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Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 08/17/2011

Date Lab’s ‘Pick Me!’ project: Who will rise to the top?


These couples already got the Date Lab treatment (for better or worse). (DUSTIN FENSTERMACHER FOR THE WASHINGTON POST MAGAZINE; OTHER PHOTOS COURTESY OF DATERS)
After five years of matchmaking, Date Lab’s applicant database is a bit crowded — to the tune of more than 4,000 submissions. So, we thought we’d give our online, social-savvy readers a chance to do a little self-promotion in exchange for the chance to rise to the top of the applicant list.

Update: Meet the winner.

More than 30 people applied, but we narrowed it down to five brave souls who agreed to let us put things to a vote.

You’ve got until 5 p.m. EST Monday, Aug. 22, to decide who you think is most deserving of a date. Meet the contenders and vote after the jump:


Ben Cathcart, one of the contenders in our Date Lab "Pick Me!" vote (COURTESY BEN CATHCART)
Ben, 26, is looking to date a nice young lady with a “pretty smile.”

I need Date Lab because ... “I just moved! Ack! It’s not like there’s a shortage of friendly looking locals around me, but I figure, why turn down an opportunity ... ”

Date Lab needs me because ... “So Date Lab, a duck, a high school marching band, and Penelope Cruz walk into a bar. You only get the rest if you pick me.”

My ideal date is someone who ... “Can hold their breath for longer than 3 minutes if properly coached. Just kidding! A pretty smile and good laughs are all I ask for in the get-go.”



Maura Leary, one of the contenders in our Date Lab "Pick Me!" vote (COURTESY MAURA LEARY)
Maura, 31, is looking for a “cool dude.”

I need Date Lab because ... “I suspect there are some cool dudes lurking in your applicant pool who aren’t lurking anywhere else I go.”

Date Lab needs me because ... “every dating site/service/what have you needs more women, am I right?”

My ideal date is someone who ... “enjoys a little sarcasm, can flirt with the best of them, and is willing to engage in nerdy conversation about a wealth of issues.”



Anthony Porreco, one of the contenders. (COURTESY ANTHONY PORRECO)
Anthony, 25, is looking for a woman who “fares on the goofy side.”

I need Date Lab because ... “I’m having difficulty connecting with other eligible young professionals.”

Date Lab needs me because ... “I’m a genuinely great guy who knows how to treat a date.”

I won’t date someone who ... “smokes, or thinks their job makes them super important. I feel like I see a lot of ego on display in D.C.”



Erin McBride, one of the contenders in our Date Lab "Pick Me!" vote. (JONATHAN MCBRIDE/COURTESY ERIN MCBRIDE)
Erin, 36, is looking for “a city man who loves the country.”

I need Date Lab because ... “it isn’t easy finding a humanitarian, religious, right wing, city man who loves the country in DC!”

• Date Lab needs me because ... “I’m equal parts Carrie Bradshaw, Mother Theresa, and Mary Poppins with a sense of humor!”

I won’t date someone who ... “smokes, mocks religions, is selfish, and/or thinks country music is for rednecks only.”



Sarah Mahmoud, one of the contenders in our Date Lab "Pick Me!" vote. (COURTESY SARAH MAHMOUD)
Sarah, 26, is looking for a Muslim guy she doesn’t already know.

I need Date Lab because ... “It’s hard to meet Muslim guys I don’t already know in this city!”

Date Lab needs me because ... “When have you ever had a Muslim OR Arab?”

My ideal date is someone who ... “(is a) Tall, Educated, Muslim, Music Lover.”



Update: Voting is closed. Congrats to Anthony Porreco, who raked in 37 percent of the total vote. Here’s what he had to say:

“Regarding a victory speech, I’d just like to take a moment to express my gratitude to all my friends, family, and coworkers who took the time to vote for me, in addition to the rest of the Date Lab electorate. Also, to the other finalists, you’re all wonderful people, and I wish you nothing but the best in your respective futures.”

By Amanda McGrath and  |  04:30 PM ET, 08/17/2011

 
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