It’s only been a week since fans watched the emotional roller coaster that was the Love Is Blind finale, but it’s actually been over a year since the six engaged couples followed on the hit reality show said “I do”—or “I don’t”—and a lot has happened since then. So the team behind the “social experiment” decided to get their twelve lab rats back together for a reunion special that was released in the early hours of Thursday morning… on YouTube for some reason, even though the series aired on Netflix.
You can watch the whole thing below. But if your boss won’t give you the full 52 minutes to view while pretending to work, we’ve broken out the highlights further down.
Hosted by Vanessa Lachey and “I’m Obviously” Nick Lachey, the reunion explored who’s still together, who’s single, Carlton and Diamond’s fight, and the love triangle of Jessica, Barnett, and Amber.
You’ll find the individual couple updates below, but let’s start off with that love triangle. Amber perhaps sums it all up the best as she addresses Jessica directly for the first time during the special: “Bitch, you shiesty.”
Amber isn’t upset that Jessica still had feelings for Barnett, she just wishes Jessica had been upfront about it. “You’re so fake, coming to my face like we were cool,” Amber tells Jessica. “I think you are a very disingenuine person and I hope seeing this you do grow from it, because this is not what the world needs, is women who go behind people’s back like that.”
Barnett owns up to his role in the triangle, admitting he probably shouldn’t have told Jessica he was ready to propose if he wasn’t sure of his plans, but maintains that floating the idea “give[s] you a good idea of how someone is going to react to the thought of even marrying you.”
Jessica, surprisingly, is very upfront about not being happy with what she saw watching herself back on the show. “Obviously I was rejected by Barnett. I didn’t take that well. Seeing that play out is brutal,” she says to the Lacheys before turning to Barnett and Amber. “I definitely do owe a major apology to you, Amber, and to Barnett. I super respect them both. I respect their relationship, and it was not good of me to even ever question that.”
“I accept the intent behind the apology,” Amber says in response, as Barnett stares at the ground looking like a kid trying to avoid getting called on by his 7th-grade math teacher. “[But] I can’t fully be there yet.”
Triangle drama aside, here’s where each of the six couples are today.
Status: Both single.
Carlton and Diamond were the only couple shown on the show that went to Mexico who broke up before they could make it to the aisle. Their relationship deteriorated after Carlton revealed he is bisexual, which resulted in a fight where Carlton called Diamond a “bitch,” the engagement ring got tossed in the pool, and she threw a drink in his face.
Since the fight aired, both Carlton and Diamond have received death threats online. “It brings you to a very dark space,” says Carlton. “Out of everything, I’ve been more concerned with Diamond and her backlash. And I just want to make it clear that the woman that I fell in love with, I never felt that she was biphobic, homophobic, or that she wouldn’t love me. I was just afraid that we would have some issues that we would have to work through.”
Though they weren’t on speaking terms after Mexico, the former couple say they began communicating a few months ago. “I told myself that before the show starts, I want to at least be comfortable with him in the same room,” says Diamond. “I didn’t want any animosity or any tension toward us. I felt like I could at least do that, at least hear what he had to say and he did apologize [for the name calling.]”
In the most cringe-worthy moment of the entire reunion, Carlton ends their conversation by getting her engagement ring back out (someone must have fished it out of the pool) and kneeling before Diamond—but don’t worry, he assures, he’s not proposing again. “I want to get down on one knee and just apologize again at eye level, and I hope that you take this ring again as a significant piece of our friendship and the start of something beautiful without any type of plan,” he tells a very uncomfortable-looking Diamond. “I do accept your apology,” she responds. “And I do forgive you.”
Status: Kenny is dating someone new. Kelly is single.
Kelly and Kenny seemed like the second-most-level-headed couple on the show, which is maybe why Kelly ultimately left Kenny at the alter. In the finale it seemed as though this took Kenny by total surprise, but “I think we both agreed to an ‘I don’t’ way before the wedding,” says Kelly.
Missing out on a more “conventional” wedding did weigh on Kelly, but ultimately her “head and heart” were not “in the right place” to marry Kenny—a state of mind she wishes had been different. “I have friend-zoned a lot of those great guys in my life and those are probably all the guys that I should be marrying. And now it’s like, Kelly, stop thinking we attract who we are. Put it out into the universe, like, what are you going to accept now into your life.”
