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40 Behind-the-Scenes Facts Of “The Ultimatum” That Reveal How The Show Works

“The Ultimatum” has solidified itself as Netflix’s hottest dating series ever, with surprising reveals, a wedding, and a baby on the way. “The Ultimatum” follows six couples that have been together for a long time, with one person issuing an ultimatum to their partner to either marry them or break up. The couples on the series spend three weeks in trial marriages, in which they can pick a new partner from among the other cast members, date, and live with them before returning to their original partners for another three weeks. Despite all the drama that went down on (and off) the show, we’re still not over it.

Therefore, we started our investigation into some of the behind-the-scenes facts from “The Ultimatum” to answer all of our remaining questions and ideas from season one. Scroll down for more details.

#1 From March to May 2021, the show was shot in Austin.

Source: Ilana Panich-Linsman / Netflix

#2 A combination of fixed cameras and a camera crew are used to film. The only place in the apartments without cameras was the bathroom.

Source: Netflix

#3 Before the show, Colby originally moved in with Madlyn after “two weeks” of dating, and since the show, the couple has settled on a place in her hometown.

Source: Netflix

“We’ve moved around a lot — we tried his hometown; we tried where his grandparents live,” Madlyn explained. “Moving all over, but always together.”

#4 Jake also said that he intended to propose to April (before the show) on a trip that was canceled due to filming. She seemed to have no idea.

Source: Netflix

“She didn’t know anything about it. Obviously, I wanted it to be a surprise, and she had bugged me all the time. We had a two-week cruise to the Caribbean going to Barbados, St. Lucia, and a couple other places. I was trying to figure out exactly what scenery and spot I wanted to do it at. [The cruise] was the same time the show was being filmed, so before I was even able to do that, I had to cancel all the plans to go on the show,” Jake said.

#5 Madlyn, Colby, Jake, and April were all recruited for the show via Instagram and they all thought it was a scam.

Source: Jody Domingue / Netflix

“[The message] was something along the lines of, ‘Is your relationship at a standstill or a roadblock?’ It was pretty vague. Seemed like a weird clickbait kind of thing to me,” Madlyn recalled.

#6 Questions for the interviews included things like: What kind of things do you fight about? What’s your family history? What’s your living history? What are your boundaries? What kind of people are you attracted to?

Source: Netflix

#7 Both Madlyn and Jake stated they were only given two weeks’ notice of their casting, which forced them to rush to have enough outfits ready.

Source: Netflix

“I did not show diet. I was not prepared — I did not have my wardrobe set up,” Madlyn explained. “I never really thought that I was going to be on a reality TV show.”

#8 Jake also said that he almost backed out of the show the night before.

Source: Netflix

“The last minute, I wanted to back out. The day before we left, I was stressed, and my anxiety was through the roof,” he said. “I like to keep my life private; I don’t want to do this — but I know she wanted the fame, and even though I shouldn’t have, I still agreed to do it.”

#9 Jake said he only found out about the show’s “ultimatum” element after the actors had already arrived.

Source: Netflix

“We actually didn’t even know there was an ultimatum, going on the show. We were told we were living with other cast members, we were going to be dating and moving in with them, and then after the three weeks, we’d be moving back in with our ex,” Jake explained. “But [it wasn’t] until the first interviews that we actually found out, ‘Hey, there’s an ultimatum to be given.’ And that was a big shocker to us! A lot of us didn’t even know there was an ultimatum, or that marriage was anything to do with the show.”

#10 The initial round of dates at the pool lasts around 5–10 minutes with each person.

Source: Netflix

Once people’s top choices have been narrowed down, April said, “Our dates were probably anywhere from one to two hours with each person when they started doing the one-on-ones.”

#11 On the show, there were no limitations on drinking. Some of the silver “goblets” were stolen by Madlyn and Colby.

Source: Netflix

“The amount of alcohol I consumed in those eight weeks of filming was unbelievable,” Jake added.

#12 During filming, the cast is permitted to use their phones.

Source: Netflix

“It probably would have made the spirits a little bit better if we didn’t have our phones,” Jake recalled. “People were still texting nonstop — especially April blowing my phone up all day.”

#13 April described herself as “emotional” after being in the room when Nate and Hunter proposed to Lauren and Alexis, respectively.

Source: Netflix

“I didn’t want to be there,” April recalled. “I was reactive because those are the two people I spent hours a day on these dates [with]…I was really the only girl that had all my days spent with Nate and Hunter, and that’s why was just like, ‘All these dates are for nothing.'”

#14 Madlyn and Randall had a wakeboarding date that we didn’t get to see, as well as a tantric yoga session between Madlyn and Colby.

Source: Netflix

“Me and Randall went wakeboarding — it would have been like a blooper reel. We both got checked for concussions; it was not successful. Then me and Colby did tantric yoga — lots of guttural moaning,” she said.

#15 April also expressed her desire for a scene in which she gave another guy her number while living with Colby to be shown.

