The Woes of Praying Mantis Girl

You’d think this would be Joanna Repsold’s big break. She makes a video of herself doing something remarkable, and 12 million people see it. It makes the most-viewed lists on Google Video, iFilm, and YouTube. VH1 even runs it as the winner of its first Web Junk 20, beating out “Tyra Banks Gone Wild” and the guy who shot himself in the foot. Break.com buys the rights to the video, and tells her it’s the most stolen item in all their inventory.

No such luck. Instead, Repsold is firmly stuck in the rut of being “that hot chick who ate the praying mantis.”

Repsold, who graduated college this year and is now hoping to make it big in Hollywood, made a bet last November with a couple of her buddies. She wanted them to go to church; they said they’d do it if she ate a praying mantis. So she did. In fact, she effectively ate two praying mantises, because her prey had eaten its own buddy just prior to the now-famous event.

Repsold has earned a total of $75 from the video. The repercussions did not include vomiting, though she did get loads of nasty comments from animal rights activists. Her buddy Tom Hallock, pictured, sold the clip to Break and took home $125 — though he claims he got the short end of the stick because he had to go to church four times. Ahem. Paging Rocketboom…

Below the jump, the video, and what is believed to be one of the first official autographs of Joanna Repsold, the Girl Who Ate the Praying Mantis.

Update: Repsold has not yet developed a fake autograph for her adoring fans, so she asked us to take her signature down for fear of identity theft. That’s a totally valid concern, so we complied. She also wanted to stress to us that the viral video experience has been more fun than woe, and that she wasn’t doing this for money or fame in the first place. Duly noted.

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