How much of Average Joe was Reality or where we duped? Read what AverageCarl thinks!
In the season finale, Larissa finally narrowed it down to two guys, Brian and Gil, visited both their hometowns and, in a final agonizing decision, chose Gil over Brian. Or so the producers would have us believe. But a closer look at the tape suggests that what we saw happen and what really went down were two very different things.
My suspicions were first raised during the second-to-last episode, a “special” one and a half hour installment that left me scratching my head. In the first hour of the show, the producers essentially voted Fredo off “Average Joe: Hawaii” by effectively setting him up (inviting him to sneak a peak at Larissa’s private date with Jim). In the second half hour, Larissa travels to Scottsdale, Jim’s hometown, and dumps him in, bizarrely, an airplane hangar of all places – thus setting up the finale pitting Average Joe Brian against New-Guy Gil. As the credits rolled on this episode, I couldn’t help but remark how strange it was that they had Larissa travel all the way to Scottsdale just so she could dump James. And what was the deal with that plane hangar?
Fast forward to the season finale. We are led to believe that Brian and Gil are the final two candidates vying for Larissa’s heart. Larissa visits Gil in Florida, then Brian in Boston. In Boston, Brian presents her with two lobsters he nicknames James and Gil. Larissa comments on how symbolic the moment was, their releasing two lobsters named James and Gil back to the water. But hang on a sec! Why bother to name a lobster James if he’d already been eliminated? Unless…
Unless the format called for Larissa to travel to all three destinations – Florida, Boston, AND Scottsdale – before eliminating one of the candidates and setting up a showdown. The only problem was, instead of eliminating one of the New Guys to set up the Average Joe/New Guy finale, she eliminated the Average Joe, thus setting up a New Guy/New Guy finale. Not at all what the producers had hoped for. How to deal with such a situation? Simple. Simply edit the show in such a way that it seems like Larissa goes to Scottsdale and gets rid of Jim FIRST.
The clues are all there. All three candidates get home visits. All three candidates get the same red carpet/airplane hangar resolution. The only difference is that one got it in the second-to-last episode, while the other two received theirs in the finale. When Larissa is being interviewed about her final decision, listen very carefully. She refers to making a choice between two guys, but is never specific about WHICH two guys.
It would appear that Average Joe Brian, the sentimental favorite was probably her third, if not her fourth choice. Which brings us back to poor Fredo. Check out the disclaimer at the end of every episode. It states that Larissa consulted with the producers about her choices but that, in the end, the final decision rested with her. Producers could not influence who she would vote off – BUT, if they found out she planned to vote sentimental fave Brian off BEFORE Fredo, they could influence Fredo’s decision to leave. Larissa’s sour grapes reaction to his goodbye letter (along the lines of “I was going to get rid of him today anyway”) was hardly convincing.
Faced with the prospect of losing Brian in the second-to-last episode and being left with a trio made up of James, Gil, and Fredo (whose romantic prospects with Larissa seemed dim at best), the producers invited Fredo – not Brian, or both Average Joes, or Brian, Fredo and Gil – JUST Fredo, to spy on Larissa and James. He bows out, leaving Brian, James, and Gil to compete. Next up: Larissa visits all three hometowns. She dumps Brian first, narrowing it down to James and Gil. She decides against James because, we are led to believe, he is not smart enough for her (as opposed to someone like, say, Fabio) and chooses Gil. The producers go back to the editing room and edit together a disjointed second-to-last episode and season finale in which the viewers are led to believe they are watching a showdown between Average Joe Brian and New Guy Gil.
Finally – our Larissa seems to get her comeuppance (and a taste of what Brian must have endured) when Gil dumps her for having gone out with Fabio(???). Again, I suspect there’s more here than meets the eye or, in this case, the light of a television screen. As for the real reason behind their break-up? Only the producers know for sure.