Season 4 of the popular dating experiment reality series Love is Blind is back with dozens of single hopefuls looking for their perfect match.

Through in-depth conversations with a wall between them in curated pods, couples form emotional connections and get engaged without seeing one another to try and prove whether the concept of love being blind is real. Since season 1’s Cameron and Lauren, everyone has been trying their hardest to find their king and queen. But not everyone has been lucky.

Despite the fandom, there have been some criticism with casting, lack of diversity and whether people are truly on the show to find love on their to jumpstart their careers in television.

Shadow and Act spoke with Tiffany, Micah, Jackie, Chelsea, Irina, Brett, Kwame, Zack, Paul, and Marshall about all to expect this season.

Congratulations on season 4! There have been conversations about the lack of diversity in casting, but this season seems to debunk that. What has been your take on previous seasons, if you've seen them, regarding people of color being fully represented and included on the show?

Marshall: I have seen the other seasons, and, quite frankly, I can only speak to season 4 and it just it’s just fantastic to see multiple people of color on in the core cast. It’s great to see. We’ve had some great conversations with each other. And I think that it’ll be great for the fans of the show to see men and women of color. Not that they haven’t seen it in the other seasons, but more now. 

Tiffany: I actually haven’t watched that many of the seasons of Love is Blind, but I will say that for our season, we were diverse across the board. One thing that I do know is that the connections can’t be forced, so it’s like the connections that you see, they are genuine connections, and it’s without seeing someone’s color race, or you talk about backgrounds, but you don’t really so much dive into what does that person look like?

What were your reservations, if any, about going into a show like Love is Blind where the show has such an involved fan base and social media following with so many opinions?

Chelsea: I wholeheartedly have only seen Iike half of an episode of Love is Blind before I applied to it. That being said, I knew, and I understood the concept, and I looked into it further. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Like this is for me.’ I like talking with my favorite thing ever, and I teach talking communication as a speech therapist. And I love the idea of authentically finding out about somebody, and they’re more about their heart and who they were before all the external factors came into play. 

Kwame: That’s actually really funny. I literally texted my friend about it. There were definitely a bit of nerves. And I think the one thing that I’m trying to keep is a mindset is that no matter what you do, people will dislike you, right? You can literally cure the most incurable disease, and someone will say, why didn’t he do it earlier? And so it all comes down to me just understanding that regardless of how I’m representing myself, regardless of who I am as a human being, there will be people who disagree with my views [and] my thoughts. So it’s about still staying true to myself and not letting that sway me in either direction, as long as I stay myself and I stay confident in that, and I’ll be OK. And occasionally, it’ll happen. It’ll hurt. I’m human, I’ll see it, and I’ll dislike it. But it’s about taking it in and understanding that as long as I’m me, I’m okay with that. 

Michael: I think that’s kind of one of the things I’m most nervous about. I wasn’t scared to take the risk of falling in love or take the risk of doing something different. But I do know that the fan base is really involved. And I’m just a little nervous about that. Just kind of having everyone have an insight into my life is a lot, it’s very vulnerable. But I don’t regret taking the risk and putting myself out there.

Was there anything that surprised you about what you had watched or either heard about the show versus what you experienced on the show?

Paul: I haven’t seen our season yet, so I can’t say too much in that regard. I will say I hadn’t watched a full season before participating, and I know our season, so I think it was surprising to see the duration of the periods, like the pods and the days out of the country, and all of that. I was just like, ‘Wow, this is actually a lot of time.’

Irina: I feel like one of my favorite things about that experience was I feel like everyone was very supportive, along with producers and stuff. I felt very supported in any decision. I never felt forced to do anything. I never felt like I had to do anything crazy, other than it being challenging, just being without your family or friends. I think that was really challenging. But other than that, loved it. I feel like it was like,” inhale.” And we went on up to four or five, six-hour dates, and it would go by quickly. And so it was a lot of fun. It was really hard, though. The biggest surprise was that everyone was really supportive. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to be myself. I was worried that I was going to have say special things or like create liners or things like that. And I didn’t feel like that. I felt like I was able to completely say whatever was on my mind and on my heart. 

Tiffany: The thing is, with this experiment, they don’t really provide you with guidance. This is all on you to truly find your person. I think with any type of dating show, you may wonder if they ask the contestants to do certain things. No, with this one, it’s all you. What you’re seeing is us on this show. I haven’t seen our season yet. I’m definitely looking forward to it. But I guess the clips that you have seen already, that’s all my reactions, my decisions.

Knowing the show's track record of either successful pod interactions or not-so-successful pod interactions, how optimistic were you going into the experiment and potentially finding true love?

Brett: I say more than anything, I was open to things. I kind of went into it with an understanding that at the end of the day, this is about getting married, and you fall for who? You fall for it. It has to be mutual. There’s only so much you can do when trying to form a connection with someone. So I tried really not to have too many expectations and just really kind of let that be what it will be. So that was just kind of my mentality going into it. 

Jackie: I was quite optimistic because when you go in thinking negative, you’re going to get negative. So I was like, ‘I have to go in there. Think positive. Be open to anything. Be open to all the types of conversations that I’m going to get left and right weirdos and not weirdos. I just have to be prepared for it.’ And I just went in there, and I was just like, ‘I’m going to give everybody a chance, and I am going to just be myself. I’m not going to tone it down. I’m not going to switch it up for anybody.’ Because that real Jackie is just going to come out regardless, even if I tried to think it, so I just say they got to take me as art as I am. I just wanted to come in there and just have fun, to be honest, because sometimes love can be so serious, relationships can be so serious. I want something serious, but I want something fun, too, because I don’t want to just be serious the whole time. And then sacrifice that fun. I deserve to have fun in a serious relationship.

Love is Blind season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.