Love is Blind creator DEFENDS reality dating show after stars Lydia Velez ... trends now
Love is Blind creator Chris Coelen has insisted the show's producers had no clue that singletons Lydia Velez Gonzalez and Uche Okoroha had dated before appearing on the show – revealing bosses were left scrambling over whether to let them stay in the experiment.
The first four episodes of season five of the hit Netflix dating series arrived on Friday, and left viewers - and show bosses - aghast when the singletons confirmed they already knew each other on an intimate level.
The bombshell was dropped when geologist Lydia, 32, instantly recognized 34-year-old Uche's voice during their initial meeting in the pods, prompting producers to intervene and take them into separate rooms.
Reflecting on the unexpected curveball, Coelen insisted their romance - which took place three months before the show filmed - wasn't made known to producers during the rigorous screening process, as he revealed why Uche and Lydia had to keep quiet about their secret past.
Love is Blind star Lydia Velez Gonzalez recognized Uche Okoroha's voice while meeting for the first time in the pods
Uche and Lydia had dated one another for several weeks, three months before filming the Netflix dating show - and had a physical relationship
'The fact that Lydia and Uche not only knew each other, but had a prior romantic relationship, was a complete surprise to me. I was totally blindsided,' he told Variety.
'It was a complete shock. To be honest, it was like, "What are we gonna do?" Nobody had any idea.'
He continued: 'We told each of them, separately, that we had no idea how this happened, and we were disappointed, but we felt the right choice was for them to leave the experiment.
'Lydia and Uche were absolutely crushed. Separately, they each expressed a tremendous desire to stay and continue, speaking about their investment in the process.
'And to be honest, I felt bad for them, because this is an amazing experience to participate in.'
After the pair were spoken to individually, it became clear that neither party was interested in exploring a relationship with each other.
'We all agreed that, under the condition that they were not interested in each other, that they could stay if they did not immediately tell people about their history,' Coelen added.
'And at that point, on Day One of the pods, we all felt that the information wasn't relevant, and we all agreed revealing