Imagine ‘The Bachelor’ crossed with ‘The Amazing Race’ and you sort of get an idea of what ‘Love In the Wild’ is all about: a dating show set in the outdoors, hosted by the bubbly Jenny McCarthy.
The 39-year-old blonde bombshell has a lot more going on as well, including an imminent Playboy spread and a new boyfriend, Chicago Bears player Brian Urlacher. She spoke to FOX411.com about the show, posing nude, and her new dude.
FOX411: Didn’t you have a deal to do a show for Oprah?
Jenny McCarthy: I was in a holding deal with Harpo for about four years. It was a syndication deal. In the midst of my four years of holding she wanted to switch it to OWN, and I didn’t want to.
FOX411: So tell us about "Love in the Wild."
JM: It takes seven boys and seven girls, all strangers, and we let them choose initially on looks to pair off, and then we throw them into adventures to test their true character. At the end of each episode they get to stay with the partner they chose or switch with someone else in the group.
FOX411: Wow, there must be some hurt feelings.
JM: The one thing that I really do like about the show is it kind of forces everyone to be their authentic self. Everyone knows go on a road trip with someone you think you like and you either love them or hate them by the time you get there. It’s kind of a fast track in dating, which is why I was attracted to the show. It was interesting to watch in the beginning say, ‘Oh my God so and so is so hot,’ because it was based on looks, and by the end the person would say, ‘She’s a real witch,’ and be attracted to someone else because they were sweet and caring. That part I enjoyed because it had some depth.
FOX411: Are you just the host or do you play matchmaker?
JM: I am just the host, but I also instigate conversations. I’m the ringleader in pulling out information and feelings. As it’s not live I take my time really trying to get some true feelings out and then what you see is the time lapse of someone expressing what they truly want to say.
FOX411: Did you get the gig because you made out with that policeman on New Year’s Eve?
JM: (Laughs) I think I got this show because of ‘Singled Out.’
FOX411: That show was like a hundred years ago!
JM: It was but it still resonates with people for some reason. One of the biggest questions I get from people is, ‘Can you bring back ‘Singled Out?’ So when this show came along I said, ‘Hmm I’ll do it as long as I can bring back that sort of ball busting chick, and if you love me you won’t edit that part out,’ and they didn’t. They let me cheer on the girls and make fun of the guys which is what I did on ‘Singled Out.’
FOX411: That’s your genius really, you’re the hot girl who burps and farts.
JM: Yes! We all do it so why shouldn’t I?
FOX411: And make it the best you can.
FOX411: You also recently posed for Playboy.
JM: I did. It comes out in a few weeks.
FOX411: Were you nervous?
JM: No, once you’ve done it, it’s like, ‘Eh.’ I kind of wanted to do it one more time before I hit 40 and then my son’s tuition came up to be so expensive, I thought, ‘Oh perfect timing.’
FOX411: Did you find gravity had shifted some things?
JM: Oh my God I couldn’t lean in certain positions that I used to be able to. You’d have to scrape them off the floor. A lot of it was shot standing up. You totally value and respect your body as you get older.
FOX411: So do you show everything?
JM: It’s basically boobs for the whole thing and maybe one shot, but to make sure I don’t really give the goods away, I grew everything out below like it was 1970. So you think you see something, but you don’t.
FOX411: You’re dating now.
JM: Yes I am. (Brian Urlacher, star linebacker for the Chicago Bears). I’m so happy, it’s new and I’m enjoying it.
FOX411: How’s your autism work going?
JM: We just came back from the largest autism conference of the year. I do four phone calls a week mentoring moms. Last week we just raised $100,000 for a grant program. We fund families who can’t afford treatment, and we’re the only organization that does that.
FOX411: The only one?
JM: It’s insane. When I was going through it, I was able to do cheesy tampon commercials to pay for his therapy and I thought, ‘Oh my God what about the kids whose parents can’t afford it?’ I kind of made it my mission to pay it forward. I haven’t talked about anything other than that for years, and people still bring up vaccines and stuff. I’ve made it my mission the last few years to concentrate on the kids.
FOX411: Does the lack of support from the government upset you?
JM: You get knocked down and you have to keep standing up. I realize the only way to deal is to look forward with hope and not anger that has helped me tremendously. Eventually, no matter what, the truth will set you free, as they say. They used to say cigarettes don’t cause cancer. Time will show.
FOX411: You seem so cheerful. Are you ever grouchy?
JM: I definitely get grouchy when I’m PMSing ,no doubt about that, but I am an optimist. I always think there’s something better, and stuff happens for a reason. But when I’m PMSing, woo hoo! I’ve gotten a lot better as I’ve gotten older. I kind of get a little more introverted because I know when I’m PMSing I can be sharp with people.