Joe Millionaire - Episode 3: When the Truth Hurts

by C. Brian Devinney -- 01/21/2003

Originally posted at

Evan is having trouble keeping his secret and some of the women are having trouble getting to know him. One even notes that she can handle just about anything in a man - except for lying. Uh oh. He has to cut another woman, so will it be the one who can't make conversation, the one who likes at least a little sophistication, or somebody else?

So we're down to five women on Joe Millionaire and apparently only four will be able to make it to the next round. Now on its sister show (although they really don't want us to compare them to The Bachelor, we're going to anyway), this is the round where the friends would be showing up to help set up some individual dates for our hot guy and his fair maidens.

Here, it's a bit simpler - each of them are getting a date in the City of Lights. The City of Romance. The City of Love. Yes, we're in Yulee, Florida, where the population has a whopping one hundred twenty-three teeth between it's several thousand residents. I'm just kidding, they're in Paris. Now, we're going to do a quick fashion moment here and it's for Evan. Those turtlenecks they have you in… lose them. They make you look… well… not good at all. We're getting sweater, sweater, sweater, HEAD! Where's the neck Evan? You have this great long neck and that sweater is doing nothing for you.

Anyway, they've checked into this sumptuous hotel in Paris and they are told they have the Eiffel Tower Suite. Well Melissa M., whose intelligence I'm starting to doubt and you'll see why in a second, apparently didn't get the significance of the fact that it's called The Eiffel Tower Suite. I mean what else could it be than a suite that has a fabulous view of Paris' most famous landmark.

She gets into the room and she's just amazed that it's right there outside the window. I mean really now, Melissa M. Really.

So over dinner, Evan asks if the women are open to dating to men of opposing occupations or low incomes. Everyone murmurs their agreements to that idea but Sarah says her only stipulation is that the man not lie to her. The first few times okay. But after that, he had better be honest with her or she is not having it one bit. And there's Evan just saying to himself, "Damn. I'm screwed."

The women go off to their rooms and Evan is in his and he turns off the lamp with his feet. I mean Evan. Are your fingers broken?

Evan's first date is with Mojo who was instructed to dress chic and in high heels. The women are trying to help her out in terms of dressing. Now her dress was fine. But that hat. The hat was hideous. It looked so wrong. Mr. Blackwell would have had a field day on her. Meanwhile we're treated to a shot of Evan's crotch as he zips up his pants. So nice to know we have equal opportunity body shots here.

Now here's what was really funny to me at least. The women are telling her to her face how great she looks but in confessionals they are all like, "Oh my God. What the hell was she thinking?" It's like they are purposely "uglying" her up for Evan. What would they say next? "Hey, Mojo. You know what would else would look great with that outfit? Clogs. Big wooden clogs from Amsterdam." Poor Mojo just thought she was the cat's meow, but I was not buying it at all. The hat just hides her face and she has a pretty face.

Evan just has this bad habit of popping champagne corks off of his balcony. Now if he's not that far off the ground that's okay but Evan those suckers could cause some damage if they hit someone, which it might have done or come close to doing as one guy yells up to him French.

Where is Heidi when you need someone to translate? Of course she would say something about the bread baggage I'm sure. [Editor's Note: Where is Heidi? In the Reality TV Hall of Shame, where she belongs.]

Mojo arrives and seconds later a dresser comes in with three fabulous gowns for her to try on.

Sadly, or really good for some men, one dress was a little too small and the others were too big.

As Evan put it, while waving a beer in front of the camera, she is just falling out of the dress.

At dinner, well the conversation is nothing great. Evan is uncomfortable with the fact that Mojo does nothing much other than just stare at him for most of the dinner. She makes some asinine comments about tomatoes squirting out on her but for the most part the dinner is pretty damn boring. Mojo looks back and thinks it was the greatest thing in the world while Evan was thinking that it wasn't exactly what he had in mind.

Some of their dinner conversation besides the tomato includes the fact that she's a redhead and can tan. Ooh. Now that's scintillating. Mojo's steak is "good" as well. She thinks they have a lot in common but what the heck did they talk about? Evan says it's a disaster but she's freaking out.

