Fans of the Joe Millionaire reboot can’t get enough of the blossoming friendship between new bachelors Steven McBee and Kurt Sowers.
After Fox’s Joe Millionaire debuted on January 6, many fans already had their favorite pairing in bachelors Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee. This reboot brings back the hit show from nearly two decades ago, which challenged its contestants as to whether they were looking for love or money. However, this time, there is a twist. The women are competing for the affections of two single gentlemen, instead of just one, and the women have no idea which one is the millionaire. An aspect of the reboot that viewers are loving is the budding bromance developing between Kurt and Steven.
The original Joe Millionaire saw Evan Marriott, a construction worker from Virginia, attempting to convince 20 women that he was an heir to a multi-million dollar fortune, who was looking for a wife who was interested in him, rather than his money. During one episode of the first series, Marriott revealed during a confessional interview that he felt he was “living the biggest lie in front of America. This is about all of America seeing 20 girls misled into thinking some guy’s a millionaire…and the more I think about it, the more it eats my brain out, ’cause I really like this girl.” The new season eliminates the deception element, with the contestants being fully aware that one bachelor is not a millionaire, although which man is not rich is unknown. However, it also adds a new layer of camaraderie. Whereas Evan had to deal with his feelings of insecurity, nerves, and guilt all by himself, new Joe Millionaire bachelors Steven and Kurt can lean on each other during their experience.
According to the Joe Millionaire hashtag, fans couldn’t be more excited about watching this friendship unfold. @ItsMsHawkins2u tweeted, “I think @Sir_Kurt & @steven_mcbee are both going to get 2 relationships out of this cuz the developing bromance is strong. Well that’s my hope at least. #JoeMillionaire.” Millionaire bachelor Steven tweeted via his @steven_mcbee during the show’s premiere, “The bromance is STRONG #JoeMillionaire.” Non-millionaire bachelor Kurt tweeted via his handle @Sir_Kurt, “bros at first sight #JoeMillionaire.” @JacklynObvi tweeted, “I am digging the bromance the @JoeMillFOX guys have fallen into so quickly.” Steven followed this up with his own tweet for the fans, “I can assure you we are bros for life @Sir_Kurt.” Others continued to chime in after the show’s premiere. On January 7, @BillysOhio tweeted, “Just here for the bromance #JoeMillionaire @steven_mcbee.” @CornwellCasting agreed, tweeting, “Classic BROmance.”
While audiences enjoyed The Bachelor-type dating show drama, which included two women at odds over attending a glitzy cotillion party while wearing the same evening gown, some of the most memorable moments of the new Joe Millionaire premiere stemmed from the bromance. Viewers like seeing the two men practicing ballroom dancing together, trading stories of their group date nights (Steven having the much better of the two), and working together to figure out which of the bachelorettes would be eliminated. Who didn’t enjoy seeing a true millionaire take bad advice from new pal Kurt about the correct way to hold a champagne glass? This was an etiquette fail that @Sir_Kurt defends in his tweet, “that’s how I always hold a champagne glass…”
Elimination competitions have always been about pitting contestants against one another and often bring out the most unfavorable sides of the ones competing. While this creates captivating drama that keeps viewers coming back to long-standing shows like Are You The One? it can get stagnant and feel formulaic. Whether intentional or not, what Joe Millionaire has done with its incorporation of this new element is given audiences something new to root for… friendship. This is certainly a new spin for competitive dating television.
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