Two years ago, the long-running “90 Day Fiancé” sired its fifth spinoff, “90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way,” which takes the original show’s concept — one-half of a couple comes to the U.S. to marry an American — and reversed it, following an American who moves to another country to marry his or her betrothed.
The new third season of “90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way” (premiering 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, on TLC; streaming on discovery+) follows new-to-the-franchise Seattleite Ellie Rose, who met Victor McLean on a trip to Providencia, an island off the coast of Colombia, in 2019.
In Sunday’s season premiere, Rose says McLean has more to gain from the relationship and she wonders if he’s using her for financial reasons, particularly because last April she learned McLean cheated on her — after getting text messages from the other woman.
As she mulls a decision to leave Seattle, Rose, 46, has to make peace with selling her small business, Central Pizza, located between the Central District and Leschi, which she’s operated since 2013.
In a phone interview from an undisclosed location — to avoid spoiling whether she ultimately moved from Seattle to Providencia — Rose says she wasn’t familiar with the “90 Day Fiancé” franchise until one of her Central Pizza employees, knowing of her long-distance relationship with McLean, suggested she apply to be on the show.
“I started watching it here and there and even though it could be a little bit crazy at times, I did relate to the couples going through the same hardships because you get denied a lot of different things,” Rose says.
The premiere episode doesn’t include the couple’s initial plan, which was for McLean to come to Seattle. An attempt to get McLean a tourist visa was denied. Then he had a K1 visa interview scheduled but that was canceled once COVID-19 hit. Even with efforts to get McLean to Seattle, Rose says the long-term plan was always for her to move to Providencia.
“We didn’t really know how long this was going to last and COVID made me want to be like, ‘I’m gonna make this move,’” Rose says. “It put a fire under me to do something, to get out of Seattle and try something new. The island is a paradise, who wouldn’t want to live there?”
“90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way” also describes Rose’s previous relationship: Her husband died of an accidental prescription drug overdose just 11 months into their marriage.
“Since that time I definitely do things that maybe other people wouldn’t normally do,” Rose says, “because you just never know. You have to go for it. Life is short.”
Rose isn’t the only Washington resident featured in the show’s third season. Cameras also follow Corey Rathgeber, 34, from Mill A, Skamania County, who was featured in season one and in last year’s COVID-19-inspired series, “90 Day fiancé: Self-Quarantined.”
Rathgeber fell in love with 28-year-old Evelin Villegas and moved to her home country of Ecuador. She never wanted to marry; he does.
Following a “Friends”-like “break” (he says they broke up; she says they were “on a break”), he traveled to Peru and dated another woman. He returned to Ecuador and got stuck there in quarantine during the onset of COVID-19. Now the couple plan to marry to the chagrin of Villegas’ distrusting sister.
This story has been updated to reflect that episodes will not stream early on Fridays on discovery+, and will instead stream concurrently on the app when they air on TLC.