What if you had an opportunity to revisit the one person who could have changed your life forever. A friendship that could have been more? Prime Video’s The One That Got Away, hosted by singer Betty Who, six singles are introduced to people out of their past. We’re introduced to the six singles, all of whom have desires to revisit people who they either dated and broke up with or had brief interactions with that stayed with them, or even “friend zoned” because they were unavailable. Whether it’s a high school classmate whose crush always went unrequited, or the kind stranger who offered a helping hand five years ago, the potential partners are sure to be dramatic.
Hosted by singer/songwriter Betty Who, The One That Got Away is unlike other reality dating shows before it. In this unique experience, the contenders will get to explore missed connections as people from their past enter through “The Portal,” reconnecting people from the past, have one-one-one time and hopefully find true love. But there’s one catch…they don’t know when someone will come out of the portal, and how many people from their past will be there.
To further understand this original dating series, The Koalition spoke to singles — Allyssa Anderson, Ashley Algarin, Jeff Perla, Nigel Sydnor, Kasey Ma and Vince Xu about this once-in-a-lifetime experience, learn why they joined the show, lessons learned from revisiting their past and more.
Ashley is from a rural town in the Midwest and is something of a country girl who spends her spare time raising chickens. Her love life has proved challenging after a bad relationship when she was 17 made it hard for her to return to dating. “I agreed to do this because you’re putting everything out there for the public. This show’s really different than any other show out there and its season one, so even we didn’t fully know what to expect. It took a lot of risk on our end but finding a misconnection, [we had] no clue who was coming and we all had some fears of. ‘Oh my gosh, what if they bring this person.’ Maybe some people had some hope. It was just a really different dating show than anything else out there and I really wanted to open myself up to that opportunity,” said Ashely.
Allysa believes in manifestation and saw this show as sign to reunite with a former flame; especially since she keeps a note of all the men she knows in a journal, with the hopes of meeting Mr. Right. “I think in this situation it’s mainly about vulnerability. I felt personally, I was a little bit regretful about certain things that happened in my past. I realized nothing was really working in my dating life and I turned to spirituality and manifestation to kind of heal. So, when I was presented with this opportunity, it felt like serendipity. I wanted to explore those past regrets those past relationships I felt fell through the cracks and I think this was the opportunity to do it. What better way to show I’m vulnerable than to go on live television and decide I’m going to take this chance and it was really a leap of faith I’m glad I took,” said Allyssa.
Coming from a strict and traditional background, Kasey recently ended her seven-and-a-half-year relationship with the man she thought she would marry. Now she realized she needed to put herself first and hopes to find the right person for her. “Most dating shows you’ve seen on reality tv don’t really give you the opportunity to have met the person beforehand so to be able to tap into your past and your history to find if you had any misconnections that maybe you just didn’t get to explore [or] you didn’t really click with them because of timing, I thought this was absolutely perfect. Given my serial monogamous history and always being in really long term very serious relationships this was just the perfect way to dip my toe back into dating. I don’t know about dipping my toe, I really put it all in, but it was a great fresh way to approach dating right now,” said Kasey.
Just like anyone about to meet someone from their past a lot of didn’t emotions are felt from nervousness to excitement. As the singles approach the portal, most are thrilled with who comes out. Ashley meets a guy whom she met during a conference; Jeff meets a former confirmation classmate from when he was still closeted; Vince sees an old classmate. Hilariously, Kasey doesn’t remember the name of the person who comes out of the portal for her, but she is still attracted to her old college work study friend. Only Allyssa, who sees a nerdy high school buddy come out of the portal, is disappointed, and the awkwardness between them is realistic.
Jeff saw The One That Got Away as an opportunity to learn how others have grown to become the person they are today. Living in New York City, Jeff was an outgoing and adventurous type, who grew up playing sports as a way to fit in with the straight crowd. While he is still outgoing and adventurous, at the age of 21, he came out and is now proudly living his dream life.
“One of the cool things about this show is it is bringing on people from your past right. I look at somebody and it brings you back to ‘wow I met this person in high school,’ and you still think of them as that person in high school because you have not seen them since that time. [But] they’re not the same person, I’m not the same person. When you see someone initially come in, your stomach might drop, my hands are sweating. I’m like, ‘oh my god, what the hell are they doing here? But then once you actually get to know them and say, ‘wow, we’ve all grown up, it makes you realize you really should give people a second chance,” said Jeff.
While on the show, the goal is to reconnect without any distractions in hopes of truly connecting with someone on a deep personal level. Even if this is not how dating in the modern world tends to work, this process is something everyone agreed is something they would like to keep in the real world.
Lawyer Vince knows what it’s like to live a fast-paced life as he’s constantly busy in the courtroom. He met his first love at the tender age of 17 with the couple together for nearly nine years. For him, this show taught him a new way of connecting with people.
“This experience is even better than what reality would be because I would imagine. If I was to reconnect with someone, they’d be like ‘hey like you want to grab coffee’ and it’s kind of awkward being the first person to reach out. You don’t know if they’re in a relationship or not or what their situation is like, ‘hey yeah let’s just catch up, what have you been doing for the past 10 years.’ I just don’t feel the reality of it would be as great as coming on this show through a portal where you’re just immersed in a completely different world. You have no cell phone, no access to the outside world; you’re just immersed [in] trying to find love and see this connection. You’re sharing this completely brand-new experience together. I can’t really think of a better way to reconnect with someone than to do it on this show.”
Nigel, the successful real estate professional who wants to rekindle with women who previously taught him a lot about himself agreed with Vince. “I learned you really have to put the electronics down and just be present and just take in the person who is in front of you because whether it was this dating show or just us sitting here together, we could build such a genuine connection without all the distractions that come from this whether it’s a text or social media or whatever it might be.”
To learn more about The One That Got Away, check out our full interviews with the cast in the videos.