Love Is Blind star Giannina Gibelli was thrown for a loop during the series’ recent After the Altar reunion special when her ex Damian Powers showed up to the set with another woman: Francesca Farago. Gibelli and Powers met in 2018 while filming Season 1 of Netflix’s socially distanced reality dating series and subsequently got engaged — only for him to leave her at the altar on their wedding day mere weeks later. While the pair reconciled off-camera and dated for another two years, they officially called it quits in August 2020. The same month, he was spotted at dinner with Farago in West Hollywood but denied any romantic involvement between them.
In the After the Altar special, Powers is seen having a flirtatious lunch with Farago, even letting her know that his relationship with Gibelli is in an unstable place. Insisting he’s simply friends with Farago, he also says anything could happen between them and decides to bring her to the reunion despite the fact that she doesn’t know any other cast members. Unsurprisingly, this makes for an especially awkward meeting with Gibelli, and Farago ends up leaving the gathering early. “I was very uncomfortable,” Gibelli told E! News days after the special dropped on Netflix. “Literally, I have a lot of heat inside me because I felt my blood literally boiling, but then I also just felt bad for her. We all know each other. I hate feeling outcasted at parties. I felt bad for her at this point.”
It’s no question that Farago’s appearance on After the Altar was unexpected, but she wasn’t entirely out of place. While Love Is Blind viewers may not have recognized her, fans of a couple other reality shows might.
Too Hot To Handle
Farago made her television debut in 2020 on Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle, the show where 10 horny singles live in a house on a tropical island and must get into romantic pairs — but they can’t kiss, have sex, or masturbate for the duration of the season. She linked up with contestant Harry Jowsey and quickly broke the rules, which seemed to prove worth it when they were among the season’s winners. They split months later but reconciled before the May 2020 reunion special, where he staged a proposal with a ring pop. The engagement proved fake, however, and the pair broke up again a month later.
The Only Way Is Essex
Following her first Netflix stint, Farago appeared on ITV’s The Only Way Is Essex, which follows a group of young adults living glamorous lives in the southeast England region of Essex. During her time on Season 27, Farago sparked a romantic relationship with fellow cast member Demi Sims. In a TikTok video, Farago said their relationship progressed quickly, as the pair immediately moved in together upon dating and got tattoos of each other’s names within a week. She confirmed their breakup in a YouTube video posted in May 2021 — the same month TOWIE’s season finale aired.
After her breakup from Sims, Farago briefly reunited with Too Hot To Handle’s Jowsey. But they broke up again a month later, with Farago claiming he was “extremely disrespectful” to her online and Jowsey telling Us Weekly that the dynamic was “very, very toxic on both sides.”
Love is Blind’s Gibelli told Entertainment Tonight on Aug. 2 that she and Powers have officially gone their separate ways, so it’s possible the door is open for Farago to couple up with him for real — if that’s what they desire. If not, maybe she can nab a spot on another reality show and find love there.