90 Day Fiance has launched too many spinoffs to count, but the flagship series is back.
Season 9 premiered on Sunday, introducing viewers to four new couples — with others to come later this season.
First up, Bilal and Shaeeda are married religiously but not yet legally, and Bilal has a lot of control issues and struggles with trust.
His solution is to plan an elaborate test for his fiancee … a huge deception in which he’s hiding his real home, car, and lifestyle.
Emily went through some wild, impulsive years that led her to travel the world, which is how she met Kobe, an underwear model.
That one-night stand turned into an engagement and a pregnancy, but now Kobe is about to meet his son for the first time.
Jibri does not always think things through, but a series of spur-of-the-moment choices led him to Seriba, where he met Miona.
He’s bringing her over to be his wife, but how is she going to mesh with life in South Dakota … or living with his parents?
Kara fell head over heels for Guillermo, a strikingly hot sweetheart who is finally going to be able to be with her.
But there are paperwork issues even before he arrives, and they’re both afraid that something will go terribly wrong.
Bilal Hazziez and Shaeeda Sween
Bilal introduces himself. He is a successful real estate broker. He grew up in a devout Muslim household and worked his way up to success — and while his lifestyle is now very different than it was, he has not forgotten his roots. He also repeatedly misuses the term “OCD” in reference to his aesthetic preferences for how he keeps his house. What Bilal does have is some control issues.
Bilal is also a father
He has two teenage children. He has been married, and while he and his ex-wife get along very well (better than they did when they were married, it seems), he has clearly struggled a lot to open up to new people after the divorce.
Then, he met Shaeeda
She reached out to him on social media, and the two hit it off. For the longest time, things were online only, but eventually, Bilal had to see her, so he flew to Trinidad to see her in person.
Seven days later, they were engaged
Bilal seems like a careful guy, and that included packing a ring — just in case. He ended up using it one week after meeting her in person.
And to think, he almost refused to talk with her
Bilal admitted that Shaeeda’s name being so similar to his ex-wife’s gave him serious pause. That may sound silly, but a lot of people have “dealbreaker” names — the name of an ex or a parent, usually.
Bilal and Shaeeda are already married
Speaking to his ex-wife after putting on a show of showing her a house, Bilal tells Shahidah that he and Shaeeda had a Nikah and are married in a religious sense, which allows them to do things like live in the same house, but are not yet legally married. Many communities find personal, spiritual, and/or religious meaning in marriages that are not state-sanctioned. Of course, in order to enjoy the legal rights afforded to a spousal relationship, they will need to be lawfully wedded … if that’s what ends up happening.
Is he SURE about everything?
That’s an awkward, and perhaps production-prompted, question, but Shahidah asks her ex if he trusts Shaeeda’s intentions, specifically when it comes to his wealth and lifestyle.
Bilal reveals that he has completely hidden his wealth from Shaeeda. His fiancee, his spiritual wife and his future lawful wife, has never seen his home, only a blank wall behind his head. She doesn’t know what car he drives, either. So, Bilal is pretty confident that she loves him for him.
Later, Bilal calls Shaeeda
Sitting with his back to the same plain white wall (his whole house has that nightmarish “no color allowed” vibe, but hey, some people are into that), he talks with Shaeeda. We already saw him take his kids out on a boat to tell them when she’s coming to town, and Shaeeda is preparing for her trip.
Shaeeda knows that this is a big deal
Shaeeda does not have kids of her own, which at first struck Bilal as a red flag — because he was unsure of how she would adjust to him having and prioritizing his children. Now, he describes her as essentially having baby fever, which is also a source of tension, because he’s at a stage in his life where his kids are teens and he’s unsure if he wants to start over being a parent again — potentially having a baby or a toddler in the house when his oldest becomes an adult.
Bilal’s sister visits
Bilal is the youngest of his siblings, we learn. Fun fact: Nefertari means “beautiful companion” or “perfect companion” and was the name of one of the most famous queens of Ramesside Egypt. She loves her baby brother and wants him to be happy. At one point, she cries thinking about his past heartbreak and his quest for love.
Nefertari helps Bilal set things up
He arranges presents against the far wall of the room, where he has also done some writing with rose petals. All in all, it looks very inviting. But there’s a twist.
Shaeeda won’t get to see it when she first arrives
All of that work to get the house perfect for her, but he’ll be picking her up in a heavily used work van … and driving her to a different house.
It’s Bilal’s childhood home
It’s not glamorous. The house will essentially be a test of Shaeeda. As he presents a small home in apparent disrepair to her as his real house, he’s going to see if Shaeeda really loves him. That is a bonkers plan like something out of an ancient story, and a huge red flag. This is going to be nuts.
Emily and Kobe Blaise
Emily introduces herself. She is a 29-year-old from Salina, Kansas, where she is currently living with her parents and with her young son, Koban.
Small town life turned Emily into a party girl
Once she got to see the world, she couldn’t get enough, traveling to different countries with her college friends. One summer, she went to Xi’an, China, which is where she met an underwear model from Cameroon: Kobe Blaise.
A one-night stand blossomed into something more
At first, they had a purely physical attraction and some amazing sex (honestly, shower sex is not universally beloved, but Emily is giving it some rave reviews), but forged an emotional connection. Kobe proposed to Emily while they were still in China, and she said yes. Several weeks later, she wasn’t feeling well, and turned out to be pregnant. She was nervous, but Kobe was overjoyed.
