Nick Thompson of 'Love Is Blind' Shares Filming Experience: "You're Being Psychologically Tortured" (EXCLUSIVE)

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Sep. 29 2023, Updated 12:07 p.m. ET

Nick Thompson from 'Love Is Blind' Season 2
Source: Netflix

Season 2 of Love Is Blind may feel like forever ago, but contestant Nick Thompson seems to remember his experience like it was yesterday. And in an exclusive interview with Distractify in May 2023, Nick shared what the Love Is Blind filming conditions were like for him and how he has started to move on since his season ended.

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Viewers will remember that Nick left the season married to Daniele Ruhl. However, in October 2022, the pair filed for divorce. And since then, both have been separately candid on social media about their shared and respective experiences with reality television thanks to the Netflix series.

But in September 2023, Love Is Blind creator Chris Coelen spoke out about the many allegations. Keep reading for all the details.

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Nick Thompson said the 'Love Is Blind' filming conditions were "tough, brutal, and exhausting."

When we asked Nick in May 2023 about his specific experience with the Love Is Blind filming conditions, he didn't mince words. In fact, according to Nick, the schedule, expectations, and lack of support from the show led to an experience that was "tough, brutal, and exhausting" for both himself and Danielle.

He shared with us that when they traveled to Mexico for the couples' trip following engagements, production was on them to continue to film at nearly every hour of every day.

And when Nick and Danielle were stuck in their rooms because of a COVID-19 lockdown, they were eventually cut off from ordering room service and were supplied with just four bottles of water each day, according to Nick. They were also supplied with food, but because Nick and Danielle were hungry, irritable, tired, and frustrated with the way things had been so far in general, tensions were high.

According to Nick, those feelings may have been producers' goal in the conditions for the cast in Mexico.

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"I would like to think in a best case scenario that it was unintentional," he shared with us. "Then again, I also know that when people are sleep deprived, dehydrated, [and] hungry, your nervous system accelerates, and you are in a heightened state of anxiety, basically. And so, when you're in that heightened state of anxiety, you make rash decisions. You're very reactive. Obviously, that gives you better drama."

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Nick said that 'Love Is Blind' contestants film for more than 18 hours at a time.

When Nick and the other contestants were in the pods on Love Is Blind, they reportedly filmed nearly around the clock. He shared with us that many days consisted of 18 to 20 hours of nonstop filming, whether the guys were in the pods, on the couches socializing, or even napping. They were even reportedly pressed if they took longer-than-usual bathroom breaks.

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Nick and the other contestants were given hotel rooms to sleep in outside of the set that makes up the men's quarters depicted in the show. However, Nick explained, producers were quick to point out that if he or the other guys opted to leave the set to take a nap in their respective hotel rooms, they would likely be at a disadvantage in making progress with potential matches in the pods.

For many, it was a lose-lose situation of missing crucial sleep or missing out on important pod time.

The 'Love Is Blind' contract is reportedly more than 20 pages long.

Nick told us that, in his experience, the aftermath of filming Love Is Blind is where even more damage lies. Because of the public backlash he faced, he was forced to step down from his job as a public speaker and he sought out therapy to get him through the difficult time that followed being on a high-profile reality show and then divorcing after.

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'Love Is Blind's Season 2 cast at the reunion
Source: Netflix

And, he says, there was no help or support for him or other cast members after the show finished filming. Not to mention that, upon agreeing to be on the show, Nick allegedly filled out a contract that most contestants wouldn't have the ability or legal prowess to look over. But in it, Nick was reportedly liable to pay millions of dollars in fines for various things.

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"There's a part in the contract where every time you publicly go against the edits, you could be charged up to a million dollars," he revealed.

It doesn't look like Nick or anyone else from his season has seen such a hefty fine for speaking out about the negative aspects of their time on the show. But because of the lack of support and filming conditions, Nick told us that in his eyes, the show is "ruining people's lives with this stuff."

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Since filming, Nick started a nonprofit called the Unscripted Cast Advocacy Network (UCAN). It's dedicated to helping people like himself who feel sort of lost and thrown to the wolves following a stressful time on reality television.

In September 2023, 'Love Is Blind' creator Chris Coelen spoke out about various allegations.

Following both Nick and Danielle's allegations, as well as those of Season 2 contestant Jeremy Hartwell (who sued the show's production company Kinetic Content in 2022), Love Is Blind creator and Kinetic CEO Chris Coelen spoke to Variety to address various claims.

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Regarding Danielle's specific claim that she'd disclosed suicidal ideations prior to being filmed but was cast anyway, Chris told the publication that Danielle hadn't actually disclosed it before filming. But Danielle's response to this was that even though she hadn't specifically written it down on her application, she'd had various conversations with producers about it. "But to their point, it was nothing that had been written down, so whether or not something had been communicated to them, I don’t know,” she told Variety. “I will admit that, at the time of filming, I did say that I was in a really good mental space.”

And regarding Danielle's claims that she'd expressed suicidal thoughts amid a panic attack during filming in Mexico, Chris told the publication that Danielle hadn't actually informed the production staff or they would've stopped filming. "She was free to leave the experiment at any time .... I urge all potential participants to always prioritize their own well-being," he said. In response to this, Danielle told the publication that she stood by her claims and had asked if she could leave.

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Chris also denied previous claims that the contestants didn't have access to therapists during filming. He told Variety that there were two psychologists watching the pods from the control room, and that during the vacation and after moving in together, couples had access to a hotline they could call. He also said Kinetic's "dedicated talent management team" was "available as a resource [for all participants] to talk anything out."

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Chris also said he encouraged contestants to seek therapy after filming and offered to pay for it. (Variety says it confirmed this after looking at various email correspondence.)

Regarding Danielle's claim that there was a $50,000 penalty if she quit the show early, Chris said while this clause was there in the early seasons, as this was "a clause that goes back to the earliest days of unscripted television," it didn't apply to their show because various contestants had actually left since the first season, like Diamond Jack and Shaina Hurley. He says they weren't fined. “We never have enforced it. We’ve never threatened to enforce it,” Chris said.

He also said that they've removed the clause from their contracts in recent seasons, noting, “Frankly, it is contradictory to everything we do on any of our shows."

In response to Jeremy's claims of "isolation" from the outside world amid 20-hour workdays, Chris said that the show is transparent with all participants ahead of time regarding restrictions to travel and communication, and that the pods were never open for more than 16 hours. “You’re asked to stay in your hotel to protect the integrity of the experiment,” he said. “We disconnect their phones and internet so they can’t get online because people are tempted to look people up.”

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