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Wadena native makes reality show finale

Lucas James Joyce, formerly of Wadena, has survived a little white lie, a date spent in smelly spa mud and his date's ex-fiance to reach the season finale of "Date My Ex: Jo and Slade."

The last episode of the reality dating show will air at 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, on Bravo.

Joyce, 27, attributes his success on the show to "just trying to keep it real," he said.

A lot of the other guys competing to date Jo De La Rosa, the show's star, were trying to be somebody they really weren't, he said.

"Overall, you have to be true to yourself," he said.

The show itself has been an accurate portrayal, he said.

"What you guys are seeing is pretty much what I experienced," he said.

When the series has shown him he is usually smiling and laughing, Joyce said. And he can't complain about that. It's been fun to see himself on the show, he said.

Joyce first appeared on the show during its second episode July 28. He almost didn't get picked after telling De La Rosa's ex-fiance, Slade Smiley, that he didn't go up to her apartment during their first date when, in fact, he did.

Joyce kept in touch with De La Rosa during her subsequent rounds of dates by sending her flowers and giving her advice when she made the decision to kick one of the guys off the show. De La Rosa said she enjoyed his outgoing personality and picked him for a third date after a second date that featured an unexpectedly smelly dip in some spa mud.

The last two episodes of the show have featured cliff hangers after Smiley professed he still had feelings for De La Rosa last week and asked De La Rosa if she still had feelings for him on Monday night's episode. The show ended with De La Rosa pondering his surprising question.

Joyce's parents, Greg and Nancy Anderson of Wadena, have watched the show religiously, he said. They always call him before and after the show to give their insights into who De La Rosa should pick.

Joyce has gotten a lot of messages from people in Wadena on his Web site about the show. He appreciates their words of encouragement, he said.

Joyce encouraged everyone to watch the last episode, he said.

"I think the grand finale will be a nice surprise," he said.

Whoever wins the season finale will have the opportunity to date De La Rosa, a budding singer and former star of the "Real Housewives of Orange County."