Tuesday night, NBC's I Want to Be a Hilton worked its way to a strangely lethargic finish, with Paris's mom Kathy Hilton picking a winner: Jaret, 26, a telephone salesman and kindergarten teacher in Rendon, Texas, who calls himself a "sophisticated redneck."
Earlier in the episode, he had read a poem to Kathy that put her in tears – and obviously in a frame of mind to eliminate Jackaay (who told Kathy the story of her parents' separation) and Vanessa (who confessed to aspirations of becoming a fashion designer).
Vanessa got the boot first, leaving Jaret and Jackaay to compete by writing – and delivering – a speech. Addressing Hilton's society friends, Jackaay, 25, a "trailer park Barbie" from Illinois, told of graduating from a blue-collar life to the good life.
In his speech, Jaret noted all the important life lessons he had learned, such as how to air kiss.
He'll be air kissing for some time to come. His prize package consisted of a museum pass, theater tickets, a magazine cover shoot, toys for boys and $200,000 in spending money.
The premise of the fish-out-of-water reality show was that some lucky soul would be put through finishing-school lessons and end up living like a Hilton. But it was the show that really needed the polishing.
An ongoing ratings disappointment, the summer series prompted this reaction in New York's Daily News: "NBC's Hilton closes tonight – one small step for Paris's mom, one giant leap for the improvement of TV-kind."