July 02, 2005 12:40 AM by Joe Blackmon
Average Joe 4: The Joes Strike Back got off to a rousing start on NBC on Tuesday, June 28. The premiere episode saw the elimination of ten of the Average Joes. Among the Average Joes eliminated was Damian Muziani. Reality TV Magazine caught up with Damian Muziani, and he was kind enough to provide us with his feedback on the premiere episode, more details surrounding his casting, and what he really thought of Anna eliminating him. Also, find out about an injury that left Damian Muziani completely unconcious on the Average Joe’s bus.
Reality TV Magazine: How did you get cast in Average Joe 4?
Damian Muziani: My agent called me to audition for a different reality show. She likes to leave out key information about these things so she asked me if I was single and straight (Yes to both, of course) and said I’d be perfect for this dating show. I went to the audition and it was for "Average Jane", a still-mothballed spinoff of the traditional Average Joe that followed the "Adam Returns" format by having one man and 18 average-looking women for him to choose from. Except they wanted a total, total hunk to be the guy. Like the perfect man. So, I walked into the audition not knowing this and the first thing I see is 4 Calvin Klein underwear model men sitting in the waiting room. They thought I was there to deliver a pizza or something. So, I sucked up my humiliation and auditioned anyway. The NBC casting folks there were laughing at my stories and really liked me, but they did agree that I was not what they were looking for. However, they asked if I would consider doing a different show. I agreed, and a week later they contacted me from L.A. to begin the casting process, which took a long time in and of itself.
Reality TV Magazine: What did you think of the other Average Joes? Was there anyone you didn’t get along with or anyone that you became close friends with?
Damian Muziani: Even though I only spent a couple of days with the guys in the house, we all stayed in the same hotel the week before and so I didn’t really consider them to be strangers. They are a great, great bunch of guys. If there was any quality that I thought most were lacking, it was that they didn’t seem to have a true understanding of women and the dating process, etc. I’m not exactly head of the class in this area myself, but I was surprised by how clueless some of the Joes were in their approaches to dating, to the extent that I began to suspect that one or two of them were not actually contestants, but actors. The first guy I met was Josh, and I thought he was going to be a toughie to beat out, but he’s one of those dudes that everybody likes so you find yourself rooting for him, even at your own expense. Dante and I had a couple of disagreements, but I think everyone in that house at one point wanted to muzzle him. Is there such a thing as being Tri-Polar? Thats Dante. He’s crazy, but he knows what he’s doing.
Reality TV Magazine: What did you really think of Anna?
Damian Muziani: So many people have said the nicest things about her, and I have to say that this woman has a heart of gold and big, big things are coming her way. I think her European early life and hard-knock unbringing have kept Anna’s feet firmly on the ground and as she blossomed into the beauty she now is, she has held on to those beliefs and ideals, making her as close to the perfect girlfriend a guy could ask for. I’m actually buddies with her now, which is kind of weird, but we’ve gotten the chance to have a friendship that wasn’t orchestrated in a controlled environment like she did with the other Joes, so it feels more like a real friendship to me.
Reality TV Magazine: Were you surprised that Anna eliminated you on the first episode?
Damian Muziani: No. I’ve gotten SO many people asking me why it happened. I wasn’t shown on TV doing anything that rubbed Anna the wrong way. I knew I was leaving, one way or another, so I said my goodbyes to the other Joes before the elimination scene was even filmed.
Reality TV Magazine: Why do you think Anna eliminated you on the first episode?
Damian Muziani: Anna did me a huge favor. I was really not feeling well, physically, and it was getting really bad by the time the party scene was going on, which is why I kind of disappeared from the TV screen during it. If I didn’t get cut, I might have had to drop out anyway. Actually, knowing now what the remaining Joes had to go through the next day, I think I would have had to quit. I was kind of hiding a head concussion I got earlier from the producers and I wanted to stay, but I felt really sick. In fact, in the black/white clip of the eliminated Joes on the bus, you can see me on the left side, completely unconcious.
Reality TV Magazine: Your bio on the NBC site states that you are a Mensa member and have probably met less women as a result. Do you think Anna was intimidated by your high I.Q.?
Damian Muziani: Not a chance. She is not intimidated by anyone. I was having trouble just making sense when talking to her and it took every last ounce of my strength to keep a smile on and give my last interview on the beach. I was completely out of gas.
Reality TV Magazine: Do you have any regrets about your appearance on Average Joe?
Damian Muziani: Just a couple. I never should have done the pratfall in the dodgeball scene. I never should have let Igor sleep above me in a bunk bed designed to hold a man half his weight, and I should have had earplugs handy at all times, especially at night, when trying to sleep.
Reality TV Magazine: What is your current occupation?
Damian Muziani: I’m a professional fundraiser, but I also, like so many reality types, am an actor and filmmaker. I usually write and direct two short films a year and perform in regional theater in the Philadelphia area.
Reality TV Magazine: Who do you hope wins Anna’s heart on Average Joe now that you are eliminated?
Damian Muziani: At this point, I know much more than I should about the rest of the show, so No Comment.
Reality TV Magazine: Is there any thing that happened that NBC left out of the first episode that you wish they had included?
Damian Muziani: It would have been cool to see more of us getting settled in the house. Everybody getting to know each other, playing poker, shooting pool. The owners of the mansion we stayed in left their dog behind, so we kind of adopted it as our mascot. Little things that might have showed us all as more of a team, then individual contestants.
Reality TV Magazine: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with appearing on Average Joe?
Damian Muziani: I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, but the next reality show I do better have Virginia Madsen and a hot tub, or I’m not playing! You can keep tabs on me from my website: www.damianmuziani.com
Be sure to catch the next episode of Average Joe 4: The Joes Strike Back on NBC on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 at 8P.M. ET.