By Chris Schonberger
Updated August 07, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Final episodes of dating shows are almost always terrible, and last night’s Age of Love finale was no exception. Once all the aggressive alpha-chicks and disturbed nutcases have been weeded out, things too often get awkwardly intense and you realize that you never genuinely cared who won, you just wanted to see people fight, get wasted, and do other ignorant things. The show’s actual outcome is an afterthought.

Granted, 25-year-old Amanda was both aggressive and loony — and not in a fun sort of way. She cried her way through the final days of the show, stressing the momentousness of Mark’s decision and dropping red-flag phrases like “knight in shining armor” and “happily ever after.” But all of this psychobabble was reserved for the diary room — in person she just shut her mouth and hoped that the Poo would naturally gravitate towards her functional ovaries no matter what kind of charms 48-year-old Jen threw at the Philippoussises. Even from the first episodes, Amanda was given the editing that marked her as someone you were gonna see in the finale. She won and now it’s all over.

But let’s not end this “mini watch” on such a depressing note. As usual, there were a few humorous moments that diverted some attention away from the dark storm cloud that is Amanda:

Koalas. Cougars.Sharks. Oh my! Unfortunately, the animal-themed dates were not nearly as wild as they could have been, but they were still pretty weird and I’m glad that I have now witnessed the Australian version of Benihana (it’s no “Asian Hooters!”). When I saw the little dinner table set up in the aquarium, I thought they were going to have to eat fish while sharks swarmed around them, kind of like this Japanese game show I saw once where contestants had to eat turtle soup while sitting in a tub of turtles. Then I hoped a kangaroo would perform some sort of jump kick on Amanda. Needless to say, neither of these things happened.

addCredit(“Dean Hendler”)

“We have a saying here in Australia — you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Sorry, the Poo’s sister, but that’s an Outback original in the same way that Foster’s is “Australian for beer.” This is exactly why people always say they like New Zealanders better…

The Magic Number Today’s categories are “things that have happened to Jen during sex” and “the number 34.” Where do the circles in this X-rated Venn diagram overlap? I’m guessing she had some fun with a little guy called Shaq when he was still with the Lakers…

Editing mishaps Is it just me, or did the Poo mention that he was excited to have “all four ladies” at his home in Melbourne? Was that recorded before Maria walked away and Megan refused to get on the flight? Very confusing. Also, the clumsy editing extravaganza during the Poo’s rejection speech was completely thrown off by a telltale shot of Jen’s ‘do. Even in the final minutes, the producers did nothing to make Amanda’s victory even remotely surprising.

The Mark Consuelos Mystery The host was inexplicably MIA for two weeks, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that he was sorely missed. I just hope he reemerges for the Poo’s next reality gig.

In summation, I would give this show a 5 out of 10. Did anyone actually like the finale? Or think that Amanda was actually the right choice?