OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — After a nearly two decade hiatus, “Joe Millionaire” returned to FOX Thursday, with an Independence, Missouri, native as one of its stars.
This time there are two men for the women to date. One rich, one not so much. The “Joe” worth more than $10 million is Independence native and current Gallatin, Missouri resident Steven McBee.
McBee was at a watch party at Chicken N Pickle in Overland Park, Kansas Thursday night greeting fans. He was joined by Fort Osage former classmates, some of his employees, his family and friends, and fans of a storied reality TV franchise.
McBee, a cattle rancher and businessman who now lives just over an hour north of Kansas City in the small town of Gallatin, Missouri, agreed to be on a dating show he thought was called “Love for Real.”
“We get down there and producers drop the bombshell that this is the reincarnation of “Joe Millionaire,” McBee said.
Asked if that name meant anything to him at the time, McBee replied, “not a thing and I’m like who is Joe? What is Joe Millionaire? I’ve never heard of that in my entire life.”
Joe Millionaire, a 2003 show where a man falsely claimed to be a millionaire on a dating show, returns with two men, one worth more than $10 million, the other far far less, but the women don’t know who’s who.
“We had this concept of high-end date low-end date and these girls were asking is this something you do often? They are trying to find out which one of us is which and they were smart about how they asked their questions,” McBee explained.
Friends of McBee at the watch party were anxious for America to get to know him, as a potential husband who brings more than just money to table.
“I definitely think they’ll get to know that he has a really big heart. And he’s just a good guy,” Laney Peters said.
For McBee, 27, who woke up Thursday to pictures of his face on Times Square billboards, the self described small town farm boy worth millions, is taking his new fame in stride.
“We’re just enjoying the ride and taking it how it as it comes and realizing it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and we need to enjoy the moment,” McBee said.
As for the question whether McBee and his counterpart Kurt Sowers find love, McBee can’t say.
Fans of the show can meet both Joe Millionaires at a scheduled appearance at Overland Park’s Chicken N Pickle February 17. McBee is also scheduled to play pickleball with raffle winners before the airing of the January 20 episode.
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