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...
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[PHOTO CREDIT: MTV]