Suki Krishnan Tells All About 90 Day Fiancé: Love Games - Exclusive Interview

The series 90 Day Fiancé: Love Games, hosted by Suki Krishnan, is the game show that you never knew you wanted, but absolutely needed. And its popularity is to be expected, given that 90 Day Fiancé is a hit that has taken the reality TV world by storm. 

There's something special about 90 Days — it's not made up of people looking for social media fame and it doesn't follow the lives of multi-millionaires. It shows real couples in incredibly difficult situations, trying to make their love possible. It transcends borders, boundaries, languages, religions, you name it. With how reality TV shows like 90 Days share stories from different kinds of people from all different walks of life, who wouldn't want to abandon their own lives and stresses for a couple hours and watch other people figure out their own paths to love in the most dramatic way possible? And it clearly has struck at the heartstrings of viewers, because the 90 Days universe only keeps growing. 

Cue Suki Krishnan and 90 Day Fiancé: Love Games, which hit the new streaming service discovery+ on Valentine's Day 2021. The series pits 24 couples from the 90 Days universe against one another for the ultimate victory: bragging rights. And Krishnan is there alongside them as host. In an exclusive interview with The List, Krishnan dished on so many topics about 90 Day Fiance's new spinoff, its contestants, and more.

Was Suki Krishnan a fan of 90 Day Fiancé before hosting Love Games?

I'd love to know about the process that you went through in becoming the host for Love Games, how you came to the 90 Days world, and if you were a fan of the show before you took on the role of host?

Well, who isn't! Well, I'm just going to say it right now, who isn't a fan of the 90 Day universe and who [isn't] absolutely obsessed by TLC and all of them? It just felt like it was the perfect fit. I was already doing it remotely. We were kind of getting our legs in the whole issue of, well, what it is to be in the new world of COVID, dating. And it was TLC's kind of first foray into live TV.

Who doesn't want to be that super fan that gets to look at their favorite couple and ask all those questions that you're always screaming at the TV, and then you get to ask it in such a wonderful way that it's a game. So it's fantastic. So they're going to answer because they need the points to win the game, to move on, to get the Love Games cups. So it is just wonderfully salacious and juicy and magical. You pepper in some game show with a little bit of a jealousy and maybe some bruising of the ego and bam, you have television magic, which is, of course, part of the 90 Day universe, which has absolutely captivated this country and has become must-see TV for so many people.

I'm excited to watch and see the couples in a new element. It will be really exciting.

And you know the best part about it is that Love Games was shot entirely at home, at their home. So it was done completely remotely. And you can imagine when you're sitting at home and you're comfortable and you've got your favorite slippers on and your cup of whatever is in your cup, it could be explosive at times. And then when you're asking questions that provoke, sometimes make people laugh and sometimes it could be a little ironic. It all kind of weaves a beautiful web that we love to somehow take apart as viewers.

How did Suki Krishnan's career as a journalist impact her time on Love Games?

I want to get a little bit into your background and your career because, as you've mentioned, you were a reporter. I was wondering what it was like working with TLC for Love Games specifically and in what ways your news career helped you in this process.

I think being a news person you're just naturally curious and you're a connector of people, and I think you're intrinsically interested in how people work and how they feel and how they think, and really just storytelling. And I think what TLC does is just an extension of storytelling, just in a different way. I mean, you've fallen in love with these couples. You've fallen in love with these people, and they're sharing their story. And I guess my role as a journalist — and I've been a journalist for... since I was a wee lad — is to ask the tough questions and that's already in my wheelhouse. 

I don't think there's anything that I'm uncomfortable asking. So I know how to ask the right question at the right time. And maybe if I don't get that answer or get what I think that they should be truthful about, maybe I'll circle back when they least suspect it, like a ninja and I'll spring it upon them again. And they'll be like, "I thought I was done with this question," but I think that's what a journalist does and I think that's what a curious person does and that's what a fan does. Where they know the nuance to the story and they're able to dig deeper because that's what the viewers want. And that's what discovery+ and this is what TLC does better. And I feel like I'm the perfect person to kind of usher all of those beautiful, magical moments and then weave them together and then let the viewer enjoy it.

