While the streaming giant said its live reunion on Sunday would answer fans’ most pressing questions and live up to the hype of serving piping hot tea, the anticipated event resulted in a meltdown. The show wound up being taped instead of live-streamed after apparent technical problems led to a major delay — and fans were less than happy about it.
Was the drama as juicy as promised? Not quite, fans said.
Yes, there were tense moments — after all, the contestants were able to see scenes they were not privy to while filming. Accusations were thrown about who went on the show for fame and not love. Vulnerable conversations were had about how the relationships are looking after a year. And a whole lot of wholesomeness was shown. (Brett and Tiffany, we’re looking at you!)
Still, some contestants — including Jackelina, who had promised to “bring receipts” — didn’t show up in person. And the reunion, hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, left off the same way as the last episode: with three “I dos” and one “I don’t.” Plus, there was that whole thing about Netflix breaking down and not being able to show the reunion at 8 p.m. Eastern time as expected.
So if you fell asleep or decided to watch “Succession” instead, here’s what you missed.
One year after the show was filmed, the status quo remains: three happily married couples and two who parted ways. But there’s also the addition of a new couple, Jackelina and Josh. (Though, if you watched through the season, you probably knew that was coming.)
In clips taken from their homes, the couples showed off what has changed — and what hasn’t — throughout their year-long romances. For instance, in the Brown household, Brett showed off a sneaker collection that had doubled in size. And Tiffany still falls asleep on the couch (now, to Brett’s amusement).
And speaking of couches, Kwame’s sofa — the same one he had said he regularly slept on when he was single — is now part of his and Chelsea’s home. Their living room also has a splash of Chelsea: two bright-pink love seats that make up her “happy corner.” A marriage tip they shared: “Have your own bathroom.”
The video for Zack and Bliss showed off his singing chops again and the two lovingly dancing in a room that still has his owl portrait. (Yes, it’s their spirit animal.) The two revealed that Bliss’s father — who was … a little less than enthused by their relationship — had come around and was funding a honeymoon trip to Panama. “They’re best buds now,” Bliss said of the two.
That leaves Micah and Paul (who remain broken up, though they dated for some time after he said “I don’t”), and Marshall (who’s apparently still single) and Jackelina (who sparked up a relationship with one of her other connections, Josh). Jackelina and Josh have been together for a year, moved in together and now share custody of a dog and a fish named Rick.
Did Chelsea meet Kwame’s mother? And did he move to Seattle?
Short answer: Yes and yes.
A major storyline for the couple was the initial disappointment from Kwame’s mother, who didn’t attend the wedding. But his siblings (no, Barbara wasn’t a hired actress; she’s actually Kwame’s sister) came in to save the day and promised the groom that their mother loved him and would eventually come around.
It turned out to be true.
“His mom welcomed me with open arms,” Chelsea said. And in a sweet moment, she shared that in a family gathering, Kwame’s niece said “she was thankful for Auntie Chelsea.”
Another point of contention for the couple was exactly where they were going to live, with Chelsea in Seattle and Kwame in Portland. Though he at first appeared to be reluctant of changing his “nomad lifestyle” (a perk of remote work), Kwame revealed the two had settled down in Seattle.
And in a reverse Uno move: Brett and Tiffany, who faced the same distance issue, said the two now live in Portland.
What happened with the love triangles?
This was the season of the love triangles — a reality TV trope so old, yet so juicy. With drama between contestants worthy enough of a diagram, Nick Lachey called it a season “with a record number of love triangles.”
There was Irina and Zack, who eventually broke it off before he moved on with Bliss. There was Irina flirting with Paul, Micah’s fiance (though he said it was no biggie because the two had established boundaries). There was Micah’s long talk and flirting with Kwame in Mexico. (Chelsea and Micah squashed that beef, and Kwame apologized profusely.) And of course, there was the Marshall-Jackelina-Josh conundrum.
Jackelina and Josh didn’t attend the reunion in person — instead, sitting down for a prior Zoom interview with Vanessa to set the record straight: There was no cheating, Jackelina said, adding that she’d gone on a coffee date with Josh after she and Marshall had broken up.
She still has the ring, though — which Marshall wants back because “she doesn’t deserve that symbol of my love,” he said.
Yet Marshall said he wants the tension between them to end: “The whole you-versus-me thing has to die immediately,” Marshall said when asked whether he had a message for Jackelina.
Is there going to be a ‘Love is Blind’ baby?
You might have to wait for this one.
Though Vanessa asked a gazillion times — “not to put pressure on you,” she said — it doesn’t look like diapers and strollers will be on the couples’ shopping lists anytime soon. Though — and of course, not to add more pressure [cue: eye roll] — “Love is Blind” season 3 contestant Bartise made a cameo with his baby boy and asked the same.
The whole pushing a love is blind baby and asking them if they were trying just gave me such a big ick. It just felt wrong to ask . #LoveIsBlindLIVE
— ‘rachelle howie. (@rachelle_howie) April 17, 2023
Chelsea and Kwame said they’ll “let it happen when it has to happen.” Brett and Tiffany said they’re enjoying each other’s company before making the jump. And in a move that almost seemed like it would bring a plot twist, Bliss said, “I can’t wait to have a family with Zack” — but they’re still going to wait.