March 02, 2004 11:41 AM

Beauty picked beauty — not the nerd — again, as the NBC reality series “Average Joe: Hawaii” had its finale Monday night. Former Miss Missouri Larissa Meek went for buff blonde beach boy Gil Hyatt over Brian Worth, who on a good day (and after he had his hair re-styled) almost looks like David Schwimmer.

The selection mirrored last December’s decision on the first “Average Joe,” when Melana Scantlin chose good-looking Jason over the definitely average-looking (but financially well off) Adam. (Still, Adam will gets his chance to pick when NBC bombards him with women in the third installment of the “Joe” franchise, which will debut in two weeks and reverse the sexes.)

In making her pick, Larissa said she was acting on her “intuition,” and Gil told her to go with it, even though it really seemed as if she was about to give him the brush (despite the fact he looks so good with his shirt off).

“I want to see if I can make this fantasy a reality,” Larissa earnestly told Gil, who reacted to her declaration with his typical nonchalance. “I’m extremely excited,” said Gil, who didn’t so much as smile at her news.

As for Brian, who was driven off the set in a bus while Larissa and Gil zoomed off in a private jet, Larissa told him he was “the most interesting person (she’d) ever met.” In other words, he has a great personality.

“I’m broken up about it,” admitted the ever-sincere Brian as he sat in the bus, looking as if another bus had hit him. He thought her heart was his after he took her to his “favorite place in the whole world,” Fenway Park.

But then, baseball just couldn’t take the place of Gil’s abs in the attraction department. As Monday’s finale wended its way toward fade-out, with the happy new twosome frolicking on the beach together, Larissa — revealing a certain pattern with men — owned up to the fact that her former boyfriend was none other than the male model Fabio, whose famous chest and long blond locks have adorned the covers of countless romance-novel book jackets.

Though her revelation ticked off Gil, by Tuesday morning’s “Today” show the two were holding hands. “That’s the next shocking twist … that we’re still together,” she told Matt Lauer, sounding more clinical than romantic.

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