Like many young women, reality shows are my guilty pleasure. Netflix blessed us all in February 2020 with their new reality show "Love Is Blind." But just how real is it?
Article Updated: 1/8/2021
Like many reality shows, fans speculate how real it actually is. We often watch these shows for the drama and not the reality, but we aren’t always sure what’s real and what’s produced. So how real is Love Is Blind? Here's the truth:
What Is Love Is Blind?
The structure of the show is simple. In the first stage of the show, singles meet in little rooms, called pods, where they converse with another single of the opposite sex on the other side. However, they can't see the person they’re talking to. After connections are formed, contestants narrow down who they like and who they don’t. Couples don’t see each other face to face until a marriage proposal has been accepted. The purpose of this is to develop a strong emotional connection in our superficial culture.
The purpose of this is to develop a strong emotional connection in our superficial culture.
The second stage of the show is in Mexico, where the engaged couples see if they can translate their emotional connection into a physical one. The third stage is when the couples return to their regular lives and move in together, having 20 days to plan their weddings and meet the family and friends of their future spouse. The wedding is the final stage, where the couples decide whether or not they want to continue with the relationship and get married.
Eight Couples Got Engaged, Not Six
Fans saw six couples get engaged early on the show. The couples were Cameron and Lauren, Giannina and Damian, Kenny and Kelly, Carlton and Diamond, Amber and Barnett, and Jessica and Mark. However, there were two engagements that occurred on the show that fans didn’t get to see.
During the early episodes in the pods, many fans noticed some of the male contestants seeking out advice from Rory, a fellow contestant. However, that’s the only time we ever saw him. It turns out, Rory found love and did get engaged on the show, but production only had room for five couples to come to Mexico because they didn’t expect so many proposals. Fan favorites Kelly and Kenny only got screen time in Mexico because production needed a spot to fill after Carlton and Diamond called off their engagement after their first night together, making them the fifth couple production followed to Mexico.
Production only had room for five couples to come to Mexico because they didn’t expect so many proposals.
In an interview with Women’s Health, Rory explained the process of the show. It began with 15 men and 15 women arriving in the pods. The first set of dates was short, and the contestants narrowed down lists from eight, and then down to two. Rory said, "After every date, we would list, in order, who we liked the most. As the numbers got smaller, the dates got longer, from 30 minutes to several hours."
This also makes more sense as to how so many couples were able to get engaged in 10 days because the dates were so long. There's no official reason on how production decided which couples to pick for the Mexico portion of the show, but many fans speculate that they picked the ones who would be the most entertaining for fans to watch.
The two couples we didn't see get engaged were Rory and Danielle, and Westley and Lexie. Neither couple went through with the marriage, leaving Lauren and Cameron, and Amber and Barnett to be the only two couples to marry in the end. Both couples remain married a year and a half after filming concluded (officially at least).
Are Giannina and Damian Back Together?
Giannina and Damian looked like they were one of the strongest couples to come out of the pods, but the honeymoon phase ended when they got back to the real world. They argued about everything from family, their sexual chemistry, and Giannina’s obsession with being on her phone. When they reached the altar, Giannina said yes, but Damian said no.
Giannina ran off, making a scene and slipping in the mud in her wedding dress before returning to confront Damian. She later discussed her emotions at that moment with The Daily Beast. She said, “It was very hard, very tough, kind of this eye-opener of, Oh God, what’s happening? But just like he respected my decisions throughout the whole show... I kind of calmed down and said, “You know, I see where you're coming from. I don’t have to like it.” But you know, Hell hath no [fury], I guess, like a woman scorned. Really. That fury came out of me!”
However, there are reports that they have gotten back together, leading some fans to believe that the breakup at the altar was all for drama and that they just weren’t ready to get married at that moment.
Jessica Reveals All
No contestant was hated as much as Jessica from the start to the finish of the show. From her annoying voice, leading on her fiancé, and feeding her dog wine (I’m not joking), fans came to a consensus that she was unbearable.
She developed a strong connection with two men in the pods. The first was Mark, who shared many of her values and interests but was 10 years her junior. The second was Barnett, who came across as emotionally unavailable and was falling for three women. Jessica thought Barnett was going to propose to her, but he broke it off with her and proposed to one of the other women he was talking to, Amber. Mark proposed to Jessica, and she said yes.
She was reluctant to get physical with Mark when they got to Mexico, and it only got worse when she discovered they were staying at the same resort as the other engaged couples, including Amber and Barnett. Jessica became conflicted when she realized she was more physically attracted to Barnett than Mark, making it awkward (and cringeworthy) for everyone involved. It appeared that Jessica tried to find a way out of the situation by self-sabotaging her relationship with Mark, but that didn’t work after he appeared to be head-over-heels for her. Fans were furious that she waited until walking down the aisle to dump/break up with him, but there is a good chance she didn’t have much of a choice.
If you decided to say no, you had to say it at the altar.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jessica said, “I had to stay. I definitely had a conversation about leaving and I wasn’t able to do that. My dog got sick too, and almost died during the show, I had so much other stuff going on." She continued, “I wanted to be 100 percent in it but I kind of went in and out of wanting to be 100 percent in it and knowing that I needed to deal with my dog. It was really frustrating because I kind of knew [Mark and I] weren’t going to get there. I definitely had some conversations and attempted to leave, but I wasn’t able to."
It wasn’t an official rule that they were required to go to the altar, but production would have been disappointed if any of the contestants didn’t. Fellow contestant Lauren said, "If you decided to say no, you had to say it at the altar. Well, it was strongly suggested."
This is the perfect example of a show’s producers trying to get the most dramatic reactions out of their contestants, leading us all to believe that the show isn’t as real as it seems.
Reality shows aren’t meant to be real. Producers often manipulate the situation to create drama for entertainment, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Who would want to watch a reality show without the drama? It appears that Love Is Blind wasn’t as real as some of us thought it was, but it was definitely entertaining.