Kamie Crawford Talks Virtual 'Catfish' Season and How To Date During Quarantine

COVID-19 has shaken up the entire entertainment industry, but that didn't stop the super sleuths at Catfish from completing an entirely digital season. The series will return on MTV Wednesday night with the first of many remotely-filmed episodes, with the same, long-loved goal of revealing the true identities of online daters.

Things will look a bit different. Hosts Nev Schulman and Kamie Crawford weren't together for filming the episodes, and they also didn't travel. This time, viewers get a glimpse inside their personal lives, from Schulman's family routines to Crawford's enviable wine and yoga plan (which we'll all likely take inspiration from.) But despite the distance, both Schulman and Crawford relish bringing people together, be it the in-love hopefuls they help, or the viewers who think of them as friends.

Crawford told Newsweek there was a bit of a learning curve in filming this way, but with a skilled production crew, it worked. "It was totally crazy and amazing at the same time. We started filming the new season before any networks even started to release content produced during quarantine, so we had to really think on our feet and be innovative and strategize how we were going to get this done," she explained. "I'm so proud of our production and editing team and everyone involved, we managed to make an all-virtual season with the same level of suspense and thrill that Catfish is known for."

Nev Schulman (L) and Kamie Crawford (R) host an all-digital season of Catfish. MTV

Viewers will see the online relationships thrive, or crumble, as always, too, with a digital meeting. This time, there's no looking for strangers in the park. Now, it relies on a possible catfish singing into a Zoom chat.

As Zoom users know, it's not always easy to hold a conversation or to gauge the other person's true feelings. This made the meetups interesting in all aspects of filming. "It was definitely more complicated, especially if we get excited and all start talking and theorizing at the same time," Crawford said. "I do miss the chances off-screen that we typically get while filming in-person episodes because we really get the chance to get to know our participants when the cameras aren't rolling."

Though Catfish's concept has always been relevant, as more and more singles turn to online dating during the pandemic, Crawford has some tips for dating during the pandemic. Along with her advice to "trust your intuition" over anything else, she spoke to the idea of in-person and digital meetups. "We are all stuck inside for the most part - aside from our incredible essential workers, if they can't video chat with you within the first 3 weeks of talking online - probably not a good sign," she explained. She also gave a reminder to wear a mask if meeting in person.

So, with the Catfish horror stories we've all seen and loved, is online dating still worth it? As the world is shut down, Crawford says yes. "Especially during times like this, everyone is craving interaction and connection. If you find someone you can really vibe with virtually, I say go for it, but don't allow anyone to waste your time. Online dating should progress past talking solely within the app or on text. Dating apps are meant to eventually be deleted."