'Love Is Blind' Gets Off To A Messy Start — Just How We Like It

The fifth season of the bonkers reality dating show experiment is full of twists and surprises.
Lydia Velez Gonzalez, left, and Aaliyah Cosby in Episode 3, Season 5, of "Love Is Blind."
Lydia Velez Gonzalez, left, and Aaliyah Cosby in Episode 3, Season 5, of "Love Is Blind."
Netflix

At last, “Love Is Blind” fans, Netflix has given us a new season of our favorite reality dating series. The first four episodes of Season 5 began streaming Friday, with a new cast looking for love behind a wall.

And boy, do these episodes start off with a bang.

This season takes us to Houston, where, as usual, contestants quickly fall in love and a proposal happens between people who’ve never met. In 10 episodes, we find out if the couples get married or decide to part ways.

In the first four episodes, audiences witness a historic first in the “Love Is Blind” franchise — and it does not disappoint on the dramatic meter.

HuffPost reporters and editors will be live-blogging the season and providing our astute analysis on some of the messiest moments you’ll see on TV all year. Stay tuned for updates.

Netflix

The Trauma Dumping On 'Love Is Blind' Was Too Much

I get wanting to be vulnerable with someone you’re potentially going to spend the rest of your life with, and telling them about your trauma, but this felt like a lot. Maybe it was the way the episodes were edited, but it felt like one horrific story after another. Shouldn’t falling in love be a bit more fun and freeing than sad and tragic? Maybe that’s just me, and maybe that’s why I’m not married. HAHA. — Elyse

So I definitely think in an experiment like this, you probably end up feeling super close to someone very quickly. And so much of getting to know someone is getting to know some of the pain that’s happened in their lives. So it didn’t really bother me hearing these stories, but people’s reactions (especially Izzy about Johnie’s ex being an addict) feel very hard to watch. Sometimes you don’t know how to react or console someone about a traumatizing story, but immediately pushing someone away is not the way to do it. — Erin

I had to watch these episodes with my CBD juice in front of me, cause the trauma dumping every few minutes was giving me anxiety. It makes sense, though. They’re phoneless in these pods with strangers they’re supposed to fall in love with and copious amounts of alcohol, a playground for triggers and self-reflection. — Taryn
Netflix

There's 1 Thing Lydia Said On 'Love Is Blind' That Was Super Weird

OK, I have to admit that on my first viewing of Lydia and Aaliyah's blossoming friendship, I thought it was kind of sweet, because they both seem like pretty emotional ladies. But on a second viewing, Lydia’s motives in becoming friends with Aaliyah seem pretty sketchy and self-serving — Lydia’s assertions that she thinks she and Aaliyah are the same person gave me single-white-female vibes.

Also, is it bonkers to feel like Lydia likes to weaponize her emotions? She’s so unfiltered and unbridled with them that I feel like it may make people respond in trying to comfort her, rather than responding with their own authentic emotions. — Elyse

I’m not gonna lie: When Uche got mad at Aaliyah for cheating with someone who he’s never met two years ago, and she came running back to the women’s quarters, there was something very off to me about how Lydia comforted her. Specifically, Lydia telling Aaliyah “We’re the same” and “You don’t know how similar we are” felt weird to me. We know why now, but in that moment, it felt like Lydia was comforting herself more than being a place of solace for Aaliyah. And now we know that holds some truth.

Lydia was not being a true friend to Aaliyah. This is reality TV, so that doesn’t surprise me, but if she wanted to be a real friend, she would’ve been honest about her relationship with Uche from jump (since his ass wasn’t). Or at the very least, she would have read the room when Aaliyah was communicating verbally and nonverbally that she was uncomfortable with her sharing every little detail about her relationship with Uche.

Lydia seems sweet enough initially, but she can be so self-centered that she doesn’t listen to what people are saying, or ignores their boundaries altogether. — Taryn
Netflix

A 'Love Is Blind' Cast Member Dodged A Giant Red Flag

I was so proud of Aaliyah choosing herself — and seemingly straight-up ghosting the show — in the midst of all that chaos. Uche was not the one for her, and it was a situation marked with a giant red flag. I don’t agree with how she did it, though.

Because Aaliyah left her last conversation with Uche on a positive note, I wanted to at least see her hold his feet to the fire a bit. It felt like he left out information about his relationship with Lydia. And while I don’t think Aaliyah needed or wanted to be spoon-fed every detail, it obviously bothered her that she was finding out certain things from Lydia instead of Uche.

