The double edge sword of reality TV. Iyanna McNeely found The One in Jarrette Jones on Love Is Blind season 2, but not before he formed a strong connection with Mallory Zapata — which the couple had to watch back when the series started streaming.
“For me, watching it was really awkward,” Iyanna admitted to Us Weekly during an exclusive interview with Jarrette.
The project manager nearly proposed to Mallory in the pods before she picked Salvador “Sal” Perez. During the group trip to Mexico after their respective engagements, things got awkward when Jarrette and Mallory met in person, and he pointed out that Sal didn’t pick out the ring she described she wanted.
“I knew about the conversation beforehand. They both told me about it, but I think they both kind of forgot the details of it,” she continued. “So when I watched, I was like, ‘Ah, God.’ Like, it was just so awkward. But at the same time, while the feelings felt fresh, I was constantly reminding myself, ‘That’s not who he is.’ And he’s proven for almost nine months now who he actually is. I’m not gonna make excuses for him, but I think it was just how fresh everything was.”
Jarette also admitted that it was “definitely hard” to watch that episode.
“I think, in the moment, you’re coming off this high of you’re just now leaving the pods and you’re seeing the other person that you had a connection with for the first time. I definitely think I could have tailored the conversation a different way,” he told Us. “But that’s no excuse for the conversation that did happen. It definitely was a little cringey, also, like she said, [I] just have to remind myself that this was something that happened months ago. We’ve moved past that. We’ve grown past. I’ve done everything that I needed to do every day to just reassure [Iyanna] that, you’re the only one and I made the right choice, and I made the choice for a reason.”
During the finale, Jarrette and Iyanna were one of the two couples who said “I do” at the altar.
“She’s a better fit for me because she’s everything that I needed,” he gushed to Us. “On paper, me and Mal would’ve worked out. … I think with Iyanna — she was vastly different and I think those differences are things that I needed in my life to help me grow and be a better person and be a better husband.”
Mal and Sal, meanwhile, opted not to wed. While they nearly reconnected after filming, things are now over for good.
“Mallory and I had a date afterward and we talked about everything,” Sal told Us. “We got some closure on a lot of stuff and we just — we tried everything. We tried everything from a romantic standpoint and in that date, we just got our closure and decided to part ways. And since then, we’ve just checked in on each other and I wish her the best, and I have my respect for her, you know, and everything like that. We tried, we were vulnerable with each other and that’s all we can really do.”
Season 2 of Love Is Blind is streaming on Netflix.