Cameron Hamilton, the star of Netflix’s new hit reality show “Love is Blind,” opens up about race, rapping and what type of scientist he actually is

Published by Isabelle Bousquette on

Cameron Hamilton, the star of Netflix’s new hit reality show “Love is Blind,” opens up about race, rapping and what type of scientist he actually is

Cameron Hamilton
Courtesy of Cameron Hamilton

Meltdowns and rose petals, confessions and bikinis. The world of reality TV dating shows has always been dominated by the cheesy, the cringey, the drunk, the wild, and the “most dramatic moments yet.” It’s not a world where you’d ever expect to find someone like Cameron Hamilton, a laid-back 28-year-old tech consultant based in Atlanta. Hamilton is quietly confident, genuinely congenial and almost jarringly normal. 

Perhaps most notably, he’s not a shirtless 23-year-old dreaming of a career as an Instagram influencer. So how did he end up starring on Netflix’s new reality dating show, “Love is Blind”? When the producers reached out to him, Hamilton explains he was “as skeptical as I’m sure a lot of the viewers were when they told me about the premise.”

During the show, contestants spend their time in individual pods, talking to potential partners without ever seeing their faces. They can only meet in person after getting engaged. Then they have four weeks to decide if the relationship is truly built to last before they say “I do” in the final episode. 

The show is described by its hosts, Nick and Vanessa Lachey as an “experiment” designed to test the hypothesis, “Is love really blind?” Like any good scientist, Hamilton says he “wanted to keep an open mind.”

The fact that Hamilton’s occupation on the show was identified only as “scientist” has sparked mass confusion (including a tweet from Chrissy Teigen) over its vagueness. “I started my own AI consulting firm and have been doing work for clients like CNN and Cornell Medical College,” Hamilton explains, finally setting the record straight. 

“Being a scientist is an integral part of my identity,” Hamilton says, and agrees that “it definitely played a factor,” in how he approached the show. He says he was “calculated,” asking all the women similar questions and narrowing down his choices based on their answers. 

Then, everything changed. “When I met Lauren, some of that methodology went right out the window because our connection was so strong,” Hamilton says. “I didn’t stick to my own script.”

Hamilton proposed to Lauren Speed, a 32-year-old content creator, after a matter of days. “Lauren and I were able to fall in love without having seen each other,” he says as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. For Hamilton, it is. “I didn’t have any doubts about Lauren,” Hamilton says. “I didn’t have any doubts that she was the woman I wanted to marry.”

And they still had yet to see each other’s faces. The idea behind the pods was to remove all the external factors (height, weight, age, etc.) that might affect the way people form meaningful relationships. That being said, Hamilton explains, “I don’t think the experiment was meant to say that physical attraction doesn’t matter at all. I think it was meant to say that you can fall in love without the physical attraction.” He adds, “Luckily for us, the physical attraction component was very strong as well.” 

Engagement Ring

Still, there was one physical attribute that played an important role in Hamilton and Speed’s story: race. Hamilton is White and Speed is a Black woman who believes in the idea of strong Black families. 

Did Speed know Hamilton was White before she accepted his proposal? “I don’t think she was sure exactly,” he says. Outside of the pods, race becomes central to the couple’s storyline. They discuss what it will be like to raise mixed race children, and Speed wonders how her father will react to Hamilton’s Whiteness. 

“[Race] is an extremely important topic,” Hamilton says, “but I think it’s important to note that that was just a small portion of what we talked about overall.” Of course, a lot of dates, moments and conversations were edited out in post production. Viewers never saw when Hamilton and Speed realized that their parents had the same first names or when Speed met Hamilton’s family. 

One moment that was, perhaps unfortunately, not edited out, was when Hamilton performed a rap for his fiancée’s mom. “I really don’t have any regrets,” Hamilton says assuredly. Then he laughs and adds, “The rap that I do in one of the scenes…it was funny to watch. You can tell I wasn’t really prepared to do that.” 

But jumping in and doing things you’re not necessarily “prepared to do” is kind of at the core of this show. As Speed and Hamilton approached the altar, he started to worry that she wasn’t really prepared to tie the knot. 

“It was hard to see that because I knew for sure I was ready to go, but she thought maybe she needed some more time. That was tough,” Hamilton pauses. “I felt so confident… I couldn’t think of any reason to not want to be with her and to not get married.”

Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed
Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed attend the Netflix's Love is Blind VIP viewing party at City Winery on February 27, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for Netflix)

Ultimately, Hamilton says he made the choice to be “a hundred percent vulnerable and take the chance that this wasn’t going to blow up in my face.” He adds, “It was a big risk… Some people opened themselves up and they weren’t as happy with how they came out at the end and how they were portrayed.”

He’s not trying to throw shade at his cast mates. He adds, “I don’t judge anyone on the show for anything they did or said because no one can understand what it’s like to go through this experience.”

Still, Hamilton was able to achieve something that a lot of other reality TV contestants have not; he was able to become a reality TV character without turning into a reality TV caricature.

The key is to “maintain your integrity and character because you’re being filmed around the clock,” Hamilton says. He adds, “If you’re just trying to be on camera or you’re trying to create drama, then you may not like how it comes out in the end.”

But the closest Hamilton has ever come to “stirring the pot” is when he’s in the kitchen imagining his next reality TV stint (he’d like to be a judge on “Chopped”).  

As for this weird and wild reality TV experience, Hamilton believes he finally has an answer to Nick and Vanessa Lachey’s ultimate question: “Love is absolutely blind.”

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Jill Rawlins · March 1, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Omg he’s actually so normal

justso · March 6, 2020 at 1:22 am

He would have been my choice, too. Not the ego maniac Jessica was obsessed with or the liar.

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