WARNING: This post contains spoilers from The Ultimatum: Queer Love episodes 1-4.
Lexi Goldberg wants us to be dating more intentionally.
Netflix's The Ultimatum: Queer Love puts relationships to the test in a daring social experiment. Couples at a crossroads of engagement pick new partners and enter trial marriages before each person must decide if they want to move forward with their original partner, someone new, or all alone. Lexi gave her girlfriend Rae an ultimatum and the pair entered into the process. During the first batch of episodes, we saw Lexi date a few people, find a new partner in Mal, and majorly clash with Vanessa, who went on to couple up — and get intimate — with Lexi's ex. Read on as we speak to Lexi all about it and get a tease for what's to come this season.
Netflix Rae Cheung-Sutton and Lexi Goldberg on 'The Ultimatum Queer Love'
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We saw some of the dating process, including your dates with Vanessa and your trial marriage partner Mal. What stands out to you from that time in the process looking back?
LEXI GOLDBERG: I am over the moon about my dating experience, what ended up transpiring and who I ended up picking. There's always going to be a part of me that wishes the world saw even more of why I fell in love in the way I did with Mal. What's really cool about the process is going into these conversations super intentionally. Every date we talk about marriage, financial situations, family dynamics, and other really big conversations. I hope people who watch this take a note of what it means to have dated intentionally where you talk about all the stuff you maybe don't talk about for six or seven or eight months, maybe sometimes even years.
What was it that drew you to Vanessa initially?
If I look back at my dating history, I traditionally have dated people that are more reserved. I tend to be the extrovert in my relationships and it was unique to be in a situation where I found somebody that was challenging my extroverted side. It [brought] something out in me that my past relationships haven't. We did play really well off each other on our dates and had good laughs at first.
What do you remember about "The Choice" ceremony and confronting Vanessa?
I hadn't seen Rae in days and I felt like I had this Earth-shattering revelation about a person I knew we were both dating. I didn't know how to get the words out to her to say this girl might be really bad news. I couldn't pull her aside for five minutes to fill her in. I don't have any regrets about how I did it. What I do think about is the sense of vagueness in what I was saying. I didn't go into specific detail of what had shown up for me on that last date, so I do question sometimes what would have happened if I had been more clear. Maybe Rae wouldn't have picked Vanessa, but I also wanted to give Rae the ability to make decisions for herself. I felt like if I told too much of my personal experience that would dictate what her next three weeks were going to look like.
Netflix Vanessa Papa and Lexi Goldberg in 'The Ultimatum: Queer Love'
You and Mildred bring up wanting everyone to have the right motives when talking to Vanessa at "The Choice" ceremony. Can you explain why that is necessary from this experience?
Absolutely. This wasn't a fun dating show where everybody was single. We all had full lives with people that we were living with. My clothing was in drawers at our apartment. It's not like I have my own place and I'm going back to it after this. If my relationship ends at the end of the show, I'd have to hop in a U-Haul and move the hell out. We were all giving everything we had up until that point or so I thought. We have a responsibility to handle this with care. Families, children, parents, and grandparents were involved. If you're going into this show, you're putting your heart on the line. At that point, I was damn near exhausted from how much I had given myself to this process. Then for my very last day of dating to receive such a 180 was frustrating. I had this fear that I may not be the only one who was almost duped by people who were not willing to give 100 percent or even like 80 percent.
You and Mal bonded so well and we saw some pieces of your time together. Any fun stories while sharing the apartment that we didn't get to see?
Every moment of us together. There was one day where we were so restless in the apartment that we started play-fighting with laundry baskets over our heads. We called it "Baskiat." There were so many fun moments. [There were also some cultural things.] One of the things I laugh about the most looking back is I went to cook her dinner one night and I was making chicken. I never grew up in a household where we washed chicken and I remember her and her mom on the phone looking at me like "What are you doing?" She's gonna kill me for mentioning the chicken, but it was just so damn funny in the moment because her mom was like "Lexi, do not kill my daughter. Please wash the chicken" and the chicken was in the pan already. Am I supposed to take it out and put it in the sink? I absolutely loved every moment of it. It was so fun, so pure, and genuine.
You were very open with Mal about what you learned dating Rae and your thoughts on dating people of color as a white person. Can you talk about bringing those conversations to the show?
These were conversations we had continuously that don't meet the quota for light reality TV and mess, and they are conversations that I do plan to continue having moving forward. We had conversations about what it meant to be queer women in a relationship, to be in a biracial relationship. What it meant to have children. What if one of our children, skin color-wise, is Black and one is not? How do we handle those children with care? Where are we going to raise a family? Or support them to understand their culture? What does having a Black sperm donor or a white sperm donor mean for our children? Even getting into our apartment we were living and the sheets were not supportive of Mal's hair, so we had to go to Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond to get sheets. These are conversations I don't think we're having nearly enough. It's 2023 and the world is not in a good place. People are not being supported in the way they need to be.
Mal mentions potentially leaving the experience engaged to you. What would you say about the romantic potential between the two of you?
The first week and a half we were blossoming into this amazing relationship we built together. I don't think we had enough time. Maybe if we had a few more weeks together we could have addressed the gravity of how we felt about each other as people that would have given us the room for that. It's hard when you have a few weeks and you don't want to be reckless. This is somebody who will be in my life. Even now, my dad called her to invite her to my brother's graduation and wanted to fly her up to Philly to be with our family. These are just the ways we've integrated each other into our lives.
Netflix Lexi Goldberg on 'The Ultimatum: Queer Love'
What do you remember about confronting Vanessa about having sex with Rae?
I had so many questions. I'm a person who just likes the full picture of what's going on. It's hard when nobody remembers what happened. It speaks to the recklessness and carelessness of what you're doing. I was in this intentional trial marriage with somebody that I cared about and thought about whether or not we should try these things. These two over there are like hot potatoes doing it and then saying they don't love each other. I did have questions about that.
What can you tease about what's to come in the next batch of episodes?
Absolutely and utter chaos. It's going to be drama on drama on drama. Truly if you feel like you thought the first trial marriage was crazy then wait until the second rolls around. When you go back to living with somebody that has now become a stranger to you, it is one of the most humbling experiences of a lifetime. It's going to be messy as hell and it is definitely entertaining to watch.
The Ultimatum: Queer Love returns with new episodes May 30 on Netflix.
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