January 5, 2004
25 Average guys. One lovely woman. One Chico Alexander
to cover it.
Wait a sec - that's not me.
I am Gordon Pepper, filling in for Chico while he's
vacationing. I don't know if he's gone out to Hawaii,
but he's not here, which means that I get to mind the
store for him. And what a store it is - 18 guys in
average shapes and sizes. Minding the store is Dennis
Luciani, who starts by telling us that this show was
taped before we got to see the first Average Joe - so
the woman has no clue what she is in for.
That said woman is Larissa, a former Miss Missouri who
is in Hawaii to meet the man of her dreams. I don't
think that any of these people is who she had in mind...
We'll start with Chris, a 32 year old musician. He seems
normal. A little geeky, but normal. I'm waiting for the
freaks to show up.
I was not disappointed. David (24), a mail carrier,
wants all of his high school buddies to be rooting for
him. With the glasses and teeth, he looks like he still
IS in high school.
Fredo (31) is a cement contractor, while Tim (29, Life
Insurance Contractor) wants the red heads to band
together to stay alive. Unfortunately for him, he's
losing a lot of that stuff on top,
Brian W. (31, Auditor for US Homeland Security) has a
thick New England Accent, while Bill (24, Auditor) looks
like he tried out for the Sumo team. Joining Bill on the
Sumo Team is Sean (26), a pastry chef from Philadelphia
- and joining them is Donato (33), a sewer worker.
Thomas (36) doesn't have to worry about that, because
he's as skinny as a beanpole. At 5'4", he's also as tall
as one. Matt (call him Botti), a 24 year old virgin,
thinks that he has transformed himself from a nerdy kid
to someone cool. With the black horned rim glasses, I
would have to say....no. Also into transformations is
Chris (32), who is completely into the 50's look. Henry
Winkler didn't have any influence on this show, did he?
Now we have an interlude see the lovely Larissa getting
out of her Limousine and being bedazzled by the setting
that she will be hanging out in. She's blown away by the
easel and the blank canvasses. 'I was so touched at the
little details that were into it - and it makes me feel
like home.' She goes to the pool - where
Justin (27) is an environmental scientist, but call him
by his nickname - booger. Brian G. is a very shy guy and
CJ has problems with first impressions - and both of
those things spell disaster for this kind of show.
Robert (33) has not had good romantic experiences.
Back to Larissa, who sees and gets into a bright blue
helicopter. She gets a tour of Hawaii, and the
coastline, and the 18 weird people by her pool - oh
wait, we're not there yet.
Tony (24) was born without any hair - and no sweat
glands - which could be a plus. What could be a minus is
his bizarre facial hair pattern. Sam (25) is a graphic
designer who thinks that he's a great guy and the woman
will be lucky to have him. Uh, ok. Mike (32) wanted to
date the cheerleaders - which is difficult when you're
in the marching band playing cymbals. Phuc (26) is a
very pudgy accountant who describes himself as a soft
cuddly teddy bear.
Larissa is excited to see the guy of her dreams. There
are 2 things that would scare her as much as it did me -
#1 Seeing the average Joes. #2 Seeing the average Joes
shirtless, in Hawaii, in a luau theme. Yikes.
Brian G., Was concerned that he was on Loser Island,
while David, who left his maturity in high school starts
bouncing on the sofa. Almost everyone else grabs a beer
- and Phuc opens up beer tops with his teeth. 'That's
the most valuable guy here' says Mike.
David continues to make himself public enemy #1 by
throwing a watermelon in the pool. Donato - 'Maybe Dave
didn't take his ritalin.' Meanwhile, some guys are
trying to find out where David is sleeping - and proceed
to change rooms away from him.
Meanwhile, no one can understand Robert and Phuc has a
strange bordering on frightening awareness of using
sharp things. Tony shows off his facial hair, while
Mike, who is considered Anal retentive, is already
cleaning out the pool, while no one has gone in. Maybe
he's checking for watermelon disease...
Next up - a montage of the average Joes dancing. It's as
scary as it sounds. Botti, who thinks that he is the
sexiest person there, goes in the pool. Fredo, who is
sporting a ponytail that's almost as long as my mom's,
wants everyone to go in and don togas. Brian G's
reaction? 'This is a gay man's slumber party.', as he
gets stuck with conversing with David.
The guys realize that the woman who is involved is in
for a rude surprise. Meanwhile, Botti and David talk
about dating tips. Wha? Larissa thinks that she excited
to hopefully find the guy of her dreams. She is all
decked out in black and awaiting the limo filled with
her dream dates to show up. The first limo does indeed
show up, with someone coming out, introducing himself as
Jim, and saying...that he isn't one of her dates. But he
does tell her that there are 18 great guys here for her
She realizes that something is up. 'I think that my
stomach went into my throat because I didn't know what
was coming next.' Here's what's coming next - a big
white bus with all 18 Joes inside. Goodbye, dream,
hello, nightmare. The first person to come out? The sofa
jumping David. 'I don't know if I can handle
this...these guys aren't people who I'd be interested
in.' She looks like she wants to jump into the pool, see
if the watermelon is still there and stick her face in
How do the guys like her? David dances around, Fredo
calls her a piece of ass, and Mike calls her a goddess.
How does she like the guys? 'OK, I get it, I'm the butt
of the joke.' Mercifully for her, the door shuts on the
bus as it drives away. Larissa gets a panic attack and
races to her room. 'What the fu$k did I get myself
She goes further than that - she has a nice chat with
the producers and she says that accuses them of primping
the contestants to make them look even more dorkier.
After ranting and saying that she doesn't want to be
romantically intimate, she decides that this is a good
test and she will try to get to know them. This is a
nice refreshing change - something we didn't see from
She decides to make the best of it and meets the guys,
who are cool with it. David is remarkably acting like a
normal human being, while people with the social
problems are getting it magnified, especially Robert,
the guy who no one can understand what's coming out of
his mouth. She seems to be connecting with Tony and
Fredo, as well as David.
It's interesting - the guys who open themselves seem to
be doing better than the guys like Bottie and CJ, who
are just dishing out the normal one-liners. Robert
thinks that he's having a bad night. It doesn't get
better in the photo shoot - and neither does CJ with a
rotten poem. Mike W. had a lousy conversation too while
the 50's Greaser tries to redeems himself by singing a
song from Grease.
It's time for the eliminations - and Larissa is still
smiling - maybe because she can relieve herself of four
of the guys in front of her. The first person eliminated
from Average Joe 2 is....CJ, who had a lousy interview
and it does him. 'Everyone was aggressive and I wasn't,
and I'm going home.'
The second person gone is Robert, which also isn't a
surprise, because no one could understand him. Person
number 3 is Chris the Greaser - as she thinks that she
doesn't have anything in common with him - she wasn't
even born in the 50's. The last person to get knocked
out is Matt. D'oh. Well, so much for the so-called
sexiest person there. Everyone else can breathe again -
except Larissa, who calls it the most bizarre date that
she's ever had.
My take? This looks like it would be much better from
the get go than the Bachelor. This should be a fun ride,
and Chico should be happy that he's getting this one.
We'll see if Larissa is just as happy as Chico is next
January 12, 2004
**note on my GSNN desk as I come back from vacation**
"Memo to Chico: I think you're going to like this one
better than Melana judging from the first show (recap
**reads recap** Eighteen new AJs meet Larissa Meek, who
thought she was meeting the stereotypical reality dating
guy... Larissa says "What the (^_^) did I get myself
into?" But she's open to the idea, and ends up enjoying
it. Things are looking up already! Too bad about CJ,
Robert, Greaser Chris, and Matt, though. Oh well. Let's
see what this week for our goddess Larissa and our 14
We start off ten minutes short and with a boxing ring.
Cue Rocky-type montage. Only thing missing is a giant
meat-locker. Favorite boxers of the crew include Ali,
Evander, and Roy Jones, Jr.
Ahem, excuse me... 5-TIME WORLD CHAMPION ROY JONES JR!
*hits hero button* He's there to get the AJs ready for a
little fight they're about to have. "I hear this Larissa
is worth fighting for?" Uhh... YEAH?!
