LAST EDITED ON 01-27-04 AT 02:57 AM (EST)
Episode 3 begins with Larissa Meek in tears, at 3:17 in the morning, because she has just sent five Average Joes home.
“I almost lost it when I had to say goodbye to Donato” she says. “I mean it’s just ... like ... it seems kind of mean sending these guys home, but I guess they go into it knowing that ultimately they’re going to be sent home, except for one. I guess I just expected it ... like ... not to be that hard.”
I love Larissa. She’s hot, beautiful, intelligent and yet still very down to earth.
Larissa is a caring soul. Unlike Malena, she actually cries over the Joes. It wasn't that way in the beginning, of course, but now she has warmed up to them. I often wonder if she might even pick an average Joe in the end.
At the men’s house, the guys have just gotten back from the elimination, and David is all geeky happy. Not just because he avoided elimination, but also because a day or two earlier Larissa let him lean over and give her a quick kiss. As we see a clip of the kiss, we wonder how Larissa manages to keep a straight face. It’s ok, Larissa, go ahead and laugh. David’s an actor.
David can’t hide his enthusiasm from his fellow Joes. “Alls I have to say is this girl is the most special girl I’ve ever met in my life.”
‘Alls’ we have to ask you, David, is how many girls have you known?
“My faith in Larissa’s perception is 110%,” David says later, as he snorts out a geeky machine gun laugh, “ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha."
"I feel pretty confident we’ve made a strong connection."
David has the gift of gab, and as usual the other Joes are rolling their eyes as he rambles on and on. But still, these are nice Joes, not like the nasty ones who constantly argued with each another in the original Average Joe.
The Joes all sit down around a table and congratulate one another for not being eliminated. They’re also reticent. “We lost some good men tonight,” says one. The others agree.
Wow! What a group. They lost some good men! You’d think these were soldiers back from a dangerous mission in World War II.
“I’m static that I’m still here,” says Brian Worth, with his usual Boston accent. When they show his name on the screen, we are reminded that Brian works as a Homeland Security adviser. Boy are we static about that! We just hope Brian does better in Homeland Security than he does with girls.
“I have to say, as far as looking around at everybody else, it does seem to be a good, even playing field," Thomas says, "because we are all average looking fellows. If I was competing against a playboy, I’d have to use what I could to make sure he’s taken out.”
Oh no, Thomas. You just said the wrong thing.
You see, this week, Thomas has an unusual power. Whenever he talks about how all of them are just regular guys, and that there are no studs (jerks) around to make the competition harder, suddenly we are transported to another world.
I’ll bet Thomas never knew he had power like that. But, just as soon as the words leave his mouth, we find ourselves being whisked away across the ocean.
We see a boat in the distance, and then a radar-like graphic tells us the boat is approaching the island where the Joes are staying. We’re given a time and distance readout. Oooooh! High tech!
This must be the hunk (jerk) boat that we’ve all been hearing so much about.
The camera moves quickly around the yacht using flybys, sweeps, pans, cross fades, dissolves -- and some “majestic” music that sounds like a ripoff from Survivor. Oh for pete’s sake, just show us who’s on the boat!
Finally, some funky music takes the place of the “majestic” music, the camera comes into focus and we see eight dudes with six pack abs parading like male models around the deck of the boat.
Hmm ... Eight dudes! The exact number of the remaining Joes. The plot thickens...
Zoom! Then, just as suddenly, we’re back on the island. For the next twenty minutes, the producers will keep going back and forth between the island and the boat. Dizzy pills, anyone?
Back on the island, Brian Glazer says “this group offers a lot of what society is missing, which is character, not being so self-centered and locked up in what your looks are.”
Brian Worth says, with his usual Boston accent, “I can pitcha myself as the last man standing, but it’s gonna be tough. I think the biggest competition right now is Tony.”
Well at least for the moment ...
Tony is working out with some weights. Maybe he’s a stud too. “I feel very confident in my position with Larissa,” he says.
Tony should feel confident. Although David is the big talker, it was Tony who had the big date with Larissa the other night. Tony doesn’t talk a lot about it. No sense in kiss and tell. But it’s been the only big moment of romance so far on the show.
Michael says he likes Larissa too.
Then we’re back to Thomas. He says that it’s a relief he isn’t competing against tall, dark and handsome guys.
Oops ... That was the cue... we’re back to the boat again ... and this time the hunks (jerks) actually speak. One of them, also named Michael, is the first.
“This paradise that these guys have been living in is about to become a nightmare,” Michael says. “They’ve been spending a week or so with this girl, and it’s a shame that they’ve spent all this time, but there’s a new sheriff in town.”
