Unpacking the mess that was the most recent season of the social experiment dating show Love is Blind
After a whirlwind few weeks, all episodes of Love is Blind Season 5 are now available on Netflix. Since season one debuted in early 2020, the show has continuously delivered and brought unprecedented drama. While most would agree that this was the most loveless season to date, it certainly made up for it in chaos. Only one couple, Lydia and Milton, said “I do”, and they were joined solely by Izzy and Stacy to make it to the altar. Let’s break down all the love triangles, arguments and questionable decisions these hopeful Houston singles made.
The Lydia and Uche Reveal
Never in Love is Blind history have we seen two people who knew each other come in contact with one another in the pods. Upon hearing Uche’s voice, Lydia immediately figured that a blast from the past was in the dating social experiment. However, producers kept the fact that the pair had previously dated a secret from the audience and the other contestants. The reveal was made by Uche at the end of episode three when his connection with another contestant, Aaliyah, started to get serious. The revelation proved challenging for Aaliyah, who had formed a close bond with Lydia in the women’s quarters. Once Lydia discovered Aaliyah knew the truth, she divulged all about Uche, causing Aaliyah to become uncomfortable with how well the pair knew each other and how recent their last encounter was. Aaliyah left before the end of the pod portion, leaving a frustrated Uche to call her from one of his ITMs. The pair met in Houston and talked things out. While the show made it seem like they were over, Aaliyah revealed at the reunion the pair dated for a bit. However, the Uche she fell in love with in the pods did not resemble the man she met outside the pods. Uche decided not to attend the reunion, and his fellow castmates did not seem to be fond of him when asked what they thought.
Stacy-Izzy-Johnie-Chris Love Quadrangle
Every season, we see a love triangle or quadrangle of sorts. This time, Stacy, Izzy, Johnie and Chris were a central storyline inside and outside the pods. While Izzy and Stacy ultimately got engaged, Izzy broke up with Johnie, who had previously ended her connection with Chris, specifically for Izzy. When we saw them reunite at a barbeque a couple of weeks before the wedding, a heated exchange occurred. Johnie and Chris arrived at the cast gathering, announcing that they had started dating after meeting at the airport after the pod portion of the experiment was over. However, their relationship was not met with much enthusiasm from Izzy and Stacy, who had some choice words for Johnie, calling her out on talking negatively about the couple once Izzy broke up with her.
At the reunion, some other shocking revelations were made. Chris admitted that he ghosted and cheated on Johnnie only a couple of weeks after the barbeque. Izzy and Johnie revealed they met and kissed at a club months after the show finished filming. Stacy and Izzy also bumped into each other after their break up, after Stacy said no at the altar. They even wound up on a cooking group date night with other dates. All members of the quadrangle have moved on and found love with others in the year and a half since the show was filmed.
Taylor and JP were the first engaged pair in the pods. Their sweet and easy connection did not translate once they met at the reveal. The honeymoon was disastrous as JP barely spoke, leaving Taylor wondering where the man she met in the pods was. Upon confronting him, JP claimed that Taylor’s makeup at the reveal threw him off. Clearly, that was not the truth, and Taylor knew it, leaving her to end the engagement rapidly. They came face-to-face for the first time since leaving Mexico at the reunion. Taylor oozed confidence and clapped back at JP with a no-nonsense attitude after Vanessa Lachey asked him to explain why he acted the way he did in Mexico. He didn’t have much to say. Taylor, on the other hand, stood firm in her decision, believing JP never found her attractive.
While this season lacked a lot of love and called into question whether love is really blind, it was still an interesting watch. Many important subjects were broached, including finances, cheating and age gaps. Behind the scenes, however, it seems like a lot more happened than what was shown. It’s been reported that six couples got engaged. Cast member, Tran Dang, has since come out and accused her then-fiancé, Thomas Smith, of sexually assaulting her in Mexico. She is now suing him and the Love is Blind production companies.
On a positive note, the reunion was a vast improvement over the previous one. Vanessa and Nick took the criticism they received from the season 4 reunion and dove into important story lines and off-camera moments, rather than the previous more surface-level questions. Lydia and Milton announced they were still happily married and had a second wedding in her home country of Puerto Rico. While no one else worked out, it was good to see that everyone had moved on.
Hopefully, next season will have more than one success story.