Carlton 'proposing' to Diamond and more crazy moments from Love Is Blind reunion special
Love Is Blind
Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Love Is Blind season 1 finale and reunion special.
Once upon a time, there were 30 singles. They went on dates in pods and some fell in love without ever seeing their partner in person. A few couples even got engaged, and one month later, two couples said "I do" -- while the rest fell apart at the altar. And whether or not you believe the Love Is Blind experiment was a success, it can't be denied that the first season of Netflix's reality dating series was a hit.
The internet can't stop GIFing moments from the show. Some couples have fans rooting for their romantic happiness while other contestants have fielded so much hate online that it's affected their entire lives. But a lot can change in the year and a half since filming ended, so Netflix reunited all the couples from the series (yes, even Diamond and Carlton!) for a one-hour reunion special.
From learning which couples are still together (and who even got back together after their disastrous wedding ceremony ended in a runaway bride!) to surprise proposals and heated confrontations, EW is rounding up all the craziest moments from the Love Is Blind reunion.
1. At the very start of the hour, Love Is Blind host Nick Lachey introduces himself as, “I’m obviously Nick Lachey,” meaning the joke has now come completely full circle.
2. Oh hello, Amber is blonde now! Almost didn't recognize her for a second there.
3. Despite having Damian and Giannina's wedding split over two episodes, Love Is Blind isn't exactly known for keeping fans in suspense. So thankfully host Vanessa Lachey starts off the hour by revealing that both married couples -- Amber and Barnett, and Lauren and Cameron -- are still happily together and married. The way we find out, however, is Vanessa making everyone raise their hands like it’s the first day of kindergarten.
4. We also immediately find out that despite Damian breaking Giannina's heart at the altar by saying "I do not" after she said "I do," they are in a relationship together now and have been since filming ended. They're not married, they're just dating, but very happily together. Now that's a twist!
5. Kelly is single but she reveals since filming ended, she had a relationship with one of her best friends who was actually at her failed wedding to Kenny. Kenny is in a relationship now and credits the experiment with allowing him to find the person he’s with today.
6. Amber says the house she and Barnett lived in was haunted (Barnett says it was just dust). They’ve since moved closer to the city.
7. Jessica says it’s been tough to watch back some of her more “cringeworthy” moments on the show. She moved back to Chicago to be closer to family and “heal up” for six months after filming the series. She now lives in LA and has just started dating again -- a year and a half later. It's clear that the whole experience took a toll on her, and she's not enthusiastic to be back for the reunion.
8. Carlton is “working on Carlton” (and still referring to himself in the third person). “On one end I feel very free since doing the show but on the other end I’m just very disappointed that love didn’t work out the way I wanted for it to," he says. "I’m still processing it. It’s kind of weird sometimes but I’m proud at the end of the day.”
9. Diamond is still waiting on Beyoncé to call her after she famously quoted Queen Bey while walking away from Carlton in Mexico. In seriousness, she is actually working on getting her PhD, which gets applause from her fellow castmates.
10. Mark says that “as a man,” he learned about vulnerability and communication thanks to the show and “it was totally worth the price of admission.” He’s single now but says he’s doing good.
11. Carlton finally apologizes for falling asleep on Amber while on a date in the pods. And Barnett apologizes for saying that Diamond is a stripper name (the moment that effectively ended any potential relationship they could have had).
12. We have to watch a close up of Jessica watching clips of her pod-relationship with Barnett before he broke up with her and suffice to say: it’s awkward AF. She is not enjoying this reunion special at all. Speaking of the moment where he said he could marry Jessica tomorrow, which then made her believe he was proposing to her, Barnett admits he’s “not super good with girls” and didn’t use the right words sometimes but he doesn’t regret anything because it got him to where he is today.
13. And now it's time to confront the Barnett love triangle of Barnett, Amber, and Jessica (Plus LC. Remember LC?) Amber says that she and LC had a "girl power" understanding of knowing they were both interested in Barnett and had an agreement to not talk about their dates with him to each other. Amber throws shade at Jessica for saying that LC was really respectful about that and when Jessica “came out of left field” to talk to her after Barnett ended things with her, Amber then confronted him about Jessica. “So to see her throwing herself at him in Mexico, b— you’re shysty. You’re so fake," Amber says, directly facing Jessica who was seated behind her. "Coming to my face like we’re cool, you’re so fake. I think you’re a very disingenuine person and you know what? I hope seeing this, I hope you do grow from it because that is not what the world needs, is women that go behind people’s backs like that. You were engaged. To another man that you were leading on. He was engaged, he made his choice. Anyhoo, so no I’m not super happy seeing that but I would have been a lot more comfortable had somebody else said, 'Hey I’m still having feelings for him.'"
14. Jessica immediately responds to Amber, "Obviously I was rejected by Barnett. I didn’t take that very well. Seeing that play out is brutal... I do definitely owe a major apology to you Amber, and to Barnett. I super respect them both, I respect their relationship and it definitely was not good of me to even ever question that. So I apologize and I have nothing but the most respect for you both and wish you nothing but the best... I have no hard feelings towards you whatsoever."