Suki Krishnan thinks Love Games will help viewers through tough times

You covered Superstorm Sandy, that was some of the work that you did. What was it about a romantic game show that really caught your eye and your interest?

I think the reality is just I wanted to transition from news. I was doing news for 29 years at that point. And I was doing morning news in New York for most of that time, waking up at one o'clock. And I needed to find a perfect balance and you know what, I'm a lover, not a hater and I'm full of personality. And I feel like I've got so much to share. And I was really excited that TLC would see something in me and put me in the position of being able to tell other people's stories.

Bottom line, I think the world has been really heavy, and trust me, I've covered some heavy stories [like] 9/11, Superstorm Sandy. I've covered some tragedies in and out of New York City and all around the world being a main news anchor. But I don't think anybody was prepared for the pandemic. What we did here with Love Games was kind of help people through the process. And television has been such a way to connect people, and what we've realized is that through shows like this and through our discovery+ [streaming service], people want more, people want to dig deeper. People want to feel more connected to the people that they love and have invested in while they're watching on television. So I think that we're able to deliver that on so many counts through Love Games by making it a game.

But we're also a show that is sprinkling in the aspects of love. I mean, we've seen their journey. The distance, the cultural exchanges, the language barriers. Now we're going to peel back the onion a little bit further and see how much they really know each other and how they're living together, loving together or not loving together. And eventually how they go about maybe settling some arguments that they've had with other couples, because we go there. Some people walk away, some people get angry at me. Some people get angry at the other couples that are on screen. So there's a lot of drama. It gets a little R-rated. Because we can. Because we can.

Who teams up on 90 Day Fiancé: Love Games?

Because that [on-screen drama] is what people want to see really, isn't it?

Yeah. We go undercover because that's what being in love is all about. It's all those salacious juicy details that you get to sort of taste. And then it kind of connects the dots sometimes on some of these storylines, like David and Annie, Elizabeth and Andrei. You got Debbie and Colt. A mom and a son who have now paired up. That's kind of fun. And let me tell you something, Debbie and Colt know a lot about each other. Strange, but true. And I fell in love with Colt, and I could see why women are drawn to him and his personality. He's very magnetic.

I feel like the show really is going to give us such a deeper insight into so many of the people that we've all watched as their journeys unfold, but this seems like a whole new level.

Yeah. You've got Darcey and Georgie. They get together and you get to see their new relationship and how it is and how they are. And you always think you know somebody until somebody poses a question and says, "Hmm, when was that time that somebody..." Like for instance, I guess I did a lot of questions about annoying habits. What are some annoying habits? And some of them don't even know that what they're doing is annoying. And then they argue about that. And somebody says like, I think it was ... Evelin and Corey. I think Corey said something like, "You're always yelling at me," and she's like, "I'm not yelling at you. Am I yelling at you?" And I'm like, "You're yelling at him, you're yelling at him." And you walk away with a sense of really falling in love with them again. Like some of these people are the OGs, like Russ and Pao. How's Russ and Pao doing? And then you see the jealousy between some of the castmates and Pao. It's very interesting.

Especially Evelin and Pao get to kind of team up on somebody else. Let me tell you, I wish I could tell you all of the things that kind of happened, but it's great.

Suki Krishnan explains how Love Games is played

[On how contestants compete on Love Games]

Round one. Okay. So there's four rounds. I'm going to explain this really quickly. So the first round, you've got three couples going head to head. The winner goes immediately to the semi-finals. The second runner-up goes to the wildcard round. And the third person sadly is eliminated. And then you've got round two, which is basically the wildcard round. ... And then round three is the semi-final rounds. And then round four is the final round, which is you go after –

The pinnacle.

Love Games, got the trophy, bragging rights.

