December 06, 2004 12:00 PM

>What’s better than making out with beautiful actresses on daytime TV? “Getting paid for it,” says Mykel Jenkins, 35, who beat out 11 other hopefuls to win SOAPnet’s / Wanna Be a Soap Star. “It’s the 13th donut in a dozen.”

During the six-week reality series, which ended Nov. 20, Jenkins “exuded self-confidence and had a very appealing on-camera chemistry,” says Soap Star judge and actress Debbi Morgan. Jenkins, a Lubbock, Texas, native who now lives in LA. with wife Tracy, 32, an executive assistant, and their son Bryce, 4, began a 13-week gig on ABC’s General Hospital Nov. 22 as Officer Murphy. “That first day I drove up to the gates of the studio, that feeling was amazing,” recalls Jenkins. “Here I am! And I’m going to work hard so I can stay.” Jenkins also hopes his arrival on the daytime drama scene begins a trend to add more diversity to the soap world. “I don’t know why there aren’t many black people on soaps,” says Jenkins. “There are black people in the world, so let’s see them!”—MONICA RIZZO

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