After the final commercial break of the day, Bark was blinded by the stage lights when he stepped onto the Game Show Network stage. The synthesized theme song blared as the cameras swept over the crowd. Originally, VH1 was supposed to air America’s Next Top Billy Mays as a reality show over a period of six weeks, but when they opted to show season fifteen of Flavor of Love instead, the Game Show Network bought the rights to the program. Over a period of six days, men were tested on their Billy Mays-like qualities for a chance to win $10,000 and a contract with Church & Dwight, the makers of OxiClean.
“Bark Johnson!” the host announced through his skinny microphone.
Bark waved to the crowd holding signs saying things like, “Kaboom the Competition, Bark!” He had to remember to respond to the name Bark since it wasn’t his real name. Born Jaime Trevinelli, the producers said his name wasn’t butch enough, and they renamed him Bark Johnson. When he protested, they reminded him how lucky he was he looked white enough to even be considered for a spot in the show, because they knew America wasn’t going to replace Billy Mays with an Italian man.