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“I Had Great Fun”: An Interview with Thomas Grande of ‘Average Joe 2’by David Bloomberg -- 02/16/2004
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Thomas asked Larissa, during their one-on-one date, why he was still there. She gave him an answer but then sent him packing at the next opportunity. So what does he think about why he was sent home? And how about the way the pretty boys acted? RealityNewsOnline found out the answers to these and other questions in our interview.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Thomas, and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions from RealityNewsOnline! Let’s start before the show began filming – how did you end up on Average Joe, and what made you want to sign up?
Thomas: I was helping out the valet staff at my hotel during our Rose festival Parade. A casting guy approached me and asked if I'd, "ever thought about being on TV?" I answered who hasn't thought that would be cool. He said that I had the "look" they were looking for, I replied, "a short balding white guy with glasses?" He gave me a line about a reality show that wanted personalities. I decided why not do it, I have one of those. I thought it would be fun and it was.
RNO: What did you think of your fellow contestants before the pretty boys showed up?
Thomas: My first thought was they definitely got personalities. I also thought I got along with everybody. Some of them I didn't get to know that well. We did get a few days together before the first cut, it was a blast with all of them.
RNO: When the pretty boys arrived, what was going through your head?
Thomas: To me it was funny, I got the twist instantly. Some took differently than others, it really didn't bother me at all. Brian Glazer put it best, "if they were all here with us, who was working at J Crew?"
RNO: Did the hunks and the Joes ever actually get along?
Thomas: Most of us got along really well I thought. We pretty much were hanging out together all day, cooked, ate, played games, occasionally orally ripped each other apart for fun. It was like a summer camp with alcohol and protein bars. A couple of them really seemed to be looking down their noses at us and stuck to themselves. Didn't bug me at all, whatever, right Phuc.
RNO: What did you think of the several different physical challenges (both at the school and at the beach) that seemed geared towards giving the pretty boys a win?
Thomas: Oh yeah they were geared towards the hunks. Fredo kept asking for our "red clown noses and big shoes" to complete the uniforms in the school events. I just did my best, I wished they would have shown it. During the monkey bars, Mike S. and I did a pull-up at the end of the bars at the hunks, most of us made it through that challenge by the way. The beachwatch competition was fun, you got to see us take them down a notch in the first event, all of us together pulled that off, if you'll notice Brian Worth had a comeback in that race too. It was a team effort everyone gave their best and we all pulled that dummy out of the water, it came down to time. In the end we lost, I guess we needed our "red clown snorkels and big flippers," right Fredo.
RNO: As you mentioned, and we saw, you and the other Joes did manage to overcome the pretty boys on the paddling challenge, despite their snide remarks to the side – how sweet was that victory?
Thomas: Oh yeah, the paddleboard race was exciting. As stated before, that was a huge team effort. I really did enjoy my race with Klein, I think he is still mad about me smoking him, oh well. I think winning that gave us the strength and will to make the whole contest closer than even the designer of them, Satan, thought. Great line, Glazer.
RNO: Did you realize, before you saw the show, how much the pretty boys – a couple in particular – were putting you and the other Joes down?
Thomas: Like I said, a couple of them thought they were better than us or something. So I had an idea of what they might be saying. It's OK – those guys are still getting roasted by us and the public to this day. The others were probably just tight knit at that point from spending the time they had together before meeting us and probably spoke from the perspective they had at the time.1 2 Next-->
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