Catfish Recap: Shut up, Selita
Hello Catfishaholics! This is SnoopK8 filling in for Catburns, who had a babeh! Congrats on the new addition to the Trashtalk family.
But internet scammers wait for no man, woman or newborn child, so let’s get to this week’s kinda boring episode.
Nev and Max are in Jacksonville, where Nev reads an email from this week’s victim: Bianca, 20, from Durham, NC. She met “Brogan” on Facebook and of course they had an “immediate” connection based on a mutual love of tats and piercings. They had really great phone convos, but natch, no video chats. Suddenly, Brogan stopped responding and deleted her FB profile. Bianca was sad, but eventually moved on. However, she always wondered what happened to the catfish that got away.
About a year later, Brogan texted Bianca out of the blue and they picked up where they left off. Brogan never explained where she went and Bianca never asked. However, they still have that unbreakable connection that comes from months of exchanging tat selfies.
Nev and Max video chat with Bianca, and ask why she never asked Brogan where she disappeared to.
Bianca, who looks fairly normal despite the piercings and ear gauges (yuck), says she was afraid to ask because she was afraid Brogan would vanish again. Bianca says she has a hard time fitting in because no one in her small town has the same interests (i.e. face tats, music and lesbians). Bianca wants to move out of state to play music and travel and would like someone to share that journey with. So the boys are off to Durham to solve the Mystery of the Be-tatted Brogan.
This week, we have special treat! A “ride-along” sidekick in the form of “supermodel” Selita Ebanks, whom I’ve never heard of, but Google tells me she worked for Victoria’s Secret and appeared on Celebrity Apprentice.
She also had her photos stolen by a catfish who went so far as to set up a fake voicemail pretending to be her. So her qualifications are clearly impeccable. She meets with Max and Nev and tells them it will be intriguing to see catfishing from different perspectives. Especially when it’s some girl-on-girl action. And this will be the first of many times that I yell “Shut up, Selita” at the TV.
They are heading to Creedmoor, NC, a tiny town about 15 miles outside of Durham. Fun Fact: Creedmoor was once the largest mule trading center in the world and had the nickname Mule Town. (You’re welcome.) Selita calls shotgun, sending Max and his camera to the backseat to plot his revenge.
At Bianca’s house, she says there are not a lot of gay people in the area with whom she has a lot in common and so she spends most of her time talking and texting with Brogan. Selita elicits that Brogan disappeared after they’d been talking for about five months and that up until the disappearance, Bianca had no reason to believe anything was amiss. Selita says that’s good, because usually it’s the first three months of a relationship when people “send a representative” before showing their true colors. Most people also spend time in physical proximity of their beloved during those first three months, but this is the parallel world of Catfish, so…. Bianca says Brogan seems perfect except for the whole disappearing-and-reappearing-as-if-nothing-happened thing. (Details, details.)
The group adjourns to a laptop to assess the sitch. They find Brogan’s FB profile, which has a pic of her “brother,” although he is not tagged. There is a picture of two legs with the words “sweet” and “heart” tattooed on them.
Nev warns that if Brogan is supposedly so skittish that Bianca couldn’t ask where the hell she went for a year, their getting involved might freak her out as well. Bianca says that’s a risk she’s will to take to find out the truth.
Nev, Max and Selita use the car ride back to the hotel to speculate about what could have caused Brogan to disappear for a whole year. Nev suggests the army, but the other two say she would probably have been gone longer if that were the case. Selita says maybe she got knocked up, because it’s common knowledge that pregnant women aren’t allowed to use the internet. Or maybe she got sent back in time to a convent in the 1960s to have the baby and pretend like nothing happened. I sort of know what she’s saying, but I mean, if you are faking your identity on the internet in the first place, what’s one more lie?? Shut up, Selita.
Back at the hotel, Max tells Selita that she’s “about to get schooled in the art of internet research.” (Also known as “Googling shit.”) However, they are interrupted when Selita gets a call from “David Spade.”
There must be some kind of shitty MTV show coming out starring Selita and David Spade because why the hell else are these random people on my TV?
ANYWAY, the bloodhound gang gets to work. They have two objectives: find out who the girl in the pictures is and find out who Bianca is talking to on the phone. They search the name Brogan Lynn Acaster and find a profile on MeetMe (whatever that is), but it turns out to be nothing. Google image search: nothing. Reverse phone number search: nothing. Spokeo: nothing! Finally, on Google, they find a blog post titled “Who the hell is Brogan Acaster?”
Score! They click but unfortunately the post has been removed. So they look up the name of the blog (Anevergrowingwonder) which eventually leads them to the find the tatted-legs-in-a-bathtub pic! Except this pic shows a pregnant belly!
Selita says she knew it because there’s only one reason a bitch would go missing. Shut up, Selita.
The blog seems to belong to someone name Chloe, who lives with her boyfriend Chris Acaster in the UK. They look up Chris Acaster on Twitter and they find a picture of “Brogan’s” brother that appeared on “her” FB page.
On HIS FB page, they find lots of tat pics and lo and behold – a picture of Chloe that is the pic of “Brogan.” But her name is Chloe Purdon. So Brogan is a no-gan. Selita says poor Bianca – Brogan was her ticket out and now she’s alone again, and what will she do?! Because obviously, this internet stranger whom she’s never met in person was Bianca’s only shot at happiness. Shut up, Selita.
