast drama does not end there. Deepti and Shake are still making headlines together even though, in the immortal words of Taylor Swift, they are never, ever getting back together. Last week, Deepti told Nick Viall on his podcast The Viall Files (like we said, the cast is leaving no pop culture podcast out) that Shake is “posting pictures of me from back after filming had wrapped. It’s kind of like, insinuating on social media that we are amicable or that we are friends. It’s just frustrating.” We will take that to mean they are not.
With new gossip and inter-cast drama popping up daily, it begs the question: is it all for real, or is the season 2 cast making waves to parlay the show’s popularity into full-time jobs? Looking back on when Love is Blind season 1 aired in late February 2020, it was a different world. The show premiered right as we started quarantining, thinking “two weeks to flatten the curve.” (We all know how that went.) The first season’s success stories, Lauren Speed-Hamilton and Cameron Hamilton and Amber Pike and Matt Barnett, turned their love stories into full-time jobs as influencers, but the rest of the cast mostly faded from the public eye (except for Jessica, who probably wanted to). Was that bad timing, as their fame hit its zenith as the country was in full lockdown, or was the cast really just there for love? Amoroso thinks “given it’s the second season of a widely successful show, this year’s cast knew what they were getting into more than the initial season one cast.” Will Love is Blind turn into The Bachelor, a show that now feels more like a launching pad for middling influencers, rather than people on a genuine search for love? Just like the possible man in Natalie’s new life, we will have to stay tuned to see.
Images: ADAM ROSE/NETFLIX