TV Article

Have You Seen This Woman?

Why the ''Joe Millionaire'' host looks so familiar. The former host of ''Trading Spaces'' talks about why her screen time got cut, why she'd never be a contestant on a reality show, and more

Alex McLeod | 'TRADING' GIGS The ''Millionaire'' host says that every McLeod has a silver lining, even though the butler got more screen time
'TRADING' GIGS The ''Millionaire'' host says that every McLeod has a silver lining, even though the butler got more screen time

While ''Joe Millionaire'' and his harem of heir seekers have logged their 15 minutes of fame, ''host'' Alex McLeod didn't even come close. In the six episodes leading up to the Fox hit's finale, she barely mustered five minutes of screen time -- total. That's less than she got in any given episode of TLC's ''Trading Spaces'' (she fronted the program in its early days) -- and certainly less than ''Millionaire'''s scene-stealing butler, Paul Hogan. Below, we uncover four things you didn't know about the Host That Time Forgot.

-- SHE HAS BUTLER ENVY. '''The Eliminator' was my nickname on the set. I had no idea that would be my only role on the show,'' says McLeod, who generally appeared out of nowhere to introduce the weekly necklace ceremonies (average length: 59 words). ''The way they produced my role was a bit stilted. The butler and I could have been a great duo. His fireside chats were 'Masterpiece Theatre' rip-offs -- I mean, parodies.'' Still, McLeod says she'd do it all again, under one condition: ''I'd like to play a French chambermaid next time.''

-- YES, SHE CHOSE HER OWN WARDROBE. And yes, she knows the flowing skirts and froofy layers were tres frumpy. ''[The producers] wanted it to be very 'lady of the manor,''' she says, adding, ''It was really cold, and I don't have a lot of body fat.''

-- SHE DIDN'T FEEL THAT GUILTY ABOUT BEING IN ON THE BIG LIE. When McLeod first met the women and had to tell them their ''Joe'' was a millionaire, she freaked. But eventually she decided Evan's contenders didn't have such a bad deal. They were living in a chateau and hitting French hot spots while McLeod was stuck at a nearby hotel. ''They had a private butler, private chef, private plane. What in the world is there to bitch about?''

-- SHE STILL HAS SOME DIGNITY LEFT. McLeod, who's now working on a travel show for A&E, would never put herself on the wrong side of a necklace ceremony. ''There's no way in hell I'd ever be a contestant on a reality show.''

Originally posted Feb 28, 2003 Published in issue #698 Feb 28, 2003 Order article reprints