Training ensues. In the middle of said training, Larissa
enters wearing a boxer's robe that, for some reason,
looks incredibly hot on her. It also looks incredibly
hot OFF of her (okay, I need an out before this starts
sounding like soft-core porn) as she plays ring girl
(thank you, out). "It wasn't about who threw the best
punch for me; it was about who had the most fun." But
while I would easily watch 50 minutes of Larissa being
ring girl, we've got a boxing match to watch. LET'S GET
First bout: Phuc vs. Sean for the
heavy-heavy-heavyweight championship of the series.
Thirty seconds on, and down goes Sean! But Phuc is a
gentleman about it. I think. Second on the card: David
vs. Donato. David wants to dance, and we don't get to
see much of the fight, as he spends most of his time
training Larissa... until Fredo steps in with some
training tips of his own, namely the "get a better
trainer" tip. That one's always a winner for some
reason. "I think Larissa's looking for a man who'll
stand up and protect her. That's what I'm all about."
Back to the fighting, as Sam takes on Fredo. Fredo just
hammers him. I'm expecting someone to shout "Kill him!"
But Roy steps in and saves the day... for Sam.
Next bout: Tony vs. Tim. The artist versus the Marine.
"Winner": Marine. By a cheap shot. "She's got an idea
about me being an aggressive, violent person." Heh.
But the real lesson here comes from Roy Jones, Jr.:
"Herd of males together, they get along fine. One female
shows up, and chaos breaks out!" Roy leaves our heroes
with these words: "You have something worth fighting
for, so keep fighting."
Okay, agenda for the rest of the episode: three group
dates, one person from each will get some Larissa time.
First up: Tim, David, Mike, and Tom... the air date. The
five chopper to a volcano. David jokes about corn dogs
and coffee right up until the big crater landing.
Larissa then points out (you know, she could do this job
all by herself, but then where would Kathy be?)
tonight's alone-time locale, where the lava meets the
ocean. Tim takes some initiative getting Larissa off to
the side, which is a bad thing to do if you are a known
pummeler of people smaller than you are. "She's getting
an image of me as kind of a brute, which is almost
direct opposite of who I am."
But Larissa is more drawn to Mike because, admittedly,
he was the most attractive (at least she's upfront about
it). Or perhaps it was divine intervention, as Mike
mentions that he has a higher calling. "Drop the J-bomb
and everyone scatters. I scared her with the faith
thing, but you know, that's where I'm at." Note to self:
don't be surprised if Average Joe 4: Scott Returns is
cycled around the NBC offices. Thomas can't stop talking
about Wonder Woman for some reason. Carrot Top... err,
David, lays his heart out on the line. And Larissa, who
didn't even see herself in this position five days ago,
grabs hold for the rest of the evening.
They're gonna have fun tonight, I can tell.
David and Larissa venture to the lava flow, where things
are getting hot... a little too hot. David's trying to
light the perfect fire next to 3000 degrees of liquid
hot mag-ma. But nevertheless, he does have other tricks
up his sleeve, namely the wine glass maneuver.
Back at the house, though, Fredo and Tim are thinking
'What the hell?' "The dude we told him not to be he was
today, and he gets the date." But if they were actually
seeing what was going on, they'd probably understand why
David was on the date, as he and Larissa can relate on
the "what did they do to deserve this?" tip. And then
David sings. Don't worry, people. It's in English. And
presumably, he wrote it, because I can't find the lyrics
to this anywhere.
And somewhere, Universal Music Group is scrambling for a
contract. Meanwhile, David kisses her. Wow. Gutsy.
From air to water, as Larissa meets up with Justin,
Brian, Fredo, Bill, and Sean. They try their hand at
Snuba, which, and I know this because I actually did it
on vacation, is a combination of scuba and snorkeling.
Fredo was checking out the sea life at the bottom, while
Sean was checking out the Larissa life at the top. "She
looks awesome in a bathing suit." Aquatic life wins out,
as Fredo gets the date tonight.
Fredo admits that he's got a Jones for classical music.
Once she gets past the tough guy exterior, Larissa is
pretty much comfortable with him. We also learn that
Fredo had started his own charity. Pretty nice guy,
really. "If I can do it, anyone can do it." Words to
live by from the Average Joe.
THE NEXT DAY (thank you, Chyron!), it's a rumble in the
jungle with Sam, Brian Worth, Phuc, Tony, and Donato.
But hidden within all that Larissa hacks by a machete...
probably the most beautiful waterfall you've ever seen.
Everyone... and by everyone I mean Brian, Tony, and
Larissa, frolics under the falls.
While Tony entertains with his zig-zag stubble and Sam
turns on the charm, Phuc's eyes are all over the place!
Zigzags all over the place as Larissa picks Tony.
Together, they go back to Larissa's for a little...
well, I don't know what, really. Actaully, they just
admire Larissa's art right before they get their hands
on the paint for portraits of each other. Amazing how
lost two people can get when they're just looking at
each other, don't you think? Larissa's thinking about
the light shining off of Tony's head, while Tony's
thinking about his lips shining off of hers.
So nervous are the two that they have to step outside
for the requisite kiss... and what a kiss it was. "It
wasn't just one little peck, it was a few in a row. It
made me feel like she wasn't doing this for show. She
felt the same way that I did. It was a little scary, but
I'm ready to roll with it." Three dates. Three winners.
"I really surprised myself that I really found something
that was special," Larissa notes.
Special or not, it's time for ... hold on. Something's
wrong. Why is Justin leaving? "He had an issue and had
to leave the island on short notice." Well, I didn't
really hold out any hope for him anyway. That drops the
cut number to five. David's holding firm to his spot on
the rung, while part of Mike wants to push her away. And
speaking of pushing away, it's time for ... (pausing)...
another elimination. This time, it's Tim the Killer,
Sam, Phuc the Weird Pair of Eyes, Bill (who wasn't
really swimming), and Donato (who also couldn't swim).
But we still have seven minutes to kill, so... why not
go into super dark mode for a moment...
Everyone is having a blast just living for the moment,
not knowing full well that a bombshell-loaded torpedo is
heading right up the coast, locked on to Larissa like so
many bikinis. Two worlds are about to collide NEXT WEEK.
See you soon!
January 19, 2004
Last time, tensions flared and fisticuffs flew as Tim
found himself on the receiving end of a sucker punch by
Larissa, being bounced along with Sam, Phuc, Bill, and
Donato. Meanwhile Justin chose to exit on his own
accord, leaving Sean, David, Fredo, Tony, Mike, Thom,
Brian G., and the other Brian.
And after all that, David's single, "A Thousand Miles",
reached number one, knocking off Outkast. No, not
Oh, and in case you didn't get my title? The alpha
males? They arrive today.
But first, Larissa breaks down about the elimination
process, particularly Donato's removal.
On the other side, the remaining eight celebrate their
new found power as being the last of the original
eighteen. "We're all average looking fellas. If I was
competing against a playboy, I'd have to use what I have
to take them out."
Pan to the ocean, and New Guys off the port bow, 403 nm
to target. 400...
Interesting thing about the AJs that Brian G. notes is
lack of character. "Not being self-centered, not locked
up in what your looks are." Tony is confident that he'll
be the last one standing, while Mike is concerned that
he's showing feelings. Thomas is relieved that he's not
competing against the tall, dark, and handsome guys.
Not yet... 335 and counting. Let's meet these New Guys:
Michael - "This paradise that these guys have been
living in is about to become a nightmare."
Jim - "They don't know that we're comin', and we're
definitely going to give them a run for their money."
The other Michael - "Nice guys finish last, right? If
the game calls for it, I'm gonna have to suck it up and
be a little nasty."
Jerry - "When we come in, we're going to take things
311 and counting... Back to the house and more feelings
of confidence and assurance of their position on the
grand scheme of thing. "Not to say that a shocker
couldn't happen," David quips. "I'm just not expecting
Shocker at 220 and closing...
Pete - "Think of us as a torpedo in the water. They will
NOT know what hit them."
