Telly Vision Review - Epsiode 4

By Amanda Jones

January 29, 2003

And then there were four, and we felt 20% more sorry for each one.

Sarah and Evan go bike riding, and stop off for a wine tasting. How smart is this? “Don’t drink and ride.” (Aside: ha, your writer is so funny; that’s some clever foreshadowing, there). The wine steward just kept filling glasses and uncorking bottles and Evan and Sarah just kept “drinking and drinking and drinking.” Evan senses after a few drinks that Sarah has a wild side. He seems rather proud of himself for figuring this out, but frankly I can’t name many people who don’t have a wild side after “drinking and drinking and drinking,” so the fact that Evan is stunned by this is – well – stunning. At one point in the date, Evan wants to change the subject because he’s not pleased with answering questions about The Money (I’ll capitalize that for you, dear readers, in order that you may know the reverence with which The Money is referred to by the contestants on this show), so he kisses Sarah. Later, after returning to the chateau, Evan and Sarah sneak off by themselves, making a conscious effort to ditch the camera people. Once they’ve successfully done this and are behind a wall that the cameras, it would seem, are not allowed to or are unable to cross, the porn music starts and the subtitles come out to play (Note: As this was happenening, a shot was shown of Zora hand-washing something in the sink – again, using the tool of foreshadowing, your writer feels compelled to make a Cinderella joke). I don’t watch much porn, and certainly I have never used the subtitles feature to watch what porn I have seen, but it’s apparent that the production crew of Joe Millionaire is familiar with the art of subtitled porn. Too familiar. As the camera crew hung back from Evan and Sarah’s “kicked into high gear” intimate encounter, we read such suggestive words in the libretto as “Mmmmm, “Aaaah,” “(slurp),” and my personal favorite: “(gulp).” I wouldn’t be doing my job, here, too, if I didn’t mention again that while were listening to and reading the porn that we couldn’t see unwrapping behind the wall, the porn music continued to play to ensure that we knew what was happening. Thank you, Fox.

Evan tells us that they had time to sit there and kiss a little bit (in the subtitles, that was “Mwah”), and Sarah quips to Evan on the way back inside that it’s “more exercise than [she’s] had in a month.” In voiceover, Sarah tells us that she’d been worried about her date, but that it was “effortless.” (I can hear her thinking, “it’s amazing how much a guy will pretend to dig you if you just spread your legs for him on national TV.”)

After the date, Sarah and Melissa share cigarettes outside the chateau. Melissa asks Sarah if she kissed Evan. Sarah replies that she kissed him “a little bit goodnight” (and we at home are thinking, “what would constitute kissing a lot?”) and then for some reason comes partially clean, admitting that she "totally" kissed him at the wine tasting. Melissa looks displeased.

Melissa and Evan have a casual, relaxed date -- cooking at the chateau. Evan wears sweats, flip flops and a t-shirt, and Melissa wears some terribly unflattering jeans and a shirt that, in Zora’s approximation, was “tight fitting enough that [her] boobs would stretch it out.” The shirt certainly did its job in that department (the camerapeople made sure we noticed this, many times, from many angles), and when Melissa bent over to get something out of the fridge, her thong was visible. She’s got cleavage. She’s got a thong. Everything’s coming up roses, right? Oh, hell no. Melissa can’t cook, period. I can’t cook either, but if you put me in a situation like that, I know precisely how to act like I can cook. I also know how to make conversation over activity, and I am fully aware that whining about everything you’re asked to do is what got many of the initial 12 girls eliminated. Melissa seems to be completely oblivious, and declares brightly at one point, as though she’s found a way to turn lead into gold, that she can make salad.

While eating the slop that they’ve prepared for themselves, we see cleavage shots aplenty. Melissa tells Joe matter-of-factly when he jokes about her having to clean up, “I don’t clean” and this gives him the impression that she’s the kind of girl who needs to be pampered. He asks her, if she were in his position, what she would do with the cash available to her. She tells him that she wants to go third world countries; bathe children, give shots. And then she drops the bomb, saying: “I’m a mercenary kind of person.” Evan says that he was confused by her answer, and I’m not surprised. “Here I thought she was this nice girl-next-door type, and she’s admitting to me that she’s a killer for hire???” Oh wait. Evan doesn’t notice the gaff. It’s a four syllable word, after all; what’s the point of knowing those if you can grunt your way through life? The date ends uneventfully. No kiss. No subtitles. No porn. Why didn’t we change the channel after Sarah’s date?