I do wish that Aaliyah would’ve at least told him why she didn’t want to continue with the experiment before leaving, just because I don’t think that was a situation that warranted ghosting him. — Taryn

Run, Aaliyah, run! I do not blame her at all for wanting out of this “experiment” after the BS that Uche and then Lydia pulled. Both Uche and Lydia proved to be pretty insincere people in a very short time. Personally, I’d have left the show as soon as my potential husband’s ex-girlfriend informed me that his favorite color is royal blue and it’s the same color as his Tesla.

But I got to say, Aaliyah may want to explore why she’s attracted to certain types of personalities. — Elyse

I hate to say this, but I’m glad Aaliyah left, because I got tired of seeing her cry every episode. — Erin

I’m so glad Aaliyah ran, but I just think this is all far from over. I really hope she doesn’t get back with him at some point. — Cambria
Netflix

One Simple Interaction Between This 'Love Is Blind' Couple Was A Dead Giveaway

Whew, when JP and Taylor met, I was cringing from the awkwardness of it all. They are both very slow to chat, especially JP. I don’t know how this is going to work.

I did want to talk about their kiss, though. The aggressive peck was... something, and I’m wondering if their kisses will get better with time. I’ve watched SO many reality dating shows and have seen SO many kisses (word to “The Bachelor”), and this kiss was giving "OK, let’s just be friends instead." — Erin

I can’t stand how JP kisses and his constant pecks. Just hold the kiss a little longer, JP! I don’t see this working out, solely based on the way he kisses. Oh, and we need to talk about their nicknames for one another. I visibly cringed at the constant use of “Sugarbutt” and “Sugar.” — Cambria

Those pecks gave me very much “I’m not that into you.” But hey, maybe he’s just an awkward mess. Or both! — Taryn

JP’s decision to call Taylor “Sugar” after she called him “Sugarbutt” was about the most unimaginative pet name I’ve ever heard. Do better, Woody Harrelson lookalike! — Elyse
Netflix

Only One 'Love Is Blind' Couple Is Our Favorite So Far

Stacy and Izzy remind me of the "jock and popular mean girl" couple in high school. They’re cute enough, I guess, but I don’t really care for them. But out of everyone, they’ll most likely be the ones to say “I do.” Hope it’s worth it! — Taryn

OK, honestly, I liked Stacy’s decision to keep her budding relationship with Izzy to herself instead of unleashing every emotion she had to all the other women in the cast. I also like how she never spoke negatively about Johnie to Izzy or the other women, despite Johnie talking smack about Stacy to anyone she could.

I felt less of an impulse to fast-forward through Stacy and Izzy’s pod dates. They seemed to have much more fun getting to know one another. Plus, I was impressed by Stacy’s ability to express how her emotions affect her physically. To me, that shows she’s more in tune with her emotions than she thinks she is.

Also, I thought their face-to-face meet was pretty cute, like how Stacy admitted she hadn’t shaved her legs and how Izzy cracked a joke that he'd washed his hair for her. I hope these two can get a bit deeper with one another, but all in all, they’re my favorites so far. — Elyse
Netflix

The New 'Love Is Blind' Season Has A Big Twist — And It's Messy AF

As someone who is an avid “Love Is Blind” fan, it’s definitely the first time we've seen that two cast members already knew each other outside of the pods — though, who knows what was edited out in prior seasons.

I think it may have been better for everyone if these two had just told everyone in the cast they knew one another right away. I think the other cast members would have had an easier time digesting that information up front. — Elyse

I hollered when Uche revealed this and the producers cut to the clip of him and Lydia in the pods. This is the type of scandalousness that I long for in my reality TV. Just messssssyyyyyyyy.

Both of them are truly pieces of work, OK. This is the part where I usually suggest therapy, but honestly y’all might want to turn this into a Tubi original the way y’all are in these pods holding this secret. I don’t blame Aaliyah for being devastated about this news, especially as more information came to light. It’s clearly not ideal to date someone whose ex is in the pods with you, but I agree, Elyse — say something early on!

Robbing both Aaliyah and Milton of vital information about their immediate situation, until damn near a day before the proposal date, makes you look more like an opp than a potential spouse. Milton obviously processed the information in a way that made him stay, but Uche also wasn’t all up in his ear telling him every detail about Lydia’s life. — Taryn

This is so messy, but I do think revealing it to everyone in the pods from the beginning would have been their best bet. That wouldn’t make for good TV though! I'm also just confused how Uche and Lydia dated for two years? They just don’t seem like they’d work together. Uche seems so controlling, and Lydia seems so out of control, that it feels like it’d be a disaster waiting to happen. I’m kind of dying to see how they interact outside of the pods. — Cambria

LOL, I personally am glad they waited to reveal that they knew each other, because that made for riveting television. It definitely set up this season to be so messy. And that makes me happy. — Erin
Netflix

Johnie Is Beyond Manipulative On 'Love Is Blind'

I felt this pairing was about as interesting as Johnie with Chris. But I think Izzy made a decent choice in cutting her loose. Johnie’s reasons for wanting to be with Izzy and then Chris (after she already rejected him) were a master class in using language to manipulate situations. She really did tell both men the same exact thing with just a few tweaks personalized to each guy.

