THE CATFISH: Rose, who posed as a real teen beauty queen named Kari Ann Peniche, for an online relationship with Joe, who thought he had hit the online-girlfriend jackpot but was, rightfully, suspicious. Joe thinks it might be his ex-girlfriend out to get back at him.
WHY SHE DID IT: A craving for attention. Even though the Catfish crew thinks Kari Ann might be for real—her phone number checks out, which is the biggest clue, and Kari Ann really does know one of Joe’s high school classmates, a girl named Rose—the big reveal proves that the Kari Ann has in fact been Rose all along. At first Rose says that she pretended to be Kari Ann because she had a crush on Joe and thought he would prefer someone with beauty-pageant creds. But upon deeper questioning, the plot thickens: Rose says she’s addicted to making fake profiles, she’s “mastered” the art of the catfish, she does it all the time and she has many more profiles, in addition to Kari Ann’s. Although Joe and Rose agree to be friends and she apologizes, she ends up continuing her charade, going back to the Kari Ann profile and eventually meeting a real boyfriend.
It’s one of the most extreme examples of the “just-for-kicks” catfish…or is it? On Kari Ann Peniche’s Facebook page, her fans are suspicious. Pointing to the fact that the phone-number trick was never explained and that Kari Ann is now out there promoting Catfish, some say they suspect that the real catfish in this case may be bigger than viewers realize — and that the real motive behind this particular hoax is simply getting famous.