Average Joe 12/01 - DUFF – Not Just For Homer Simpson Anymore
This is an unbelievably evil show.
First they surprise Melana with 16 ordinary guys. She gets over her initial disappointment and starts to allow herself to develop feelings for some of them. Then 3 very good looking guys are introduced to the game. If she spends time with the new guys, she comes across as shallow. If she spends time with the original guys, she may jeopardize a chance to spend time with a guy she’s more attracted to. Meanwhile, the original guys are developing all sorts of complexes and blows to the ego left right and center. How do you top that?
You put the girl in a fat suit, complete with hidden cameras to gauge the reactions.
What a brilliant idea!
I’m not sure if it was Kathy’s day off, or if the producers spent too much on the fat suit and subsequent sting to afford a proper voiceover, but Melana provides us with the narration to catch us up to speed. The guys will be moving into Melana’s house and go on 2 group dates of 2 (for those that can’t do simple mathematics). Later on each group date, Melana will determine which guy she wants to keep around for bonus time. I’m not sure why the Average Joe producers haven’t figured out a way to get EACH guy some one on one time when all the other shows do, but then, Average Joe is hardly conventional. While shows like the Bachelor focus on romance, this one takes the bar scene approach. You know, make a strong enough impression on the girl so she invites you home before she realizes what a loser you really are. No wonder Zach has been so successful.
Adam and Mike head off on the first date to make ceramic masks with Melana. Or rather, Melana will throw paper mache on one guy’s face and while he’s sitting there with his face frozen, Melana will take the other for some private time. Adam realizes the absurdity of the situation and sits, face frozen, obsessing about what is going on while Melana is off with Mike. As it turns out, nothing much. Mike thanks Melana for keeping him and Melana explains that her connection with him is based on her attraction. Good to know. Based on Melana’s definition, Heath Ledger and I must have one incredible connection. During Adam’s one on one time with Melana, Adam encourages her to be selfish and do what she wants to do, not worry about she thinks is fair. Unfortunately for Adam, he seems to think that taking him on the private date is what she wants.
Mike and Adam team up to give Melana her, uh, facial mask and take the opportunity to ask her some yes/no questions while she can’t talk. Adam asks her if she’s ever had a one night stand, if she’s ever cheated on someone and if a guy can ever be too funny. Despite having some trouble with the first two questions, Melana answers all with a no.
Later, the trio go to the zoo where Adam becomes very inquisitive about the mating rituals of animals. Melana is then forced to make a decision and selects Mike for the private time. She claims her decision was made in the interest of fairness, but she likely wouldn’t have been wrong to explain that Adam’s interest in the animals was a touch creepy. Adam is furious but smiles and waves goodbye, even though he tells us via voiceover that he refuses to do that.
Back at the house, Adam is greeted by a supportive Jason and Zach, yes, Zach. Both seem to think that he got screwed over and Adam tells them he doesn’t think she’s the kind of girl he should be with because she disregarded his feelings. He leaves out that he, himself, encouraged Melana to be selfish, but I suppose he only meant for her to be selfish if she was going to choose him.
Meanwhile Mike and Melana have a private dinner beside a leopard pen, with only a glass panel separating them. Melana is nervous at first, but soon calms down to enjoy her dinner. No word on whether Mike relaxed her with riddles. Mike and Melana have a pleasant, but superficial conversation on how he’s smarter than people give him credit for, without providing any concrete examples. In an effort to prove to the world how unshallow she is, Melana tells him a few more times how cute he is.
Dropped Like an Anchor
For the second date, Zach and Jason go sailing on the Stars & Stripes, a boat that was in America’s Cup a few years ago. There is not much group time as Melana quickly takes the opportunity to get some private time with Jason. She starts off by telling him how beautiful he is and how much the kiss meant to her, forgetting how annoying it was when John did it. Fortunately for Melana, the feeling is mutual and Jason is eager to rehash every aspect of their kiss. For some bizarre reason, Melana sees this moment as the perfect time to explain to Jason that she really likes Zach. Naturally, he is as dumbfounded as the rest of us. It’s Zach’s turn for some one on one time and Melana confesses via voiceover how much she likes their connection and chemistry. During their talk, Melana tells Zach that she told Jason how she feels about Zach. Zach is so smug once she tells him, that I’m suddenly longing for her to tell him all about her amazing kisses with Jason. She does not and I’m a bit relieved because really, it was painful hearing about it the first dozen times.
It’s decision time and Melana chooses Jason because Zach has already had 2 private dates with her and Jason’s only had one. Of course, Jason’s only been there 4 days, but who’s counting? Oh wait, Zach is, as he fumes that there have been 4 opportunities for private dates since the new guys got there and each time, a new guy got the date. Both Zach and Adam are disappointed and angry and figure that Melana is shallow and only interested in looks. Don’t get on your high horses too soon, boys.
As Melana leaves with Jason, she says she feels like she betrayed Zach and that it was very difficult for her to choose. She’s so broken up over the decision that she waited almost 2 whole minutes before launching into a make-out marathon with Jason. The two resume their ‘date’ in a limo. This can only be considered a true date by high-priced call girls since they don’t do anything but drive around. In any case, Melana and Jason enjoy this pathetic excuse for a date and manage to fog up the windows; something Melana finds hilarious. I think she should stick with the original guys since she’s infinitely more likeable when she’s around them.
