He didn't win the tug-of-war for beauty pageant queen Larissa Meek's heart, but Average Joe: Hawaii runner-up Brian Worth hopes to fare better with an actual rope on Bravo's Battle of the Network Reality Stars (Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET). Can the Beantown bean counter drop people into the dunk tank as easily as he drops his R's? TVGuide.com spoke with Worth about Joe, rubbing Larissa's face in it and living up to Gabe Kaplan's legacy.
TVGuide.com: One of those online petition sites is lobbying for you to get your own Average Joe: Adam Returns-type spin-offs.
Brian Worth: I saw that! I have Googled my name a few times to see what the hell is going on out there and boy, that was wacky. Actually, [the Joe] producers came to watch me on my second appearance on The Wayne Brady Show and they were like, "Brian what are we going to do? Are we going to do what I think we're going to do?" It never happened, unfortunately. But I would have done it. Picking and choosing [from a bevy of babes] is a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
TVGuide.com: You popped up during Adam's show, right?
Worth: I was in L.A. for The Tonight Show, and one of the [Joe] producers said, "Since you're out here, we're filming Adam's show down in Palm Springs. Why don't we bring you down there?" And when I got down there, they said, "We have an idea: What would you think about watching the finale with the girls?" I'll tell you, it's like reliving your worst breakup! I got emotional. I was like, "Oh, my god, this is tough."
TVGuide.com: When the series airs, women invariably root for the Joes. Has that proven true in real life?
Worth: Oh, yeah. Believe it or not, I'm still recognized all over the place, even when I travel for work. I think it's because of the emotional investment. Women usually say to me, "I would have picked you. She made a bad decision." Even guys are like, "Oh, man, I had a lump in my throat when she didn't pick you." Larissa actually told me that she got hate mail. I don't endorse that whatsoever but... see what happens when you don't pick me? [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What's been the best part of post-Joe life?
Worth: The outpouring of emotion from the people who come up to me. They related to me, identified with me. And, of course, I got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park — that was a dream come true.
TVGuide.com: I can imagine! You were beside yourself when your final Joe date involved walking onto the Red Sox' field.
Worth: And then, when they brought out my favorite player, Tim Wakefield, I was like, "You gotta be kiddin' me!" When I threw out the ceremonial first pitch, I requested to throw it to Tim, and although it's against team policy to throw it to a player, they waived it. Tim came up to me and was like, "Brian, I watched [Joe] and you got hosed, man." I said, "I know."
TVGuide.com: Did you see that in Season 3 an Average Joe finally got picked?
Worth: Yes! About time, huh?
TVGuide.com: But now he is dating someone else. Both Nathan and Anna said it was hard to make it work since NBC keeps you apart until the finale airs, which in this case was an especially long time.
Worth: Oh, it was crazy. I was in the first episode of [Average Joe 3] and we filmed that, like, Aug. 1 of last summer. And the [finale] didn't air until a year later!
TVGuide.com: Did you hesitate at all about doing Battle of the Network Reality Stars?
Worth: Not at all. When a friend of mine told me they wanted me on the show, I was like, "Are you serious? Battle of the Network Stars? I loved that show!" I was wicked excited.
TVGuide.com: What is your best event?
Worth: I never thought that [throwing out that first pitch] would come in handy, but in [the first] episode I did the dunk tank. I was like, "I got my arm ready!" I heard about [Battle] at the last second, so there was no time to work out, just like with Average Joe. It seems like I never have a chance to prepare for this stuff!
TVGuide.com: I don't imagine [original Battle icon] Gabe Kaplan had much of a training regimen.
Worth: [Laughs] I know, really. But I'd like to be at least a little ready going up against these other people who are, like, superstuds.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of which, what do we hear from Larissa and her hard-bodied beau?
Worth: She's on again, off again with Gil. I haven't really talked to her that much. My last conversation with her was after the Red Sox beat her Cardinals in the World Series. I'm not a rub-it-in-your-face kind of guy, but that warranted a phone call!