15. But Amber doesn't let it stop there. When Vanessa asks Amber if she accepts Jessica's apology, she says, "I had a full understanding of what this experiment was. And I knew that she may have had a crush on him still and the fact that she was going to him behind my back with me in the same room, saying these things like, 'Are you sure this is what you want,' yeah that bothered me. Because if you still have feelings for my husband and you’re engaged to my friend the least you can do is be honest with everybody else about where you were at. And I fully believe in being upfront and I have no filter as you guys have seen, I have no filter. So what I needed to be okay with this was for her to say, 'Look I’m still feeling him, I’m still confused,' so that I’m not sitting there looking like a fool thinking we’re cool, we’re friends... I accept the intent behind the apology. I can’t be fully there yet."
16. When it came time to seeing everyone in Mexico after dating each other in the pods, a lot of the guys were surprised the most by Lauren. Apparently Damian and Lauren had a really strong connection up to the day she got engaged to Cameron. They would even talk in "Star Wars voices" to each other -- whatever that means.
17. Carlton says that to this day, the day he proposed to Diamond is still the happiest day of his life. He also says he’s gotten death threats now that the show has been released, but “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 just was afraid that we would have some issues that we would have to work through... Now do I deserve some of the feedback? Yes I do because I made a horrible mistake and indirectly called her out of her name. That is something that should have never happened. I have no excuse." He reveals that he reached out and apologized to Diamond after some time had passed and they have moved forward without any animosity towards each other. Diamond also reveals she’s been getting death threats as well.
18. But then Carlton makes things extra (because of course). He turns around and grabs a ring box that was hiding behind his back on the couch and gets down on one knee in front of Diamond. But wait, it's — thankfully — not another marriage proposal. He tells Diamond that he’s not proposing to her but still gives her the ring back “as a significant piece of our friendship and the start of something beautiful without any type of plan.” Vanessa asks, “Did you go in the pool for that?” (since Carlton famously chucked the engagement ring into the pool while shouting, "F— a ring!" during their argument). And Carlton responds, “Sure did.” Diamond says she accepts his apology and she does forgive him, and he puts the ring on her left ring finger (but again, they're not engaged) and they hug while everyone claps. Huh.
19. Vanessa and Nick turn the conversation back to Giannina and Damian's relationship post-wedding breakup. "Looking back I respect his decision," Giannina says. "Where we’re at now is just so right for us. We just date. He has his own place. I have my own place. We’re getting to know each other at our own pace and it’s just so refreshing. It hurt so much but it’s all about what can I do with that and what can I learn from that." And Damian says he still wouldn’t do anything different even if he could go back to that wedding day. “Getting to the day of the wedding, me and her talked and I said, 'Look, no matter what happens, we leave this together,'" Damian says. "And she was like, 'Yeah, we do.' When she said 'I do' [during the ceremony], I didn’t expect that. I thought she was going to be the one to say 'I don’t' and I was going to say, 'Okay well I don’t either. I’ll walk away with you.' I wish I could take the pain away from her that day and the hurt and the embarrassment to her family and friends, I’m sorry that I ever put her through that. But that was the hardest decision I’ve probably ever made in my life honestly and I would stick by it again because of where we are now.”
20. At one point, Giannina starts crying while talking about how good things are with her and Damian and how her friends and family love him. Talk about a glow-up!
21. Just like with Giannina and Damian, it turns out that Kelly and Kenny also had conversations about what to expect from their wedding ceremony. “With Kenny and my relationship, I think we both agreed to an 'I don’t' way before the wedding,” Kelly says. She also reveals that she wanted to date Kenny after the show but that didn’t end up happening (she's not the person he's in a relationship with now). She says she’s also starting to realize that she’s "friend-zoned" a lot of great guys in her life that she should have married, like Kenny. She gets choked up while admitting this.
22. Amber reveals that there was a moment in the past year and a half of marriage that almost broke her and Barnett, because she wasn’t working and was financially dependent on him. And it took them a while “to figure out how to hang out and party together,” Amber says. “I at one point had actually called about potentially getting the divorce lawyer. I was like, this isn’t working.” Barnett adds, “I’m a stubborn asshole.” Amber continues, “I’m stubborn too -- we butted heads a lot. And that took time to figure out how to do... Figuring out how to handle that made a huge difference for us.” And Barnett adds, “We stopped trying to force what we expected on each other. Once that happened it’s been nothing but really good things since then."
23. The conversation goes back once again to Jessica and how she regrets most of her journey onscreen. “Watching it back, it was obvious that I was working through some things," she says. "I just didn’t really like the person that I saw and the things that played out, obviously I was really uncomfortable. I was drinking too much and that was really disturbing to see play out... It’s almost like I blinded myself, no pun intended, because I had these thoughts about the age difference and I annoyed the living hell out of myself watching it back.” Mark says that he still has a special place in his heart for Jessica but he airs out one grievance. “I wish you would have told me [about] Barnett," he says to her. "I thought we cleared the air about that, if you still had reoccurring feelings... I felt like that could have been an obstacle we could have talked about and tackled together.”
24. Thankfully after all those awkward and uncomfortable moments, the reunion ends on a sweet note as Lauren reveals that Cameron got her a puppy named Sparks -- and they’re still just as cute and in love as they were at the start of the experiment. They’re also talking about having kids “one day.” And when Lauren starts crying talking about how their families have blended together so beautifully, he gives her the hanky out of his pocket. The cameras may be done filming but at least their love story continues!
The Love Is Blind reunion special is streaming now on Netflix.