Sexy men? I prefer them in song, not thong

Funny, I wasn’t invited to Las Vegas to help pick a beauty king.

Did the brains behind Fox Television’s "Sexiest Bachelor in America" pageant misfire? When they rounded up a panel of female judges, they forgot how discerning this woman can be.

So I wasn’t at the MGM Grand hotel Sept. 12 to ogle 51 single men. If I want to find out which guy will wear a crown I’ll have to tune in to the spectacle, airing Monday from 8 to 10 p.m. on KCPQ, Channel 13. Not only will men compete on "looks, style and personality," says a Fox news release, but — oh boy — they’ll "participate in formal wear and bathing suit contests."

Fat chance I’ll watch. Bellevue’s Steven Gartner, representing Washington in the contest, should take no offense. A huge viewing audience will find the 29-year-old Web wizard and his fellow competitors hotter-than-hot, no doubt.

Me? I’m as likely as not to pin a sexiest-man-on-TV label on "Wall Street Week" host Louis Rukeyser. There’s a gentleman I’m happy to see every Friday night. Sorry, Fox, I am the wrong demographic for your foray into this Mr. Beautiful business.

The pageant’s eligibility requirements alone are a tip-off to how young these beauties will be. In addition to being male, contestants had to be 21 or older, single, never married, and not engaged. They could have no children. Basically, the rules mean these men probably don’t have a care in the world. No wonder they look great.

Next time around, Fox ought to consider an ever-so-slightly older female audience. And look, I have my judging checklist all set for "Sexiest Bachelor in America II."

Here are my criteria. I’m guessing judges of Monday’s pageant missed some of these standards entirely:

  • I won’t lie, looks count. I never said my head couldn’t be turned by the right combination of superficial qualities. Tall is good. Blue eyes are good. Neither is required. More important attributes follow.

  • Is he funny? The question isn’t whether he can do stand-up. Can he look at the world (or his boss or the bad weather on a long-awaited vacation) and see the humor? If he brings cheer to his world, that’s a beautiful thing.

  • He has to be smart — not Ph.D. or organic chemistry smart, but smart enough to get the answers on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." He has to have a book going. He has to know who Frank Lloyd Wright was and what apartheid means. He has to read the newspaper, that is required.

  • Beautiful men have work they care about. It needn’t be highly paid work, although that doesn’t hurt. If a man hates his work, he hates his life. That’s not a pretty picture.

  • What’s in his wallet? Cash is nice, but I’d like to see a voter registration card, a library card, a valid driver’s license, pictures of loved ones, all signs of stability and concern for something beyond self.

  • Skip the formal wear. If a clothing segment is a pageant must, put the guys in khaki pants and oxford-cloth shirts, and watch the women swoon.

  • I have one thing to say about swimsuits. Must they? Fitness is a worthy goal. Six-pack abs? I couldn’t care less. Please, no skimpy Speedos, no thongs, nothing icky. I have a knee-length, unisex pair of UW Husky gym shorts. Contestants in any future pageant are welcome to borrow them. They look good with well-used running shoes.

    Don’t look for my brand of rumpled men in any prime-time beauty contest. It’s not going to happen. Anyway, there are other men to watch. The Seattle Seahawks play the Kansas City Chiefs at 6 p.m. Monday on KOMO-TV, Channel 4. That goofy Dennis Miller, Monday Night Football’s new jester, is a beautiful alternative to the beefcake on Fox.

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