Theo - "I'm just going to compete with myself and not
worry about the other guys, because there really isn't
Todd - "When we come there, they're gonna start to get
Gil - "Basically a group with the total package that a
woman would want."
"Jocks versus geeks, jocks always win." Evil... EVIL!
Meanwhile, it's a guy-athlon on shore, and David's never
swam or rode a bike. This could be trouble for the
crooner. The rest of them will have no problem swimming,
biking, and running for the finish. The prize: Well, I
don't really know.
Tony starts out in second. Sean, on the other hand,
doggy paddles into seventh. Brian W. stops in fourth,
needing help, and he's out of the race. But he's safe,
at least. "Ironman, I am not."
189... Theo, Todd, and Michael play up their strategy:
"Come in, take no prisoners, and end up with the girl."
Back at the race, Thom is DQed for tiring out, leaving
Mike in the lead and Tony behind. Back in the water,
David is in a doggy-paddling last place. Larissa: "Come
on, David, you're doing great!" A non-relenting David:
"THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!" Heh, now I'm in the mood
for a Bartles & Jaymes.
Coming up on shoreline for the New Guys. "Cream rises to
the top. Survival of the fittest."
Back at the race, it's still a horserace between Mike
and Tony. Mike is first to the finish line, where a
waiting Larissa embraces him in the Winner's Circle.
"Wow. He really wanted to show me something. He wanted
to make up for that first time we talked."
Final standings: Mike, Tony, Fredo, Brian G., Sean,
David, Brian W., and Thom.
Note: After 31 minutes of swimming, David was DQed for
safety issues regarding his lack of bike training.
Mike's excited, but he was hoping for a prize. Wait for
it... Wait for it... A private date with Larissa belongs
to Mike. Wait! Bonus! Sean, for his perseverance in
finishing, albeit in last place, Sean also gets some
Larissa time. "Just to see them go and give it their all
is the most flattering thing I've seen eight guys do for
133 and counting...
Mike and Larissa go parasailing. Dolphins jump and dance
for them. It's a Kodak moment, but not as much as this
is... Mike and Larissa are hoisted into the air. It's
pretty empowering for Mike, who reveals to Larissa about
his drug addiction back in 1994. After some walking near
the cliffs, Mike and Larissa picnic with a panoramic
view. Mike, for the first time in a year, opens up about
being hurt by someone. "I've probably been that girl
before. And seeing how it affected him, it kinda made me
feel bad." They share a kiss, Mike's first... and
second... since last year's unpleasantness. "It felt
like the old me was coming back," Mike said.
And while all that was going on, Sean was hitting the
market in preparation to play Iron Chef with Chairwoman
Meek. He brings his Philly mood to the kitchen,
preparing kebabs and sushi. Things get hot in the
kitchen. Too hot. "I was thinking, 'Fat guy sweating.
Fat guy sweating. Not good!'" But in the end, good meal,
and a Jacuzzi. Uh-oh. Larissa can sense his tense, as he
reveals that yes, he is a chef, and yes, he does taste
everything. She checks him out, hoping to put him at
ease. He checks her out, hoping to graduate from "fat
funny guy" to just "funny guy". "I really like Sean, but
I don't usually go for guys who don't physically take
care of themselves. He is a heavy guy and I would really
like to see him take the initiative to take care of
himself and have a healthy body."
And through all this, Larissa doesn't bring up genetics
once. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Sean ends the night on the right tip, but completely
misses the lip lock op, going for a subtle hug instead.
Make that two. "He wanted to do it," Larissa says, "he
just wasn't sure how I would react."
And third. "I could be the first reality TV guy of all
time to not take advantage of a kiss in the hot tub."
Well, YEAH?! I mean, every show has one. Here's a tip to
all prospective reality contestants: look for the hot
tub and set up shop.
Back on watch, New Guys at 42 nm and counting. 24...
11... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Target locked! Gordon,
The AJs watch the oncoming boat from the balcony,
wondering if it could be for them. Next date? Larissa?
Spoilers? Elimination? Yeah, probably elimination.
Probably. After all, there is a cut tonight, right?
It isn't Larissa. She comes in from the house. And she
has no idea who's on the boat either. And since Kathy's
taping AJ1 in California, we're just left to guess how
this is going to go down. But Larissa's game is set: how
will each AJ react to some one-on-one quickie time?
She's not impressed with Brian G's timidness. Brian G:
"I'm just asking for a little more time." The other
Brian stresses that he is a good listener and a good
friend. Carrot Top can't stop talking about his swim
earlier, but Larissa likes him despite his "out
And again, Larissa stresses that the hardest part is
telling one of them to go home. Girl, it's just begun to
The boat docks and the New Guys row onshore, tightness
tight, cockiness cocked, and flux capacitors... fluxing.
But first, tonight's elimination. With nerves and
reservation, Larissa ... has a note waiting for her?!
"There has been a change of plans. No one will be sent
Vindication for all nine people! At least for a while.
Champagne all around and... another note. What... the
"This night of surprises is not over. Right now,
everything is about to change."
I HATE it when people say that. But again, clueless.
"Hi, Larissa, I'm Jim." Yep. The Jim from the beginning
of the show is back, and he's brought some friends with
him. "They're cloning themselves."
Mike says Kathy's line with all the enthusiasm of five
of the six cast members of the US version of Coupling
(Lindsay Price... swoon). "Gentlemen. We're your new
roommates. And your new competition." Just like that,
we're back up to 16: 8 New Guys. Eight Average Joes. The
real competition begins next week, and I am (^_^) scared
for our heroes.
January 26, 2004
You know, if you read TV
Guide a couple weeks ago, you know that Larissa must
eliminate one Joe and one New Guy. But more on that
later. Right now, as you remember, we have eight new
studs bucking for one hot filly that was heretofore
reserved for eight ... unique breeds. Actually, this is
starting to sound like Cowboy U, so I'll just keep the
metaphors to a minimum (for now, at least).
This week, however, it's Sean, David, Fredo, Tony, Mike,
Thom, Brian, and the other Brian versus Michael, Jim,
Jerry, the other Michael, Pete, Theo, Gil, and Todd. We
pick up at last week's eliminations (or absence
thereof), where Larissa is informed that a) no one would
be eliminated, and that b) "everything is about to
change." "Oh (^_^)." Oh (^_^) indeed, as the eight New
Guys entered and faced front. "I looked at her face, and
saw relief, like we were the cavalry riding in," quotes
Michael Klein. You know something, these guys are worse
than the New Guys from AJ1. Even so, every one of the
AJs were stunned and in disbelief. But David knew how to
lead. "Do not lose confidence in who you are."
But then again, there's that chapter in "The Art of War"
about feigning capacity when incapable, so... let's
Larissa's initial response: "I don't think I've dated
guy who were as hot as that." She hasn't? Muy
interesante. "I gotta admit that I'm excited to see
someone and I'm right off the bat like 'Wow, he's hot.'
And I'm really concerned about the first group of guys
and about how they're going to react to that. I hope
they take it with a good attitude." Nice to see that
Larissa has a little AJ in her. But not too much, we
hope, it's a TV-14 rated show.
"All my insecurities from (^_^)ing sixth grade are
coming out," Tony says, while David tries to calm the
waters by saying that it doesn't change who he is. Fredo,
on the other hand, says "(^_^) the girls at this point.
I'm competing against these dudes." Hmm... not the
attitude you want to take. Brian W. sums up the newfound
(or should I say regenerated) solidarity with this: "No
one's going to come into my house and push me or any of
my buddies around."
(C-Note: In an effort to bolster the interactivity of
this site, we suggest that if you happen to have an MP3
of Nelly's "Not in My House", you play it now)
Okay. Larissa vows not to forget the old guys because
they mean so much to her. Isn't she sweet. She better
follow through, though, because it's move in time. And
already with the history, as we find out that Michael
Cardamone and Fredo go back to Cleveland. "When I walked
by Fredo, it looked like he had seen a ghost, and I
would've given a million dollars to find out what was
going through his head."
We also learn that Theo isn't really that much of a jerk
as the promos made him out to be, as he cites the
friendliness of some people. Gil, however, might be. "We
just took over the place. Eating all their food."
