Hi Ho Silver… Away!

Joe Millionaire
Episode One – Recap

The premise of the show is simple; 20 ladies are expecting to be participating in a reality TV show, ala The Bachelor, and the target of their affections will be the charming and handsome Joe, who has just inherited $50 Million dollars, and now lives in a fabulous mansion in France. The well-publicized catch is that Joe is not rich at all, and the truth about that minor little fact will not be revealed until Joe has made his final choice.

Rumors persist that there is an even bigger twist to be played on all of us viewers at the end of the show, but there will be time enough to speculate on that later. For now, I wanted to meet Joe, and the ladies vying for his attention.

For reference, pictures and information on the ladies can be found at Fans of Reality TV, The Ladies of Joe Millionaire .

That page is helpful, because you can’t tell the players apart without a scorecard, and FOX took quite a long time before finally posting any information on the ladies this morning, and all that was added was the typical zodiac sign and potential for romance stuff…

FYI, Joe is a *Cancer* and I suppose by the end of the show, many folks might come to believe that.

Gosh, Was That the Entire Season Recapped in Two Minutes?

The scene opens with multiple shots of Joe digging ditches and driving his bulldozer around, seemingly moving dirt for no reason other than to get himself excessively ‘grungified’ for our edification.

Okay Joe, we get it, you eat a lot of Mickey D’s, and like to play with big equipment… That description applies to a lot of guys… and I suppose that is the point.

Then we get a long look at the château in France, and I have to say… nice digs!

From there, we have multiple cuts of scenes throughout the run of the show, including shots of Joe going through training on how to be a rich prissy boy intermixed with the women.

“I’ve never dated someone who made a lot of money” Says Andrea, a computer geek from Atlanta.

“He’s mine!” Exclaims Dana from Los Angeles, who is a business development director. Now, I am no expert on professional editing, but I am guessing that comment is a clear sign that Dana doesn’t win...

Joe’s activities also include a tease of the final show, where he seems to have found a woman that he really likes, perhaps loves, and now he knows he has to tell her. Clearly they wanted us to know up front that the happy ending hangs in the balance of the reaction to the big news.

Joe’s most memorable quote? When discussing how hard it will be to lie to all of these women: “I’ve never even lied to get a woman into bed... but now I am waste deep in it”

Well, Joe, your first lie of the program seemed to come quite easily to you.

He’s No Alfred

We are introduced to Paul Hogan… no, not Crocodile Dundee… no, not that Crocodile Hunter guy either... though he probably auditioned for the role, and would probably be pretty darn fun doing it. “Crikey Joe! I can smell the ladies from 500 yards out, and look at the teeth on that one… she’ll snap ya in half!”

Paul is the butler, who assists Joe, and undoubtedly will become his on camera friend and confidant.

Paul is sitting in front of a warm fire, sipping his brandy, and tells the story of the premise of the show all over again, as if we were not bombarded with it by every commercial on FOX for the past six weeks. Somehow having Paul tell us the story is supposed to convince us that all of this is a combination of a fairy tale and Pygmalion experiment, and that it is a noble cause… amazing what those British accents can do eh?

I am not sure if I actually believe that Paul is a real butler, he seems far too polished on camera. In fact, once they finished his scene for Joe Millionaire, I figure they popped out a couple introductions for Biography and a book interview for C-Span.

Let’s Meet Joe… er, Evan!

Back to the construction site we trek, and here we learn from Joe that he chooses to do construction, and he likes the work because he feels like, “Michelangelo in a massive piece of (construction) equipment.”

Never mind that Evan has a difficult time pronouncing Michelangelo… I am sure those were his own words…

Next we meet one of Evan’s co-workers. This is great for me, because finally I learn what happened to Private Downey after the trial in A Few Good Men. Based on the movie, I assumed that Downey just stayed in the courtroom forever asking “What does that mean Harold?”, after the verdicts were read, but no, rest assured he found work on Even construction crew.

Downey assures us that everyone loves Evan, and that he helped him from day one when he joined the crew.

