Every week I go into a new episode of MTV's Catfish hoping that this one will be the one we're all waiting for; where everyone will be who they say they are; the happy couple will meet and embrace and maybe even kiss a little; and Nev and Max will get super giddy for bringing a star-crossed pair of would-be lovers together. Everyone wins! "Rico & Ja'Mari" was not that episode, but it had some of those things. So, a win?
Rico was trying to decide whether he should move to London to take care of his sick mother or to try to start a real relationship with Ja'Mari, his online boo of three years. Since Ja'Mari's busy modeling schedule kept him on the road a lot, they'd never met. Enter Nev and Max, who somehow convinced Ja'Mari to meet Rico, despite the fact that they already knew Ja'Mari was lying about several things. For one, if he was a model, how come there were no Google hits for his name? Plus, no images came up when they reverse searched his photo.
On the plus side, they did find a few YouTube videos of Ja'Mari that proved the pictures and the voice he'd shown Rico were actually his.
Rico and the team flew down to Miami and met Ja'Mari at a beach. Ja'Mari showed up not in the Mercedes he'd claimed to drive but in a regular ol' non-luxury car. Still, when he walked down the path to meet his almost-boyfriend for the first time, carrying a bouquet of roses, both men were visibly shaking with nervousness and excitement and greeted each other with a big kiss on the lips. It was beautiful ... until Ja'Mari had to confess that he'd been lying.
He wasn't a model; his name was actually James. He lived at home with his mom and he was a bus driver. Honestly, on the list of terrible things people have said to each other in an attempt to escape their lives and form fantasy world relationships, those are pretty benign. Rico was still pretty upset about it, and once Nev and Max helped him Google James, it seemed like he had a pretty good reason to be mad.
Apparently James had been arrested for impersonating a bus driver a few years before. Ohhhhhh/ Man, thought we'd finally found the least offensive catfishing situation (lying about a glamourous job and making up a sexy name, but everything else was real). We were wrong.
While a lot of people would have peaced out then, Rico decided to meet with James to hear him out — maybe because Rico truly did love him, or maybe because he wanted to hear the truth about the person he'd invested so much time and energy into over the years. James insisted that he'd been arrested because he fit the description of the person who'd committed those crimes. While he was fighting the charges in jail, he got his bus driving license. (He was later cleared, he said.)
The next day, the two met up again to discuss their future. What's next, James asked Rico. Well, Rico forgave him for lying (but wouldn't forget), and if they kept talking and hit it off still, maybe James could move to London so they could be together. Then they made out a little, and Nev and Max squealed with excitement.
Now, the nerve-wracking part: Are Rico and James still together?!
As of a month after filming, they totally were. Rico's mom had gotten slightly better so he stayed in the States so he could start a relationship with James. I haven't been this happy since Dani and Kya decided to be together!
As Cher's dad in Clueless would say, "Honey, I couldn't be happier than if they were based on real grades." It worked out after all!
New theory: Is it true catfishing if the person on the other end uses their real picture? In Ja'Mari/James' case, maybe, since he lied about his life. But what about the case of Kim and Matt — he used his real photo too, just from years ago, before he got really fat. Can that be considered catfishing too? Isn't that what most people do when they create internet dating profiles?
I'm still waiting on that GIF of Nev and Max working out, by the way...
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[PHOTO CREDIT: MTV]
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In the dialogue-free opening sequence of Shame director Steve McQueen introduces us to Brandon (Michael Fassbender) a handsome New Yorker who goes through a morning routine tackles the responsibilities of his high profile day job socializes with co-workers and all the while struggles with an insatiable desire for sexual pleasure. As the strings of composer Harry Escott's score swell we see Brandon in two scenarios: holding back from advancing on a beautiful young subway-rider and succumbing to carnal instinct with the help of a prostitute. It's a powerful setup for Fassbender's breathtaking performance which ranks among the best of the year.
Shame forcefully declares that sex addiction is just as tangible devastating and perplexing as any drug or alcohol problem but does so without didactic lessons or over-the-top indulgences. Fassbender's Brandon is on the other end of the spectrum from Nicolas Cage's crazed alcoholic character in Leaving Las Vegas with McQueen breaking long stretches of repression with harrowing moments of emotionless lust. The film works as a character portrait following Brandon as he finds himself falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole and witnessing the effects of his descent on the people around him. Picking up women isn't a problem for the dashing gent—he does so with ease on many an occasion—but when he tries dating the one woman he has feelings for he's void of sexual stamina. Unfortunately even in the sprawling city of New York there's no outlet for Brandon to confide in—his work buddies are all looking for an easy lay and his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) who shows up at his door one inopportune day has a heap of her own problems.
McQueen shoots Shame with precision that never feels staged each scene camera angle and directorial choice amplifying Brandon's dizzying situation Whether Brandon's entranced by Sissy's passionate rendition of "New York New York " working off his own sexual frustration with a quick jog or seducing a barfly's girlfriend at a hole-in-the-wall joint Fassbender and McQueen work in perfect tandem to bring the audience into the struggle. You will feel the raw power of Brandon unleashing his sex drive and you will feel the sadness behind Fassbender's face as he drifts alone through the city streets. Both moods are powerful moving and true.
