One of Bravo's latest additions to their ever-increasing reality lineup, Manhunt: The Search for America's Most Gorgeous Male Model, aired its juicy finale last week. Iceland-born Jon Jonsson — the 22-year-old single Adonis pictured here — was crowned the winner, beating out popular runner-up Rob Williams (who just happened to be the only openly gay contestant in the Top Ten). In the end, Jon snags $100,000 and a prestigious modeling contract with IMG, plus a free interview with TV Guide Online!TV Guide Online: Congrats! Did you think you'd win?
Jon Jonsson: Well, actually, I really didn't. I thought I had the worst chances out of almost anyone there. Out of all the guys, I had just about the least amount of knowledge about the fashion industry. But then, I quickly realized that the competition wasn't about that at all; it was about confidence in front of the camera. TVGO: Were you nervous about the nudity required? It definitely added drama.
Jon: I wasn't freaked out about the nudity or the nude shoot. It was mostly because the whole camera crew, the sound guys, all those people were gonna be there. I [went into the show] thinking I'd probably do a nude shoot, as long as it was under my terms. TVGO: Your you-know-what was tastefully concealed. Would you ever go the full monty?
Jon: Yeah, I probably would if I felt like it. If the photographer was Bruce Weber, someone great like that... But Karl — I hadn't heard of him before, so I was really skeptical about how the photos would turn out. TVGO: How soon do you start working with IMG?
Jon: I'm flying to New York tomorrow and moving there! I currently live in Carmel, California. TVGO: You're originally from Reykjavik, Iceland, but you have a rather Hawaiian look.
Jon: Everyone says that. Actually, I'm half Thai on my mother's side. So I get the half Thai from her and the combination gives me somewhat of a Hawaiian look. TVGO: Well it's a good combo. Many Manhunt fans would love to Thai one on with Jon! Anyway, have you always wanted to model?
Jon: The desire to model has never really been there. My past was flying planes. I went into physics at school and was just studying at UC Santa Cruz to become a pilot. [Manhunt] is a great way to go into this whole modeling thing because it's really hard to pursue it. Ninety-nine times out of 100, [aspiring] models end up becoming waiters. I just want to have my secluded little life and be happy. TVGO: You were criticized about needing to "do something about your teeth" on the show.
Jon: Yeah. That was mainly Kevin Peak that said that — he was the embedded [spy] model. He was mainly gunning for me to get eliminated early on. I never really liked the guy — I wanted to beat him. And he ended up being the embedded model! TVGO: Were you guys really shocked when Kevin was revealed as a mole?
Jon: Yes, they covered it up really well. I mean, we thought [Manhunt] was gonna be just like America's Next Top Model, where it's just the modeling and no crazy twists. We never realized they would throw us that big of a curveball on the show. Of course, there were subtle little [clues]. At the airports, he claimed he was from Florida. He didn't want to show his California passport or ID, so they'd hide him from us and everything. It was little things like that which clicked when he revealed himself to us — otherwise, we had no clue. TVGO: Speaking of surprises, four gay guys came out on the show. Were you ever hit on?
Jon: (Laughs) No, I wasn't hit on at all. I mean, I probably wouldn't even know it if it was happening. Rob and I definitely made really good friends on the show. And I had no clue that Ron, John S. and Blake were gay until we met up to promote the show after it taped. We all became really good friends.