Reality Bites: Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back - Episode 4|
by Rachel Jaffe
Published: July 20, 2005
Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'
Tonight's episode opened with a Roller Derby competition. Why? Got me beat -- maybe the Hunks smashed all the balls for Dodgeball last week? The Joes were at least more competitive. At the end of the game, they only trailed the Hunks by two points ... and then the ref awarded them three more points as a penalty in response to Hunk Chris Carson's unsportsmanlike behavior. (Carson's response? To derisively remark that the ref, "being the tubby guy that he is ... must have been an Average Joke himself when he was younger" and to chalk it up to favoritism.)
Other than bragging rights, though, the competition didn't seem to much matter. Anna selected one guy from each team to have a private date with: Josh Nachlas, of the Joes, and of the Hunks ... the infamous Carson!
Date 1: Chris Carson
The big surprise was that, of the Hunks, Anna chose Carson for her date. I don't know how much Anna heard, but Carson was very vocal back at the house that Anna was a fake, she was only there for the exposure, and that he had no interest in her whatsoever. But she must have known something. To the camera, Anna explained, "I wanted to give him a chance. I want to be fair to all these guys." Some might say that selecting him is unfair to the guys she didn't select, but she also explained that "everyone back at the house has a strong opinion of him, and I want to find out for myself."
For their date, they went to visit a vineyard. This was actually an excellent choice for Carson, because he himself makes his own wine. He tasted the wine like a pro. And, while the point of a tasting it not to get soused, perhaps it did loosen him up, because he began relaxing around Anna. He asked Anna why she was on the show, and said that he believed her when she said it was because she was newly single and looking to meet someone special.
Carson even opened up to Anna about himself. He talked about his ex, whom he was in love with, and who (basically) hooked up with two of his friends while he was out of town, leaving him betrayed by both the ex and his friends. (Wasn't Nick Parlin criticized in Week 1 by a life coach for discussing failed relationships too much? Goes to show how the rules are different, because Carson seemed to score points from Anna for being so vulnerable with her.)
By the end of the date, both Carson and Anna seemed to have changed their opinions about the other. Anna said that she saw "a completely new Carson" -- one who was "definitely somebody I'm interested in." For his part, Carson felt that "now the stakes are real for me" and that his heart was definitely in it. Although Anna said that she "never in a hundred years imagined kissing Carson," they did indeed share a kiss at the end of the date.
Carson also told Anna during the date that he'd be the first to admit that he was wrong about her, and he'd be sure to let Arthur Apicella, Anna's most devoted suitor among the Joes, know that. And, surprisingly, he was quick to call Arthur over and tell him that he'd had a change in his opinion about Anna. In fact, Carson even apologized to Arthur. Is it a whole new Carson after all?
Date 2: Josh Nachlas
You might think that the fact that Josh hadn't had a private date previously with Anna meant that she wasn't that interested in him, but in fact the opposite seems to be the case. She'd previously told him that there was a reason she was keeping him without going on a date -- presumably because she already knew she was interested in him and wanted to spend the date time with guys she wasn't as sure about. She was very excited about meeting with Josh to see if they really did have chemistry and "if he's really into me as much as I'm into him." And of course Josh was thrilled to finally have a private date with Anna.
For their date, Anna and Josh went on a speedboat ride at sunset. They allowed themselves to be driven around for a bit, and then Josh decided to take control -- metaphorically and literally. "I'm actually going to take over the wheel," he told Anna, "if you'll come join me." So the two of them told the driver to take a break, and they took over driving duties. Josh explained that he wanted to show her that he could be passionate and confident, and he was very outgoing as he instructed Anna on using the boat. She suggested that they should "see if we can catch the sun," and while they didn't do that, they did catch the beauty of the sunset ... and a very romantic mood. "It was a very simple romance," Anna sighed, "but so incredible."
They retired to the yacht, where Anna gave him a tour -- including her "messy" room. (Now that is a true sign of interest, when you're willing to let a guy see your mess!) There, the privacy of her intimate quarters, Josh ... gave Anna a note from Nathan, because Nathan wanted to send a note in case they didn't meet again. What a sweet guy Josh is! (Anna read the letter after the date with Josh. Nathan basically said how much he admired Anna, even though they hadn't spent much time together. He signed it "Sincerely, a Friend, because that is where it all starts.")
Back on the top of the yacht, Josh went ahead and put his heart on the line. "In my career, what I do, the people I work with, it really makes you appreciate life. And every single moment, the little things. And it makes me appreciate the beautiful things in life. I think I have very good instincts, and I don't usually act on those, or don't have the courage to act on those, but my instincts tell me that this is real, that this is a good thing, and that this is one of those beautiful things. And I just want you to know that."
Oh. My. Gosh. I melted. So romantic. And Anna seemed to feel the same way, based on the intensity of the smooches they shared. Maybe the most romantic Joe moment yet -- not for any props or atmosphere, but just for the look in his eyes.
