JOHN DOWNS

Barker's Beauties: The Next Generation

Posted By: John Downs · 10/17/2012 5:29:00 PM

It all started with the departure of the long-time host of my favourite pricing game show. After Bob left, all bets were off the table.

I've warmed up nicely to Drew Carey, and the new models (one of them still working through her pregnancy and even showing off her baby bump like it's a new waffle iron).
 
But hold on – there's a dude standing next to the Plinko board. Someone get that guy off ... what? He's one of the models?
 
That's right. Rob Wilson of Boston is The Price is Right's first male model. Apparently this is what progress and equal opportunity looks like in the 21st century.
But there's something about this that seems more than a little awkward. When the ladies demonstrate their poor Ping-Pong abilities or run their hands along the hood of a new Prius they appear playful and, yes, even a little sensual. When Rob pretends to play a bass guitar he just comes off as clumsy – and pretty dorky.
 
The next item up for bids ... a steam shower. Oh, and surprise, surprise, Rob has an eight-pack! That shouldn't be a shock. And no, this has nothing to do with jealousy. I'm more envious of anyone who gets to play Mountain Climber. But here comes the double standard. Rob in his bathing suit being catcalled by female members of the audience. Could you imagine one of the female models splayed out on the deck of a sailboat while dudes in the seats hoot and holler?
 
The show's first male model (who may not last more than the initial trial week) has demonstrated it's not just silly for guys to be caressing power tools or five-speed blenders – it's also pretty pointless getting the women to do it.
 
Models were used initially to bring action to an otherwise pretty dull shot of a motionless prize on a stage. Advances in graphics and camera technology should have made smiling pretty faces and hot bods obsolete. So why haven't they?

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