After three weeks of desperate singles looking for soulmates in “pods,” volatile romances, helicopter rides, and a wine-drinking dog, Netflix’s dystopian romance experiment Love Is Blind has come to its inevitable end.
On Thursday, Netflix released the season finale of its latest reality TV show, a show that began with willing contestants choosing fiancés without ever seeing them and ended with them mostly realizing maybe getting engaged to total strangers isn’t the best idea. At the altar, no less.
There were copious tears, mud-soaked wedding dresses, moments of blindsided heartbreak, and at least a few couples who did say yes to a future together. Here’s a brief guide about where each couple ended up in the Love Is Blind finale and what we can expect at the reunion special that Netflix will release on March 5.
Gianina and Damian
Did they get married? No.
Gianina and Damian were the most volatile couple of the season, exhibiting extreme anger at one another and then, almost instantly, shifting all the way to extreme horniness. No one fought as hard as Gianina and Damian, and no one made up as hard as Gianina and Damian.
Gianina, seemingly cruising on the good vibes of a helicopter ride and perfect date in the season’s ninth episode, told the cameras that she would marry Damian. In front of everyone, including her wary mom, Gianina Milady Giabelli says “I do” when she finally made it to the altar. But Damian shockingly says he didn’t. Because he’d seen the extreme bouts of anger Gianina is capable of, he tells her she wasn’t consistent enough for him.
This leads to the show’s most explosive shot: Gianina storming out of the venue and onto a rustic street, dry-clean-only dress flapping in the Atlanta wind. She runs while daring the camera people to chase her, only to stumble onto a wet spot of patchy grass and give her pristine dress a dirty stripe. If there were ever a moment to crystallize the chaos of Gianina and Damian’s showmance, Gianina bolting away from a crying Damian and into the dirty streets was it.
Amber and Barnett
Did they get married? Yes!
Beginning with the first episode, it seemed like Amber and Barnett were Love Is Blind’s two biggest villains. Amber introduced herself in the first episode by saying, “People don’t take me seriously because I ain’t ugly.” This is exactly what someone who actively wants you to dislike them says. (Amber also laughs at her own jokes. A lot.)
Barnett is famous for two things: being an adult man that goes by his last name and being the show’s resident player. His major drama included feigning interest in fellow messy contestant Jessica (more on her in a second) during the show’s blind dating process, a drama that would slowly unspool Jessica’s psyche.
In addition to their shared villainy, Barnett and Amber also got along because they were very attracted to one another. But just before the finale, Amber revealed that she’s unemployed and carrying major credit card and student loan debt — both of which trouble Barnett. It seemed like, while Amber was all in, Barnett was less enthusiastic after learning of Amber’s financial status.
But despite Amber’s finances and despite Barnett’s reputation as a player, he tells her he will marry her.
“I can’t imagine a life without you,” Barnett tells her.
“Good, ’cause you’re stuck with me,” she replies, with her joke sounding more like a threat.
Kelly and Kenny
Did they get married? No.
The greatest compliment one can give Kenny on this trainwreck of a show is that he just seemed like a fine, inoffensive, even intermittently funny guy. He was slightly boring, but he also didn’t have any glaring deficiencies or moments of embarrassment. He respected Kelly, and his family seems pretty great, too.
Kelly’s major storyline was about how she might not be physically attracted to Kenny. During their post-engagement trip to Mexico, the two did not have sex, and Kelly voiced her concern that although they were “perfect” together on so many levels, she was afraid of not clicking physically and the havoc it could wreak.
Despite a pep talk from her sister Ashley about how great Kenny is, Kelly was not having it. Kelly believed that if she were in love with Kenny, nothing else, possibly not even eating or breathing, would matter. And Kelly herself recognized that this might be too idealistic or perhaps even obsessive of a position.
Kelly says no at the altar.
“I absolutely adore you,” Kelly tells Kenny before crushing him. “I love you. But I don’t. I can’t marry you. And I hope you can appreciate that and respect that decision of mine. ”
Kelly walks out of the venue. But to his credit, good guy Kenny graciously tells everyone who showed up that the entire show was difficult, strange, rewarding, and ultimately a whirlwind of emotions. Despite getting dumped, he tells all in attendance that he loves them and that he cherished his experience. This prompts Kelly’s mom to express what we’re all thinking:
Jessica and Mark
Did they get married? Absolutely not.
While Love Is Blind claims it is a show about whether or not people could fall in love with someone they’ve never seen before, it slowly morphed into a show about one woman spiraling out of control to become the program’s 34-year-old baby-voiced villain.
While fiancé Mark dreamed about spending the rest of his life with her and having multiple children, Jessica chased after her real crush, Barnett. She talked about him constantly and intimated that she finds Mark much less attractive than him. Yet Jessica blatantly lied to everyone around her and maintains that she has no feelings for Barnett. Instead, she told Mark (and the audience in confessionals) that she really, truly loves him. But at the same time, she obsessed over their age difference and seemed to seek out ways to get people to disapprove of their relationship.
It doesn’t work. So instead, in a move that everyone but Mark saw coming, Jessica just says no at the altar and talks about how proud she is of them (but really herself) working through their ups and downs (because she introduced all of the downs). Anyone who watched the season saw Jessica trying to rationalize why she and Barnett weren’t together — see episode 8, where she talked to Barnett, again, about their connection — and going through the motions with Mark.
Mark’s shock at Jessica dumping him at the altar made me feel worried for him. Because if Jessica could scam him this hard, what about international scammers and the “IRS” asking for payment in Amazon gift cards?
All wasn’t lost, however. Jessica’s dumping of Mark did lead to this blistering observation from two astute witnesses:
Lauren and Cameron
Did they get married? Of course.
There are few constants in this world of unpredictability, but the pairing of Lauren, a beautiful “content creator,” and Cameron, an equally beautiful “scientist,” seemed to be one of them. The two hit it off from the very beginning, when they cried together after barely knowing each other. And since then, the couple’s biggest problem wasn’t a lack of attraction or financials or anything that plagues the other couples, but that maybe they loved each other ... too much? Cameron even won over Lauren’s father, who Lauren said has strong beliefs in black community and was skeptical of their interracial marriage.
Their union, though, was never in doubt. It was cute. Cameron cried. Lauren cried. Everyone cried. And they all lived happily ever after. Or did they?
The thing to keep in mind in all these failed marriages and the two successes is that filming on the show ended in November 2018 — meaning that Amber and Barnett and Lauren and Cameron have ostensibly been together for over a year.
This isn’t the end of Love Is Blind
All the couples have had to keep their relationships, failed or successful, secret for a very long time. Thanks to the couples being very careful not to share anything on social media, we don’t know if, say, Kenny and Kelly tried to give it a second go or if Amber and Barnett called it quits in between the time that the show ended and the present.
The other thing that nags at my brain is: Why would these people wait until they were at the altar to renounce their love for one another? It would seem to be less embarrassing to call it quits as soon as possible — as Carlton and Diamond did, a couple on the show who broke it off in Mexico — than to wait till the very end. But judging from post-show interviews with the contestants and the show’s creators, there may have been a contract stipulation that demanded an altar-time decision for maximum drama.
The couples’ relationship status today is one of several lingering questions — as is the identity of the shady bridesmaid at Jessica’s wedding — that may be answered during the show’s reunion special, which was filmed very recently. Netflix will premiere that episode on March 5, 2020. Love Is Blind initially billed itself to be a 10-episode event, but given its popularity and it being Netflix’s No. 1 trending program in the US, the reunion was a no-brainer — and so should be a second season.