Joe Millionaire - Episode 5: Breasts and the Evil Stepsisters

by C. Brian Devinney -- 02/04/2003

Originally posted at

Will Sarah the bondage movie star and Melissa the poster girl for a bad hair day - collectively known as the evil stepsisters - advance rather than sweet but somewhat reserved Zora? Or can Zora pull out all the stops as each woman is taken on an overnight date to some of the nicest resorts in France?

So this week on Joe Millionaire we get three individual dates to the southern regions of France. All of these are overnight dates and I have to wonder if they are going to have Evan pull out an envelope and offer to have them spend the night in the same room with him a la The Bachelor. Something tells me that if he does that Sarah and Melissa would jump at the chance while Zora would be so demure and polite and probably turn him down, but do it in such a way that he would have such respect for her. Then again, Sarah would probably break out some leather restraints and re-enact one of her more infamous movie scenes.

Anyway, you've looked at the title of this episode recap and you're probably telling yourself that it has something to do with the mammary quotient on display in tonight's episode. Well it's that and it's also a tribute to my love of BBC America's comedy Coupling and their character Jeff, who in one episode proceeded to say the word "breasts" over and over (and in Hebrew as well if I am not mistaken). Therefore, for my fellow BBC America fans out there think of this as an ode to Coupling. It would be about the "Lesbian Spank Inferno" episode but that would be a compendium of Sarah's more notorious film roles.

Now to start off the episode, it was great to have a repeat of Sarah and Evan running off to the woods to make out and having Sarah chirp, "Scandal!" Oh, dearie. You had no idea what was to come when you said that now did you? Let me just go on the record here and say to everybody reading this that if you have ANYTHING in your past that is even remotely incriminating or embarrassing then I suggest you not go on a reality TV show. It will be found out. And run on the front page of the New York Post.

Tonight we get Paul, who is the real host of this show despite whatever title they give to Alex McLeod (oh just wait until you get my fashion report on her), and he tells Melissa that Evan is flying in on his private jet and she needs to be ready by noon to meet the plane. Melissa gets the women to help her plan something to wear and Sarah tells her that she is stressing out and needs to calm down quite a bit. I think it is Sarah who says she shouldn't look like a sorority girl and I don't think Melissa looks as much as of a sorority girl as much as she looks like, oh I dunno… someone trying just a bit TOO hard to look good. I am cringing at her choice of shoes to go with her skirt and sweater combo because I have never been a big fan of the big, clunky heels she has on.

Of course it reminds me of one of my bad habits about living in New York - I have no problem telling tourists the absolute honest truth. Take Saturday for example. It was a little after ten in the morning and I was on my way down to the West Village for my rugby team's weekly group workout and this group of four women entered my subway car with one of them stumbling as she entered. They were all dressed in the faux Donna Karan outfits with matching coifed hair, same crisp shirts, and those BIG CLUNKY HEELS, trying to look like they fit in to the "New York scene."

After stumbling into the subway car, the women turned to her friends and laughed, "Do I look like a tourist now or what?" Of course I had to open my mouth and say, "The moment you stepped out of your hotel room." Stunned silence as the four women stared at me.

"What?" the stumbler finally asked.

"No one in the city would be dressed like that this early in the morning," I said, knowing that it was too early in the morning to be bitchy, but in hindsight I figured I was giving them a story to take back to Iowa or wherever they were from.

"But we're just going down to SoHo to walk around," the stumbler chided me, thinking that the phrase "SoHo" would be the panacea to her fashion woes.

"Honey," I said, pulling out my trump card, "the people in SoHo wouldn't be caught dead dressing like that this early in the morning either. At least their designer clothes would actually be designer."

With that the women left, clunky heels and all, into another car and I felt bad about what happened and what I said about thirty minutes later; but by then I was on the elliptical runner starting on the first of the six miles I would do that day and watching the news about the Space Shuttle, so I got over it rather quickly.

Anyway, that's how I feel about clunky heels. And tourists. Just thought that would give you a frame of reference as to where I was coming from. Wow, this flu medication is bringing out the best in me.

