Why Do the Wrong Couples Keep Winning ‘Perfect Match’?


Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Perfect Match Season 2 finale.

Let’s just get this out of the way right now: We all knew that Harry Jowsey and Jessica Vestal would never make it to the end together on Perfect Match, and sure enough, right at the start of the show’s season finale on Friday, Jessica gave him the boot. All told, Jessica was incredibly humane as she gave Harry the old heave-ho—especially given his slimy behavior at the guys’ retreat, which he mostly spent parading around with another woman. It turns out, Jessica didn’t have to do anything to humiliate Harry—he did it to himself, with help from the show’s producers.

I’ll give credit where it’s due: After years of watching dating shows leave their viewers hanging in uncertainty, I didn’t think that Perfect Match would show us the incriminating footage of Harry and Melinda Berry at the retreat, if it even existed. Imagine my cynical shock when the producers chose to show it during the finale’s final-act reunion. There Harry was, telling Melinda all the gross things she’d said he had done—and there he was, telling one of his fellow bros that he’d done “something really bad.” We don’t see the kiss on camera, but we do hear people talking about one. Oh, Harry, Harry! Did you really think you could get away with this?!

On Perfect Match, dozens of hot Netflix stars gather at a Mexican villa to find their most compatible mate. Each day brings new compatibility challenges, allowing the winning couples to enter the “boardroom” and send their fellow players on blind dates with new people. The whole thing is a game of romantic musical chairs, and in the end, the couple voted “most compatible” goes home with a free vacation. Once again, however, this season has proven that true compatibility is not really the yardstick against which these oiled-up cuties’ relationships will be measured. If it were, then how on earth would you explain Christine Obanor and Nigel Jones winning the big prize this season despite having only spent, what, two days together?

Harry might’ve stoked a lot of drama this season, but he was never one of the big power couples. That prize would go to one of two pairings—absolute cuties Stevan Ditter (formerly seen on Too Hot to Handle) and Alara Taneri (previously on Dated & Related) or, if everyone was feeling really chaotic, then maybe Micah Lussier (Love Is Blind) and Kaz Bishop (Dated & Related). Really, though, Stevan and Alara were the only sincere choice: They’ve been matched since almost the beginning, and have you seen the puppy-dog look in his eyes when he looks at her? This is true love staring us right in the face, and these weirdos squandered it to vote for a couple that barely spent any time together in the villa!

Film still from Perfect Match

Christine first showed up at the guys’ retreat, where she wasted no time before flirting with Kaz. In fairness, the cracks in Kaz and Micah’s facade had already started to show before that; he’d recently gone on a pretty steamy date with Holly Scarfone that left Micah nervous. Still, Christine’s arrival blew them wide open. Within 24 hours, Kaz had dumped Micah and matched with Christine. But when Christine went on a date with Nigel, Kaz immediately went crawling back to Micah, which, judging from all the heat he caught at the reunion, did not score him points with any of his castmates.

Nigel and Christine went on a grand total of two dates on Perfect Match—their first blind date, and then the finale date, where they got to paint one another’s bodies over their swimsuits. (It was about as awkward to watch as you might expect.) The key here is that these two have history. They previously met in New York, and while the timing wasn’t quite right for either of them, there was clearly a vibe. Now, that vibe has turned into a full-on spark before our eyes, which might be why so many cast members ultimately voted for Christine and Nigel to win.

Here’s the thing, though: Can anyone really, truly, honestly say that these two are the most compatible based solely on a couple days? What would have happened if they needed to make it another week or two? Often on Perfect Match, it seems like the “most compatible” couple is actually just the cutest pair. Consider last season’s winners, Dominic “Dom” Gabriel and Georgia Hasserati. They broke up not long after filming finished because Georgia cheated (with Harry Jowsey, of all people!) and really, their spark was not super convincing during the show itself. They just looked good next to one another, and on television, that’s often half the battle.

Then again, I’m probably overthinking all of this. If we’re being honest, most of these couples seem like summer flings at best—“perfect matches” for a month or two before cuffing season starts and everyone starts getting real. Stevan and Alara are adorable, but as Stevan himself acknowledged, they live on opposite sides of the world; he’s an Angeleno, and she lives in London. How is that going to work? Who knows! The important thing is, they made it work just long enough to entertain us.

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