Anyone who has ever used a dating app knows that the competition is fierce. When everyone has hundreds—if not thousands—of profiles available with just one swipe, finding a partner can feel a little like a battlefield. And one New York woman took the idea and ran with it, tricking dozens of men she met on Tinder into showing up for an intense Hunger Games-style dating contest.
On August 19th, a Twitter user identified by USA Today as Mikhail Budhai shared the bizarre experience in a series of tweets. In his thread, he explained that he swiped right on a woman who gave him her number and asked to meet in N.Y.C.’s Union Square. However, when he arrived, he was greeted with a crowd of dozens of men and cameras. Confused, he watched as the woman took to a nearby stage and told the men they would be competing to go on a date with her, giving what he described as a “Hunger Games speech.”
Another man in the crowd, Amir Pleasants, told The Independent that most of the men were upset, but some stayed to take part in the games. After about an hour, a winner was reportedly chosen.
Good Morning America reported on the stunt this morning, August 21st, noting that Natasha Aponte, who characterizes herself as an actress, model, and singer, was behind the elaborate ruse. But she didn’t act alone. A creative director named Rob Bliss of the viral video agency Rob Bliss Creative, issued a statement to GMA saying that it was “an entirely creative endeavor.” Bliss told GMA that the goal of the project was not to sell anything but simply to make a statement.
Rob Bliss Creative was also responsible for the infamous “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman” video, which shone a much-needed light on catcalling.
Watch a clip of Natasha’s “Tinder Games” below.
In a tweet to Gothamist, Bliss said that “all relevant information” concerning the event would be released on August 23rd.
Looks like we’ll have to wait a couple more days to see what it’s all about.