Line-up of contestants for Love is Blind and how the Netflix dating series works

Are you watching Love is Blind? (Photo: Netflix)
Are you watching Love is Blind? (Photo: Netflix)

Netflix is branching out with the content it produces - alongside original films, TV shows and documentaries, reality dating show are being added to its roster.

Love is Blind challenges singles to meet, fall in love and get engaged - without ever seeing each other. This is everything you need to know about the controversial new show.

What is Love is Blind?

Netflix’s new reality dating series Love is Blind launched on 13 February, just before Valentine’s Day, with episodes dropping each Thursday.

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    “Nick and Vanessa Lachey host this social experiment where single men and women look for love and get engaged, all before meeting the person,” explains the Netflix synopsis.

    How does the show work?

    Perhaps Netflix’s most ambitious dating show so far, Love is Blind sees men and women take part in a journey to find love and get married - without ever setting eyes on each other.

    For the first 10 days, the participants speed date each other blind, communicating from behind the walls of individual pods.

    At the end of those 10 days, each man can propose to the woman he wants to marry, despite having never met her in person.

    Once engaged, the couples get to see each other in the flesh.

    The show then moves from the confines of the pods to the real world, following the men and women as they navigate their new lives as engaged couples.

    After moving in together and meeting each other’s families and friends, each couple can then get married if they feel the relationship works.

    Who stars in it?

    The show is presented by hosts Nick and Vanessa Lachey.

    Nick Lachey initially rose to fame as the lead singer of boy band 98 Degrees, but branched out in his creative endeavours, releasing four solo albums and also enjoying a recurring role on TV show Charmed.

    Vanessa Lachey is an American-Filipino TV personality, actress and model who was named Miss Teen USA in 1998.

    She also hosts Top Chef Junior and has appeared in a few films, such as Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Disaster Movie.

    These are all the contestants taking part in the show:

    Matt Barnett, a 27-year-old engineerAmber Pike, a 26-year-old former tank mechanicJessica Batten, a 34-year-old regional managerMark Anthony Cuevas, a 24-year-old fitness instructorLauren Speed, a 32-year-old content creatorCameron Hamilton, a 28-year-old AI scientistGiannina Milady Gibelli, a 25-year-old business ownerDamian Power, a 27-year-old general managerKelly Chase, a 33-year-old health coachCarlton Morton, a 34-year-old social media marketerDiamond Jack, a 28-year-old former professional NBA dancerAly, a 36-year-old nurse client relations directorLC, a 26-year-old recruiterKay Nicole, a 30-year-old administrative managerLexie Skipper, a 26-year-old sales managerEbony Alexis, a 30-year-old media journalistDanielle Drouin, a BMG modelAlyson CostaBriana Holmes, a web designerLillie Mae, a creatorAndy RickertWestley BaerRyan MartinJon, a 38-year-old mitigation company ownerTaylor, a 31-year-old creative directorKenny Barnes, 27-years-oldRory "Drybear" Newbrough, a 28-year-old brand directorMatt Thomas, director of Brawl for a Cause

    Why has it divided the internet?

    There are a few reasons that Love is Blind has garnered some criticism from the internet.

    For starters the show’s title has faced backlash for being ableist and discriminating against people who have disabilities.

    Others also feel that the show is essentially just a reworked and glamorised version of an arranged marriage.

    One Twitter user said: “Love is Blind show: “This is literally the first time an experiment like this has ever been done.

    “Everyone who's ever had an arranged marriage and/or courted without meeting: ….”

    Another reason some people feel uncomfortable with the show is due to the fact that, while it tries to explore the nature of falling in love without taking someone's appearance into account, it has exclusively cast good looking people.

    “So #LoveIsBlindNetflix is testing the hypothesis whether love is “blind” with a cast of conventionally attractive thin people, none of whom are visibly disabled, exclusively pairing up men and women together…” one Twitter user wrote.