Hunk du Jour
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Eric Martsolf, Soap Hunks Adonis 2006 - Hunk du Jour

It's an exciting time of year for the good folks over at Shrine to the Soap Hunks. Today they kick off their 4th annual summer stud-off... that's right, it's time to crown the soap opera world's Adonis 2007. 32 semifinalists are narrowed down to 12 finalists through online voting and then picked off one by one.

This 16-week contest runs the entire summer, and features the hottest current soap stars, eventually crowning one the Adonis 2007. We caught up with Soapy over at Shrine to the Soap Hunks to chat a little bit about the contest.

Hey Soapy -- thanks for talking with us! Last year Eric Martsolf was crowned Adonis 2006 with an impressive 70/30 spread in the voting. How do you like his chances for going all the way again in 2007?
I'd bet that Eric makes the finals again, but after three years, no winner has ever repeated and taken the title again. My site's voters seem to like to spread the wealth, and so far a hunk from each TV network has won the title. (Adonis 2004 went to All My Children's Justin Bruening (ABC); Adonis 2005 went to As the World Turns' Mark Collier (CBS); and Martsolf's 2006 win earned notice for PASSIONS and NBC.)

There's lively debate amongst viewers about which SHOWS are the best -- does the debate get as lively over which star is the hottest?
Yes! Each year, I see so so many voters who think that the hottest guy on soaps HAS to be on the soap they watch, which makes it seem like all the other soaps must have the ugly guys, just not theirs. One of the main purposes of this contest, though, is to expose viewers to the hot guys of daytime that they may not be as familiar with. I am thrilled when I get a voter who says something like, "I only watch Soap X, but I voted for Hunk Y because he's just too hot to ignore." That means my site is doing its job.

Have there been surprises in the past as far as who proceeds into the next round and who gets left behind?
Absolutely...sometimes contestants who appear like locks end up getting eliminated earlier than expected, and sometimes underdogs hang around longer than expected. It all depends on how rabid the guys' fanbases are each week and whether they are lulled into a false sense of complacency.

Voting fraud is something that seems to come back into the national consciousness every 2-to-4 years. What sort of safeguards do you have in place to ensure everything is on the up-and-up?
Well, first of all, I have a statement on the ballot that every voter must certify before voting. It states that he/she understands that each voter is limited to 1,000 votes per week per person. That generally takes care of 99% of potential voter fraud, but I also have technical programming behind the scenes that sniffs out duplicate votes, etc. In the end, it's just a little fun contest, so it's not that kind of thing too many people think to try to cheat on.

Voting results are announced during a live video chat. What usually goes on during the results broadcast. Is there a little pomp and circumstance? Perhaps a few jabs for sparring sides?
Our weekly live chats are loads of fun. There is video and audio going the entire time, with music and dramatic pauses, etc...very "American Idol" style. The various fan factions tend to goad each other as the results are being announced, and the atmosphere can get very suspenseful and electric as the tension mounts for the fans of last guys standing. And I go out of my way to be brutal in building suspense. The good news is that many of the fans now have become online friends and each now knows more about the other guys in the contest because of that.

We'd love to stay on top of (heh heh) the competition as it goes on... would you consider keeping us up to date as the results come in?
Sure! And you guys had better vote too!

Fantastic! Well, good luck with the competition... and may the best hunk win!

At the Shrine to Soap Hunks website, Adonis 2007 starts today! Go vote for your favorite Round 1 semi-finalist!

Eric Martsolf, Soap Hunks Adonis 2006 - Hunk du Jour

Eric Martsolf, Soap Hunks Adonis 2006 - Hunk du Jour

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