The Anna Nicole Show Fan Site

Episode Guide

Episode 14:
“Bachelorette #2”

Anna Nicole tries to find true love by televising her own dating game, showing that her real life isn't really like reality TV, and her show is a lot less lifelike when it's live.
(Aired March 2, 2003)

The Anna Nicole Show

Woo-hoo! The Anna Nicole Show is back! The Season Two premiere is the silliest stunt the series has pulled so far: a "live and supersized" spoof of the reality television craze. E! inevitably had to concoct some sort of gimmick to draw attention to the new season, and while the results were pretty funny, I'll be happy to see the show return to its proper format: unscripted and on tape.

Actually, both parts of the "live and supersized" tagline are a tad misleading. The bulk of this episode is prerecorded clips, stitched together with brief live segments and the big closing ceremony. And you'd think "supersized" would mean an hour-long special, but no. This episode runs a whopping three minutes extra. It wastes nearly that much time showing highlights from last season, so the teensy bit of overtime is entirely baffling.

I don't watch any of the so-called reality shows except for Anna Nicole's and The Osbournes, so I may not have appreciated all the homages to the many various rival programs referenced here. The biggie, of course, is The Bachelorette. Our host for the live broadcast from Anna Nicole's house is Paul Hogan, the butler from Joe Millionaire. He explains that the star of the show will be choosing one of five competing bachelors to possibly become the new man in her life. "No, we don't have a million dollars to give away," Paul says. "We have something better: the heart of Miss Anna Nicole Smith." Damn right... that's a prize that ten thousand crappy reality shows could never match. I guess my invitation to compete on the show must have got lost in the mail.

The Anna Nicole Show In a taped segment, Anna Nicole arrives on horseback to greet the five contestants in front of her home. The equestrian entrance with soft focus lenses and swirls of smoke-machine fog is evidently a staple of the romantic-competition reality shows. Then Paul introduces the live and in-person Anna Nicole. She looks ravishing in a low-cut purple evening gown with a sheer shoulder wrap and black opera gloves. Hubba hubba. Still recovering from a recent skating accident that banged up her left leg, Anna Nicole has been off her feet and getting around in a wheelchair lately. But she covers up her injury like a champ for the big live premiere, and most people probably didn't even notice it.

After the familiar opening titles, fortunately left unchanged from Season One, Paul introduces the five bachelors. Wearing tuxedos with pink bow ties (of course), they each come out and present Anna Nicole with a pink rose (of course) and a kiss on the cheek. Then we see a series of video profiles of the guys, set to campy Dating Game-style music and cornball narration about their turn-ons and their Zodiac signs. Two of the gentlemen are themselves reality-TV inside jokes, being veterans (read: losers) from other series.

Jeff Hawkins, 29, is an adult film sales rep and paramedic-in-training from Kansas City. Jeff says he makes no excuses when women ask him if he's in the porn business.

Frank Miniaci, 36, is a writer/producer from San Gabriel, California. Frank claims he could use his status as a producer to get laid, but magnanimously, he doesn't.

Mark Norris, 42, is a truck driver/actor from Baltimore. He has two daughters from a previous marriage and speaks three languages. Mark likes "watching a woman be a woman."

Mitchell Olson, 25, is a singer/songwriter from South Dakota. He appeared as a contestant on Survivor 2. Mitchell says the most important part of a relationship is "the laughter."

Brook Pemberton, 29, is a cowboy/excavator from Texas. He was previously rejected by Trista on The Bachelorette. Brook dislikes women who are "dumb as a box of rocks."

So those are the hopeful suitors. Paul assures us that Howard has carefully screened the contestants, and we cut to our favorite attorney, apparently stationed in the basement with the lie detector he has used on the guys. That's yet one more gimmick lifted from some reality show or other. Howard is sporting a new look for Season Two, with a goatee and shaggier hair, which now looks a brownish-red instead of its usual black. It seems as if Howard has finally given up on being a real-world lawyer and let it all hang out now that he's solely Anna Nicole's handler. It's hard to envision him stepping into a courtroom again until he gets a shave and a haircut.

