Hey, geek -- want to be sexy?
Better start a video blog. That's the takeaway from the hot and heavy voting in Wired.com's 2008 Sexiest Geeks competition.
Vloggers Philip DeFranco and Marina Orlova harnessed their massive online audiences to shoot past actors, musicians and assorted brainiacs to become the top-rated sexy geeks in this year's extremely unscientific reader poll. Artist and MythBusters debunker Kari Byron came in No. 3 at the time of our official tabulation.
DeFranco, whose manic vlogging at PhillyD.tv and on YouTube (his user name is sxephil), has generated a huge fan base. His hop to the top of this year's Sexiest Geeks list is something of a shocker for a contest that's usually dominated by women.
Orlova's rise as top-rated female sexy geek is not so surprising. The busty wordsmith, whose HotForWords linguistic lectures regularly burn up the YouTube charts, leapt to No. 2 top-ranked sexy geek in this year's contest and walked away with top honors in 2007.
She said an intellectual challenge is at the heart of her sexy geekiness.
"I think that people like to have their brains stimulated, and my show does that," said Orlova in an e-mail interview. The vlogger was named "world's sexiest philologist" by The New Yorker.
Orlova, who became the top-rated female sexy geek in 2008 thanks to a Christmas Day ballot-stuffing blitz that overwhelmed the eggnog-besotted elves monitoring Wired.com's user-driven nomination process, chalked up her strong showing to hard work.
"I am an actual geek," said Orlova, pictured above with a book that is presumably filled with hot words. "I am on my computer the second I wake up until the second I go to sleep.... I research, write, shoot, produce, edit, compress and upload all of my videos. And I do one every day, seven days a week."
Although DeFranco ultimately became top-rated and The Colbert Report funnyman Stephen Colbert also made it into the top 10, some Wired.com commenters took issue with the lack of male contenders on the user-generated list.
"OK, so where are the boys?" wrote Lina. "It seems that geek girls by far outnumber geek boys in terms of sexiness." Others wondered about the nature of true geekiness.
"Although Summer Glau gets my vote, being a starlet on a sci-fi show doesn't make you a geek," wrote Jens. "Just being a Mac user is also stretching the definition.... For true geek cred you must have an intellectual pursuit, preferably obscure, of some kind. Such as ancient Egyptian algebra or Perl. Of course, according to Neal Stephenson, we're all geeks/nerds these days."
HotForWords' Orlova, who wears a hot pink bustier in her promo photo, said brains and beauty work together for the fully sexy geek package.
"Curves get your initial attention," she said, "but words will hold on your attention much longer!"
2008's top 10 Sexiest Geeks are, as of Wednesday's official tally:
1.) Philip DeFranco
2.) Marina Orlova
3.) Kari Byron: artist and MythBuster
4.) Jade Raymond: videogame producer and Electric Playground host
5.) Mila Kunis: actress and World of Warcraft fan
7.) Stephen Colbert: faux newsman
8.) Zooey Deschanel: actress, musician and singer-songwriter