'Momma's Boys' ends with two bachelors rebelling against their moms
By John Bracchitta, 01/20/2009
In the end, Momma's Boys failed to live up to its billing, with two of the show's three bachelors deciding to go against their moms' wishes and end the NBC reality dating show by picking a female suitor their mother didn't approve of.
Michael Sarysz, a 25-year-old fireman/E.M.T. from Plantation, FL, chose Amanda Myers, a 26-year-old medical student from Kansas City, KS. Michael picked Amanda over Erica Ellyson, a 24-year-old from Hurley, MS that Lorraine Sarysz-Nichols, his 49-year-old mother, had continued to prefer even after she and Michael had learned Erica was an adult model who was Penthouse magazine's 2008 Pet of the Year.
"We all knew that Lorraine loved Erica, but in the end it was the connection that Michael and I had established that he based his decision off of," Amanda said.
"I definitely wanted Amanda, she's a great girl," Michael said. "I'm still a 'momma's boy,' but what I've learned is listen to your mom a little bit, but make sure that you do your own thing at the end because ultimately that's what's gonna make you happy. That's what really matters."
JoJo Bojanowski, a 21-year-old college hockey player from Washington Township, MI, chose Mindy Finney, a 22-year-old kindergarten teacher from Macon, GA, in an odd situation that left him to chose between Mindy or Khalood Bojanowski, his 50-year-old mother.
JoJo had been placed in the awkward situation by his mother's refusal to select a third woman to advance to the show's final two rounds against JoJo's two selections: Mindy and Julie Bornemann, a 22-year-old fashion designer from Edwardsville, IL who JoJo eliminated at the end of Momma's Boys' penultimate episode. (According to Khalood, none of the show's women, including Mindy, were good enough for her son.)
"This is the first time that I ever stood up to my mom and just put my foot down and been successful with it," JoJo said of his decision.
"I'm so proud of you [for] standing up," Mindy said as she hugged him after being chosen by JoJo.
Robert "Rob" Kluge, a 25-year-old commercial real estate professional from New York, NY, was the only "momma's boy" to abide by his mother's wishes.
Rob rejected Camilla Poindexter, a 21-year-old broadcast student from Long Beach, CA, in favor of Lauren Potter -- a 28-year-old waitress from New York, NY that Esther Kluge, his 58-year-old mother, had repeatedly attempted to steer him toward, citing their common Jewish faith.
"The second that Rob picked me, I just felt like I was floating on air. It's just the best feeling in the world," Lauren said after being chosen by Rob.
"I was just thrilled," added Esther. "I was so happy that he selected Lauren, and maybe he really believes and follows the thoughts that I follow and that I believe in and he knows where he supposed to go."
Momma's Boys' season finale began with the three "momma's boys" going on a final date in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Since his mother had refused to pick a woman to continue competing for his heart, JoJo ended up spending a final romantic date with his mother.
"Are you ready to go parasailing?" JoJo asked his mother as they prepared for their date.
"Parasailing? Are you serious?" she responded.
After going parasailing, JoJo and his mom walked together on the same beach where he had previously taken Mindy on their date, and admitted to not being quite comfortable with the situation.
"So is that where you took Mindy?" Khalood asked.
"Yeah, not gonna lie I'm kinda creeped out right now," JoJo responded.
"It's completely screwed up to me," he added later. "I was out here having the most romantic time of my life, and now I'm out here with my mom. It's kinda weird."
"JoJo's very sexy, very good looking -- he's a handsome boy, he's momma's boy," Khalood said later.
The two also discussed Mindy, whom JoJo felt had not been given a fair shot by his mother. However, Khalood felt took offense when JoJo began siding with Mindy over her.
"You don't just stick up for her," Khalood told him. I'm your mom."
"At the end of this I've got a choice where I'm either gonna go on a romantic trip with Mindy or going home with my mom," JoJo said later.
Michael's date with Erica began well, with the couple discussing their personal lives, priorities, desires to begin a family, and Lorraine and Erica's mutual fondness for each other.
"I can definitely see calling Lorraine mom, and now I'm bonding with Michael in a way I've wanted to," Erica said.
However, Erica also knew that she had to reveal that she was Penthouse's reigning Pet of the Year -- a fact she had kept secret throughout the competition -- to both Michael and his mother.
Adding to Erica's trepidation was the fact that Lorraine had previously orchestrated the elimination of Meghan Allen, a 27-year-old bartender and model from Dallas, TX, after learning that she had previously posed for Playboy magazine.
"We're at the very end now and I'm really just about to drop a bomb," Erica said. "When I do tell Michael what I do for a living, I really do hope that he's gonna understand it."
After dancing around questions regarding her "modeling life" by only saying she wanted to "move on" and enjoying their date together, Erica finally decided to tell him about Penthouse.
"There's a couple of things that I haven't told you, and that I haven't told your mom," Erica said. "I... I don't even know how to say this, but I'm sorry. I came into this wanting a fair chance at finding somebody who would like em for me and, Meghan did Playboy right? I've done nude modeling also, and I haven't done Playboy. I am the current Penthouse Pet of the Year"
"Penthouse?" Michael responded sternly, apparently well aware of Penthouse's reputation as a raunchier adult magazine than Playboy. "I really can't believe it... It's a... I need a drink."
"I've been completely turned around, I feel completely lied to. I can't believe this whole time, we built this amazing relationship, we spent hours together, and [she] didn't tell me this?" Michael said later. "I don't know."
Erica then found Lorraine and revealed her secret to her as well.