Evan tells us that he is taking the women to some luscious, exclusive resorts in the French Riviera. In fact, the first date is to Cannes but it sounds more like Evan is saying "Cob" than "Cannes" so it confused me for a moment. Melissa just gets wrapped up in the entire fairy tale with the fabulous room overlooking the Riviera following her ride on the fabulous jet and she says that she doesn't want him to treat her like a little sister. She has a strategy.

She gets Evan to take her down to the beach so they can watch the sunset and she keeps looking over her shoulder to see if he would kiss her. And he doesn't. So she looks over her shoulder again. And again he doesn't. Then follows the most inane conversation that I have ever heard. And for the record, if any of my future dates ever bring up staph infection on someone's toes causing their death or putting Super Glue on cuts in order to seal them shut while in a romantic setting such as that, then I don't care how good looking you are, how great in bed you may be, or how much (or little) money you may have, that is such a deal breaker for me. Let's kill the romantic mood by talking about blood, guts, and gore on our date.

Poor Melissa is feeling the Little Sister syndrome big time, so what does she do? She pulls out the biggest cleavage-showing thing we've seen all season long. Fashion faux pas though - her bra keeps showing. In fact, it is so tight that she almost pops out of her top. Flashback to the world premiere of a play I wrote where one actress actually did pop out of her top and had to position herself to the point where she wasn't going to flash the audience and turn my nice PG-13 (possibly R) rated play into an NC-17 extravaganza.

Anyway, Evan seems more concerned that the women get too wrapped up in thinking that he's the perfect man and Melissa is sure that he has his own faults that they haven't seen as of yet. Hmmm, well there are his underwear pictures, his inability to pay a bridge toll, and that brief foray into the world of professional wrestling. Whether or not she considers them faults… well, I guess we'll just have to see about that.

Melissa starts to prattle on (listen to me… prattle on… am I a whore for BBC America or what) about what attracts her to Evan. Even though he has the castle and the horses and the plane and the butler and the money, underneath it all he's just an average guy with seemingly not a lot on his mind. Oh Melissa, Evan has a lot on his mind - namely the two melons you have snuggled under that cleavage-showing top.

So from there we get Melissa going on to say that she's dated wealthy men before and it hasn't really mattered to her and that it's more about the person than it is about the money. Oh really?

Over to a confessional where Melissa just spills it all. Money is a major deal for her. If she said it wasn't then she would be lying. Well that little conniving, curly-haired piece of trash who wants to bathe the children of third world countries because she's a "mercenary" and seems to need a dictionary herself since she said the sun "setted" earlier in the episode. Man, for someone who is trying to come off refined, you sure are looking dumber than Evan right now.

Melissa ups the ante a bit at this point when she asks Evan what his turn-ons are. For him it's legs, a woman in high heels showing off her legs, and basically women showing off their legs. Melissa decides to take this as her cue to flirt with him and you see her toy with the arm of his chair with her foot and then slide it under the table and Evan jerks his head towards her. For a moment, I thought we were getting a remake of that scene in Flashdance when Jennifer Beals puts her foot in Michael Nouri's crotch while they were at that fancy restaurant; thankfully, we are denied that moment.

With the dessert course coming up, Melissa turns her game plan into high gear and proceeds to make it the sexiest course of the evening. Now, personally, I have had dessert fed to me before and what they did was tame compared to me, some whipped cream and strawberries, and feeding it to my boyfriend at the time with my fingers. Evan, however, must be turned on because he gives her this breathless, "You ready to go?" and they head back up to their suite.

At this point, Joe Millionaire turns into one of Brian Heidik's soft core porn scenes. There's Melissa coming on strong with her hands in his crotch while Evan just lays back and let's her put her hands all over his body. At one point, she literally staring at her crotch and all I can think is, "Oh dear God, please don't tell me she's going to give him a blow job right in front of the camera." Thankfully, she backs off from that for a bit but she's still playing really slutty with her head in his lap whining about how he wanted to "make her happy." Ultimately it ends with Evan making a comment about how comfortable his bed was and well… let's just say that it ended with a shot of his bedroom doors and we were left to assume the rest - rightly or wrongly assume, of course.

