Reality Bites: Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back - Episode 5|
by Rachel Jaffe
Published: July 27, 2005
The Return of the Joes
Every week this season, we've seen one of the rejected Joes undergo a makeover. Now, the four made-over Joes finally return: Joshua Smith (made over in Week 2); Nathan Griffin (made over in Week 4); Nick Parlin (made over in Week 1); and, of course, Dante Alighire (made over in Week 3).
Anna was delighted to see them all again, calling it "the most pleasant surprise I've had so far" and even tearing up when she saw Dante ("For some reason, I see Dante and I just cry.") And she noted the changes in the guys, such as Nick's new sophistication. But for her choice to join her, Josh Nachlas, Rocky Fain, Josh Abston, and Arthur Apicella in Tahiti was Nathan! She felt that, even though there had been the least amount of time for his makeover, he was the one who had changed the most (personally, I'd say that Joshua had changed more). Plus, she was very impressed by Nathan's smile. Kudos to his makeover dentist!
Date 1: Rocky Fain
Anna's first date in Tahiti was with Hunk Rocky Fain, and the two of them went mountain biking. Anna and Rocky had had a very passionate date in Week 3, but now Anna was interested in getting to know more about Rocky. She asked about his plans for moving to Los Angeles and working on his modeling and acting career. She was concerned that he wouldn't be willing to settle down with one person, but Rocky insisted that he would be.
Well, he insisted, when he was talking at all. Anna noted -- and we had ample demonstration on the screen -- that Rocky can be very quiet. "Sometimes it works; sometimes it just feels awkward," Anna noted. And even when he did speak, Anna was worried that Rocky was still too much of a dreamer and didn't look to the future. She even wondered if Rocky might be putting on an act, because he was too "perfect" in how he talks (when he talks), how he looks at her, etc. "Everything Rocky does is like a soap opera!"
However, those concerns didn't keep her from kissing Rocky under a waterfall after a picnic. Anna noted that it hadn't taken them too long to get their chemistry back again, and I have to admit, they looked like a perfect romance novel cover!
Date 2: Josh Nachlas
Josh Nachlas and Anna went kayaking for their date. Similar to their first date, also on a boat, Josh took charge of teaching her how to kayak. Later, they did some snorkeling, and Josh took her hand under water, pointing out sights for her to enjoy.
Afterwards, they went back to a bungalow, holding hands. They had coffee and talked some more. Anna remarked to the camera that she knew Josh would be "the most unbelievable boyfriend ever" and would treat her like gold. Josh repeatedly expressed his appreciation of Anna, thanking her for their time together. Anna reminded him that he deserved to be there, because he was a wonderful person and she could see that. She also noted that sometimes she thought Josh got nervous around her. They gazed in each other's eyes, and kissed, and Josh admitted in an interview that he was falling in love with her. "Kissing her felt like a fairy tale."
Date 3: Josh Abston
For their date, Josh Abston and Anna went on an Aqua Safari. They went under water with big diving helmets to check out the sea life. The helmets helped with the safari, but became a frustration for romance. They were able to link eyes, link hands, but link lips? No way -- instead, they clinked helmets. However, it was still romantic for Anna. "I will never forget looking into his bubble and seeing him smile at me."
They made up for their romance deprivation on shore. Josh brought up a small piece of coral and gave it to Anna as a memento of the day, which really touched her. Josh told Anna how happy he was to be with her, and Anna remarked in interview that she really liked hearing that from him. She indicated that perhaps her feeling differently about these comments from him than she had from the other guys was a sign that she was leaning towards him. For his part, Josh seemed to have fallen under Anna's spell. "I could definitely fall in love with Anna," he remarked, and he even noted how their faces "just light up" when they look at each other.
Date 4: Nathan Griffin
Anna's fourth date was with Nathan, and they went jetskiing. Nathan was ready to cut loose and have a good time -- heck, he'd already been "cut loose" one time, so he felt that there wasn't any pressure on him. (I'm not sure if he was ready for Anna's reckless jetskiing style, though!) For her part, Anna was curious to get to know more about Nathan. After all, they hadn't really had a date, she'd already cut him once, and now he was back -- "kind of like fate."
After jetskiing, Nathan and Anna talked and chatted. Nathan talked about a book he wanted to write. Anna suddenly burst out, "Do you know how refreshing this date is?" She appreciated his intelligence, his goals, his ambition, and his sincerity. I think that she also appreciated his matter-of-fact discussion with her, without the extravagant praise that some of the others had lavished on her.
