Love isn’t blurry for those of us obsessed with Deepti Vempati. While her pod partner Abhishek “Shake” Chatterjee becomes a storm cloud of logical fallacies from one minute three seconds into the Love Is Blind reunion, the 31-year-old data analyst is still beaming after ditching him at the altar. Each week leading up to the finale, viewers had to watch in secondhand embarrassment as Shake openly based his new fiancée’s worth on how she compared to a blue-eyed, blonde chimera — all while she graciously worked to build their relationship. And apparently that was just the watered-down version. “I don’t mind if someone is not physically attracted to you. Chemistry should be natural, and you shouldn’t have to force that,” Vempati told Vulture over Zoom. “But it’s the way you talk about somebody that really speaks to your character. And I think he disrespected me.”
At the reunion, Shake was so out of line he made Shayne’s behavior seem normal. First he accused Kyle and Shaina of staying together for clout (even though they broke up in episode six and Shake went to the altar in episode ten with someone he admittedly wasn’t attracted to), got heated with Jarrette, and randomly shot his shot with Vanessa Lachey as if Nick wasn’t sitting right next to her. “Happily ever after” in this case was actually just some veterinarian’s Joker origin story. Below, the “goddess” of Love Is Blind season two fills us in on what happened when the cameras were off and what exactly is going on with her and Kyle … 👀
How did it feel to say your piece at the reunion?
It felt amazing to have the opportunity in this space to speak freely, especially with castmates who know the process I’ve been through. And to talk to Shake and let him know my feelings watching the show. It was a nice, healing moment.
Did the two of you have any conversations after you walked away in that gorgeous lehenga?
We tried to be friends after, and I hadn’t really known the extent of what he was saying until I watched it with the rest of the world. As the days unfolded, it made me realize that I don’t think I can even have him in my life as a friend. Now that the show aired, there’s no hope for a friendship there.
The reunion gave us an opportunity to see the bonds you have with your other cast members. Who were the ones to check in with you and let you know some of the stuff they had been hearing?
It was more of the guys because Shake was closer to them. Even during filming and off camera, he would talk to them about it. They didn’t tell me exactly what he said; they were just like, “I don’t know if this is it for you. You deserve better.”
At what point were you made aware of the issues?
You could tell he was drifting apart from me a little bit in Mexico. He distanced himself more on the intimacy level. But we were building such a friendship and such a bond. We had good conversations. It escalated in Chicago because it’s a lot easier to talk when we’re not in a controlled environment as much.
How did it feel to watch the reunion drama? I was shocked Nick Lachey didn’t tackle Shake.
Yes, yes! They’re watching the show just like the rest of the world. They thought they saw some growth in Shake. To hear him talk this way at the reunion, they were like, Wait, something is off. And instead of him owning up to it, he was like, “You know what, no. I’m not sorry. I don’t need to change. I want to be myself.” It was shocking for us to hear that.
Vanessa brought up his mom taking your side. How did you feel when you saw that moment between Shake and his mom?
I know Shake values and loves his mom so much. And I do, too. She’s such a sweetheart. It was really cool to see her also be supportive because she understands. And he admitted, “Yeah, I do love my mom, but my viewpoint is opposing.” It’s interesting to see the balance.
One of the most exciting moments was Kyle professing his love for you! Had you heard that from him before?
A lot of people don’t know that Kyle and I had a really deep connection in the pods. He was my No. 2 person, so it wasn’t out of the blue. We do have this foundational bond. It was heartwarming and so sweet to hear.
Last night, he posted a TikTok with you in the background, and there was immediate dating speculation.
The speculation is hilarious. We’re playing with them a little bit, but it’s funny. Kyle and I have such a beautiful friendship. We’re just figuring it out.
Is love is even something on your radar right now?
Right now, the focus should be on myself because there is so much magnified. There are a lot of comments and opinions floating around. Adding another layer of complexity to that is really not the move.
One comment I keep seeing is “Deepti for Bachelorette.” Netflix also has a million dating shows. Would you ever try to find love on TV again?
Honestly, after seeing my family react to me being intimate onscreen, I’m not sure if I would go down that route. It would have to be the right dating show. I can’t be kissing a bunch of guys onscreen. That’s why I did Love Is Blind. It’s more serious. It’s marriage. It’s a commitment. I don’t know — I’m open to it!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.