Basically, who doesn't want to have those kinds of bragging rights? Especially in the 90 Day universe, which is so competitive. Everybody's got their claws out. They're all clawing to the top as to who's more popular than the other person, who does the audience attach themselves to, whose storyline is better? They say that they're not watching, but they're all watching each other very closely.

What was it like for Suki Krishnan to host Love Games during a pandemic?

I wanted to ask you about how the pandemic. It's just thrown such a curve ball into television production. What was it like filming this at home for you? What was it like hosting the contestants while they were at home? What was that whole virtual time like?

We actually had dealt with, believe it or not, a tornado, with Darcey and Georgie. It's kind of crazy, but I can't give away too much. But there's a lot to that story too, because it happened in real time and it happened on the east coast. So I was kind of affected by it, too. Listen, there were a lot of challenges. I think the world has been challenged by this, but what we've been able to do is create content and move the 90 Day universe forward. 

And I think that viewers demand, and they're able to meet the challenge. It's like stepping up to that moment. Everybody has had to step up to the moment of COVID and what this organization has done better than anybody else was keep people safe, keep people in their home environment, but still producing content that's engaging, that's adventurous, that's moving the storylines and the people that have invested in it further and also allowing you to feel all of the emotion because people do talk about COVID. People do talk about their experiences. People do... I mean, you see it in 90 Day: Bares All, and you see it in 90 Day Diaries. These are all of the things that came out of this experience of the pandemic. So I don't think TLC is going to shy away from anything. That's what I want to say.

Why Suki Krishnan thinks Love Games will "make America smile again"

COVID is such shared collective experience that we're all facing and we're all going through. And I feel like viewers could really grab onto that.

I don't know about you, but I myself [am] like, "Hmm, I wonder how that person was dealing with it at that moment with that specific time?" It's kind of like a time capsule. It shows people dealing with a tragedy in real time. And that's what as storytellers, as documentarians, as somebody who is invested in the show, we show all those nuances of what happens in real life. What Love Games does is also pepper in the fun, pepper in the excitement, as we all know, and pepper in the celebration of life, because that's what it's all about. We have to make America laugh again. We have to make America smile again. And 90 Day universe does this better than anything. And this is just another jewel in the 90 Day universe crown. This is just another piece of this wonderful little pie that we all get to deliciously dive into. And I can tell you as the host, I had fun. I laughed. There were moments that they made me so angry that I'd be like, "Why isn't anybody listening to me right now? Hello? I'm the host." It's also a trust process because they have to trust me. We're all like meeting each other virtually.

So we have to find connections within each other. And I really hope, I know I walked away with friends from the 90 Day universe and we all talk online and we text each other and they're excited to see when the show is going to come out. By the way the show is coming out on Valentine's day, February 14th.

Perfect timing.

Perfect timing. That's why I'm wearing red. I'm wearing red because I am Cupid of sorts. And yeah, it's a lot of fun. So I walked away with some friends. You might walk away with some people that you never thought you would really love. Like some of the couples in the 90 Day universe where you were like, "Oh, forget about them. They're never going to last. Their relationship, oh, it's a sham or whatever." Whatever you might think, what you'll realize is they're really working through the relationship. They're going through the process of marriage. And that's why 90 Day doesn't stop. It continues to pick up because the stories continue. The stories continue. And it's the gift that just keeps on giving. And I am here for it every day. Every day.

What parts of her life did Suki Krishnan share while hosting Love Games?

Did you find yourself sharing any of your own life story? Or love story?

Of course. My kids would walk into the shots and they'd be like, "Mom." I was like literally schooling my children. It was the summertime we shot this, right? So my kids were home. There was nothing going on. So they're home, they're hungry. We'd take breaks. I would see their life, and they would see a little piece of mine. They met my husband, my kids. So yeah, we all got to know each other in some fun ways. We made each other laugh. We talked about music. It's the whole thing. And we got to ask a lot of questions. I think that's the fun part of it, that they didn't look at me as like an outsider coming in. And they really embraced me as like a friend.

