Netflix streamed its Love is Blind reunion special on Sunday night and most of Season Five’s cast members reunited to hash out their drama. Lydia and Milton, this season’s only married couple, are still together and caught viewers up on what they’ve been up to for the last year or so. They also addressed the fallout surrounding Lydia’s situation with Uche and Aaliyah, since Lydia knew Uche outside of filming the show and developed her own friendship with Aaliyah at the time. JP and Taylor also joined the cast and talked about how their relationship failed once they left the pods. Chris and Johnie showed up as well, revealing that they broke up after filming because Johnie found out Chris was seeing someone else behind her back while they were dating.
Izzy and Stacy clarified a lot of details about where their relationship currently stands at the reunion. In the finale episode, Izzy tells Stacy at the altar that he’s ready to get married but Stacy tells Izzy, “No.” She said she wants to keep dating and that she loves him, but that she’s not ready to get married and doesn’t want to rush into things. But at the reunion, Izzy explained that the two of them took a week apart and when they reunited to talk, Stacy broke up with him and said she didn’t love him anymore, something that caught him off guard. In the present day, they said they’re still friends and have been leaning on each other while the show has been streaming for the world to see.
Fans also learned that after Stacy broke up with Izzy and Chris broke up with Johnie, Izzy and Johnie had a fleeting rendezvous where they contemplated the idea of getting together themselves. At a cast get-together at a bar in Houston, Izzy and Johnie had a private conversation where he apologized to her for how he treated her at the cast barbecue that was filmed. Later that night, they kissed, but they ultimately decided they didn’t want to pursue anything further.
Now that the season is behind him, Izzy opened up more to Rolling Stone about his breakup with Stacy, his relationship with Johnie after filming, and how it felt to watch some of his cringier moments on screen.
This may have been the messiest season of Love is Blind we’ve seen unfold yet. How are you feeling having just filmed the reunion? Do you feel like you got the closure that you wanted and needed?
Izzy: To say the least. Yeah, we got everything out there. I feel pretty comfortable with everything and how it all ended.
How did it feel for you to watch this season back on screen after everything you went through in real life?
Izzy: It’s a mix of emotions. It’s honestly super cool to see how it all played out. It does make me emotional and it can be sad in some moments, but I think it’s just really cool to be able to watch how [Stacy and I] came about from beginning to the end. It’s pretty cool.
What is something that happened during filming that you wish made it onto the show?
Izzy: I wish they would have shown more of the emotional connection between me and Stacy and how all of that developed more, because it looks superficial and kind of just fun. People didn’t really see the deep conversations we had in the pods where she opens up a lot more and where we started forming more of that emotional bond.
Your finances were a big storyline this season and were something you and Stacy constantly focused on, discussed, and even fought about. When you signed up to do the show, were you prepared for something like that? Did you think your finances and credit score would be as important as they were?
Izzy: I didn’t think it was going to be as big of a deal as it turned out to be. Honestly, I wasn’t even expecting to come home with a fiancé going into this. You know what I mean? So finances were kind of the last thing on my mind. It really wasn’t a big deal for me. A lot of people [online] were like, “You didn’t have a job,” and accused me of things like that, and that’s where I would be concerned. But I was working, I had a really good job, it was just my credit score. I didn’t think that someone would not want to marry because of my credit score. I’ve been in the process of fixing it and that’s something that’s fixable. I do pay my bills and everything on time. I just have bad credit. For me, at least, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.
When Stacy said “No” to you at the altar after you said “Yes,” she explained that she loved you and wanted to continue dating you but that she wasn’t ready to commit to marriage. At the reunion, you revealed that you and Stacy took about a week apart, then when you and Stacy met up for the first time after the wedding, she said she didn’t actually want to be in a relationship with you anymore. Did you feel misled by her at the altar? Was that confusing for you?
Izzy: I was [confused] because she was like, “I still want to be with you. I still want to make this work. I just can’t marry you in a month’s span.” So I’m thinking on the realistic side, “OK, I understand that, but you still want to be with me, cool, I’m here for it.” So then when that conversation happened and I asked her if she’s even in love with me still and she said no, that really broke me because in my head, I’m going in [to the conversation] thinking we’re still going to be together, we’re going to work through this. I was just a bit blindsided.
You and Stacy mentioned that you’re on good terms now and have stayed friends since filming. Do you feel like you have a real, authentic friendship with Stacy?
Izzy: Yeah, absolutely. We actually just talked earlier today. Going through all this [Love is Blind] stuff coming out and airing, if anything, we’ve gotten even closer because of that. We check in on each other every day. She asked how my girlfriend is handling everything and yeah, our friendship is genuine and authentic. I feel like especially now with all this going on, we’re only getting even closer.
I think people will be interested to hear that you and Johnie had a brief romantic moment after filming wrapped. At the reunion, you talked about how you and Johnie kissed after you both ended your relationships with Stacy and Chris, and you said the two of you discussed the possibility of dating. Was it surprising to you that you were interested in entertaining a potential relationship with Johnie after all of the drama between you at the cast barbecue?
