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Is there an ex in your life, or a missed connection that every once in a while crosses your mind and makes you wonder “what if?” What if you had tried a little harder to make the relationship work? What if you had gone for it and told them how you felt? What if you had taken that chance on love with a friend? Six contestants on Prime Video’s new reality series The One That Got Away are finally going to get the answers to those questions — and discover if the one they were really meant to be with was someone they’d already met.
Leading the six contestants through this radical dating experiment is musician Betty Who, who shares how moved she was watching the participants be so vulnerable, and how it led her to question if perhaps, if she were single, she might want to go on a similar journey. “Let me level with you. If I was watching the show, and I wasn’t the host, and if I saw it for the first time and I was single, I’d probably be like, ‘oh my God, I want to go so bad’,” she tells PRIDE. “I do have a short list of ones that got away. People who I was like, ‘if I had a portal, these would be the people who would come through the portal.’ I definitely have a list — I won’t share it publicly, but I definitely have a list,” she confesses.
Who isn’t the only out cast member in this experiment: one of the participants, Jeff Perla, an out gay man, is looking to reconnect with some of his former loves. Perla runs a travel blog, which has been great for meeting people, but not so much for making lasting connections. Naturally, he wondered if maybe, just maybe, he’s already met the one.
As the sole out contestant on the show, it might have been natural for Perla to feel pressure to represent, but as he told PRIDE, he was excited to be the kind of queer man he needed to see when he was growing up. “I personally felt like I had nobody to watch, right? To me, reality TV involving a gay man was always he’s going to start the drama, he’s going to show up in heels, glitter... they portrayed a gay male as always this similar image,” Perla says. “And so I wanted to come on this experience and show that there are so many types of gay men, whether that’s femme or bro-y or however, you may fall on the spectrum, right? So I just hope that people enjoy watching this experience.”
But mostly, Perla was excited for the chance at romance and to learn more about himself. “One of the things I found surprising is how many distractions we have in front of us,” he explains. “I mean, we all see this shirtless guy in the club, and you go to the club on Saturday, and he’s great for the week. Then you go to the club the next Saturday, you meet someone new, he’s great for that week. And you kind of just get this pattern of ‘Am I ever going to stop looking at all these shiny objects that are glittering in front of my face?’”
Perla says he had to stop and just focus on embracing the moment. Did that strategy work? Well, you’ll have to watch the show to find out.
Watch PRIDE’s interviews with Betty Who and Jeff Perla below. The One That Got Away is streaming now on Prime Video.