Welcome to this week’s summary of Average Joe; the show that asks the question “Can 18 average looking guys be fooled into thinking they really stand a chance of developing a long-term love connection with a beautiful, caring, sensitive, young supermodel beauty pageant princess?”
Today’s title was suggested to me by none other than Brian Worth, one of the AJ’s, who is affectionately known as “Brian with no ‘R’s” in the house.
Tonight’s episode features two new beautiful faces – Brooke Burns and Michael Bergin. They are stars of Baywatch, and Baywatch Hawaii, but having never seen either show, I don’t recognize either one of them. Apparently, we’re going with a whole Baywatch theme tonight, which explains their appearance on the show. The Baywatch theme also explains the opening credits, which have been changed this week and are apparently very Baywatch-esque, with each remaining character appearing in a split-screen, slow motion action shot with a name credit. Again, having never seen Baywatch, it takes me a while to catch on, but I think it’s pretty funny. Snaps to NBC for the nice subtle gag.
Since there’s nothing like watching grown men be humiliated on national TV, the producers have cleverly devised three very physical contests between the AJs and the Himbos. The AJs saving grace is that they are blessed with the lovely Brooke Burns as their coach. She is indeed inspiring, I must say. The first competition involves a surfboard relay race. The contestants must each paddle to a buoy in the ocean and back, first team to finish wins. Brooke advises the guys that the secret is in the butt cheeks and proceeds to demonstrate. Every guy on the beach as well as in the audience agrees with her on this point.
Brooke chides the Himbos for their lack of team spirit, and the Himbos respond with a chorus of “We’ve got spirit, yes we do; we’ve got spirit, how about you?” Sadly, the AJs are unfamiliar with this common high school cheerleader’s chant as none of them has ever been close enough to a cheerleader to have heard it before. The event is set to begin, but not before Michael Klein comments that he can’t see them losing this event to the AJs. (Foreshadow alert is RED).
The screen caption tells us that 25-year-old Michael Klein is a “Marketing VP”. This brings back childhood memories of running a lemonade stand with three neighborhood friends who were a little older than I. One was the “mixer”, one was the “pourer”, one was the “money taker”, but I always had to be the “Marketing VP”. Sigh!
Back to the event. Thomas Grande, by far the smallest competitor is flying across the surf, easily overtaking Michael Klein, who started with a big lead. Thomas single handedly leads the AJs to victory in the relay. Brooke notes that after the first water event, their opponent’s egos are suffering from a shrinkage factor. The Himbos, confused by the term “ego”, look down at their shorts and make the necessary adjustments.
Event #2 is a dummy rescue, a task for which the Himbos are well suited. They win easily, but Brooke and Larissa are proud of Brian with no ‘R’s for facing his fear of the water and completing the task. After Brooke throws herself on Brian when he crosses the finish line, Michael Cardamone wants to comment, but thinks better of it, saying “I’m not going to say anything stupid.” Good thinking Mike – there’s plenty of time to show Larissa you’re a man of action by DOING something stupid (more foreshadowing, as we will see later).
Event #3 – Tug of War, and SURPRISE, SURPRISE! No the AJs don’t win! The surprise is that there is no reward for winning the competition! Instead, Brooke and Michael choose one guy from each group to go on a three-way date with Larissa. Brooke chooses Thom, and Michael chooses Jim.
Larissa’s date with Thom and Jim is a study in contrasts. Thom is wearing a really funky Hawaiian shirt that does NOT look good on him. By way of contrast, Jim looks very well put together. Even I don’t need Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to figure this out! Jim smoothly announces he has to go to the “bathroom” so that Thom can have some alone time with Larissa. Thom tells Larissa he’s having a great time, but must ask her “Why am I still here?” To me it’s a touching moment, as his look tells us that he is both puzzled and pained. Larissa sweetly replies that he is real, warm, glowing, and open. In my mind, she has come a long way since the night she met the Joes, and is at least treating them with tenderness and sincerity, even if she can’t develop the lust that the Himbo’s bring out in her. Thom appreciates Larissa’s openness as well.
Jim returns from the bathroom and spares us the details of his experience there. (Thankfully, Jim never attended the “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé” Charm School.) “Tommy” pours Jim and Larissa some champagne before he leaves, and I’m grateful that Jim doesn’t pat “Tommy” on the head and call him a good little boy. Jim and Larissa jump into the pool. They make out; they wrestle, and then make out some more. Jim wasn’t going to make out with her, but she started it so he’s happy to accommodate her.
It’s time for a commercial break, and we get more scenes form later in the episode. We also get commercials. I’m looking for the Quizno’s commercial that seems to be causing quite a commotion these days, but the closest thing I see is Taco Bell’s Club Chalupa, which apparently is a big crispy taco and not a popular spring break destination in Los Cabos.
As we return to the show, we are treated to an ocean scene that is seemingly pleasant filler material. However, I notice something subtle that causes me to rewind and replay the opening a few more times. It’s a shark, devouring a much smaller fish. Is this metaphorical? Once again, I’m impressed by the little touches the director’s have added to the show that only we TiVo enabled AJ fanatics are likely to appreciate.
Larissa leads the rest of the men to a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean where she tells the guys it’s time to “Jump, Jump for My Love”. Fredo volunteers to be the first to make the 30-foot jump. He decides to show off a little bit by doing a flip, but over-rotates slightly, landing more on his belly than anything else. Larissa is concerned for his well being. Fredo is okay, but a little disappointed because the Chinese judge only gave him a 2.4 for his effort. Everyone else jumps, with each Himbo making a primal scream on the way down. Must have been covered in the secret handbook. After Larissa chooses Himbo Gil for the next private date, she jumps too, and the guys are impressed.