Cleveland Michael probably would be, then he probably
wouldn't. It's a crap shot. "David Daskal looks like
your stereotypical geek. He did not feel threatened." So
we're all friendly and shooting hoops and drinking beer.
But remember what I said about wine and Milton? "Brian
Worth and Brian Glaser," Sean said, "Both sharp with the
tongue. Hittin' on all cylinders." Enter the remarks
about the Queer Eye job done over on some of the New
Guys. No, they didn't say it, but they were thinking it.
Then comes the egos of "we're so sorry for you." Those
are the worst, really. "I can push buttons, but it was
too easy,' Michael K. says. "It was like a big huge
button. And I just pushed it." And he just keeps pushing
and pushing and pushing. "You're a vice president of
marketing," Brian W. says of Michael K. "I really don't
give a crap. You're nothing to me. Except an arrogant
(^_^)." And, as is wont to do with this sort of thing,
an assumption is usually one-upped or justified on a
single question. In this case is "Do you think you're
above me?" Michael K's answer: "Yes."
Oh, it's on now. The AJs have banded up against the
common enemy. Because who's America gonna love? Who's
America gonna love?
Cue the bodybuilding montage, as David has become ever
more focused. "You can bring in a boatload of 600 guys
and it can't stop what's already happened between us."
Michael K. brings up a valid point that this whole thing
with jocks versus geeks is "kinda segregated." And what
better point in your life could you think about that
than... that's right. High school. You had the jocks,
the geeks, the popular kids, the ghosts, the Goths, and,
like me, the every-men who was able to hang out with
Enter the guys in a school bus, headed back to school.
For the AJs, tortured memories. For the New Guys,
looking forward to what trouble they could cause. For
me, looking forward to Larissa... as the teacher. Yeah,
hot for teacher. Here's the sked:
1st Period: IQ Test.
2nd Period: Phys. Ed.
3rd Period: Intramural Sports.
After school: DANCE!
Whoever wins two of three competitions takes Larissa to
the dance. Leave it to the guys to make a big joke of
it. But when you're really confident that you have the
remaining two periods to lose, you know you can. Todd
finished the test first. But he'll have to wait until
everyone else is done. "This guy's gonna be good and
cocky," Larissa says.
Okay, test over. Scores to be revealed... eventually.
Onto phys. ed. Sixteen men, one rope climb, one set of
monkey bars. Not to sound like Mo from GUTS, "Best time
wins." Again, hot for teacher. Oh, BTW, the IQ test...
AJs win it, 138-129. But you knew that. Highest score
goes to Tony. But back to the task at hand, and it's
kind of painful to watch, as Larissa points out. Big
problem for Sean, as he's struggling to hold his own
weight... but he finishes. Too slow, but he finishes.
Tied at one event a piece.
Finally, we're playing dodgeball. Winners take all. It's
kill time. We're playing shirts versus skins. AJs are
shirts, which means one of them will be wetting their
pants mentally as we see the New Guys disrobe. Larissa's
like "God, they're gorgeous."
Well never mind that because WAR COMMENCES! It gets
brutal as one by one, the AJs go down. Words can't
explain the carnage, so NBC goes for the war footage
effect. Long story short, New Guys are headed to the
dance, while AJs are fired up even more.
Sean's nursing his wounds back at the house. "First
thing I'm going to do tomorrow... Work out."
Meanwhile, the New Guys are getting words in edgewise
(sometimes about themselves) to Larissa. Theo likens her
to the woman in his dreams. "(Todd) stood out above
everyone else by the mile," Larissa notes of her final
dance. Todd feels the same way, as they sneak out for a
private dance. "It was fun, it was romantic, it was
cheesy, it was goofy, but it came together and went very
well," Todd says. If I was rooting for a New Guy, it
would be him.
"I don't think those other guys are Larissa's type. I'm
coming in to the picture and I'm what she's looking
for." Woops. Spoke too soon. Or perhaps Todd spoke too
The next day, the New Guys hit the water with Larissa
and their own egos intact. Back at the house, though,
"this is the moment to be very pissed off." David tries
to think of the overall picture, but Brian tells him to
screw the overall picture. "It's like Revenge of the
Nerds again!" Fredo doesn't want to look like a jerk.
"My walls are up. And the game's on."
That night, it's a boat ride, and more words in
edgewise. Especially with Theo, who thinks that his New
Guy cohorts are really disgusting and immature,
mentioning that Cardamone compared Larissa to a word...
"Starts with a B. Ends with an R. It's an animal that
builds dams. And there was a show, 'Leave It To.'" Theo
prefaces it with this warning: "Stay away from the
blondes." Could he be playing a game? Larissa seems to
But the private date goes to... Michael Klein. "He's not
too over the top." If you remember, he was the guy who
honestly thought that he was above the AJs. Banter and
conversation about romance novels lead into sitting and
doing nothing. "I'm feeling a little bit..." above the
AJs right about now, as Michael and Larissa share a
kiss. "Definitely the best kisser." Cue kiss montage.
After Tony yarns about his insecurities, Larissa and
Michael share a hot tub moment. One of ... well, it was
only one, but it was a long one and it came in shifts.
"My date with Michael Klein was by far the most romantic
and the most real."
You know what else is real? Eliminations. And I betcha
dollars to donuts that she's less and less broken about
cutting the axe. But (you know there's always a but
here) that won't stop the AJs from trying their heart
out, as they get THEIR shot at the fair Ms. Meek.
And THEN we'll eliminate some folk. We need a good cut
here. Come on. I'm begging for it.
February 2, 2004
Last time, the Joes and the
New Guys were taken back to school. Obviously, the Joes
excelled in the brains department, while the New Guys
took the two physical events to win a trip to the dance
with our cheerleader/model/woman you have NO chance with
Larissa, leaving the Joes high and dry at the house.
Well, it's payback time! We start with... a horse. Of
course. It's just a big "never-give-up" fest on all
Meanwhile, back at the house, Theo shows off their
artistic skills, particularly in caricature drawing,
complete with Larissa shouting "YESSSS!" and David
soiling himself. Yeah. Real mature. But I'll let you
judge for yourself. I've attached a copy to this
write-up. Can we get a shot of that?
Back to the ranch. Remember, always enter on the left
side. David seems to have it, even for a first-timer.
Then it's off to ride into the pasture, as Fredo outs a
couple of cocky New Guys. Fredo isn't backing down from
the threat. Thomas meanwhile is giving it his full
heart. Sean is over the whole fact that they're here
competing for the girl. "I know America's gonna identify
with me." Brian G. can dish it out as good as he's
taking it. David is still happy. Brian W. complains of
the "one guy in particular", Michael Klein. Yeah,
everyone's favorite. Larissa worries about Tony, but
Tony is reassured enough.
But it's Brian W. who gets the alone time with the fair
Ms. Meek. Everyone thinks it's a good choice, as they
see him off with high hopes. They head off to the yacht,
where Brian W. is unwillingly pulling out all the stops.
"I've been waiting for this. I'm absolutely psyched."
Back at the house, Cardamone's giving the guys the kind
of once over on how Brian W. is faring. If they only
knew how WRONG he was... Larissa "really saw Brian's
personality shine through" as he talked about his job at
Homeland Security. "I stay emotionally detached," Brian
says, as he lets everything go for her. "When I really
think about it, it hurts." But he's open to any
possibility, as he's replaying in his mind the lyrics to
every John Mayer song ever written. But hey, it's
working. Oh god, is it working. "Probably the most
interesting person I've ever met." Definite connection,
and not just because they kissed three times. Four,
sorry. Five. "He would be an amazing boyfriend." Six.
Okay, you get it. Brian's in love and so is Larissa.
"I've never done this before and I think it's time I did
And again, Todd and Klein are being the jerks as he
tells everyone about the story. So it brings to wonder
why he would get a note the next day. Even more, I
wonder what it says. Let's read:
"You have been chosen for a very special date with
Larissa." He's tuxed and choppered to the yacht. "He's a
symbol for all the hot guys. Yeah, you're attracted to
them, and yet there's this underlying issue that I can't
Todd wants to write and act. So far, he's writing and
acting like a sincere guy. Larissa sees right through
it, citing the earlier b-word remark. Todd is really
buttering it up here. "If Todd wasn't willing to tell
me, then maybe he's trying to hide something."
