One person was conspicuously absent from the “Love Is Blind” Season Five reunion on Oct. 13.
Uche Okoroha, a 34-year-old lawyer and founder, was involved with Aaliyah Cosby in the pods, and Lydia Velez Gonzalez out of them. Yet he did not attend the reunion to talk about history-making “Love Is Blind” season.
Uche told the publication The Messenger that he chose to attend a business conference in Mexico on behalf of his tax software company, rather than film the reunion.
“For me, it was more of, ‘Do I go to Mexico to this business conference that is potentially going to bring in a lot of revenue for my company, or do I go to this reunion that’s going to be very unproductive and there’s going to be yelling and screaming and drama and I’m not going to get paid anything for?’ So it was a very easy decision for me,” he told The Messenger.
“Love Is Blind” creator Chris Coelen told Variety he and other producers were “blindsided” to learn Uche and Lydia had dated as recently as three months before the experiment began.
Uche recalled speaking with a producer in an unrecorded interview during filming on the “Miss Understood” podcast. The producer asked what he was thinking, he said. “I think y’all went out and find somebody I used to date to have some kind of plot twist and mess with my head,” Uche said. “He said, ‘No, we absolutely didn’t. This surprised us just as much as it surprised you.'”
At the reunion, Aaliyah said she wished she had found out about the former relationship between her pod boyfriend and friend sooner. “Producers should have allowed them to share that information with us,” she said.
Right before she was going to get engaged to Uche, Aaliyah left the show. She felt her “boundaries” were violated by her former friend Lydia, who shared her details about her own relationship with Uche.
“I didn’t feel like (my boundaries) were gonna continue to be respected throughout, and that’s not the type of situation that anyone should have to endure or deal with going into an engagement,” Aaliyah said during the reunion. “That should be a happy moment. That should be a sacred moment.”
Aaliyah said that she and Uche did try to date after the pods, but he was different. “His tone with me was … very mean and kind of condescending,” she said. “That’s not the person I felt like I talked to in the pods.”
On the show, Lydia and Uche hashed out their former relationship, which seemed to have its share of tension. Uche accused Lydia of cyber stalking women he followed on Instagram. Lydia accused Uche of cheating.
Uche wasn’t at the reunion to discuss his behavior, but cast members shared they had heard from him.
Aaliyah and Lydia said Uche texted them an identical message the day before the season premiered: “Hey, I’m going to watch later tonight. If there’s anything that you want to discuss that you hear, I’m available.”
Cast member Milton Johnson, Lydia’s husband, said Uche texted him on his wedding day and reached out multiple times since.
“He occasionally still texts. He’ll reach out. No response. I won’t respond to him. No purpose, no point,” Milton shared. “The day I got married, he said, ‘Hey, man, heard you got married. Wanna talk about it?’”