Ever since TLC aired its first episode of 90 Day Fiancé back on January 12, 2014, viewers haven’t been able to resist the different relationships, the drama and the family issues that comes with a U.S. citizen being in a relationship with a foreigner.
When the show first aired back in 2014, it had a different concept than it has now and fans fell more in love and addicted to the show. It used to be just a show couples who had just received their K-1 visa and are trying to decide if they should marry in the next 90 days, but now it is much more... It has evolved and has become an almost completely different show and fans are absolutely obsessed with it.
With the sixth season just ending back in January 2019, we thought we could help fans out who are craving more about the show with some behind-the-scenes mysteries that happened during the reality televisions six-season run. From how much they are paid, to things they are forced to do while filming — even a few juicy unknown facts about a couple of the members who have appeared throughout the show.
Continue reading to learn the answers to those questions and more…
Before there was 90 Day Fiancé, the show was called International Love and had a whole different idea behind it.
According to eonline.com, executive producer Matt Sharp explained on a podcast called, Reality Life With Kate Casey: “We went around town to all the different networks and all of the female networks thought it felt too male, while all the male networks thought it felt too female.”
They then came up with “Bachelor Wars: Russia,” a show about men from the U.S. that go over to Russia to meet women. Yet again it was a no go. Then they learned about the K-1 visa process and the 90-day limitations it has for couples to get married.
At first, the show failed, but then Sharp met a friend from TLC who loved the idea and the rest is history.
When it comes to finding the perfect couples to be on the show, a lot must be considered before producers pick just anyone.
According to eonline.com, Matt Sharp, executive producer of the show, explained during his podcast, Reality Life With Kate Casey: “These are people that are very much in the queue for a visa already. We always wanted this to be a super-authentic, warts and all. A lot of the producers we brought in came from the Teen Mom world, which also had authenticity to the show. We wanted to do something that didn't just show one side of love and that was not black and white. A show that caused a debate on the couches of its fans. We're not looking for villains or heroes; We're looking for real people with interesting backgrounds, stories, and interesting situations."
When it comes to the couples that are brought on the show, a lot of fans have believed that some of them seemed staged, fake and there was no way that they could be a couple on their own.
Well, they aren’t.
According to eonline.com, Matt Sharp, executive producer, explained during the 2018 Summer TCA Press Tour: “We're not involved in the immigration process. We find couples for the show that are already in the process. It's an authentic process. These are couples who are in love and going through this process."
He then stressed "We don't put people together. Everyone we feature on the show, they found themselves organically."
Back in 2017, during the shows fourth season, a petition showed up on Change.org, with the hopes that the creators of the show would stop giving one member, Nicole Nafziger, more screen time and instead kick her off the show.
According to insider.com, the petition all started during a certain episode that aired in November 2017. During the episode, Nicole is seen going on a tirade and beings pushing, shoving, and attacking her fiancé, Azan Tefou.
At the time of the petition, it had over 300 signatures from supporters who agreed that she needed to be removed from the show.
When the couples are picked to be on the show, a lot of them are having major money issues. Now, when someone is picked to be on the show, it does pay, but nowhere near as much as other reality television shows such as Real Housewives or Teen Mom.
In fact, according to eonline.com, Matt Sharp, executive producer of the show, admitted to Reality Life With Kate Casey, that while the U.S. co-stars receive a customary appearance fee, the international co-stars do not. “It would be illegal to pay someone who is international. They would have to have a green card, which they do not."
Danielle and Mohamed was one couple on the show that was a strange mix. It was quite obvious that Mohamed was using Danielle just to get a green card, but in Danielle’s eyes, it was true love.
According to screenrant.com though, it wasn’t long before the two split and Mohamed was back on the market looking for his next fling, all while dodging his ex-wife who was furious. Now, there were a lot of couples who appeared on the show, but it was Mohamed who TLC itself took the time to tweet about and how he had been trying pretty hard to get the attention of Anfisa when she was solo.
Like many other shows, to be considered for a spot on the show, all participants must go through a background check first.
According to eonline.com though, a participant doesn’t need to have a clean record to be considered. Certain prior records are actually ok and will not ruin someone’s chances at being on the show. “We have a big background vetting process for all the couples. And we make case-by-case evaluations on couples as we look at them," Mark Sharp, executive producer, explained during the podcast, Reality Life With Kate Casey. "We're trying to obviously do the right thing. We try to be open-minded...everyone's got some sort of history."
It is not uncommon for a celebrity to use a different name once they enter the spotlight. Some choose a middle name, some even go by a last name, and some will just choose a whole new name. While it is mainly the celebrity’s choice, there are times where the company that is sponsoring them will change their name to be either catchier or easily identifiable.