"You know I still feel the same exact way about you. I don't feel any different about you," Lorraine told Erica after finally learning her Penthouse secret. "You do have a special place in my heart. I think it's impossible for me to feel different about you. I see you Erica in my life and in my family's life, and I see you in Michael's [life], I see that."
"You have no idea how much that means to me," Erica responded.
Following her revelation, Erica hoped that Lorraine's acceptance of her would help to make Michael's decision easier.
However, Lorraine also realized that she would have a tough time downplaying Erica's revelation after objecting to Meghan.
"Do I go to my son now and I say 'Okay Mike, it wasn't okay with Meghan, although you had a connection, but because I love Erica it's okay?'" Lorraine said. "No. I have to find a place for it. I don't know where it's gonna fit in right now for me."
Before making their final decisions, Michael, Rob and JoJo each had one last discussion with their mothers.
Rob said that he had a great time with Lauren but was still undecided and added that Camilla also "had things that Lauren doesn't have."
"You're right, and there are a lot of things that Lauren has that Camilla will never get," Esther responded. Could you see Camilla sitting at our Passover table, sweetie? You can see Camilla as much as you want, not on a date, not on a weekend. Go with what's right."
"What's right is what's going to make me happy," Rob responded.
Michael told his mom he was still surprised from Erica's Penthouse revelation. Lorraine admitted she was also surprised, but added that it still hadn't changed how she felt about Erica.
"I don't wanna judge somebody, but have you ever seen a Penthouse magazine?" a surprised Michael asked his mother.
"No," Lorraine responded.
"Okay, well you don't ever want to see it," Michael said.
"That's a hard pill to swallow, but I still haven't changed my feelings for her. Erica is definitely ready to find someone special in her life."
"My mind is racing with emotions," she added later. "I hope she chooses Erica."
JoJo had an especially tough time talking with his mother about his decision, particularly because his mother was one of his two choices.
"I know you're falling for Mindy, she's a good girl, but she's not for us, for you," Khalood told him.
"It's not 'us,' it's me," JoJo responded.
"I know, so I'm gonna leave that up to you, but you know what? That's gonna hurt me. That's gonna piss me off actually," she responded. "I want you to fall in love, but none of these girls are good enough for you. Honest to God, they're not."
"It's really hard to let go of my son," she said later in tears. "I don't wanna let go yet."
Rob, Michael and JoJo then held their final individual elimination ceremonies to reveal which girl they had chosen.
Rob went first, and spoke very highly of Camilla before revealing his decision.
"Camilla, all the time we spent together has been so magical. You're so different than anyone I've ever spent time with. The way you've had a genuine interest in learning about me and my family and my culture, I can't tell you how flattering that is," Rob told her.
"But," he added. "I'm asking Lauren to come away with me tonight."
"We all know the score here, and we all know what happened, Esther got what she wanted," Camilla said following Rob's decision. "He spoke with his head instead of his heart, and I'm disappointed in him. He damn near cried in my ear. He knew, in his heart that he didn't have an interest in Lauren."
"I think Lauren, have fun on your outing, but I know he'll be calling me," she added.
Michael prefaced his decision by outlining how unique his situation had become to the cameras.
"You wanna talk about something really crazy? One [girl] is a medical student, the other is the Penthouse Pet of the Year," Michael said. "And my mom wants me to choose the Penthouse Pet of the Year!"
At the ceremony, he told both Amanda and Erica that they were both "amazing" and added that his decision hadn't been easy.
"Amanda, when we met it wasn't on a date, there was no sunset, there was no champagne. I can remember looking over at you as you took charge and were helping someone who really needed it badly at that time," Michael said. "I love that, and you know how much I've admired you since then."
"Erica," he continued. "The strongest feelings here are of love, and I don't use that word very easily. My mother, she loves you, and I can see why. You're wonderful and you should know that I respect you."
"[But] I choose to go away with Amanda," he added.
"When he chose Amanda, it was very tough, it was hard," Lorraine said following the decision.
"I do think that Penthouse does have something to do with it," Erica said in tears before waving the cameras away. "I don't wanna talk right now."
JoJo said that he felt it was unfair to pit Mindy up against his mother and was clearly agitated as he made his decision.
"Mom, obviously I can't even look at you right now and make a decision because I know what you're thinking. I'm not gonna lie, my brain is clustered as all hell right now, and I thought it was gonna be easy. Up until today I was like 'You know what, I'm gonna go with Mindy,' JoJo said. "But I cannot watch my mom in that much pain. it kills me, it really does."
However, Mindy then interrupted JoJo before he revealed his decision and told him that she was going to "let him go" since she didn't feel his mother would ever approve of her and "loosen the reigns" enough to allow him to have a long term relationship.
"Everything that I can ask for in a guy, I found in you, but I'm gonna stand up for what I believe in and follow my heart on this one, and I'm gonna let y'all go."
"Mindy, if your feelings are that strong for me -- if they're there and they're real -- then I'm willing to go out on a limb and try for something," JoJo responded before picking her other his mother.
"Mindy, I really, really, really want to give it a shot, and maybe, just maybe my mom will learn to like you," he added.
JoJo's mother left the ceremony in tears without saying anything. However, she later admitted to being hurt by JoJo's decision.
"I'm leaving paradise with actually a broken heart," she said.
After the bachelors' final decisions were revealed, an on-screen text update revealed that each couple received a chance to remain on the island on a three-day vacation together, however Rob ended up leaving Lauren and going home early.
It also stated that JoJo's mother had been offered counseling following the show but had "politely declined," and added that Erica had recently taken a trip to Florida -- to visit Lorraine, not Michael -- after her Penthouse contract ended at the end of December.