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dom, georgia, bartise, and izzy on perfect match
dom, georgia, bartise, and izzy on perfect match
Netflix
Culture > Entertainment

‘Perfect Match’ Shook Up All The Rules This Week — Here’s How

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for Episodes 1 through 8 of Perfect Match Season 1 follow. With four new episodes of Perfect Match now available to stream on Netflix, the drama is only getting juicier. If there’s anything Week 2 showed us about this reality TV dating experience, it’s that one week can truly change everything — some of the original couples who seemed unbreakable, like Dom and Francesca, have now split up to pursue other options, new singles are shaking up the balance in the house, and — oh yeah — Nick Lachey introduced some rule changes completely out of left field.

The Perfect Match rules were already complicated, with the entire premise hinging on contestants’ desires to match — or break up — their fellow couples. But the arrival of Abbey, the third bisexual woman in the house (after Francesca and Kariselle), leads to a rule change. The restrictions on who can match to avoid going home are upended. And that’s not even the only rule change — what about those shocks in the boardroom?

If you’re wondering what all the rules of the show are now that a wrench has been thrown into things more than once in just these four episodes, don’t worry — I’m here to break down the Perfect Match rule changes, and how they affect our favorite singles.

damian on perfect match
Netflix

Previous matches who went home can now return to the house.

This rule started coming into effect in Episode 6 when Damian and Francesca went to the boardroom after winning the episode’s compatibility challenge. There were a couple familiar faces among the choices for who to bring in, and even though Damian and Francesca ultimately decided to bring in two new singles instead (Will from The Mole and Chloe from Too Hot to Handle and The Circle), the revelation set the scene for drama further down the road. We know now thanks to Chloe herself that the cast didn’t know about most of the rules (or how they would change) prior to filming, so you can bet they were as shocked to find this out as you were.

With only four episodes left, we don’t know yet how much damage bringing old singles back can actually do (or if any of the couples in the house are super eager to bring in people they sent home). What we do know is that Chloe ended Episode 8 in a weird spot with her current match (and former ex) Mitchell: He straight-up tells her he isn’t looking for a serious relationship right now. Since Chloe knows at this point that old contestants can come back to shake things up in the house, she’s determined to match herself with Shayne, since she and Mitchell won the latest compatibility challenge. We haven’t seen her in the boardroom just yet, but I have a feeling things are going to get even more dramatic from here on out.

Ines and Will’s boardroom picks were individual instead of collaborative.

So far, it’s not clear whether this rule change was meant to be a one-off to stir up drama with Will and Ines, or if this rule will also come into play when Chloe and Mitchell do eventually make their way to the boardroom next week. But for Episode 7, Nick Lachey broke the news to winning couple Ines and Will that instead of having to agree on the two matches they choose to make, each of them gets to pick one single to bring in.

This, of course, causes tension because Ines and Will have already found a major point of incompatibility between them: Will is all about strategy, while Ines is much more protective of her friends and their hearts. So Will chooses to bring in Diamond from Love Is Blind and match her with Dom, despite him and Georgia still going strong and despite Ines’ warnings that it wouldn’t be a good match. Given Dom’s previous refusal to bring Will into the house because of their history on The Mole (Dom said Will was also all about strategy on that show), this match-up wasn’t necessarily surprising, but it was a clear strategy move by Will.

As for Ines, she chose to shake things up in a different way: Knowing that Francesca is bisexual, she decided to match her with a new woman instead of one of the other men in the house. This is where Abbey comes in, and that leads us to our next (and perhaps biggest) rule change.

georgia and dom on perfect match
Netflix

The number of suites is changed, and technically nobody has to go home.

Each previous episode, two singles of the same gender came in to match with people of the opposite gender. This left seven men or women in the house, compared to five of the opposite, meaning that when all five suites were filled with matches, two people would be stuck going home. Introducing a same-gender couple makes this a bit more complicated.

There are still seven women and five men in Episode 8, but the producers open an extra suite, meaning a total of six matches can be made overall. With 12 total contestants, that means nobody actually has to go home, as long as they match with someone (of any gender). That’s exactly what goes down in Episode 8, since Francesca and Abbey choose to match, leaving an equal number of men and women behind who also all match with each other. That left us with an extra couple taking part in the blindfolded obstacle course compatibility challenge in Episode 8, and it also provides new opportunities to make other matches, with more contestants on the board at once.

With four episodes left for the cast to find their perfect match, who knows if the rules will change again? At this point, I’m going to need to start taking notes during my Perfect Match marathons just to keep up.

Erica Kam is the Life Editor at Her Campus. She oversees the life, career, and news verticals on the site, including academics, experience, high school, money, work, and Her20s coverage. Over her six years at Her Campus, Erica has served in various editorial roles on the national team, including as the previous Culture Editor and as an editorial intern. She has also interned at Bustle Digital Group, where she covered entertainment news for Bustle and Elite Daily. She graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Barnard College, where she was the senior editor of Columbia and Barnard’s Her Campus chapter and a deputy copy editor for The Columbia Spectator. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her dissecting K-pop music videos for easter eggs and rereading Jane Austen novels. She also loves exploring her home, the best city in the world — and if you think that's not NYC, she's willing to fight you on it.