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In the news

Tampa man the winner on 'Average Joe' finale

Published July 28, 2005

There really were no losers on the finale of Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back on Wednesday. Tampa's Nathan Griffin became the first "Joe" in the show's three seasons to come out on top with the babe of the moment. And Rocky Fain, the hunk member of the final two, was rejected by Anna Chudoba but used every second of his camera time to make sure that today, every soap opera will be pounding down his door to fill their next "hunky guy" slot.

In the best tradition of a Lifetime TV movie, Chudoba, 26, a model-music video performer from Las Vegas, picked Griffin, 26, a Kahlil Gibran-quoting cafe worker and former Air Force missile technician, after wondering if it made her shallow for wanting Fain because he was hunky and a great kisser.

Fain, 25, a waiter - and, as he took every opportunity to mention, aspiring model and actor splitting time between Las Vegas and Los Angeles - was effective in a crying scene at the end as he said in a voiceover, "I am heartbroken."

Griffin was one of three Tampa Bay area residents who participated in Season 3, which was taped last summer. Nick Parlin, 23, a Tampa magician, was among the first ejected, but he was given a makeover and brought back in the next-to-last episode for another chance with Chudoba. She cut him again.

(Griffin also was ejected earlier, given a makeover and brought back.) Brad Gatie, 22, a graphic designer and model from Clearwater, was among the hunks brought in to compete with the Joes. He was sent packing after Chudoba saw him and other hunks making out with women at a Los Angeles nightclub.

ABC to expand hit show "Dancing With the Stars'

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - ABC's summer filler Dancing With the Stars was such a huge hit and generated so much viewer debate over the telephone voting system and the final outcome that the network is expanding the show to two nights when it returns early next year.

ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson in a news release Wednesday said the network is going to extend the next run to include more weeks of competition, and add a weekly 30-minute results show when judges' scores will be combined with the results of viewer votes.

Dancing With the Stars was the biggest summer ratings hit since Survivor in 2000. McPherson said the changes were a direct reaction to viewer frustration over the voting process.

[Last modified July 28, 2005, 01:09:17]

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