Fans Will Flip Over Some of These 90 Day Fiancé Facts
When it comes to making reality television, the more dramatic the premise, the better. Keeping that in mind, there's no doubt that the hugely popular 90 Day Fiancé introduced by TLC in 2014 has achieved that and more.
The show follows couples made up of a foreigner and an American during the process of obtaining a K-1 visa, more popularly known as a "fiancé visa." With 90 days to wed, the clock is ticking, and plenty of drama ensues. Let’s take a peek at what goes on behind the scenes.
Fans of the show have often wondered what sort of payment participants on 90 Day Fiancé receive. After all, it's not easy to live out the majority of your relationship — sweet, sour and everything in between — on camera.
Background Checks for All
Although it may seem like a no-brainer that TLC performs background checks on contestants of the show, what's surprising is what they somehow seem to miss in those checks. Several contestants over the course of the show have had previous criminal charges on their records — something TLC producers definitely weren’t aware of when casting.
Remember season two’s Ricky Reyes? If so, you’ll recall that his original fiancé, Melissa, ditched him mid-season, leading him to propose instead to his second choice leading lady, Ximena.
A Change in Concept
It’s difficult to imagine what the reality TV world would be without the drama-filled gem 90 Day Fiancé on the air. Fans may be surprised to hear that the show was originally conceived to be a very different concept.
A Lengthy Process
Although the show focuses solely on the 90-day process that requires K-1 visa hopefuls to exchange vows before their eligibility to remain in the country runs out, the process to become a U.S. citizen is much more complex. You don’t automatically become a citizen by marrying an American, as some people mistakenly believe.
Season One Stays Together
The fairly dysfunctional relationships that have become synonymous with the 90 Day Fiancé brand probably lead most viewers to think the couples that appear on the show have no chance of lasting. Well, when it comes to season one's crazy couples, you would be dead wrong on that front.
Speaking of staying together, the overall ratio of couples that have gotten married and stayed together after their appearance on the show isn't too shabby, all things considered. Reportedly, 25 out of the 32 couples that have appeared on the six seasons to date remain together.
Spin-Offs Gone Wild
It's clear that TLC is pretty pleased with the huge and consistent viewership the show has brought them. It's no surprise then that they're milking the concept for all it's worth by finding more and more ways to create similar programming to attract viewers already hooked on the original — plus a whole new set.
Cross Couple Flirtation
Clearly, a lot goes on behind the scenes that fans are not aware of, thanks to editing and events that take place away from cameras. Some secrets were revealed by TLC via Twitter following a 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After special.
Mind the Age Gap
There have been some pretty atypical age gaps between couples on the show over the years. One of the largest gaps was between season three couple, Nikki and Mark. When filming, Nikki was a mere 19 to Mark's 58 years of age. Yeah.
It's easy to get wrapped up in the world of reality TV, but what's important to remember is that while the show follows "real people" in "real situations," what is said and done within the parameters of a show isn’t always 100% spontaneous or authentic.
Editing Makes All the Difference
It may seem obvious to many that reality shows don't always portray their stars in the most positive light, but for some participants of 90 Day Fiancé, the product of their hours upon hours of filming was pretty upsetting to watch at times. We know exactly what you mean.
Career Reality Stars
It's not uncommon to find contestants on reality shows who have already appeared on different programs in the past. That might seem unlikely for a show with such an "out there" premise, but the participants on 90 Day Fiancé are no exception to this phenomenon.
Cast Member Cast Away
Remember sweet and innocent single mother Nicole Nafziger from season four? Well, viewers of the season probably recall that things didn't remain so sugary sweet once she and boyfriend Azan began to take their relationship to the next level.
Azan on the Prowl
Speaking of season four couple Nicole from Florida and Azan from Morocco, it was revealed at the end of the show that Azan had been unfaithful during the engagement. The extent of the infidelity continued to be revealed after the season wrapped up.
Kneed to Know Basis
Have you ever noticed that in many of the confessionals for the women on the show they are sitting with their knees up? Whether you have or haven't, it appears to be a trend — and an unexplainable one at that.
Staying in the Spotlight
Their paychecks may not be massive, and their time on TV may be fleeting, but some of the 90 Day Fiance participants have found other ways to remain in the public eye. Although they may not be household names in every home, the ever-growing viewership means that more and more people recognize the faces of past participants and are eager to learn more.
The Real Deal
Some skeptics out there speculate that TLC brings couples together for the first time during casting to better guarantee drama, but this is certainly not the case. The actual couples that appear on the show existed before their 90 Day Fiancé status ever did, and they are actually the ones who applied to the show, not the other way around.
Choosing to go on a reality show means that you're voluntarily stepping into the public eye, but that doesn't necessarily mean that internet trolls should be welcome to say whatever they like. For some 90 Day Fiance participants, like Loren, the ridicule they have received has been too much to handle.
What's in a Name
Although it hasn't been proven to be true, many fans who follow members of their favorite couples on social media and report their findings on message boards and Reddit threads have theorized that some contestants have changed their names while on the show. The rationale behind this possible choice isn’t clear, but using a fake name definitely looks suspicious, to say the least.
Not a Charity Case
While some cast members have turned to sponsorships to make additional money, other stars have gone so far as to request donations from fans. Some contestants, like Tania Maduro, have straight up asked for money for nothing, while others offer something in return.
What TLC Once Was
We now know TLC as a channel featuring a wide variety of reality television, much of which would be called "trashy" by most viewers. Before the days of these types of shows, TLC, which stands for The Learning Channel, was known for much more wholesome content.
By the Numbers
The success rate of couples on shows like The Bachelor may be low, but the pay rate is much higher for the actual bachelor or bachelorette. Although the salary varies based on negotiations made on the featured single's behalf, the lowest reported earnings for a bachelor or bachelorette is $75,000 for the season.
An Excuse to Meet
If you're a regular viewer, you know that the K-1 visa process is complex. If you've watched the spin-off, Before the 90 Days, you've also seen that the lead up to receiving a K-1 isn't so simple either.
Finding Love Abroad
If you're single these days, chances are you've given dating apps a test run. While most of us stick to the basics like Tinder and Hinge, there are tons of websites and apps for finding love abroad for those who are willing to cast their net a bit wider.
For Dramatic Effect
We've already covered that not everything that is said or done on 90 Day Fiance is exactly spontaneous. Perhaps the most talked about scene from the show that was later revealed to have been staged was the Thai massage.
Switching It Up
In its original form and its various spin-offs, the 90 Day Fiance franchise has seen people from all walks of life come together for love — or maybe just for a green card. We're not here to judge. Up until now, every couple has been made up of a man and a woman. Soon enough, that pattern will be broken.
Each season of 90 Day Fiancé films over the course of the two-and-a-half-month period in which the K-1 visa is valid. Although that may not seem like much time in the grand scheme of things, it's difficult to imagine being followed by cameras day in and day out during an already stressful period in life.
Jorge Behind Bars
Anyone keeping up with the mostly crazy couple Anfisa and Jorge knows that Jorge — if that’s even his real name — is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for drug possession. While it can't be fun to be in the clink, at least Jorge has managed to slim down quite a bit while he’s in there.
It's clear that a lot of drama goes on both on and off camera with the 90 Day Fiance participants, but you may be surprised to learn that something purely positive emerges once in a while.