Is The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On Scripted or Real?

Image Credit: Ilana Panich-Linsman/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On’ – just as the title suggests – revolves around those couples wherein one person has given their partner an ultimatum to either commit forever or split for good. However, the twist is that while all of them ponder how to proceed, they’re allowed to explore a different side by dating others from the contestant pool and spending time with them in a trial marriage. So, of course, it’s drama galore when the original pairings eventually reunite before the final decision, leaving us to wonder if maybe any part of this show could’ve been scripted or not. Let’s find out!

Is The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On Real or Scripted?

From the moment ‘The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On’ was first announced, it has been billed as a reality series produced by Kinetic Content, the same company behind ‘Love is Blind.‘ Therefore, with them doubling down on relationships, it’s safe to say that this Netflix original is as authentic as the latter — no backgrounds, connections, emotions, or personal situations are concocted here. The producers do carefully design the activities and the one-on-one interviews for the participants to give the entire show a basic structure on-set, yet that doesn’t really make any aspect of it fake.

With that said, there is a bit of manipulation (not manufacturing) involved from behind-the-scenes to reiterate a dramatic point again and again for our sheer entertainment. This much was evident in the first episode itself, when the topic of Rae being closed about her feelings towards Zay arises, even though she’s the one who issued the marriage ultimatum. We actually see her struggling to verbally express her emotions to both him and the producers at different points within mere moments, all thanks to the careful questioning as well as post-production editing, hence manipulation.

But again, none of this makes the series phony or scripted; it just makes it gripping because the sentiments behind the illustrated matters continue to be as natural as possible. Moreover, while explaining why hosting this original is different from ‘Love is Blind,’ even Nick and Vanessa Lachey have implied that ‘The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On’ is real. “It’s gonna sound weird, but the stakes almost feel a little higher,” Nick said, later adding, “The emotional anxiety in the room was like palpable, like you could feel it, it was an emotional roller coaster. And we were on it.”

Nick continued, “They’re confronting whether or not to end that relationship or to take it to the next level. I think the emotions were a lot higher.” Vanessa added that even they were very real with the contestants as a couple this time around, stating, “We were more open with them. There were multiple dinners where we sat down and had a glass of wine with them and were just talking about the process and what we’ve experienced in our lives.”

In other words, apart from the pre-production planning and small bits of manipulation to provide the reality show with a sort of framework, there’s nothing simulated or unnatural in the series. No cast members – whether the couples or the experienced hosts – are thus given any extensive directions or pre-penned lines that would make them act any different than who they are in front of the cameras. Therefore, the reality show delivers what the genre promises – real emotions and real entertainment.

Read More: Where is The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On Filmed?