10 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets From "The Ultimatum"

After a wild debut, shocking reveals, a wedding, and a baby on the way, "The Ultimatum" has solidified itself as Netflix's juiciest dating series yet. But even after all the drama that went down on (and off) the show, we're still not over it.

For all of our lingering questions and thoughts on season one, we initiated our own investigation into some of the behind-the-scenes secrets from "The Ultimatum." During paired interviews with the cast and episode one of POPSUGAR's new Twitter Spaces series, "We Have Thoughts," "The Ultimatum" stars Madlyn, Colby, Alexis, Hunter, April, Shanique, and Randall dished on everything that went down after the cameras stopped rolling — and even a few things that didn't make the final cut.

Between where their relationships stand today and what they learned from "The Ultimatum," there's still a lot to discuss from the show. So ahead, read up on some surprising tidbits we learned from the season one cast of "The Ultimatum."


  1. The cast of "The Ultimatum" was recruited for the show through social media. Yes, you read that right. Unlike the traditional method of casting calls for TV shows, the cast of "The Ultimatum" claims that the Netflix series does its recruiting a bit differently. "Someone was commenting on our social media and said, 'Hey, we have a dating show we want you to be on for anyone that's looking to get married," April says of the casting process. Madlyn, Colby, Alexis, Hunter, and Randall also confirm that someone from "The Ultimatum" reached out to them through Instagram DMs.
  2. The cast weren't told they'd be dating other people's partners before filming started. According to Randall, he and Shanique were given very few details about "The Ultimatum" — which was originally referred to as "The Awesome Couples Project" before filming — prior to starting the casting process. "I had no idea what the concept was. I just thought it was us going through therapy, sitting down talking to somebody, and then us working things out. Not us dating other people for three weeks," he reveals. Randall says that while some people from the cast may have been told about the show's premise, he was under the impression that they'd be "speed dating." "I didn't know until the day we got there or the day before we got there that we would be living with somebody for three weeks. That was the shock factor right there, and I was super skeptical. I almost backed out."
  3. The surprise engagements in episode three caught the cast off guard, too. There were a lot of wild moments from this season of "The Ultimatum," but the shocking dinner scene in episode three was something even the cast didn't see coming. "I think they did a great job editing that and showing basically everything that happened," Randall says. "What you didn't see is just all the other faces that were made behind the scenes of the confusion . . . April made this face like, 'You gotta be kidding me,' and I was like, 'Oh, this is really happening right now.'" Randall calls the scene an "interesting experience" and part of what was actually a really long night for the cast. "We didn't get a chance to eat until we got to our rooms, which is like 2 a.m. . . . it was so crazy and I don't think anybody expected that twist to happen."
  4. The cast felt short-changed when Alexis, Hunter, Lauren, and Nate left "The Ultimatum" early. After the surprise proposals that happened in episode three, the two couples exited the show, leaving only Rae, Zay, Shanique, Randall, April, Jake, Colby, and Madlyn to continue the social experiment. "When the proposals happened, we felt short-changed, like they were taking the easy way out," Randall says. "If that was the case, why did you sign up to come on a show like this?" Although the engagements seemed confusing at first, Randall says that it all worked out for Alexis and Hunter (who are getting married this summer) and Lauren and Nate, and that the cast is happy for them.
  5. April cried way more times than "The Ultimatum" showed. It's a known fact that hours of footage are often cut from reality TV shows for time's sake. And while April's supercut played during the reunion of her speaking in third person seemed excessive, the "Ultimatum" star says it pales in comparison to the many scenes of her shedding tears. "I cried way more than they actually showed you," she reveals. "So when people were telling me, 'You're such a cry baby, you were crying in every scene,' that was not even a fourth of it." She even says she was surprised they had enough scenes of her when she wasn't having a "full-out meltdown."

  1. Contrary to popular belief, Shanique and Zay did not sleep together during "The Ultimatum." The show's reunion episode didn't clarify the physical stuff that occurred between Shanique and Zay during that scene in episode five, but Randall set the record straight. "Guys, I'm making an announcement: they did not have sex. It's been told numerous times, shown in interviews, they did not," he confirms. Although some couples did get close during the show, as far as Randall knows, no one from the cast crossed *that* line with other people's partners.
  2. Randall and Shanique broke off their engagement after the show ended. Randall and Shanique were one of the few couples who walked away with their happy ending in "The Ultimatum"'s season finale, but it wasn't all rainbows and sunshine for their relationship after filming ended. "After the show wrapped, we decided that it was best for us to kind of, I guess for lack of better words, split up," he shares. "Unfortunately, I dealt with a lot of loss in this past year with family members and friends, so it was kind of hard for me to give my all in this relationship. But Shanique was by my side the entire way." Randall says they've since gotten back together "much stronger than we've ever been," and currently live with each other. "We're living nicely in Austin, so we're just excited for the future."
  3. Randall always knew he was going to end up with Shanique at the end of the show. Despite giving his brief relationship with Madlyn a fair chance during "The Ultimatum," Randall says he never had any doubts about Shanique being the person he's meant to be with. "Ultimately, what I realized within those three weeks [of dating Madlyn] is that, OK, I see it more as a teaching lesson and not me trying to be romantically involved with her further," he shares. "I knew in the back of my mind that Shanique was the person that I was going to leave with and I was going to fight for because we have two-and-a-half years of dating history. So why would I give that up for somebody that I met and then have been living with for three weeks? Madlyn's an amazing person, but in the back of my mind, Shanique has and always will be number one."
  4. April wishes "The Ultimatum" showed more of her time with Colby. Because they didn't connect with anyone else romantically on the show, April and Colby developed a close friendship during their time together. And the former wishes some of their fun scenes made the show's final cut over her other scenes about her ex, Jake. "I do wish that they showed more of my dates with Colby because y'all would have been able to see that as the more I dated Colby, the more I was like, 'Alright, less about Jake and more about this is the kind of person I need walking out of this.'" She also shares that she has some funny videos of the two on set together that she'll be posting on social media.
  5. The cast is still friendly with each other. You'd think it'd be hard for the cast of "The Ultimatum" to get along with each other after enduring such a drama-filled experience (and dating each other's partners), but for the most part, everyone still gets along. "We have a group message going with the [cast], and it's just funny how everyone responds to each other and how the conversation goes," Colby shares. "We'll send some goofy things here and there, and then we'll talk about our relationship stuff." Shanique and Randall share that they're still really good friends with Rae and Jake. Meanwhile, Alexis and Hunter say they still keep in touch with Rae, Zay, and Randall.