The Big Deceit
As with previous seasons, there was a Big Deceit played on the guys. This season, the guys were told that they had the evening off and headed off to a bar. Unbeknownst to them, Anna -- disguised with a wig, color contacts, padding, and some latex masking on her face -- was there as a cocktail waitress. Her goal was to see how the guys reacted to a flirtatious set of models sent in as bait.
At first, Anna wasn't concerned about the guys -- they were just "boys being boys." And she loved being able to spy on them without their noticing. But things changed when the models entered the scene.
Hunk Rocky was polite to the models, but was clearly not interested. Josh and Arthur separated themselves and enjoyed the night without female companionship. Arthur seemed to be enjoying the night quite a bit -- he loudly (and drunkenly?) proclaimed that "all my affection belongs to Anna" and that he was a "dedicated committed man to one woman, and right now that one woman in my life is Anna!"
However, unsurprisingly, not everyone behaved himself. Carson exposed himself -- not in the vulnerable way he did to Anna, but by first lowering his pants, and then by taking his shirt off. "I was embarrassed for him," Anna exclaimed to the camera. She was more upset when Hunk Craig Thrasher started kissing and caressing a model. "I could not believe that was how he'd act with a complete stranger," she exclaimed. "I was not impressed."
But what was most devastating to her was seeing Hunk Brad Gatie making out with a model. She'd always felt -- and Brad himself had expressed this at the beginning of the night -- that she and Brad had shared a chemistry. Even though they hadn't been on a date, they'd smiled and winked and caught each other's eye. Anna said that she'd tell him things like "don't worry" when she had the chance, so that he'd know that she was interested. "I was saving Brad," she said. And now -- betrayal!
In interview, Anna teared up, saying, "Every time I've ever really liked somebody, I've believed that they're this unbelievable person. It's like you give them your heart, and then they go out and break it. i didn't deserve that, to see Brad kissing that girl. It really upset me."
And I sympathize with her. I'm sure it was difficult to see that. But I have to admit, I also wondered how much she'd thought of Arthur's feelings, for example, when she was kissing Carson, or even Josh. She later said that there was a difference between kissing someone on a date, and hooking up in a bar ... but isn't there also a difference between kissing someone on a date and having that same level of romance with someone else on a date a few days later?
She also later remarked, "This is the risk you take when you like a good-looking person. They tell you everything you want to hear. They're smooth. Then you believe it, you fall for it, and then you blink and they break your heart." Ah, yes -- good to know that two-thirds of the way through a show designed to show the dangers of judging someone based on their appearance, we have a blatant looks-ist remark.
This week, Anna was required to eliminate three Hunks, and three Joes. While eliminations are always difficult, this time there were a few that Anna was looking forward to.
Here are the six who were eliminated this week:
Hunk Craig Thrasher. Craig didn't see to be terribly upset, remarking to Anna that he'd had nothing to lose in the bar, which is why he went for the model at hand.
Hunk Chris Carson. Carson showed that he wasn't an all-new Carson after all. But he was still maybe a little new -- since he was leaving, he wished that Arthur would be the one to win Anna. "I never thought I'd say it, but I'm rooting for the average guy. Arthur, you're my man."
Hunk Brad Gatie. Of course, Brad was given the boot. He didn't seem too upset, though, despite Anna's tears and his remorse over hurting Anna. After all, he was a warm-blooded man with a beautiful blonde hanging over him at the bar, so what else could he do but kiss her?
Joe Clay Ellis. Like Jason Marcus last week, Clay as a victim of not having had face time with Anna. He never went on a date with her, and felt that more time might have made a difference. But he left with good grace.
Joe Nathan Griffin. Just as with Clay's departure, Nathan's departure was not a particular surprise. Nathan admitted that he hadn't put himself out there enough. They whispered that they'd keep in touch, and Nathan seemed to leave with relative good spirits.
Joe Gino Cafarelli. Gino was the most surprised of the Joes to be leaving. Of course, he hadn't seen the footage of the dates with Arthur and Josh. I'm sure that if she'd been able to keep three Joes, Gino would have stayed.
So we were left with the Final Four: Hunks Rocky Fain and Josh Abston, and Joes Arthur Apicella and Josh Nachlas. And all four of them, along with Anna, are heading to Tahiti for the next part of the competition!
This week's makeover was Nathan. He received some new Hugo Boss clothes to replace his usual "scruffy" style. More dramatically, he received a dental treatment to fix some of his upper teeth. With ten porcelain veneers, Nathan felt a lot more secure in his smile.
He also had his goatee shaved, a hair cut, and some color applied to his hair. He ended up looking different, of course, and the veneers made a big difference ... but overall, it was one of the least successful makeovers. Of course, I'm biased because I dig the scruffy, goateed look. But post-makeover Nathan just seemed sort of bland to me.
But I am looking forward to seeing Anna's reaction to the change in Nathan, as well as the other Joes, next week!
Average Joe: The Joes Strike Backis on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, on NBC.
Previous Recaps at The Trades: Ep. 1 | Ep. 2 | Ep. 3
On the Internet: NBC.com's Official Site | SirLinksaLot.net