You know what? Dating sucks. It’s expensive, time consuming, and emotionally fraught—and that’s if you get lucky enough to get past the tedious initial getting-to-know-you stage. (Or maybe we’re just lazy and emotionally unavailable.) Anyway, Gothamist frames a New York City woman’s staging of her own personal, real-life episode of Singled Out over the weekend as “duping” men into a “mass Tinder date.” But we’re simply impressed at her efficiency.
A 22-year-old social media intern named Spencer Mullen spoke with the local news site about his experience with a self-proclaimed actress/model/singer named Natasha, who matched with him on Tinder but told him she was too “busy” with a “presentation” to meet up until the following month. And sure enough, a month later she invited him to meet her at a “free show” her “friend” was DJing in Manhattan. And technically, she wasn’t lying.
Upon arriving at the “show” yesterday afternoon around 6 p.m., Mullen found Union Square full of dozens of confused-looking men who had all been invited there by this mysterious Tinder match. Then, flanked by bodyguards, Natasha ascended the stage that had been set up in the middle of the square and addressed the thirsty throng with, according to another man who live-tweeted the show, “a Hunger Games speech about what it’s gonna take to date her.”
She then proceeded to call out different physical and character traits, asking men who fit the description of each to leave. (Eliminating characteristics, according to Mullen, included supporting Donald Trump and having a long, LeBron James-esque beard.)
Now, those who spent most of the mid-to-late ‘90s parked in front of MTV on weekday afternoons will recognize this as the first round of the Chris Hardwick and Jenny McCarthy-hosted dating game show Singled Out, the key difference here being that these men all thought they were going on a regular, one-on-one date. But why do that dozens of times with dozens of different guys when you can rent a stage, a PA, and a couple of bodyguards for the afternoon, and find the best (or, at least, the most obedient) of the bunch by making them do sprints?
Even the guys who left as soon as they figured out what was going on—which was most of them, according to both eyewitness reports—seem to have a begrudging respect for Natasha, whose voicemail was of course full when Gothamist tried to call her with the number she used to text Mullen. “[As] far as scams go, it wasn’t that bad. I spent $2.75 on a subway ticket. The only one who it really backfired on was her,” Mullen says.
And, given that neither of the eyewitnesses who told Natasha’s story to the world stuck around for the big reveal at the end of the “show,” we don’t actually know if it backfired. The guy leaning against the fence seems like he’s in it until the end:
Good luck, Natasha. If nothing else, you’ve got a future as a game-show host ahead of you.