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‘Love Is Blind’ Promises ‘Diligent’ Casting Process After Fans Question How Trevor Got Into the Pods

‘Love Is Blind’ Has a ‘Diligent’ Casting Process at ‘Every Single Step’
Jessica Vestal, Clay Gravesend, AD Smith, Jeramey Lutinski, Nick Lachey, Jimmy Presnell, Vanessa Lachey, Chelsea Blackwell, Brittany Mills, Kenneth Gorham, Amy Cortés, Johnny McIntyre Greg Gayne/Netflix

Finding 30 people in a single city who might be willing to fall in love and get married sight unseen is no easy task, and that’s why Love Is Blind’s casting process stresses “diligence” at “every single step.”

The Netflix series’ creator Chris Coelen told Variety on Friday, June 14, that the unique reality show has an equally distinctive casting process — but it isn’t perfect. Trevor Sova managed to be cast in Love Is Blind season 6 without producers realizing he had a girlfriend.

“In a lot of unscripted shows, I think that a lot of times, you’re looking for someone who’s a certain kind of character with a certain charisma. We do not do that. We are not leading with that,” said Coelen. “We’re looking for people who are genuine.”

The reality TV show character to lifelong influencer trail is well-trod by now. Love Is Blind attempts to avoid people looking to make it big by putting in a lot of groundwork.

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“Outreach is essential because we have to get the word out on a local level. We want reporters, politicians, realtors, salon owners, pastors, nurses, teachers and everyone in between,” VP of Casting Donna Driscoll told the outlet. “We want there to be a huge buzz around the city that we’re there and we’re looking for singles who are ready for a deep and meaningful relationship and marriage.”

Coelen, who also produces Married at First Sight, said their goal is to get a representative slice of whatever city they cast from before narrowing it down to 30 contestants via interviews.

“We want to make that tent as big as possible, to get as broad a cross-section of people as possible,” he said. “Then we put everybody through the same process and same filter as we narrow down the pool of people.”

Driscoll said this wide-net approach has helped Love Is Blind “expand the idea of what a candidate for reality television might look like or do for a living.” While many reality series would be stocked with aspiring actors, serial entrepreneurs and would-be influencers, Love Is Blind’s process pulls in people who might not go to a traditional casting call. In fact, Driscoll draws a hard line at anyone looking to build their reel or grow their social media following.

“Influencers and actors are off the table,” Driscoll said. “I want the people to come in and feel very authentic and raw — and that’s not to say that an influencer, model or actor could not do that. But I want to steer clear of getting somebody into the pod, as much as I possibly can, for the wrong reasons.”

She added, “I’m really hesitant to go down that road just because I want to make sure that their heart is in the right place.”

‘Love Is Blind’ Has a ‘Diligent’ Casting Process at ‘Every Single Step’
Nick Lachey, Vanessa Lachey, Amy Cortés, Johnny McIntyre Courtesy of Netflix

The vetting process doesn’t end there. Driscoll shared how Love Is Blind’s casting team dig deep into the potential casts’ digital footprints to see if any of the would-be contestants know each other.

“We are so diligent from the get-go. We cross-reference Instagram accounts — three times — to make sure there’s no connection between handles,” says Driscoll.

Even that level of research doesn’t always turn up information that would have disqualified candidates. Lydia Velez Gonzalez and Uche Okoroha from Season 5 of Love Is Blind had a previous relationship that was not documented anywhere that casting directors might have uncovered it. Season 6 contestant Trevor had a girlfriend who he was in touch with up until the day he left to film the show. Beyond a certain point, Driscoll thinks they just have to trust that contestants are being truthful.

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“When we get them on the phone for the final call, we always ask, ‘Is there anything that you haven’t told us that we need to know specifically about your relationships?’” she said. “We give them several opportunities to tell us the truth, and we know they’re human. We’re also human … We have to trust that all of what they’re telling us is true. Will all of our eyes be a lot more open after Trevor? Absolutely.”

Trevor has since apologized for being “untruthful” with producers throughout season 6, which debuted on Netflix earlier this year.

“I knew allegations about me had been made the night before we filmed the reunion but I for some reason didn’t read the actual texts and when I saw them pull up on a screen I felt like I was in a nightmare. Only that nightmare was about to be viewed by 50 million people and I had 3 seconds to think of a response,” Trevor shared via Instagram in April. “That being said I admitted I was wrong, I admitted I wanted to talk to an actual therapist vs my first time discussing it being filmed in front of an audience. Since then, I have been seeing a therapist and slowly acknowledging what I need to do to better myself.”

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