90 Day Fiance has had its fair share of awkward moments, but Sunday night’s episode featured one of the most cringe-worthy scenes in franchise history: David Toborowsy’s best bud Chris Thieneman suggested that David’s fiancee Annie could give him massages as a way to compensate for Chris offering the couple a place to stay. In the scene, Chris’s pregnant wife Nikki looked stunned and speechless as Chris suggested the massage-for-rent proposition, but Nikki was anything but speechless when she took to one of the show’s Facebook fan pages today to explain what was really going on in the scene.
“Yes, the awkward scene of Chris asking for a massage was SCRIPTED,” Nikki reveals. “The producer asked him to say it & Chris had to say it more than once because it didn’t come off as natural. We were fed our lines while sitting at the table, which is why no one reacted. WE ALL KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT.” She added in her defense: “I’m a very outspoken person you’d be a fool to think I just sat there & [allowed] my husband to disrespect me, Annie & our marriage.”
UPDATE – Here is a video of the Thai massage scene:
After her initial post, Nikki essentially opened the floor for questions having to do with anything that has been aired. Nikki’s husband Chris would also join in on the conversation, and, between the two of them they not only addressed the scripted nature of the show, but also share EXACTLY how much David and Annie got paid!
During the course of the Q&A session, included below, Nikki states very clearly that she is not under contract with TLC or Sharp Entertainment (the producers of 90 Day Fiance), so she is free to say whatever she likes. Nikki and Chris also point out that neither of them got paid a dime and that they only agreed to be on the show as a favor to David.
So how much do the 90 Day Fiance cast members get paid? I am uncertain if it is the same for everyone, but according to Nikki and Chris, David got paid $1,000 per episode and $2,500 to appear on the Tell All special. (It’s important to note that cast members do not appear in all of the episodes.) Annie did not get paid at all. That probably sounds REALLY low to most folks, and I would argue that it is EGREGIOUSLY low!
For comparison, MTV’s Teen Mom 2 had 1.121 million viewers for their most recent episode, while the night before there were 1.631 million tuned in to 90 Day Fiance. Teen Mom 2 still came out on top with a .7 rating in the 18-49 demographic that advertisers care about most, but 90 Day Fiance was right behind with a .5 rating.
It has been established that the moms on Teen Mom 2 earn more than $250,000 per season, and the dads make six-digits per season as well. Granted, the cast members of Teen Mom 2 are established and have been around for eight seasons. Also, the production costs for an international reality series are going to be higher. That being said, with those ratings, TLC and Sharp Entertainment are banking a fortune relative to what the stars are making!
But enough about salaries–let’s get back to that awkward massage proposal. Nikki seems completely sincere and truthful with what she says, and I believe her. It sounds as though producers suggested Chris ask for a massage (and cooking) as compensation for lodging, and Chris was self-admittedly stupid by rolling with it. From Chris:
There isn’t any other excuse than stupidity. The first scene the original scene I never asked for massage. Not until Adrienne the director encouraged me to say it in front of the whole cast and crew did I let a little peer pressure set in. Once I knew it was an open request I didn’t have time to think (which in hindsight I obviously didn’t think at all ). I wanted to be a team player and just went with it. Afterward I even told nikki “I never felt comfortable saying that”. But it was too late then. I was naive to think that since I wasn’t a real cast member that I wouldn’t be singled out. I will own up to my mistake. But as I have said before we have been nothing but respectful and helpful to Annie
Chris is the first to admit he was naive about how producers might edit him on the show, and he flatly tells anyone considering participating in a similar show: “NEVER AGREE TO BE ON A SHOW LIKE THIS.” I am well aware of the power of editing when it comes to reality shows, but something Chris said really brought it home — and freaked me out a little. “They film us with all kinds of facial expressions. And store them,” he reveals. “Damn I learned so much from this and wish I never agreed. But I did and have to own it.”
Another regret of Chris’s is going so far out on a limb — both financially and personally — for David. He reveals that he has offered David and Annie jobs, but there will be no more hand outs.
OK, I’m going to step away here and let Nikki and Chris speak for themselves. I will say that I am impressed with them both — especially Nikki — and have no reason to doubt much of anything they say.
NIKKI: I will ONLY answer questions to things that has aired. I think it’s only fair & to answer everyone’s questions. Yes, the awkward scene of Chris asking for a massage was SCRIPTED. The producer asked him to say it & Chris had to say it more than once because it didn’t come off as natural. We were fed our lines while sitting at the table, which is why no one reacted. WE ALL KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT. We are NOT paid the only people that are paid are people who are asked for compensation & the couples. I’m a very outspoken person you’d be a fool to think i just sat there & allow my husband to disrespect me, Annie & our marriage.