Over to the Moulin Rouge where they get the VIP treatment. There's showgirls dancing and people topless and Mojo and her hat. That hat needs to go and Evan agrees with me because he would try to talk to her and she would turn her head and whack him in the head with it. That hat is just wrong on multiple levels.

Not just one. Multiple.

Next date belongs to Melissa M. She says her job is to win him over but he has to win her over as well. Off they go in the limo and Melissa wants to know if they are going to the Eiffel Tower, but Evan won't tell her. Of course she then says that he is good at keeping secrets and in a confessional she admits that she loves surprises and he has to have one up his sleeve. Oh honey, you have no idea what secret he is keeping and you may not like it.

So off they go to the Eiffel Tower and they get a private elevator ride up to the observation deck. Evan, in that horrible turtleneck again (and waving a glass of wine instead of a beer), goes on about how her excitement is the same as his excitement or excites him or does something to him.

Who really knows (or cares)? Anyway, Melissa M. talks about how he was always watching her and gauging her reaction and that made it all the more special for her. Melissa, what he was really doing was trying to see if you were a money-grubbing whore. But that's okay, those two looks confuse me all the time too.

Now they are off to have a glass of champagne in this chic lounge. They both think they have chemistry with each other and they have a nice view of the Seine, but they decide to go back to his room in the suite for cocktails. Evan's gift to Melissa M. is a portrait of her that really doesn't look that much like her. Well maybe the hair. And the mouth. She loves it and wraps it up to take down for her.

Back in the women's suite, Melissa M. complains about the teeth in the picture and how it doesn't really look like her. Evan thinks that she just loves it all but in the women's suite they are discussing the merits of the painting and Alison puts it all in perspective when she says, "What the hell are you going to do it with it?" Yeah, really what can you do with a portrait of yourself? It's just borderline presumptuous, pretentious, all those pre- words to have something like that hanging in your home.

Ooh these women are getting catty with each other. You can just tell that Melissa M. is somewhat happy with the painting but, at the same time, she's not overwhelmed by it.

Now it's time for the next date and it's also time for the obligatory underwear shot of Evan, as if we haven't seen enough of him in his underwear as it is. It's tango lessons with Sarah. Now this is what I loved about this scene. He's drying off his body while standing in front of the open door that leads to the terrace outside his bathroom. We're getting just a little exhibitionistic here aren't we Evan?

Sarah comes up with a litany of questions to ask, from whether or not he cheats to if his mother likes coming to France often. She just doesn't want a lull in the conversation.

Back in Evan's room Paul comments that Evan is a tough man to fit (in terms of clothes - nothing else you pervs). This is of course prefaced with a nice close up shot of Evan's butt. Of Sarah, Paul thinks she's pretty self absorbed and spends too much time in front of the mirror, which doesn't appeal to Evan.

Evan thinks Sarah is rigid and the tango lessons would loosen her up. In fact, he comes up with a full tango outfit for her. Why put that on Sarah when you can show off your chest in that tight shirt of yours? Evan even notices her "rocking body" which looks even better in that red boustierre. Even better for Evan is his little lesbian fantasy of the dance teacher (who speaks no English by the way) dancing with Sarah. Okay, is anyone else getting really nauseous besides me now?

So finally Evan gets his chance to lead the dance and you can tell that the moves are a little jerky and he's really not picking it up well. But he's doing his best and the two of them at least look like they are having fun. Personally I think Evan was just looking down the front of her shirt.

The two share a nice kiss as he drops her off.

Eww… Melissa M. smokes! Oh how gross. And Sarah smokes. Oh how gross. That is such a turn off for me. Besides, Evan has to kiss you with that mouth. Anyway, Sarah and Melissa M. compare kisses and you can tell that Melissa M. is jealous that she only got a cheek and Sarah got lips.

Our next date is for Zora and Evan is intrigued by how she won't open up. Zora, we learn, grew up with a less than affluent family so she really wonders why she is still around. She even admits on their date that she's uptight and he agrees with her.