Meanwhile, Klein is again making checks his ass can't
Back on the boat, strawberries and whipped cream not
only make for a good Keith Sweat song, but for a good
wallbreaker on Larissa's part. "We're just trying to
learn a bit more about each other," Larissa says, even
though she still finds him too good to believe,
especially given his advances. They kiss, only twice
from what I garnered, compared to the last two dates. Of
the two dates on tonight's show, though, Brian's was by
far the better one.
Cardamone, the de facto leader of the pretty boys,
listened as minion Todd brought on news of Theo's
betrayal to the pack. Michael C. and Todd are at each
other's faces about it. "We're in a competition where
it's pretty much everyone for themselves," Theo says
right before he denies calling Larissa a... "Begins with
a b, ends with an r, an animal that builds dams, and
there was a show, 'Leave It to.'"
And Cardamone and Theo are still at it. Fredo didn't see
anything degrading about it, but he still wouldn't say
it to his wife/girlfriend/mama. Cardamone then plays his
trump card (which actually runs longer than is expected
after Friends on Thursdays, don't forget to tip your
waitresses). "He's getting all 'buddy buddy' with your
group. He's drawing you guys pissing yourself and
quivering in your pants and saying 'Thank God'. He's not
Mr. Sincere, Mr. Shiny Happy People Pants." So who's the
dumb one, Cardamone for ratting Theo out? Or Theo, for
showing Fredo the picture? "It was high school all over
again," David notes. Theo rushes to rebuild the dyke,
but obviously, it isn't working. "I love funny stuff,
but when he drew it, it was in a cocky arrogant way,"
Brian W. draws. Theo begins to try to relate to them,
saying that he was one of them in high school. "These
guys... They're like my buddies. It hit me that we're
all human. Who cares? *teary-eyes*" Theo is honestly
trying to understand his inner-Joe, calling the other
New Guys fakes. But is he really in limbo? "If they get
cut, I have no remorse."
And after two weeks, it's time for a deep cut, as we say
goodbye to six, three Joes, and three New Guys. "I
didn't expect to be here this long," David says as he
reaches out to Larissa. Tony is still painting her
portrait. And Cardamone is pulling up bait, saying that
the earlier comment was made by him. "I think it was
huge," Mike said. But the New Guy apologies aren't over
yet, as Theo owns up to his cartoon. How will all this
fare? It's time to find out. Bus seats reserved for...
Jerry, Big Sean, Pete, Mike S., and Theo. David is
called aside, without a doubt the most heart-wretching
of the eliminations for both Larissa and us. But he
leaves us with the tried of true words of being who you
are and damning anyone who wants us to do otherwise.
Brave man. He will be missed.
But what happens when a date becomes explosive, and yet
another beautiful woman enters the scene? Well, let's
just say with Larissa's heart on the line, the
competition will be dog eat... see you next week.
Oh, we have an update. Ever since AJ2, Sean has been on
a rigorous training schedule. He's lost 70 pounds
(applause). "The magic pill was me in the hot tub."
February 9, 2004
A picture was worth a cut
of three New Guys, including the responsible party,
Theo, who finds his inner Joe a little too late, and
joins Jerry, Big Sean, Pete, Mike S., and, probably the
most disheartening cut for Larissa thus far, David
We have ten left, all introduced via a Baywatch-esque
title sequence. And for good reason, because we have a
little game planned. It's a lifeguard challenge, with
Baywatch cast members Michael Bergin and Brooke "I used
to host Dog Eat Dog" Burns. Three competitions today, a
paddleboard race, a rescue race, and a third event that,
I'm guessing, involves racing somehow. Michael coaches
the New Guys while Brooke is all over the Joes. "It's
all in the buttcheeks." Oh yeah. She's lovin' it. "I'm
really glad we got Brooke. Michael Bergin totally fit
well with those guys," Thomas said. I can understand
that. After all, Michael's a good looking guy and so are
the New Guys. Brooke's a woman and the Joes are... well,
First race: paddleboard racing. Paddle around the buoys
and back to shore. Michael K. is soiling his trunks at
the dead heat prospects. He faced Thomas in the relay,
as Brooke kept saying "Get out of the freaking water!"
That he did. Joes are up, 1-0. "They're feeling a
shrinkage factor," Brooke says. That... is a totally
Second race: rescue race. Rescue a dummy tethered to the
bottom of the sea. And by dummy, we mean a real rescue
dummy. Brian "with no R's" W. is feeling the pressure.
After all, he was rescued after the kayaking part of the
Ironman. But he rises to the challenge and pulls the
dummy up. And Brooke pulls herself down as he takes a
breather on the beach. Larissa looked at her and Brian
and just said "Okay, this isn't right. What is going on
here, why is she hanging on my guy?" Wow. Playing
favorites, are we Larissa? Well, feeling's mutual, as
Brian would rather have Larissa laying next to me. Fine.
You have Larissa. I'll take Brooke. New Guys tie it up,
Final race: Tug-o-War. Hey, that's not a race! Its not a
contest, either. It goes to the... Joes. Didn't see that
one coming, but I'll take it. Joes win. Prize: A really
bad ego trip. Next, Brooke and Michael will select one
person from each team for a date with Larissa. Big Tommy
gets Brooke's nod, while Michael elects Jimbo. Even
bigger shock: it's a double date.
We go right to dinner, as both Tommy and Jim meet
Larissa for drinks. Thomas is in it to win, as we head
right to the requisite Jacuzzi alone time. Thomas tells
Larissa that she meant a lot to him today. He's sweet in
a "gosh, I so want to care for him" sort of way, and
he's still here because of that. He calls that, and a
kiss, a 15 on a scale of one to ten. From hot to cool as
Larissa and Jim meet in the pool. "He really makes me
feel like a woman." And Jim gets more woman than Thomas
gets (especially in the pool-wrestling department). Well
Next day, and we're literally taking a leap of faith. As
in off of a cliff. Brian G and Gil are amongst the most
nervous. "So, um, who wants to go first?" Fredo...
thinks about it for a bit... and decides that he won't
jump. He'll flip. In slow motion. Ow. Belly flop. But
he's still alive. That's, uh... something. "You know
what? It's just water." Easy for her to say. You know
what else is easy for her to say? Who she'll take on the
next date. She decides on... Gil.
And then Larissa jumps. Freak. :)
Gil and Larissa go to a chocolate factory, where they go
from cacao pods to fudge in a matter of seconds. Ah, the
magic of television. Gil wants to be himself, and he
wants Larissa to be herself. "He's much more humble than
the other New Guys, and he doesn't think that there's
this game going on." Let's hope Larissa's sentiment
sticks. Meanwhile... Chocolate fight!
After the fight, the rest of this first date plays off
more or less like "talking to a friend. I've kinda
forgotten about what a relationship means." Well,
Larissa, when a man and a woman love each other... wait,
that's a different show. The reality of the date
reignites within her thanks to Gil. He could be a
Next day, another surprise for the guys. It's a Vespa
with a note from crazy Vespa chick: "To Tony, please
meet me for a private date. See you there, Larissa. Do
not read this note aloud." D'oh! Tony sees this as an
opportunity to finish up her painting.
Crazy Vespas tear down the highway to a tranquil lake,
where Tony intends to try his heart out for Larissa's.
He rows out to the middle of the lake...
Meanwhile, back in the house, the guys discover a
strange beeping noise. No, no one swore yet. It's just a
beep. And attached to the beep... a detonator. "Anytime
there's a detonator around, it's usually to destroy
something!" Fredo says.
Back at the lake, Tony's grand unveiling. And Larissa
loves it. "It's our way that we connect. It represents
so much more than the painting."
