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<p>What prompts straight boys to enter a modeling contest that has gay written all over it? Better yet, how did four straight boys wind up as the finalists?</p>




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Name from left: Daniel Rhomolliwa, 26; Wayne Meinen, 24; Mathieu Chantelois, 34; Michael Conrad, 24; Joshua McKaye, 25





What prompts straight boys to enter a modeling contest that has gay written all over it? Better yet, how did four straight boys wind up as the finalists?





“I was approached at a fitness show I was competing in and was asked to come out and audition. I had no idea what to expect,” says Joshua McKaye, a 25-year-old sales manager and aspiring R&B singer.





Wayne Meinen, a 24-year-old student and the tallest of the lot at 6’1, found himself in the contest after repeated urgings by a COVERguy rep. His friend ultimately signed him up as a joke.





COVERguy Season 3 is a Canada-wide male model search contest that’s been chronicled into a TV series for OUTtv. Media can’t reveal the winner until the show airs this September though the underwear-flashing competition had its strip down (I mean show down) last Thursday at the Gladstone Hotel. Oh well, at least Metro is the first to reveal the final four.





The four were culled from the Top 40 semi-finalists, all of who will be featured in the series. The series has been syndicated to the U.S., Israel and Australia, and apparently has stirred up quite the frenzy on YouTube as well. The winners of COVERguy Seasons 1 and 2, meanwhile, have graduated to professional careers in modeling.





This year’s winner will receive a diamond tiara, pink sash, and modelling contract with edgy Vancouver-based underwear label, Ginch Gonch. (Just kidding about the tiara and sash).





“The gay boys and straight boys all want to be a Ginch Gonch model in the same way everyone wanted to be a Calvin Klein underwear model during the 1990s,” says show host Mathieu Chantelois, 34.





So does all that skin baring and cat calling on the catwalk make them feel objectified? Er, do they like being objectified?





“Yes,” and “yes,” replies 24-year-old ad and sales executive, Michael Conrad, the jokester of the lot. Like the others, he isn’t fazed by who’s watching, whether they be guys or girls.





“Nothing about parading about men or women fazes me,” says bodybuilder and aspiring hip hop artist, Daniel Rhomolliwa, 26. “Women can get crazzzy though.”





Rest assured, the heat of competition isn’t driving the guys crazy. “We love each other and are looking into forming a boy band,” quips Conrad. “Keep your schedule free summer ’08.”





With two of the Fab Four being musically inclined, that just might happen.




whohot@rogers.com

 
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