In October 2018—eons before social distancing—a chosen group of Atlanta-based singles stepped alone into pods for a filmed experiment: speed dating through an opaque mesh wall, in the hopes of getting engaged, sight unseen. This is Love Is Blind—a reality show that exploded on Netflix in 2020. Viewers became flies on the pod walls as participants fell in love, got engaged…or got rejected. Engaged couples were then filmed on vacation in Mexico, followed by weddings that either culminated in joyous “I Dos,” or a cringing “I Don’t.” Here are 62 must-see facts about Love Is Blind.
1. Love Actually
Media CEO Chris Coelen has a thing for relationship-based reality TV that gets carried over the threshold. His production company, Kinetic Content, also developed Married at First Sight for basic cable. Coelen’s idea behind Love Is Blind was the question, “If you started with pure love…could that love stand the test of time and survive the outside world?”
2. You Sound Gorgeous
Even reality show junkies have scruples, and there’s plenty of question marks about LIB. Like if love is so “blind”, why were the participants almost too freaking attractive? Coelen later assured viewers that the “genuinely connecting” people just “looked like they looked.”
3. Perfect Peas in the Pod
The LIB experiment involved an equal number of men and women agreeing to be in the pods. Everyone ranked their pod dates in order of preference, and the participants who weren’t forming any genuine connections were invited to leave. That left behind all these telegenic souls who’d just happened to have won the genetic lottery…
4. Start Your Mouth-Engines
The LIB concept is nuts, but it played out strategically in real-time. People were encouraged to form multiple connections, with further “dates” scheduled through a production intermediary. As connections strengthened between individual pairs, their convos lasted longer, and some pairs spoke for up to 19 hours per day!
5. Controlling Their Dating Destinies
Coelen said he didn’t “intervene” with the pod couples, unlike “more heavily produced dating shows.” Couples who wanted a lasagna dinner got it (he served this up as proof that the couples controlled their destinies.) Others played board games through the barrier wall, even falling asleep in their pod because they didn’t want to end their connection.
6. Focus, Pod People
Participants agreed to surrender all devices, or connections to the outside world, before going into the experiment. Heightened feelings were practically compulsory, and they were “only focused on falling in love with people.” The initial pod filming took 10 days, but the remaining participants—who became LIB cast members—said it felt like 10 years.
7. We Are Family
Outside the pods, participants were housed in gender-segregated living quarters. The women said that none of them got catty about potentially liking the same guy, they formed a sorority-type “sisterhood.” The guys said it wasn’t like a typical frat house, they were able to get emotional, and many of them formed lifetime friendships.
8. Leave It to Barnett
One LIB cast member became a fan favorite, and he’s one tasty Georgia peach. Georgia Tech engineering grad Matt Barnett hails from Canton, GA. This beefy babe could probably wrestle an ape while perfecting his silly monkey faces. His Instagram is content-laden with fun posts about his world travels, and fans ate it up.
9. Last Name Basis
Barnett (a self-professed “playboy”) went last-name-only in his pod. Maybe Mamma Barnett should have named him Sport because Barnett loves to show off his athletically gifted fineness on social media. Whether he’s wake-surfing, snowboarding, running a 5K, or whatever a Spartan race is, Barnett plays at more than love.
10. Uke Got to Be Kidding
Barnett is a ‘gram certified jock. Check. But he also plays a pretty decent ukulele, and he certainly used the instrument to his advantage in the pods. Barnett made three lovely ladies hum at every uke ditty he earwormed through the wall. Not that his goofy sense of humor or yummy baritone hit any bad notes.
11. Man’s Best Girlfriend
Barnett is a self-titled “wolf dad” to his female dog, Koda—a “wolf dog” with snow-white fur who (nah, really?) also lives her best life on social. For those cynics who figured Barnett was pimping out his pretty pup, check this: he’s so fond of pooches, he was once a bather at PetSmart. Those lucky dogs…
12. Maybe Mute Your Love, Buddy
Barnett has a full-on Taylor Swift crush. He posted a Love is Blind clip to social stating that T-Swift would be the “one he’d be marrying,” if she was (ever nuts enough) to be on LIB. But he doesn’t seem to fanboy over her music. What the pluck?