Thank God they spared us the audio version, unlike last week's tryst with Sarah.

Melissa returns to the chateau and she gushes over her date and how much they had. Zora asks if she kissed and you know that they did more than just kiss and Melissa has this look on her fact that says, "I got more than just a kiss and that's more than you're going to get on your date."

Anyway, Zora is getting ready for her date, which means her two evil stepsisters are off on the balcony smoking (which is such a turn-off for me still) and they are badmouthing Zora because she has to take her bathing suit with her and we all know how she feels about getting into her bathing suit. Melissa seems to be doing most of the bitching, which makes me want to bitchslap her (or at least put some conditioner in her hair to make it look somewhat manageable). Sarah laughs at Melissa's impersonation of Zora, which makes me want to lash her to the battlement of the chateau and force her to watch episodes of Caroline in the City, but then I remember she might actually like the lashing part.

Ah and another classic line of that great voice of Melissa - "The more less confident you are…" The more less? The more less, Melissa? Someone call up Bartlett's because this babe is a walking gold mine for the inane.

Zora heads off to the plane and says that she plans on having a great time while she's with Evan, but no kissing at all. She has a feeling that they are heading to southern France but she isn't sure. Evan greets her on the runway, which has this spectacular view of this gorgeous rainbow that seems like it was made just for that moment.

Evan reveals that they are in Corsica and says perhaps the most intelligent thing we have heard all season, where he gives us a quick geography lesson that Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean between Italy and France. Something tells me that he was told this fact ahead of time and given the right opportunity to throw it in there. At least his line readings sound more natural than Alex McLeod. Hmmm. Something tells me she's destined for the Hall of Shame for Worst Host. Or even Most Invisible Host.

As they drive along the Corsican highways, Evan is drawn to a construction site, where he looks longingly at the bulldozer with more love and affection than we have seen him show any woman. They stop for a moment on a mountain top to take a long look at the island and it's one of those nice peaceful moments between two people where saying nothing is like saying everything and then some.

Back in the car, Evan holds back on his urge to kiss Zora immediately and instead smells her hair. I need someone to explain to me the hair-smelling thing. I have never had the urge to smell a woman's hair and I'm trying to understand how the perfume left over in a woman's hair can have an effect on a man. Email me, people. Let me know. I need to be educated on these things.

They pull up at this very intimate hotel room and go to dinner. The first thing out of Evan's mouth is, "Did you get that breast in Paris?" See, I told you this episode was about breasts. Thankfully Zora laughs it off and knows that he meant the next thing he says - dress - instead of breast. The waiter at dinner asks if they want dessert at the pool and Evan offers her the out and says that they will have dessert at the table and if she doesn't want to go to the pool it's her decision.

Well, she decides to go for it and gets in her bathing suit although she keeps a robe on over it. At least until she is pulled in by Evan. The two of them spend a nice cozy time in the pool and Evan even comments that when Zora lets her guard down they have a lot of fun. Zora, many of us have determined, has some trust issues she is still in the process of resolving.

Morning breaks in Corsica and Zora is on the beach watching the tide come in. She thinks Evan is attractive and considerate but she has no idea how he feels about her. But then she lays down a bombshell at breakfast. Zora had her own personal visit from Miss Ruby and the Psychic Friends Network when she mentions she had a dream that Evan wasn't really who he says he was. In her dream she said his real name was John Corbin… or at least something that began with a "C." That comment makes for a long, tense car ride back to the airport.

Back at the chateau, our two evil stepsisters are waiting for Zora to return and I don't really know why they care because Melissa, whose hair tends to prove that you can tell the difference between salon quality shampoo and Suave (honey, your hair sucks… big time… just shave your head and start over), says that if she met Zora on the street or in a coffee shop that they would probably not be friends. Maybe it's because she's far more mature than you will ever be.

