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Kwame Appiah Has (Almost) No Regrets After Love Is Blind

Photo: Netflix

Kwame Appiah wasn’t exactly the villain of Love Is Blind season four — especially considering his competition in that category — but you wouldn’t call him the season’s hero, either. Baffling is more the word to describe his onscreen presence and behavior, which left viewers with more questions than answers. Why did he propose to Chelsea Griffin so soon after being rejected by Micah Lussier? Was it worth it spending 20 minutes flirting with Micah in full view of both their respective intendeds, all of their pod friends, a full camera crew, and the general viewing public? Has Chelsea met Kwame’s mom? How is his sister so cool? What, exactly, is his beef with the city of Seattle?

Kwame’s image problem, in hindsight, could be that he was a little too honest about his feelings and, specifically, his hesitations. But at the end of the day, Kwame ended the series marrying Chelsea, and the tensions viewers saw between the two seemed to dissipate immediately. Kwame told Vulture that those tensions weren’t due to lack of love; they were just having the hard conversations in front of the cameras. (Not everybody can be Brett and Tiffany.) Ahead of Sunday’s live reunion, when we’ll find out where the couple stands today, Kwame fills in all the blanks of his LIB journey — about his mom, Micah, and what we didn’t see on his road to learning that Chelsea is the “love of his life.”

What made you want to go on the show? 
I’m sitting on the couch one day — I think it’s like 2018 or something like that — when I get a call from someone asking me if I would ever want to do a dating show, and I was like, “Probably not.” I never thought I’d want to do something like that. I ended up going through with it but didn’t go all the way. However, that meant my name was, I guess, in some magic file. When I got reached out to about Love Is Blind, I was actually pretty excited. I thought this was a great way for me to figure out what I wanted to do next with my life.

Like sort of a way of forcing yourself to figure it out. 
I’ve been dating for a really long time. I did have difficulty taking that next step forward. I thought having an opportunity to connect with 15 really accomplished, really successful, really driven people would help me define what I wanted in a relationship, and what was holding me back.

From the very first episode, you said that Micah was your No. 1. After that relationship ended. what made you decide to focus on Chelsea rather than just packing it up?
One thing that I really, really want to highlight is that my connection with Chelsea in the pods was actually, like, next level. Although the connection felt natural and good with Micah, I did feel like we weren’t progressing past a certain degree, which is why there’s an episode when I say, like, “Hey, I’m starting to fall for someone else.” I wanted to be honest, because I started to feel really strong connections. I wanted to avoid a love triangle.

Micah and I had a bridge that we weren’t able to cross. We got to a point where we were just having la-di-da fun, but we were never getting serious. I started to feel strongly about Chelsea, and that’s why it was a no-brainer to me. I knew I wanted to head in that direction regardless of what happened. It just took that defining moment.

It seems like you didn’t get to that realization right away. We saw you get really emotional after the breakup with Micah. Was it hard to be vulnerable like that, knowing it was all being filmed?
I didn’t hold back throughout the entire experience. I told my truth. And I want men to be comfortable with crying. That’s okay. I hadn’t cried for years until that point. I knew it was gonna be out there, and part of me wanted to hide it. At first, I put something over my face and tried to cry under a blanket. I quickly realized, like, this is me just showing the world that I’m here for the right reasons. I’m not here to be on TV. I’m here to find my person.

We’ve all been in those relationships that we knew weren’t right for us, and we broke up with them, or they broke up with us, and we’re still sitting in our room eating ice cream for three weeks. I wanted everyone to know I was going through something and I was feeling it and I was all right with that.

After you guys get out of the pods, you’re having all these long conversations with Micah. At the time, did you realize that this might make Chelsea uncomfortable? 
Man, the Mexico scene was tough. That was really hard to watch. Having to go through that again and feel it and think, Wow, how could I be so stupid? You fall for this person, then the first time you see them, you become overwhelmed with emotion. It was dumb, it was immature, and I let my ego get the best of me there.

What about the moment at Chelsea’s birthday party?
In all honesty, I feel like Micah and I were both feeling “I’m glad we bumped into each other, because it helped us realize what we wanted.” My entire life I’ve dated Micahs. Well, I guess Pod Micah. I’m going to be honest, Pod Micah’s a little different from real-life Micah.

It might seem unfair, but I made sure to check in with Chelsea and made sure that that was an okay conversation. I hope it didn’t come off too disrespectful, because at that point in time, I knew where my heart belonged, and my fiancée was okay with that conversation.

What was it like seeing Chelsea for the first time?
You know the scene of the boudoir shoot? Chelsea always had this dream of doing that Calvin Klein shoot with her partner. And I’ve always wanted to go clubbing with my partner. I really, really like to dance. Chelsea’s my biggest hype-woman, and I’m her biggest hype-man.

Some of your conversations with your mom, and conversations with Chelsea about your mom, were a few of the most heartbreaking moments of the whole season. How are things now? Has your mom met Chelsea?
They have met. And Chelsea is Chelsea, right? I appreciate every fiber of her being, because she’s very extra, and that makes me love her more, because she just doesn’t care. I remember us all meeting and her still being very extra and me being like, “Baby, stop being extra, stop being extra.” But my mom embraced her for the first time. My sister is super-loud, super-in-your-face as well, so she’s been really helpful with the mom conversation. When we all got to meet and Chelsea was herself, my mom saw that as, “Wow, she is already basically like the daughter I already have.”

My sister has been my best friend my entire life. We have this really playful, lovable relationship. And her seeing me and Chelsea have that as well, it made it feel like it was natural and meant to be. We want to have a traditional Ghanaian wedding and invite my mom to that.

Before the wedding, you expressed a lot of doubts, from your mother’s approval to living in Seattle. Have you found a running track?
Man, Seattle’s going to hate me for that one. I wish we could just, like, mute that for anyone who lives in Seattle, but it was hard for me. My first experience in Seattle wasn’t great. But the apartment that we live in now is my favorite place I’ve ever lived.

My mom was definitely one of the biggest moments holding me back, but when I saw how happy my sister was with Chelsea, I thought, This is a good moment for me. I always knew I was gonna say yes. Chelsea is my everything, and she tells me every day I’m her everything. At that point in time it was difficult and I felt like I definitely needed people to approve of it. But at the stage we’re at, I realize nobody’s approval matters but the love of my life.

How many pink items are in your kitchen at this moment?
I wish I could pick up the computer and take you for a walk. In our kitchen, all of our utensils are pink. We have pink candleholders on our island. We have a bunch of pink accent items around the kitchen. The best pink thing in our apartment has got to be Chelsea’s fortress of solitude, which is a corner that has these two deep, deep, very, very pink chairs, and they face the window. We sit there sometimes at night or in the morning and just talk or watch the sunset. I’ve always been someone who’s very minimalist by the way that I like to decorate. You saw …

Oh, we saw the apartment.
Which, by the way! I don’t live like that! I’m so upset about that. I do not live like that, all right? That has to be said. Yeah, that’s coming up at the reunion. That’s the dirtiest my apartment has ever been, by the way.

Has Calvin Klein reached out to you guys for any modeling gigs?
We’re waiting! [Laughs.]

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Kwame Appiah Has (Almost) No Regrets After Love Is Blind