Last night’s episode of Catfish on MTV brought in the idea “famous on Instagram” as the two people in question tried to start a relationship to stir up even more social media attention.
The fairytale starts off with Nev and Max getting an email from Antoinette who is from Dallas, Texas. This 21-year-old’s Instagram followers are Texas-sized, too — a whopping 15 thousand. She writes that she receives a lot of hate in her comments, but she brushed the haters off and ended up finding a cute guy who is following her. He goes by the name, T-Lights and is an aspiring rapper in the group The Twentys from Boca Raton, Florida. Everything seems perfect in the email, because Antoinette mentions that the two talk basically 24/7. However, when it comes to trying to video chat, he always has an excuse — being in the studio, not having great wi-fi signals, his battery is about to die.
To investigate this story, Nev and Max fly out to Texas and meet Antoinette at work to learn more about her relationship with T-Lights. She tells them that she has never seen him in person or on camera before and it’s causing her to have some doubts. At this point, she only has his Instagram photos and the thousand emojis he sends her through text to have an idea of what he looks like.
The guys meet Antoinette’s best friend and co-worker Lauren, who knows about this infamous T-Lights and lets them in on another sketchy piece of the story. She explains that she and her boyfriend were going to go to Florida for spring break and take Antoinette along in hopes of finally meeting her prince charming. For whatever reason, Antoinette mentions that once she brought this up to T-Lights, he started acting differently which ended in a fight before she left to Florida. They didn’t meet.
Sitting down with Nev and Max later, Nev tells them the story of how she started talking to T-Lights. When she noticed he was following her and commented her on how pretty she was, she couldn’t help but reply. The two didn’t want to exchange phone numbers over Instagram because it’s public, so she gave him her Kik name and they exchanged phone numbers through there to keep it private.
Max jumps to offer what seems to be obvious conclusion: That someone could have seen her Kik name and knew that she was expecting a message from T-Lights, so they made a fake account and messaged her to get her number.
Antoinette didn’t really understand the idea that what you put out on the Internet is never private, especially on Instagram, so something like this could have likely happened. She starts to see where Max is coming from and tells the guys about something that creeps her out when T-Lights texts her. He’ll take screenshots of her photos on Instagram and send them to her in a text saying how gorgeous she is when he could just do that on the actual photo on Instagram. This makes everyone believe even more that he’s hiding something.
Nev and Max head out to dig deeper into this catfish story. They start off by looking at all of T-Lights’ social accounts. They find out that his real name is Albert Ambrose and that all the links to other social media sites connect back to him or his band. He passes the first inspection, but it wouldn’t be complete without running the number to see who it belongs to. The results come up with a Carmen Essaye between the ages of 55 and 59. White Pages offers a list of associated people, and on it they find the name Joseph Essaye. Looking up his Facebook, they find out that Joseph lives in Boca Raton just like Albert. Searching through his info, they find a post saying to watch his little bro’s latest music video — and there is Albert. They also find a picture with Albert, Joseph and his wife, along with their mother Carmen to confirm that T-Lights is really Joseph’s brother and all the phone numbers are connected through their mom.
Nev tries calling the number that is listed on Joseph’s page and listens to the voice mailbox message. He notices that it sounds a lot like a voicemail Antoinette had from T-Lights, which she played for Nev and Max earlier. Nev decides to call The Twentys’ manager, Luke. He finds the number and gets a hold of him to explain who he is and why they’re searching for Albert. Nev asks if he can confirm the number for Albert that he got from Antoinette. Luke agrees and once Nev tells him the number, Luke replies with a big fat no. He says he’s never heard of an Antoinette and that girls are always trying to reach Albert through his personal information. He doesn’t have enough time to be replying to his fans, so he gets help from his brother, Joseph. Luke says Joseph sounds so much like Albert that even he doesn’t always know which he is talking to over the phone.
With this new information, Nev and Max realize why Albert wouldn’t comment on Antoinette’s photos but rather send her screenshots of them. They say it’s possible that it’s his brother Joseph who is talking to Antoinette, using his brother’s account to get her information, but not wanting to look like T-Lights is actually talking to her on Instagram.