Source: Netflix

“I was living with Colby, and I was just completely broken down. I went to the bar — I was just so distraught. My friends are like, ‘Alright, we need to go out, and we need to have some fun because you’re not in a good place,'” April recalled. “This man came up to me, started massaging my neck in the club, and was like, ‘You look like you’ve had a really rough day. What’s your ethnicity? You’re very beautiful.’ It didn’t come out creepy at all. It came out as the most respectful first approach from a man to pursue a woman… I wish that part was put out there, because seeing Jake and Rae have that connection, I got in trouble for giving my phone out — but that’s kind of what I was having. It just wasn’t on camera.”

#16 Jake said there was a scene, in which April stated that she would rather be on social media than with Jake.

Source: Netflix

Jake told us, “I don’t think anyone knows this, but on the show, when someone asked her, ‘Would you choose Jake over social media?’ she said no. She said she would choose social media over me. And that was just a big what the fuck? After everything I did?”

#17 April told him it was acceptable to share a bed and kiss his partner at first, but once he matched with Rae, she changed her mind.

Source: Netflix

“April went on to the show saying, ‘Hey, you can kiss them; you can sleep in the same bed — just sex is off limits,” Jake recalled. “The night of the choice, when I picked Rae and she got stuck with Colby, she came up to me, and she was like, ‘I don’t want you kissing nobody. I don’t want you sleeping in the same bed.’ So I actually jumped in a separate bed for the first five days, a little futon that we had in there. I have a bad back, so that was horrible! But she went that same night and jumped right in bed with Colby.”

#18 Madlyn started a new job in the middle of filming, but she didn’t tell her coworkers that she was filming a Netflix program at the same time.

Source: Netflix

“I just started a job that first week that I moved in with Randall. So there’s a whole-ass camera crew at 6 in the morning — and then as soon as you walk in from work, there’s a camera crew there again,” she explained. “I thought it was gonna be like two hours a day!”

#19 April said that she always had access to Jake’s phone, so it wasn’t uncommon for her to look at it.

Source: Netflix

April said, “Jake got mad at me about going to his phone on the show, but we had each other’s passwords. So for him to say, ‘I’ve never gone through your phone’ — I sent emails to production from your phone. We’ve always gone through each other’s phones.”

#20 April wasn’t planning on talking about her fertility on the show but had a cancer screening the day she discussed having unprotected sex with the other women.

Source: Netflix

She explained, “I had a full-on cancer screening biopsy on the show. My mom came, held my hand, and went with me, and then I went back to the show — and that was the day that the girls were being mean about it. I just broke, and I just was like, ‘You don’t know shit.'”

#21 The night before she made her final decision, Madlyn made a list of pros and cons about Colby. Her top positive was feeling like she was his “priority” and never having to doubt his commitment, while her biggest negative was his communication abilities. She stated that it was at that point that she knew she wanted to continue with him.

Source: Netflix

“By the advice of my sweet mother, I made a pros and cons — truly, I had to go that simple with it. And it was just, can I walk away from this relationship? Or am I ready to really give myself over to it? And I wasn’t walking away,” Madlyn told us.

#22 Madlyn speculated that Colby would go for an in-the-moment wedding, which she claimed she was “100%” ready for.

Source: Netflix

“To me, that’s, that’s Colby — I figured that’s coming. I knew, if I’m saying yes to engagement, it’s the whole package, [and] my life is going to be with Colby. So I was ready,” she explained. “Colby also [knew] that I don’t want a big wedding. I really kind of always wanted to elope and do our own thing. I don’t enjoy the whole production of [a wedding]. It was honestly really special.”

#23 The reunion was filmed in February 2022 in Los Angeles, and the cast was picked up in separate cars and driven to different hotels so that they couldn’t talk before the show. It was there that they could watch the series back.

Source: Netflix

“I watched for like five hours straight. I was dehydrated and had a migraine,” Madlyn recalled.

#24 And April claimed that Jake did not acknowledge her while they were filming the reunion.

Source: Netflix

April recalled, “Sitting across the room for Jake, you can just feel that I’m not myself, and there’s tension when we’re under the same roof together. And I also think that disrespect — like I walked in, said hi to everybody, and he just walked in [and] didn’t even make eye contact with me.”

#25 Madlyn stated that she expects a larger audience on her side.

Source: Netflix

She told us, “I expected more people to be on my side with Colby! But the ladies just love him. It’s interesting; it is what it is — it’s short-lived, so we’re just trying to enjoy it.”

#26 April also stated that she and Jake would be “America’s couple goals.”

Source: Netflix

“Walking into this, [I was] like, ‘I can’t wait to be America’s like couple goals,'” April said. “And so when that first week hit, and he just had eyes for Rae, it was like, ‘Alright, this is completely 360-ed. The train has derailed, and this is not going at all the way that I had planned out to be.'”

#27 Jake accused April of appearing on the show just for the sake of fame.

Source: Netflix

“She wanted to be on the show; I knew it was for fame. She tried to say it was for marriage — I already had an engagement planned out. I tried to get our house, already bought her a car. I did all these different things to try to let her know that I’m here,” he explained. “I think fame trumped a little bit more.”