The Anna Nicole Show When Howard awkwardly discusses his lie detector tests, he proves that it was the right decision to have an outsider like Paul Hogan host this very strange show. The live format requires a ringmaster to tie everything together and keep it moving. Anna Nicole obviously lacks the verbal finesse to carry off that role herself, and we can see that Howard's oratory chops don't translate to live television. So three cheers for the butler.

Paul then introduces a time-killing recap of Anna Nicole's amorous longings and escapades from last season. This goes on way too long, wandering into scenes that have nothing to do with her love life, like her ill-fated driving lessons and cousin Shelly's awful drunken fight with Angie. This is how E! takes advantage of a live "supersized" episode? Whatever.

After Paul finds Anna Nicole indisposed in the bathroom, he tells us that the five lucky bachelors were chosen from "thousands of eligible and eager applicants." Then there's a highlight reel of Howard interviewing the first-round candidates, who apparently responded to a local announcement in the L.A. area. If I had heard about an open audition, I would have flown out there and signed up. I may not have made it to the final five, but I could easily have outranked most of the jokers we're shown here. Talk about a cavalcade of losers.

Howard asks the guys if they have ever been convicted of a felony, and one sleazebag says, "Yes, just for assault." Asked if they want to date Anna Nicole because she's famous, bunches of them say yes. One guy talks about how he likes intellectual women, and a dubious Howard replies, "You know Anna, right?" Howard gets a variety of responses when he asks the applicants if they like pickles and if they like cunnilingus, but not one of them is man enough to answer in the affirmative when asked, "Have you ever masturbated to a picture of Anna Nicole?" I actually did the math on this, and my answer to that would have to be over a thousand times. Wussies.

In the reruns of this episode, E! has completely edited out these hilarious interviews to make the show fit in a 30-minute time slot. What the hell were they thinking? This was one of the funniest parts of the episode, but they hacked it out instead of those damn pointless flashbacks from last season. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Anyway, next up, Paul introduces a series of taped clips of the five finalists trying to woo Anna Nicole in various wacky ways. This is the first instance of staged comedy on The Anna Nicole Show, if you don't count the scripted episode intros, and some of it is funny and some of it is lame.

First, we see Frank performing some act on Anna Nicole that has propelled her into the throes of sexual ecstasy. Camera pulls back to reveal he is giving her a foot massage, and apparently a damned good one. Whether real or fake, Anna Nicole doing an orgasm is one of my favorite sights any day of the week, so I give this one an A.

Next, in a nod to that Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore scene from Ghost, Anna Nicole is sculpting a malformed lump of clay on a pottery wheel while Jeff reaches around from behind her. But she gets pissed off at his intrusions and keeps slapping him away: "Quit it! Stop it! Leave me alone!" Anna Nicole is so cute in her focused concentration that I have to give this one an A-minus.

Then Mark has Anna Nicole posing while he paints her portrait. This one sucks because of the utterly predictable gag at the end and because they've put Mark in a situation that clearly doesn't suit his personality. Why couldn't he do something macho that she'd really go for, like take her to shoot guns or go four-wheeling in his truck? This one gets an F.

After that, Mitchell serenades Anna Nicole with his dopey rewrite of "Oh Susanna" on acoustic guitar. Anna Nicole looks suitably horrified with a pasted-on smile. I give this one a C-minus.

Finally, Brook does lots of chores around the house while Anna Nicole gazes in rapt approval. Shades of her softcore video Anna Nicole Smith: Exposed, in which she fantasizes about her hunky household staff while they go about their work. On the strength of Anna Nicole contributing a patented "Peek-a-boo!," I give this one a B-plus.

Anna Nicole tells Paul that she liked the foot rub the best. But the real lesson here is that if she must do comedy bits, the part should call for her to act either angry or aroused. Anna Nicole is no good as the straight man. For several reasons.

The following segment with Howard's lie detector tests is a disaster. The cheese begins with Howard's polygraph unit, which has a stupid tacked-on sign reading "LIE DETECTOR," as if he borrowed it from the Adam West Batcave. Howard mostly repeats questions he already asked in the preliminary interviews, only here the answers aren't nearly as funny. (Why didn't E! cut this scene for the reruns instead of that one?) Since we viewers aren't licensed polygraph experts -- Howard either, most likely -- we can't tell for ourselves whether the twitching instruments suggest the subject is lying or not. The one question of real significance Howard poses is, "Do you think I'm an asshole?" The correct answer: "Pretty much, dude."