13. From Stir Crazy to Crazy in Love
Amber Pike was one of the babes who fell for Barnett. Does she tend to fall often? She’s since admitted that she was laid up at home on workman’s comp, going “stir crazy,” so she went for the chance to find love on LIB. Spoiler alert: she not only found love but “a whole husband.” That’s dandy because half-husbands are trouble.
14. The Whole Enchilada
Amber also explained how Barnett proposed to her on LIB, so her “whole husband” comment makes a lot more sense. His proposal was so long, and her answer equally long, that the entire thing didn’t make the show. Even at that moment, they were working through issues. Amber said she’s proud she didn’t just jump at it.
15. Scheduling Play Dates
What would real life be without oversharing celebs? Love is Blind co-host Vanessa Lachey recently came very clean about her hot marriage to fellow LIB co-host, Nick. When asked how she and hubby find time to connect with busy lives and young kids, Lachey dropped the robe and said, “shower sex.” Talk about making loofah.
16. The Pod Squad’s Dr. Phil
Rory Newbrough appeared to have all the guys’ backs on LIB, and he was frequently ladling out advice. Rory hearted Danielle Drouin big time—and they got engaged! But their story never made the final cut, and they weren’t invited on the Mexico film shoot with the other engaged couples. Instead, they went alone to Miami.
17. Love Is Low Expectations
Coelen later explained why some engaged couples didn’t get an invite to the Mexico film shoot. The producers expected that some couples may get engaged, perhaps five couples at the most. When a whopping eight couples put rings on it, Coelen realized they had too much story and not enough time to follow everyone.
18. His Walls Came Down
It’s weirdly romantic how Danielle was Rory’s “first choice the entire time.” She was his “first pod,” (first love is so passé) and she broke down the imaginary walls that he didn’t realize were there. Rory also confessed that he cried the whole time at the “crazy-emotional experience.” I see the crazy, for sure.
19. Reality Show Whiplash
Rory later admitted his shock that he and Danielle weren’t asked to remain on the show. He called it “this weird whiplash moment…They just kind of gave us our phones back and said ‘Good luck, thanks for joining us…” Rory dished that his “connection” to Danielle, “at least on my side, was very pure and very real.”
20. I Can See Danielle Waving Goodbye
Advice guy and the lovely Danielle had to be a match made in forever, right? Uh, wrong. After the pair returned to Atlanta from their private Miami sojourn, they decided on a “very amicable” breakup—this is all according to Rory. Apparently, Danielle had unresolved feelings for another cast member, Matt Thomas.
21. Peeping at Thomas
Rory bowed out, allowing Danielle to contact Matt Thomas because, in Rory’s words, “she ended up wanting to pursue that.” She didn’t have to pursue far. Thomas is very active on social media and even more so in life—the guy is a yogi and a boxer, for Pete’s sake! But apparently, he and Danielle weren’t meant to be either.
22. A Short Engagement
“Team Westley Baer and Lexie Skipper” fans were disappointed that their engagement wasn’t aired. Westley’s LIB stint was quite short, suiting his stature—he’d groused about dating as a shorter dude. He and Lexie were in engaged bliss for three short months until he made a “crazy decision…” to move to Asia for work. Sayonara, baby.
23. Cleared for Active Dating
Lexie didn’t approach LIB, they found her on Instagram. In recent interviews, she divulged the show’s admission process for participants. Does it ever sound military! Participants had to undergo numerous phone and Skype interviews, complete “several” psychological tests, and fill out compatibility questionnaires to ensure suitability.
24. Committed to Fitness
Mark Cuevas was the youngest male contestant on LIB. He’s a fitness instructor, and it looks like he’s in it for life. When rumors spread that Mark had a secret girlfriend outside of the show, he timed out, stating he’d “never had a girlfriend before.”
25. She Had the Secret Girlfriend!
Maybe the trolls were spreading “secret girlfriend” rumors about the wrong person on LIB. As it turns out, Jessica Batten and Kelly Chase have been (platonic) girlfriends for over a decade! Although they often interacted on LIB, the ladies kept their outside friendship mum. This suspicious tidbit only came up in a recent Q&A with Jessica.