Shame doesn't have an easy-to-swallow narrative a real beginning or an end. When you expect things to align into a traditional structure McQueen and screenwriter Abi Morgan subvert expectations—as life often does. What keeps us engrossed is Fassbender who can pull off the balancing act of suave and broken without tipping us off that he's acting at all. Shame received an NC-17 rating because of its racy imagery but the real maturity on display in the film is the bare bones depiction of human behavior.
Starting this Friday, Julianne Hough can be seen opposite Kenny Wormald in the Footloose remake. You can also find her on billboards, on iTunes, in commercials for ProActive, and on the arm of Ryan Seacrest. But the world hasn’t always been this full of Julianne Hough -- in fact, there was once a time (long before ago) when Hough was just another girl in a suburb of Salt Lake City who liked to dance.
Hough was born in July of 1988 to Mari Ann Heaton and Bruce Hough, the chairman of the Utah Republican Party (who, incidentally, met when they were both on their Idaho college’s ballroom dancing team). She was the fifth and final child of the family, and she officially began entering in dance competitions when she was 9. But then when she was 10, Hough's parents realized they wanted to divorce so they sent her and her older brother Derek (also a dancer from Dancing with the Stars) to London so they could continue studying with their coaches (Corky and Shirley Ballas) without witnessing the unpleasantries of their parents' separation. Once there, the Houghs (along with the Ballas’ son Mark, who also is a pro on Dancing with the Stars) enrolled in school at the Italia Conti Academy, where they learned about singing, theatre, gymnastics, and of course, dance. When she was 13, Julianne and Derek and Mark took the skills they’d acquired at school and formed the pop music group 2B1G (which adorably stood for “2 boys, 1 girl”) and went on to perform at several dance competitions in both the U.S. and the U.K. By the time she was 15, she was the youngest person ever to be named both the Junior Latin World Champion and the International Latin Youth Champion at the Blackpool Dance Festival (which is the world’s first and most famous ballroom dance competition that has been held in Blackpool, England since 1920). Upon returning to the states when she was 15 and after she finished high school in both Las Vegas and Utah, Hough then moved to Los Angeles to jumpstart her career in entertainment.
But she wasn’t immediately cast on Dancing with the Stars. It was only after starring in some television commercials that she was cast to be a dancer on Show Me The Money, which was a William Shatner-hosted game show featuring 13 dancers holding scrolls (it was not very much different than today’s Deal Or No Deal). And while Show Me The Money was a rather short-lived program, Julianne took the credential and used it to get a spot as a company dancer on the Dancing with the Stars tour. She was eventually promoted and joined the show’s main cast in time for its fourth season, which premiered on March 19th, 2007. She was partnered with Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Anton Ohno and the two of them went on to beat Laila Ali and Joe Fatone and receive the famed Mirror Ball Trophy. In the premiere of the show’s fifth season on September 24th, 2007 Hough was partnered with Indy racecar driver Helio Castroneves, and together they earned Hough her second Mirror Ball Trophy of the year. After the show’s seventh season ended in November of 2008, Hough stated on Ryan Seacrest's radio show she was planning to leave Dancing with the Stars so she could pursue a career in country music, although she ultimately continued dancing through the show's eighth season. But Hough’s participation on DWTS led to much more than just some mantle decor – in 2008 and in 2009 she was nominated for Emmys in the Outstanding Choreography category.
Even though Hough was only known for her dancing for the majority of 2007, she was privately planning to switch into the music industry all along. In May of that year she recorded a song called “Will You Dance With Me” and released it on iTunes to help benefit the American Red Cross. After signing with Universal Music Group Nashville, Hough began collaborating with producer David Malloy to create a self-titled album, which went on to debut in the #1 spot on the Top Country Albums chart on May 28th, 2008. On October 12th, Hough released a Christmas themed EP through Target called Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection, which sold around 250,000 copies. In April of 2009, she won the Top New Artist award at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards and she recently completed her second studio album with Mercury Nashville, and it is slated to hit stores next year.
Hough’s success both on television and in music meant she was the perfect addition to the cast of 2010’s Burlesque, which starred Christina Aguilera as Ali, the girl from Iowa who became a dancer at a Los Angeles burlesque club owned by a former entertainer named Tess (played by Cher). The movie threaded song and dance into the plot in ways we haven’t really seen since 2006’s Dreamgirls and even though the film failed to turn a profit, Hough’s performance as one of the club’s dancers proved to producers that making movies was not outside her realm of capabilities. Hough was rewarded for Burlesque when she was cast as the female lead in Craig Brewer’s remake of the 1984 hit, Footloose. And while the public remains torn on whether or not the original Footloose even deserved a remake, they all seem to agree that Hough’s interpretation of Ariel is endearing and even earned her comparisons to a younger Jennifer Aniston.
Next up for Hough is Adam Shankman’s highly anticipated film adaptation of the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages, which stars Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones. If successful, her participation in the flick has the capacity to launch her into whichever entertainment stratosphere she wishes to primarily inhabit (that is, of course, if she can ever decide).
Sources: Julianne Hough, Wikipedia, IMDB, CMT, ACM Country, THR