Flashy YouTube 'Prom-posals' Rival Marriage Proposals

Students go to great lengths to impress their dates.

ByABC News
May 13, 2011, 10:58 AM

May 13, 2011— -- Guys have been staging elaborate marriage proposals for decades, but the millennial generation will grow up remembering a different, increasingly momentous, event: their prom-posal.

Once upon a time finding a prom date was simple – and private. All it took was one question. Now, YouTube videos of elaborate "prom-posals" are going viral, and on this week's episode of "Glee," fittingly titled "Prom Queen," Artie asked Brittany to prom by singing Steve Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely," accompanied by acoustic guitars.

The scene appeared to have been modeled after Jason Pitts' prom-posal. Pitts, a Santa Monica High School senior from Culver City, Calif. spent nearly two weeks in March planning a prom-posal for Lianna Cohen, 18, and eventually serenaded her in class.

Playing the guitar, surrounded by a capella singers, Pitts sang, "Lianna, you're so beautiful, I just want you to stay calm / Lianna, you're so beautiful, I'd like to ask you to prom."

Cohen, delighted, nearly doubled over as the song ended. At that point there wasn't any doubt: Her answer was yes.

The video made its way from the social news website Reddit to Ryan Seacrest's Twitter feed, and now Pitts has been interviewed by "Good Morning America," as well as reporters in Sweden and Norway.

"I thought these kinds of proposals were more common but I guess not because people have been telling me I raised the bar," said Pitts, whose song now has more than half a million hits on YouTube. "Some guys have sarcastically said they hate me now."

It was the second time a girl had inspired him to write lyrics, the first being for a song called "Wonderland." That relationship is over. "I don't play that song anymore."

Higher Expectations

Jessica Kim says her friend Justin Chung raised the bar at her school after he literally took the plunge to ask her to be his prom date. To her knowledge, nothing like that had ever been done at her school before.

"It was really unexpected, and it got so big. I'm so shocked at how big it got," said Kim, 18, reflecting on the sudden popularity of the 2009 prom proposal video, which has generated more than half a million views.

At the time she was a 16-year-old junior at Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights. She and her teammates were at swim practice when she looked up to see Chung climbing up the diving board, holding a rose.

As the other kids squealed, "Oh my God!" and "So cute!" he asked her if she'd go to prom with him. When she said yes he plunged into the water, fully clothed.

"I was like, 'Oh my goodness. Please don't jump,'" Kim said. "It happened so fast and after, when I saw the video, he was so close to the lane line -- so dangerous."

Chung recalled how difficult it was to swim in clothing. "It was really heavy and weighing me down," he said. "As I was going up on the diving board I was like, 'I can't believe I'm doing this.' I tried to act as normal as possible and pretend I wasn't going to jump in."

The only glitch occurred when the rosebud he was holding broke off after hitting the water. But Chung had come prepared.

"He got another one and put it in my swim bag," Kim said.

It wouldn't be the last grandiose proposal for Kim. During her senior year, a friend asked her to the homecoming dance during halftime at a football game by running onto the field and holding up a large sign.

"Guys are pretty clever nowadays," she said.