“I’m gonna try not to cry right now, but it’s weighing heavy on [me],” the “Unsettled” podcast host, 37, said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast, getting visibly emotional. “It’s hard for me to see someone be torn apart regardless of their actions on TV. And sometimes with editing and, you know, there’s entertainment for a show, sometimes you have to take accountability for things that you didn’t do. That’s my No. 1 [piece of] advice to the cast that’s reached out.”
Fans met Jessica on season 1 of the Netflix series, which aired in 2020, and she quickly became a polarizing figure.
“Sometimes people aren’t mature enough to have to go outside of your ego to be able to do something just to move on and live your life and have another chance,” she continued. “He’s not taking the chance at this time and he’s not willing to kind of fall on that sword, whether it’s totally, you know, his fault or not. I think there’s probably certain things that weren’t aired that he’s probably just so hurt about and caught up about [but] he’s still human, who still needs to [be] treated like a human being. And quite frankly, the scenes that I saw come out where he was being viciously attacked [on the reunion], I was a little traumatized by that.”
Shake was on bad terms with the entire cast — not just ex-fiancé Deepti Vempati — at the Friday, March 4, special.
“I love Deepti, she’s my favorite character off the show. I’ve reached out to her and she’s so lovely, but I don’t wanna see — especially with everything going on in the world right now — anyone being attacked so viciously for putting themselves out there in an experiment to find out if love is blind,” Jessica told Us. “It’s not, you know, preemptive love is blind. He’s saying a lot, he’s saying too much and he’s falling all over his words, and he is not saying the right things, but I think we need to be human and try to understand and stop the piling on because this is when truly bad things can happen to people who signed themselves up for this.”
The veterinarian wasn’t the only one catching heat from viewers. Shaina Hurley has drawn comparisons to Jessica, in part because the hairstylist seemingly wasn’t over Shayne Jansen after he proposed to Natalie Lee. (Jessica, meanwhile, questioned her feelings for Matt Barnett following his engagement to now-wife Amber Pike.)
“I love it. I think my behavior as seen on that show was much worse than anything that she has done. Obviously, I didn’t love the way that it looked on there, but I’ve actually spoken with her and she’s lovely,” Jessica told Us. “I’ve spoken with Natalie as well. They’re both very lovely people and it’s really hard because this is a competition. At the end of the day, it’s an experiment. And it’s a competition in that we’re all dating the same guys.”
She continued: “You’re gonna have the same person interested in the same guy. I mean, it’s just gonna happen. It’s just part of the show. There’s no other way to have drama unless you have love triangles. I feel for her because she didn’t have, you know, the perfect match [in Kyle Abrams] and maybe she had lingering feelings for Shayne. I feel like it’s more of a friendship, but two, the thing people have to understand is when you go into these pods, you will fall in love with a rock. You’re so comfortable. And the situation is so intense and you’re alone, like, you’re stripped of your friends and family and access to all the things that you’re used to. And you get into these rooms and you’re exposing yourself and they want you to talk about your innermost feelings. You’re gonna fall for these people.”
Since her time on the show, Jessica has gotten engaged to surgeon Benjamin McGrath and launched her “Unsettled” podcast.
“The podcast drops on Wednesdays and it’s myself and my best friend just kind of bantering about what’s going on in the world. She was a news anchor in Atlanta and over the past couple of years, obviously, the news has been a spectacle in and of itself and she was in the middle of a lot of craziness, and she’s moved away from it since then. And we talk a lot about her experience in that. We also talk about my experience in reality television and how that played out —just a lot of unsettling topics in the world,” she told Us. “I think we have a bit of a sophisticated take. We talk to our listeners on our hotline and get their unsettling situations and talk through those. And it’s a lot of fun.”
For more from Jessica, including behind-the-scenes details of the Netflix show, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.