Spoilers ahead for Love is Blind Episodes 3 and 4.
Returning with a new group of Houston singles looking to find love in the pods, Love Is Blind Season 5 wastes no time diving right into the drama. One of the most unexpected twists in the first batch of episodes arrived courtesy of cast member Uche Okoroha’s Episode 3-ending bombshell: He previously dated his frontrunner Aaliyah Cosby’s pods BFF Lydia Velez Gonzalez. When Lydia attempts to explain the relationship's timeline to Aaliyah, the pair also offers the biggest clues about when Love Is Blind Season 5 was filmed.
In the next episode, Lydia reveals that the last time she and Uche slept together “was back in January this year.” Then, in a separate interview setup, Aaliyah says, “You had sex three months ago, and I’m supposed to feel like that’s no big deal? I don’t like that. I would never put myself in a situation like this in my actual life.” Her comments seem to suggest that cameras began rolling sometime around late March.
Upon further investigation, it appears that this all went down more than a year ago, in March 2022. One potential indicator is the fact that Lydia was 30 years old during filming, as noted on screen, and she turned 32 in August 2023, according to her Instagram. (That’s also the updated age Netflix lists in Lydia’s updated bio.) When compared to the production timeline of past seasons, it’s likely that filming wrapped in late May or early June 2022. Netflix hasn’t yet announced plans for a potential Season 5 reunion.
In a May interview with Variety, series creator Chris Coelen addressed the long time gap between filming and the episodes premiering. “Working with Netflix is different than working with most linear networks. With a lot of linear networks, you can be delivering right up to the moment before air. Because Netflix is a global service, they want a lead time of several months, because they want to do subtitling and dubbing for their viewers all around the world,” the Kinetic Content CEO explained. “But I don’t think it really makes a difference in any way, shape or form. It’s the stories that are the most compelling thing.”
By the time episodes drop, contestants have had ample time to form deeper friendships off-camera, too. Love Is Blind Season 5’s Chris Fox tells Bustle that the cast is all “still pretty cool” with each other today. He even has a monthly lunch with fellow Houston-based “Pod Squad” members Jarred Gibson, Ernesto Solorzano, and Connor Moore. “We just kind of catch up,” Chris says. “We’re all kind of close in the area still, so it’s really easy for us to just pick a day to go grab a bite.”
His co-star, James “Milton” Johnson, on the other hand admits in a joint interview that he hasn’t “been the best at communicating with a lot of the cast members” because he works “way too much.” Chris gave his co-star a pass, though, chiming in, “We know Milton is the busiest out of all of us. But we do hear from him every once in a while, and it’s always great to hear from him.”