According to screenrant.com, one character on the show was quite obvious, Chantel Everett. Chantel had two other sisters, all with a theme: River and Winter. Apparently, from what sources have said, Chantel’s real name is actually SeaAir, which defiantly fits in a lot better with her mother’s theme.
When a couple is brought on to the show, they are agreeing to have their lives filmed for the entire 90 days they are on there up until either they get married or their K-1 visa expires.
According to eonline.com, Jesse Meester, a cast member who was on the show, explained on the podcast, Real Life With Kate Casey, “We film for a lot of hours a day, sometimes 12 hours.”
For some of the cast members, it can get quite annoying having the crew there are all the times and cameras pointed in their faces, but for others, for example, Molly Hopkins, it becomes a normal thing. “I didn’t really realize that they’re there. You’re really living your life and really going through the motions.”
Mohamed is just an all-around bad guy, and it doesn’t surprise us at all that he would do something like this.
According to screenrant.com, during Mohamed and Danielle’s messy divorce, Danielle accused her ex of trying to scam money out of female fans through social media. He would inform him that he had a few “job opportunities,” but needed help with travel expenses.
Why anyone would want to waste their time with a man like him is a mystery.
Supposedly, the jobs that Mohamed were using to try and scam women out of their money, never yielded anything for him. He never received employment from any of the jobs he told the women he had an interview for.
With a show like this, it is hard to believe that it has much success when it comes to long marriages.
According to eonline.com though, despite all the drama that goes on between the couples, a lot of the couples leave there married and live a long and happy marriage. "Our batting average on this show is that out of every 25 couples on 90 Day Fiancé, we've only had three divorces," Mark Sharp, executive producer of the show, boasted over the summer. "That's less than 10% and the current U.S. (divorce) rate is over 40%. It's one of the reasons why people love this show, it's so unexpected."
Putting Danielle’s dimness aside, when it comes to making money, she sure knows how to put her entrepreneur skills to use.
According to screenrant.com, Danielle has been known to sell autographed photos of herself to interested fans. They just have to cover shipping and she does the rest. A lot of fans have admitted that the photos even arrive in a timely manner, usually containing a personal message and one of her patented taglines that she has used to berate her ex-husband Mohamed.
For example, her infamous tagline: “You’re gonna be lucky your thing doesn’t fall off!” which she spouted at Mohamed quite a few times during their relationship when she felt he was being unfaithful.
When it comes to the show and its scripts, fan favorites Chris Thienerman and his wife Nikki Cooper know all about it due to all the time they spend in front of the cameras.
According to eonline.com, the two took to their YouTube channel and claimed that some of the scenes on the show are partially scripted. "Absolutely parts of it is, no question," Chris said. "Parts of it are real." He later added, "They stretch the truth."
They then went on to describe a scene that was scripted, a scene where Chris asked David’s then-fiancé Annie Suwan for a massage as repayment for giving the couple a place to stay. “That was probably the most uncomfortable thing I've ever done.”
Sean Hiler, of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, took to social media to talk about how the show likes to twist and change the truth a lot.
According to insider.com, Sean claimed that the show’s creators like to portray multiple aspects of his life incorrectly, including his relationship and the truth about Abby’s experience in Haiti.
During his rant, he made sure to chastise the fans of the show on how they were “gullible and incapable of critical thinking,” along with how they shouldn’t trust the emotions they see on the show. He then went on to describe how the real truth about it all was talking about during the tell-all interview, but it was cut out.
As stated earlier, when it comes to paychecks on the show, those that do get paid get the bare minimum, which seems to at most be $1,000 an episode, while others, such as the international members, do not get paid anything at all.
Well, according to insider.com, the international members are not the only ones that do not get paid for appearing on the show, but the family members as well.
In fact, Nikki Cooper has been very vocal on her YouTube channel about how she and her husband Chris Thieneman didn’t receive one penny when the appeared on season five of the show.
We already know that 90 Day Fiance only chooses couples that already have their K-1 visa and are going through the process of eventually getting their green card.
According to eonline.com, while the show documents the couple during their 90-day K-1 visa period, it does not offer any other advantages or additional help to the couples. It is all up to them. "Besides several forms, a fiancé applying for a K-1 visa must have a passport, police certificates from country of residence, medical examination records, evidence of financial and evidence of their relationship with their U.S fiancé, including proof they met at least once within two years of filing their petition. Though each case is different, the entire process usually takes a minimum of several months to process,” the network wrote on its website.
When a couple receives their K-1 visa, they have 90 days to get married. 90 Day Fiancé is a show that covers those 90 days, but they leave out multiple steps the couples must take before the immigrant partner can become a U.S. citizen.
According to insider.com, receiving a K-1 visa and permission to travel to the U.S. is just the first step in pursuing citizenship. After they get married, they will receive a green card, which they must hold for a minimum of three years before they can even apply for citizenship, which in itself is a lengthy process.