And finally, it's time to get down to business. Anna Nicole eliminates two contestants by drawing a red lipstick X across their faces. (She has some kind of fetish for taunting men by painting them up with cosmetics.) Mitchell and Frank get the boot. Anna Nicole jokes that the seven-foot-tall Mitchell is "too short" for her. She's less tactful in dismissing Frank, telling him he doesn't have enough muscles. Frank gets double-dissed when Anna Nicole mistakenly calls him "Mitchell," and then Howard, while interviewing the losers, calls him "Mark." Indeed, Frank was the most forgettable of the five contenders, distinguished only by his foot massage.

Before moving on to the final decision, Anna Nicole says she needs to go pee. This ruse gives Paul the opportunity to introduce a sneak peek at the upcoming season. The footage is spectacular. We've got some kick-ass shows ahead of us.

In the final part of their competition, the three remaining bachelors each get the chance to get down on one knee and tell Anna Nicole why she should pick him. Jeff gives his spiel and ends with a goofy rhyme: "Roses are red, violets are blue, Trista picked her firefighter, now so can you." I thought he was supposed to be a paramedic, but who cares.

The Anna Nicole Show Paul gags at Jeff's speech and encourages Brook to do better. Brook says he will, but once he gets down on his knee before Anna Nicole, the only word out of his mouth is "Trista." Whoops! The dumbass obviously hasn't forgotten the bony Bachelorette bitch who kicked him to the curb. In one instant, his slip of the tongue has cemented his place as a two-time reality-show runner-up.

Mark takes his turn, and the other two bozos have made it a cake walk for him. Mark promises Anna Nicole they'll have a great time together, and says he has a mysterious surprise waiting for her later that night.

Then the moment of truth arrives. Anna Nicole summons Kimmie, who makes her one brief appearance of the episode. Moving in the opposite direction from Howard, she seems to be going with her natural hair color this season. On a covered silver platter, Kimmie brings forth the ceremonial pickle that Anna Nicole will bestow on her chosen one, in lieu of the roses they hand out on those other shows. And the winner is...

Well, it was obvious to me all along. Even from the commercial that showed a dozen of the guys who applied for the contest, I saw this big rugged guy with a mustache and said, "There's the one she'll pick." Anna Nicole has always talked about how she loves the Marlboro Man, and with his Burt Reynolds tough guy/cowboy looks, I knew Mark Norris was totally her type. All octogenarian jokes aside, she really does prefer older men, and Mark ranked as the eldest of the group. Brook, the young stud from Texas, was looking like he could be the only one to beat Mark, until he screwed himself with that Trista faux pas. And overall, Mark did seem like the nicest guy and the one most sincerely interested in Anna Nicole, instead of seeking his moment in the spotlight.

So Mark gets to partake of the coveted pickle, and maybe we'll be seeing him again as Anna Nicole's new love, and maybe we won't. Either way, I'll just be relieved to see the show get back to normal next week. This gimmicky season premiere underscored the ridiculous stupidity that runs rampant in reality TV, and how different this series is from the rest of the genre that it's been unfairly lumped into. It doesn't have million-dollar prizes and interchangeable sexy contestants stabbing each other in the back for a fleeting moment of glory. It has something better: the heart, and soul, and beauty, of Miss Anna Nicole Smith.

Anna Nicole Says...
"So, Paul, you ready to rehearse this one more time?"
On whether any of the contestants' efforts has tickled her fancy:
"The foot rub... it tickled my feet!"
"Those f***ers! If there's anything I hate worse, it's a bunch of lyin' f***in' men!"
On why she dumped Mitchell:
"I think he loved my dog more than he loved me."
On why she dumped Frank:
"I had the best orgasm on the foot rub, but you just... you don't have muscles."
On what she looks for in a man:
"It's simple. I like a guy who drives a truck, a gun rack, has good teeth, gives me gifts, goes down on me... you know, the basics."
To the victorious Mark:
"Eat your pickle! Woo-hoo! Do you love your pickle?"

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