#28 Madlyn admitted that she’s jealous of Colby and Lauren on the show.

Source: Netflix

“I was very surprised by him and Lauren,” Madlyn added. “I actually felt some serious jealousy! I was like, ‘Thank god she left the show.'”

#29 The “intimate moments” with Rae and Jake, according to April, were the most difficult aspect of watching the show.

Source: Netflix

April told us, “Watching that alone cut deep. Even though it’s a year later — we’re over it; we’ve moved on — it just hurts, because it’s, one, disrespectful and, two, seeing the betrayal. Feeling guilty for bringing him on the show and feeling guilty for giving a guy my phone number, and then seeing all this pan out was just like, ‘This was so wrong.'”

#30 Madlyn and Randall keep in touch within the context of a cast group chat, but “out of respect for our relationships and cleanliness moving forward.,” they won’t communicate personally.

Source: Netflix

“We don’t have private conversations, but we do have a group text where we all chime in, offer support, send each other all the articles and feedback that we’ve gotten,” Madlyn said.

#31 Zay left the group chat twice, according to April.

Source: Netflix

April said that after he left the group chat the first time, “I added him back to the family group chat, and I was like, ‘This is The Ultimatum family; no one is allowed to leave.’ And then it goes, ‘Zay left group chat.’ He texts me like, ‘Hahahaha.'”

#32 April’s partner is her friend’s boss. Their mutual friend informed him of the show, but April brought it up to him herself since she didn’t want to get “too serious” with someone who wasn’t ready for the debut.

Source: Netflix

April told us, “My girlfriend told him about it, because she knew about my breakup. She probably said like, ‘She’s dating this douchebag, and he broke up with her on live television,'” she explained. “He’s like, ‘As long as you don’t look stupid, I’m fine. I’ll be OK.'”

#33 However, Jake said that he had to block April after she kept messaging him while dating her current boyfriend.

Source: Netflix

“We tried to be friends for a while after the show,” Jake told us. “Then she kept hitting me up and blowing my phone up over and over and over again — so I just kind of had to block it. There were a lot of times where she was calling me about her man’s problems and their problems. I’m like, ‘I’m not the person to come to you for this’ — telling me, ‘If it was you, it would be different,’ and all this stuff. I just had to block it out, because I know he’s not OK with you hitting me up, and I’m trying to do my own thing and recoup from the show. I hope people see that I’m not just an asshole [who’s] going to block you on everything. It was for a reason.”

#34 Jake and Rae have hung out since the reunion.

Source: Netflix

“We’ve hung out quite a few times — not until after the reunion and everything, not until far after, we took our time,” Jake explained. “We still keep in contact; we still hang out.”

#35 Jake is generally taking a break from dating right now, but he is open to anything with Rae in the future.

Source: Netflix

“I just kind of took a break from dating, or anything like that. One, because it’s a show and you never know if someone’s going to actually want me for me or want me for the clout,” he said. “There’s still opportunities for me and Rae in the future, or me and other people. I’m just taking my break and [doing] my own thing for a little bit.”

#36 After the show, Madlyn described her relationship with Colby as “wonderful,” after revealing that the couple is still married and expecting a child.

Source: Netflix

Madlyn said, “Believe it or not, our biggest difficulties were seen in the show. Afterward, we just we talked everything out, and our communication was so much better; transparency with each other has gotten so much better. The way that I talk to and about Colby is so much better. So really, things have been pretty wonderful since the show ended.”

#37 Madlyn and Colby’s marriage was not legally binding, but the couple did travel to a courthouse the next day with an executive producer.

Source: Netflix

“We were common law married — but we did go to the courthouse the next day with one of the executive producers. We had a whole day, and that was really honestly even more sweet; it was even more intimate. There wasn’t a whole set of camera crews! Yeah, so we are legally married,” she explained.

#38 Colby did want to still have a big wedding after that, but then Madlyn found out she was pregnant.

Source: Netflix

Madlyn continued, “Colby gave me my small wedding, and he just kind of kept going on about like, ‘Man, I really want a donkey with drinks!’ And he wants like a tent and a green velvet carpet. He really wants the whole thing! So I went and got a dress, but then I got pregnant. Maybe in 2023, there will be some sort of celebration, but it’ll be ours. It’ll be different.”

#39 During the couple’s joint bachelor and bachelorette parties, Madlyn realized she was pregnant.

Source: Netflix

“We had a big beach weekend, and then we came home. I was feeling a little weird. So, I took a test. I was just shaking, I couldn’t believe it. I was excited. I was scared! I don’t think I slept for like three nights, but Colby [was in tears], can’t wait to be a dad. He’s the only person more excited about this than I was,” she recalled.

#40 Madlyn also claims that the pregnancy has improved their relationship.

Source: Netflix

Madlyn said, “Honestly, that’s probably been a huge help — not because we’re stuck together, but because we’ve been forced to make really long-term, smart, sit-down decisions. We’re not out drinking every night. We’re at home talking about what it’s going to be to set our family up for success and be the best that we can be — not for each other only, but for our kid also. It’s been everything.”

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