A different journey to “I do!” Madlyn Ballatori and Colby Kissinger are the first success story to come from Netflix’s The Ultimatum.
During the 2021 production of the reality show, Ballatori was 24 and Kissinger was 25. The twosome, who had been dating for a year and a half, were at a crossroads when he was ready to propose, but she wasn’t in a rush to tie the knot. As part of The Ultimatum, they each participated in a trial marriage with one of their costars.
Ballatori, for her part, lived with Randall Griffin for three weeks. While Kissinger was paired with April Marie, he found a connection outside of the show and hooked up with an unnamed woman during production.
“It wasn’t the right thing to do, obviously. And secondly, I should’ve just owned my mistake right there and then,” he told Us Weekly in March 2022 before the show debuted. “It just was so much going on. I felt kind of attacked, I guess … and I just felt cornered and my way of handling was obviously poor. But overall, I knew what I had to do in order to keep what I wanted. And so that was just manning up and owning my mistake in the end.”
Ballatori, meanwhile, noted she had a “great” connection with Griffin, but any chance of romance was “overshadowed” by her relationship with Ballatori. Still, the twosome went through the process and nearly split when the stars reunited with their OG partners. In the end, however, they were ready to commit, and Kissinger not only proposed during the finale — the pair got married.
“Once I knew I was committed in [the] engagement, I knew I was ready for the next big thing, which was marriage and, like, wasting another beat when you got it right there on the biggest stage? Why not take advantage of the opportunity?” Kissinger explained to Us. “And I figure since she said yes to the engagement, why not say yes to the marriage.”
Three months after wrapping the show, they learned they are going to be parents.
“I am ready to have my girl. Just the past couple weeks, I’m, like, ‘Get this baby outta me!’” Ballatori told Us when she was 35 weeks pregnant in March 2022. “But I love being pregnant. I mean, this is, it’s been such a blessing.”
Scroll through for a timeline of Ballatori and Kissinger’s relationship: