Date our friends reunion!

A few weeks ago we put 49 of our most eligible friends on the dating block. Some got lucky, some got stalkers, and two got more offers than a hooker at the Point. Meet the prom king and queen of the TONY-approved singles.

Ashley, 24


TV programming assistant, friend of music assistant Colin St. John

Weighing in with more than 100 e-mails, plus a song written just for her, Ashley is the clear winner in the ladies’ category. “I’d say 50 percent are from certified whack jobs,” she laughs. “But 50 percent are from seemingly well-intentioned men. The problem is they’re all generic…I mean, what’s my incentive to return their e-mail?”

That’s not to say they didn’t try. Ashley, who described herself as slightly nerdy with an “off-color sense of humor,” was inundated with weirdo attempts to make her laugh.

Alex showed off a photo of himself “poised to kill a zombie with a shovel.” Poor George sent her a spastic, blinking e-card on Valentine’s Day. Jerry, who signs his e-mails “Be Wonderful,” said she’d be the perfect girl if only she were into Cirque du Soleil. Rollin wrote, “I would admit to having the desire to swarm you like a rat(s?) if I wasn’t involved.” And Joe R. tried to woo her with a song, which starts off Coldplayish and devolves into a jokey riff about nipple licking and incest.

Not all was lost. Young Ethan made jokes about eating puppies and being so over MySpace, but they were, you know, funny. It turned out the two shared mutual friends; they agreed to hang.

“Another guy I met—a friend from work—saw the article and used it as an excuse to contact me,” says Ashley. “He’s great and I really like him. This was a totally worthwhile experiment despite the fact that some of my suitors continue to send me sentimental e-cards.”

How she did it: “The halo effect was at work,” says professional matchmaker and therapist-in-training Rachel Russo. “Psych 101 regards this as the association of positive traits with attractive appearances. Ashley had the girl-next-door look and she was one of the youngest women. Men want women of childbearing age.”

Josh, 32


Publisher of Royal Flush magazine/design director for Revolver, friend of editor Michael Freidson

At last count, Josh had racked up 74 unique responses—making him our No. 1 pick among the males. Advertised as a “loyal fella” into dive bars and comic books—and touted by buddy Michael as a Jewish mama’s boy—Josh called the deluge of female attention a mind-fuck, especially following an icy six-year relationship in which he was made to feel “chubby and gross.”

“Most girls took my ad very literally,” he says. “They all want to talk about Judaism, comic books or cars. I joked that the inbox read like a synagogue registry—Rebecca Bagelberg, Rachel Schmerenstein… One girl even invited me to her parents’ house for Purim.”

The attached pics were a whole other mess. “One middle-aged woman sent me a photo of her on a cruise ship,” he laughs. “Another sent me a link to her MySpace page, where she was dressed like Harry Potter.”

The first date Josh went on was one of the best. The pair ventured down to a dive bar in the East Village, and wound up grabbing dinner at 26 Seats on Avenue B. A different date took him to see Persepolis (“She’d already read the book—how sexy is that?!?”), and a third traded jukebox knowledge with him at Beauty Bar.

Despite the numbers, Josh says he signed up for “Date our friends” with the hopes of meeting one special woman: “I’m not a big player, though I guess it’s good for my ego.”

How he did it: “He has that bad-boy streak that women find so irresistible,” says Russo. “Yet he seems to be a nice guy. He’s also Jewish, and Jewish women often buy into the idea of matchmaking.”