Charming. Michael wins the prize for humbleness.
Next up is Jim. Jim is the guy who came out of the limousine in the first episode and told Larissa that he was not one of the guys she’d be meeting that evening. What a surprise that he is back!
Jim says, “The guys that are with her now think they are the only guys in town. They don’t know that we’re coming, and we’re definitely giving them a run for their money.”
Jim then pulls up his shirt to show off his abs, and says, “When I come through the door, they’re going to have this to deal with.”
I've changed my mind. Jim wins the prize for humbleness .... and the prize for modesty too! Do they give out a prize for classy? Jim’s on a role, let me tell ya.
Next up is yet another Michael. (We’re not yet told their last names. I guess that would make them appear to be less “studly.”)
Michael says, “Nice guys finish last, right? And I don’t plan on that, so if the game calls for it, I’m just going to have to suck it up and be a little nasty.”
You suck it up, Michael. Or better yet, just suck. I’m sure it will be a real challenge for you. If we get a chance, we’ll see if we can let Fredo loose. Something about that in the previews for next week ...
Next up is Jerry.
“These guys are in paradise now,” he says. “They’ve all got the girl to themselves, but when we come in we’re going to take things over.”
Hmmm. About that prize for humility ...
(Mercilessly) We’re suddenly back on the island.
Sean feels confident now and says they’re all so relieved that they’re not competing against Joe Billionaire.
Fredo says he can see himself as the last man standing, “without a doubt.”
David again. “I think I have a really good shot overall,” he says. “You know when you kinda hit it off with somebody. It’s not to say that the shocker couldn’t happen, but I’m not expecting it.”
Ooops .... Thom must have given his power to David! We’re back again on the boat.
Peter is the next stud (jerk) to share his charm with us.
“They have their hopes up,” he says. “They think they’re set. They think they got in good, but they have no idea what’s coming for them. Think of us as a torpedo in the water. These guys will not know what hit them. They’re just in for the shock of their lives."
Umm ... excuse me, Peter, but we’re talking about a woman here, remember? Do you care about her at all? Or is winning the only thing on your mind?
Theo is next.
“These guys stand no chance. I’m going to do my best. I’m going to just compete with myself. I’m not going to even worry about the other guys, because there really are no competition. I’m charming, I’m smart, I’m funny ...”
Yeah, and I’m Brad Pitt. And by the way, Theo, there really are no good grammar either, are there?
Todd is next.
“First of all, I want to see the looks on their faces,” he says. “Because they think they have everything taken care of. They think that it’s all them. And when we come in there, they’re going to start to get nervous. That’s what I’m looking to do.”
Oh yeah, Todd, I remember you. In the final scene, you couldn’t stop looking at the Joes. It’s all about the girl, remember? Are you gay? Or are you just such a jerk that you can’t cool your competitive drive long enough to give Larissa some attention?
Gil is the last stud (jerk) to share his wisdom with us.
“I have an extremely hard time understanding people that don’t take pride in themselves and how they look,” he says. “You can look at the other guys and you can make your judgment, but the guys that we’re coming in with look good, basically the total package that a woman would want.”
Well of course, Gil. All women want is looks, right? Oh ... the mirror is over there, if you were wondering. When you’re done admiring yourself, there’s a girl on the show. You might want to give her some attention too, if it’s not too much trouble.
“In Jocks vs Geeks, jocks always win,” Gil says. “It’s a completely unfair matchup. You just wait and see.”
Yeah, well maybe some of the cheerleaders might be interested, Gil. The rest of us already graduated from high school.
Back at the island, this week’s competition among the Joes is a triathelon race, including swimming, bike ridding and running.
David says it’s the biggest challenge of his “entire life,” because he never swam before, or rode a bike “past big wheel.”
Boy! You gotta hand it to the producers of Average Joe. They sure know how to pick ‘em.
Michael wins the race and gets a date with Larissa. Tony comes in a close second, with Fredo third, Brian G. fourth and Sean fifth.
Larissa says seeing them go out there and give it their all was probably the most flattering thing she’d ever seen a group of eight guys do for her.
Even though portly Sean is a distant fifth, Larissa gives him a date for hanging in and finishing the race.
Thom and Brian Worth are disqualified for bailing out during the swimming portion. David completes only the swimming portion, but gets a peck on the cheek from Larissa for effort.
At the very moments when David and Brian are struggling during the swimming segment, the producers give us a couple more quick trips to the boat to hear the studs (jerks) brag about their physical prowess.
Subtle, these producers. They ought to patent this stuff.
On their date, Michael and Larissa go parasailing. This was my favorite segment of the show this week for a couple of reasons: (1) the Hawaiian scenery was great, and (2) we didn’t see hide nor hair of the studs (jerks) for a good ten minutes.