Eventually Zora returns and the women pump her for information and Zora's lips are tighter than a downed fighter pilot who will only give his name, rank, and serial number. She does admit that they kissed but it was nothing major at all. You can tell that she's not going to tell them much because she doesn't want to let people know what happened or how he feels about her. Can I just say that if I had to rank these three women on the attractive early in the morning (or whatever time of day it is at this point) it would have to be Zora first, Sarah second, and Melissa third. Melissa just looks horrible.

At this point, conversation turns to the invitation ceremony and how much they hate it. In fact, Sarah brings up the "after speech" that Evan tends to do after each ceremony. At this point, Zora mentions that she told Evan how much Melissa hates that speech and it just pisses off the evil stepsister, which makes Brian laugh really really hard. Oh let's face it. I've never really liked Melissa because she's not been edited well enough to even make her likable as much as it's made her look like a spoiled little bitch.

So now we have Sarah's date and I have to wonder what else she packed in her bag besides clothes. Maybe some leather restraints or something? She says she grew up in a small town of less than 400 people and talks about how Evan's money would help her attain some of her materialistic goals. Of course she doesn't specifically say Evan's money, but we know she was talking about that.

Evan meanwhile thinks that Sarah is classy, cultured, and sophisticated. Well, Evan, that's because she can tell the difference between the pleather, leather, and vinyl restraints and which works best in which situations. I'm sure she has some fuzzy handcuffs with her that she can use to demonstrate on you. Good thing it's a private jet, so she didn't have to go through airport security.

This time they are in Nice and at an exclusive resort for the rich and famous. Evan leaves to give Sarah some time to change and get ready. She pops some champagne and eats some chocolate and starts to get ready. Tragedy strikes because her dress was left on the plane, the heel of her shoe broke, and she couldn't do her hair properly. But, let me just put it this way, at least her hair looked better than Melissa's.

At dinner, Sarah pretty much just takes over and orders everything. You can just tell she has the champagne and caviar tastes but the beer and pretzel budget. However she knows what to order and what she likes. While Evan has steak, Sarah has gnocchi, which is pretty much puffed dough in tomato sauce. I've also seen it made with potatoes before but I think I might be wrong on that account. Anyway, Evan asks is there is anything inside the little puffs because he's seen them when they've been rolled with meat inside. Oh no, Sarah says, that's ravioli.

Oh what must be going through her mind at this time. Well she thinks he's kinda stupid. Well she specifically says that he's not "extraneously intellectual" which is pretty much a polite way of saying that he's not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.

After dinner they do a walk and enjoy looking at the moon, and once again Evan proceeds to pop a champagne cork in the air and almost whacks someone else on the head. He has to stop that. Anyway, they do some kissing on a bench and head back to their hotel rooms. Evan says goodnight, and it's over. Right? Wrong. Sarah decides that she has to go down to his hotel room about ten minutes later because she has to go look at the moon again and even says that he shouldn't take his pants off - JUST YET! Yes she says the phrase "just yet," which means she has more on her mind than just looking at the moon,

Evan, bless his soul, knows that she wants to do more than just look at the moon and I guess he put his shirt back on to sit out on his terrace and pretty much make out with her. Her plan, Sarah says, is to make sure that she has his full attention and that at no point he was thinking about the other women. So something apparently went on under the blanket but Evan is telling no one. Oh come on. We've seen her at her worst already. Ugh… did you have to go to commercial and make us hear him grunt before you fade out? Was that really necessary?

Sarah heads off to airport to go back to the chateau while Evan remains in Nice to ponder about the three women. Sarah says that the entire date blew her away and it takes a lot to blow her away.

No comment from me. Holding my tongue. For once.

Paul arrives and announces that there is an elimination tomorrow. The women ask if he knows who it is and he says he doesn't know. Again, Melissa just looks frumpy in that blue sweater while the other women, who are dressed just as casual as she is, look fabulous. What is up with that? I mean really, Melissa, you are a prime candidate for BBC America's What Not To Wear? I would tell you to go on the American edition but they are too nice and you need Trinny and Susannah to rip you to shreds. Hell, I would go on it just to get two thousand pounds to spend on clothes.

