Warning: This article contains spoilers about Love Is Blind season 5, episodes 1-4.
Well, this has never happened before on Love Is Blind!
The entire premise of Netflix's reality dating competition is bringing singles together to date, fall in love, and get engaged without ever seeing each other, but season 5 features a first for the franchise when one couple realized on their first pod date that they're already exes. But it takes a long time for the show to reveal that twist, which makes it even more devastating for one cast member.
Let's back up. In the first four episodes of season 5 (now streaming), we see couples meet and date in the pods while the women and men bond in their separate living quarters in between dates as usual. Aaliyah and Uche begin to fall in love despite a bump in the road after she confesses an infidelity in her past that takes him quite a while to stop judging her for. The way Uche reacts leads Aaliyah to believe he's going to end things with her, and her pod friend Lydia comforts her when she breaks down. Uche eventually gets over his issues with Aaliyah cheating on a past boyfriend, and they seem to be heading towards an engagement.
Netflix Aaliyah on 'Love Is Blind'
But in episode 4, Uche drops a bombshell on Aaliyah with his own confession: Lydia is actually his ex from the real world, from as recent as just three months before they began filming Love Is Blind. In flashbacks, we see Uche and Lydia's first date in the pods when they realize they knew each other. Lydia even wants to continue dating Uche in the pods, but he tells her it would ruin the authenticity of the experiment.
Both Uche and Lydia kept that secret from Aaliyah throughout the rest of the experiment until his big reveal. When Aaliyah confronts Lydia about keeping her in the dark about Uche, the two women seem to resolve the issue, but then Lydia can't stop telling Aaliyah how much she knows about Uche — to an inappropriate degree — against Aaliyah's wishes.
When Uche brings an engagement ring into the pods to propose to Aaliyah, he's confused and then upset when producers tell him that Aaliyah has not only left him, she's left the pods and the show entirely. The episode ends on that massive cliffhanger, but Aaliyah is finally ready to share her side of the story.
"I was very shocked in the moment," Aaliyah tells EW of why she ultimately decided to leave. "I think most people would agree it was a pretty shocking revelation. I felt like it was the best decision for me. Considering all the factors and hearing both what Lydia and Uche had to say about everything, I just knew, moving forward, that wasn't ideally the type of situation I'd want going into an engagement."
Aaliyah explains that there wasn't a single moment that was the last straw for her — although Lydia refusing to accept Aaliyah's request to stop talking about her past with Uche definitely played a big part.
"It was more so a realization I had, an intuition thing, to be honest with you," Aaliyah says. "I had a gut feeling. I didn't feel comfortable with a lot, but my gut was just telling me this wasn't what I wanted to do anymore. I felt like I gave my best effort. I mean, the episodes are only so long — you don't get to see minute-by-minute everything that we discussed with one another. But there is a lot that I had to consider in making that decision and I felt like it was the best decision for me."
Love Is Blind season 5 releases new episodes on Fridays, leading up to the Oct. 13 finale.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.