Let’s Very Calmly Try To Sort Out This Giannina, Damian, & Francesca Mess On Love Is Blind: After The Altar
When Love Is Blind first dropped in early 2020, Netflix subscribers were intrigued by the dating show's unique premise: dating and getting engaged to strangers without seeing them first. More than a year later, the streaming platform is reuniting us with the couples (and the many contestants who walked away single) that we fell in love with on the show and catching us up on all the drama that's conspired since then. After their troubling ending, fan favourites Giannina Gibelli and Damian Powers haven't made much headway in their relationship. If anything, things have only gotten more turbulent for the on-again, off-again partners in Love Is Blind: After the Altar, thanks to a seemingly random intrusion from another Netflix personality.
After the Altar gathers the cast of the first season of Love Is Blind back together in celebration of the Hamiltons (Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed) and the Barnetts' (Matt Barnett and Amber Pike) second wedding anniversary. There's excitement in the air — the gang hasn't seen each other as a group since production — but there's also a hint of tension. For Giannina and Damian, that stress stems from the fact that they would have been celebrating their second wedding anniversary alongside their friends if not for Damian curving his fiancée at the very last minute in front of their family and friends.
Although the pair didn't let the truly embarrassing moment be the final chapter in their story, Damian's decision undoubtedly set them on a totally different trajectory, one marked with insecurity and mistrust. In After the Altar, we learn that they still haven't taken the next steps in their relationship; they don't even see each other frequently, talk less of living together or even getting engaged again. Giannina struggles with the snail's pace of her love life, but she's cautiously optimistic that things can change.
"Things are difficult and messy," she admits in the special. "But I still believe in marriage. I still believe in love, and I just love [Damian] so much."
While his significant other is pouring out her heart to the producers, Damian is pouring copious amounts of wine for a surprising new friend: Francesca Farago from season one of Netflix's Too Hot To Handle. If you remember Francesca, she was one half of the couple that cost the retreat the most money alongside ex-boyfriend Harry Jowsey. Now, it seems, her intention might be to cost Damian the hard-earned stability of his relationship. The nature of the Netflix stars' friendship has caused trouble for them before; in August 2020, paparazzi hounded the "friends" as they were leaving a West Hollywood restaurant hand in hand. At the time, Damian insisted that their relationship was merely platonic, but their After the Altar hangout is teeming with unresolved sexual tension. Even as they throw back drinks and bond over botox, you can tell that there might be more to the story than they're letting on. To make things more complicated, Damian invites Francesca to the anniversary party later in the week — where he knows Giannina and the rest of the Pod Squad will also be.
The Hamiltons and Barnetts' anniversary party is drama all around, but nothing brings more tension than Francesca's conspicuous arrival. Damian obviously didn't give her the full memo; while Lauren and Giannina are dressed in actual gowns, the Too Hot to Handle star pulls up in shearling loungewear, drawing stares and whispers as she strolls through the event. Giannina, for all intents and purposes, keeps her composure throughout, calmly sipping her champagne while the entire room gossips about her boyfriend and his friend. It isn't until she and Francesca come face to face that Giannina lets the mask fall.
"You say you're friends — he says you're friends. I can feel that you guys are friends," Giannina tells Francesca with an icy smile on her face. "But I'm letting you know right now that if you ever did try anything, you're messing with the wrong bitch...he's mine." (Is he, though?)
Unfortunately, the night ends in disaster for Giannina and Damian as they come to verbal blows once again because he doesn't get why she's so pissed, and she can't understand how he doesn't understand how embarrassing the anniversary party has been for her. Their heated conversation ultimately ends in a stalemate — yet another sign that these two should really just wrap up this relationship.
If you're shooting your shot to be cast in Love is Blind season two, the success stories of Lauren and Cameron, and Barnett and Jessica are proof that the process can actually work. But be warned, you could also end up like Giannina and Damian: fighting for a toxic relationship that was never meant to be. Maybe just give Bumble another chance, babe.
Love is Blind: After the Altar is now available for streaming on Netflix.