In addition to all that, if at any time the marriage is annulled or the couple divorces, the immigrant’s citizenship can be jeopardized.
Ever wonder why the women of the show sit the way they do? Well, so do we.
According to eonline.com, apparently, the uncomfortable way the women sit on the show is not by accident, but because they are told to. When a fan asked Anfisa Arkhipchenko why she sits with both knees touching and raised to her chest in all her interviews, she responded: “Because producers make all women on the show sit like this if you haven't noticed. I dislike it. So uncomfortable."
Maybe they make them do it, so they seem more feminine? Who knows?
For now, all we can do is make assumptions until someone comes clean.
Most of the time, during a reality television show, everything seems to be dandy and it looks like the happy couple are going to live a long and loving life together. Then, fast-forward a few months, sometimes even weeks, or if they are lucky a few years, and they are no longer together.
According to insider.com though, when it comes to the four couples who first appeared on season one of the show back in 2014, they are still all married.
In fact, Russ and Paola welcomed their first child together in January 2019, as well as co-stars Mike and Aziza. Alan and Kirlyam also have a child together, a one-year-old named Liam, and Louis and Aya are raising three children together, two of which are from a previous relationship Louis had.
Since the show first aired on January 21, 2014, it has had major success and the ratings are phenomenal, which is why the show has gone on to make four spinoffs.
According to eonline.com, there is 90 Day FIance: Happily Ever After, which follows some of the couples after their time on the show, there is 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days, which shows the couple before they get a chance to meet in person, 90 Day Fiance: What Now?, which is a show that gives updates on some of the couples, and then 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way, which is a show about U.S citizens who give up everything and everyone to move to another country to be with the person they love.
Ever wonder why Mark Shoemaker hasn’t appeared on any of the 90 Day spinoffs?
Well, according to thelist.com, Mark was not happy at all about how the showed portrayed him in season three. Maybe he should have thought about that before he acted like an uptight brat to his fiancé Nikki.
After his time on the show, Mark felt so strongly about what had happened that he and his wife sued Discovery Communications, which is TLC’s parent company, and the production company, Sharp Entertainment.
Thankfully, the judge on the case didn’t feel the same as Mark did and through the case out back in 2017. Turns out, the contract that all the couples have to sign before they appear on the show gives the creators of the show the right to edit the footage however they please.
When it comes to the life of reality television, it is not uncommon to see some stars doing multiple different shows. Take Cory Wharton for example, who is currently on Teen Mom OG, he has not only done Teen Mom, but also MTV’s The Challenge, Ex On The Beach and Real World.
Well, according to insider.com, those that have appeared on 90 Day Fiancé are of no exception. For example, Molly Hopkins, who appeared on season five of the show, also did the Lifetime series, Double Divas, which aired in 2013. Then there is Darcey Silva, a member from both seasons one of the show and season two of the spinoff Before the 90 Days, had appeared on Millionaire Matchmaker and Twin Life back in 2010 with her twin sister.
Earlier, we explained that when it comes to paychecks, only those from the US are allowed to receive one, and even then, they are lucky to get $1,000 an episode.
According to thelist.com, although they do not receive as much money as other reality television stars get on different shows, they have found other benefits of being on the show. Thanks to the popularity of the show, a lot of the D-list celebs that appear on the show have made out and became more desirable to sponsors and have had their lives boosted enough to star in other projects.
For example, Loren Brovarnik of season three, is now promoting the healthy tea line on her IG, as well as Fab Fit Fun subscriptions and Pranamat therapeutic mats.
According to screenrant.com, for those who do not know Aleksandra and Josh’s story, Josh is a Mormon and Aleksandra is a party girl, but the two met and fell in love quickly. They did not see their difference as a problem, all they saw is love and that soon blossomed into a beautiful baby girl.
However, there was a huge controversy that arose when the baby was born. See, both parents are white, but their daughter was born with a darker complexion and curly black hair.
Between her questionable social media behavior, and their little girl, fans started to believe that Aleksandra was not faithful to her husband. What many don’t know though is that Aleksandra’s real father is actually Cuban, and her daughter takes after him.
As stated earlier, before the couples can appear on the show, they need to forgo a background check, but that doesn’t mean if they have a prior record they will automatically be passed over for a spot.
According to thelist.com, Mark Sharp, executive producer of the show, informed Reality Life: “We're obviously trying to do the right thing during casting, but everyone's got some sort of history."
In fact, some of the cast member’s histories came up during or after the show. For example, Danielle Mullins once admitted on social media that she was charged with fraud in the past. "Yes, I used someone's credit card and it was a mistake," Mullins wrote. "Yes, in the beginning, I was charged with four or five [wrongful acts]."
Sources: eonline.com, thelist.com, insider.com, screenrant.com