'Love Is Blind': 15 things we learned from the reunion
The cast of "Love Is Blind" has lived a whole lot of life since the show filmed in November 2018, so they had plenty of updates for the show's reunion episode, now available on Netflix and on YouTube.
All 10 cast members returned to dish about who is still together, who isn't and just how embarrassed they are about having their lives chronicled for the world.
And no reality TV reunion episode is complete without a replaying the most cringeworthy moments and forcing people to relive things they wish they could forget. That's on top of having to sit in a room and talk to their exes.
As Carlton accurately summed it up, "Um, so it's very awkward for me."
What we learned:
1. Which couples are still together
We watched two couples get married: Barnett and Amber, and Lauren and Cameron. More than a year later, both of their marriages are still intact. (More on that in a bit.)
But - twist! Another couple from the show, which broke up in dramatic fashion on camera, has reunited: Damian and Giannina are now dating. Recall that Gigi actually proposed to Damian first (she wasn't planning on doing that in advance, which was news to Damian).
When they got to the altar, Damian said no to marriage, which set wedding dress-wearing Gigi on 1,000 meter dash through the streets of Atlanta.
Damian has no regrets about turning her down then. "I wish I could take away the pain and embarrassment from that day. To her friends and family, I'm so sorry that I ever put her through that," he says.
Gigi reports that her friends and family actually adore Damian: "Looking back, I respect his decision. I feel like where we are now, it's so right for us, where we can just date.
He has his own place, I have my own place, we're getting to know each other at our own pace and it's so refreshing. It hurt so much but it's all about what I can do with that."
2. Which cast members are single
Mark, Diamond, Carlton, Jessica and Kelly are all still on the market. Some of them have dated since the show. After she broke things off with Kenny, Kelly started dating one of her best friends. "He was actually at our wedding," she says.
3. Kenny is doing great, thanks for asking
Kenny had a huge letdown at the altar, but don't feel bad for him, because he's got a new boo. "Not to sugar coat it, I could not be doing better," he says, while sitting next to a very single Kelly. "This experiment, whether I understood it or not, allowed me to find the person I'm with today because it allowed me to open myself up and to be truly vulnerable, and I have the best girlfriend for me."
4. Jessica is super embarrassed
Jessica has become the requisite reality show villain, and she is not happy with her behavior on the show. "There were some really cringeworthy moments for me," Jessica says. She needed a change, so she moved to Chicago for six months to be closer to her family and "kind of heal up a little bit and reflect and figure out how to change course."
She's now living in Los Angeles and just started dating again.
"Watching it back, it was obvious I was working through some things. I just didn't like the person that I saw and the things that played out," she says. "I was obviously really uncomfortable and drinking too much, that was really disturbing to see play out."
She also isn't pleased with "some of the comments that I made that were derogatory, and that certainly wasn't fair to Mark," who, by the way, she finds to be very attractive. "I've gotten a lot of messages about that, and that was never a concern whatsoever."
5. Damian and Lauren dated every single day in the pods
They also would communicate using various "Star Wars" voices, which perhaps explains why footage of these dates was omitted from the show.
6. Amber is not ready to bury the hatchet with Jessica
Amber has some feisty words for Jessica.
She was not happy with Jessica's behavior once the couples went to Mexico, saying she felt Jessica was throwing herself at Barnett. "I think you're a very disingenuous person,"
Amber tells her. "I hope that seeing this, you do grow from it because that is not what the world needs, women who go behind people's back. You were engaged to another man you were leading on."
Jessica offers an apology. Amber needs time to process it. Barnett is very uncomfortable.
7. Cameron vowed never to date a woman who wanted a dog - then married Lauren, a woman who wanted a dog
We're not sure (heck, he's not even sure) why this was a prerequisite, but Cameron had always told his mom he wouldn't get with a woman who wanted a dog.
So his mom was convinced Lauren was the one when Cameron disclosed that they decided to get a dog after the wedding. He's called "Spark" because of, you know, all the sparks between them.
8. Diamond is getting a PhD
The series kept referring to Diamond as a professional basketball dancer, but now she's back in school and working on getting her PhD (in optometry, apparently).
9. Kelly thought she would date Kenny after the show
Kelly gets emotional, saying "I wanted to continue our journey of dating and getting to know one another. That didn't happen and it's water under the bridge, and I'm so happy for your relationship."
Kenny is "such a great guy," Kelly says, "and I have friend-zoned a lot of those great guys in my life and those are probably all the guys I should be marrying."
10. Papa Speed and Cameron are close now
Cameron and Lauren have differences - Lauren coyly says that the show kept bringing that up over and over - but they're still both big criers who cry about how much they love their families.
"Lauren has a strong connection with her father, so it makes sense that I would love him, too, because she's emulated him," Cameron says.
Both of their families recently spent Thanksgiving all together. And Lauren has been up to Maine to visit Cameron's a family a bunch, where she got to see deer and visit apple orchards." It was great. Coming from Detroit, the city, that's a whole new world to me," she says. "I felt like Jasmine in 'Aladdin' on the carpet ride."
11. People have been unkind to Diamond and Carlton
Both of them say they've received death threats after Carlton revealed his sexuality to Diamond and their subsequent blowup aired on Netflix. (Carlton called Diamond a nasty word, and she responded by throwing a drink in his face and reciting Beyoncé lyrics. She's still waiting for a call from Bey, by the way).
Carlton says that he never felt Diamond was biphobic or homophobic. "I was just afraid that we would have some issues that we would have to work through."
Diamond says "I've been called those names. I was really hurt by that. My goal right there in the scene was just to talk to him and get more understanding. I didn't want it to go out of control and get crazy."
12. Carlton went into the pool to get that ring back
Carlton has since reached out to Diamond to apologize for the yelling and name-calling. And as a show of his good faith, he got down on one knee to apologize on the reunion show and offer Diamond her ring back. Yes, it's the very same ring that he threw into the pool in Mexico.
Carlton regrets not having disclosed more about his sexuality to Diamond sooner and for the name-calling, crying as he says he would have done what was needed to be sitting there, happily married. "I do deserve some of the (negative) feedback," he says. "Because I made a horrible mistake."
But they won't be getting back together; Diamond says. She can't get past how he yelled at her.
13. Amber thought about divorce at one point
The post-show adjustment was rocky for Amber and Barnett, and she at one point was wondering about divorce lawyers.
They're both stubborn and "it took us awhile to figure it out because when we were in the bubble on the show we hadn't really butt heads at that point because everything's so, so perfect."
"It was easy," Barnett says, which, duh; as we've argued before, they should have been sent to Ikea, not to Mexico.
Amber's work as a cocktail waitress made Barnett uncomfortable, so she ended up being financially dependent on another person, a new experience for her.
Anyway, they say things are going well now. They've moved to a home closer to the city (Amber says Barnett's house was haunted) and they've been traveling and getting to know each other. "We stopped trying to force what we expected of each other," Barnett says.
14. Mark never got that Italian beef
Recall that one of the bedrocks of Mark and Jessica's relationship was her professed ability to make this sandwich, and his love of it.
"I forgot about that!" Jessica says. "We can still make that happen."
15. They all believe that love is blind
They all say that they agree love is blind. But honestly, did we really care that much about this grand experiment's premise?
The Washington Post