They decided to bring their family to America, but …
First, Kobe’s visitor visa was denied, so he missed Koban’s birth. Then, the pandemic (or certain bad actors within the government) shut down all immigration processes, meaning that Kobe missed even more childhood milestones.
Emily’s family has mixed feelings
They love Emily. They love little Koban (who is a toddler, now). They have not met Kobe in person. They know Emily, however, and how her personal history has not always been the wisest. Translation? As Emily admits to the camera, two of her exes are incarcerated. Maybe that’s an indictment of our justice system … or maybe it’s of her judgment. Maybe even both. Her parents hope that she’s right, that Kobe is a break in that trend.
Emily knows that a lot of things are different
She was a party girl, she’s now a full-time mom. She was a super fit twenty-something, now she has what she describes as “mom bod.” Emily doesn’t know how Kobe will adjust to the “new” her, if the spark will be there, or how he will adjust to fatherhood or living in a modest, majority-white town in America.
Emily’s parents have their own worries
What kind of parent is Kobe going to be? Kobe won’t be able to work for many months, so Emily’s dad will be supporting him, Emily, and Koban for the duration. They are very attached to their grandson and they remind Emily that she needs to put him first — emphasizing (in a refreshing way) that just because she has a kid with Kobe doesn’t mean that they need to marry if they’re not right for each other.
Speaking of which … one child is enough for now
Emily promises them that she and Kobe won’t have any more kids while living with them … but admits that she is not yet on birth control. As her mother reminds her, if she doesn’t take it, it doesn’t work.
Jibri Bell and Miona Bell
Jibri is a 28-year-old from Rapid City, South Dakota. Like Emily, he’s in his late twenties, seems to act on impulse a lot, and comes from a modest town where nothing happens. Unlike her, he has also dealt with what it’s like to be biracial in a very white community. All of that and more led Jibri to spend time in Serbia not too long ago.
Oh great, another music guy … but wait
As much as we are all exhausted of men on these shows who make music (or, speaking for myself, men who make music in general), Jibri’s music actually sounds … good? Believe me, no one was more shocked than I was. I had my hand ready to fast forward but I didn’t.
In Serbia, Jibri met Miona
The two young hotties hit it off, and the plan is for her to come to America.
But not everything is so simple
The two spent a lot of money on travel and then on the K-1 visa, so Jibri is living with his parents for now. This will mean that Miona will be living there, too — both in South Dakota and with his parents. Neither of those are ideal, especially for a woman who is more interested in seeing New York and Los Angeles.
Jibri has an answer
He assures his concerned parents that he just needs one hit song and all of his financial worries will be resolved. They remind him that he doesn’t always think ahead, like a time when he jumped off of a bridge and onto a moving train. It was, apparently, for a music video, as if that makes it okay.
Jibri hopes that everyone gets along
His parents are more or less resigned to the idea that he won’t listen to them and has to figure out some lessons for himself, which is very wise of them. He’s worried about Miona, who has a very strong personality, clashing with his mom, who is also not someone to be ignored.
Jibri is doing chores while he lives at home
He struggles to work the lawnmower, but to be honest, that’s pretty normal for someone who doesn’t have to maintain a lawn. Each lawnmower is slightly different, and if you haven’t mowed a lawn in ten years, you want to make sure that you don’t bust the mower.
He calls Miona, who is nervous
She is really pushing for them to move to civilization sooner rather than later, and Jibri is asking for her to spend a year saving money in Rapid City beforehand. They’re both being reasonable — saving money is valuable, but it’s not unfair to have limits on the living situations or locations that one might accept in order to save on bills. Maybe they’ll compromise and move to a small or modest city instead of a medium-sized town, but … neither of them have brought it up so far.
They are also discussing wedding plans
Miona wants a beach wedding and had thought that Jibri was on the same page. Jibri asks if she’d like a “prairie wedding,” which is fundamentally different. They are not seeing eye-to-eye on this at all.
Jibri’s mother gently but firmly asks if Miona is planning on dressing the way that she does on social media while she’s around the house. This sounds like a controlling question, but it could also just be how production suggested that they start the conversation. Jibri explains to his mom that Instagram photos are not the same thing as everyday garb, which is generally true.
His mom is more concerned about Miona’s demeanor
She once heard Miona insult Jibri, calling him an idiot, on a video chat — in her presence, no less. She’s worried about that happening again. She’s worried about how Miona might act if she had a conflict with someone else. Jibri tries to tell his mom that Miona just has an “eastern bloc” personality where confrontation and rudeness are normal, but that’s not exactly reassuring. It looks like Miona is getting a villain edit, but this season could surprise us.
Kara Bass and Guillermo Rojer
Kara is a 29-year-old from Charlottesville, Virginia. She introduces herself as a goofy balloon woman, but she has had many jobs over the years. One of them is how she got to know her fiance, whom she met in the Dominican Republic.
Guillermo was a hot waiter bringing her tequila
She is only about six years older than he is, but she admits that she felt like a “cougar” for pouncing on this hottie the way that she did. (He was 21 when they met; it’s fine)
They fell for each other very quickly
Aside from the obvious physical attraction, Kara also felt herself opening up more emotionally to Guillermo than she has in a long time. One day, after spending ample time with each other while she worked in the DR, he took her on a walk on the beach and proposed to her. They even adopted a dog together.