By the end of the date, though, Nathan was no longer so matter-of-fact. He engaged in the standard nice-guy debate -- to kiss, or not to kiss. She engaged in the standard cute-girl response -- waiting invitingly. They had a "gazing" contest. "I'm totally going to gaze you out!" Nathan exclaimed. Finally, Nathan went for it, sort of. He told Anna, "I'm trying to read what you're thinking." She insisted that he did know what she was thinking. And then, they kissed. "The kiss was so much more than I thought it would be," Anna marveled. "A lot more than I thought it wold be." I have to admit, it did look like a nice kiss -- not too extreme, but definitely affectionate and caring. Nathan was delighted with it, whatever the outcome. Pointing to the rock they'd sat on during their kiss, he said, "that rock I want on a postcard, that I can send to myself." For some reason, that pleased me, that he wanted to remind himself of that moment.
Date 5: Arthur Apicella
Anna's final date was with Arthur, who was in a fever of excitement to see Anna again. He brought her flowers, and waited on the beach, practically quivering like a puppy to see if she'd still be happy to see him. The producers were clearly on his side, giving him a sunset walk on the beach with her instead of a wild jet-ski trip. But the fates were against him. They'd scarcely started their walk, when Anna had to stop. She felt like she'd stepped on a splinter. Arthur checked her foot, and called for some tweezers. What he didn't tell her was that she'd apparently stepped on a bee! He didn't want to inject any more trauma into the date, and simply removed the stinger. "You're my hero!" Anna exclaimed.
With their date resumed, out their on the beach, Arthur's emotions came welling up. "I don't know if you believe in love at first sight, but I believe in that, and I feel myself falling for you." He got all choked up as he told her, "You are the beautiful factor in everything right now." Anna told him, "You're so sweet," and gave him a peck on the lips.
Arthur and Anna had a picnic on the beach, and watched the sun go down. Arthur, whose heart had been broken when his wife left him, realized at that moment that he was healed now and ready to move forward, and the person he wanted to move forward with was right next to him.
In addition to the flowers, Arthur had brought Anna a present. She told him, "I can't take that!" Arthur stumblingly protested that "it's not an engagement ring!" It turned out to be a bracelet, with a Tahitian pearl.
Anna had something for Arthur as well. For the end of their date, they had side-by-side massages. Arthur exulted that this was the highlight of his life.
This week, Anna had to eliminate three guys, leaving her with a final two -- one Joe, one Hunk.
As usual, I made my guesses as to who would stay and who would go. Piece of cake. Rocky's too dreamy, and she's leaning towards Josh A. for the Hunk, so Josh stays. Arthur's too emotional, Nathan hasn't had enough time, and Josh Nachlas is just too darned cute, so it'll be the Battle of the Josh's.
Here are the eliminations:
Joe Josh Nachlas. What? Josh left? But ... but ... but ... wow. Josh took it pretty well. Better than I was. He remarked in interview that she was the right girl, and everything he wanted in a woman ... except for the part where she likes him back. But it had given him faith that it was possible for him to find another great girl in the future. For her part, Anna said that she wanted someone who didn't have to thank her for being with her. She wanted a partner, not someone who would put her up on a pedestal.
Hunk Josh Abston. What? Josh left? But ... but ... but ... wow. (Wait, deja vu.) But this means that Rocky is the hunk who is staying! This Josh was even more shocked than I was -- in his words, he was "confused as all hell." He was also in tears over losing Anna. "I just didn't want it to end. It was too good to be true." In interview, Anna explained that she just felt a bigger spark with Rocky than she did with Josh.
Joe Arthur Apicella. Okay, I had anticipated Arthur leaving -- but Arthur's departure meant that Nathan was the one staying, which I definitely had not anticipated. Arthur left with incredible grace. He walked straight to Anna with a slight smile, looked her straight in the eyes, and said, "The song will always be for you. And thank you for opening my heart again to romance." A very, very classy departure. Anna's explanation was no surprise: "Arthur poured his heart out to me, and what he shared with me is beautiful. But I know that -- in my heart of hearts, I know we're not in the same place."
So now we're down to the Final Two, Hunk Rocky Fain and Joe Nathan Griffin! Who would have thought?
Despite being entirely off in my predictions this week, I am now more convinced than ever that this is the year the Joe wins. Not only do I think that Rocky's dreamer ways will keep Anna from choosing him, but apparently in the finale Anna receives information from people in the suitor's past. In previews, we see that Anna finds out that Rocky was unfaithful in the past, and I have the feeling that Anna won't go for that either.
We'll find out on Wednesday, July 27, 8 p.m. Eastern time, on NBC with the finale of this season of Average Joe!
Previous Recaps at The Trades: Ep. 1 | Ep. 2 | Ep. 3 | Ep. 4
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