90 Day Fiancé season 8 premiered Sunday on TLC, introducing brand new couples, including standouts Brandon and Julia.
Brandon is 27 years old and from Dinwiddie, Virginia, and is engaged to 26-year-old Julia, who is from Krasnodar in Russia. Brandon works as a pest control technician, but he also lives with his parents and helps them with their farm and their dog breeding business. Right off the bat, it's clear that Brandon -- who describes himself as a "late bloomer" -- is extremely close to his parents, Ron and Betty. His parents even once signed him up on a dating app for farmers.
"My mom can be a little controlling, always trying to tell me what to do," he tells cameras.
Brandon met his unlikely fiancé through his best friend, when Julia was working in a club as a go-go dancer. They video chatted and Brandon says he fell in love immediately.
"She was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen," he recalls. "I couldn't stop thinking about her. And my first message to her was, 'You look like my future wife.' And that was six hours after meeting her on video chat. From that point, we were on the phone every second we possibly could be. After a few weeks, I flew over there to ask her to be my girlfriend. After that, we applied for a visitor's visa, for Julia to come visit me in the U.S."
The relationship progressed quickly after Julia was denied the visa because Brandon was only her boyfriend and not her husband. So after only five months and one in-person meet-up, Brandon invited her to Iceland and proposed. They then set up a meeting in France, where their parents could all meet. Not surprisingly, Brandon's parents are much more jaded about the situation.
Betty tells cameras, "We really enjoyed our interaction with Julia. She seems like a lovely person. But I mean, I've got to admit, both of our radars are still out, because we just don't know that her intentions are for Brandon, and has his best interests at heart."
Meanwhile, Brandon says he explained to Julia that he wasn't "rich or anything," but that he didn't know if she "100 percent understood." He's also quickly running out of money.
"When I went to see Julia the first time, I was definitely in the plus when it came to money. But now, I've found myself at more of my credit card limits," he says. "I paid for both of us to go to France. I paid for us to both go to Iceland. And I paid for all this stuff in the K-1 visa. I spent almost $10,000 in seven months. And she's out of work at the moment. So, yep, I need to kind of support her. And so, I've got myself in a bit of a bit of debt."
Betty then expresses her concern over Julia's profession.
"Hearing the fact that she has been a go-go dancer, of course, it made us immediately be concerned," she notes. "I hope it wasn't more -- she wasn't a prostitute, or a call girl, or something. Of course, Brandon has assured us that she's not. But we hope that, when she comes, that that's part of her past, and not her future. Hopefully, Julia will embrace the farm, and she won't mind helping with a lot of the chores that need to be done around here."
Later, Brandon expresses his disappointment that his parents are making him and Julia stay in separate rooms while living in their home -- which he hasn't told her yet.
Betty also then awkwardly asks Brandon if he knows if Julia is on birth control, and he says she isn't and doesn't want to be. After Betty notes that they can use condoms, Brandon shockingly says he "doesn't want to take on that responsibility either."
"I guess we're not being safe," he says to his stunned parents.
"Don't be taking chances you shouldn't take," Betty says.
Betty tells cameras, "I'm not caving about them staying in the same room -- at least not at this point. Because it's just an accident waiting to happen. I just have to keep encouraging them to, you know, do things responsibly. And hopefully, maybe, they'll embrace it. If not, at least I can say I tried."
But Betty takes it one step further when she calls a gynecologist about getting birth control for Julia and sets up an appointment for the doctor to talk to her, even though Brandon clearly told her Julia is against taking birth control.
"My mom's on the phone with a gynecologist right now. I did not expect this at all," he says. "She can call whoever she wants to. She can talk to them. Is that gonna change anything? No. She can't make Julia's decision for her. ... It is just easier just to ignore this, because nothing is going to come from it that I believe. I'm kind of just hoping it'll go away."
Betty then brings up what she calls Julia's mood swings, which Brandon acknowledges is an issue.
"I did, at first, have this image of perfection when I first met Julia," he says. "And it might have been a little shattered when I saw her again in France. I started to see, you know, her bad side -- the fact that she had some bad moods, and things, that she wants to harp on me about. I call her 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' because, one minute, you know, she can be a total angel, and the next minute... She could explode."
"I've had to go through a lot of hoops. We both have," he also notes. "But I've been putting a lot of money into tickets for her to fly to these places to see me, to pay for the K-1 visa process. The biggest thing is, I'm putting all my feelings on the line."
But Brandon admits that the only reason he proposed to Julia after meeting only two times was that there was no chance of her getting a visitor's visa.
"So, it was either go for the K-1 visa, or just walk away from this thing," he explains. "And I said, 'Let's just -- let's just go down this road, see where it goes.' This was really the only option."