On Season 4, Episode 13 of 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way, Mahmoud pondered a move to America.
Nicole, miserable after months (and, really, years) of trying to find happiness in her marriage to him in Egypt, asked him to come with her to the United States.
A lot of fans voiced suspicions that she and Mahmoud always planned to move to the US once the visa arrived. Others believe her when she says that it was just a backup plan.
But there is one piece of unquestionable fakery — and it’s right there on screen. Who is 90 Day Fiance trying to fool?
Obviously, 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way viewers have had questions about Nicole Sherbiny and Mahmoud Elsherbiny all season long.
Only the most extreme and outlandish conspiracy theorists cling to the idea that production sets up these couples. That’s not how it works at all.
You audition, sharing your story and international relationship plans, and if they think that you’re dramatic or will have a lot of trouble or have other entertaining qualities, they cast you. But that doesn’t mean that producers and editors don’t have ways of making things more intense than they really are.
To the specifics, the episode in question did not officially show Nicole at all.
Instead, Mahmoud only had one, relatively brief scene. A scene in which he hung out with his big brother, Ahmed.
As we detailed extensively in our 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way recap, he sought his advice on making a possible move to America.
In a voiceover, which Mahmoud recorded while speaking to the confessional camera (likely recorded weeks later at the earliest), he set the stage.
“We go cafe just for men,” he shared. “Play dominoes.”
Most Americans think of dominoes as blocks that fall in a satisfying way. And, in the United States, the idea of a “cafe just for men” went from controversial to widely illegal decades ago.
You might think that this is about spotting a woman in the crowd at this supposedly male-exclusive cafe.
If so, you would be half-right. We would, at the very least, have questions about why Mahmoud described some all-dude hangout spot when a woman shows up in the background.
Yes, it looks like there’s a woman dining in the background over Ahmed’s shoulder. But if we actually look at the woman in question, we notice that she does not look like your average Egyptian gal. She has platinum blonde hair, worn in a mannequin-like bob.
We know that we’re basically reenacting that Spongebob Squarepants meme where the titular character points to the top of his head in the background of a video.
Just to make it a little easier to notice, we zoomed in a bit. And we also made a GIF.
That’s right, The Hollywood Gossip wants to make this as easy for you as possible to spot this oh-so-familiar blonde. So we pulled out all of the stops.
In case you’re wondering if there’s a man with a blond bob who happens to be hanging out in Egypt … or perhaps a different woman?
Well, we also see this mysterious individual’s face.
The mystery seems to melt away when we spy Nicole Sherbiny’s cheekbones looking almost directly at Mahmoud and Ahmed. Perhaps she even made eye contact with her husband in the moment.
It doesn’t look like Nicole realized that she was visible on camera. Perhaps she was hiding.
We don’t know why she was there, or why either Nicole and Mahmoud or producers felt the need to make this a one-on-one hangout when Nicole was clearly there.
The reason could be totally innocuous. Maybe they were on their way somewhere as a couple and decided to film this. And someone just got a little sloppy. (Like when an infamous hate symbol was on display at Mike Youngquist’s house)
As for Mahmoud declaring that this is a man-only space … that was a voiceover. Maybe he was describing how he and Ahmed usually hang out. Or perhaps the cafe does not allow women to sit at the dominoes tables.
There may be an even simpler explanation: that Mahmoud is sometimes wrong about this stuff.
Earlier this season, he tried to insist that Nicole could not dine at a cafe, only for the cafe employees to tell him that it’s fine. Mahmoud is an uptight guy in some ways, and he clearly makes mistakes.