We touched on some really, really difficult things. Same thing with Evelin and Corey. Evelin had some moments from the show which you will see, but Evelin walked away... I walked away with a great relationship with Evelin that we still keep in contact on Instagram and everything like that. Yeah. Same thing with Elizabeth and Andrei. And David and Annie. I mean, who doesn't love Annie? I mean, who doesn't love David?

Your whole experience with them sounds so harmonious as well, which I'm sure [we'll see] when we all watch the show.

I hope so. I say some crazy stuff that I know I haven't said [when] delivering the news. I'm like, wow, I never thought I'd ever say that, but I'm saying it right now. So let's just go with it. Let's just live in this moment. Let's live in this moment.

Suki Krishnan explains how diversity has impacted her career

Diversity, I know, is a big part of your story. You were the first South Asian to anchor news in such a major news market. So in what ways did you find your own barrier-breaking career impacting your approach as a host?

I think individuality is really important. For me, when it comes to the real, I go to the heart. I want to connect right there. Or if I can't connect, I want to peel away some layers where I can find a place where we can connect. And so for me, I think what I really bring to it is the authenticity of a struggle. Nobody gave me anything. It was just like trying to tell people that you are good enough. And sometimes with these shows, people might walk away with the feeling of not feeling their best. So I guess I'm like the friend that gives you a hug sometimes when things feel a little difficult and we did encroach on some difficult topics on Love Games. And I'm that friend that's able to hug you. I'm that friend that's able to laugh with you. I'm that friend that's able to show your difference and let you shine.

All of these people have different relationships with each other. They came together in their own specific way and the mantra is love is love. And so diversity is what we are as a nation. And these are the stories that make up the fabric of who we are as a country. And what [the] 90 Day universe and what Love Games does is just add to that fabric, that element, all the layers of who we are. What makes us unique? Why is someone's story so engaging that you can relate to them? You could feel their pain. Some women even share their struggles of getting pregnant or not being able to get pregnant. So you go through those joys and those moments of not feeling good enough. And I know what that feels like.

I think I'm fabulous, but it is the world that we live in. So I feel like I'm the perfect person for that perfect show. And I'm so glad they casted me because that was able to weave all this stuff together. And it was a difficult task doing it all remotely. But what TLC and discovery+ and the team at Discovery does is that they're able to do it so effortlessly, and they give you so much support and so much direction and they just hold you up so you could be the best person that you can be so that the product and that the people that you're interviewing and having fun with also feel that energy. And so it's just a love fest at Love Games really.

Suki Krishan talks about feeling comfortable in her own skin

How did Love Games challenge you creatively? I want to know a little bit about that and what your biggest takeaway was from your whole experience.

I think Love Games has opened up the person that I am. I've always been comfortable in my skin, but now I'm comfortable enough to voice it. I don't think news really allows you to have that narrative. So now I have a narrative. I know who I am. I'm old enough to know who I am. I'm a mother, I'm a friend, I'm a daughter, I'm a sister. I have all of these hats that I wear every day. So I think all of that kind of falls into place because of that. We all have different roles that we play.

How would you describe what you learned from being host to someone?

Oh, I think it's really simple. That love is complicated and we cannot judge anybody wherever they are. I think what we've realized is a lot of people, what I love about 90 Day and what I love about Love Games, is they took the risk to fall in love. They followed their hearts, despite cultural challenges, religious challenges, distance, language barriers. They were able to fight for what they love and what I was able to take away from it is that, and especially kind of rolled up in this pandemic, is that you got to live in the moment. You got to believe in yourself and you got to go after what you want to do. So these people and these couples, these 24 couples in [the] 90 Day universe, they've already defied the odds. Now they're just painting the layer, the next layer, of what their life is going to be like, and they let us in on it. And that's the beauty of it. That's my takeaway. That really go after what you want, fight for it.

Life is short.

