The second installment of The Next Joe Millionaire opens with yet another reminder of past successes. Again we see scenes of the now-infamous Evan and Zora from the first JM. Looking radiant, happy. Of course after the show, Evan never called; Zora only remains a bit of pop trivia to very sharp-eyed viewers of Longhorn Steakhouse commercials, and Evan has moved up the model/actor evolutionary scale to hawking chicken instead of Speedos in a gig that even typecast for life Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander has discarded.
Which leads us to wonder what dear David Smith’s future holds. Topless Wrangler Jeans commercials? Calvin Klein Underwear? Olive Garden? (“When you want to take a gal to a fancy Eye-talian restaurant .. choose Olive Garden.”) Or perhaps he’ll ride side-saddle with Toby Keith in a Ford Truck ad. Whatever it is, I’m sure he’ll appear shirtless, as that seems to be his best asset.
This episode, we pick up where we left off, with reaction shots from the European contestants. Petra, who grew up on a farm, thought the man was exciting. Lina felt sorry for his too-obvious shyness. Johanna was pleased with what she saw.
Later the ladies have two hours to prepare for the evening’s ball. With the assistance of professional hair and makeup artists, they don beautiful evening gowns thankfully without the grab-fest challenge faced by last season’s contestants.
David dresses with the help of Paul the Butler. As Paul fastens the cufflinks, he notes they are from Tiffany’s. “Is that good?” David asks without a trace of guile.
As we break for commercial, Fox tells us we can get the inside scoop by text messaging 36988 with the message “Joe.” Don’t try this at home folks. I’ll divulge the details at the end of this recap.
As David waits on the palazzo amid a blaze of candles and near the ever important open bar, he confesses to a case of nerves.
An Evening on the Palazzo
First up is Olinda, a 26 year old fashion designer. If Olinda is 26, then by golly, so am I. David made small talk admirably. Surprisingly, Olinda was quite nervous at this first face-to-face meeting. These nerves were immediately soothed, however, by David’s offer of champagne. “Yes, please!!”
Next is Linda, a model from the Czech Republic who remarked that David did not seem shy at all.
Getting all the confusing names out of the way on the front end, Lina is the next to be introduced. Already I see David’s eyes glaze over as he tries to grasp this mental challenge. Olinda, Linda, Lina. Oh geez.
Lina: “I’ve heard of Texas. Howdy.” Lina’s face either reflected a cool demeanor, or a pained one. I gave David points for some degree of people reading skills as he remarked, “I think she’s out for money, really.”
Alessia from Italy is next and is intuitive enough to ask after the horse. David, however, has the look of someone who has just heard a foreign language for the first time. He obviously has no idea what she just said. Nonetheless, Alessia thinks David is funny, sweet and polite. Apparently Fox is concerned that David isn’t the only American who won’t be able to understand the girls’ accents, as much of the dialogue has subtitles even though all of the women are speaking English. I’m not sure how effective the subtitles will be, however, as reading quickly while also trying to not lose track of the plot isn’t always a strong point for people unable to understand foreigners who are speaking a language that we know.
Karolina, a waitress from Prague, tells David she is studying for her Masters. “Oh, so you are smart.” Yep, David. She can also do ciphering, and I have a sneaking suspicion she is at least bi-lingual. Huh? No David, not that. I mean she speaks two languages or more.
Giada, (Ge-lah) tells David she is from an Italian village just 50 minutes from the Tuscany Villa. Introductions to Jerusha, Johanna, Yassamin and Tereza and pass quickly.
When introduced to Kristyna from the Czech Republic, David commented off-screen. “I knew from TV that Czech Chicks are beautiful.”
We then meet Anique, 21, a student from Holland. When Petra arrives and says the magic word “Holland” David shows his cultural mastery by trotting out an observation about the wooden shoes. (And here I was expecting, “Wanna go to Sizzlin’ baby?”)
