On Sunday, Season 9 of 90 Day Fiance premiered, introducing viewers to several new couples.
Bilal and Shaeeda, Emily and Kobe, Jibri and Miona, and Kara and Guillermo each have their obstacles, drama potential, and storylines.
Viewers are already seeing a bounty of red flags, and the season has barely begun.
What exactly do the Season 9 stars have to say for themselves?
First, here is what the cast wants people to know — as several stars spoke to Shadow And Act.
“People think the K1 visa process is just some paperwork and an interview,” Emily pointed out.
“Unfortunately, that’s not how it is,” she noted. “It’s such a long and anxious process.”
“It can take months just to receive anything back,” Emily explained.
“During our visa process, Covid hit, and it took us 2 years,” she recalled. “It’s not an easy process.”
Shaeeda chimed in: “The K1 process is long and can become overbearing and intolerable.”
Shaeeda added: “You need to show receipts of your relationship, hence why you need to be 100 committed.”
On top of the K-1 visa, the cast shared, there are also major pitfalls to 90 Day Fiance fame.
“Putting your life and your family in the limelight has its positives but definitely negatives too,” Bilal commented.
“I felt like it was a good opportunity to not just tell my story but the story of many people who look like me,” Bilal explained.
He noted that he and Shaeeda are “two Black people coming together from the African Diaspora who are Muslims.”
This, Bilal commented, is “something that has never been seen on 90 Day Fiancé history.”
Bilal expressed: “I’m both excited and nervous about what’s to come, including the opinions of others.”
Emily emphasized: “We hope people really understand we are real genuine people who truly love each other.”
Bilal agreed: “Love and trust can come from somewhere you never intended for it to come from.”
“Who is to say that the person who you are meant to be with has to live in the same city or same state or even the same country as you?” Bilal asked.
“The person you meant to be with just might live in another country,” he suggested.
“And,” Bilal continued, “some magnetic force may pull you both together.”
“I am a regular person who is vulnerable at times,” Shaeeda noted.
She told viewers that “you see me cry, laugh, argue, agree, or feel joyful like a regular person on the show.”
Shaeeda continued: “Hopefully it’s in the cards to be a mother, as I love children so much.”
“If not, then I’ll continue being the most bendy, flexible yogi,” Shaeeda aspired.
She concluded: “Who inspire[s] people that it is never too late to pursue your dreams.”
That is all very sweet. But … is that answering everyone’s concerns?
Of course not — doing so, even if they were so inclined, would violate their NDA.
And to be clear, viewers have real concerns.
There are enough red flags on the premiere to throw a miniature parade, and we haven’t even met all of the couples yet.
One of the hottest topics among fans is Bilal Hazziez and Shaeeda Sween.
While they’re absolutely right about an unprecedented story, thankfully the main focus of fan commentary isn’t bigotry.
(And let’s face it, while racism and Islamophobia are definitely issues, the 90 Day Fiance fandom specifically tends to hate women more than anything else)
First up, they became engaged after spending only seven days together in person.
That’s hardly a record for the show (that would be Robert and Anny’s eight hours), but it’s very fast, even after an online relationship.
How well can you know someone after so little time together? These two will find out.
Bilal has also set up an elaborate test for Shaeeda after hiding his wealth and lifestyle from her.
As he told his sister, his plan was to drive a well-used work van to pick up Shaeeda and then drive her to his childhood home.
Would this test weed out a gold digger? Maybe. Is lying to your future spouse a terrible basis for a relationship? Absolutely.
Up next are Kara and Guillermo, for whom the problems so far seem to only be logistical.
Because Guillermo is essentially a refugee from Venezuela, having witnessed fellow protesters being slaughtered by police gunfire, his passport is expired.
Later this season, they’ll have more personal issues, but whether the red flag is Kara having cheated (in high school!) or Guillermo’s fixation on it … only time will tell.
For Emily and Kobe, there are a lot of potential issues, from how much time has passed to Emily’s history of less-than-stellar judgment to a potential new pregnancy.
The promos for the season make it clear that Emily may have ignored her parents’ advice about using birth control to avoid having another child too early.
Additionally, Kobe seems to express weird insecurities about Emily breastfeeding, complaining that he doesn’t want to “share” with his own child. That’s not inspiring.
Finally, so far, we have Jibri and Miona, whom we already know married in Serbia some time ago.
On the surface, they have many of the issues that Emily and Kobe do, namely that Jibri seems to be impulsive and not always listen to good advice.
He and Miona are arguing about where they will live (or rather, how soon they will leave South Dakota), but that’s not the biggest red flag.
Miona appears to be a white woman from eastern Europe, yet is shown with varying levels of brown skin in photos.
Maybe some of it is tan, but a lot of it looks like makeup.
While it’s not the same as blackface or like the racial slurs used by Mike Berk or Alina Kasha, viewers are accusing Miona of blackfishing.
Blackfishing, a play on the word “catfishing,” involves altering one’s appearance to seem more racially ambiguous or even to appear Black, usually when one is white.
The Kardashians are infamous for this, and it’s a pernicious trend among many influencers (both actual and aspiring).
Particularly troubling is that Miona is married to a Black man, Jibri. Will he or his mother discuss this on the show? We sure hope so.
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