ET spoke with '90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days' star Tyray, who shares why he ignored obvious signs he was being catfished.
Tyray knows he ignored major signs when it comes to his online romance with Carmella from Barbados. The 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days star talked to ET's Melicia Johnson and opened up about his shocking journey this season. In the premiere episode, producers stepped in and told him a man named Christian was behind Carmella, and that he admitted to catfishing Tyray for over four years.
Prior to the bombshell being revealed, Tyray shared that he would only speak to Carmella through SnapChat and had never video chatted with her. He later admitted to sending her money and said that he had actually traveled to Barbados to see her, but she ghosted him and never showed up at the resort he was staying in. Still, despite all the signs that Carmella was not who she said she was -- and producers bluntly telling him that a man was pretending to be Carmella -- Tyray still had hope it was all a "misunderstanding" because of the deep connection he shared with her online. Tyray told ET he felt a sense of shame watching it back and has seen all the jokes about him online.
"Well, mainly I am embarrassed about it, like, when I look at it I am like, 'Dang, I really was pushing and pushing and pushing,' like it can't be, you know?" he said. "I'm like, damn, I have seen the memes and they are funny because, like, they are what you would expect someone to say like, 'OK let me just accept it,' but I never really accepted it and when I watch it, I am just like, 'Dang, what was I thinking?' I wasn't thinking, that's the thing."
"It was just so much going on," he continued about where he was mentally at the time. "I was worried about my mom and then just like, even the filming process ... you're kind of nervous and you are like, maybe they are just bringing us together or something like that, so there was just so much going through my mind at that time."
He does accept responsibility when it comes to ignoring obvious signs his online romance wasn't what he thought it was.
"I did kind of like set myself up for that because I was just passive," he said. "I didn't really like, you know, stand on my feet. ... I wouldn't say, 'Oh, you know, this bothers me' or something like that. I wouldn't speak my mind in the whole situation."
Tyray said Carmella was the one who actually pushed him to do the show, and he accepted partly because he felt the show had the resources to bring them together. He shared why he continued to have hope Carmella was real even after producers stepped in.
"What made me have hope still was just that maybe something is just not right, maybe she got cold feet, maybe she was afraid to meet or something like that so that was like my initial thing, like, she's just joking around because she's scared, you know what I mean?" he explained. "Maybe's she's scared to meet or something, or maybe she's changing her mind so that's why I was kind of like, you know, let me just see where this goes or where this leads me to."
Even after producers told him he didn't have to continue filming after telling him he was being catfished, he had multiple reasons for deciding to stay on the show.
"First, it was because I knew that they had better resources to at least help me," he explained. "At least, you know, they were probably going to help me find this person and if this person sees this story, they're going to be like, dang, like, hey I tried to mess with him mentally or whatever, but they showed that I persevered."
Although most fans express sympathy for Tyray online -- who quit his job to take care of his mother after she had a stroke -- he did respond to a fan who felt that he was trying to date out of his league and wouldn't go for a woman who didn't look like Carmella. During one episode, Tyray described Carmella as "Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B combined." But Tyray insisted to ET that it was never about looks for him.
"Usually people who date people who live far away, it's because they have a deeper connection that's more than just physical. Usually it's a bit deeper than just that," he said. "It was never about anyone's looks or anything like that and like, I definitely like big girls."
He said that even if Carmella didn't look as attractive as her pictures, he would have continued the romance.
"I think I would have because we had a deeper connection than just the physical aspect of it and then I look at other couples who were on the show like Avery and Ash, they're both two good-looking people and they could have easily found someone out in their state or city or something like that," he pointed out.
Tyray shared what he learned from the experience and, surprisingly, he isn't jaded.
"The biggest lesson definitely is to not hold your tongue and also if you have a problem with something, speak out about it," he advised. "And sometimes you overlook the people around you, you know, so I learned to not do that, like, to realize that I'm surrounded by a lot of beautiful people who support me, have good hearts and that, you know, the world is actually not that bad. There's more good people than bad, I'll say that."
90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.