I can see that now… “Downey, you watch what I do, and how to do it right, and someday you’ll get to drive a bulldozer, and that’s when the big bucks start rollin’ in!”

“Wow! Thanks Evan… can I go back to my unit now?”

Downey also relates that women intimidate Evan, and think he is too shy.

For his part, Evan completes the propaganda process by saying that several women have let him know that he isn’t motivated enough, which is a catch phrase for not making enough money. Evan says he is participating in this show to find a woman who will love him for him, and not his lack of fortune… seemed like circular logic to me, but hey, there still is that final rumored twist…

Somehow through all of this, they failed to mention Evan’s modeling experience, including multiple trips to France, and his relatively comfortably upbringing… I guess they just accidentally forgot to include it…

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

We continue the Joe training process.

No Evan, it really doesn’t matter what kind of wine you have with Spam and Mac… now pay attention dammit!

Then comes the dancing lessons, and this seems a bit contrived, as Evan was a model, and even I could pick up these basic steps faster than he did.

As expected, the etiquette lady shows up, and Miss Manners holds out her hand. Ever the gentleman, Evan notes later, “I wasn’t sure if I should lick it, or kiss it.” Hmm… sounds like Evan might need other types of training as well…

Thankfully, the scenes where Evan is getting dressed are not conducted ala Pretty Woman. I am not sure I could have lasted through a scene of Evan trying on various tux’s while The Croc Hunter sits with his brandy watching… eeewwww!

Could We Please Finally Get to Meet the Women?

The big day arrives and much like in Noah’s day, the ladies arrive in twos. A dramatic scene for them, and intentionally so, as horse drawn carriages bring them onto the grounds of the chateau and I cut them some slack here, as I too would be pretty darn impressed with it.

First we meet Melissa Jo, better known as MoJo, a loan officer and spokesmodel (no, I didn’t make up that term) from Indianapolis. MoJo lets us know that she has always dreamed of being a Princess, and I don’t doubt that she has been treated as such for most of her life.

Joining MoJo is Zora, from Lamberville, New Jersey, she is a promotional rep, and she too is quite impressed with what she sees.

Katie and Heidi make up the next carriage. Katie is a doctor from Redondo Beach, and she lets us know that she is looking for a husband. I am a little taken back by Katie’s voice, I am pretty sure it is deeper than Evan’s…hell, it’s deeper than mine!

Heidi, a business banker from Los Angeles, has her game face on already, and she is here to meet, “a man with money”. It seems that Heidi is a little behind on her life plan too, for she confesses that she was always told she would be married by age 23, and now gosh, she is all of 24… It must be hard to sleep at night knowing that you are only days away from being an old woman of 25 eh Heidi?

Andrea, whom we mentioned previously, arrives next along side Gretchen, from Santa Monica, who is a senior account manager.

Back in the chateau, the ladies are crowded around an upstairs window watching the additional competition arrive. They have a lot of respect for the household, and make multiple comments on how nice everything is… or was… for Dana in her rush to get to the window knocks over an antique lamp. She hopes that Joe will not hold that against her…

Dayana, a secretary from Hollywood arrives and she is dressed to be booty-licious. I am pretty sure that she came directly from the set of the Mod Squad. She is undeterred though, and says, “I am such a princess in these clothes!”

Erica, also from Los Angeles arrives and comments that she had always dreamed of having butlers, servants, and a chef… not necessarily in that order I suppose. She is a physical therapist.

The parade continues with Jennifer, a corporate office coordinator in Macon, Georgia who thinks that meeting her future husband on national TV would be a great fairy tale story for their kids… Jeez! She is here two minutes, and already she is thinking about kids…
Melissa, a customer service rep., from Minneapolis arrives next along side Mary from New Jersey, who works in advertising… Mary apparently loves J Lo. Throughout this episode, she sports a floppy hat and diva sunglasses along with her ‘unusually’ streaked hair. It’s unfortunate because she could be quite the hottie.

Mary does let us know that she wants to be a princess too. I am relieved to hear that, as I was worried that one of them might not want to become royalty… and did they read the contract or not? It’s not like they really are going to become princesses… or is it princi?

