Guest post by Chrstine
When it comes to being a PUA, anything you pick up to read on the topic, or go online to learn on the topic, at some point will likely mention the VH1 show “The Pickup Artist”. It was this show where the world first met the infamous Mystery (Erik von Markovik), and where many of the top PUA’s got their start or their big break, J-Dog and Matador to name a few. When this show hit the mainstream media, that is when the world of PUA truly came to light, and dating in general changed for millions of men all over the world. Why? Well let’s talk about that.
The premise. The premise of the show was to essentially take the undatable and turn them into superstars on the social scene. Today we have shows like “The Bachelor”. Yesterday, the show “The Pickup Artist” taught men to BECOME the bachelor. But you didn`t need to look like a pretty boy to do it right. At the end of the season, the one who was able to do it best, would walk away with the title “The Pickup Artist”. But he would walk away with so much more than that. He would leave with the skills needed to survive in the jungle of today’s social scene. As much as winning was the end game for all of the contestants, what the show did for the men in both of the seasons in which it ran was give men the skills and the confidence they needed to overcome their challenges and become successful in dating. And, the contestants weren’t the only ones who walked away with renewed hope after previously being considered undatable. Men all over the world that saw the show were also given hope. By working on a few skills and techniques, confidence could be restored, and dating could become possible again.
During the seasons, contestants would live together and be taught certain methods or techniques in the art of the pickup. The teachers were best selling author Mystery as the lead coach, and his wings. In Season 1, J-Dog was his wing, and in season 2 he mixed things up a bit by bringing in a woman, Tara Ferguson as his wing. After the players were given instruction, they would be given challenges where they had to participate in real world situations that involved picking up women, while Mystery watched them put their lessons into action via hidden camera. One challenge involved picking up a girl on a bridge during the daylight, another involved picking up women at night in a club. As each season progressed, the challenges would increase in difficulty. Near the end of season one for example, the men would have to pick up a stripper. The man that would complete the challenges most successfully in every episode would be given immunity, and if a contestant was invited to be a wingman during a challenge he would also get immunity and “be safe” until the next episode. At the end of every episode, one potential PUA that didn’t quite make the cut for whatever reason, would be sent home.
In Season 1, Steven Poon (aka Spoon) a 27 year old who had difficulties approaching women was the first to go. He did not face the elimination round however, and instead left the show on his own terms (aka Quitter). In week two, we saw the 45 year old Fred who had never been laid get eliminated. Scott who couldn’t quite get over his stuttering around women quirk went in week three. Joe W. made a valiant effort, but his efforts to come on too strong at first ensured a fast fall, although he would blame it on the fact that he thought most women thought him to be gay. Pradeep, the youngest of the bunch at a sweet 22, over thought everything and filled in the gaps between those thoughts with excessive chatter that led to his demise. Until then, Joe D., every girl’s best friend, had been doing very well, but not well enough to slide into the Final Two. The Final Two episode consisted of Kosmo and Brady duking it out for the title in a challenge where students become teacher. This Finale challenge involved the men making over two previously unknown undatables, Kip and Dylan, and teaching them the true skills of a pick up artist. Brady spent too much time focusing on Kip’s personal makeover, while Kosmo worked on instilling the basics of PUA in Dylan, and it was this that landed Kosmo the title of The Pick Up Artist, and the $50,000 grand prize.
The show was a hit and changed the lives of all of the contestants, and of men all around the world. It’s success lead to the launch of season two, one year later. This time around Mystery’s wing was a wing woman, and there were nine men instead of eight. In week one, Alex, the 22 year old virgin that still lived with his parents was the first to lose his chance at becoming the next Master PUA. 21 year old Kevin had only one girlfriend on his resume when he came on the show, and also when he left the show on week two. Karl had a very similar sob story when he started his journey in season two, and was not able to move past that heartbreak to make it past week three. 26 year old Todd was Season 2’s Joe D., with a reputation for being every girl’s bestie. Unfortunately, Joe D.’s skills took him farther than Todd’s did, and week four was Todd’s last. Brian came onto the show never having kissed a girl, and was eliminated in week five. He was beat out by the 28 year old virgin, Rian, but only by one week. Up until then, 26 year old Greg who had not had a date in five years was doing well enough to make it to the final three. Unfortunately for Greg, Matt, and Simeon beat him out for the finale. 27 year old Simeon Moses who had once cried when a girlfriend dumped him, won the title of Season 2 “The Pick Up Artist” along with the $50,000 grand prize. His Runner Up, Matt, had once flown across the country to go visit a girl and immediately got dumped upon his arrival, would now have to take another lonely flight home, but with much more confidence in his back pocket.
And there you have it. Everything you need to know about VH1’s “The Pickup Artist”. You may have heard of many of these guys, but wondered where they came from and what their story was. Many are still involved in the PUA community, and as Paul Harvey would say, now you know the rest of the story.