Love Is Blind: Breaking Down a Shake-y Reunion

Love Is Blind’s season two reunion has finally arrived, bringing with it all the drama viewers could have wanted after a chaotic season. The special, hosted by Vanessa and Nick Lachey, answered key questions fans had been asking since last week’s surprising finale. Below, Vanity Fair writers Chris Murphy and Yohana Desta break down the episode’s biggest moments, from Shake’s full-blown villainy to the most surprising reveals from married couples Iyanna and Jarrette and Nick and Danielle.

Yohana Desta: Bless the evil TV genius who invented the concept of reality show reunions—because I, no exaggeration, might have died without this one. Shake stepped into his villain era. Kyle confessed he should have gone for Deepti. Danielle and Nick didn’t argue. Nick Lachey said “musician to musician” to Sal, awakening the nation’s repressed memory of his pop star days. Chris, we have so much to unpack here!

Chris Murphy: I’ve been quietly watching from the sidelines as you’ve covered Love Is Blind this season, aghast at how deeply and truly mismatched I found almost every couple—including the “successful” ones, like party boy Jarrette and homebody Iyanna. But the reunion would have us believe that they’re still going strong. Still, I have my doubts. It’s also kind of insane that I can’t recognize half of the Love is Blind lab rats—excuse me, I mean, vulnerable and brave daters—since the season ended. (Kyle’s nose ring, in particular, gave me pause.)

Desta: Let’s dive into the actual couples a bit more. The matching outfits they wore were a bit much, but I will say the reunion has somewhat convinced me that Iyanna and Jarrette are…maybe the real deal? They seemed so happy and serene, and they spoke about their issues so thoughtfully. There was no angst over past mistakes, no grudges held. Maturity! Meanwhile, I’m genuinely surprised to see Nick and Danielle still together. Their wedding was one of the most stressful things I saw this year, and I spend 92 percent of my waking hours watching TV.

But they’re together! And they have matching fake Jeff Koons balloon dogs! Nick dances on tables now—or at least, on the kitchen island, because it’s made of granite. Against all odds (primarily, an evil eye cast by me), those two are somehow making it work.

Murphy: While I wish Nick and Danielle and their Koons balloon dogs the very best of luck, I’d say I left the reunion most confident in Iyanna and Jarrette’s relationship. It feels shocking to type this out, but I think those two crazy kids might make it! Iyanna, specifically, really impressed me with her growth since the season ended. She didn’t blame Mallory for Jarette’s shady actions, and rightfully directed her anger at her betrothed! She correctly diagnosed Shake as a raging narcissist (although, I suspect that’s only the tip of the iceberg there)! Jarrette seems like he’s also done some internal work on himself—no more Taco Tuesdays for you, buddy!

But let’s get back to the pariah of the hour. Yohana, what did you think of Shake constantly interrupting the other couples and complaining about his edit just 30 seconds into the reunion? I, for one, simply don’t believe Netflix possesses the technology to literally put words in people’s mouths. At least not yet.

Desta: Ted Sarandos is working on that as we speak. But Shake. Good god, Shake. I don’t even know where to begin.

I feel so bad for Deepti, who was elegantly disassociating on the couch as Shake doubled down on his gross remarks and bro-y behavior. (“I’ve always kept it completely 100!”) Shake said exactly one true thing—that Kyle and Shaina just wanted to stay on the show, whoops!—but that was it. I would say he talks like someone who has never been told to shut up by anyone in his life, but multiple cast members told him to shut up in the reunion episode alone. Sal didn’t even speak for the first 15 minutes of the reunion, but still used his first words to calmly tell Shake to shut up. Even Vanessa Lachey got tired of him, telling Shake that he should have just been on a different show.

Personally, I agree—maybe Survivor, or Naked and Afraid. Something that would keep him far away from the dating pool and, you know, polite society in general.

Murphy: Shake did spill when he called Kyle and Shaina out for sticking it out because they wanted to stay on the show—because that’s precisely why he proposed to Deepti. Terrible game recognize terrible game!

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