The addictive appeal of the hit reality-television series, “90 Day Fiancé,” has often been compared to daytime soap operas, as each episode is filled with drama, as interracial couples tried to find love through the K1 visa process. While the TV series featured people who were sincerely in love, there have been too many train wrecks or duds along the way since it made its television debut in 2014. The heartbreaks and emotional goodbyes – whether staged or not – captivated not only the American audience, but the rest of the world as well. Everyone wanted a happy ending for the couples, but the reality was that not all of them had the best intention, or the best attitude when they started the relationship. Some of them even turned out to be the worst cast members who ever graced a reality, or perhaps unreality TV show.
- 1 What is “90 Day Fiancé” all about?
- 2 Some of the worst “90 Day Fiancé” cast members ever
What is “90 Day Fiancé” all about?
When news about a new reality-TV show called “90 Day Fiancé” came out, many people were initially confused.
What's better than snacks and 90 Day? #90DayFiance: Pillow Talk starts NOW! 🍿
Most of them thought that it was a reality-TV competition for couples who have to fall in love within 90 days. However, the TLC network marketed the TV series as some sort of a documentary, about love stories beyond borders. Each couple comprised of an American and a foreigner would go through real-life challenges, including applying for the K1 visa, living together, dealing with relatives, and financial implications.
The premise of the show
Each couple was given 90 days to figure out if they would end up being married or not; the foreign partner would face deportation should the relationship fail to work. Some of these couples knew each other already, way before the producer contacted them to participate in the show while some of them had only spoken online. The American partner would either go and bring the foreign national from their home country, or meet them at the airport upon their arrival in the United States. Each pair lived together for three months, and it proved to be sufficient time to see if love or lust conquered all.
The authenticity of the show
In the first couple of seasons, some viewers believed that these engaged couples would have gone through the same experience even if they weren’t part of the TV show. There was reality in their decisions throughout the journey, but not caring that much for the consequences thereafter. However, in the later seasons of the “90 Day Fiancé” series, some critics, as well as some fans of the show, noticed that there were just too many conveniently timed situations, with partners suddenly developing an outrageously evil attitude, or family members becoming heinous villains, which raised the question of its authenticity. A few cast members reportedly shared that members of the production crew would tell them to utter a line, or suggest an ‘action’ because it would look better on screen. Many of those alleged scripted moments created much drama.
The longevity of the show
Whether it was for real or not, the “90 Day Fiancé” producers were quite happy, as its universe continued expanding over the years.
It has now more than 15 spin-off series created, including “90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After,” “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days,” “90 Day Fiancé: What Now,” and “90 Day Fiancé: Pillow Talk” while the original was still airing, which was rare. Not even the creators thought that when it premiered on 12 January 2014, it would gain so much attention that it has become one of the most-watched reality-TV shows on cable. It has gone through eight seasons and people still couldn’t get enough of it. Not even the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus could have stopped the TV show, even with its numerous allegations of being scripted. The viewers were quite addicted to it, even if they found some of the storylines to be preposterous.
Some of the worst “90 Day Fiancé” cast members ever
The introduction of villains in any soap opera or movie makes the narrative even more interesting, and it doesn’t seem to be any different with the reality-TV genre. Here’s a list of some of what the fans called the worst “90 Day Fiancé” cast members who appeared on the show since its inception.
Larissa, Colt, and Colt’s mother Debbie (Season Six)
From the get-go, the viewers knew that Larissa Dos Santos Lima and Colt Johnson’s relationship would undoubtedly go through marriage and divorce. They were one of the most unforgettable couples in the history of the show, because their arguments were explosive and violent. Even the most loyal fan of the show sometimes wondered if they were all staged, because of the vileness surrounding them.
The couple met through an online dating site, and had a grand time getting to know each other in Mexico for five days. Just before they separated, Colt proposed and she accepted, although their personalities were way opposites of each other – Colt was passive-aggressive and Larissa was fiery. She was so full of herself that she even told his family that ‘Whoever is against the Queen will die’, and she was of course referring to herself as the Queen.