Izzy: How that came about was a lot of the cast was hanging out together at a bar so Johnie was there. I really just wanted to apologize to her for how I was because I didn’t really say too much in that barbecue about why I was upset. There were multiple things, it wasn’t just the Chris scenario, so I wanted to tell her that and also apologize and kind of clear that up more, and she cleared up her side about the whole Chris scenario. That was about an hour-long conversation, we left literally everyone and were just having drinks outside by ourselves on a bench, and we cleared it all up. After we sat there and talked for an hour [we were] like, maybe we should give this a shot, obviously there’s some chemistry there, and that’s how it came about. The night was good. We made up, we made out in my car, and we ended up staying that night together. We never hooked up or anything like that but we stayed together. Then we just realized it was too soon. I was not over Stacy and Johnie was still not over the fact that I told her “No” in the pods, and yeah, then we also kind of realized we may not be each other’s person at the same time, too. After that, we’ve just stayed really good friends and we’re friends to this day.
Were you nervous for Stacey to find out about what happened between you and Johnie since she made it clear she was not a fan of hers?
Izzy: At that point, I didn’t care. I was just so hurt so I was like, “You can’t be upset because obviously you didn’t want me.” So yeah, I didn’t really care. But then sitting there at the reunion, and I’m cool with both of them and they’re still not cool with each other, I was like, this is awkward. But at that time, I wasn’t nervous about it.
I wasn’t sorry for speaking the truth… I don’t regret the message, but I regret the delivery.
You apologized to Johnie in private and then you also apologized to her at the reunion, specifically saying, “I want to apologize to you because my delivery was horrible. That is not me, that was way out of character, I was an asshole, and I apologize for that. But I do not apologize for saying the truth. My delivery could’ve just been a lot better and I’m sorry for that.” Why did you think it was important for you to apologize to Johnie?
Izzy: I felt bad and wanted to discuss how I just bombarded her, didn’t really let her talk, and just kind of how I came at her. But I wasn’t sorry for speaking the truth… I don’t regret the message, but I regret the delivery.
How did it feel to watch the barbecue scene, specifically the confrontation between you, Johnie, and Stacy?
Izzy: I remember when I first saw it I cringed at myself. I was like, “Oh, God.” I was so embarrassed to see myself like that. It was gross. To be honest, at that time I wouldn’t have even wanted to have a conversation with her, I wouldn’t have even wanted to talk to her, but [production] made me have a conversation with her. If it were up to me, I would’ve completely stayed out of it and just watched other people’s shit unfold.
Reflecting on your confrontation with Johnie, do you think that situation with her has helped you grow or learn any lessons?
Izzy: I think I’m learning more [about myself] mainly just from that. Through the rest of the show, I don’t regret anything. I was my most vulnerable, open self for the entire thing and I’m the same way in real life other than that one scenario with Johnie and how I delivered that [message to her]. I think what I’ve learned from it is to really just reflect in that moment, think, and don’t react in the heat of the moment, just kind of take a breather on it, and then deliberately, calmly express my feelings, or sometimes just don’t even say anything at all. I would say that was my biggest takeaway from it.
You weren’t directly involved in the drama between Uche, Lydia, and Aaliyah but you were in the pods with the rest of the guys when Milton found out that Uche and Lydia knew each other outside of the show, and you were also at the barbecue when Uche and Lydia had their confrontation. What did you think about that whole situation?
Izzy: I was just so focused on myself. Even at the barbecue, I was just kind of sitting there as it was going on and I was more focused on Stacy and I. After the show, hearing some of the things that he was saying about me wasn’t cool. I didn’t understand where that was coming from, but he did see how I felt about that. He saw my podcast [interview] with Nick Viall [where I talked about Uche making comments about me] and so he reached out and apologized. He said he wishes he would have talked to me and he didn’t know I felt that way. He said Johnie kept feeding him stuff about me so it changed his perspective and he was like, “Now I’m seeing how Johnie really is and am seeing how much of a good guy you are, so I feel so bad.” He apologized and we’re cool.
Are you paying attention to what fans and viewers are saying online about you? What do you make of everyone’s feedback?
Izzy: As far as people online, I’m not reading the comments and I’m staying off TikTok. Obviously, I’m getting the shit end of it right now. There are also a lot of supportive people too, which I appreciate. As far as in real life and being out and being recognized, everyone’s been super sweet. It’s pretty crazy, especially now that I have a [new] girlfriend. Having to be out in public and hide myself [with her] has been kind of frustrating at times because I’m a very PDA-type of person. But overall, it’s been cool. I’ve just been enjoying the ride.
Is there anything else that you want to clarify or mention about your time on the show?
Izzy: The 50/50 thing. What I meant by that [when telling Stacy that both of us should take turns paying for dates] was later on down the road if we’re married. I always pay for my dates, I just want to make that clear. My girlfriend right now has not paid for a single thing. I just want to clarify that. But later on down the road if we’re married or something like that, every now and then [we can take turns] or if you forget your card one day, you know, stuff like that, just kind of get each other’s back. But yes, I’m a gentleman. I do take women out on dates and pay for it.
What have you learned about yourself from this whole Love is Blind experience?
Izzy: That people really do appreciate when someone is authentic, genuine, and open. I think that’s one thing I’m proud of myself for. I will never change that and that’s usually how I am in the real world as well. I feel like I did the whole thing right, from the pods all the way till the end. I’m pretty proud and I honestly would do it again.