After Love Is Blind Season 4 premiered, cast members Micah Lussier and Irina Solomonova’s names were trending along with the term “mean girls.” One reason is that when they each found themselves in pod love triangles, the duo cut down their competition. When Paul Peden chose Micah over Amber Wilder, for example, the latter returned to the women’s living quarters heartbroken and in tears. Instead of consoling her, self-described “empath” Micah goaded Irina to eavesdrop on her conversation, and they both laughed while Amber was crying.
“In what capacity is listening to someone else’s heartbreak funny? This whole scene is just disgusting and immature,” one viewer tweeted, while another agreed it was the “most disgusting scene” so far, adding, “Irina and Micah are too mean.” Another Love Is Blind fan dubbed them the “biggest villains of reality television.”
Days before Netflix dropped the first five episodes, Irina defended her behavior, including her treatment of Zack Goytowski’s other frontrunner, Bliss Poureetezadi in the pods. “I do generally believe that I was myself throughout the whole time,” Irina told Bustle before she’d seen any of the episodes. “Even though I might not have come off in the best way, I think everything happens for a reason. . . . I don’t regret anything.”
Still, there is one thing she might change about the experience. After she accepted Zack’s proposal in the pods and they met face-to-face for the first time, Irina made no secret that she wasn’t attracted to her new fiancée. When the five engaged couples arrived in Mexico for their honeymoons, Irina flirted with Paul Peden — i.e. her friend Micah’s fiancé — and by the end of the getaway, she and Zack decided to break up. “Flirting with Paul, I would say I wish that had never happened,” Irina added. “But I feel like he did help me see that I didn’t have that energy toward Zack, and that was very helpful in my decision to not be with Zack.”
Regardless, she intends to use her time on the show as a learning experience, sharing, “I might not have been my best self in every moment, but I believe that I’ve learned from everything that happened. I just don’t want to hold onto a snippet of me that might be showed or seen when I feel like I trusted my gut and I went with what I had to do for myself.”
Micah, for her part, described her and Irina’s behavior as a “coping mechanism” while filming the reality series. “For us, it was really helpful to have a little sense of normalcy,” Micah, who also had flirty conversations with Kwame Appiah in Mexico, explained to Entertainment Weekly before the Season 4 premiere. “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.”
After the episodes dropped, the fan backlash was swift, but according to Micah, some went as far as sending her death threats. In a March 26 Instagram Stories post, she thanked fans for “overwhelming positive support.” However, she added that “threats, insults, bigotry, and just vile comments are entirely inappropriate.” Micah reminded her followers that she and her fellow contestants “are real people” who are “not always perfect” but “learn from these moments and move forward to be better in the future.”
Other Instagram Stories showed she was receiving support from some of her cast members, including Paul and Zack, who both shared her post. “Keep sending encouragement to the cast!” Zack wrote, thanking “all the people who already have.”
Amid the fallout, Micah has also been leaning on her loved ones in the Seattle area. As she shared with Bustle, “I have a huge community here of family and friends, and it feels really good just to be surrounded by everyone.”
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