The police were called for domestic abuse complaints after the couple argued.
Larissa was believed to be physically abusive towards Colt, but then other fans accused him of being quite manipulative. When things didn’t work out between the two, Larissa believed Colt and his mother tried their best to have her deported after the divorce. Colt never showed any emotions even when other people were arguing in front of him. Some viewers were uncomfortable with it, and others even said that he was giving off the vibes of a sociopath or a narcissist.
Colt also participated in one of the “90 Day Fiancé” spin-off series. He moved on to woo another woman named Jess, whom fans believed was also manipulated by him. It didn’t work as well because he cheated on her with a longtime friend, while his mother, Debbie, clearly didn’t want him to be tied to any girl. One time, Debbie told Jess that her son’s “other” friend was always at their house watching the cats for them, insinuating that Colt was cheating on her. She did it with an innocent smile on her face knowing that the information would be heartbreaking for Jess. Most fans called Debbie ‘a twisted possessive cat-loving Mama.’
Mark Shoemaker (Season 3)
The fans couldn’t help but crown Baltimore native Mark Shoemaker, from the third season of “90 Day Fiancé” the creepiest cast member for many reasons. First, he married Nikki, a 19-year-old girl from Cebu City, Philippines. There was a 40-year gap between them, which made him as old as her grandfather. One of his daughters, Elise, felt extremely uncomfortable when they first met since she was a year older than her new stepmom. If that wasn’t disturbing enough for those whose mantra was “age doesn’t matter” when it comes to love, Mark’s ex-wife was also a Filipina who hailed from the same city and country. Fans were in agreement online that he was looking for someone to replace his wife. Third, he treated her just like one of his kids, when he reprimanded her for smudging the windows of his car. Fourth, Mark gave his new wife, discarded clothes from Elise’s closet and there were still photos of the ex-wife in the bedroom.
It wasn’t all bad, as one day he surprised her with a new car, and gave her driving lessons.
However, it was the same brand and model he gave his ex-wife, and he didn’t have any qualms telling Nikki about that. He also made everyone feel that he was all alone raising the kids, but if someone checked social media, his kids were still in contact with their mother. To top it all, Mark made Nikki sign a prenuptial agreement to ensure that nothing went to her, if they filed for divorce. When fans reacted negatively to him, the couple sued the “90 Day Fiancé” production team for vilifying him on TV. However, it was tossed out by the judge, because they both signed a contract stating that the production team had the right to edit and air the videos they filmed. While the couple didn’t have any social media presence, interestingly, the fans believed the’re still together up to this day, as no divorce papers were filed in Baltimore. Some thought that it was probably because Nikki wanted to gain a green card, and that she was also easily manipulated given her age.
Azan Tefou and Nicole Nafzieger (Season Four)
Azan Tefou, an unemployed Morrocan, met Nicole Nafziger, an American single mother living in Florida through an online dating app – some fans believed that their love story could be compared to a typical story of catfishing. Azan was surprised when he met Nicole for the first time, and saw that she was a plus-sized woman, telling her that he only liked her about 55%. He pushed her to go to the gym to lose some weight and not be lazy, even telling her that he wouldn’t go to the US if she didn’t do anything about it. That didn’t raise a red flag with her, and she continued dating him, even leaving her toddler daughter just to be with him in Morocco.
Their relationship was built on lies, and she continued sending money to him which amounted to a total of $6,000, to establish a beauty shop. It was later revealed that there was no beauty shop at all, and that she fed that lie to her family to avoid any more arguments.
Later on, she made excuses that his being unemployed worked for the better, since he had more time talking with her over the phone.
90 Day Fiance alums Nicole Nafziger and Azan Tefou ended up spending more time together than initially planned thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
While she didn’t earn that much money to sponsor him, her family for some reason helped her raise the amount needed for it.
During a reunion episode of fourth season participants, Nicole tried calling Azan several times, but couldn’t reach him. It was revealed that he was arrested, and was spending time in jail. For normal people, that imprisonment would have put an end to the relationship. However, Nicole was hell-bent on making Azan her husband, so she flew to Morocco in March 2020, but was then stuck there for five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic flight restrictions. By the following year, it was revealed that no wedding happened, and that they’d ended the relationship. There was alleged infidelity from both parties.