26. I Hope Vets Do Pod Calls
Mark connected strongly with the polarizing Jessica, and they got engaged. But Jessica had too much “stuff” going on, later making a stunning revelation: that she tried to quit the show before jilting Mark at the altar. Her biggest excuse was that her dog got sick and nearly died during filming. She said the producers didn’t want her to leave.
27. Beauty Is in the Eye of the Atlantans
Mark brought his fitness guru motivator game to LIB, trying to make it work with Jessica—who we later discovered was unhealthily obsessed with Barnett. Jessica has since revealed that she knew they’d never “get there,” but don’t pity mighty Mark too much. Jezebel magazine named him one of Atlanta’s 50 Most Beautiful in 2019.
28. Speed Dating
Scientist Cameron Hamilton certainly knows about chemistry and speed dating…he dated the lovely Lauren Speed on LIB! They seem to be genuine soulmates, and they are beloved: “Cameron, Lauren, be my parents!” is a direct fan quote. Cameron has said that he and Lauren are very thankful that everyone felt represented by their experience.
29. Straight up Princess and Her Pea
Lauren called Cameron her “real-life prince” in the pods, but deniers quickly got to questioning whether their televised nuptials were truly real and recognized in the eyes of the law. According to her, damn straight they’re legit! “This is a real legally binding marriage. This is not for TV. This is our life,” Lauren has clearly stated.
30. Sick as That Dog
Ah, reality dating show controversies. Too shocking, too divisive, too…mutt? Arguably, LIB’s most shocking moment didn’t involve pods, or squads, or married on TV moments that nobody believed would last. Jessica let her dog drink from her wine glass. And she drank from it afterward. That’s why we need air-kissing, folks.
31. Holla We Want Prenup…Um, Hello?
For the love of Netflix, leave us with some fingernails! In a nail-biting moment during the LIB wedding episode, fans tensely wondered if Barnett and Amber were going to say the magic words. Amber had revealed that she was bogged down by about $20,000 in student debt. Barnett accepted that, and her. They even declined a prenup.
32. Kelly and Kenny Weren’t KK
Fans were shocked when Kelly Chase tearfully said “I Don’t” to KennyBarnes at the altar. Viewers also found it strange, yet telling, that Kenny seemed so committed to her, but Kelly got more and more distant from him. They’ve since cleared the air, saying they never intended to get married on TV.
33. Love Thy Barnes
Kelly spilled in a confessional that she wasn’t physically attracted to Kenny. It didn’t mean she didn’t love him, she just loved him like a brother. But she ended up getting engaged to (brother) Barnes anyways. Maybe she’d been trying to concoct more wifey-like feelings because she said at the altar that she “needed more time.”
34. You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille
The late, great Kenny Rogers sang it best—and Kenny Barnes could’ve sung it as a TV groom. Many viewers questioned why Kenny and Kelly created so much drama at the altar, if they both supposedly “knew” that they weren’t getting hitched. Kenny blamed his acute disappointment on the hurt his unknowing family would feel.
35. He Loves Her Today. Tomorrow Not so Much
Barnett should have plucked daisy petals instead of uke strings. He made Jessica believe a proposal was coming. In turn, she started to brush off whatever feelings she had for Mark. The following day in the pods, Barnett had changed his tune—all for a bizarre reason.. He’d gotten it in his head that because she was a “salesperson,” Jessica was selling herself to him.
36. Lyrics Don’t Fit the Melody
Even popular guys can be jerks. I don’t mean Barnett and Jessica, who got zero sympathy after Mark’s heartbreak, (and that winetasting dog…?) I’m referring to Barnett striking a heartless chord with LC after serenading her on uke. LC (Lauren Chamblin) filmed a lovestruck confessional, imagining a gushy proposal. Love is way too hypothetical.
37. Friend-Zoning at Its Least-Finest
Our favorite uke Romeo later explained why he dashed LC’s hopes for ring finger bling. According to Barnett, he suddenly realized that he and LC were too alike, and they’d make a “better friendship than actually a marriage.” He also said that they’re “still pretty good friends.” I doubt there’s a Scout badge for this kind of friendship, but our boy can dream.