Next day, the gang returns to Bianca’s to tell her the bad news. Her mom Kate is there and says when they moved to the town, she didn’t know her daughter would go through so much. (Okay, can I just interrupt to ask if anyone else noticed the names Bianca and Kate? Like in Taming of the Shrew? Was that intentional? [And my mom said I would never use my English degree!]) Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled tale of woe. Bianca was picked on for her skin color and her sexual orientation and the church made her wear dresses. Kate was banned from being a Sunday school teacher and at one point, she told Bianca that she’d rather Bianca be a whore than gay. Nice. But Kate prayed on it, and came to the conclusion that god made Bianca and she loves her unconditionally.
From then on, she accepted her, piercings, lady-cravings and all. Nev asks about Brogan and Kate says she doesn’t want her daughter to get hurt.
Nev reveals that they found some info. He recounts the search results, with Selita commenting the whole time, “I’m here, boo,” and “I’m sorry, babe.”
SHUT UP YOUR STUPID FACE. Bianca says she doesn’t know what to believe now. Selita says that even though “Brogan” isn’t “visually” the person Bianca thought she was, her voice still brought Bianca comfort and solace. But Bianca still deserves answers. (Do I even need to say it again? Okay: SHUT UP, SELITA.)
Bianca agrees to let Nev call “Brogan’s” phone number, so he goes outside to make the call. Nev tells the voice that answers to Brogan that she is busted. Turns out her name is actually Tia and she is willing to meet them. She is in Iowa.
In the backyard, Bianca tells Max and Selita that was really excited to have met someone she had so much in common with and the situation just sucks because she hates liars most of all.
Next day, they all head to the airport and Bianca says that she deleted a bunch of Brogan text conversations because they are too upsetting.
They pull up to Tia’s house in Bettendorf, IA. Selita asks how Bianca is, and Bianca says “grand.” It seems like she wants to punch Selita in the face, but I may be projecting. After the obligatory commercial break in which they pretend no one is coming to the door, a girl comes outside.
She seems super shy. She comes down to the sidewalk where they are all standing and says “I’m sorry.” Tia admits that the whole thing started with some fake FB profiles that got out of hand. She found the pics of Chloe on Tumblr and pretty soon she was addicted to being Brogan and updating the page all the time.
Bianca’s like, “you coulda just been up front.” Tia says she was scared, because she weighed 300 lbs at the time. She says disappeared for that year because she realized what she was doing was wrong – whoa, someone on Catfish with a conscience – what the hell. But she is in a much better place now. In the meantime, Tia thought about Bianca a lot – she wasn’t lying about her feelings. She admits she used the profile to date others online, but came clean to them. And she swears, she doesn’t do this anymore.
Bianca is kind of not having it. She says she doesn’t know what to feel and there are so many lies she can’t even see what the truth is. Tia cries and says she would totally undo it if she could.
On the way back to the hotel, Bianca says she feels bad that she didn’t feel bad to see Tia crying. During the hotel debriefing, Bianca says it’s going to take her awhile not to be angry anymore or to trust anyone again, blah blah blah. In the meantime, Nev, Max and Selita are going back to talk to Tia to get her side and see what the dealio is.
Back at Tia’s, Max says that the deception has been extra hard for Bianca – because she has a really hard shell and can’t trust people or whatever. Tia says she knows she can’t take away the hurt and she only did it because she was 300 lbs and was an outcast with few friends. Selita cuts her off by saying that her story is nothing compared to Bianca’s because Bianca is a black woman from a small town where she is the only person ever to be criticized for being a black lesbian or something. Tia interrupts her to say, “I don’t understand what race has to do with it; I’m half Mexican.” In other words, SHUT UP, SELITA.
Since being “bullied” apparently trumps boring old self-esteem issues, Selita tells Tia to dig deeper to come up with a reason for her behavior. So Bianca says a “crime” was committed against her freshman year. That’s a weird way to put it, and between the tongue studs and mumbling I couldn’t understand what the heck she was saying. She says after that happened, she gained a ton of weight and missed a ton of school and her only recourse was to do the fake profile thing, obviously.
Whatever, this girl is making me sad so I will let her off the hook. Just open your freaking mouth when you talk, wouldja. At this point, Selita’s like, “come here, girl.” She gives Tia a hug and says, “this whole process is for you to realize you’re beautiful.” Right, I’m sure it was all worth it now.
Tia doesn’t want to use the “crime” as an excuse, but Nev, Max and Selita think she should tell Bianca so Bianca will understand where she’s coming from. They all go back to the hotel, where Bianca and Tia sit on a park bench and Tia tells her about the sexual assault.
Bianca is sympathetic, but says she still doesn’t fully trust Tia and doesn’t know if she ever will. But she says there’s the possibility they might still be friends. We’ll see. Tia: “you’re awesome.”
We end with a group photo.
Stupid MTV made me watch the stupid after-show to see what happened, but it turns out Bianca and Tia haven’t really kept in touch. They snap-chatted once and texted once, but Bianca says it’s too awkward. Bianca seems to be doing well, she is moving (or has moved – don’t make me watch it again), is playing her “music.” And Tia is happy that she told the truth. And that, my friends, ends our ep and the season of Catfish.
Thanks for having me. Normally I just snark to my cat while watching this dumbass show, but I’m glad I got to share it with the world this week.
Congrats again to Catburns on the bambino.
Thanks for reading and have a fab weekend!
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