Kenny admits he felt “guilt” and “embarrassment” after the finale, but “I think about all the takeaways I went through on the show, I’ve applied to my current relationship and I’ve been able to be vulnerable and I’ve received it. My takeaway, at this point, is I’m not embarrassed by anything.”
Status: Almost got divorced, but are still married.
“All we do is have fun,” says Barnett. “[Well,] not all we do. We’ve had the normal arguments and stuff that everybody probably has, but, shoot, I’m so excited that we’ve found each other and gotten to grow together.”
Part of the arguments stemmed from Amber working as a cocktail waitress, a job she says made Barnett “so uncomfortable” that she quit. “That was putting strain [on us] because I was so financially dependent on him, which was so new to me.” The couple also went through growing pains as they adjusted to each other’s partying ways. “Y’all saw how he likes to flirt with people, so obviously he was totally used to his bachelor life,” says Amber. “And I was used to my bachelor life too but I think it took us awhile to figure out how to hang out and party together… We weren’t kind of giving it the time it needed to adjust… At one point I actually called about potentially getting the divorce lawyer, I was like, ‘This isn’t working.’”
But now the couple appears to have weathered that relationship storm. “We stopped trying to force what we expected on each other,” says Barnett. “And once that happened… it’s just nothing but really good things since then.”
Status: Both single.
Mark was very in love with Jessica. As we’ve already discussed, Jessica was hung up on Barnett. Ultimately that, and their ten-year age difference that Jessica couldn’t stop talking about, proved too much for the runaway bride, and she left Mark standing alone at the alter.
Though she says she’s seen some of the series, Jessica can’t even watch when they show clips during the reunion. “There were some really cringe-worthy moments for me, watching it back, that I’ve been able to reflect on. It was kind of rough for me, you know, when I realized that things weren’t going the way that I hoped they would. So I took this past year, went back home to Chicago for six months, just to be closer to my family, and kind of heal up a little bit and kind of reflect and figure out how to change.”
She also wants to apologize to Mark for any indication that she didn’t find him as attractive as Barnett. “Obviously I was really uncomfortable and I was drinking too much and that was really disturbing to see play out,” she says. “And some of the comments that I made were derogatory and that certainly wasn’t fair to Mark, who is a fantastic person and obviously very, very attractive.”
In response, Mark says he feels like the Barnett situation was “an obstacle we could have talked about and tackled together,” but ultimately he just wants Jessica to finally make him Italian beef—a promise she doesn’t remember even making.
Status: Dating again.
Giannina was the spitfire who lost the “butterflies” during their short engagement, so Damian didn’t imagine he’d be the one to say “I don’t.” He says the pair “had talked and I said, ‘Look, no matter what happens, we leave this together,’ and she was like, ‘Yeah, we do.’ And when she said ‘I do’ and I didn’t, I didn’t expect that. I thought she was going to be the one to say ‘I don’t’ and I was going to be the one to say, ‘Okay, well I don’t either, I’ll walk away with you.”
Things didn’t go that way, but eventually the two found their way back together and now are living in separate apartments but hanging out every day. “Now, we have both expressed ourselves in really hard ways but since the show it’s been such an amazing journey with you,” Giannina says. “To get to know you and see how we integrate into each other’s lives. My friends and family love you… I’m so happy.”
Status: Still married, of course!
Life has been peachy keen for this couple, who was the closest thing to a sure bet from minute one of the series. (Though it’s interesting to see Kenny and Damian both gush at the reunion about how they connected with Lauren in the pods and how gorgeous they thought she was when they saw her in person.)
“We really started to get to know each other more and do things together that we’ve never done,” Lauren says of life with Cameron. “We’re able to teach each other things that the other may not have experience or enjoyed. So I feel like Cameron has opened my eyes to so many things. He teaches me stuff every day. He’s so loving. He’s so genuine. He got me a puppy. We have a fur baby. Like, life is good.”
The dog is actually how Cameron’s mom knew her son was ready to marry Lauren after their lightning-speed courtship. “I had always said, ‘I would never date a woman who wanted to have a dog,’ which sounds crazy in retrospect. But [my mom] knew it was true love because I told her, ‘Yeah we’re going to get a dog.’”
The dog’s name? Spark, named for the spark they felt when they first met. “It’s cheesy,” admits Lauren. “But he’s cute.”