CBS’ long-running game show announced at the close of Friday’s telecast that the 24-year-old Boston native was the winner of its search for a male model. As such, he will join Amber Lancaster, Gwendolyn Osborne, Manuela Arbelaez and Rachel Reynolds in brandishing shiny new washer-dryers, Jet-Skis and, of course, brand new cars.
Just minutes after Rob received word of his big W, TVLine asked him about putting in his bid on the gig, how he came out of his shell to wow the judges and which game he’s most jazzed to assist with during his one-week showcase starting Oct. 15.
TVLINE | Congratulations on winning the search. Would you say it’s better than “a brand new car”?
TVLINE | The publicity shots for you and the runners-up are all shirtless. But shall we assume you’ll wear clothes on the job?
I think I’m going to be wearing clothes on the show. I’m assuming.
TVLINE | Who egged you on to participate in this search, once it was announced?
There were a lot of people who egged me on. And as I went through the process, I fell in love with everybody I worked with. It also helped me that I had a couple buddies who were in the same line-up as myself; that friendly competition made it more fun.
TVLINE | What sort of modeling work did you do beforehand?
I’m with Ford here in Los Angeles, and in Chicago. I do a lot of fitness modeling, I’ve done the whole underwear thing as well… I do a lot of apparel, I did a show for Levi’s, and Reebok back home in Boston. But my main career is as an actor. I have a resume I’ve been working on. I’ve done some costars on ABC Family shows, and a guest star on Nickelodeon. I’m actually filming my first SAG film this month.
TVLINE | Of course we’ve all watched TPIR at some point and to different degrees. But on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rank yourself as a fan?
Just because I grew up with it, I’m going to have to say “10.” I grew up with that, and it was deja vu being able to be up on the stage and see how it all works behind the scenes.
TVLINE | When I was a freshman in college, my friends and I would make a point to rendezvous back at the dorm to watch on the lobby TV and play along.
It’s funny, because I thought I was the only one who did that. As a little kid I would stay home with my mom and my grandma to watch The Price Is Right. My grandma was the biggest fan of [former TPIR host] Bob Barker; she passed years ago, but she probably had something to do with this.
TVLINE | When this search was announced, some scoffed at what the audition process could possibly be. What did it involve?
The competitions were really fun — stuff I’ve never had to do before, so I had to come out my shell. One of them, we had to design shirts…. And as if we got called out from the crowd, you had to show what your reaction would be…. And then we did this crazy karaoke thing which I guess got me a bit further along, because I just let go, and the judges really liked that. I freestyled a rap over the Price Is Right anthem. [Laughs]
TVLINE | There was no part where you had to wave your hand along the edges of a new washer-dryer combo?
Oh, there was, there was. We showcased snowboard gear, Jet-Skis and things like that… They covered all the bases, dragging us through the mud per se.
TVLINE | Which of the show’s games are you most excited to help a player out with? Plinko, the Grocery Game, the yodeler thing…?
You hit it right on the head. Just because it’s the most famous, I’m going to have to say Plinko. I’m looking forward to being a part of that!