Out with The City, in with The Ken! Fashion-forward former MTV reality personality Whitney Port has been tapped to host the web’s next dose of reality programming. The news comes less than a week after the ex-Hillers announced that MTV bosses were bringing down the axe on her ratings-challenged series spinoff, The City.
Now just one quick question: Are you “America’s Ultimate Boyfriend?”
Port has signed on to host the new Hulu reality series Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend, a podcast that aims to find a man who embodies all the qualities of Barbie’s leading man. The show is being produced as part of next year’s 50th anniversary of the Ken Doll, says Stephanie Cota, senior Vice-President of Mattel Girls brands. That’s right — Mattel manfactured Ken as the ascot-wearing, well-coiffed ying to Barb’s yang way back in 1961!
“He’s getting a makeover to make sure he’s still as culturally and visually relevant as Barbie is. He’s getting a little work done to get ready for his 50th anniversary,” says Cota. “With a 50-year history, you have people who have been embracing (Barbie and Ken) from day one. The series is a great way for us… to have grown-up girls and boys stay connected to the brand.”
In a contest hosted by GenuineKen.com, men can nominate themselves, or women can nominate a man they know, to be voted The Great American Boyfriend, based on how similar the man is to a Ken doll of Barbie-and-Ken fame. Visitors can vote simply (Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down) based only on a man’s picture or by rating him on a one-to-five scale in five categories: hotness, personality, style, “date-ability” and hair. Which means, three of the five criteria are based entirely on looks. How Snooki of them! Does that mean that three-fifths of what it takes to be “The Great American Boyfriend” is just being attractive? Color us old-fashioned, but maybe other qualities, like intelligence and integrity should come into play as well? Wait — what are we saying!? Nobody cares about intelligence on reality show!
The search for “Potential Ken’s” — who will be cast in the eight-episode digital series premiering in early 2011 — runs through Nov. 1.