Evan Marriott’s surprising apology for Joe Millionaire: “I failed miserably”

On Sunday’s special for Fox’s 25th anniversary, Evan Marriott, the star of Joe Millionaire, briefly appeared. Ryan Seacrest noted that the finale of that show remains Fox’s highest-rated entertainment program ever.

Evan reflected briefly on his experience, but the most noteworthy part was his terrifying soul patch.

Three years after the show aired, he said in an interview that his fame continued to haunt him, and that’s true today, as his appearance caused The Gloss to recall a 2003 People article in which Evan said that his ideal woman was “blonde, with big boobs, a little waist and a big, thick bubble butt,” and said, “I knew during the show that none of those girls was for me. I don’t think I did it for them, either.”

Evan replied to The Gloss, which basically called him a terrible person, and that’s where it gets interesting, because he did not say what one might expect.

“I wanted an opportunity to apologize,” he wrote. “I reflect back to that interview I did with you in 2003 and think about what a douche I was.” Interestingly, he said that “because I didn’t understand the repercussions of how popular the show was going to be, when it came time to handle the minimal celebrity that I had, I failed miserably.” Elsewhere, he added, “The past 6 years of my life have been spent dealing with issues (most self inflicted) that I obtained because of a pretty unexplainable rise to fame all the while taking stock of the shame and heartache that I may have left in my wake.”

The full letter is worth a read, because it’s clear that he feels bad about his behavior. If only that would impact some obnoxious reality TV stars before they go on TV, but it seems that the experience and magnification of one’s behavior can inspire personal growth, at the very least.

And for someone who writes about and judges the behavior of reality stars, I found The Gloss writer Jennifer Wright’s response to Evan’s response to be most interesting of all:

“Sometimes we just throw out vitriol. Then we got the following incredibly nice, self aware letter from him. Ugh! He is a person! Sometimes we forget reality stars are people! We are jerks.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.