So now we move on to the scene we have seen in all of the episodes about Evan finally breaking down and admitting how much the entire show is getting to him. We get shots of him in his room lying on his bed contemplating. At one point, his hands are in his crotch which made me wonder if he had ordered one of those naughty hotel movies to watch and then gone, "Hey! That's Sarah! What's she doing in that?" Bad shots of him trying to sleep interspersed with bad shots of him from previous episodes. No sleep for Mr. Marriot and I think he pretty much wants the cameras to leave so he can sleep.

Anyway, he gets producer Ray Guiliani (no idea if he's related to the former NYC mayor) to come out and talk to him. Evan just lays it all on the line about how much he hates what he's doing, how wrong the entire process is, and how much it's eating him up inside. Well, apparently, Mr. Guiliani waved a magic wand or something (most likely his contract) and Evan is continuing on with the show.

The women arrive for invitation night and once again Melissa just looks out of place there. Not the hair but the dress really. That blue under the black? It looks really bad and I am not digging it at all. Then Alex McLeod enters and makes Melissa look like a friggin' Paris runway model. Alex is in this maroon-wine-ish colored top and a skirt that was probably made by Hildi Santo-Tomas from Trading Spaces out of scraps of fabric that Laurie Smith had left over from one of her designs. We're talking a sure spot on Mr. Blackwell's Worst Dressed List. Who did your wardrobe, Alex? Did you piss them off or something? Eww and the shirt is ruffled. Ugh.

Alex, with her stilted delivery, tells the women that it's diamond pendants for them this time and thankfully her time on camera is brief. If they ever do this show again, which is unlikely since the theme of the show would be pretty much evident to anyone participating, they should just get Paul Hogan to host… I swear he's the best thing about this show.

Evan spares them an opening speech and asks if they've rested and they say a little bit. He admits that he is more nervous than they are. Sarah isn't nervous this time, she says. Probably because you put out.

The first person Paul calls out, after a series of really unnecessary shots to build tension, is Sarah. And this… oh my God… THIS is the funniest line of the entire show, and considering what we now know of Sarah and her appearance in several epidermal epics makes it that much funnier:

"I think Sarah and I have really bonded and I really strong feelings for her. And I don't think all her feelings for me are tied up with the money."

Hee hee hee! Bonded? More like BONDAGE! Tied up! Someone get me some oxygen, I think I'm going to pass out from laughing too hard. Fox? How could you leave that line in there knowing what we know now? You could have edited that line out or replaced it with something else. But damn that was funny.

So we get to the last necklace and I'm pretty much thinking that Zora is gonna get the shaft since he seems to really like Melissa and she most likely put out for him on their date. But sure enough Zora gets a necklace, which causes me and fellow RNO writer Brian James to gasp loudly while we were on the phone together watching the last few minutes of the episode. What a shocker! All Melissa can do is sit there and watch as Zora gets her necklace.

Poor Sarah. She looks over at Melissa and has to realize that she's losing one of her fellow evil stepsisters. Evan says that he didn't really have feelings for Melissa and that something just wasn't there. Probably her grasp of the English language and the definition of its words. Melissa takes just one last chance to get him to change his mind and runs up for a hug. The women hug her goodbye and she leaves to go pack her bags - or, as Heidi (who is of course now in the Reality TV Hall of Shame) called it, her bread baggage.

Back in the invitation room, Sarah thinks that she and Zora are more alike than she realized while Zora is amazed that Evan would pick two woman who are nothing alike. Hmmm. How's that for perceptions?

Melissa starts off her confessional and can't even speak. So far it's the best thing she's done on the show so far. She can't really say anything bad since she made it that far and says that Evan is a good guy overall. She says that Evan is missing out on her and I have to say that really and truly, he's not.

Back in the chateau later that evening, Evan is making himself a late night snack because soon he will have to pick one woman and tell her the truth. Now the preview teasers made it seem like it all comes to a head next week but there are supposedly two episodes left so something has to happen that I'm not aware of. Probably one of those drawn-out two-part finales, but they don't want us to skip next week.

Anyway, the show is almost over, Paul is almost out of cognac, and I am almost out of my mind for taking this show as seriously as I have. Maybe I should be glad to be single.

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