It's easy to become enamored of Jonathan Rabb's smile, a gap-toothed beacon that never stops beaming. His looks alone -- that smile, his mocha complexion dotted lightly with freckles and a short mop of curls -- could have won this year's Hotness competition. What sets Jonathan apart, though, is a disposition even brighter than his smile: a fun and friendly Type B, but with obvious ambition and an ability to never let a conversation go silent. It's no wonder that one of Jonathan's many roles is host of the Minnesota Swarm lacrosse team at Xcel Center, pumping up the crowd and chatting with fans on the jumbo screen.
Midway through college at the University of Minnesota, Jonathan was running low on funds and study time and decided his ideal job would be as an overnight parking attendant. By happy accident, a search for "parking lot" on Craigslist led him to an interesting posting: an open call, in a parking lot, to be a TV host on the local CW affiliate. Two weeks later, he was interviewing Will Smith on camera. Needless to say, the folks at the CW were smitten, and Jonathan found his calling. Jonathan now says he has enough reel time to give California a shot, and has set his sights on Hollywood in the not-too-distant future.
"I want to host TV shows when I grow up," he says sort of matter-of-factly. Then he laughs at his choice of words. "I say that a lot. My dad still says that!"
Jonathan briefly turns serious, noting the dog tags hanging around his neck that once belonged to his father, an Army serviceman who works with soldiers who have severe post-traumatic stress. He gave the tags to his son after a recent tour of duty in Iraq. "He's probably going to Afghanistan soon," Jonathan says, subconsciously fingering the tags. "I worry about him a lot."
The rest of Jonathan's family includes a nurturing vegetarian mother, a 19-year-old sister and a girlfriend of one year. Jonathan describes his girlfriend as supportive of his goals, and says she was ecstatic about his Hotness nomination. Jonathan gushes about her beauty, telling me the personality traits he adores most. "She's such a free spirit. When there's music, she's gonna dance, and she's an amazing dancer. And she's the kind of person you just like doing nice things for; she takes gifts or acts of kindness for what they are. She doesn't look for ulterior motives."
On one of the last fair-weather days of fall, Jonathan picked out a picnic basket at a local thrift store, filled it with goodies and surprised his girlfriend with a midday adventure. His adoration for her is obvious; he showed up for the Hotness photo shoot toting a mylar heart balloon, not to use as a prop in his pictures, but to deliver it to his girlfriend on the way home.
A self-proclaimed "king of deals," Jonathan manages to give me two shopping tips during our meeting, and enthusiastically names thrift-store clothes shopping as one of his favorite pastimes. "It's a Southsider thing!" he says, mentioning for the fourth time the Minneapolis neighborhood where he was born and raised. "Down there, they're everywhere." Jonathan's thrift-based look is decidedly urban with the touch of a global traveler. The day I meet him, he's sporting a pair of dark-wash Levi's, a white T-shirt, Timberland Yeles and a light denim jacket he picked up in Berlin.
Jonathan also confesses to a mildly unhealthy obsession with music videos. "I feel like you can show a lot of emotion in three minutes. Sometimes as much as a two-hour movie, if the video's good." His short-term plans include coupling that enthusiasm with his own experience, starting production on videos locally. "Something less theatrical," he says about about his vision. "I want to show artists in their element. There's so much talent here in Minneapolis." Indeed there is.
- Age: 22.
- Sign: Scorpio.
- Neighborhood: South Minneapolis.
- Status: I have a girlfriend.
- Education: Graduate of University of Minnesota, summa cum laude (German and global studies; double major).
- Occupation: On-air host on the CW Twin Cities (Ch. 23). In-game host of the Minnesota Swarm. Digital campaign manager.
- Hangouts: Lake Street, Midtown Global Market, Lake Calhoun in the summer, Honey.
- Turn-ons: I am weird about hair. I either like girls with really big hair or girls with short hair/no hair. Afros or big curls/locks almost always win in my book. Also, girls who are artsy and eclectic.
- About me: Although I am only 22, I host for a large network TV station, a Minnesota professional sports team and a radio station. I like to think that I am going somewhere in life. P.S. I like to ride bikes.
- Nominated by: One of my best friends, Casey Carlson.