Love Is Blind’s Irina and Micah explain their behaviour after being called ‘mean girls’ by fans

Love Is Blind’s Irina and Micah explain their behaviour after being called ‘mean girls’ by fans

Love Is Blind is back, and the drama is bigger than ever.

The fourth season of the hit Netflix reality dating series returned on 24 March with a new cast of singles. The streaming platform released the first five episodes of season four last Friday, with the next three episodes to be released on 31 March.

Much like seasons past, a group of 30 single men and women – this time based in Seattle – go on several blind dates in “pods” hoping to get engaged not based on appearances, but based on emotional and intellectual connection. While the premise is the same, the cast is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The change has been largely due to Irina Solomonova and Micah Lussier. The two women became fast friends in the women’s living quarters, but many viewers have criticised their on-screen behaviour throughout the first five episodes, which some have suggested was like something taken out of Mean Girls.

Warning: Spoilers for season four of Love Is Blind below.

Solomonova, 26, is a business owner from Seattle who sparks up a connection with Zack Goytowski, a 31-year-old criminal defense attorney, in the pods. Meanwhile, Lussier, a 27-year-old marketing manager, forms a connection with 29-year-old Paul Peden, an environmental scientist.

During the social experiment, it’s a given that contestants will strike up emotional connections with not just one but many people in the pods. But when Solomonova and Lussier learned that other women had formed strong bonds with each of their suitors, things turned tense. When Amber Wilder, a 34-year-old flight attendant, returned to the living quarters after being dumped by Peden (the man Lussier liked), both Lussier and Irina Solomonova were seen eavesdropping as Wilder cried to fellow cast member Chelsea Griffin.

As Solomonova and Bliss Poureetezadi, a 33-year-old senior program manager, competed for the affections of Goytowski in the pods, Solomonova made it known to him that the two women didn’t exactly get along. Ultimately, Goytowski dumped Poureetezadi for Solomonova, but soon learned during the post-pods retreat in Mexico that he made the wrong choice.

Love Is Blind’s Micah and Irina respond to ‘mean girls’ criticism (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)
Love Is Blind’s Micah and Irina respond to ‘mean girls’ criticism (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

When it came time for the five engaged couples to leave the pods, Solomonova and Lussier were often seen by themselves. At one point, Lussier pulled Kwame Appiah – whom she had rejected for Peden – away from his fiancée Griffin to reaffirm her love for him.

Since the first five episodes aired, Solomonova and Lussier have been dubbed “mean girls” by fans. One viewer on Twitter wrote: “Micah and Irina definitely give off mean girls who peaked in high school.” Another said: “If you’re watching Love Is Blind season four and don’t immediately dislike Micah and Irina… we cannot be friends.”

“I can’t stand Irina and Micah, they have to be the worst people casted on all four seasons of Love Is Blind,” someone else tweeted.

Solomonova and Lussier spoke with Entertainment Weekly ahead of the season four premiere, where they explained the reason behind their so-called “mean girl” behaviours. Though they had not yet seen the episodes, Lussier defended their actions by saying their behaviour was a “coping mechanism” at the time.

“For us, it was really helpful to have a little sense of normalcy,” Lussier said. “Being able to laugh and make light and make jokes and, well, maybe sometimes the jokes didn’t land or maybe it didn’t look the best, but we needed that in that moment to feel like a normal person. Because you’re a part of this experience that is so beyond words. To be able to make a little bit of light out of such a hard thing was really helpful.”

The 27-year-old marketing manager added that she and Solomonova are “just people” in their mid-twenties “just doing the best we can do”.

“We just have to grow up from our mistakes,” she added.

In an Instagram story shared on 28 March, Lussier issued a public apology for her behaviour in the first five episodes of Love Is Blind. “I have apologised privately to the people that were hurt on the show by my hands. I would like to apologise publicly,” she began the statement. “An emotional immaturity was shown and I will grow from it.”

“To the viewers I’ve hurt, I’m sorry I’ve triggered so many of you with my behaviour. See that person on the screen would make me feel the same anger,” she continued. “As to my comments being turned off: I will turn them on in time. I am doing my best to protect my mental health (deserved or not). It has always been something I’ve struggled with, and I know I can not better myself if I’m more unwell mentally. I hope you understand that I am taking accountability privately.”

“I promise to do better in the future,” Lussier ended the statement.

Micah Lussier apologises for her behaviour on Love Is Blind season four (Instagram / Micah Lussier)
Micah Lussier apologises for her behaviour on Love Is Blind season four (Instagram / Micah Lussier)

As for Solomonova, the 26-year-old business owner explained to EW that she was “in her own lane” during that time in the pods. “Everything was difficult. Everyone was experiencing the whole show in a different way,” she said. “Me and Micah’s coping mechanism was laughing about it. And I honestly will say on the record, 100 per cent, I did not intentionally ever want to hurt anyone. [Hearing] that I hurt people’s feelings genuinely breaks my heart.”

Solomonova acknowledged that there will be “some bridges” she will “have to mend and conversations I’ll have to have” with other cast members at the end of the season. Still, she maintained that she was “zoned out and in my own thing of how I’m feeling” throughout filming but “didn’t really realise how that could affect other people”.

She continued: “With Micah, we were laughing because, yes, it was very serious and it was very intense and it was very hard, so I don’t want to brush it off and say that we weren’t taking it seriously. It’s just more our perspective, that’s how we coped about it; we laughed and made the best out of it. We didn’t intend to be mean or intentionally hurt anybody at all. That does honestly hurt me, hearing that, and I hope I can have some conversations to fix that later.”

Now that the first five episodes have dropped on Netflix, Irina said she is “100 per cent” nervous about the backlash she and her co-star might receive. The two women have both since turned off comments on their respective Instagram pages. While Solomonova admitted that she might not have been her “best self throughout the whole entire show,” she said she still believed that she did what was best for her. “I guess I don’t exactly know what scenes they’re going to show, or maybe there’ll be a mirror shoved in my face in the sense of I didn’t realise I hurt this person or what I’ve done,” she added.

In season four of Love Is Blind, five couples leave the pods engaged. From there, the cast is sent on a post-engagement retreat where they get to know both each other and the other couples. When they return home to Seattle, the couples must learn to live with each other in a shared apartment before saying “I do” in just a matter of weeks.

The first couple to get engaged in the pods was Brett Brown and Tiffany Pennywell, followed by Appiah and Griffin, Lussier and Peden, Marshall Glaze and Jackelina Bonds, and Goytowski and Solomonova.

The next three episodes of Love Is Blind season four will premiere on Friday 31 March. Episodes nine through 11 will drop on 7 April, followed by the season finale on 14 April.