NIKKI: If I came off as harsh, aggressive, or like I’m attacking members of the group i apologize, but I don’t agree with how Sharp/TLC is making my husband look for ratings. I have receipts of EVERYTHING we’ve paid for. I also have text messages between the producers & I️ & I️ have no reason to lie about ANYTHING
COMMENTER: What’s the point of this post? You Nikki are ruining it for people who love reality tv. We don’t want to hear that you all were being fed your lines. What’s the fun in that??
NIKKI: This is a discussion board! Don’t like the truth BLOCK ME! I’m getting questions so I’m answering them. I’m not ruining anything that hasn’t aired. So do me a favor & stop tagging me
COMMENTER: People will talk sh!t no matter what .. don’t lose your time explaining yourself. I’ve never seen so many haters together in a group.. They talk about looks, everything ! Nothing is ever positive .. then I go see their profiles lol
NIKKI: ? i couldn’t agree more!! I hate how they bash everyone’s physical feature like they aren’t human & don’t have feelings. Then you click their profile & it’s speaks volumes smh
COMMENTER: Why did you do the show if you didn’t get paid and don’t agree with what they want you to say?
NIKKI: We were asked to be on the show because we are David’s reality. We don’t need the money & chris agreed to say it because he figured the show isn’t about us so how could it possibly make us look bad. Welp this is exactly what we have to deal with because of it
COMMENTER: Don’t get why some of you gets mad when your think you’re not portrayed right. Don’t be on a reality show if you don’t want thousand of people to judge you.
NIKKI: I have a youtube channel & I’m judged daily. I was built with thick skin. But Lies is LIES & I’m calling out all the BS
COMMENTER: Then why participate being on the show if it was lies? You surely knew what you walked in to?
NIKKI: actually our very 1st time filming was on that roof top. We didn’t know what to expect. So to answer your question no one knows what they are really getting into. The reality of it is we did the show because we are in real life David’s reality
COMMENTER: But you already read the script and were giving lines, so you basically knew what to expect? You already knew what to say. Nobody forced you nor your husband
NIKKI: Scripted doesn’t necessarily mean it’s written down for you to read & rehearse. We were told what to say at the table.
COMMENTER: You were not harsh at all! Be careful reality TV has a way of ruining relationships!
NIKKI: Reality TV can only do to you what you allow. If you have a strong foundation nothing else matters!
COMMENTER: Why didn’t Chris say no? Especially if there was no money involved. There is no amount of money my husband would take to embarrass me on TV let alone for free.
CHRIS: I get it Tara. I do. I wanted to help my best friend he had been living in Asia teaching English for so long he had no help to get back. Mentally he was ready to rebuild all the burned bridges he damaged and wanted to come back. He needed one extra hand up. So I thought. As far as the comment goes I have to own up to it though I didn’t ask for massage in the original scene. Not until the director Adrienne encourages me to in front of all cast and crew. I did think I was being a team player and had a little peer pressure. But EVERYONE was in on it. And I’m the dumbass who allowed it. Hindsight 20/20.
COMMENTER: Chris Thieneman so did you agree to do the show to help David get exposure and a little pocket change to help set him up a little? Because based on your responses that is how it is coming across.
CHRIS: Yes. He was to get paid 1,000 a show and 2500 for reunion and get him in his feet. I have offered both jobs in my new restaurant and a management position but they have not accepted yet. Which is another reason I’m done with the hand out.
COMMENTER: Chris Thieneman is he still in your house?
CHRIS: Nikki is going to make him. Just wait
COMMENTER: I fully believe it. You would also easily be able to sue him since he says over and over you’re giving him money.
CHRIS: We had to get him out. But I own multifamily properties so I let him stay till end of year. But maybe not that much longer. I really don’t want to sound like I’m bragging but I have been blessed very blessed financially and have a history of sharing it with my friends. Sometimes it works out some times not. The last guy I helped stole lots from me and I went after him with all my mite. He plead guilty to a felony. I never will get all my money but I think I got some justice. My success helping is worth the bad ones.
COMMENTER: So I’m curious, it is one thing for it to be scripted but why would you allow your family, or at least your husband, to be portrayed in that image especially when you have kids? Not being judgemental, just curious is all
NIKKI: I warned him because this is what i do for my youtube. Editing will make things look like something it’s not to get views & create drama. He even said they have no reason to make me look bad because the show isn’t about us/me so he decided to go ahead with it & so this is what we have to deal with.
