Evan's and Zora's friends doubt it's real

Posted: February 20, 2003

Reality TV is just too disappointing to bear. Love is a lie, romance is dead, and girls from Jersey get no respect. First, we learned that Aaron Buerge, of The Bachelor, broke up with Gloucester City's Helene Eksterowicz. Nasty.

Just as we're recovering from that wordless ache - and waiting to see the ex-lovers spill the beans on tonight's 8 o'clock ABC special, The Bachelor: Aaron and Helene Tell All - we now hear that Joe Millionaire's Zora Andrich, who lives in Lambertville, has yet to be seen in public with Evan Marriott, the smart-as-your-toaster hunk and Joe star.

What's a Jersey girl got to do to keep a man around, anyway? Even Zora's friends doubt she and Evan, 28, will be a real couple, according to the New York Daily News. The two won't discuss their relationship until Fox TV airs a postscript installment of the show Monday.

Meanwhile, Evan's Los Angeles pals say they've never seen Zora around, and her Jersey buddies say they've yet to spot the guy. Big scoop: Her intimates say he's not her type. Andrich, 29, is a substitute teacher and reportedly does not like helping her men sound out their words when they read.

Please, don't laugh

We at "Newsmakers" don't believe in making fun of rural Americans and their simple ways. We know you gotta make your own fun out in the country.

For example, we would never laugh at the "Flying Farmer" of Makoti, N.D., who jumped a car over 25 hay bales - a distance of more than 160 feet - in a field near his house. The car landed on its nose and almost flipped over.

John Smith, 38, who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for previous driving stunts, nearly died. But he wants to set two more world records, and is looking for a promoter.

All right, laugh a little.

Big star doings

Nicole Kidman may have found her next big role. The flame-haired, Academy Award-nominated star of The Hours is said to be in talks with Martin Scorsese to star in The Aviator, the forthcoming biopic about Howard Hughes.

She would play sexpot Ava Gardner to eternally boyish Leonardo DiCaprio's Hughes. (Does he have a painting in his attic a la Dorian Gray?)

Given recent rumors about Kidman and the boyishly handsome Brit Jude Law, it would be interesting to see if their on-screen romance spilled over into real life.

A real hero for a change

Rosa Parks, the now 90-year-old Montgomery, Ala., woman who famously refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, will attend the Academy Awards March 23. She is the subject of the nominated documentary Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks. There's no telling how Hollywood's posers and divas will behave when a truly dignified presence walks among them.

Please stop Grisham

John Grisham, who really ought to stop writing soon, says he was pleased with an advance version of a TV movie based on his autobiographical novel, A Painted House.

Filmed for the Hallmark Hall of Fame, which really should stop producing movies, the thing is scheduled to air April 27 on CBS.

Grisham, who's inflicted 11 books on the reading public since his 1988 debut, A Time to Kill, grew up in northeast Arkansas. He said he'd like the flick to premiere in his hometown, Jonesboro, probably at Arkansas State University, which really should stop bestowing honors on overly prolific typists like John.

A nation waits

Put the war on hold, Mr. Bush, and stop those presses, newspaper editors. The Dixie Chicks, who are like the Spice Girls but with better teeth and slightly higher IQs, have announced an announcement.

You heard right. The Southern singers have announced they will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. today in New York's freezing, muddy, snowy Central Park.

We called CMT, the cable country network which will broadcast the Chicks' press conference live, to ask: Dudes, (1) Why Central Park in the middle of winter? and (2) What will those chicks be saying? No one had an answer.

The network's Web site says they will be making "what publicists term 'an eagerly anticipated major announcement.' "

Perhaps the women have captured the anthrax mailer. Or found Osama's hideout. Or maybe they've written a new song about a truck, a tramp and two-timin' man? (You need at least one of those elements to make a hit.) Tune in tomorrow, America.

Tiger, can you spare it?

Who is the worst tipper in America? Former Sixers star Charles Barkley recently branded golf mega-star Tiger Woods as possibly the only sports figure who is a tighter tightwad than Michael Jordan. Las Vegas service personnel agree.

Tiger tipped one measly dollar to waitress Lisa Hammond, who recently appeared on NBC's Fear Factor. She says Woods was unfriendly and a snob. He was also unaware of the Vegas rule that you tip $3 per drink.

Tiger could learn something from Drew Carey, who once tipped $450 on a $130 tab. Other celebs known for their largesse include Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and President Bush, who usually tips 50 percent of the bill. (If he'd married Tipper Gore, then . . . oh, never mind.)

At last month's Sundance Film Festival, Dustin Hoffman gave a cabbie a $50 tip on a $9 fare. Is he generous or just bad with numbers?

Inquirer wire services, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the New York Post contributed to this report.

Contact Alfred Lubrano at 215-854-4969 or alubrano@phillynews.com.

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