So much for the idea that men would be less shallow than women on NBC's Average Joe.

In the finale of the series' third installment, Average Joe: Adam Returns, bachelor Adam Mesh, 28, a Manhattan stock trader who was rejected in the first installment of the series, chose Samantha Trenk, a 24-year-old sales clerk at Barney's and wannabe socialite, over Rachel Goetz, 24, an elementary-school teacher, in a showdown between two women from the New York City area.

Adam's final choice came after he had already eliminated Southern Californians Christine Morell and Amy Worth and another NYC woman, Stephanie Cahn, who is one of Samantha's best friends in real life. In the show's final clips, Adam and Samantha boarded the jet for a weeklong trip to a resort, while the "people's choice" Rachel boarded the bus for the trip home ... the same fate that befell Adam, when Melana Scantlin chose one of the first show's "hunks," Jason Peoples, instead of him.

It was obvious that Adam's final choice, like that of Melana and Average Joe 2 star Larissa Meek, was guided more by hormones than by the common sense that we once attributed to him. In the final dating sequence, Adam took Samantha and Rachel home to meet his parents. Prior to the dates, Adam said that his parents would be enthusiastic about Samantha and would be indifferent to the less-attractive Rachel.

He was completely mistaken.

Adam's parents were clearly suspicious of Samantha, viewing her as substantially less than forthcoming about her feelings and her motives -- and high-maintenance to boot. Rachel, however, was a huge hit with his parents, and his mom broke into tears when Rachel said that she "loves kids." We guess mom was envisioning some grandchildren in the near future (tough luck, mom). Adam's father was equally pro-Rachel, telling Adam, "If one girl's perfect, why would you pick the other one?" (Hint: for the same reason that Adam wasn't picked on the first Average Joe, dad.)

Perhaps Adam should have remembered such old adages as "father knows best" and "you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool mom." Adam instead said, "I wish I'd never come home," tipping the audience off about his upcoming final choice.

As in the first two Average Joes, physical attraction won out over the obvious hopelessness of a relationship with a person who is willing to admit about herself, "I don't strike up serious, deep, thought-provoking conversations." We think that "can't" might have been as appropriate as "don't," although that's mere quibbling. We hope that Adam has a great time picking out outfits for Samantha's fashion-plate dog Chloe, as he had to do in the first segment of the finale. But we can't help but empathize with the rejected Rachel, who said, "I just don't get it" when Adam informed her of his choice.

We don't get it either. Adam's stock has sunk to its 52-week low, in our market book.

With Adam's pick, the "Average Joes" (or "Average Janes," although we certainly wouldn't consider Rachel to be merely average) on this show are 0-for-3, with the empty-headed but better-looking finalist winning every time. To be honest, we're not sure that "empty-headed" does justice to Samantha, who, after all, saw a jackrabbit on the golf date and called it a kangaroo (not exactly a common animal in California). We aren't sure that Samantha isn't really just another Jessica Simpson ... minus the minimal talent.

Poor Adam. LIke Bob Guiney before him, he went from being a lovable loser to a reviled star simply by following his inner lust. It makes us think of British soccer superstar David Beckham, whose affair with his former personal assistant Rebecca Loos (confirmed by raunchy text messages) may sink the huge endorsement deals that he and his wife Victoria (the former "Posh Spice" of the Spice Girls) have.

We hope Adam's holiday with Samantha and Becks' romps with Rebecca were worth it.