You Talkin’ To ME?
With Kathy once again MIA, Melana is saddled with double duty as she explains the next twist in the game. Melana will dress up in a fat suit, complete with wig, new eye colour and teeth to become her cousin ‘Danielle’. ‘Danielle’ along with her friend Heather, will interview the guys. They have even bugged the pool house to get a reaction from the guys and hired a body double to psyche them out further. Such elaborate planning has gone into this, I feel like I’m watching Punk’d.
Melana then takes the fat suit out for a test drive where people call her hog and wouldn’t *gasp* give her directions. Melana claims she’s learned a lot in her short experience weighing 280lbs. People treated her completely different, she was more self conscious and it’s really humbled her, as she states “Vanity is awful”. She’s very curious to see how the guys will treat her.
Adam is the first to be interviewed. He attempts to shake ‘Danielle’s hand, but ‘Danielle’ won’t let him. Melana notices he was comfortable with both girls as they ask him questions such as ‘Would you give up the Superbowl to go to a baby shower with Melana’.
Mike follows and manages to make eye contact with both girls while giving respectful and appropriate answers.
Jason comes in and looks only at Heather, which alarms Melana. No word if she spotted any red flags or if that’s only applicable to guys she’s not interested in.
Finally, Zach comes in. The girls ask him if physical appearance is important to him. He answers no. They then ask how important sex is to him and ‘Danielle’ has to cover her face with her notepad to keep from laughing. I give Zach credit for not laughing himself at her pathetic attempt to keep her composure, but then he wasn’t looking at Danielle. Chances are he was ambling for a better view of himself in the window behind them.
Where is Kathy?
Before the final elimination, the guys gather outside for one last meeting with Melana. Zach toasts the other guys and assures them he is staying. Jason finally provides us with a reason to like him when he says he can’t stand Zach and wants him gone. Melana joins the guys and asks all sorts of questions about their interviews and tries to elicit some reaction about her cousin Danielle. No one bites.
As is customary in these situations, each of the guys approaches Melana for their alone time. Mike again thanks her for selecting him on the private date and gives her a hug. Despite his boasts earlier, Zach tells Melana he’s afraid that he might be leaving. To top off his crappy acting job, he gives her a guilt trip as he explains how hurt he was when she chose Jason over him for the private date. Melana asks Jason repeatedly to tell her how he feels about her. Jason says he wants Melana to make her decision based on what SHE feels, but again Melana prompts Jason to answer. In order to avoid things escalating into a ‘no, you first – no YOU first’ situation, Jason tells Melana that he believes they have something special. Aware that he’s battling it out for second place, Adam pulls out all the stops. He tells Melana that she makes him as happy and as innocent as people do before they get hurt for the first time. Adam claims he feels nothing but good and optimistic thoughts; apparently he’s blocked out the night when Melana chose Mike and he said he didn’t think she wasn’t the girl for him. Adam scores big thought, and Melana is visibly moved. She says he gave her the best compliment ever. Somehow, I don’t think that carries as much weight as the best KISS ever, since she’s still gushing over that one.
The next morning, Melana finds the surveillance tapes waiting for her. Adam starts the ball rolling and calls Danielle fat and ugly and points out that Melana looks just like Fat Monica from Friends. He fails to realize that Fat Monica is actually a fat suit and put two and two together. He jokes about advancing to the next round if he sleeps with Danielle. Not to be outdone, Zach makes some vulgar comments about what he would do to Melana’s fat cousin. Zach calls Danielle a DUFF – a designated ugly fat friend, every circle of friends has one. Melana is shocked, at times almost amused and disgusted by what she’s seen on the tapes.
Seriously, Where is Kathy?
Back in her fat suit, Melana approaches the guys as ‘Danielle’ for the elimination. She says that it was important what Danielle thought of the guys for a very good reason and that she’s heard everything. Melana then pulls off the mask as the camera is trained on the guys for their reaction. Mike and Jason manage to keep their expressions stone cold while Zach looks like he’s trying not to wet his pants. Adam is surprised, but can’t stop laughing and calls the twist ‘brilliant’.
Visibly annoyed, Melana begins her eliminations. First gone is Mike. She says there are no hard feelings, she just felt more connected to the other guys. Melana sure does throw that word around. To his credit, Mike is not hurt or upset and manages to exit without tears. Next, Melana calls Zach up ‘for a moment’. This is new. Is she going to allow him to stay with conditions? Is she summoning him to the guillotine? No, it appears she is eliminating him. She explains that she warned him, but he ignored her and now she has to let him go. I, for one, am thoroughly disappointed. I expected drama! I expected fireworks! I expected a tongue lashing like you wouldn’t believe! Instead, Melana takes the high road and lets him off with a gentle warning. What a rip off! Zach tells her he hopes she made the right decision and leaves. Melana explains had she stayed with him, it would have gone against everything she stands for. Well, that and the producers would have freaked. They had to bug the guy to get her to see the light, after all. Upon Zach’s exit, he refuses to talk to the cameras, but whines that it was unfair he was taped while he was talking to other guys. Looks like Zach wasn’t the best of the average after all.
Next Week: Melana selects the winner; the other has to keep dating her
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