Madlyn & Colby Made Big Life Changes After The Ultimatum

“We cannot be more proud of where we are right now.”

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Colby Kissinger & Madlyn Ballatori in 'The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On' Season 1 via Netflix's press...

At the outset of Netflix’s The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On, Colby Kissinger was “100% in” and “ready to propose to” his girlfriend of a year-and-a-half, Madlyn Ballatori. “I just want to be known as her man,” Colby explained. Madlyn was not at all on the same page, explaining that she was “not ready to get married yet” and didn’t even “really believe in there only being one person for everybody.”

As part of the show’s dating experiment, Colby and Madlyn each had to choose a new partner from the five other couples in the cast for a three-week trial marriage. Madlyn formed an instant connection with Randall Griffin, but Colby didn’t quite have the same luck. Though multiple women were interested in him, he chose Lauren Pounds to be his trial wife. However, his selection made Lauren’s original partner, Nate Ruggles, feel threatened enough to propose, and once she accepted, Colby’s trial marriage was over before it had the chance to begin. Instead, he and April Marie — whose first choice, Hunter, also rejected her to propose to his original girlfriend — agreed to give the experience a shot together.

The two got along but lacked a romantic connection. So Colby decided to “outsource,” as he called it, and kiss another woman at a club off-camera, and then continued to communicate with her outside of the show. His reasoning was that he wanted to “make [the experiment] real” for Madlyn by exploring another relationship. But Madlyn didn’t see it that way. It also wasn’t until after they moved back in together that she learned he’d still been talking to the woman.

Heading into their final night together before ultimatum day, Madlyn said she was “ready to marry Colby.” But she seemed to have a change of heart during their dinner conversation. “I can’t leave here with you. ... It’s not going to work,” she told him before getting up and leaving the table.

“He went to another girl’s hotel room at 4 o’clock in the morning so that it would be real. So that I would be able to marry him,” she told cameras after the argument. “That’s not what I’m willing to do for the rest of my life. I thought it would be my last dinner with Colby as my boyfriend before he became my fiancé. ... I can’t marry somebody like that. I can’t have that for the rest of my life.”

Colby wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and admitted his mistake. “Right now she is in a state of confusion on what she wants to do,” he explained in an interview the next morning. “The last thing I want is to see Madlyn walk away. The last thing I want is to see Madlyn upset, confused the way she is. I’ve caused this. I don’t feel like I’m going to get this chance again. I don’t think I’m going to find another person like Madlyn. I don’t feel like I’ll find these feelings I have for her in somebody else.”

They were able to hash things out back in their hotel room afterward, but when ultimatum day arrived, Madlyn still seemed to have some reservations. “I do love Colby, and I thought I would’ve really wanted to marry him, but our issues might be too big,” she said in the season finale. Her Instagram included a potential spoiler, though: In July 2021 — several months after filming ended — Madlyn tagged Colby in an Instagram photo from a trip to Nashville.

Indeed, as the finale revealed, not only did Madlyn and Colby get engaged, but they also got married on the spot. In a joint March 30 interview with Bustle, the couple explained that Colby had actually driven the three hours to Houston to get Madlyn’s father’s blessing to propose beforehand. “That’s what sealed the deal,” Colby says. Meanwhile, Madelyn shares that she “weighed out the pros and cons of what losing Colby would mean, adding, “I knew I needed to say yes.”

Knowing that her family was disappointed that they weren’t there for the impromptu nuptials, Madlyn bought a wedding dress for a do-over ceremony, but — surprise! — she got pregnant about three months after filming wrapped in May 2021. “After baby, we’ll do a vow renewal or something, and my dad will walk me down the aisle,” she says, sharing that she was 35 weeks pregnant as of March 30. “That’s an important thing for me that we will get eventually for sure — once I can fit into my dress.”

In the meantime, they’re remodeling and building a new house in Madlyn’s hometown while they await their baby girl’s arrival. As Madlyn sums it up, “We cannot be more proud of where we are right now.”

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