Over 14 seasons, Top Gear has made continuous deposits into my spank bank of auto-erotica (and no, not the David Carradine type of auto-erotica). Because If there's anything rivaling my affection for cars, it's television shows about cars.
So it should come as no surprise that I would have a keen interest in who will be Top Gear USA's new Stig. Here are my predictions for the top 5 candidates:
Former Stig - Ben Collins: Collins, who has recently been outed as the original Stig from Top Gear UK, would be an obvious choice except that he not only burned all his bridges with the BBC, but ate those same ashes from his burnt bridges, then proceeded to defecate the digested ashes into a tell-all book and publish it against the BBC's wishes. While Collins just signed on to be a presenter on Fifth Gear, my prediction is that he will realize that Fifth Gear is boring and that he gave up perhaps one of the coolest jobs in the world and he will come crawling back to the BBC to grovel for his old job back. The BBC, now with two Top Gear shows and no Stigs, will take him back but make him serve on the US show. Collins will see this as a punishment because it is well known that Britons hate America.
Rally Driver and all-around badass - Ken Block: Let's take a moment to examine the facts. First, we know that America loves hooning. Second, we know that Ken Block is one of the greatest hooners of all time (although he prefers the technical term ‘gymkhana' to hooning). Third, Tanner Foust, one of the show's hosts, is a drifting legend and whether by choice or lack of skill, is incapable of driving around a corner without throwing the back end out (a specialty of Block's). Fourth, Rutledge Wood? I thought that was Kevin Smith. So you see, it only makes sense that Block would take on the role as US Stig. The only problem would be getting Block to switch his Monster Energy/DC Shoes racing suit to a plain white one. I'm pretty sure he sleeps in that thing…
Racing driver and adolescent male fantasy - Danica Patrick: Patrick has to be close to reaching a point in her career where she realizes that she is terrible at racing. I predict that once she fails miserably at NASCAR, she will continue to grope for the public's attention any way that she can, and when GoDaddy cuts the cord, she'll be forced to make the move to reality television just like all the other attention whores (read - The T.O. Show). Enter Top Gear USA. The perfect blend of positive media attention and racing around a track without the ability to lose makes this Danica Patrick's dream job. My prediction is that while all the times on the Power Lap board will be slow, at least they will be consistent. The only problem I foresee will be finding a racing suit that sufficiently hides Patrick's shapely contours to maintain an asexual robotic presence for which the Stig has become known.
Late night talk show host and auto enthusiast – Jay Leno: Leno's garage is the definition of automotive legend and he is the envy of every man who has ever considered himself a ‘car guy'. He is a well-known and long-time fan of Top Gear and even appeared in the Top Gear UK's "Star in a reasonably priced car". In fact, Leno loves Top Gear so much, that he even attempted to recreate the Top Gear segment on his short-lived "The Jay Leno Show" and called it the "Green car challenge". Unfortunately the show was more pathetic than Justin Beiber attempting manliness and the show was rightly cancelled. My prediction is that Jay Leno will retire from the Tonight Show and hand over control to Jimmy Fallon in order to take on the role as Stig for Top Gear USA. After one season, Leno will change his mind and take back the Tonight Show from Fallon and Top Gear USA will be left Stigless. The biggest challenge facing Leno as the Stig will be finding a helmet that fits his humongous head.
Failure at life and drama queen – Lindsay Lohan: Lindsay is my ballpark pick for Top Gear USA's Stig, but it makes perfect sense. First, she has experience driving high end automobiles and has learned car control through much trial and error (emphasis on error). Second, she already has plenty of experience doing automotive film (see – Herbie: Fully Loaded). And lastly, no one would expect her as Stig, which will be key in keeping her identity as the Stig a secret. My prediction is that Lohan's lawyers will convince the judge that because Top Gear USA is on the History Channel, that it is an educational program, and that Lindsay will be able to perform as the Stig as a form of community service. The biggest challenge will be maintaining the Stig's stoic persona by trying to keep Lohan's mouth closed.
We may never know the true identity of Top Gear USA's Stig, but I am 99% certain that it will be one of these five candidates. Perhaps in another 10 years, USA Stig will decide to branch out and write their own tell-all and we will finally know for sure. On that day I will say "I told you so!"
This piece was written and submitted by a Jalopnik reader and may not express views held by Jalopnik or its staff. But maybe they will become our views. It all depends on whether or not this person wins by whit of your eyeballs in our reality show, "Who Wants to be America's Next Top Car Blogger?"