Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

40 Wild "The Ultimatum" Behind-The-Scenes Facts That Explain How The Show Really Works

"A lot of us didn't even know there was an ultimatum, or that marriage was anything to do with the show."

🚨Warning: MASSIVE spoilers for The Ultimatum Season 1.🚨

If you're obsessed with Netflix's The Ultimatum, then you're in the right place β€” because BuzzFeed sat down with April, Jake, and Madlyn to find out alllllllll the behind-the-scenes drama from this whirlwind of a season.

Netflix / BuzzFeed

So, without wasting any time, here are some of the juiciest things they told us:

1. The show was filmed in Austin, from March to May 2021.

Ilana Panich-Linsman / Netflix

2. Filming is done via a mix of stationary cameras and a camera crew. The bathroom was the only place in the apartments without cameras.


Madlyn told us, "I'm so thankful and surprised β€” I was expecting more of the room cam footage!"

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


"We've moved around a lot β€” we tried his hometown; we tried where his grandparents live," Madlyn explained. "Moving all over, but always together."

4. And Jake said that he was planning on proposing to April before the show on a cruise that got cancelled because of filming. She didn't know.


"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 exactlyΒ 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. They all thought it was a scam.

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 asked during the casting 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?


7. Both Madlyn and Jake said they were only told about their casting with two weeks notice β€” leading to a quick dash to get enough clothes ready.


"I did not show diet. I was not prepared β€” 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. And Jake said he almost backed out of the show the night before.


"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 β€” but I know she wanted the fame, and even though I shouldn't have, I still agreed to do it."

9. Jake said that he only learned of the "ultimatum" aspect of the show once the cast were already there.


"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 first rounds of dates by the pool are around 5–10 minutes back to back with each person.


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. There were no restrictions around drinking on the show. Madlyn and Colby stole some of the silver "goblets."


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

12. Cast are allowed to have their phones during filming.


"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 β€” especially April blowing my phone up all day."

13. April said that being in the room while Nate and Hunter proposed to Lauren and Alexis respectively had her "emotional."


"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. There was a wakeboarding date between Madlyn and Randall that we didn't get to see, as well as a tantric yoga session between Madlyn and Colby.


"Me and Randall went wakeboarding β€” 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 β€” lots of guttural moaning," she said.

15. And April said that she wished that a moment where she gave another guy her number while living with Colby was shown.


"I was living with Colby, and I was just completely broken down. I went to the bar β€” 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 β€” but that's kind of what I was having. It just wasn't on camera."

16. Jake claimed that there was a scene where April said that she would choose social media over Jake.


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. And that April originally told him it was fine to share a bed and kiss his partner, but changer her mind once he matched with Rae.


"April went on to the show saying, 'Hey, you can kiss them; you can sleep in the same bed β€” 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."Β 

18. Madlyn started a new job in the middle of filming, but didn't tell her coworkers at the time that she was simultaneously filming a Netflix show.


"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 β€” 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.


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' β€” 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.


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 β€” 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 the final decision, Madlyn made a pros and cons list about Colby. Her number-one pro was feeling like she was his "priority" and that she never had to question his commitment, whereas the cons included his communication skills. She said it was then that she knew she wanted to continue with him.


"By the advice of my sweet mother, I made a pros and cons β€” 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 said that she suspected that Colby might go for an in-the-moment wedding, which she said she felt "100%" ready for.


"To me, that's, that's Colby β€”Β  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 LA, and the cast were 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.


"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.


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 β€” like I walked in, said hi to everybody, and he just walked in [and] didn't even make eye contact with me."

25. Madlyn said that she expected more viewers to be on her side.


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 β€” it's short-lived, so we're just trying to enjoy it."

26. And April said that she expected to be "America's couple goals" with Jake.


"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 only going on the show for fame.


"She wanted to be on the show; I knew it was for fame. She tried to say it was for marriage β€” 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."Β 

28. Madlyn said that she felt jealous watching Colby and Lauren on the show.


"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. April said watching the "intimate moments" with Rae and Jake was the hardest part of watching the show.


April told us, "Watching that alone cut deep. Even though it's a year later β€” we're over it; we've moved on β€” 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 won't talk privately "out of respect for our relationships and cleanliness moving forward."


"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. April said that Zay left the group chat twice.


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.'"Β 

32. April's partner is her friend's boss. Their mutual friend told him about the show, but April herself brought it up to him, as she didn't want to get "too serious" with anyone not ready for the show to come out.


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.


"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 β€” 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' β€” 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."

Writer's note: Jake now follows April on Instagram.

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


"We've hung out quite a few times β€” 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. That being said, Jake is generally taking a break from dating right now β€” but is open to something with Rae down the line.


"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. Madlyn described her relationship with Colby as "wonderful" after the show, after revealing that the two are still married and expecting a daughter.


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. The marriage we saw between Madlyn and Colby wasn't legally binding, but the couple did go to a courthouse the following day with an executive producer.


"We were common law married β€” 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.


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. In fact, Madlyn found out she was pregnant during the couple's joint bachelor and bachelorette party.


"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. And Madlyn says that the pregnancy has been good for their relationship.


Madlyn said, "Honestly, that's probably been a huge help β€” 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 β€” not for each other only, but for our kid also. It's been everything."

Thanks to The Ultimatum cast for talking to us! What did you think of the show? LMK in the comments!

Note: Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.