In the finale of NBC's Average Joe, Melana Scantlin, a 26-year-old former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader and wannabe actress who is decidedly above average in looks, opted to reject the last of the 'average Joes' among her suitors, choosing Jason Peoples, 27, one of the three good-looking "ringers" added to the show in a twist partway through the six-episode run, over Adam Mesh, 28. At the end of the finale, Melana and Jason went on a five-day trip to a resort on a waiting jet, while Adam was relegated to a waiting bus.
Jason, a part-time waiter who lives with his parents in Costa Mesa, Calif. and takes business courses in college, seemed to be Melana's choice ever since he convinced her that he wasn't gay (her first question to him). Leaving no doubt that her choice was motivated solely by looks, Melana called Jason "gorgeous" and added, "The eyes, the face, the smile. How could you deny that?" By contrast, Adam, a successful Wall Street trader who was once featured in Fortune magazine, was husky and big-toothed and spoke with a strong New York accent, negating his financial success and winning personality, at least in Melana's eyes.
The final outcome calls into question the assertion by Average Joe host Kathy Griffin that a show like this with a man making the choice would be impossible since the man would be motivated solely by looks -- since, as it turned out, looks also proved to be the sole motivating factor for the woman making the choice. Despite that, NBC hopes that audiences turn out for Average Joe 2: Hawaii, which debuts January 5 and will once again try to see if a woman perceived as very attractive would be willing to be seen in public with an 'average Joe.'
However, the "romance" between Jason and Melana appears to have ended when the couple left the resort after the show. In a joint appearance on NBC's Today Show on December 9, Jason and Melana said that they had been in contact only three times since the show ended, and they left the distinct impression that a Bachelorette-style wedding was not in their future. Meanwhile, Adam, who was interviewed by telephone, said that he had a new girlfriend and was very happy -- leading show host Katie Couric to note that he may have been that happy because Melana didn't pick him.
We'll see if the new batch of 'Joes' are as happy the second time around.
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