Netflix Used Desperate Tactics to Cast 'Love Is Blind'

Producers slid into contestants' DMs and catfished them on Tinder to get them on the show.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Love Is Blind
Still via The Ellen Degeneres Show

After watching the contestants on Love Is Blind get engaged four days after pseudo-meeting each other through an opaque blue wall, drunkenly fight over the Performance Fishing Gear shirt of a man that is Barnett, and otherwise bare their souls to millions of people on Netflix, you're left with two pressing questions: Why would anyone ever agree to do this, and how did Netflix convince them to participate?


On Tuesday, we finally got some answers. Three couples—Barnett and Amber, Cameron and Lauren, and Damian and Giannina—went on The Ellen Degeneres Show, where they revealed that the casting producers used some bizarre tactics to lure them in—including, uh, catfishing.

“I’m probably one of the most interesting cases because they actually found me on Tinder,” Damian told Degeneres. “I started chatting with this girl, hit it off. She was like, 'Add me on Instagram.' We had a pretty good connection. Then she’s like, ‘I’m a casting producer.’ I’m like, ‘Catfish… haha.' Now I’m here.”

The idea of trusting some stranger who slides into your DMs and asks if you maybe want to get engaged on television, sight unseen, is wild. But somehow it worked.

“I was at a bar with a group of girlfriends and I was telling them how there are no men for me in the city, and at that moment I got a DM on Instagram and it was this person telling me, 'Hey, you can fall in love and potentially get married,'" Giannina told Degeneres. “I was like, 'This is the universe speaking to me.'”

Lauren, the most normal-seeming person on the show, had a significantly more reasonable explanation as to why she signed up—her dating life "wasn’t going that well," she said, and she just figured, "Well, let’s see what happens." For her part, ex-tank mechanic Amber had apparently had trouble translating her experience as a… former tank mechanic… into another job, and needed something to do with herself.

“I honestly only chose to do it because I was out of work at the time and I was going stir crazy because I was workman’s comp so I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t do anything,” she told Degeneres. “I was like, 'Find love? This could be interesting—why not?' And I ended up with a whole husband.”

It's been riveting, now that Love Is Blind is over, to hear about how things have turned out for these brave souls: After breaking off their engagement, Giannina and Damian are somehow dating again; Amber and Barnett are still together, which I will refrain from commenting on; and Lauren and Cameron are happily married, because they are golden, perfect human beings who can do no wrong. Also, Jessica and Kelly have apparently known each other for a decade? Love Is Blind, baby. Truly the gift that keeps on giving.

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