TLC VP Reveals Why There Hasn’t Been A Same-Sex Couple On 90 Day Fiance Yet

TLC’s 90 Day Fiance is the gift that keeps on giving. Since the show premiered in 2014, viewers have been treated to unparalleled drama from cast members. When the show began, the couples seemed more genuine and a little more, shall we say, normal. Somewhere along the way, the show turned into a trash-fest of dysfunction, poor life-choices, naivete and shake your head stupidity. There are still some normal couples who pop up on the show. But, now it is often all about the crazy.

After watching Darcey Silva begging for an engagement ring, Angela Deem stomping around like Godzilla and  Paul Staehle running into the woods when stressed out, you might wonder if we have seen it all. Surprisingly, one thing we haven’t seen on the show is a same-sex couple. How has this not happened yet? Recently, a TLC executive explained the lack of same-sex couples on 90 Day Fiance and what TLC is doing to change this.

In an interview with E! News, Alon Orstein, senior vice president of production and development at TLC, shared some details on how the show is cast. When asked about a same-sex couple appearing on the show, Alon said that it was “absolutely a possibility,” and that it “almost certainly will happen.”

“At this moment, as far as the stuff that has aired, we just haven’t found the quite right couple,” Alon explained. He also revealed that there have been couples that were in contention to be cast, but dropped out along the way.

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I guess it is not easy to find cast members who communicate through language apps, take hoe baths in airport restrooms, set up housekeeping in sheds and have dreams of totin’ babies in their golden years. Add in being in a same-sex relationship and casting probably gets even trickier.

Some couples decide not to do the show, which can throw a wrench into casting. Alon stated, “That could happen, or you could have an issue with timing or things like that. But it [same-sex couples] is something that we have been very keen to find and are continuing to actively pursue.”

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So, what makes a good 90 Day Fiance couple? Alon explained, “I mean, there are so many different flavors, there is no perfect one. I think what we’re always looking for in every 90 Day Fiancé couple is first and foremost, they have to be transparent. They have to be willing to go there, to share their emotions, to talk about their feelings, to let us get beneath the surface. That’s the first and foremost.”

“We want to get to the authenticity of them as individuals and the relationship, and have that unvarnished view,” he went on to say. An unquenchable thirst for fame like Ashley Martson and an ability to throw one’s dignity in the dumpster like Jenny Slatten are probably added bonuses for choosing couples!

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Alon went on to further demystify casting, stating, “We like to look across the spectrum. Diversity is very important to us, extremely important to us. We think one of the great assets of the series is that we have the opportunity to go into all these different countries, people from all different ethnic backgrounds, religious backgrounds, just life experience…It’s a cocktail more than it’s a perfect couple that makes a season.”

“And we really are thinking about the cocktail when we’re looking at casting,” Alon added. “Does this mix right? Do we have that right algorithm and alchemy that will be a really good flow throughout the season?”

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When you think about it, casting must be a huge challenge. You have to have someone pursuing marriage with a foreign love interest. Then, they must be interesting enough to be on television. And both parties must agree to be filmed. The show is probably a logistical nightmare for production. Lucky for us, TLC’s casting and production are able to perform season after season, giving us a television spectacle unlike any other. Thanks, TLC!


[Photo Credit: TLC]