Scoop

updated 05/31/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/31/2004 01:00AM

WOE IS JOE

Another reality romance bites the dust as Average Joe's Adam Mesh and TV mate Samantha Trenk break up

Say it ain't so, Joe! Average Joe sweethearts Adam Mesh and Samantha Trenk are the latest couple to fall victim to the curse of reality romance. "It just didn't feel like it was going to be the relationship to end all relationships for me," says Mesh, who split from Trenk during a lunch date last week. "I still think she's a great girl. It just didn't work out."

There was another complicating factor. "He said I wasn't the only one on his mind," recalls Trenk of their lunch encounter. "He said, 'This isn't the right time for us,' and I said, 'Then I want to end it.' " Mesh, 28, admits that while seeing Trenk, 24, he was distracted: "I realized that I was still thinking of somebody else." Could it have been Joe runner-up Rachel Goetz? After all, many fans still believe that Mesh made the wrong choice when he ditched Goetz in the show's April 5 finale. "I was in Las Vegas, and this guy in his 50s hits me on the arm and goes, 'You picked the wrong girl,' " recalls Mesh. "So I looked at him and said, 'No, I picked the girl that I like better.' And he says, 'Well, the other one is my daughter.' He showed me his ID, and it was him."

However, Mesh says that the other woman is definitely not Goetz, and will only reveal that it's someone he had dated before the show began. As for Trenk, "We still speak [to each other]," says Mesh. "We're still friends." No arguments there. "He's a wonderful person," says Trenk. "However, I'm not sure we were both looking for the same thing." When asked if she's ready to see other people, the Barneys New York saleswoman is quick to reply, "Oh, I have been. I don't waste any time."

NEWSFLASH: OPRAH EATS PASTA!

When in Rome...forget counting carbs. That's what Oprah Winfrey did while in the Italian capital last week to attend We Are the Future, a concert to raise funds for children in war-ravaged countries. "I ate a lot of mozzarella, caprese salad [sliced mozzarella, tomatoes and basil] and pasta," Winfrey tells Scoop. "I hadn't eaten carbs in a year. I am totally carbed out!" The daytime talk show queen also took time out to indulge her inner shopper. "I shopped at Fendi [and] Valentino," says Winfrey, 50. "One thing that I didn't do was to go antique shopping, but something has got to give. This time 'round it was the antiques."

Janet's B-day Surprise
Janet Jackson had her 38th birthday carefully planned: "I wanted to relax, so my friends took me out for breakfast; then a friend spent time with me on the beach." Then...surprise! Fifty family members—including brother Randy—and friends gathered at G. Garvin's restaurant in L.A. to celebrate her big day, May 16. "We didn't celebrate birthdays as kids because of religious reasons," says Jackson, whose parents are Jehovah's Witnesses. "So this is a very special night." Guests dined on lobster and papaya salad—one of Janet's favorite dishes—and red velvet cake. "She's been working a lot," says boyfriend Jermaine Dupri of Jackson, who flew to Japan the next morning for a promotional tour. "She needed a party."

THE BUZZ
on Rocco's Cut

Madonna's son Rocco unveiled a daring new do in Los Angeles last week. The 3-year-old showed up with his father, director Guy Ritchie, 35, minus his long blond locks, leading some British tabloids to speculate that the haircut was done in accordance with the teachings of Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism practiced by Madonna, 45. The tabs claimed Kabbalah requires a boy's hair to be left alone until he reaches the age of 3, at which point it's cut as a symbol of his initial passage into manhood. Nonsense, says Madonna's rep Liz Rosenberg: "It's totally made up. He had long hair. He now has short hair. There's no spiritual context to it. The kid got a haircut."

POP QUIZ
Rupert Boneham

Finally! A Survivor winner and no backstabbing was involved. Rupert Boneham, 40, collected $1 million May 13 after viewers voted for the castaway consolation prize. He spoke with Scoop about his adventures.

Congrats! You did it.
All of America helped me. It wasn't seven bitter castaways; it was 38 million happy viewers.

What will you do with the million dollars?
First, pay off my mom's house. Second, move out of the hood [in Indianapolis] to a neighborhood where there are no crack dealers. I've been making only $18,000 to $20,000 a year for a long time; I'll finally be able to afford medical insurance.

How did you celebrate?
My wife, daughter and I got back to the hotel at 11 o'clock. My daughter wanted to order room service and have pancakes and bacon, her favorite meal. So we did, stayed up until midnight talking, then fell asleep in a wonderful way.

How are you physically?
By the end of All-Stars, when I went through the maze [challenge], it took everything I had not to drop. I was under 200 lbs. by then, and I hadn't been that [weight] since high school. I didn't have the fungal infections that I got on the first show, but I did have the physical drain of two [shows] in a row.

What are your plans for the future?
The programs I started in Indianapolis [renovating old homes for disadvantaged families] will continue. I also have R&B Enterprises—which is me doing appearances. We are in negotiations with Coca-Cola. NASCAR wants me, and Animal Planet has a pilot they want to discuss.

Why do you think viewers voted for you?
They tell me, "You remind me of my dad, or my son, or brother or neighbor." They can relate to me. I am that Everyguy.

Everyone says you behaved honorably.
Honestly, who you see out there is who I am.

ON THE BLOCK

CASA DE CORBIN
PRICE: About $1.5 million
PLACE: Valley Glen, Calif.
SPECS: When Corbin Bernsen (L.A. Law) and his actress wife, Amanda Pays, bought this Spanish-style stucco house a few years ago, it was more than just a fixer-upper. "This house was a disaster when they bought it," says agent Laurie Czarnecki. The couple, who have renovated several homes, updated this 1937 hacienda, keeping original architectural details and adding stainless-steel appliances.

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