I do also find it highly amusing that she called Chris a “safe” aka boring choice, because she’s about as spicy as cottage cheese. — Elyse

LMAO. Elyse, you’re killing me, lol! As much as I find Johnie to be manipulative, I don’t like Izzy either. He started off pretty open and then, in his conversation with Johnie, he seemed to be turned off at the very first moment of her being open about her past. It seems like he wants some perfect, never-scarred woman, and it’s going to be annoying watching him navigate a relationship this season. — Erin

I still don’t totally understand why Johnie opening up about her ex being an addict made Izzy run. Hadn’t they talked about other serious things? I’m confused why that was the deal-breaker for him. He honestly seems like he is just there for fun and a good time, nothing serious. So I’m not surprised about who he ended up choosing. I don’t like Izzy or his cuffed pants! — Cambria

SPICY AS COTTAGE CHEESE LOL.

Izzy is interesting to me, and not in a good way. I didn’t care for his connection with Johnie very much. I really only started paying attention to it when I realized she was lying to both him and Chris, and running game so she could at least walk out of there with a consolation prize. — Taryn
Netflix

This 'Love Is Blind' Couple Was Destined To Crash And Burn From The Beginning

Whew! Where do I start with these two? I knew they were destined to crash and burn the moment they started talking about their love for spoken word. No shade to anyone who’s of that community, but poets are the most headass people I know. Aaliyah’s favorite movie being “Love Jones” (great film, horrible model for a relationship) was just the icing on the cake.

When Aaliyah told Uche that she cheated on a previous partner two years ago, you would’ve thought that she cheated on him judging by his reaction. Uche had no grace or appreciation for her honesty in the moment. Instead, he ripped her a new one, calling her selfish and acting holier-than-thou. I didn’t mind Uche initially, but the way he handled the situation was a huge red flag. He completely showed his ass. And in my experience, the people who cut up in the midst of other people admitting to their mistakes have the biggest secrets to hide. (More on that later.)

They made up, but Uche’s unwillingness to look at Aaliyah as a human is indicative of how he’d act in a marriage. Aaliyah deserved so much better than that. — Taryn

I agree, Taryn. The moment they began bonding over spoken word, I knew this couple was not long for this world. I find Uche so triggering and Aaliyah so sweet. She was so vulnerable and felt so awful about cheating in the past, and instead of being understanding, Uche seemed to prey on that. He acted so morally superior throughout the entire interaction. That man is a walking red flag. — Cambria

I was honestly pretty bored with this season, until Aaliyah confided to Uche that she had cheated on a partner in the past. This interaction left me SEETHING. He made her feel like it was a safe space, and then scolded her for doing something she clearly felt a lot of shame about. Considering that we later find out he hid the fact that he not only knew Lydia but recently had sex with her, his holier-than-thou attitude toward Aaliyah once cheating seems wildly judgmental.

And maybe this is just me, but I’m also not a fan of Uche’s brand of flirting. It’s negative and reeks of control issues. For instance, when Aaliyah said she likes to eat Splenda packets or honey on its own, he responded with something along the lines of “Ew, that’s gross,” instead of making her feel like it was OK to unleash her inner Winnie-the-Pooh. I’d like Aaliyah to find herself a Piglet or a Tigger, not a self-important Rabbit! — Elyse

Uche’s vibe annoyed me from the very beginning, when he was peppering Miriam (who really only has one short scene in the first four episodes) with a zillion questions like it was a job interview. Then I could kind of see (if I squinted with one eye) why Uche and Aaliyah were bonding because their conversations flowed much more naturally. (Though I did roll my eyes at the “Love Jones” moment.) But the cheating moment really sent me over the edge, with Uche acting as the moral authority in the situation.