Back at the house, it's another note: "All is fair in
love and war." Translation: When Larissa's in love, it
means war. Cardamone's hand is cradled over the red
button. The beautiful shiny button. The jolly candy-like
button. Fredo backs off. Michael K. joins Cardamone and
three... two... one... boom. The good ship Tony is
beginning its final descent. Back at the house, the
guys, still unknowing of what the hell just happened,
state the obvious: "We just blew something up." And by
"we", I don't mean the Joes.
"Average Joe" becomes "Survivor" back at the lake, as
Tony tries to save both a very much in denial Larissa
and her painting. Yes, friends, it's "Titanic" all over
again. Tony swims to shore with her painting in one
head. Meanwhile Larissa goes from in denial to downright
pissed. "Soon as I find out who it is... they're gone."
Meanwhile Fredo and Todd were going at it trying to pin
down who was responsible, Todd for saying "Do it" or
Fredo for not saying "Don't do it." Cardamone sides with
Todd, while Boston Brian sides with Fredo. Tony doesn't
side with anyone; he just wants to know, and I quote,
"Someone's got something to tell me. And I would like to
hear it right now." Tony gets the story, as well as the
people at fault. Whilst Mr. Klein was not at all
surprised ("I feel like I was with a bunch of
females!"), Cardamone was a shocker. Tony lets Klein
know that he is now a marked man. "You just put yourself
off the show."
And Larissa, with a few boxes of pizza in hand, will
find out for herself. "I was first one on the crime
scene," Klein says. Again, wrong show. Needless to say,
Cardamone and Klein own up to it; but while Klein takes
an extended pause (oops) to react to what would happen
if the incident would happen again, Cardamone knows
And just when you think that there weren't enough bombs
on this show, four people are going to have their
chances with Larissa literally blown out of the water.
Those four are... Brian G (didn't open up), Todd (the
way too cocky one), Big Tommy, and Bomberman Klein.
Cardamone breathes a sigh of relief. "I believe in
miracles now." Well, we have a clean slate, but Larissa
has the mother of all surprises - quite literally - in
store next week.
February 16, 2004
Last week was marked by
blowing stuff up. Larissa swore that the responsible
parties would be on the next bus out. So far, only half
of the party, Michael K., has been kindly escorted off
the property along with Brian G., Thom, and Todd,
setting up Michael C. (aka the other half of the party)
with a false sense of security. Don't blow it.
Oh, who am I kidding. He'll blow it.
We start things off with the New Guys and some
glassblowing. No one is really artistic, but, hey, it's
time with Larissa. But right now, Cardamone is wishing
she would just get off his back for a moment (yeah, he
knows he's marked). "We're at each other's throat like a
married couple." All that ribbing for something that
looks like a glass piece of roadkill.
Over with Gil, Larissa thinks about his walk, even
though Gil isn't trying to be closed off. Jim, on the
other hand, gives Larissa butterflies. Giddiness ensues.
As do kisses. He feels secure in himself after Larissa
confesses to having a crush on him. Final decision for
the rest of the date... You know, Larissa put it so
succinctly, I might as well give her the spotlight.
"You know, out of the complete purpose of fairness, even
though he probably doesn't deserve the chance, and has
done everything wrong since the beginning, and could use
a shoe horn to help get his foot out of his mouth,
Michael, would you like to go on a date with me
Needless to say after all that ribbing, he says "Yes".
Hey, he's a fool, he's not stupid. They head over to
Mauna Kea National Park, on top of the volcano. You look
out at a blanket of clouds and just see a Hawaii sunset.
It's a Kodak moment, basically. "It looked like we were
in heaven," Michael notes. Trying to dig himself out of
a hole, Michael finds solace in Larissa's company. And
Larissa, surprisingly, reciprocates. They see a shooting
star and make a wish... And Larissa makes the fool
mistake of making her wish known. Now it won't come
true, dumbass. And look, Michael's doing the same thing!
What's wrong with you two? Don't you know the rules?!
Well, it might come true, as they share a surreal
experience and a favorable date. "You like the serious
side..." Michael asks. "Yes," she says.
Next day, the Joes head to a cave, where they look to
swim with Manta rays. A very rocky cave. Our heroes
find... the temple of doom! Okay, so it's just a tiki
head, but we all remember that ep of the Brady Bunch,
right? No one touches it, as we all remember... the
detonator? What does one thing have to do with the
other? Well, aside from the note:
"As the sun sets, only the man that carries this idol
will continue this adventure."
All of a sudden, you want your hand on the idol. Fredo
is nervous about walking into another relationship,
while Larissa loves the fact that he's a giver. Brian
almost called it quits, but he won't run away either.
Larissa wants him to be there. Okay, we get it. They
mean a lot to each other. Tony was going to bust out the
sketch pad, still thinking about the boat from the other
Outside, the cave spirits let Larissa in that they'd be
uber-pissed if Fredo didn't get a date this evening. And
that's the last thing you want to do, piss off cave
spirits. They just enjoy the moonlight as Fredo unloads
all of his luggage, including a booty call with a
THEN we have the manta rays, as Larissa is really
nervous about going into murky water. Don't worry,
Larissa. Unless you have a cut, you really don't have
anything to worry about! "It was like swimming with
aliens!" Fredo says of the manta rays. After getting out
of the water, Larissa snuggles to her "protector". "What
more could you ask for in such a beautiful place like
Hawaii with such a beautiful woman like Larissa?" Fredo
Well, Fredo, they say that women take after their
parents. That said (you like that transition, don't
you?), Larissa now springs the question, "Are the guys
guilty of making the same shallow judgments that I did?"
It's time for yet another elaborate scheme, this time
involving Sarah, Larissa's best friend, and Mrs. Meek,
"Larissa's mom." But again, we know that it's actually
Larissa under a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of latex and a
Phase one: the Live Casting. Basically making a plaster
cast of her face. Now, in reality, "(her mom) is
beautiful". But her mom was never on TV, now was she?
This mother's going to have hairy warts, age spots, a
gut the size of Switzerland, and wrinkles... a lot of
wrinkles. Her face looks like Ronald Reagan's neck.
Okay, maybe not that many wrinkles.
Phases two and three: Final makeup, teeth, glasses, wig,
and contacts. No time to test it out on the street. We
implant the mother, ready the surveillance cam and
microphones, expel the body double as the guys arrive to
the house, and operation commences. The men, one by one,
face the undaunting faces of both Sarah and "Larissa's
mom." Fredo takes every question seriously, being
himself. Jim avoids eye contact. Gil was nervous...
really nervous. Tony didn't see any of Larissa in the
mother, thinking "traditionalist Ukraine girl"? Brian
says Mrs. Meek's an attractive woman. That... from the
three second intervals of eye contact. Must ceom from
working with the feds. He gets the worst case scenario
of "Larissa's art exhibit versus game 7 of the World
Series with the Red Sox." Oh god... I'm not even dating
this woman and I'm rattled. "I was taking a rash and a
crap from my buddies" after picking the art exhibit.
Dude, you're taking a rash and a crap from ME. Cardamone
is up finally, and he's sinking, especially after
telling the mother that he finds people who don't take
themselves to shape are physically revolting. The guys
are told that Mrs. Meek is so pissed by that statement
that she leaves the island.
I told you he'd blow it.
Phase four: the hidden camera tapes. That'll come later.
First, the guys make tapes of themselves apologizing for
Cardo's earlier remark. "I think he means well," Larissa
notes. Real winner: Brian - "I do have feelings for your
daughter. I've always had a box around my heart and it
feels like it's coming down, and I think your daughter
is the one I like to have the walls come down for."
Now... the hidden camera. They talk about Cardo's
answers. And yes, he elaborates. "Big ass... No ankles.
I was thinking of them all! If Larissa was overweight,
it would take a lot for me to be interested in her right
now, and that's the honest to God truth right there."
Torpedo, dude... Tor. Pee. Do.
Going into tonight's elimination, two will go home. I
have a feeling I know who one of them is. Door opens,
and here comes not-the-mama. "I've always been a firm
believe that mother knows best. And the best thing right
now is to reveal the truth." And Michael just
unloaded... in his pants. "Surprise!"