Caterina (“Cat”) looks beautiful in a form fitting pleather dress. Cat is a DJ from Germany. Gallantly, David notes the lack of seating space and offers to move furniture on her behalf. He grabs a Queen Anne settee from the palazzo and, ignoring the panicked scurrying of the staff, lifts it over his head and carries it to a more suitable location.
It reminded me of when I went to a co-worker’s wedding with my daughter and another co-worker and her 2 year old son, who thought it would lighten up the wedding dinner to toss two glass water goblets onto the faux wood dance floor surface. I instinctively leapt out of my seat and started scooping up shards of broken glass, to the horror of the wait staff who insisted that I leave it for them, despite my protests that as a veteran mother I’ve picked up messes before without injury.
From Paul’s expressions, you can tell he first thought this a grand gaffe on David’s part – but soon smiled, realizing David came off looking more gallant than pedestrian.
Why Yes, Hurricane has Wings
With this, the introductions were over. David just met 14 girls from all over Europe and thinks he’s doing okay. That is, until they gather for drinks in the ballroom and David tries to impress the girls with his pronunciation of arrivederci, which sounds surprisingly like a grade of soil when David pronounces it “Arriva-dirt-gee.” That’s quality soil, folks, with only the best nitrogen boosting compounds to maximize your ranch crop yields.
Meanwhile, the girls pepper David with questions. “Are you calling me ‘yes ma’am’ because you can’t remember my name?” “Do you have horses?” “Is Hurricane your horse?” “Did you fly him out here?”
Here David makes what may prove to be a critical mistake. Instead of saying he bought Hurricane from a local Italian stable, he claims he brought Hurricane out from Texas. (Why, hell. That horse doesn’t even whinny like a real Texas horse.)
At this, even the Bumpkin is slapping her forehead. Being a professional rodeo guy, surely David has at least some anecdotal knowledge of the difficulty of flying a horse to another country. Frankly, someone who really loves a horse wouldn’t subject them to the trauma of an international flight (or ship ride) and six months of quarantine.
Oh wait, I forgot this was a TV reality dating farce. Somebody pass the cheese, please.
Later, David dances with all the girls, thankful that “Mr. Paul” has given him dancing lessons. (How did those scenes end up on the cutting room floor?)
Soon enough, Paul comes to steal David away from the girls for elimination deliberations. Alessia protests. Her shout of “One kiss for everyone!” leads David to turn on his boot heel and head her way, only to be stopped mid-spin by Mr. Paul.
As the girls wait, Lina confesses to a fellow contestant: “He said he had no neighbors, just his cows and his horse – and I’m like ‘What no Starbucks? No shopping?’”
About this time, Samantha emerges from hiding to make her contractual 60 second appearance on the episode:
“Some of you will not be able to stay. And the elimination will happen shortly. As we sit here, David will make his decision. Eleven of you will be presented with pearl necklaces. Three of you will have to pack and leave tonight.”
Last recap, I joked that Samantha has studied at the Mr. Obvious School of Dating Show Hosting. Yet, I detected in her voice that nervous, breathless tone of someone who is very, very nervous in a public speaking situation. How very odd.
In the Deliberation Room, Paul leads David gently through the decision making. David notes, “Everyone is so niiice. I have no bones to pick with any of them.”
Paul tries to steer the point home, “Can you pick?”
And fails. “I think I’d like a glass of water,” said David.
Once hydrated, David begins to discuss each of the girls. Terming some shy, noting they didn’t make eye contact with him. (also a means of telling whether a horse is a good mount, by the way. That and checking their teeth.)
When Paul asks if there were any girl David didn’t like, he responds, “There was this one. She gave me a bad vibe all night. She seems arrogant. Kind of cocky.” Of course, I know he is talking about Johanna, and I cross my fingers, hoping she will be going home soon.
When the deliberations are complete, Paul and David return to the palazzo with a big ol platter of pearl necklaces.