The remaining women are shown arriving, but we learn nothing from them.

The Host

Alex McCloud, most known for her previous short gig as the host of Trading Spaces suddenly appears in front of the assembled women outside. I remember reading that she would be hosting, but I was startled nevertheless to see her, because it was so obvious that the Croc Hunter was the host.

Despite the confusion, Alex introduces her self to the ladies, and seems sad when no one knows who she is.

She tells the women that Joe’s real name is Evan Wallace, and that while they already knew he was wealthy, two years ago he received an inheritance of just under $50 Million dollars. This news has the expected impact on the assembled contestants.

They are told there will be a formal ball that evening, after which Joe will ask 12 of the 20 ladies to stay. They will be allowed to pick a dress a little later on.

The ladies return to the house, and Katy (yes, different from Katie), but also from Los Angeles, relates how the competition will begin shortly, and she is already surprised at how competitive some of the ladies are already.

There is a lot of conversation about Evan’s riches, and I note that the other Katie confesses that she is looking forward to meeting Evan and that she “needs someone ambitious”. I have to wonder how she could think Evan is ambitious just because he inherited money… I suppose he had to go visit the estate lawyer to get the check and all, but other than that? Perhaps Evan’s comments at the beginning about ambition hold some weight here after all.

MoJo, a favorite of the camera crew already, chimes in with this heartening tidbit, “I know what I want in a man, and money plays into it.” She further notes that the more you have, the more you can do with it.

Shortly thereafter, the Croc Hunter arrives and lets the ladies know that Evan will be arriving to meet them in 10 minutes.

A Horse is a Horse, Of Course, Of Course

Evan wants to make a dramatic entrance for the ladies, so he will be riding in on a horse. One big problem with that plan is the reality that he doesn’t know how to ride. Not to worry though, for there is a full stable right on the grounds of the chateau, and there he can learn.

Now horses are pretty smart animals, and the first horse they introduce to Evan seems to sense something not quite right about him… maybe he smelled all of that Mickey D’s on his clothes, because really, does anyone actually know for certain where McNuggets come from?… in any case, the horse broke free from the handler and took off across the grounds running for her life.

Evan asked if he should chase the horse… uhm, gee, I think that might not help Evan. I am guessing that they edited out the part where Even yells at the horse and lets her know that she is now out of the running for winning the game.

The knowledge that she was safe from a potential date with Evan must have helped though, for the horse calmed down, and soon Evan is riding… well, clinging on for dear life is more like it… up the long drive to the front of the manor. He displays his incredible grasp of the obvious when he says, “Oh God, don’t fall off!”

He greets the ladies, and after a few awkward silences, he seems to have successfully impressed them, and I have to say, he does have a great smile and seems to come across as a pretty regular guy. He lets them know that he is looking forward to the ball that evening, and that he will see them then.

Only one thing left to do, and that is ride off into the sunset… or late afternoon mist as the case may be. Sadly Evan seemed to have failed in his training involving properly mounting his trusty steed, and he nearly clocks himself on the bridle.

The horse didn’t run this time, but if listen closely, you can hear her chuckling to herself…

Evan rides off, and despite the fact he looked obviously uncomfortable on the horse, many of the women found him to be graceful and they comment on how they like the way he handled himself.

MoJo, gunning for more screen time, assures us that he is a hottie. For his part, Evan did notice MoJo in her cowboy hat, and now that he is a real life cowboy, he was attracted to her.

Heidi says it is just like a fairy tale. She also notes that he has a lot of money, and that she is a banker and would be glad to help him with that.

Amanda indicates that he is “smooth, but not too smooth”, and I think that is intended as a compliment.

The horse says, “Thank God that lying incompetent doofus is off my back… bring me the carrots, and where is my royalty check?”

Sin-derella’s Going to the Ball

Back inside, the Croc Hunter lets the ladies know that 20 designer dresses have been brought in especially for them, and that in 30 minutes, they will each get to choose a dress that best suits them for the ball.