Leida Margaretha Cohen Rosenbrook (Season Six)
29-year-old Leida was introduced as Eric Rosenbrook’s fiancée from Thailand, back in the sixth season of “90 Day Fiancé.” Despite the many controversies surrounding the couple, their marriage stood strong and unshakeable.
She was disheartened when she realized that Eric’s lifestyle was way below hers, and there was a time when she said that she felt that she was forcing herself to marry him, just to stay in the US. It was an indirect confession that she was actually just after earning a green card.
Many loyal viewers of the TV show couldn’t believe the way she treated Eric’s children from his previous marriage. She strongly opposed Eric providing child support when he was financially broke. She would often get into arguments with his teenage daughter, Tasha, and forced Eric to kick his own daughter from their home, even filing a restraining order against her, which was approved then later dropped. Eric was bashed online for siding with his new wife, saying that it was due to cultural differences.
The fans then poked into her past, and it seemed that Leida was hiding something about her previous marriage.
She said that she came from an affluent family, boasting that they paid so much for her wedding, and that thousands attended the event. Having maids in Thailand was a common thing, and it wasn’t an indication that a Thai family was rich. The wages there were quite minimal, so it shouldn’t be the only way to judge their financial capacity.
She claimed that she was a former model, actress and beauty queen, as well as a medical graduate who worked as a clinician in Jakarta before she met Eric. The fans debated about it online, and were curious to see if there was any truth to it. Since she couldn’t decide on what to use as her real name – viewers believed that she liked to reinvent herself now and then. They made fun of her faked British accent, because no other member of her family spoke that way. When the couple received death threats, they blamed the TV show for presenting them in a bad light, and said they were just a victim of evil editing.
Anfisa Arkhipchenko (Season Four)
Viewers of “90 Day Fiancé” would have sympathized with Anfisa Arkhipchenko when her husband was arrested and imprisoned for marijuana trafficking, shortly after moving to the US. However, her motives for exchanging ‘I dos’ with Jorge Nava were quite questionable. They met through Facebook, and he fell for her photos online. He started reaching out to her, and initially, she didn’t want to make a connection, but eventually met him. She was from Moscow, Russia while he was from Riverside, California.
They dated, and then went on an expensive European vacation. From the get-go, Anfisa showed her true colors by asking Jorge to buy her a luxury handbag worth $10,000, and when he didn’t, she canceled her scheduled flight to California, but then probably had second thoughts about alienating Jorge completely, and so they reconciled. When she arrived in the US, instead of moving into a new house or apartment, they stayed in a hotel. Apparently, Jorge had a traumatic experience with burglary, and didn’t want to stay in one place permanently.
Jorge’s family was suspicious of Anfisa’s motives, especially when she insisted on holding a huge wedding ceremony so her family could attend.
She only agreed to marry in a civil ceremony at the local courthouse after he promised to buy her a ring, and that she could plan for a bigger wedding at a later date.
Viewers also questioned her motives, because she didn’t have any qualms about admitting that she was only interested in his capacity to provide for her. She believed that Jorge was just after her looks, and that if she was ugly, she doubted that he would have been interested in marrying her. It didn’t take long for them to separate, as Jorge was sentenced to two and a half years in jail for possession of close to 300lbs of marijuana; she filed for divorce two months after he was imprisoned.
The cast members with questionable characters and disgusting personalities certainly added more spice to the show, so much so that some believed that most of the controversial scenes were staged by TV producers and writers. Whether it was true or not, “90 Day Fiancé” will continue to be one of the most-watch TV franchises, as it somehow represents the realities of how difficult it is to achieve that American dream through a K1 Visa. The TLC network clarified that they have nothing to do with acquiring the visa, as the process wasn’t part of any deal that they had with the couples; they only contacted couples whose K-1 visas were already being processed by the time they were filming the TV show.