"When I went into it, I was like, is anyone going to get engaged? Is anyone going to find love?'"
If even the creator of Love Is Blind had that thought heading into Netflix's three-week event series, which launched an experiment, it's understandable that many viewers would be skeptical that the experiment would actually wok or that any of the five remaining engaged couples would actually get married heading into the finale.
And yet...two of the five couples actually went through with it, exchanging vows. (Spoiler alert!)
Cameron Reid Hamilton and Lauren Speed, the pod squad's first engaged (and arguably most solid) couple went through with it, despite some reservations on Lauren's part. Also becoming man and wife? Mike Barnett (aka Barnett) and Amber Pike, despite his slightly chilly cold feet, almost pulling a Big in the Sex and the City movie.
That leaves three couples that ultimately had one party decide they didn't want to get married, with Jessica Batten—surprising no one—by leaving Mark Anthony Cuevas at the altar, Kelly Chase deciding the spark just wasn't there with Kenny Barnes, and, in the most shocking decision, Damian Powers sending Giannina Gibelli running off in tears on her wedding day.
Harsh and a little cruel to have the couples ultimately wait until they are standing in front of their family and closest friends to reveal their decision to the person they got engaged to sigh unseen just four weeks prior? Undoubtedly. Was it riveting television? Absolutely.
But did it have to go down that way?
"They certainly could choose to do whatever they wanted to do," Love Is Blind creator Chris Coelen told E! News of the wedding day decision-making process. "Again, being there on the wedding day, I personally, knowing these people and their stories, I didn't know what was going to happen."
Just take a look at what went down during the first wedding that went down between Damian and Gigi.
The crew was just as surprised by Damian's last-minute change of heart as Gigi was, with Coelen admitting, "With Damien and Gigi, it was like 'What?!' Literally, no idea. People are just gasping in the control room. Like, anything could happen with any of them."
They weren't even sure if Barnett would show up for the ceremony, with the creator saying, "It was crazy, the fact that Barnett…he's texting Amber on his wedding day and I was like, 'What is going on?!' We're hoping, hoping, hoping somebody is going to go through with it."
And while viewers thought Kenny and Kelly were well-suited, as did her entire family and group of friends, Kelly ultimately felt there was a spark missing and left poor Kenny at the altar. "Kenny and Kelly were a big surprise to everybody," Coelen said.
With all five of the weddings providing drama in their own way, Coelen assured, "It's so not contrived," explaining the mix of happy endings with bittersweet partings is what makes the show work.
"I love that it's sad, I love that it's stakes because when you then have a success story like Cam and Lauren, it's real. It's real and they are in love and that love is going to bond them for the rest of their lives," he explained. "It's incredible to be a part of that. It's super high stakes, it's the highest stakes in a relationship standout you can have, so you heighten the stakes t o that level, you are going to have this amazing rush of success but you're also going to have the crash of it not working out and people being devastated. It's all real."
And it all happened over a year ago. Yes, that's right: the weddings filmed well over a year ago, meaning the two couples that actually exchanged vows have had over 365 days together, if they've even remained married.
While fans will get an official update from all of the six inaugural couples when Love Is Blind's highly anticipated reunion special drops on Thursday, Mar. 5, we've managed to assemble some intel on where the relationships stand now heading into the reunion:
Love Is Blind is currently available to stream on Netflix.