Before Nev and Max head out to tell Antoinette all the information they discovered, they see a video of her booty popping and twerking on Instagram. They think that she’s getting the wrong kind of attention with posts like these and want to discuss it with her. Once they arrive at her father’s house, her father voices his worries about her social media usage and what she posts on there. He explains that they’ve discussed it before and that she should monitor what she’s posting because it can ruin her career down the road or possibly attract the wrong guys with the wrong intentions. Her defense is that she and her friends were just having fun and she thought it would be fun to post the video to show who she is because she’s the realest person out there.
After the little therapy session, Nev and Max get down to business and show Antoinette all the information they found. They show her Albert’s brother’s Facebook and all the pictures of them together, then they tell her their theory of how someone could have got her Kik name and used it to their advantage to message her as T-Lights.
Even after mentioning the key factors of how Albert’s manager can’t tell the two apart on the phone and that he said the number she had was not Albert’s, Antoinette’s lightbulb is taking some time to spark. Max asks her if there’s anyone else she suspects she could be talking to, and seeing her struggle, the guys help her out and mention that it could be Joseph, Albert’s older, married brother. Realizing they’re probably right, Antoinette is grossed out by the thought and says she doesn’t want to get in between a marriage. Nev then mentions that they could either call the number to see who it is, or surprise everyone and show up to The Twentys show the next day in Florida.
Being the adventurers they are, they decide to surprise them and head out to Florida.
They arrive at the packed venue the next night and sit in the back of the place to watch the performance. Of course when it’s show time, T-Lights shows up on stage and Antoinette can’t help but be nervous and happy at the same time because it’s actually the guy she’s seen who is now performing in front of her. They all wait until the band is done performing to go look for them and find the band outside. Antoinette is so nervous that she doesn’t want to go up and talk to them, so Nev steps up and heads out to talk to them first while Max stays back with Antoinette to try to calm her down.
As they’re nervously waiting, they see that Albert is standing with a friend and also his brother Joseph who could actually be the guy she’s been talking to. Nev finally comes back with great news — Albert knew why they were there and said it was because of him talking to Antoinette. Antoinette comes over to meet T-Lights at last and they connect just as they did through texts with emojis and all the “likes” in the world.
Albert explains to Antoinette that his manager said that wasn’t his phone number because he had asked for him to keep all his information private because of all the fans trying to reach out to him. His friend and brother both say they knew about Antoinette and thought she was the one catfishing, because Albert had never actually seen Antoinette in a video chat. They also back up the stories as to why this never happened and said they were there multiple times when the Internet wasn’t working or a battery was dying. Antoinette gets on the subject of how her social media accounts are a bit risqué and how her dad doesn’t approve, and Albert tells her that she doesn’t need to be acting like all the “ratchet” girls out there because she’s already gorgeous. They decide to meet the next dat at the studio where Albert’s recording, and end the night with hugs.
Once the guys and Antoinette arrive at the beautiful recording studio, they get a tour of the place from Luke the manager and from Albert himself. They then get to see Albert in action as he records a song The Twentys are working on in the studio. After that, Albert sits down and plays a song that he wrote for Antoinette. The two discuss how it’d be hard to stay in a long distance relationship, but Antoinette does mention that she wants to live near the beach.
At the end of the night, Nev and Max leave to allow Albert and Antoinette some alone time to connect deeper and talk, or kiss the night away.
Nev and Max catch up with Antoinette via video chat one month later and ask her where she’s at in her life. She says that she’s doing better and doesn’t post such suggestive things on her social sites anymore — and even took some photos off of Instagram that she realized were too much. She comes to the realization that she shouldn’t have been portraying herself like that and says that she looked back on some of those photos and couldn’t believe she posted them in the first place.
She says she and Albert aren’t putting a title on their relationship, and when they check in with Albert, he expresses the same feelings and says that he thinks of Antoinette as a very close friend and wants to keep her in his life. He also mentions that he’s still very busy in the studio as he’s trying to finish up The Twentys’ first studio album by the end of this summer.
Eventually, the two decide that the distance was too much of a challenge to a relationship; however, they do still keep in contact through text and Instagram. Antoinette found herself a new man right away and is happily posting about it on Instagram.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Did you believe that T-Lights was going to be his brother Joseph like I did, or did you want to believe that it really was Albert? Do you think that Antoinette was asking for the wrong attention when she posted suggestive photos and videos on her social media sites — or was it truly pure fun and games? And how many of you are going to be looking for The Twentys new album that’s supposed to be coming out in late summer now that he’s been on the show? Let me know in the comments section below!
NewCatfish Season 3 episodes air Wednesday nights at 10/9CT on MTV.