David begins with an announcement designed to cushion the blow for the evictees. “It’s been nice to meet you all. Unfortunately not all will be able to stay. Please don’t take it to heart. You are all amazing. I hope you have no hard feelings against me or my decision.” Hey David, if you told me you had hard feelings, would you hold them against me? Oh wait, eh, never mind.
Karolina: She is a classy girl. Seems really sweet.
Alessia: She’s great. I liked the way she acted. She is someone I am clicking with. Full of energy. Very wild.
Lina: She’s very pretty. Very nice looking. She’s joking a lot. (And she does, quipping “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” as David fastens the pearls around her neck. Of course any reference to Tiffany’s – let alone Hepburn – is lost on this cowboy.)
Krystyna: She’s like beautiful and exotic. Out of this world. She’s got this spirit about her.
Tereza: I kept her, she is really soft hearted. I think she is first girl that said thank you.
Olinda: (Who looks relieved at being chosen.) You’re not going to have a nervous wreck are you? (In an aside: “ Orlinda seems really uppity. I’m attracted to her, I’ll give her a shot.)
Anique: She’s absolutely beautiful. I need to figure her personality out a little bit.
Cat: Cat is a pretty woman. When we danced, we made good eye contact. It was fun.
Giada: Nice. She seems a little Quiet. A beautiful little Italian girl, but she doesn’t say much.
Linda: Very attracted to Linda. A really classy girl. Great looking. Definitely a prospect for me.
Petra: Very nice. She seemed like an honest person. Looking forward to hanging out with her.
Gone are Johanna, Jerusa and Yassamin. Of the three, I was most glad to see Johanna pack her bags. I did not want to hear “But we’re Europeans!” one more time, as if that meant something.
In the short time we had to get to know the girls, I was most impressed by Jerusa, though I feared her dark coloring would work against her in David’s economy. Her comments and demeanor were the most impressive and intelligent of all the contestants. I hope, somehow, this appearance leads Jerusa to better things. In any event, she got a vacation out of the deal and she escaped from the show without embarrassing herself, her family, or her native land, so we’ll call that a reality TV dating show victory appearance.
Afterward, Johanna accepted the girl’s condolences like an ice block. Again, David’s intuitiveness impresses me as he notes, “Johanna acted too good. I didn’t want to be on a date with this girl with her looking down at me.” Good call, Dave.
He also notes that as he placed the pearls around Lina’s neck she gave him a, “You’d better pick me” vibe.
As the remaining girls lounge about the palazzo, they make exclamations about the evening which make me laugh. Not the least of which is Tereza, who was certain she was slated for elimination: “I was cursing and drinking. And I didn’t wear any underwear, so I thought I might be gone.” I think going commando might not be a disadvantage among this thong-phobic bunch, as even the buckle bunnies occasionally take pains to avoid unsightly panty lines.
Tomorrow on The Next Joe Millionaire: David feels the pressure of the women’s questions as the women smell something fishy about the horse. David’s big lie begins to fall apart. Will he be able to recover from his shocking slip-up? LG has all the answers as we tag-team for JM2 recaps. You go girl!
Oh, and about the text messaging: When you text message the number as instructed in the commercials you receive the following: Get Joe 2 Go content for only 2.99 plus standard message rates apply for insider news, polling, flirting, games and more.
Okay, John. You owe me one. In the spirit of providing FoRT readers with all the information they need regarding this show, I coughed up the 2.99. Within seconds I received instruction to text a reply for “info” or a virtual flirting game. (As if!) By text-ting “info” I received the following: “None of the girls were impressed with Joe until they found he had $80 million.”
Well, gee golly. There was information I didn’t have before. Well, except for in our recap of last week’s episode. Maybe Fox will cut us in on this deal and they can cover FoRT content. I’ll keep you up to date as I receive more messages.
For glowing comments on the brilliance of this recap, write Bumpkin@fansofrealitytv.com. Complaints and criticism, write LurkingGirl@fansofrealitytv.co m. As always, thanks for reading.