People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive turns 35 this year. That’s the age of the famous person handsomeness pageant itself, not the actual winner of the fluffy celebrity publication’s 2020 award in male objectification, as said sexy individual only emerged (in a proto-sexy form) on this Earth some 33 years ago. And, yes, that’s a hint, as Jimmy Kimmel got to unveil this year’s Mr. Sexy (a much better name, if anyone’s asking) live on his Tuesday show. Drawing out the sexy, sexy suspense with a guessing game of eager Zoom viewers asking yes-or-no questions while the obliging aforementioned Signore Sexissimo (better name) stood wrapped head-to-toe in a bright yellow COVID-comic hazmat suit.
Hey, if you’re going to unveil the winner of a stupid, media-created prettiness contest to the world, you might as well make it as silly as possible. And, in keeping with that spirit, we’ll refrain from spilling the big news of just who was eventually revealed to be under all that plastic (and smiley-face headpiece, and voice disguiser), as the whole goofy spectacle was actually kind of entertaining. Eager viewers tried to whittle down their no-doubt sweated-over list of potential candidates, eliciting an electronically modulated, unhelpfully terse answer from the sweltering hunk of safety-wrapped man inside. (The bashful “Naw,” provided more of a hint than the actual answers.) No, he’s had no kids, didn’t date Taylor Swift, and was neither Aquaman nor an Avenger. (Although that last one edged perilously close to the truth, at least landing in the same universe.) Oh, and Kimmel’s trusty sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez once had a dream about him, but that could be said for most of us, as it turns out.
And when the reveal did come—thanks to the detective skills of a woman named Ashley, sporting some truly excellent eyeglasses—Kimmel threw to an outdoor camera, with a massive banner mockup of this week’s People cover being unfurled majestically in the Los Angeles night. Complete with a reclining [redacted] posing with his sexy hand pensively stroking his sexy chin, looking—wait for it—sexy, the enormous poster served as a fittingly dumb (but predictably sexy) capper to the proceedings, the real-life Señor Sexy (also better) happy to take part in the nonsense. And while there are no doubt thinkpieces to be written about the broadening of mainstream (read: white) American standards of male attractiveness, the inevitable objectification inherent in celebrity culture, and just how damned sexy [redacted] is, at least we can all come together and agree that this year’s winner is a whole lot less ridiculous a choice than Blake Shelton.