Sarah and Melissa, as is their way, have a cigarette confessional after Melissa’s date. Melissa says that she’s traumatized, and that she has “shit under her nails.” Sarah chides Melissa after being told that she wasn’t even kissed: “You got no game. Missed opportunity, retard. I thought we talked about strategy yesterday.” These two don’t seem to fully grasp that only one of them can win… lose… whatever.

Evan picks up at Zora at her door and seems to catch her off guard – did she not know they were going out today? How is this a surprise? They go for a walk in the woods, so that Evan has a chance to talk to Zora. He tells her, essentially, that he likes her but wishes she could trust him. “Just because you were an uptight bitch doesn’t mean that I don’t want to play the game as hard as possible and eventually come between you and your Calvins,” is what he’s really saying. Chatting with Zora in the salon, Evan was obviously uncomfortable. He tells us that he wanted to escape. What a coincidence, so did we.

For their real date, they go horseback riding and wind up in a little gazebo thing to talk. Evan tells us that she’s good and decent, and that being with her is a little like being in a Disney movie (see how that Cinderella joke fits in?). It’s very funny, actually, how much Evan embodies Gaston and how much Zora looks like she's Snow White or something. The Fox producers clearly have noticed this as well, and insert Bambi-esque shots of wild animals into the footage of Evan and Zora’s date. Zora actually tells us that she feels badly that the other girls can’t enjoy this as well. Maybe she doesn't realize they're competing.

Meanwhile back at the chateau, Melissa, Sarah, and Mojo are sitting around bored. Melissa says that on option for her is to “move to LA and get some chump to pay for me.” She and Sarah laugh. “Who wants to pay for the rest of my life?” Sarah says. Mojo, digging through the closet for datewear, says to them, “I wanna see you guys in my hat,” and the snotty bitches laugh and laugh. Sarah and Melissa, in tandem, are among the skankiest human beings I have ever encountered. They are the kind of people who would eat their own young. They are not in this for love, to be sure. If either of them wins (loses... whatever), it will be a glorious day in TV as land as they fall back down to earth.

Later, the other girls have gone out for the night, and Evan's date with Zora is going well. So well, in fact, that Evan makes the hot tub proposal, figuring they can have some privacy. Yeah, right. Fox decides to send the other girls home early (just to spoil the date, I am certain), and they encounter Evan and Zora in the hallway. Zora is damn fool enough to invite the other girls into the hot tub with them. They go to get their bikinis on while Evan and Zora sit uncomfortably in the hot tub. The others join them, and Evan is shaking visibly and practically drools as they step into the hot tub in their bikinis -- as opposed to Zora, who wore a tank top over her bikini to avoid being seen in it on TV. (a word about fashion: Mojo appeared to be wearing her underwear over her bathing suit, a lacy white thing over her bikini bottom. I don’t care if it’s La Perla, underwear is never important enough to showcase in that particular way).

Zora says that she feels that some of the girls were being too flirtatatious. They were all drinking champage, and Zora was drinking water (which is, I would be remiss not to mention, the norm – everyone else always has a glass of wine in one hand, and Zora carries around her water bottle). Zora went to bed early, and the rest stayed.

Mojo and Evan go fencing on their date. Mojo is excited that she gets to wear a fencing outfit. It has a hat. Mojo tells us plainly that she kicked his butt. “I don’t think he can handle the Mojo,” she tells us in confessional. She’s made a surprise for Evan, which she gives him back at the chateau after returning all of the fencing garb except, of course, the hat. It’s a poem and a puzzle, that she made for him before she arrived at the chateau that she claims she wasn’t going to give to him unless she liked him.

In the poem (which is, really -- Mojo, if your’re reading this, I’m sorry to have to be so blunt – shamefully godawful), there is a line that says “waiting patiently; I for my husband, you for your wife.” Evan is visibly freaked out. He’s also a bit freaked at the puzzle, which is a picture of her. The photograph is like a Glamour Shot gone wrong, or the cover of one of those True Romance magazines (yes, I’ve read them. I’ll read anything in a pinch); a black and white shot of her leaning on something, sucking in her cheeks, and wearing something that bares her midriff with the words “I choose you” emblazoned across it. As a gift, it’s more than a little bit self-centered, and Evan doesn’t know what to say. Even the truly dumb, it seems, can be rendered speechless.

