Be honest, gentlemen: if I told you that one of the women in the below photo was going to be hosting a Travel Channel show where she explores the world’s sexiest beaches and wears some of the skimpiest swimsuits that one can get away with wearing on basic cable, would you really care which one of them it was?
You see what I mean? Isn’t this what you’d call a win-win scenario? Well, if your curiosity demands that you get confirmation as to which of these Girls Next Door has gotten herself the plum gig in question, allow me to satisfy it for you: it’s Bridget Marquardt.
The video introduction provided for the show indicated that Marquardt was “uniquely qualified” to serve as host of the show, which set up lots of jokes about how we knew of at least two of her qualifications, but she quickly set them straight with her theory of what she brings to the table.
“I love adventure, and I think that’s the number one qualification for this,” she said. “I like to experience everything. When I go to plan a trip, even for my personal life, I research it ahead of time: I’m looking online, I’m buying the books, I’m asking friends. And I don’t want to be the person who ever goes somewhere and then comes back and they’re, like, ‘Oh, did you do this?’ And I say, ‘No.’ I want to do everything when I get there. I like to completely immerse myself in it. So I want to try the local foods, I want to learn how it’s done, I want to meet the locals, I want to have the nightlife, I want to try all the adventures. I want everything, every part of it.”
Michael Klein, senior vice president of content for Travel Channel, was quick to distinguish “Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches” from E!’s “Wild On” and the HDNet “Bikini Destinations” series. “What’s key to us is bringing a destination to life and, really, a full immersion in a destination. We want the sights, the sounds, the flavors, the feelings. What we’re doing with ‘Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches,’ we’re taking her passion, her embodiment of freedom, frankly, and she’s going to these destinations, being enveloped by the destination. She’s not projecting onto that destination the way that I think some of those other programs have in the past.”
As it happens, Marquardt was a fan of “Wild On,” particularly during the Brooke Burke era.
“I thought she was amazing,” Marquardt said of Burke. “And I also love watching the Travel Channel and Samantha Brown. I feel like this show kind of is somewhere in the middle. I don’t just go there to party, and I don’t just go there to do adventure, and I don’t just go there to show you amazing hotels. I kind of do all of it. And I’m also learning about the culture, hanging out with the local people, learning how to make their food and their drinks, and everything there is to do there that a local would do as well as a tourist.”
Marquardt seems to be up for doing the show for as long as the Travel Channel is willing to keep her on the air.
“I have a huge list of places I want to go,” she admitted. “We had to narrow it down and change some, just based on time and everything. But I have a list for, like, ten seasons, so I’m hoping to make this a career.”
Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches premieres on the Travel Channel on March 12.