“I really had to earn this date,” Michael said, “and I just wanted to show her that I am serious about her, and I do care.”
Michael shared some very personal things about himself during the date. A year before, it turns out, he had been hurt very badly by a relationship.
“It was probably the first time in my life that I for real gave my heart to someone,” he said, “and it didn’t work out.” Michael said he hadn’t had a relationship since then.
They kissed after he told Larissa there was something else he hadn’t done in a year.
Larissa said, “He was really in love with this girl. I’ve probably been that girl before, and seeing how it affected him, it kind of made me feel bad. Because Mike hadn’t been kissed in a year, I felt like I wanted to have a good time and let him have a good time, and it’s not that big a deal.”
“I’ve seen huge transformation in him in just a few days,” she said, “but it scares me that I’ve seen such a huge transformation in him in just a few days.”
In other words, Mike, you haven’t won her heart yet.
Larissa’s other date was with Sean, who showed off his prowess as a chef and cooked her dinner.
After dinner, they went to the jacuzzi to celebrate all the work Sean had done, but Sean was very self conscious in the hot tub. He told Larissa he didn’t always want to be the fat, funny guy. He just wanted to be the funny guy. Larissa laughed.
But Sean never quite got up the courage to kiss Larissa.
“I was trying to make myself as available as I could,” she said.
Sean slapped himself later. “I could be the first reality show guy of all time not to have taken advantage of an opportunity to kiss in a hot tub,” he said.
So ... two dates, but not much romance. Still, it was more fun than listening to the studs (jerks) brag.
The following evening, the Joes are all at home, awaiting the elimination. Larissa has one last chat with each of them, trying to decide who to eliminate. They all see the stud (jerk) boat out in the bay, but no one, not even Larissa, knows why it’s there.
Larissa comes to tears. She can’t decide who to eliminate. Along comes a clip that we’ve seen in the previews for several weeks. “I don’t know how I’m going to do it to tell them they have to go home,” she sobs.
On the boat, one more session of bragadoccio from the jerks. “We’re a giant wrecking ball coming in to destroy ... They should just pack up right now and go home.... These guys are in trouble because they just can’t handle what’s coming to them ...” etc. etc., ad naseum.
Back at the house, the Joes are now all lined up in the lobby for elimination by Larissa. She comes down the stairs with no smile on her face.
“My stomach goes into my throat,” she says to the cameras in a cutaway. “I get so nervous. My heart starts pounding and my palms start getting sweaty. I just dread having to look these guys in the eyes and tell them that I’m saying goodbye.”
It now seems to be a minute or two later. Suddenly, we see an envelope on a glass table there in the lobby.
“I’ve just been told that things are going to be a little different tonight,” she says.
Larissa picks up the envelope and opens it.
The Joes can’t stand the suspense. They grimace, frown, cover their faces .... what could it be???
Larissa reads the note and a smile comes over her face.
“There’s been a change of plans,” she reads, “No one will be sent home tonight.”
Total bedlam breaks loose as the guys laugh, cheer, high five and hug.
“I’m so happy not to have to send anyone home tonight,” says Larissa, as they toast over champagne.
But a storm is brewing. The studs (jerks) have all gotten into a small motorboat and are heading for shore. True to their arrogance, none of them sit down in the boat. They all stand.
“I hope the boat capsizes,” I say to myself.
Back at the house, someone hands Larissa another note. An ‘oh my goodness’ smile comes over her face as she reads it. “This night of surprises is not over,” she reads. “Everything is about to change.”
Suddenly one of the hunks walks in. It’s Jim, the guy from the first episode, the one who told her that night that he wouldn’t be her date.
He walks up to Larissa, introduces himself, kisses her hand, and says “nice to see you again.”
“Welcome back,” says Larissa.
At first the Joes think he’s just a member of the show’s crew, or perhaps the captain of the boat out in the bay.
But soon all eight of the hunks (jerks) are in the room.
Larissa is embarrassed. She covers the smile on her face with the card she just read, but the Joes all notice her smile. For some, it’s devastating. Like the floor falling out from beneath them. They never saw this coming.
Finally, one of the studs (jerks) says, “Gentlemen, we’re you’re new roommates, and your new competition.”
But a final shot of Larissa’s face shows puzzlement. She’s happy, but something seems to be worrying her. She seems torn. The studs are looking at her, but they also keep looking at the Joes. Why? Are these new guys all that they’re cracked up to be? Who will stay and who will leave? Who does she want to keep from among the Average Joes?
Previews from future shows tell us it won’t be all that simple.