Life seems to be going well for one of Marlboro High School’s most famous alumni, Adam Mesh.
Mesh, the star of the NBC-TV prime time reality show, "Average Joe: Adam Returns, " said he enjoys his newfound fame.
"I like how everyone comes up to me. It’s a nice thing, because I like people," Mesh said in a telephone interview with the News Transcript.
Mesh reported that he is still dating Samantha Trenk, 24, the young woman who won his affection during the run of "Average Joe: Adam Returns." Mesh selected Trenk from a group of 19 women.
Mesh and Trenk embarked on a trip last week to Florida and the Bahamas.
"I’m very excited about the trip," he said.
Mesh, 28, initially catapulted to fame after finishing as the runner-up in the NBC reality show "Average Joe" in December. Adam advanced to the final episode, beating out a host of his fellow "average" men and several male model types in the battle to win the heart of a former Miss Missouri, Melana Scantlin.
But Adam lost out to his last remaining competitor, Jason Peoples, one of the models who were brought on to compete with the "average Joes."
Even though he lost the chance to date Scantlin, Adam won a great deal of fame. He appeared on the "Today" show and many women wrote letters asking for a chance to date him.
The positive response led NBC to create "Average Joe: Adam Returns." The show increased Mesh’s notoriety as he became the star of a hit prime time show. He appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," returned to "Today" and was interviewed on several other national TV programs, including "Ellen" and "Live With Regis and Kelly."
Mesh said he chose Trenk over her last remaining competitor, Rachel Goetz, because he felt a stronger bond with her.
"I felt an extra something for Sam I didn’t have with Rachel," he said. "I had more chemistry with Sam and more to base a relationship on, and I wanted to take the relationship further with Sam."
Despite some perception based on the final show that Adam’s parents, Andrea and Harry, of Marlboro, liked Rachel better than Sam, Adam said his mother and father liked both girls when he brought them home to meet them.
"My parents think Sam is a great girl," Adam said. "I think it was my mother crying that raised questions, but she was crying because she was thinking of my getting married."
"I was crying because I was thinking, ‘Where does the time go?’ " Andrea explained. "I liked both girls. I didn’t meet them for very long, but I liked them both very much and my son has a good sense of character."
"The proof is in the pudding," Harry added. "The taping of the show was a few weeks ago and he’s still going out with Sam."
Adam, who is a resident of New York City, said he is still speaking with Rachel and Melana.
"Melana was the first person to call me after I picked Sam. Melana was happy because she said I went with my heart," Adam said.
Meanwhile, Mesh is using his fame to support good causes. The American Cancer Society last week offered a date with Mesh as a prize at a silent auction, and he spoke at a fund-raising event for the United Jewish Communities. Mesh has also helped the ASPCA and an organization called SCOPE, which sends inner-city children to summer camp.
"It’s nice to be able to help charities raise money," Mesh said. "If being on TV helps me raise money for charities, it’s a great thing."
In addition to making appearances on TV and raising money for charity, Adam has started a new clothing line – YOLO clothes. The letters stand for "You Only Live Once." The items in the clothing line include tank tops, jewelry, T-shirts, bracelets and hats.
Adam’s parents said they are enjoying their son’s newfound fame.
"As outgoing people, we’re really very happy that so many people have come to know and love our son," Harry said.