Life is short. If you want to fall in love, if you want to find that special someone, go for it. Look at these women and men on 90 Day, they fight for it every day. Despite what people say, all of the naysayers that they're sometimes surrounded with, they still fight for love. And when... Love is good and it fills your soul — we've all been in love — there's no other better feeling than that. But the best feeling is really winning the Love Games cup.

Suki Krishnan opened up about all the Love Games drama

Is there a standout moment from Love Games that you can divulge to us early?

So there are a lot of egos being bruised. And let's just say that Evelin had a lot to say to another person from the 90 Day universe, who Corey allegedly might have been in Las Vegas with when they had split up. That's all I'll say. It's good. It's good.

So something to keep our eyes out for then.

Oh my god. Definitely. Definitely because Evelin is somebody that doesn't kind of mince words and she's definitely a woman. A strong, very authentic woman. And I think Corey loves that about her, but it's really cute to watch Corey grovel.

I actually fell love with Corey. I fell in love with Corey and Evelin as I did with Annie and David and their boom boom rooms. They've already talked about the boom boom, right? So the boom boom gets a little R-rated, and then Angela, Angela really talks about some personal struggles as well. So you get a chance to see some of the things that she's struggling with personally, health-wise. And somebody else actually chimed in. I forget which person actually chimed in and then shared her own personal journey when it came to Angela's struggle with infertility because you know she wants to have a baby. So, those are some of the things that I divulge to you, which I hope don't get in trouble [for], but it's just a little teaser of just the genuine nature of the show. The family aspect of the show. The jealousy that might come out of this show. But hey, that's the magic of the 90 Day universe and that's the magic of Love Games. And I know you're going to want to see another season of this, because it builds up to a crescendo where you're like, okay, I need more couples into this.

Will there be a Love Games Season 2?

Do you know of any plans for a Season 2? What's the next step after this?

All I can say is go to discovery+, watch it, give us your feedback. And if you love this show, it's like anything else, put your arms around it, hug it. The network will see it. And you know what? We'll have a Season 2 before you know [it], but I really don't know. The host of the show is always the last to know, you know how that goes.

I'm sure Chris Harrison is like, "I don't even know who the Bachelor is until he rolls up on the mansion."

Chris Harrison is my hero. If I could have a job like him, I am down. I am so down.

What does Suki Krishnan think the biggest takeaway from Love Games is?

We talked about your key takeaway from the show. So what are you hoping that viewers will really take from this, apart from like the drama and the little R-rated moments?

I really hope that they see the next layer of what it is to be a part of the 90 Day universe and the 90 Day community. This is like unscripted. It really is unscripted. It's a game show. I'm asking the questions and there are moments that people just kind of divulge information that you didn't think that they were going to do. So, it's unscripted. It's unfiltered, and it's just downright a lot of fun. I hope they just realize that. I don't know... I really don't know what else to say. What is the one thing that they're going to take away from it? It's like when you sit down and you watch any 90 Day show, whether it's 90 Day Diaries or it's 90 Day: Bares All, it's these little nuggets and these little pieces that put the puzzle of who these couples are back together again.

So maybe something that they'll take away are the struggles that they've had that maybe that they've never seen before, whether it's struggles with infertility, maybe it's putting old arguments to rest. Maybe it's talking about things that are uncomfortable, like moments that were... Well, where it looked like somebody was cheating on somebody and it looked very, very suspicious. 

So I hope to put all those things to rest and it's all kind of like layered in with a lot of fun. It's serious, but it's not serious. It's fun. And sometimes really funny. It's makes you sad sometimes. And your heart is breaking that somebody shared something so beautiful with you and trusted you with it. And then there's a moment that you want to scream at them. So it's like every emotion you could possibly think about and then it all culminates in just really just being entertained. 

And what we can take away from this, if we can take away anything, is that we all need a moment just to get away, to escape, to find something that we can relate to that just takes us away from our everyday life. And you know what, Love Games does it. And it's just, like I said, it's another piece. It's another jewel in the Love Games, in the 90 Day universe. I want to say that again. It's another jewel in the 90 Day universe crown.