The 37-year-old “Unsettled” podcast host was joined by several of the OG stars, including Amber Pike and Matt Barnett, for the Netflix special After the Altar: Two Years Later, which started streaming in July 2021.
“I chose to go and I chose to go on my own. I could have brought [my fiancé] Ben — he and I talked about that extensively,” Jessica said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast about filming the reunion show. “And at some point, I thought I did wanna bring him, but I’m so glad I went alone because I don’t want the story to be that, ‘Oh, I ended up engaged and it’s a happily ever after.’ I really fought through, day by day, on my own. And I wanted to walk into that room of people, you know, standing on my own two feet, just [saying], ‘I got through this and I’m happy to be here and wish you all well, and I hope there’s no ill will on your part.’ But as you see, it plays out a little bit differently than that.”
During the 2020 season of the Netflix series, fans watched Jessica strike up connections with Mark Cuevas and Barnett. While she got engaged to Mark — and Barnett found love with Amber — post-pods happiness didn’t last long. Jessica, does, however, recall a highlight of the experiment being the group trip to Mexico.
“It was weird seeing Barnett and Amber, and it was not the person that I dated and felt a lot of feelings for,” she told Us about the honeymoons on the show. “It was a totally different dynamic between the two of them, which I was reconciling in my brain.”
While Amber and Barnett exchanged vows — and are still together — she wasn’t thrilled to see Jessica during a party on After the Altar.
“I was so far taken aback. I had no idea it was that intense of a situation at all,” Jessica told Us about seeing the couple again, adding that she hasn’t spoken to them since filming the summer special. “It was just strange, you know, I had no clue that that animosity was still lingering.”
“I was so surprised that he didn’t go because he loves, he loves that stuff,” Jessica told Us. “But I think he knew, you know, obviously with LC and the cheating situation there that was gonna come out. He was gonna have to speak to what happened between the two of us because that was something I had sat on for a long time that I was eager to speak with him about in front of the world. And not to put him down or belittle him or have any hate sped his way, but I felt it would be fair for the whole story to come out, but he didn’t come. I get that. I think it was probably the best play considering all of the seemingly trouble that he was gonna be in on camera.”