Needless to say, Michael is going back to the house. No
surprise there. But who would join him? Tony is called
aside, and, with another silent cry, shown the door as
well. Seems like they talk about the same things. He is
just devastated. "The one question would be... 'Why?'"
And so am I. I wanted to see Larissa bitchslap Cardo! Oh
well, we're down to four, and next week, Fredo pilots a
sub, and gets pissed in the process. What at? Well,
you're just going to have to wait and see, won't you?
February 23, 2004
Last week, Larissa's mom
entered the scene... actually, it was Larissa in a "mom"
disguise. And Cardo fell for it, lock, stock, and two
smoking barrels. Joining Michael on the bus ride home is
a heartbroken Tony, who just couldn't get off the artsy
fartsy for a second. Now we have Fredo, Gil, Brian W.,
We start this supersized cup of Joe with a combination
trivia/jet ski challenge. No one remembers Larissa's
sign, and no one knows how she did in Miss USA, but the
guys did fare better with Pickle the guinea pig and the
nine-month ex. Fredo fared the best, getting two of the
four questions and racing in the fastest time. So
Larissa and Fredo zoom off to their next destination...
golfing at the Mauna Kea. Admittedly, the two have NEVER
played before. Swing and a miss, what a wiffer! Well, at
least there's tennis. Or not.
But we do have massages ready, because after a day of
sucking, you can only get a naked rubdown. That night,
they talk about "indecisiveness", as Larissa feels like
she's being tested. "Not sure of what decision you want
to make," Fredo clarifies. "It would be dumb not to talk
advantage of any opportunity that comes into your life,"
Larissa rebuts. "I want you here because when I look at
you, you've totally blown my mind on so many levels."
Well, Fredo's already preparing himself to swim with the
fishes, isn't he?
From the beach, we go to a chopper with Gil, as they
head over to the northern part of the big island. A
little turbulence here, and a little cuddle there, and
four waterfalls everywhere. Larissa likens the
experience to "a fairy tale". Beautiful, yes, but no
On the beach below, "Are you ticklish?" Larissa turns
Gil into a basketcase with one touch. Gil admits that
he's holding back, while Larissa tells him not to. They
don't hold back (unless you count breath and saliva).
"It was a really nice and honest moment."
Next up, playing around upstream... and sliding
downstream into a lagoon. Weeee. Looks like fun.
Finally, we get dinner and a view. Gil fires up the
burner. "I'm no Emeril by any means, but I can put a
decent meal." Insert Iron Chef joke... here. Okay,
Larissa's thinking of cooking up a little something of
her own. Namely a plan to get inside the mind of Gil
Hyatt. Gil's not letting her, especially given the
subject: his ex. It comes down to one question: "You
think you would be together if she was still in Ft.
Answer: "I don't think so." You can see the fear in his
voice. Larissa understands, as she doesn't want him to
expect that he won't be hurt. "I think it's a
competition between each guy and himself." Agreed.
All this, while it's raining. Definitely a moment.
Definitely. Consensus: best date ever.
Next day, Larissa meets up with Brian for sushi. Kaikodo,
one of my favorite places for sushi on the island, is
the place, and Brian would normally never put raw fish
in his mouth. And just what's wrong with raw fish? Brian
loves to have fun with... whatever it was he's eating.
Looks like crab and bonito to me. "I liked it, it went
down easy. I just thought, hmmm. This isn't so bad!"
Well, sushi's passed. Now onto chopsticks. It says
volumes that Brian would try sushi just for her. Then
they head over to yet another waterfall, where Brian
admits that he was scared of "the C word" with his past
relationships, while he continues his "I want to let
myself out" tirade that he started last week. Larissa
appreciates his sincerity and honesty. "I know that he's
here for me."
After the rainforest, we get another black sand beach.
With a tortoise. Cute. Brian should be a bit scared. We
go canoeing, one thing leads to another, and... drinks.
Nice transitions, there. Larissa loves to watch Brian
change and grow and open up. So Larissa begins to open
up himself. "I kinda questioned my actions a bit" about
surface relationships. Larissa wants to be with Brian
because every day he'd treat him like a princess. "We
basically took it to the next step."
In a word... Touching. But there's still one more date
left. That would be Jim and Larissa. No activities
planned. Just two people, one canoe, and a deserted
island. "I really need to find out who he is. Being on a
deserted island with some hot guy is like every woman's
But, as the promos keep telling us, they weren't alone.
Fredo, on the deck of a sub, tells us that he was picked
up from the house and basically not told anything. Fredo
docks onto the Atlantis (I've taken an Atlantis tour
before. Pretty good stuff... but as you know, this is no
Back on the beach, Larissa and Jim, looking forward to
just hanging out, prepare to fry up some Spam. Because a
reality show is not a reality show without Spam. As for
relationship potential, Jim's really taking it as they
come while Larissa details her five-year-plan.
Fredo, driving the sub, isn't sure what's going to
On the beach, Larissa feels like she's in a Ralph Lauren
ad. Jim admits that he's stereotyped as being stupid in
his physical beauty. They're falling for each other.
Fredo, on the other hand, is just handed a monitor with
a text message: "Fredo, this submarine is currently
stationed 40 yards off of a private beach. Larissa and
Jim are enjoying their private evening together on
shore. Your orders are to come to periscope depth and
witness the truth."
Hmmmm... Fredo follows the orders to find Larissa and
Jim frolicking in the water. Really frolicking. "I'm
just hell(^_^)ed over. She's basing everything off of
looks at this point. She's got a crush on him? What the
hell is a crush?" See, when a woman loves a man she
knows she can't have...
Long story short, Fredo is definitely disappointed and
pissed. You think you know pissed? Try hearing someone
say "You make me feel like nobody else here does." That
tears it for Fredo, who is shocked into action. "If that
crush is what she wants, then she can have him. This is
the number one reason why I don't get myself emotionally
involved. That reason I just witnessed right there.
Because... I just got (^_^)ed again. I don't want to see
That's the last we see of Fredo, as he takes a charter
back to Cleveland, per this note at the pre-elimination
We often spoke of the foundation we were building and I
always will think of it fondly. However, I think we both
know it's not taken us to the type of happiness we both
deserve. I can't continue with this process. I'm on my
way back to Cleveland. I wish you all the best. - Fredo"
The other guys don't think it's really fair for him to
just leave. Larissa just thinks it's convenient, since
he was the token Joe that was going home anyway. Well,
that makes her job easier, as she heads to the three
remaining guys' hometowns, meaning that we have to say
goodbye to the big island. Brian does that for us.
Larissa likens the three to the characters in "The
Wizard of Oz". Jim: The scarecrow. Gil: The tin man.
Brian: The cowardly lion.
So from here, we go to Ft. Lauderdale, Scottsdale, and
Boston. Group hug!
First, it's Scottsdale. Jim meets Larissa for some
mountain biking. On an actual mountain. Larissa can't
freaking ride a mountain bike. Luckily Jim's there to
help her. And also luckily, they quit in time to climb
up a rock wall for some shade. I think the 110 degree
heat is baking their brains. Larissa thinks Jim looks
pretty darn good with out his shirt on. Unfortunately,
that's where the attraction ends, as Larissa can't
converse with him.
Jim takes Larissa back to his apartment. Wow. Bachelor
pad, complete with a blow-up doll. What the hell? "It
needs a little help." Yeah, Jim needs a girlfriend,
because a blow-up doll and a dog just don't clean things
up here. They walk said dog, and, afterward, to the
Biltmore resort in Scottsdale, where Larissa learns the
Jim's not well read. Oh boy.
They walk during a thunderstorm, where they get caught
up in the moment. Larissa asks Jim if he can see a
relationship for the long run. He says he can, but he's
not really opening up that darn much. All he says is
that he likes her. He didn't really bring anything else
to the party, so will Larissa let the crush just die
We fastforward four days to the LA hangar where Average
Joe ended. On one side, a jet, waiting to fly Larissa
and the winner to a tropical paradise for some more
alone time. On the other... the bus. Jim wants to be the
last guy standing, because he sees potential for
chemistry. On the other hand, Larissa is still trying to
figure out ANY complexity to Jim's persona. Good luck,
"No matter where we are, we're on our own private beach,
where nothing else matters. Which is what makes it
really hard tonight. In the end, I fear that spark's not
enough. I still have that crush, but I need something
more. I'm sorry that I have to say goodbye tonight."
