But … how did details about 9 hours of footage get leaked to more or less the entire 90 Day Fiance fandom?
First up, some basic and not especially spoilery information about the Tell All filming.
It appears to have filmed across two days, possibly on May 1 and May 2.
(This is pretty standard; they film the Tell All late in the season but give themselves enough time to edit it down before it airs)
Shaun Robinson returns as a host — but in a new format.
Obviously, 90 Day Fiance could not film in their usual manner.
Usually, they film on a stage in New York City. The coronavirus pandemic would make that reckless and potentially deadly.
Instead, they all used video chatting — specifically Skype — to tune into a group conversation.
It appears that people were scheduled to pop in and out at specific times on a schedule set by production.
The real downside is that we don’t get to see their in-person responses as many of them meet for the first time.
Colt Johnson’s creepiness and confrontational attitude towards a bunch of his castmates at last year’s Happily Ever After? Tell All was great TV.
There was another downside, from production’s standpoint: the security of the footage.
Because a whopping 9 hours of unedited, unfiltered Tell All footage leaked to just about the whole internet, and it was days before TLC noticed.
That footage is how we know some not-insignificant spoilers about this season.
For example, we know that David Murphey’s Lana is a real, living human and not a catfish.
He proposes, she says yes, and they seem to have broken up by the Tell All.
David expresses optimism that they will get back together.
We also know that Geoffrey Paschel, with his lengthy criminal history and latest arrest for a brutal domestic assault less than a year ago, does not attend.
TLC may have been feckless enough to air his footage in the first place, but he was not invited to the Tell All.
Unfortunately, Varya appears to still be with him, as she was invited but declined to participate without him.
Given everything that we have read about Geoffrey, that is terrifying. We hope that Varya remains safe and well.
We also know about the explosive fight between Big Ed and Baby Girl Lisa, two of the season’s most eye-catching yet controversial stars.
They fire off at each other, yelling and cursing.
We don’t know how much of that will make it into the Tell All’s final edit.
But a lot of fans are now wishing that they would just release the whole thing, unedited, in multiple installments.
But how did anyone see this in the first place?
Well, it turns out that the whole thing was put on YouTube … by the hosting company itself.
Now, they made it an unlisted video, meaning that no amount of searching in YouTube’s searchbar could locate it.
However, as many of us know, an unlisted video can be viewed by anyone with a direct link to the video.
Naturally, it took only a few days before 90 Day Fiance superfans stumbled across the link and shared it to reddit.
The link was on a playlist by one of the (unnamed) 90 Day Fiance stars from this season.
Realizing that the video would likely disappear sooner rather than later, they quickly ripped the footage and shared it with other fans.
While most of the fandom has yet to see the full video, countless bloggers have seen the footage, though attempts to post it anywhere are short-lived.
It was initially believed that someone in production had simply leaked everything on purpose.
That would have meant incurring a hefty fine — possibly more than one — per their contract.
Instead, it looks like the leaker was everyone and no one, since no one really intended to.
The company that made it an unlisted video, the 90 Day Fiance star who shared the link, and really, the pandemic that forced the change in format.
That said, so far, we only know the half of it.
Because all of the drama from the leaked video comes from Day Two.
There is an entire other day of filming the Tell All about which we know very little.
In the mean time, we all need to accept that some of that leaked footage — most of it, actually — will never make it into the episodes that air.