Mojo voices over that “he’s right up there with the most charming guys I’ve dated,” which makes me fear for the good women of the state of Indiana. Run, ladies! Run like the wind! Mojo wants to talk to Evan more, but he kisses her to shut her up. We at home make mental notes to send thank you cards to him later.

Sarah and Melissa, in cigarette confessional, talk about Mojo. Melissa feels that Mojo is a completely different element than she is, and that if Evan is “in her element, he’s not in mine.” Melissa tells Sarah that she can deal that Evan drinks beer and goes to hooters; “I can change that.” They laugh evilly. (Aside: I just can’t let go of the fact Melissa, who may as well just admit that she’s a gold-digger, is talking about changing things about her prospective meal ticket. The mind boggles at how completely insensitive these women are.)

In the salon, Mojo shows Evan photo albums. Stuck in the album is a check for a million dollars that she’s written to herself that she’s going to cash in three years. This freaks Evan out, but he toughs out the date. She tells us in confessional that he’s “not a bad kisser, it can only get better.” Evan looked bored in the salon, but must have liked Mojo just enough: at the end of the date, the two walk into Mojo’s bedroom and shut the door in the camera’s face. Unlike with Sarah, we see and hear nothing.

Speaking of Sarah, Sarah says to Melissa: “I hope Mojo goes next, I can’t wait to see that bitch go down.”

Paul is used as a sounding board for Evan. Alex McLeod comes in wearing some Stevie Nicks get-up and tells us that three women will advance, and that those who do will be given ruby necklaces.

Sarah is first chosen. Evan feels that he “really bonded” with her. Yeah, Evan. So we heard. That was an easy choice.

Zora is chosen second. This is odd, because she’s still a cold fish. Evan says that she’s having a hard time opening up, and that he wants her to be able to trust him. “Well, Evan, maybe if you stopped lying to her…” Zora is obviously chosen because she’s the one woman there who could be happy in a relationship with a man without a ton of money.

Between Melissa and Mojo, Melissa is chosen.

Mojo, to her credit, doesn’t cry at all, but it’s out of shock, I think. She never thought she would go. As opposed to Zora, who has yet to unpack, she hasn’t packed at all, and tells us that she figures that Evan must want someone who is “high maintenance or drama.” In the obvious quote of the week, Mojo tells us that “I have so much true deep love waiting inside me for the perfect man.” She is stunned to have been eliminated, and tells us that she would like to know what it was; she would like to ask Evan.

On her way out, she takes a bottle of wine from the chateau. If you’ll recall, another girl did this on episode one – is that a consolation prize? I'll take a nice merlot over a lummox like Evan any day.

Sarah muses in the salon: “Pearl, sapphire, emerald, ruby; what could possibly be next?” (“and how much can I sell it for on ebay??”)

Jim's Take

I only have a couple of things this week. The first of which is to applaud Fox for actually making more fun of this show than I'm capable of. The porn music, the subtitles and the Disney throw-back with Zora had me laughing out loud. Really. Second...since no one wants to do it, I guess I'll have to. Who the hell is Alex McLeod and why the hell is she on this show? They call her the host, but what does she do? She shows up in terrible outfits and has all the important lines like, "Evan will be out in a moment." What's the point!?!?!? Third, I can't believe what a tool this Evan dude really is. When the other 3 girls showed up at the hot tub, I would have sent them packing. This was Zora's date, they need to be gone. Everyone else got a full date, why shouldn't Zora? I thought it was great to see her just get up and leave. It proves why she is the lady the most deserving of the fairy tale. And finally, I've decided that, with the exception of Survivor (because Probst is the master), every reality show from here on out should be hosted by Paul the Butler. Here we are down to the final four ladies on the show and in his closing statement, Paul still takes the time to get one more slam in on Heidi. I frickin love this guy! Until next week, take care and God Bless.

Next week: the Riviera. Lots of kissing while wet. Like you won’t be back.

Joe Millionaire Reviews

Zora's Place