The Ultimatum: Queer Love, the lesbian dating show spinoff to Netflix’s hugely successful The Ultimatum, is heating up on the streaming giant’s TV show charts. As the show’s cast get into messy love triangles as they navigate trial marriages after swapping partners, then returning to their exes for three weeks, fans are wondering what’s reality and what’s fiction. Some of the storylines and editing has fans wondering, Is The Ultimatum: Queer Love fake? There are definitely pieces of evidence revealing parts of the show are staged and scripted.
Let’s take a closer look at just how much of The Ultimatum: Queer Love is real, and what’s not.
Is The Ultimatum: Queer Love Fake? Scripted Storylines & Staged Moments
The first place to look to find out if a reality TV show is truly “unscripted” as producers often claim is to look at the end credits. In the case of The Ultimatum: Queer Love, the end credits show that 14 editors and ten story producers contributed to making the show.
“There’s 30,000 hours of content that needs to be fit into ten, 48-50 minute episodes. So the only thing I think that’s missing for the sake of time, is the context to a lot of our stories… which can kind of sound misleading I guess,” cast member Mal Wright recently said in an Instagram story.
Throughout the show the cast drink out of metal cups and glasses so that the editors can splice conversations. Through the magic of editing from 14 editors, the footage can be weaved to tell a certain narrative. For example, villainized Vanessa Papa smiling inappropriately at awkward moments of others’ hurting may actually be a sleight of hand by editors. If the scene turns to Vanessa smiling it may not actually be her reacting to the same moment the editors make it appear to coincide with.
During the deterioration of trial marriage couple Mildred Bustillo and Aussie, Aussie runs out in the midst of an argument and Mildred tells a producer she won’t go chasing after them. The producer instead goes after Aussie. Mildred telling the producer she won’t go after Aussie appears to be her saying no to a producer’s request for her to act a certain way after a filmed argument.
Product Placement & Scripted Relationships on The Ultimatum: Queer Love?
The romantic Ring POP scene shared between Xander Boger and Yoly Rojas also appears staged. The bizarre non-proposal where Xander surprises Yoly with a Ring POP appears to be further product placement. The Ultimatum: Queer Love‘s production company, Kinetic Content, also makes the show Love Is Blind series. In Love Is Blind season 3, a fight between two cast members over Cuties brand tangerines caused a controversy, suggesting potential product placement (paid embedded advertising in the program). Too Hot To Handle season 1 star Harry Jowsey proposing to Francesca Farago with a Ring POP also looks like another case of product placement.
Fans on Reddit also wonder how all the cast members happened to find someone they were supposedly into dating. “How is it that all of them found someone they’re into?!? come on…” said one viewer.
Influencers & Long-Distance Relationships Ruin Show’s Premise
Two of the contestants are influencers. Lexi Goldberg, who ironically blasted Vanessa for going on the show for clout, has a huge fanbase of admirers on TikTok, Instagram and OnlyFans. Vanessa, before the show aired, deleted her influencer accounts on Instagram and YouTube. However, it’s pretty clear she’s an aspiring actress living in LA.
On top of casting not weeding out cast members who could likely have an ulterior motive for being on the show, they also picked couples from different cities in America. Unlike the original The Ultimatum, where all couples were from Dallas, Texas, the cast members live in various cities in California, as well as Xander and Vanessa coming from Hawaii. How are new, real, relationships to form if they don’t even live near each other?
In conclusion, much of The Ultimatum: Queer Love appears to be either completely faked, scripted or staged. That said, no one’s doubting these lesbian couples were in real relationships before the show, and some broke up after filming. Social media shows pictures of these couples before they went on the show. At the end of the day it’s a show to entertain Netflix viewers, so maybe we shouldn’t care so much what is authentic in reality TV, but instead remember to cut the cast members some slack since we don’t know exactly what is real and what is not.