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Dominique Had A Queer Storyline That Was Cut From Perfect Match

She and Brittan Byrd tried to pair up on two different shows. She claims they weren’t allowed to.

Dominique Defoe walked into Season 2 of Perfect Match already pretty certain of her type. “On my last show, I was definitely more attracted to the girls than the guys,” she said in her first confessional. The 24-year-old bisexual engineering graduate had fallen for a woman on Too Hot To Handle Season 4, but she claims that plot line was never aired or taken seriously by production. Going into her second stint on reality TV, she hoped things would be different.

“I'm an emotional masochist. That's the Scorpio in me,” Defoe tells Elite Daily. She got the call to join Perfect Match two weeks after a breakup, and she says she was told there would be opportunities for queer cast members to match up. (Season 1 had a WLW pairing.) “ I thought this could be a nice place to explore, fall in love, and have the freedom to be who I am,” she says, “without the constraints of having to be in bed with a man.”

But, that’s not exactly what happened. Defoe matched with Bryton Constantin from Squid Game: The Challenge on Night 1, a coupling that was immediately fraught with arguments over everything from yoga (“not a workout,” according to him) to the competitive physical challenges. Her next match, Chris Hahn from Dated & Related, responded “That’s fun” when she told him about her sexuality. Defoe left the house in Episode 4, after saying she would have been more comfortable matching with a girl.

Defoe now says there’s a lot more to the story, including a queer connection between her and Brittan Byrd that was never shown. Their relationship outside of filming is also more complicated than they’ve alluded to publicly. Here, she tells Elite Daily about being bisexual in heteronormative spaces and what actually happened behind the scenes.

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ED: You’ve described your pairing with Bryton as “exhausting” and “emotionally draining.” What was the straw that broke the camel’s back with him?

DD: From the first night, I was completely done. He was going off on his masculinity, trying to get his toxic weirdo ideas out on TV, and being very critical of other men. When we were going to bed, I walked away because I didn't want to have a conversation anymore.

ED: You had several tough conversations about your sexuality on the show. Did you feel like the men respected the fact that you were bi?

DD: Absolutely not. When I walked into the show, I had two big fears. One was that the guys were going to fetishize my sexuality, and two was that it wouldn't be possible for me to match with a girl again. Both of those things happened and worse.

I always say there are three headless horsemen when it comes to sexuality. You have somebody who is just homophobic and doesn't see why anybody would be in a same-sex relationship. The second horseman is people like Chris, who are willfully ignorant and don't have a basic understanding of what bisexuality is, even though it’s quite literally in the name. Maybe he just doesn't know what bi means.

Then you have a third category, which is people who think it’s hot when girls make out. Pretty much all the other men on the show had that attitude — except for Izzy [Zapata] and Jake [Cunningham], who didn’t get why my bisexuality was a big deal at all.

ED: As viewers, we only saw your matches with men, but you and Brittan recently said on TikTok that you tried to match and weren’t allowed to. You also hinted that this has happened to you before. Can you tell me more?

DD: Brittan and I liked each other from the first day of our season of Too Hot To Handle. On both shows, it felt like kismet and fate. She’s the first girl I ever fell for, and we tried really hard to be together.

On that show, [producers] would clock the connections that were forming and influence certain people to couple up. For some reason, that never happened with Brittan and me, even though we were spending hours together every day. Within the first 10 minutes, we were talking about cunnilingus and rubbing ice on each other, but I guess they thought we were just friends. We’ll go down in history as roommates.

At the end of the day, the way these shows are created and influenced is toward heteronormative matchings, and there was nothing more we could have done.

[Editor’s note: Netflix declined to comment on Defoe’s claims that she and Byrd were not allowed by production to match up.]

When I made the comments about being attracted to toxicity on the show, they were actually about her.

ED: And then what happened between you two on Perfect Match?

DD: One of my influencing factors to go on Perfect Match was that I thought she was going to be there. Neither of us liked the men. Honestly, I don't really think anybody liked the men. But she and I were never able to get in the house at the same time.

The first time we saw each other was at the cenote, and we had a long conversation about everything from our past. We started making out, and some of the guys were standing there watching us — like, hello? We were under the impression that night that anybody could match within the house, so we thought we could, but it turns out that was incorrect information and we weren’t allowed to stay.

ED: Obviously you and Brittan are still friends, but is there something more there? Have you ever dated outside of reality TV?

DD: Should I call her right now? I’m trying to gauge how upset she’s going to be with me. What I will say is that we live in two different states, but when we’re together, of course, we’re not just friends.

Any attempt at us just being friends has basically been an attempt to make it work. We have some trauma from these shows, so sometimes we’ll take a step back from each other, but then we end up right back where we started. When I made the comments about being attracted to toxicity on the show, they were actually about her. But the edit made it look like it was about a man.


ED: While you weren’t able to match with a woman on either show, you were very loud and proud about your bisexuality, even when the guys tried to dismiss it. What’s been the response like from queer viewers?

DD: It's been really nice. These are conversations that happen in real life, and it’s important for people to see representation they can resonate with. It’s unfortunate that Chris behaved that way, but I’m happy to see that people identified with my story and were able to process their fears of a man reacting that way about their sexuality. I hope they were able to get a good read on what to say in that situation, based on my response to him.

ED: Would you ever do reality TV again?

DD: The way the stories are told as of now give me pause, because there’s an obvious catering towards the man's perspective. [The edit] saying I was attracted to toxicity when I hated that man the entire time, that hurt my soul.

That being said, I go into these spaces because people like me belong there. I'm incredibly close to a lot of women from the Netflix reality world who are women of color and bisexual. The reason we all continue to show up is because if we don't, who's going to?

We've already been granted entry into a space where there aren't a lot of diverse stories. I'm somebody who's going to fight for what I believe in. I'm going to fight to break the walls of that room down. So would I go on another dating show if I felt that it was more geared towards telling diverse love stories? Yes.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.