“A bunch of us were drunk at my place, and it was when things just started opening up a bit. So I was on Tinder and Hinge and I was just like ‘This is useless, none of this is working,’ Elan Ashendorf told me about the origins of a dating show he recently started putting up on YouTube called “The Bushwick Bachelor.” 

While Ashendorf, a computer programmer at an advertisement-verification software company called MadHive, was busy lamenting about his dating life, his friend Ashley Lagzial was talking about her quarantine obsession with ABC’s “The Bachelor,” and “the alliteration just kind of worked out,” Ashendorf said. The very next day, Ashendorf found himself in front of a green screen and was introducing himself in front of a camera as the “Bushwick Bachelor.”

“We got really serious about it really quickly,” Lagzial added, noting that her friend had never been in a serious relationship before, just “a few situation-ships, 6-8 months here and there.” They were able to pick up most of the crew for the webseries from Ashendorf’s apartment. Lagzial, who does public relations work for a German chemical conglomerate, had volunteered to produce the videos herself.

“I kept waiting for it to all die out,” Ashendorf said, “and it just didn’t.”

The videos for Ashendorf’s take on “the Bachelor” were shot locally in and around Bushwick, like at the Queens Brewery in nearby Ridgewood. Contestants were recruited using signs that featured a mock-up of the PBR logo.

But there was one big problem: where were they going to find the contestants? To find them, he started putting up posters around the neighborhood. 

“I know people from other boroughs and they were talking about these posters,” Lagzial says about the publicity campaign. Ashendorf said one of his friends from Washington, D.C. had even heard about his efforts to recruit women to appear on his YouTube channel. 

They ended up receiving about 35 submissions and, to Lagzial’s surprise, “everyone was very impressive.” 

Last summer, Ashendorf and his friends filmed the videos and the first one went up on Monday. He promises viewers that they should expect a format not unlike the “Bachelor” franchise, whose name they’ve borrowed. There’s the ABC’s show’s familiar “Rose Ceremony,” along with dates, games, and confessionals, but Ashendorf is adding what he labels a Bushwick twist. 

Instead of giving out roses, Ashendorf will give his lucky contestants cans of PBRs (“Will you accept this beer?”). Plus, he says shot a lot of the videos around in Brooklyn or other parts of New York. 

But what about the drama? Without giving too much away, Lagzial promised me, “Shit went down,” before adding, “It was not PG.” 

“The Bushwick Bachelor” posts new videos on its website, Youtube, and on an Instagram account. Check the account out to see some of the introduction videos for the “Bushwick Bachelorettes” he managed to sign up. 


All images via “The Bushwick Bachelor.”

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