In June, Amir Pleasants, a 21-year-old resident of Montclair, New Jersey, met with someone new to T Indians.But after he and the wife, Natasha Aponte, had sent back and forth a few messages, she abruptly interrupted the exchange
She related telling him that a work project would take a lot of time and that she would return to him in a few weeks' time.
Then, last week, she contacted him and told him he was She would meet for the first time on Sunday in Union Square, Manhattan, a friend of her would put on a set n, and she wanted drinks in the af terward area. He was enthusiastic and wrote to her "I'm so excited that seems too good to be true, lol. You're absolutely stunning." He punctuated the message with the eyes of the heart.
The following evening he drove into the city and arrived at 18:15.
"I'm coming there and there are probably 150 to 200 people out there," he said Monday in an interview. "Everyone looks at each other and tries to figure out the situation, then we know that we have settled in."
Woman. Unavailable for a comment, Aponte had used Tinder to hold a pop-up dating contest, complete with a stage, an occasionally failed microphone, and a video team stationed on the northern square of Union Square. Those interviewed the following day told stories that were almost identical to those shared by Mr. Pleasants.
Connor Murray, 22, had plans to attend, but began to feel ill on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, he was one of many who received a reminder from Ms Aponte. She said that although the prediction was doubtful, her date would continue, rain or shine.
That struck Mr. Murray as odd. "Who the hell is rain or shine on a first date?" He said. Still ill, he decided against it.
Many of the men who emerged lived in the area, but Mr. Pleasants said that he spoke to some who were as far away as Oregon.
As promised, there was a D.J. when the men arrived. At around 6:00 pm Ms Aponte was nowhere to be seen, but some of the men, including Misha, 30, whose Twitter thread on the scam picked her up online, received texts from Ms. Aponte saying she was late.
Then, as the DJ At the end of the set, a black-clad woman picked up the microphone and just introduced herself as Natasha.
"I have to confess," she said. "Everyone here was brought here today to date with me."
How … a group date?
She explained that she was done dating apps and wanted to let her competitors take part in a contest instead. She would make an appointment with the winner.
They directly disqualified the men who were shorter than 5 feet 10, who were called Jimmy (she does not like the name) or who had been thrown into their previous relationship, so that the rose ceremonies on " The Bachelorette "look generous.
Of those who made it after the first screening, Ms Aponte asked 30 pushups on the spot.
She then asked the men to line up, and she "wiped left" over anyone she did not want to bring to the next round. She also asked her to go against each other and gave everyone about a minute to explain why he wanted to be with her.
Mr. Pleasants said he was a little "too proud to hop in this line" but that there was finally a winner whose name he did not understand.
Nevertheless, Ms. Aponte's stunt was for a purpose except a date to get.
The D.J. Anyone who played before picking up the microphone told Nick AM in an e-mail that he had signed a confidentiality agreement. Later, however, he addressed questions to Rob Bliss, the mastermind behind an infamous catcalling video that was viewed more than 47 million times after its release in 2014.
Mr. Bliss said he was involved in the stunt and said that Thursday a video would be released explaining who / what / why / etc. and the story of everything that happened.
He declined to comment on whether he was surprised by a result of the event: that it produced a wave of rage from those who transgressed to show oneself, Mrs. Aponte was forced to ignore obscene chants, When she organized the contest, she took her Instagram account privately on Sunday after receiving dozens of comments naming her names.
"I can not believe this girl did this to so many innocent men said one commentator, "there were guys with flowers and letters, excited to meet them. Her faces were filled with sadness as she announced the truth. "
Misha, who did not want to give his last name, but insisted that he had not collaborated with Mr. Bliss, said he was not sure how he should feel the day after, he was one of the men He said that it was funny and "apparently successful" but that it was also a sign of the times, he sympathized with reporters trying to shape the story.  "I don & # 39; I also know how I would frame it, "he said. It is very funny and at the same time very dark.