''Joe Millionaire''

Euro-Pass

Those European women are memorable. And, as they proved on their group dates, they're just as materialistic as U.S. gals, says Liane Bonin

David Smith, The Next Joe Millionaire: An International Affair | 'THE NEXT JOE'
'THE NEXT JOE'

Those European women are memorable

First things first. Note to Fox executives: Please lose ''The Next Joe Millionaire'''s cheesy Marlboro man intro, pronto. If I wanted to see ''Bonanza'' meets ''Foreign Girls Gone Wild,'' I'd get a broader spectrum of cable channels.

Watching Tuesday's episode, I began thinking that European women (these European women, at least) might not understand the concept of ''date.'' During the show's series of group outings, which took the gals to a pottery lesson, a picnic in the park, and the leaning tower of Pisa, the idyllic settings only seemed to fire up the ladies to grill their poor all-American boy about international horse-shipping techniques, stock-market investing, and the various branches of his family tree. I've had job interviews that were more romantic.

As brash and condescending as they seem, at least this pack of bachelorettes is proving to be memorable. Olinda may look like the poor man's Michelle Pfeiffer, but the blonde Swede really distinguished herself as a walking, talking, bikini-wearing dating don't. Not only did she smack her lips like David's prize stallion over lunch, roll her eyes and stop just short of calling David a pickin' and grinnin' yahoo for bowing his head in prayer, she turned a friendly pottery lesson/group date into a one-way ticket to skanksville. Watching her massage wet clay on the wheel, I half expected Fox to interrupt the scene with a censor-friendly test pattern or at least blur out her muddy, smutty mitts.

But, as crass as she is, I'm happy Olinda is sticking around another week, if only because she seems like the most likely candidate to start a blood-drawing, hair-pulling catfight. Cat, the quiet German DJ, is the primary target of Olinda's ire, and I'm really hoping that beneath her Teutonic cool Cat's hiding some dagger sharp claws. Olinda could certainly benefit from a good ol' American ass-whuppin, even if a German girl has to be the one to administer it.

Given that David was able to overlook all of Olinda's flaws, I was surprised that he gave trash-talking Tereza the ax. Her insistence on drinking too much, cussing, and forgetting her underwear had a certain charm, although she was surprisingly dull for someone whose life skills appear to be modeled on Britney Spears'.

So far, I'm rooting for Alessia, the loud Italian who seems to be hovering between two distinct personalities: carefree, sassy heroine of her very own Lifetime movie and delusional nutjob who will someday be making her own dresses out of colorful macrame potholders and living in a studio apartment with too many unspayed cats and a shrine to David, ''the husband who got away.''

But Alessia, who is always giving David such thoughtful gifts as garish paper leis and leftover roses, seems to not only be having a swell time, but appears to sincerely like David. Sure, she may simply be giving him more credit than he's due thanks to the language barrier. But considering that most of the other women seem to view dating him as a hellish but beneficial responsibility -- like eating their spinach or watching ''Meet the Press'' -- Alessia's friendliness brings to mind a good, old-fashioned barn raising.

Originally posted Oct 29, 2003