So the crush gets crushed, and Jim wishes her on her
well way. So here's where we stand. Two great guys, two
great towns, one great girl, and another twist that
probably won't really mean much down the road. Someone's
going to get hurt. And for once, it isn't me, on the
season finale next time.
March 1, 2004
Before we begin, I just
want to say that I had previous intents on calling this
wrap-up, "Bad Day for the Miss America". I'll show you
why... that's right... LATER. But wait! For the two of
you who scolded me on my approach to the Average Joe 1
finale, I promise you that this will have a fitting
But first, we fast forward through the series, the many
twists, turns, explosions, fat suits, submarines, and
Larissa bleeping (okay, she only bleeped once), we are
down to the final two: Brian, who, for the first time in
31 years, put his heart on the line, and Gil, who...
well, is a pretty face and... just there... for the
chicken, I think. Both are on their way to the hangar to
meet both Larissa and their untimely fate. But perhaps
we're stating too much. It's probably best to begin at
And that has to be the most realistic mannequin I have
Rewind three days to Ft. Lauderdale, where Larissa meets
Gil. Gil just wants to be himself... whatever that
happens to be. They go airboating and then to a
Wow, very Trading Spaces. Isn't he the charmer.
Apparently so, as Larissa's fascinated by Gil opening up
and talking about mudwork. Hey, let it not be said that
he doesn't have a comfort zone. So we mud the whole room
while Gil talks about his reputation and his ties to the
Fort. Larissa would rather not have to get into the long
distance relationships. Looks like Gil's got an uphill
battle ahead of him.
Maybe a round of airboating will help. Nothing says
loving like 1000 horsepower onboard engine. From there,
we go to a "very magical" dinner at a museum. Larissa
feels a very strong connection to Gil, but she is more
openhearted, as she gives him a St. Christopher
medallion that reminds her of the ocean and his eyes.
Gil can't seem to get the words "thank you" out without
stammering, so we'll just assume that he meant well.
Larissa points out that he's holding back, but "there's
something there that's incredibly special."
Admittedly, there isn't, as Gil points out. "I am not
someone who wears his heart on his sleeve. I'm not
someone who busts out in the open with crazy emotion all
the time. I like to be practical and thoughtful of the
things that I do." Is that really the truth or just...
ACTING?! Yes, Gil admits to having aspirations of being
an actor. Why that would be a big deal, I don't know,
but Larissa thinks so. "Where'd that come from? It made
me wonder if he'd been acting this whole time."
One hug for old time's sake, and Larissa's only
half-convinced. Hey Brian, I think you got this one.
Moving north to Boston, where Brian is falling in love
for the first time. Larissa meets Brian, hoping that he
becomes more of a man in this final date.
First stop, a boat, where they see "the city of flash.
Bostonians... They're not flashy people. It's all about
substance." And by Bostonians, we mean, of course,
Brian, who presents Larissa with the substance of two
lobsters, which they've named Gil and Jimmy. So the big
question: eat or let go. They let go. Good for them.
Brian tells Larissa that he could leave Boston for the
right reasons. Blows her away. From there we head to the
most famous museum in Boston, the happiest place on
earth... Fenway Park. Larissa had a different kind of
museum in her mind, while Brian had Timmy Wakefield on
his mind. I believe this calls for the hero button
again. *hits hero button*
Brian's reaction: "I am not a butt-kisser, but you are
my favorite player on the Sox." Hello, does the name
Nomar do anything for you? In any event, Brian's like a
kid on Christmas. Larissa's drawn into his excitement,
especially since Brian's compliments. "I've never had a
guy talk nice about me to another guy!" Their reward for
the visit: Red Sox jerseys and tickets. And a billboard
sign. And an endorsement from Tim Wakefield.
"I'm not as good looking all year round as Gil, but I
want you to know that I am always going to be there for
you. Always. I think you're so amazing. There's only a
select few things worth fighting for, and you're one of
Home run for Brian. But like the Red Sox winning the
World Series? I wouldn't go that far. Next up, a drink
at the bar with the boys. And a sight of Larissa's butt
crack. Must be a thong girl. And apparently the boys are
in shock and awe. "It wasn't Brian walking through that
door. It was Brian and Larissa." Well put. I mean, this
is a completely different side that they're used to
seeing. This is the new, improved, and slightly
refurbished for reality TV Brian. And, of course, it
helps that Brian thinks that "this is the one." Rarely
do you hear such language.
They head to a hotel for dinner, a very decorated
dinner. A perfect ending to a perfect day, as Brian
wishes he has more time here. He's learned a lot about
how to treat a woman. "I wanted to say three words that
I've never said before." Oh, get over it and do it.
Well, we never hear it, and Larissa just has an "I know"
moment, as she cries on his shoulder.
But someone's going to be crying soon, as we fastforward
to the final elimination. Finally. Gil's nervous.
Brian's putting it down for the AJs. Larissa wants to be
physically attracted, but wants to have depth. Well, you
can't genetically recombine Gil and Brian, you have to
The hangar opens after many split screens, and Gil's
limo is first inside. "Gil, you intrigue me. I know that
I have feelings for you. Strong feelings. But sometimes
I question whether you're ready to take it to the next
level. So I hope you'll understand that there's only one
thing I can do. And that's to trust my instinct. And my
instinct tells me... that you're the one for me."
I'll repeat that... because it bears repeating. Larissa
picked Gil. Don't think about that sentence for more
than five minutes or your brain will cave in on itself.
Gil thanks her for trusting her instincts, and
robotically stammers through his thank-yous before
hopping on the plane. "I would see things that remind me
of him. It also intrigues me that he's very guarded."
What type of crap is that, Larissa?
Only one more thing to do here. Let Brian down easy and
give him back the jersey. "Last time that we saw each
other, you moved me. You made me happy in a way that no
other man has in a long long time. It was in your
beautiful words. It was in your kiss. And I always knew
that you would treat me like a queen. And that night,
you did. But you deserve a woman who can look at you
right now and say 'I love you, too.' Brian, I wish I was
the one. But my heart is telling me something else." Ah,
your HEART. Is that what the kids are calling it
nowadays. I would've said "your libido". With a quick
"I'll miss you, Brian" from her and an even quicker
"Bye" from Brian, they part ways, her for the plane, and
him for the bus.
"That has got to be the hardest thing I have ever done
this whole time," Larissa says in tears, as Brian has
experienced both the highest high and the lowest low in
the span of one episode. "That hurts. That really hurts.
I'm never going to forget her."
So that's it. Game over, right? Wrong. Whenever you have
an outcome and you're 51 minutes into the show, you have
to have one more... je ne sais quoi. And Larissa's here
to deliver it to Gil on the little wingding in Cabo
afterwards. Get ready for this. A storm moves in on the
fourth day (symbolism...), and Larissa drops her BIG
secret. Remember that ex she's always talking about?
"My ex-boyfriend was Fabio."
The "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" Fabio.
The "Kuros on the box of Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors
II" Fabio. Okay, only I will get that one.
Anyway, Gil reacts in the only way he knows how.
Nothingness. "Any guy in the United States can feel with
me on this one." Hmm... I'm a guy. I'm in the United
States. I don't feel with you. As far as I'm concerned,
an ex is an ex, but enough about me. Larissa learns the
hard way that going with her instincts proved wrong, as
Gil packs his bags and exits stage right. "But maybe now
I know how Brian Worth feels," Larissa says, as she can
For you, who, like me, are fans of instant retribution?
This one's for you. I told you that someone was going to
get hurt... And, damn it, I was right. Moral of the
story: brains and a personality can't make up for the
fact that, well, you dated Fabio. Heh. Just when you
think you know people.
So the question remains, can a beauty find love with the
average man? Guess we'll find out sooner than we
thought, as Adam Mesh makes his triumphant return, as he
begins to call the shots. The average Joe takes back the
house on March 15.