COMMENTER: I don’t know why anyone would agree to lying on TV. I wouldn’t. And then to not get paid for lying?? Why? Makes no sense
CHRIS: There isn’t any other excuse than stupidity. The first scene the original scene I never asked for massage. Not until Adrienne the director encouraged me to say it in front of the whole cast and crew did I let a little peer pressure set in. Once I knew it was an open request I didn’t have time to think (which in hindsight I obviously didn’t think at all ). I wanted to be a team player and just went with it. Afterward I even told nikki “I never felt comfortable saying that “. But it was too late then. I was naive to think that since I wasn’t a real cast member that I wouldn’t be singled out. I will own up to my mistake. But as I have said before we have been nothing but respectful and helpful to Annie
NIKKI: so you believe that was his 1st & only time saying that? & everyone just sat there? ? oh ok
COMMENTER: That’s not how I saw it though. I saw Annie with a disgusted look on her face. She was mortified and I don’t think her acting is that good. Anyway, I wasn’t there so I have no idea what happened. It’s just, your story seems fake.
CHRIS: They film us with all kinds of facial expressions. And store them. Damn I learned so much from this and wish I never agreed. But I did and have to own it. But I will say this to anyone considering NEVER AGREE TO BE ON A SHOW LIKE THIS.
COMMENTER: Nikki, I believe you, however I do have a question. No disrespect, but if your not getting paid, why on earth did you and Chris go on the show?
CHRIS: I thought I was really going to help david and prove to the people back home that he really had it together. I figured having it on tv would be a great thing to prove Boy I was wrong.
COMMENTER: Chris Thieneman how is you handing him money, and a place to live proving he has his shit together? It’s like you adopted a grown man child and his bride to be. Did you ever get your money back? I’m going to guess no.
CHRIS: Not yet Tara. Nope not a dime.
COMMENTER: WHAT TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP DOES CHRIS HAVE WITH HIM THAT HE GIVES HIM ALL THIS $ AND IS GOING TO ALLOW HIM TO BRING HIS NEW BRIDE TO YOUR HOME FOR THE 90 DAYS? SEEMS ODD TO MOST OF US.
CHRIS: His back story included Suicidal plans and I had my best friend kill himself long ago. I still struggle with it. Feel that I didn’t do enough and I’m obviously over compensating. But I told david the free help is over. I have jobs that I have offered. He will have to accept it or leave.
COMMENTER: he’s manipulating you and you are enabling him.
CHRIS: And I’m done
COMMENTER: It was pretty obvious to me that entire scene was scripted. I honestly think the Producers were ridiculous to even think that people would take that as truth. It blows my mind how much editing is involved. However I must say, I probably would have told the producers to shove it if they asked me to go to that level. I’m just curious – why did you and your husband agree to go on without compensation? Just a favor to David?
NIKKI: They don’t get paid much. But you can ask him Chris Thieneman
CHRIS: I thought it would help david. Nikki and I are not even cast members I never thought we would be focused so much. David and Annie are the characters not nikki and me. David gets 1,000 a show. Annie by law nothing nikki and I only did it as a favor. I did it as a favor for david and Nikki did it as a favor to me.
COMMENTER: To all of you kissing @ss. I do have a question. How many of you would let your husband be in a low grade show, make an @ss of you and himself, ask a degrading question to a a young girl you don’t know, let you sit there look like an idiot and get nothing in return just for the sake of being on tv? Really how many of you would be fine with that sh!t?
NIKKI: This is what i do. I knew exactly what was going to happen & i warned my husband. He was under the impression that since the show isn’t about us they couldn’t possibly want to paint him in a bad light. So this is what we will deal with since he decided to say it against my better judgment
COMMENTER: How do we know this is all true and Nikki’s acct? Doesn’t each cast member have to sign a confidentiality agreement?
NIKKI: IM NOT A CAST MEMBER THEREFORE I HAVE NO CONTRACT TO ANYONE
COMMENTER: Why did he agree to say that?!
CHRIS: I let a little peer pressure get to me. I didn’t say it in the real one. The original one. Not until the director suggested it in from of cast and crew. Did I agree. Never should have but I regrettably did
COMMENTER: I like you Nikki! Are you allowed to be telling us these things?
CHRIS: Nikki Holds nothing back. If the show wants to sue her I got her back 1000 percent.
NIKKI: I’m not a cast member. I’m not contracting to anyone & i haven’t told anything that hasn’t aired
UPDATE – It seems the negativity in the 90 Day Fiance Facebook group was a bit too much for Nikki, so she bounced. But, not before posting this parting message:
Welp, that didn’t last long. I’m out of here ??♀️. Even one of the Admins (Carol) is attacking my statement. I️ have no reason to lie. Damn, I thought you all wanted tea
FYI I agreed to do it to support my husband because it is OUR REALITY! Chris has been taking care of David long before I️ was in the picture. We don’t get paid because we didn’t ask to be paid. We had no clue how much they’d show us & edit things to make a person look horrible. (oh yea, we are in this season from beginning to end ? & yes, we have said no to the Happily Ever After.
Everyone have a blessed life