She compares the date to an interview session. What blows it a bit for Zora is that Evan is close to his family which is the complete opposite for her. You can tell that this date is not going well.

Evan even tells her that she's not opening up like Melissa M. and Sarah did. Zora pretty much says that she's not the type of person to go out and create a persona that isn't true to who she is as a person. Pretty much it is a sign that he knows where she's coming from on this - because he's living it as they speak.

Evan now starts flipping that maybe he said too much and gave it away. Oh just wait.

Back in the women's suite, they all decide to call Zora's room to see if she's there. Melissa M. plays a joke and pretends that Zora is there when she's not. Yes, as someone says, she's so foul.

Evan arranges for them to come across a string group playing by the river with two chairs. This makes Zora even more uncomfortable and when she gets her gift (a music box), yep, even more uncomfortable still. I think Zora just isn't used to the opulence she's being shown and it's getting to her.

Now here's where it gets good. As they leave the string ensemble, Zora asked if he enjoyed it and he blurts out that it is better than when he was on a bulldozer three weeks ago.


Evan, you dumbass! The CIA had better cross you off the list of potential spies because you suck. He tries to save it by passing it off as a slip of the tongue or an exaggeration and that it was really two years ago. Evan thinks that it all went over her head because she wanted the date to be over with. I give Zora far more credit than that.

Back at the hotel, Zora opts to go to bed instead of calling the girls up to tell them about her date.

She had wanted it to be over with and really doesn't feel like sharing it with the women. And who can really blame her? The women are doing a crappy job of advising each other on what to wear but a good job of sniping about each other behind their backs. Who would really want to go down and talk to them about their date when they are just going to sit there and rip it apart whenever she leaves the room?

Smart move, Zora. I'm loving you more and more.

Alison is the last person and she's primping and getting ready and it's odd that she's putting so much into the date when she is giving off this nonchalant attitude. In fact, Alison is seconds away from pulling herself out of the competition.

Their date is a cruise down the Seine on a yacht. Evan wants her to relax and open up some more. However, Evan is proving himself to be a schlub. From popping the champagne to improperly disposing of his gum to not liking the food that was prepared, Alison is so unimpressed. Evan says it was total disgust but Alison said that she needs to man to have a modicum of sophistication, but he doesn't have it.

So Evan puts it bluntly to her and says if there is chemistry there for her to go on. She says no in this odd weird way. Once she puts it out there and tells him how she feels, their date loosens up and they are getting along so much better. It's a night and day difference. Alison is laughing and smiling and having fun.

Evan thinks that she has to be somewhat interested since they start talking about meeting each others' friends and family. In fact, Alison's father is a truck driver and her sophistication is more an acquired thing than an inbred thing. Evan thinks that the two of them have more in common than she knows (I wonder why) and that bodes well.

So it's time for the elimination round and the women are taken from the hotel to the river yacht where Alex McLeod comes out in this hideous mauve ensemble with fur trim. What the heck do you think you're doing, Alex? Dr. Zhivago? It freaks me that they call her the host when Paul is getting more screen time with her. I adore Paul. Hate Alex. At least this delivery sounded somewhat more natural than her stilted deliveries of programs past.

This week is the emerald necklaces. Only four women will get them. I think we're dealing with a Zora/Alison debate. One of them will not get a necklace. He could deal with Mojo's hat, Melissa M.'s fawning, and Sarah's dancing. But those last two dates were dreadful. Who will it be?

Up first is Sarah, then Melissa M., and then Mojo. Just what I thought. So who gets the last necklace?

It's Zora. There's something about her that he wants to get to know more and the only way he can do that is to keep her in the running. Even she is a little stunned by it. Alison murmurs, "Don't do this to me."

What did that mean?

Anyway, you can just tell that Alison is ticked off that she's not around anymore no matter what face she presents. She told the truth and regretted saying it afterwards and it ultimately came back to bite her in the ass. Evan says he was nervous that he couldn't live up to her expectations. Paul thinks that Evan would like to chase after her but just doesn't know what to do to impress her.

Alison expresses her regret and packs up her bags and heads back to NYC. As Paul says, "Is Alison the one who got away?"

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