Barbie's Next Ken: Former Cyclone Kurtis Taylor

Ken Carson. Don't recognize the name?  Think back about ten or eleven years. Remember that all-pink toy aisle?  Remember dressing up your Barbie in the lastest fashions and decorating her dream house?  Remember her studly boyfriend who took Barbie out on dates in his sparkly pink sportscar? Yup, that Ken.  The famous couple split back in 2004, but Ken won Barbie back this past Valentine's Day.  And with Barbie turning 52 and Ken turning 50 this past March, Mattel launched a campaign and contest for the new face of Ken.

The contest, hosted by MTV's The City star Whitney Port, aired online as an eight-episode Bachelorette-like reality series. Eight "Ken-testants" faced challenges to test whether their personal traits matched the qualities of the ultimate boyfriend Ken. Of the eight Ken-testants, which included an Artistic Ken, All Ameri-Ken and Party Ken... Dreamy Ken emerged as the winner. Here's the kicker: Dreamy Ken is former Iowa State football player Kurtis Taylor.

That's right... the new Ken will resemble the face of a former Cyclone!

Above: Check out Kurtis Taylor's audition video. 


25-year-old Kurtis Taylor, standing 6'3'' and weighing in at 245 pounds grew up in Fort Dodge, played football for Iowa State and now played professional football. Taylor knew all about Ken growing up, thanks to two sisters who played with Barbie and Ken dolls. On his Genuine Ken profile page, Taylor reveals that his perfect dream date would include a helicopter ride of LA, a rooftop dinner, Frank Sinatra music, good conversation and a moonlit walk on the beach. Swooning yet?

Taylor may be  "tall, dark and handsome," but he really won over the judges with his generosity.  In the romantic gesture challenge, the last two Ken-testants were given $500 to spend on gifts.  Instead of splurging on impressive presents, Taylor gave each judge a penny and donated the rest of the money to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Go ahead... Awwwww!

"Romance isn't about what you can buy somebody. Romance isn't about what you can give somebody. Romance, to me, is for dreamers, for people who believe in the possibilities of love. And that's what life is about.  Dreaming and achieving your dreams," said Taylor after winning the title of Genuine Ken: The Great American Boyfriend.

How exciting is it that the next Ken is going to resemble total sweetheart and former Cyclone Kurtis Taylor?  

"I'm not the best at any one thing. But there is one thing that I feel like I really have. And that's a big heart," said Taylor on the final episode.

Want to watch Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend? The episodes are available on GenuineKen.com and Hulu for viewing.