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For many fans of Dancing With The Stars, contestant Nev Schulman is simply the host of the MTV hit show Catfish. The show follows participants of online relationships meeting face-to-face for the first time.
Oftentimes, at least one participant is using fake photos or other deception. But the term ‘catfish’ comes from Nev’s own personal experience with an online romance scam.
The Movie Catfish Follows Nev’s Online Dating Experience
In 2010, a tiny movie called Catfish debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. The film followed then-unknown Nev Schulman as he traveled from NYC to Ishpeming, Michigan to surprise someone he had been chatting with online for over eight months.
For almost a year, Nev had been messaging a girl named Megan. He also conversed with her mother and other family members.
However, every time Nev tried to make arrangements to meet, something would come up on Megan’s end. But after a production job in Vail, Colorado, Nev and his cohorts decided to take a detour to Michigan. Along with Nev, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Nev’s brother) were on the trip.
The three filmed the events for what would later be the documentary Catfish. At the time of the movie’s release, some critics wondered about its authenticity. Specifically, why the filmmakers would begin filming early on in the experience, before Nev found out the truth.
The truth was (SPOILER ALERT) that Megan never existed at all. “Megan” was actually Angela, 40-year-old woman with a husband and kids. Nev was gentle and understanding when he confronted Angela.
Yahoo Entertainment reports that the term “catfish” came from an anecdote told by Angela’s husband, Vince. The outlet summed up the anecdote like this:
“He says that when live codfish were shipped in vats from Alaska to China, they were paired with catfish to keep them active and thus maintain the quality of the fish. Angela, then, is his catfish: She makes the lives of those around her interesting.”
The movie was a surprise hit. Catfish recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its theatrical release. It was recently added to Netflix’s streaming catalog.
Is Nev Catfishing DWTS Viewers By Downplaying Dance Training?
In 2012, MTV debuted Catfish: The TV Show with co-hosts Nev Schulman and Max Josephs. Max also served as cameraman for the first seven seasons of the show. After his departure, Kamie Crawford stepped in as co-host for Season 8.
In early September, ABC announced the celebrities for Season 29 of Dancing With The Stars. Among names such as Chrishell Stause, Jesse Metcalfe and Anne Heche came a surprise name – Nev Schulman.
The Catfish host wasn’t on any of the gossip sites’ lists, nor was he even on most fans’ radar. But he sure is now! His Disney Night performance as Jack Sparrow put him at the top of the leaderboard, tied with figure skater Johnny Weir.
However, not everyone is a fan of Nev. Some fans are calling foul over the reality show host downplaying his dance experience. It turns out that Nev studied Photography and Dance at Sarah Lawrence College before he was kicked out.
DWTS is only in week 3, so it remains to be seen how far Nev’s dance experience takes him in the competition.
Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays on ABC.
The movie Catfish is now streaming on Netflix. Early seasons of the MTV show of the same name are available on Hulu. Follow us on social media for all the latest TV news. We promise not to catfish you!