Simon Vozick-Levinson
June 27, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

The media-savvy meat-shunners at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals revealed the winners of their annual “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” contest this week, and, well, let’s just say something tastes a little off this year. The world’s most appetizing female vegetarian is evidently multiplatinum Idol alum Carrie Underwood, which seems fair enough. And Carrie’s male counterpart is… drumroll please… Kevin Eubanks from The Tonight Show?!

Look, don’t get me wrong. Eubanks seems like a perfectly nice guy, and he’s served Leno well over the years. (Though, as genial-but-slightly-sarcastic sidekicks go, he’s but a pale shadow of Paul Shaffer.) But sexy? This bald, average-looking 49-year-old dude in a turtleneck? Come on, PETA. Past recipients of Eubanks’ title have included Prince, André 3000, Chris Martin, and Josh Hartnett — you know, legitimate (or at least quasi-legitimate) sex symbols. Sure, I can see how I might want to restructure my diet if it meant that I’d have a shot at being a little more like Prince. Eubanks’ selection, on the other hand, just makes me worry that eating too much broccoli might lead to a lifetime spent sitting on a stool, laughing at completely unfunny jokes like a trained seal.

But it gets worse! PETA’s own press release acknowledges that Eubanks’ victory was the result of rank voter manipulation: “[Leno] mentioned the contest several times during the pastweek and said that he went to PETA’s Web site to vote for Eubanks…. Tonight Show viewers logged on in large numbers, pushing Eubanks ahead of his competitors.” Sounds like ballot-stuffing to me. Isn’t this covered somewhere in those campaign-finance regulations? I say it’s time for a recount.

What about you, PopWatchers? Are you cool with Eubanks’ new title? Or who do you think would have been a better choice—and don’t say “anyone.”

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