"Love Is Blind" Alums Lauren and Cameron Say Season 5 Was Their "Least Favorite"
Another season of "Love Is Blind" has come and gone, leaving a slew of disappointed fans in its wake. The Netflix dating show's fifth installment proved to be a low point for the franchise, with contentious cast members and unrelenting drama earning far more screen time than actual romance. As the season unfolded, many viewers were left yearning for a genuine love story they could root for — one like that of Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton from season one.
Lauren and Cameron are considered "Love Is Blind" royalty. Of the six couples who got engaged during the first season, they're one of two still happily married today, celebrating their five-year wedding anniversary this year. No other couples have quite lived up to their sincere connection since then (except maybe season four's Tiffany and Brett). As one fan aptly summed it up on X (formerly Twitter), "Cameron and Lauren's love story was a gateway drug and I've been chasing that high every season since." Retweet to that.
With season five finally in the rearview mirror, POPSUGAR caught up with Lauren and Cameron about how much "Love Is Blind" has changed through the years (a lot), what they're working on these days (also a lot), and whether they still believe in the experiment (yes, but with one caveat). The married duo also teased their possible return to TV (!) and opened up about the constant pressure to have children, which isn't only coming from Vanessa Lachey. Read our full interview below.
POPSUGAR: You two are celebrating your five-year anniversary this year, which is such an exciting milestone. In what ways has "Love Is Blind" changed since you were on the show?
Lauren Speed-Hamilton: The intention of some of the cast, I feel like that has changed. With us being the very first season, our intentions were different; they were genuine. We were honestly stepping into everything for the first time. And now I feel like a lot of the cast members go in with, "I'm gonna be an influencer, I'm gonna get more camera time. I know that this is successful." So I think it's changed in that way.
Cameron Hamilton: To add on to what Lauren said, I think the cast is kind of hip to the game of the show where they are like, "Yeah, I'll get engaged — what's the worst that can really come of that?," which I feel is kind of unfortunate because I take the institution of marriage very seriously, and getting engaged just to be on a show ultimately does not pay off in the long run. What you lose doing that is more than what you gain.
PS: I couldn't agree with you more. Do you think the experiment can still work in spite of that?
CH: Absolutely, it can work. It really just depends on who's going on the show and what their intentions are. I've had cast reach out to me and ask for advice before going on the show, and what I usually tell them is — and this sounds very cliché — but being genuine and actually focusing on the relationships, on what I can do to make myself ready to be a husband or a wife, is gonna take you so much farther than thinking about, "Oh my god, how much camera time am I gonna have?" or "Am I gonna be interesting?"
PS: Season five was obviously a roller coaster, with so much drama and only one couple getting married in the end. What's your honest take on the season?
"I did not enjoy [season five]. That's the honest to God truth."
LSH: I did not enjoy it. That's the honest to God truth. I feel like a lot of the cast I couldn't really relate to. There wasn't even a couple that I really saw myself rooting for, even though I love Milton; I think Milton is hilarious. He's actually my favorite cast member this season. But I didn't get it this season. I thought a lot of the storylines seemed forced, and like I said, nobody seemed there for the right reasons to me. So it was probably my least favorite.
CH: I would second that. The reason I watch the show is for the cast. The show itself to me is just a vehicle for showing us these people's stories, and I enjoyed seeing Milton. I enjoyed seeing Aaliyah. But in terms of the couples themselves, there were no hooks to say, "Oh yeah, I'm invested in this couple."
PS: This is what so many fans have been saying about this season, myself included. I've even seen some people on X saying the season should've been scrapped altogether.
CH: The other part of it is you really can't force people to fall in love. You can try to cast the most interesting people you can find, but there's no guarantees people are gonna fall in love. If you think about it, you've got 30 people; it's really crazy to think that even five couples get engaged. I think people have this expectation that we should see two or three couples get married every season. Sometimes it's just not in the cards for that, even if all these people are interesting in some way. You can't force love.
LSH: Honestly, I give props to people like Aaliyah and Taylor because they had the courage to actually walk away from the experiment instead of being like, "I'm gonna continue just to be on TV." Good for y'all to really be like, "This isn't for me, I don't match up with this person, so I'm leaving," 'cause that takes a lot of guts. I'm sure there was a lotta people in their ear, whether it's production or not, trying to push them to do it, so good for them.
PS: Season five had a lot of villains, as fans have branded them. Do you have thoughts on who was the biggest villain this season?
LSH: [laughs] I don't know who the biggest villain is. I will say I feel like there was an unfair element of Lydia and Uche knowing each other. Now, whether that's their fault or the people who decided to have them continue on the show — who's the real villain there? That's all I'm gonna say.
CH: I never think about it in terms of villains, because I think with television, there's this simplification of people's storylines. There are definitely times when people do stuff, and I'm like, "Why the hell did you do that?" Some of the comments that were made, I really didn't like. One thing that I really don't like are the double-backs, where someone says they're all in on this one person, that person turns 'em down, and then now they're going back to their second choice and saying, "Hey, I really want to go all the way with you." That really bothers me, because it feels not genuine. We saw that a couple times.