Heidi, still with her game face on, suspects that some of the dresses will be pretty lame, and she wants to ensure that she gets a good one. So, she attempts to take charge of the group saying that they should go in to pick in small groups, and gosh, she would be honored to lead the first group. A kind and considerate one that Heidi…

The Croc Hunter notes that the women appear to be a pack of hungry wolves wanting to get to those dresses, so he decides to cut the waiting short, and simply let them into the room all at once. Bedlam ensues, and it looks like sale day at Macy’s as the women run to the racks grabbing fabric left and right.

It isn’t long before the first controversy arises. It seems that Heidi nabbed two dresses and is negotiating for more. Apparently her business banker instincts kicked in, and she decided to try to corner the market on dresses.

Arguments commence, and Jennifer confesses to us that she feels Heidi is not playing fair.

MoJo disagrees, commenting that Heidi was playing to win, as is she, and in effect, that’s all that mattered.

Eventually they all find a dress, except for Zora, who is left with one dress, but sadly it is not even close to being the correct size. It’s not like Zora was a big woman either, but the dress was clearly from the Kate Moss collection, as I didn’t realize that sizes went into the negative figures. Fortunately for Zora, the onsite seamstress got to work on the issue.

Would Heidi’s cutthroat tactics work? Would Zora’s makeshift dress hold up? Is Alex McCloud still on the show?

All of these questions would be answered at the ball…

Prom Night

Evan is preparing for the big night, and he notes that it will be great to see each lady arrive individually. He thinks it will provide him with a good first impression, and he will need that, for he gets to keep only 12 of the women after tonight. He is also a bit sad, because of all the lying he has to do, etc....

Note to Editors: We get it okay? Evan is a poor misunderstood man, who just wants to meet a nice lady. Meanwhile, many of those ladies are evil gold diggers… you made you point! Please move on…

The ladies are getting ready as well, and the competition is well and truly underway.

Heidi, always the philosopher, says that she is more worried about her hair and make up, because clothes just come off anyway. Yup… somehow I am guessing you have a lot of experience with that Heidi. Hmm… business banker… isn’t a stripper really a business banker when you get right down to it?

Dayana, who looks a heck of a lot better in this dress than she did in the disgusting ensemble she wore upon arrival chimes in with “I am too pretty to be in this piece of {bleep} dress.”

The women are assembled, and Heidi decides to call for a toast. She notes that 8 of them (and I am sure that it took all of her training to not say “8 of you”) will be leaving tonight, but that they are all great girls. Amongst much mumbling, in which I swore I hear the phrase ‘fake bitch’ used, the women down their drinks, group hug, and then it is off to the arena to do battle.

The Croc Hunter announces the ladies one at a time as they arrive.

Alison, wearing a strapless gown arrives first, and I swear that had she found a need to bend over for any reason, she was going to fall right out of the top of it. I didn’t think she picked a very good dress for her body, but Joe seemed to like the view as he stood next to her looking down.

Heidi arrives, and immediately demands to see Evan’s hands. She mumbles something about knowing about people through their palms, and some other kind of new age crap that I am sure she learned at the club… I mean bank. To quote veteran FORT poster Wolf, “It looked like she was doing an inspection, a-la- Westminster Dog Show”.

Melissa Jo, decides to pull a little MoJo of her own, and walking up in a pink dress, chosen wisely I might add, she startles Evan by asking him his middle name. Clearly Evan’s preparations didn’t cover all kinds of issues, and this is one of them, for his fake last name of Wallace is his actual middle name.

In what took an exceedingly long time, Evan finally blurts out Elder, and then tries to cover his tracks with a cover story of how he is uncomfortable with the name.

I begin to wonder if Evan is going to hold up throughout the entire show. Clearly he really isn’t a very good liar, and already a suspicious person might be getting clued in. I was all set to give MoJo credit for the question, but it was clear as the evening progressed that she was just asking it to make an impression.

Mary arrives with her diva glasses on, and Evan later confesses that he wanted to laugh as he saw her. Mary was the one contestant on the program who looked better in her publicity shot than she did on the show, and it was mostly self-inflicted. I am sure though that she is considered quite hip back in New Jersey.

