Arts and Culture

Getting the gossip on if reality show ‘Love is Blind’ is filming in Minneapolis

Two people sitting in a pod
A future season of "Love is Blind" is rumored to be filming in Minneapolis this month.

Is love truly blind? We may never know, but it is definitely coming to Minnesota. The local gossip mill has been spewing all things “Love is Blind” since it was announced last year that a season would be filmed in Minneapolis. 

Minneapolis resident Adriana Holley said it best: “It’s just been in the back of my mind constantly. I’m always thinking about ‘Love is Blind.’”

It started last fall when casting producers began contacting Twin Cities residents. Eden Prairie resident Evan Newman was recruited via Linkedin last September. He has not watched the show, but showed his girlfriend the message and they laughed. 

“Are you going to break up with me and become an Instagram celebrity?” she asked him. 

“Of course not,” he replied. He told the recruiter he had to pass. 

But other Minnesotans made the cut. And the gossip exploded in late February when social media sleuths began alleging they spotted film crews for “Love is Blind” around Minneapolis and St. Paul. One of the first posts was on Feb. 24 with photos of a film crew outside the 365 Nicollet apartment building in downtown Minneapolis. 

A linkedin message
A LinkedIn message Evan Newman received.
Courtesy image

The production company behind the Netflix show, Kinetic Content, did not respond to an MPR News request for comment as of Thursday evening.

We went to the best source we could find when it comes to “Love is Blind” gossip — the social media-savvy fans of Minneapolis. 

Olivia Szatkowski founded the “Love is Blind Minneapolis Updates” Facebook group on Monday. It was born out of FOMO. 

“I am somebody who has a fear of missing out, like extraordinarily,” she said. “I just want to feel like I know what's going on and have that little insider scoop, just for fun.”

It’s one place locals are turning to share possible filming locations and cast members — like a friend that’s able to find your crush’s cousin’s dog walker’s LinkedIn account, but on a bigger scale.

What is ‘Love is Blind’?

For those unfamiliar, “Love is Blind” is a reality dating show. It starts with a social experiment where 15 women and 15 men go through a round of dates in “isolated pods” where there is a wall separating them. They can talk, but they cannot see each other. Hence: blind. 

And they have no distractions, no social media or phones. That means contestants can’t check if their friends' friends follow them on Instagram or what their tagged photos are. The ultimate pre-date sleuthing doesn’t exist.

If they find their match, they are required to propose, again not knowing what the other one looks like. The proposal unlocks the next phase of dating, and they are whisked away to a pre-honeymoon for about a week, usually in Mexico.

If they survive the trip, they go back to the real world for a few weeks where they live together and try to integrate their new partner into their existing lives. 

If they pass that test, they get married. Totally normal, right?

A purple poster
A poster for Love is Blind casting in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Courtesy image

Rejoicing in the ritual of reality TV

Reality TV is often a ritual for people. The group chat is open, the charcuterie board filled and wine glasses topped. But, it often isn’t taken seriously — people love to make fun of reality TV fans.

For viewers, it’s a community experience and a way to unwind. And the numbers prove it: “Love is Blind” season four was one of the most-watched shows on Netflix in the first half of 2023, with watch time at 229,700,00 hours according to a Netflix engagement report

Minneapolis resident Wynne Wilfahrt understands how it can seem trivial but isn’t a fan of the judgment. 

“I think in recent years, I’ve stopped thinking about it in a dumb hobby way and starting thinking to it more akin to how men get together to watch sporting events. It is something where you are really invested in the outcome,” she said. 

Alex Robinson, who manages social media for the Minnesota Orchestra, agrees. She doesn’t want to be stereotyped. 

“I promise I watch other things, but it is sort of a fun little weekly ritual with your friends and now, a local tie in.”

Fans visit potential locations in hopes of appearing in the background

Wilfahrt, Robinson, Szatkowski and Holley have joined the other fans of the state in searching for “Love is Blind” filming locations. 

People have posted on social media that they’ve seen film crews or legal notices about filming at Pryes Brewing, Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater, Luna and The Bear and, most recently, O'Shaughnessy Distilling Company. 

Others have guessed and been visiting filming locations including Hai Hai, Parcelle and the Stone Arch Bridge.

A facebook post with filming location
A possible filming location for "Love is Blind" in Minneapolis.
Courtesy image

What is the end goal of walking around the city? They want to be a blur in the background, or see them filming. 

“I just want to get to walk through the background of a shot so when it’s on TV I can point and say ‘Hey, that’s me!’” Wilfahrt said. 

Holley says her angle used to be the same, “but now, I just want to see them filming.” She says it will be an interesting picture of Midwest dating.

“It’s just fun to see new things happening. I feel like people forget about our city and don’t realize how relevant we can be,” Holley said.

When she began noticing film crew outside her apartment building, 365 Nicollet, her investigation began. She said she got an email on Feb. 24 from her apartment management that a film crew was moving in.

“They will be living and working on-site through March 16th,” the email said. 

An email-1
An email sent to residents of the apartment building 365 Nicollet.
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MPR News called the apartment complex 365 Nicollet and asked if the “Love is Blind” crew is staying at the apartment. The concierge said it was confidential, and they couldn’t share details.  

But for Holley, she says she has all the confirmation she needs. 

“It all lines up pretty nicely with everything I heard. I heard they started filming in California on February 4” she said. “It all lines up with the timeline that they do in the pods, and then they’ll do the vacation, and then they come here. It has to be the show.” 

On Thursday night, MPR News followed rumors posted in the Facebook group that the show would be recording at O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. and saw three women with fresh hair and makeup done getting fitted by a camera crew outside, and then arriving and talking in front of cameras and lights on the second floor of the restaurant. 

Stairs up to their area were blocked but that didn’t stop the room full of onlookers from watching and recording the action.

The inside of a distillery
O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co. in Minneapolis is a rumored filming location for "Love is Blind."
MPR News

All eyes on: Twin Cities wedding venues

A central concern Minnesotans have shared online about the future season is the size of the dating pool. If you’re from Minneapolis chances are you will run into your ex, again and again and again. Social circles are small, we all know each other and have the same hangouts. 

While we all love seeing Minnesota get its moment in the sun, there’s a good chance your barista’s friend’s ex will pop up. 

Matt Olsen got into watching the show through his fiancée, and it helped that casting producers reached out to his friend. 

“I think people from Minneapolis or the general area tend to be very nice on the surface, but not as nice, I think, under the surface. So I’m interested to see how that maybe plays out if the contestants are from the general area,” he said. 

As for who is among the cast, we may know, we may not. Rumors have included the typical young professional, a small business owner and even a Minnesota Timberwolves dancer. 

The weddings are slated to take place soon, so the next stop for the rumor mill will be venues. 

As for when we’ll get official confirmation, it’s possible we won’t know until the new season of “Love is Blind” airs. And the wait could be long: the finale of the sixth season just aired this week. 

MPR News reporter Feven Gerezgiher contributed to this story.