38. Her Universe Has Spoken
Giannina Gibelli has called her LIB participation “cosmic.” She said she was at a bar with friends, kvetching about the obscene lack of men worthy of her in the greater Atlanta area (yah, I’m paraphrasing,) when, suddenly, a DM appeared on her Instagram about a way to fall in love and “potentially get married.”
39. Where’d They Find This Lovebird
At around the same moment, across the Atlanta universe, Damian Powers was hitting up some babe on Tinder (now there’s a marriage-minded gentleman.) He said they formed a pretty strong connection, and the mystery girl told him to add her on Instagram. She then revealed herself to be a casting producer.
40. Say It Ain’t So-So
What happens in Mexico…seemed to follow Giannina to Damian’s rejection of her at the altar. The pair were so idyllic in the pods, and everyone figured their physical attraction was the real deal. Until Giannina told him on vacay: “…you tell me this is the best sex of your life? Have you noticed…I don’t say it’s the best sex of my life, too?”
41. Who Shocked the Shippers?
LIB enthusiasts share the language of relationships—calling themselves “shippers”—and LIB’s most truly twisted relationship was Giannina and her man/presumed villain, Damian. In a not-so-refreshing role reversal, it was Damian who said “I Don’t” to her at the altar, and her gown got muddied as the pathetic bride fled the scene.
42. Mother Knows Best
Giannina’s mom had a wary brush with fame during the couple’s non-nuptials. Mom was not a fan from the get-go, and after Giannina fled, her mom comforted the tearful bride. C’est fini? Nope. Before the reunion episode, now-deleted posts from mom’s Insta account seemed to reveal a deep secret…
43. Slap a Band-Aid on That ‘Ship
The LIB reunion episode’s biggest shocker was Giannina and Damian’s renewed relationship. Apparently, they met and spoke as “normal people” after their non-nuptials. She alluded to many “beautiful moments,” and said that they “talked it out.” They later returned to their old apartment and “like held each other.” Love is healed!
44. I, State Your (Job) Name
The Internet chirped about more than just the love nuttiness on LIB. Like, what do they all really do for a living? We get Lauren, who works as a “content creator” like us freelancers, but what’s with Jessica, who called herself a “regional manager…” of what? Many of the cast members’ jobs were crazy-vague.
45. All in an Honest Day’s Work
Of the whole LIB cast, viewers chortled at Amber’s job the most. She claimed to be an “ex-tank mechanic” with the GA Army Guard. But as things heated up with Barnett, Amber’s life goal became “stay at home mom.” Here’s hoping her world of debt in student loans, makeup credit cards, (and other procedures, hint, hint) doesn’t mess up her nest.
46. Her Boots Will Keep on Walking
Amber took her online knocks and came out socking. To those criticizing her on social for apparently being unemployed during LIB filming, Amber clapped back, “I was hurt at work and dealing with legal issues…” She also posted a whack of army boot photos, stating, “I’ve been working since I was 14, thank you very much.”
47. Reality Show Sailing Is Not Smooth
The biggest LIB marriage gamble was Amber and Barnett. On the reunion show, Amber reveals she’s still married to him, but they faced very rough waters following their TV wedding. She even thought about consulting a divorce attorney—her vague explanation being that something wasn’t working. Like what, the dishwasher?
48. Happy Hour
Interestingly, Amber did reveal her debts put a strain on her marriage, but she found work as a cocktail waitress, and the financial burden was lifted. She said they knew they were married (that’s a relief) and they knew they were in love, but she and Barnett had to keep learning about each other. Love is school, y’all.
49. Her Bachelor Mentality
LC confessed that she’s not real big on reality shows—come again? But she is a “big fan” of dating shows like The Bachelor. Does she know what a reality show is? A friend told LC about this show looking for Atlanta singles. “I kind of got thrown into it,” LC said.
50. Putting Her Best Chest Forward
Amber was unashamed to admit the physical prep she underwent before LIB. She freely shared that she had a breast augmentation, even sharing the identity of her “phenomenal” plastic surgeon. Kudos for her honesty, but WTH? She was already overburdened with debt. And did she think the show was called Love is Blindfolded Feelskis?