Zora arrives and is worried that she has tangerine specks left on her teeth. Not to worry, for Evan may not know his middle name, but he is a fruit and teeth expert, noting that tangerine wouldn’t show, but that gosh darned broccoli will get you every time!

Melissa from Minneapolis arrives, and Evan immediately compliments her on her smile. She does appear to be much more of a natural beauty than some of the women there… most notably Heidi, and I think it is clear she will go far.

Other women arrive, but there is very little to learn from them.

The ball gets into gear, and I have to say, this is one lame ball. It appeared that the food was a relish tray from Food King, and the decorations looked like something from a high school gym. The Croc Hunter and Evan are the only guys with 20 women, who mostly sit on the sidelines and watch with growing envy as Evan dances with them one at a time.

Heidi gave a couple of looks, when some women were dancing a bit close, that really only the spawn of evil incarnate could produce.

Sarah looks fantastic in her gown, and Evan finishes off with a dip… no, not tobacco, though that might have been appropriate back with Downey at the job site.

Melissa says that it was “magical!”

And The ‘Winners’ Are…

Oh look, Alex is still around… I sure am glad we have such an involved host for the program.

Alex explains the selection process. The Croc Hunter will call out the names of those staying, and they should step right up for their prize. This week it will be a pearl necklace (insert own joke here), and the prizes will escalate in value the longer someone stays in the game.

We are not snuffing torches here, but ala Jeff Probst, those voted off will be asked to leave the chateau immediately. They really should have brought in Anne Robinson to say “good bye!” to each of the ladies departing, as that would have added class to this moment.

Croc Hunter begins naming the names of those who will be staying…

Brandy – Evan says that she has a great figure, fantastic body.

Katie – Evan found her to be confident and beautiful. She was a “no-brainer”.

Melissa M. – Evan loved her smile before, and he says so again here.

Dayana – Evan says she is gracious and genuine.

Alison – Evan wants to get to know her better. Hmm… maybe that dress was better than I thought…

Dana – Evan feels that she stood out from the group. She wasn’t shy, but also not overbearing. Frankly, she looked great too, but what happens when he finds out about that broken lamp?

Amanda, the flight attendant from Venice Beach, who did not get much airtime – Nevertheless, Evan found her to be the “total package” in terms of her appearance.

Sarah – Reminded Evan of the motherly type… obviously she is well equipped for that role…

Heidi – Made a great impression, so says Evan. She was “ballsy”.

Zora – Good news for her, as the dress fiasco didn’t scuttle her chances. Evan says she is happy to be there, and he got a great vibe from her.

Melissa Jo – By this point, MoJo was becoming visibly worried, yet she maintained her beauty pageant pose without flinching all the way up to finally being chosen. Evan says that she is sweet and has many good qualities. He wanted to “give her a shot.”

Mandy, the retail marketer from Nashville – She was southern and sweet, so says Evan.

The news then sinks into the remaining women that there are no further necklaces to be had, and little do they realize it, but this group of eight women might well be the actual winners in this show.

Nevertheless, feelings are crushed, and tears abound. Jennifer in particular seems pretty upset to not be chosen.

Evan comments that he didn’t chose Katy because he just didn’t feel a connection, but that it was a very hard call to make. I have to assume that Katy was his final cut, because no further explanation is given for the other women.

Evan feels the conflicting emotions in the room, and calls everyone together to say that obviously the decision was very tough given the short period of time, but that “I thought you were all phenomenal!”

Back at the chateau, the remaining ladies are settling in, and true to form, Heidi is checking her pearls to see if they are real. I gotta believe Heidi is the dream contestant the producers were praying for.

MoJo points out that she is happy. This, after letting us know earlier that this is “the best time of my life”. I think that MoJo’s life must suck if that is the case…

Next Week

The gang goes to work on the grounds of the chateau…

One of the women is caught in a lie…

Evan continues to sink deeper into his lying depression…

Seven (!) more ladies are eliminated…

And… The butler tracks a wild croc on the grounds!

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