Larissa and Gil’s date is at a chocolate factory and I for one am very jealous, having temporarily sworn off any and all contact with candy. We get a long boring monologue from Gil explaining his strategy, which – if I’m interpreting it correctly – is to a) be himself, and; 2) get to know Larissa. Ahhhh, very clever! That Gil is a master tactician! Later in the date, they are playing with the chocolate and have somehow ended up in a room with a sink, toilet, and all kinds of packing material. Altogether not very appetizing. What was the name of that chocolate company again?
After her date with Gil, Larissa decides she’s not proud of the way she’s been behaving – getting too intimate too quickly. It’s not a game anymore, and the date with Gil was real.
Finally, we get to Tony’s private date with Larissa. They are both given Vespa’s to ride, and they end up at a private lake, where Tony’s painting is covered and has been conveniently placed on the boat so that Tony can unveil it to Larissa while they are aboard. As Tony and Larissa make their way to the center of the lake, we return to the action at the guy’s house. A covered, beeping box has somehow made its way to the middle of the living room. Further investigation reveals that the box is a detonator, and obviously the producers would like to see them blow something up. A clue left in an envelope reveals that “All is fair in love and war”. The guys contemplate the course of action to take. Fredo says he wouldn’t do it, most of the others are non-committal. Mike and Michael look down at the bracelets on their wrists. Michael K’s bracelet bears the inscription “WWJSD”, while Michael C’s says “WWWECD”. From my easy chair, I ask “Hey, Mike K, is that one of those ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bracelets? No, replies Mike K. It stands for “What Would Jerry Springer Do?” Then, Mike C volunteers that his is a “What Would Wile E. Coyote Do?” bracelet. With their minds made up and their consciences clear, they reach down together and plunge the detonator. Something has happened, that they know, but no one is quite sure what to expect.
Out on the lake, Tony and Larissa are enjoying their time on the lake. Tony unveils his painting of Larissa, and I’m sorry, but after seeing it, I’m glad the Mikes have chosen the course they did. It’s not a flattering depiction of the fair Larissa, unless it’s his rendition of what she would look like if she had the Mumps. Out on the lake, the explosion rocks the boat, releasing a hatch that allows water to rush in. The boat is slowly but surely sinking and Larissa and Tony have no choice but to abandon ship and swim for shore. Tony rescues his painting and holds it above his head as he paddles with one hand.
The Mikes are now just figuring out that they’ve blown something up (‘ya think?) and that it will probably affect Tony and Larissa’s date. Mike K. thinks it was the right thing to do and later says he did them a favor, providing them a memory that will last forever. What a great guy!
Larissa is quite angry, and vows revenge. Those responsible will pay the price. In fact, the next day Larissa is excited to go to the house and watch the guys squirm. She shows up at the guy’s house all smiles, and bearing pizza. She asks straight up who pushed the button, and Mike K. explains how the Mikes conspired to detonate the explosive. She asks Mike K if he fells bad, and whether he would do it again if given a second chance. Mike hems and haws and can’t figure out what to say. His unspoken answer is clear to everyone: HELL YES, I would have done it again. Unfortunately, he’s not man enough to say so, instead waiting for Larissa and the others to figure it out themselves. Michael C. is man enough to admit his regret and offers a heartfelt apology to her. I’m sure I will be in the minority here, but I believe his apology is sincere, and I like Michael C. I hope she keeps him around a little longer. On the other hand, Mike Klein is juvenile, a bully, and a loser, and I can’t wait to see his rear end hop aboard that bus.
Next, it’s time for eliminations. Four must go – two AJs and two Himbos. The first to go is Brian Glaser, who has nothing but good things to say about Larissa. He’s a class act and can be proud of the way he exited the show. Next to go is Himbo Todd, the personal trainer. He can’t think of any reason she would have sent him packing other than she just didn’t like him. The feeling of failure is unusual for him since he’s always been successful, and this is a tough pill to swallow. I have to admire his humility and grace in exiting. He too, can be proud of his exit. The unspoken revelation as a result of Todd’s exit is that at least one of the Mikes is staying.
The third to go is Thom. She says he was an inspiration and a true knight in shining armor, but she just couldn’t get past the “h” in his name. (Okay, she didn’t say that, but it’s been bugging me since the opening credits. Thomas – the nickname for Thomas is “Tom”, no “H”.) Thomas talks about the confidence he’s gained through this experience and is proud of what he’s done. I like Thomas a lot and know he’ll be getting a lot of dating opportunities from this show. There are plenty of 5-foot tall women who would love to go out with him.
The final ejection tonight goes to Michael Klein. Thank God. He honestly thinks none of the remaining guys are better for her than he, but he knew it was coming and laughs about it on his way to the bus. He hops on board the bus, and it’s a good thing only four are leaving tonight because when you add Mike Klein’s ego, there isn’t much room left on the bus.
Michael Cardamone is happy to get another chance; he feels like it’s a clean slate. Larissa thinks he’s funny and sincere, and is pleased that he made an effort to ask for another chance and her instinct tells her to give him one. That is why he’s staying. Her instincts tell her there are six great guys left. Next week, we have the Mother of All Twists as Larissa’s mother visits the island. Or does she……
Find out next week on The Average Joe.
Do you like my sig pic?