'Outback Jack's Vadim Dale selects Natalie Franzman over Marissa Clark in series finale
By Reality TV World staff, 08/12/2004
Australian Vadim Dale chose Natalie Franzman to be his city girl girlfriend during Tuesday night's finale of TBS's Outback Jack, passing on "boomerang" returnee Marissa Clark in the process.
In the program's climatic finale, 28-year-old Vadim (aka "Jack") had narrowed his original group of twelve high-maintanence city girls to two -- Natalie, a 21-year-old salon colorist from Louisville, KY, and Marissa, a 23-year-old aspiring singer from Ocala, FL. As Vadim's final selection, Natalie received a diamond necklace valued at $20,000, as well as the opportunity to go on a 30-day, all-expenses-paid European vacation with Vadim.
Marissa had been previously ousted from the eight-episode series earlier in its run when the other women were allowed to banish one woman from the competition, but later returned in a "boomerang" twist. The other women had eliminated Marissa due to both her aggressive pursuit of Vadim and what seemed to be a strong attraction between the two, however her subsequent return seemed to be an example of an opportunity lost, with Vadim clearly appearing to be leaning toward Natalie during the show's last two episodes.
Both Natalie and Vadim feel they've made a genuine connection, and the couple plans to move to Los Angeles together, where Vadim has landed an agent and manager and is hoping to break into the entertainment industry (according to Reality TV World sources, Spelling Television is among the production companies with which Vadim has been talking.)
"Natalie's just special to me," Vadim told USA Today. "I love the person she is. She always makes me laugh. We get along like a house on fire. At the end of the day it was an easy decision."
Reflecting her bubbly nature, Natalie was a bit more giddy in her public comments -- and relieved that the show's secrecy was finally over -- telling her local Courier-Journal newspaper that, "I'm so excited and relieved the show's finally over so I can be open about my feelings for Vadim." "We are inseparable. We completely fell in love, and it was so unexpected," she gushed.
While the two plan to rent a Los Angeles apartment together, Vadim, who has already left his job as an occupational health and safety officer in Victoria, Australia, faces a more immediate issue before he can join Natalie in California -- getting his visa status straightened out, a process that, despite media reports stating otherwise, has resulted in his temporary return to Australia. Once they're together in Los Angeles, the couple plans to cash in both the diamond necklace and the vacation trip to help pay their bills while they settle in. "L.A. is an expensive place to live, and we have to survive," Natalie explained to The Courier-Journal.
Despite sneaking several visits with Vadim since the program's finale filmed this spring (including a Cabo San Lucas vacation shortly before Outback Jack began airing) Natalie admits that being away from Vadim and keeping the couple's relationship secret was extremely difficult for her. "Besides being away from him — even though we talked six times a day — one of the hardest parts was not being able to tell my friends and family all the details about my experience and that I had found my match," she told The Courier-Journal.
If Natalie gets lonely in L.A. while waiting for Vadim's return, there'll be at least one familiar face for her to pal around with -- according to The Ocala Star-Banner, Marissa has also recently moved to Los Angeles, and remains friends with both Franzman and Dale, whom she speaks with regularly. While she admits to initially being genuinely crushed and "dumbfounded" by Vadim's rejection, time has apparently healed her wounds. "I am essentially happy. I believe everything happens for a reason."