These days, it’s common to see aspiring reality stars jump from one show to another: “Bachelor” contestants head to “Marriage Boot Camp,” or “Big Brother” competitors go on “The Amazing Race.” But contestants often learn that the reputation from your first show typically carries over to the next — sometimes with unfortunate consequences.
This situation cropped up recently on “American Idol,” which is enjoying its second season on ABC after being canceled by Fox. Evelyn Cormier, 20, a teacher from New Hampshire, was immediately recognizable when she appeared on the first round of auditions in March; her first reality TV gig was in fall 2017, as one of the stars of TLC’s hit “90 Day Fiance.”
Cormier’s storyline on “90 Day Fiance,” which involved lots of bickering with her husband-to-be, was not well-received by many viewers, and appeared to contribute to harsh online criticism during “Idol.” While certain fans loved her and the judges praised her vocals (Katy Perry deemed Cormier “one of my favorite voices I’ve ever heard in my life”), as soon as she made the Top 14 round this week, viewers finally had the chance to vote. And on Monday night, they eliminated her from the competition.
Granted, some people just didn’t enjoy her self-proclaimed “odd” voice.” But even a brief scroll through Twitter, Facebook comments or “Idol” forums showed viewers who connected her “90 Day Fiance” stint to her current show, declaring they weren’t fans then and they’re not fans now.
It didn’t matter that Cormier’s portrayal on “Idol” as the sweet, quirky singer was the polar opposite of her time on “90 Day Fiance” as the controlling, self-centered bride. It’s a harsh lesson of starring on a reality show: First impressions, especially negative ones, tend to stick.
In her pre-taped introduction, Cormier talked about her husband, David, and said “the biggest issue was that he was from Spain. David and I did long-distance for a while, and then he was finally able to come to the United States.”
Of course, that’s the entire premise of “90 Day Fiance”: The show follows couples in which one person is an American citizen, and the other is from another country. As soon as they arrive in America, the clock starts ticking on their K-1 visa, which gives them 90 days to decide whether they want to get married.
On Cormier and her husband’s season, the two were shown arguing almost constantly leading up to their nuptials. While every reality show needs drama, their scenes became uncomfortable: During one fight about how much money to spend on the wedding, and a discussion of the culture clash, Cormier replied bluntly, “You’re in America now.”
They eventually married in October 2017 and, unlike some couples on the show, are still together.