January 15, 2004 -- 'AVERAGE Joe" nice guy Adam Mesh won't finish last after all.
Mesh, the good-natured finalist on the first edition of NBC's "Average Joe" who had his heart broken by former NFL cheerleader, Melana Scantlin, has been given his own show.
"They got tens of thousands of e-mails from girls after I went on the show. I said it sounds like fun and a good opportunity," Mesh told The Post yesterday.
"Average Joe: Adam Returns" will debut March 15. It will be the third edition of the popular reality show in which a group of "average" everyday people compete for the love of a beauty queen or in this case, a big-hearted securities trader from New York City.
"It will be strange for me to be on the other end of the picking. It's more responsibility to be the one picking because it's 20 peoples' feelings you have to worry about," he said.
Producers hired a score of experts to wade through the thousands of submissions and weed out the best candidates.
The show is the latest twist in the ongoing reality/dating show genre and mimics ABC's handling of its dating show "The Bachelor" in which a rejected finalist from the first season, Trista Rehn, returned with her own series "The Bachelorette" a few months later.
About 20 million viewers watched the finale of "Average Joe" last fall when Scantlin, a 26-year-old former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader, chose a hunky bartender/student over Mesh.