I would have had to end it there, if I were Aaliyah. But now that I know what happens with them later on in the first four episodes, I’m livid with how he reacted. More on that later. — Erin
Netflix

We Really Don't Like One Of The 'Love Is Blind' Singles

ZZzzzZZZzzzz. There’s something about Johnie that makes me want to go to sleep, or eat a bowl of oatmeal. Like she could def host a podcast where she reads bedtime stories to adults. — Elyse

LMAOOOOO Elyse I know exactly what you mean. Chris is really a sweetheart who needs to just meet someone out in the real world, and Johnie is a bad person disguised as raisin bran. — Taryn

Well, see, that’s why I was caught off guard by Johnie’s actions. Her demeanor gives chill, low-key and thoughtful, but nah, she... is not. Because I love to watch drama that doesn’t affect me, I kind of wanted to see what a relationship between these two would have looked like. But in the end, I’m glad Chris decided to choose himself instead. — Erin

Agreed! Was very proud of Chris for not standing for being second. — Taryn
Netflix

This May Have Been The Worst Pick For A 'Love Is Blind' Cast Member — Ever

This man is 24 and doesn’t want to talk about his emotions. Why is he trying to get married? Which casting producer decided he’d make a good fit for the show? Terrible pick. — Erin

It’s a really off-the-wall pick. Especially when nearly everyone else is in their late 20s/early 30s. As soon as he couldn’t find the cooler sitting right next to him, I was like, what are we doing here? — Cambria

OK, OK, hear me out. Should Milton be here? Absolutely not. Am I glad he’s here? I sure am. He really doesn’t give a damn about most things, and on a show where most people take shit so seriously, it’s a good balance. There’s no way in hell he’s ready for marriage, though. Especially not with Lydia’s 30-year-old ass. Like yes, y’all have fun, but what else is there really? — Taryn

Milton is here to find a woman who is really impressed by his Pokemon collection, duh. — Elyse

LMAO. Touche! — Erin
Netflix

One 'Love Is Blind' Contestant Made A Big Fashion Blunder

Why did Izzy have his pants rolled up mid-calf in so many scenes in the pods? I understand wearing chinos, but they were rolled up so far, they were basically capris — why?

The man even had sweatpants rolled halfway up his calves in one scene. I honestly thought this fashion trend was out. It bothered me and I just had to point it out. — Cambria

LMAO, I definitely noticed his calves being all out with those pants. It gives me a certain ~vibe~ about him that adds to why I started to get annoyed with him throughout these episodes. Just like it annoys me that JP is always wearing red, white and blue. Patriotism? In this economy? Ew. — Erin

The men also all wear cowboy boots! I get that we’re in Houston, but come on. The fashion among this “Love Is Blind” group is not it. — Cambria

LOL not “Fashion Is Blind.” — Taryn
Netflix

We're Convinced A 'Love Is Blind' Contestant Makes Skin Lightening Creams

I’m convinced that Miriam started a product for skin lightening. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. She definitely seemed hesitant to mention exactly what it was during her date with Uche, and she must know that those creams are very controversial and harmful. Nigeria, where Miriam was born and raised, has a huge percentage of people who use skin-bleaching products, and they are prevalent in several African and Asian countries.

I’m also wondering why they even included this exchange between Uche and Miriam. Uche seemed to be throwing questions at her left and right in a way that doesn’t even spark actual dialogue. So this immediately had my guard up about him. — Erin

I think you’re right, Erin! Her response to those questions was SO odd. She seemed like a deer caught in headlights. But I do agree that that interaction had me suspicious of Uche. He has such weird vibes. — Cambria

That makes so much sense, Erin! I just wrote her off as a scammer. Honestly, it’s probably both.

Uche is a little slimy. He’s always waiting for a “gotcha” moment. — Taryn
Netflix

Just As One Relationship Ends, We Get A New Season Of 'Love Is Blind'

I had been waiting for Jackie Bonds and Josh Demas to break up ever since watching that mostly boring three-part special "After the Altar" last month. The only interesting thing in the special happened in the final part, as we learned several new things about the "Love Is Blind" Season 4 cast.

Josh had previously proposed to Jackie's friend Monica Rodriguez, who I don't even remember being on the series. The relationship epically crashed and burned, and then Josh got all weird toward Monica, and Monica posted about it on social media to tell her story since it hadn't aired on TV.

Meanwhile, lots of drama obviously went down between Jackie and her ol' boo Marshall Glaze. Yadda, yadda, yadda. So there was a lot of tension whenever any of those cast members were in the same place on the special. It reminded me of how many moments we don't see on this seriously addictive series — and how sometimes TV editors cannot predict how interested audiences will actually be in some storylines. (Why did we just find out about Monica and Josh's proposal? I guess we'll never know.)

But I digress. The point is that a new season of "Love Is Blind" is here, and we get to meet a new cast who promise to stir up just as much drama. I will be chatting it up with my co-workers about this bonkers experiment of a show.

Stay tuned, because it is going to be a wild ride.

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