PS: Many "Love Is Blind" fans look to you two as the blueprint for how successful the experiment can be. Does that make you feel any kind of pressure having so many people hold your relationship in such high regard?
LSH: I don't feel pressure. . . . We love and we appreciate the support so much, but I think that if we start making our relationship about what the public thinks, then that will totally just weaken our relationship, our marriage, our dynamic. I try to keep my focus on my marriage and my husband. That's the most important.
CH: Yeah, very well said. I think what was the key to our success during the show was we were really just focusing on each other. It wasn't a focus on: How is this gonna look on camera? How is everything gonna play out on TV? It was like, OK, how can we be in a healthy position by the time we reach the altar and past the altar?
LSH: It's always been us, you know?
CH: And it will continue to be way past all this sort of television stuff.
LSH: Bonnie and Clyde, minus the shoot-up. [laughs]
CH: We're excited about what's next for us in terms of television. We're in the stage where we're working on the pitching; it's difficult to really say too much about it, but we're just excited about returning to television.
PS: Amid all of this busyness, how do you find time to prioritize yourselves and your relationship?
LSH: Date nights are very important. We definitely try to take the time to do something fun with each other, because both of us get overwhelmed often. For us, we find that it's important to try to disconnect from work, especially because our work is kind of related to our relationship, so sometimes it's super blended. We have really tried to focus on times where it's like, OK, this is not work. This is us going on a date, having fun, it's husband and wife. Focusing on that romance has really helped us have fun and enjoy each other.
CH: Definitely, because a lot of the time too, we'll wind up filming and making content from date nights, and it's a really beautiful thing that we're able to make content from just being married and being in a happy relationship and that people appreciate that. On the other hand, there are definitely times where we need to have some things that are just for us.
PS: As you should.
CH: The contrast is you do see a lot of couples on social media or YouTube that have the camera everywhere. That's just not us. We bring it a lot of places, but there are certain zones.
LSH: [laughs] I already know what he's probably referring to. I saw one couple giving birth on Instagram Live. I'm like, y'all got the camera in the snatch?
CH: I think the couples know that it's gonna get views, but some things are more important than the views.
PS: We are definitely in an era of oversharing. But I think sometimes it makes fans feel like they're almost entitled to know certain details about a celebrity, and there's less of that boundary. Have you ever had any negative experiences with fans being too nosy?
LSH: Oh, all the time. Every day. There's been times when we've posted YouTube videos and we'll kiss in the videos. People will be like, "Looking at that kiss, I can tell you guys don't love each other" or "You're just using him." People always put a lot of pressure on us about having a baby. If I post a picture of me and Cam walking down the street, it's, "But are you pregnant? Where is the baby?"
CH: It's a sentiment like we are holding out on them. Like how dare you not give us a baby.
PS: That's been a huge pain point for me with the show, in particular with Vanessa Lachey during the reunion last season. But that's so frustrating that you have to deal with that from fans, too.
LSH: Every day. I even get DMs from people that are mean, like, "When is she having a baby? You're getting old." Really ugly, ugly comments. They think they're coming from a place of love. I understand. But also stay out of women's uteruses. . . . It's never OK to put pressure on anybody to have kids. "Give us a 'Love Is Blind' baby"? No, go have your own baby. I'm not saying that I don't want to have kids or anything like that, but just anybody who is clock watching someone else's uterus to have a baby, I just think don't do it.
"Stay out of women's uteruses. . . . It's never OK to put pressure on anybody to have kids."
CH: The arguments that come from that are really frustrating. People say, "Oh, it's a normal thing. It's a part of life to ask someone when they're gonna have a baby." And it's just not as simple as that.
LSH: You don't know anybody's situation, either. Maybe everyone's not just holding out to have a baby.
PS: On that note, especially after last season's reunion, a lot of people were calling for you two to take over as hosts of the show. Is that something you would be open to in the future?
CH: We would definitely love to host a show. I think "Love Is Blind" is something that's gonna remain under the purview of Nick and Vanessa [Lachey]. I think it would be better for Lauren and I to have our own show, as much as we do love the "Love Is Blind" franchise. At the end of the day, because of the experience that I had, I would love to help people find love in the capacity of a mentor on the show, and we have some ideas for how we might do that.
PS: If you were to get involved with the show behind the scenes in the future, is there anything you would do differently to switch things up?
LSH: A lot of things. Gosh, too much to name. [laughs] I would say start with getting a therapist on set. Even if the therapist isn't shown and is just behind the scenes. I've been saying that for years. I think that it's something that everyone would benefit from — the production, the cast, everyone.
PS: Is there anything else you'd like POPSUGAR's readers to know about you two?
CH: Lauren has a show coming out soon.
LSH: I'm going to be doing a reality show called "The GOAT" with Amazon Freevee. It's a competition game show, and it's supposed to be coming out next year, so that's exciting. It's me and a lot of other reality stars, and it's really something.
CH: Other than that, we're coming back strong with our YouTube. We have the TV stuff that we're working on that's still kind of top secret.
LSH: I'm also in the process of launching my own nonprofit, which I'm excited about. A lot of things are always moving and shaking in our world.
CH: We tend not to put anything out there unless we feel like it's ready to be shared. So we have a lot under the surface, but we just want to wait until the right time to fully share.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.