- TLC’s “90 Day Fiancé” is one of television’s most loved reality TV shows.
- Many couples from the show are still together.
- The show does not fully cover the details on what it takes to become a US citizen.
- Some cast members have opened up about their experience on the show on social media.
For nearly five years, TLC’s hit show “90 Day Fiancé” has been entertaining audiences with stories of unique couples navigating the trials and tribulations of the K-1 visa process.
Fans can’t get enough of the show’s couples, awkward moments, and heated arguments. Complete with all the reality TV essentials – love, drama, unusual circumstances, and, of course, tears – it’s not surprising why the show continues to be one of television’s most addicting reality series.
As with any reality show, there is much more to “90 Day Fiancé” than meets the eye. From production secrets to cast member gossip, here are some interesting facts about the popular TLC series.
INSIDER reached out to TLC but did not immediately hear back.
American cast members are not paid much to be on the show, and non-American cast members are reportedly paid nothing.
Last year Nikki Cooper, a friend of season five’s David Toborowsky, revealed on the “90 Day Fiancé” Facebook page that cast members are paid $1,000 per episode in addition to a $2,500 bonus for attending the “Tell All” special.
As for the cast members seeking their green cards, season six cast member Luis Mendez claimed on his Instagram page that the immigrant cast is not paid anything. He said, “They (TLC) only use the immigrant people … they dont [sic] pay to us in the first 90 days and they destroy our lives with bad fame.” He went on to say, “I don’t [receive] any money only the American people.”
Matt Sharp, a producer for “90 Day Fiancé,” backed up this claim when he told the “Reality Life” podcast that it would be “illegal to pay someone” who doesn’t have a green card.
In-laws and friends of the cast members are also apparently not paid to appear on the show.
According to Nikki Cooper, friends and family members of the cast members receive no compensation for being on the series. On her YouTube channel, she stated that she and husband Chris Thieneman “didn’t get a single dime from the show” when they appeared on season 5.
Getting married does not guarantee citizenship.
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Although the show documents the 90 days that a couple pursuing a K-1 visa has to get married, the show does not cover the multitude of steps after marriage that must be taken before the immigrant partner becomes a US citizen.
The State Department’s description of the K-1 visa indicates that receiving the visa and permission to travel to the US to get married is just the first step in pursuing citizenship.
After marriage, a green card, which grants immigrants status as a “lawful permanent resident,” must be requested and held for a minimum of three years before the holder can apply for citizenship, which in itself is a lengthy process.
In addition, if the marriage is annulled or a couple files for divorce, the citizenship of the K-1 visa holder could potentially be in jeopardy.
All of the couples from “90 Day Fiancé” season one are still together.
- Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery, Inc.
When it comes to getting married on reality television, perhaps the first time’s the charm, because all four of the couples from the show’s debut season are still married.
Russ and Paola recently announced that they are expecting a child, as are fellow season one cast-mates Mike and Aziza. Alan and Kirlyam have a son named Liam together and Louis and Aya are raising Louis’ two sons from a previous relationship and announced she was expecting their first baby together in February.
As for the couples from other seasons, there are many couples who are still married.
In fact, of the 22 couples that appeared from season 2 to season 5, 11 are still committed to one another and some have children together.
The show’s popularity has sparked four spin-off series.
TLC now has four spin-off shows focusing on different aspects of the cast members’ relationships.
“90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?” is a documentary series that follows a handful of the most popular “90 Day” couples on their journey after the 90 days are over. The show debuted in 2016 and has three seasons so far.
For a different look at international love, TLC’s “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days” showcases new couples who are just beginning their relationship prior to starting the K-1 visa process. The show currently has two seasons.
The network’s streaming service TLCgo premiered a third spin-off, “90 Day Fiancé: What Now?” in July 2018. The show featured updates on various “90 Day” couples.
Most recently, TLC announced yet another spin-off called “90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way”, which will follow American partners who decide to leave the US to be with their fiancé.
Like other reality shows, some cast-members claim that not everything on “90 Day Fiancé” is truly based in reality.
According to InTouch Weekly, Nikki Cooper, a friend of David Toborowsky of season five, claimed on Facebook that one of the season’s most controversial scenes was actually scripted.
In the episode, Nikki’s husband Chris Thieneman asks David’s fiancé Annie Suwan to give him a “Thai massage by the pool.” Viewers around the country cringed not only because the comment seemed racially charged but also because Chris’ wife Nikki was sitting next to him when it happened. Nikki cleared the air by saying, “The producer asked him to say it and Chris had to say it more than once because it didn’t come off as natural … We were fed our lines while sitting at the table.”
Producers were also accused of scripting the show by season four’s Alla Fedoruk. In the trailer for the season, she can be seen throwing a chair. However, when it didn’t make the final cut of the show, fans were left wondering what caused the breakdown.
A since-deleted screenshot of a comment Alla made on Facebook said that TLC made her throw the chair “but never came up with the story for it,” resulting in it ending up on the cutting room floor.
Other cast members have claimed that producers hide some things from viewers.
In a Facebook post, Sean of season one of “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days,” claimed that the show’s edit incorrectly portrayed multiple aspects of his life, his relationship, and the truth of Abby’s experience in Haiti.
In his post, he chastises viewers for being “gullible and incapable of critical thinking” and warns fans that “you can’t trust the emotions you see on that show.” He also states that the truth was “talked about during the tell-all interview, but [viewers] were shown none of that.”
There was once a petition by viewers to kick a cast member off the show.
In 2017, a petition to stop the network from giving season four cast member Nicole Nafziger more screen time surfaced on Change.org.
The petition was in response to an episode that aired in November 2017 in which Nicole allegedly went into a “tirade” of “pushes, shoves, attacks … and other forms of abuse” toward her fiancé Azan Tefou, according to the petition.
In the description on Change.org, the creator states the purpose of the petition was to “help end this cycle of domestic abuse.” Over 300 people supported it.
Some of the show’s cast members have appeared on other reality television programs.
Reality TV stars appearing on other reality shows is an all-too-familiar practice and “90 Day Fiancé” cast members are no exception.
Season five’s Molly Hopkins co-starred on Lifetime’s reality series “Double Divas,” a show that documented life at an Atlanta lingerie store owned by Molly and her friend Cynthia Richards. The show aired for two seasons in 2013.
Darcey Silva, a cast member from season one and two of the “90 Day Fiancé” spin-off “Before the 90 Days” had previously appeared on “Millionaire Matchmaker” and filmed a pilot for a series titled “Twin Life” in 2010 with her twin sister Stacey.
Patrick Cornett, another cast member from “Before the 90 Days” may hold the title for most reality shows by a “90 Day” contestant, as he’s appeared on a whopping six reality programs, including “American Ninja Warrior.”
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