love is late

I Survived Love Is Blind’s Live-Reunion Event

Photo: John Salangsang/Variety via Getty Images

Technology was not in Netflix’s favor Sunday night, when its attempt at a live reunion for season four of Love Is Blind went off and caught every hitch. But at Netflix’s viewing party at the Hollywood Vermont in Los Angeles, attendees — including press, fans, influencers, and Netflix-reality-show alum — were unfazed. There were no riots happening, as there were on Twitter, because everyone was too busy getting drunk on free LIB-themed cocktails. Or maybe they were unfazed because, like many of us, they knew there was no way this night was going to go smoothly. Hosted by comedian Chris Burns and Netflix staple Chloe Veitch of Too Hot to Handle, The Circle, and Perfect Match (“I’m like a yeast infection — you can’t get rid of me”), the viewing party achieved one goal: to be messier than Chelsea’s birthday. Strong drinks like the Real Thing, a blueberry gin cocktail, were poured for guests at the open bar, and appetizers no bigger than my index finger were being passed around. Upon arrival, I was told by the security guard to “drink all you want tonight.” Looking around the room during the seven hours I was there with Vulture colleagues and Love Is Blind scholars Anusha Praturu and Nic Juarez, I observed all the familiar faces, including The Circle season-one finalists Joey Sasso, Shubham Goel, and Sammie Cimarelli, who greeted one another with big bear hugs, and exes Veitch and Mitchell Eason from The Circle and Perfect Match, who had a friendly catch-up before the show started. I found my spot on a couch toward the back (potentially the same type of couch Tiffany fell asleep on), started sipping my first drink, and enjoyed the show. Here’s what it was like being in the room where it (the live reunion) happened (was delayed an hour and a half).

Five p.m. hits, and the livestream is presumably about to start on Netflix and at the watch party. It’s packed, and people are scrambling to find a good seat. Attendees are well into their second drink. The room is buzzing with anticipation. Burns and Veitch come onstage to entertain with some light banter and warm up the crowd before the stream. Veitch even leads a group prayer, foreshadowing the rest of the evening’s technical difficulties. The party does not let up. As I look around, it feels like a second reunion is taking place, as many Netflix stars mix and match and mingle: Perfect Match’s Nick Uhlenhuth, Too Hot To Handle’s Harry Jowsey, Selling Sunset’s Chelsea Lazkani, and LIB’s Deepti Vempati, Cole Barnett, Nancy Rodriguez, and Natalie Lee. As the delays continue to grow, many stars take it upon themselves to create original content of their own to satisfy impatient fans. Eason and Love Is Blind season-one star Damian Powers are both separately on Instagram, live-chatting with fans, updating them about the streaming delays, and bumping into each other during their streams. At one point, the hosting duo comes back to tell the completely unbothered audience that they will update us as soon as they can and remind us there’s an open bar.

At 6:15, Burns and Veitch finally are back onstage with an update and some sort of good news. The reunion is about to start, but we must put our phones away as fans at home will have to stream the reunion at a later date. Employees patrol the room throughout the reunion to remind everyone of the rule.

When Brett and Tiffany come onscreen, the crowd immediately roars with applause, so much so that we miss part of their segment because of all the cheering. There should be no doubt that these two are the season-four fan favorites.

Chelsea and Kwame, meanwhile, do not elicit much of a reaction from the crowd besides a few cheers here and there — that is, until Kwame asks if he can explain himself during a back and forth about the Kwame-Chelsea-Micah love triangle and a woman next to me says, “No.” The entire room laughs as she shakes her head throughout Kwame’s answer.

Things really pick up when Irina and Micah are called on. When Irina asks for a minute to compose herself … immediate boos. Someone yells, “Shut up!” at her when she starts to talk, and the audience is split between groaning and screaming (“You bullied people!”). Zack accuses Irina of getting on the show only “to become famous” to loud cheers and a mix of “Talk that talk, Zack!” and “Yes, Bliss!”

The rumors that Jackie is skipping the reunion are true, and probably for the best, as Marshall’s cousin, The Bachelorette’s Justin Glaze, is there watching with us as well. Jackie and Josh have a separate Zoom interview with Vanessa Lachey, and everyone cheers when Jackie’s asked about the ring.  “Get her, Vanessa,” says one viewer. “No one cares!” another says in response to Josh’s weight loss.

One person screams when Micah cries but eventually composes themselves. And then we see Bartise and his baby in the ultimate jump scare. In the room with us are Nancy, his fiancée from Love Is Blind season three, and Abbey, one of his matches from Perfect Match season one. They’re sitting next to each other and laughing and shaking their heads throughout the segment, commiserating over their shared trauma.

The live reunion ends with speculation about who will be the first couple to have kids. For whichever pair become the first parents on the show (not you, Bartise), I’ve already named the special Love Is Baby. The rest of my evening is spent outside on the red carpet, chatting with the season-four stars, who arrive around 8:45, after the reunion. A Netflix employee walks by carrying a giant box filled with In-N-Out burgers around 9:30. Finally, real food. But by the time I get back inside, after ten, the food and many of the guests are already gone. The only thing left is the Love Is Blind alums posing for a group photo before we all head back into reality.

I Survived Love Is Blind’s Live-Reunion Event