Here’s Exactly When & Where The Ultimatum: Queer Love Was Filmed

Netflix changed the initial plan for the spinoff.

Originally Published: 
'The Ultimatum: Queer Love' cast filming in San Diego, via Netflix's press site

Even after Netflix finished shooting The Ultimatum: Queer Love, the series was meant to be the second season of the original series, The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On. Even as of July 2022, executive producer Chris Coelen still referred to the all-queer installment as The Ultimatum Season 2, revealing to Variety that they’d already completed filming and were “deep into” the post-production process. Months later, the team decided to give the concept its own spinoff, instead.

“We, along with Netflix, sort of made a decision to create a new franchise where there’s Ultimatum: Marry or Move On and there’s Ultimatum: Queer Love, and felt like it made sense to differentiate the two,” the Kinetic Content CEO explained to Variety when the Queer Love trailer dropped in April. “There are slight nuances to each of the shows. The shows are very similar in their DNA, but you know, having a different host for the different versions made sense to us as we talked about going into it.”

In fact, Coelen’s team began filming the JoAnna Garcia Swisher-hosted installment just months after the flagship Ultimatum series wrapped in May 2021. As cast members and original couple Xander Boger and Vanessa Papa confirmed to Bustle, Queer Love filmed between September and November 2021, and the cast came back together to film the reunion special more than a year later in January 2023.


As a fan of The Ultimatum and Love Is Blind, Garcia Swisher was excited to see “the inner workings of [filming] and how it all comes together.” She says that the experiment got real for the cast when cameras officially began rolling. “It’s a testament to the people involved in the show who were willing to share their love stories and be vulnerable,” she says. “ They were all coming at it from such different perspectives and really bringing their stuff. That’s not easy to do when there are cameras rolling, so it takes a lot of bravery and a lot of trust in the process.”

Where Was The Ultimatum: Queer Love Filmed?

The exterior shots on the show made clear that filming took place in San Diego, California. If the skyline and landmarks weren’t enough of a giveaway, some of the shoot locations included several Southern California eateries. Unlike the original Ultimatum and Love Is Blind seasons, though, the Queer Love cast didn’t live in the area. Though Lexi Goldberg was born and raised in nearby Los Angeles, for example, Xander and Vanessa were based in Kailua-Kona Hawaii, while Yoly Rojas and Mal Wright hailed from Chicago.


That being said, the possibility of a long-distance relationship was an issue the couples had to navigate during their trial marriages. Regardless of the outcomes, though, Garcia Swisher was grateful the cast shared their journeys. “At the end of the day, these love stories — no matter how they end — are important stories that need to be celebrated.”

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