51. Bambi Hunter
Fans were disgusted with a 2014 post that resurfaced on Amber’s Insta, showing her gleefully posing with a small deer she’d put a fatal bullet into. Hunting is an unapologetic sport in many areas across North America, but even she commented that the dead deer wasn’t “…real big, but she’s not real small either.” Not real classy, honey.
52. From Squeals to Reals
From day one in the pods, LC felt a click with Barnett more than any other guy she spoke to. She adored his sense of humor, and the way their conversations flipped from silly jokes to serious topics in an instant. LC says she’s looking for that in a partner, and Barnett immediately gave her the head and heart feels.
53. An Unlovable Change of Heart
LC was everyone’s sweetheart, and her heartbreaking confessional after Barnett’s rejection was met with worldwide empathy. Deeming herself “unlovable,” LC still managed a ballsy hair flip, stepping out of camera range to sob. These days, LC’s beliefs have changed. She’s convinced the “right person” is out there, and that no one is “unlovable.” You go, girl next door.
54. What a Wonderful World
Lauren and Cameron’s interracial romance proves that true love is simply that. She moved into his place after their TV wedding, and Cameron jokes it’s no longer “a barren bachelor pad.” Their families spent Christmases together, and Cameron called it “beautiful.” The couple is even planning a YouTube channel on their life. Must see!
55. All-Inclusive Isn’t for Everyone
Like a cringeworthy vacationer overindulging at a resort’s open bar, Jessica called it “really disturbing” to watch her drunken one-on-one chat with Barnett in Mexico. She’d questioned his relationship with Amber, and she even made derogatory remarks about Mark. She later revealed she’d been served a lot of whiskey before filming.
56. Girl Fight at the Reunion
When it came to Jessica, Amber had a lot to get off her chest at the LIB reunion. Amber had seen footage of moments she wasn’t present for, and she also alluded to very tense stuff she saw behind the scenes. Amber confessed that Barnett had to calm her down before the reunion was filmed, and he joked that he got her rage to “20%.”
57. This Is What “Not Super Happy” Looks Like
Amber was barely calm while confronting Jessica at the LIB reunion. She called Jessica “shysty,” and she didn’t mean shy. Amber was confused about Jessica’s obsession with Barnett, angry about her hurting her ex-fiancé Mark, and she also implied that Jessica had gotten serious over some guy named Taylor in the pods…
58. Like, a Virgin
Taylor Lupton was 31 when LIB filming began. He disappeared in a hot sec, but that’s when reality show legends get cooking. Firstly, Jessica blathered about forming quite a connection with him in the pods. But most of all, he was hiding a serious secret. The brave soul admitted during his very brief LIB stint that he was a virgin.
59. We’ve Got Some Deflowering to Do
Taylor’s all-too-brief LIB screen time left legions of worldwide fans seriously unsatisfied. Many have reached out on social media, demanding updates on the status of the cute LIB virgin. His public social accounts give glimpses into his impressive photography work, his wholesome family life, and sweet pics of his nephew.
60. Diamond Had It Rough
Diamond Jack and Carlton Morton saw forever before they even saw each other. They quickly connected in the pods and got engaged. But unfortunately, their heavenly bond went south once they arrived in Mexico. Carlton confessed to Diamond that he’d slept with both men and women. Diamond’s reach was utterly chilling.
She tossed her drink, and Carlton became angry and verbally abusive.
61. Words Will Definitely Hurt You
Carlton has disclosed the threats he’s faced over his behavior and his bisexuality. He gave Diamond’s ring back to her, symbolizing friendship and forgiveness only. Apparently, Carlton does want to reignite their romance. Although Diamond forgave him, she admitted that her aunt suffered verbal and physical abuse, and she thinks his actions are too hard to overcome.
62. Freshening Up
Jessica apologized to Amber and Barnett at the reunion, and Mark too. Mark gracefully forgave her and even calls her a “friend for life.” Jessica moved back to her family in Chicago, went through therapy, and she’s now in LA on a “fresh start.” She says these positive changes wouldn’t have happened without LIB.
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