With theatricality and showmanship, Christopher Iman captured the title of Mr. Gay Southern States USofA Wednesday night at the Round-Up Saloon. Pitted against two other competitors, Iman rallied against the other contestants, leaving them in the dust by winning not only the title itself but every single category award as well.
First Alternate went to Gerald Scott Paige with Second Alternate being awarded to Sebastian Sin. In their respective talent portions of the competition, each wowed the audience with larger-than-life performances. Paige’s talent focused on his impressive character portrayal as a hobo, while Sin’s was centered around live singing, as well as stage makeup enhancements to compliment his “Eye of the Tiger” rendition that flowed into his male version of Rihanna’s “S&M.”
Although there was a sizable crowd of around 60, Aaron Buford, owner of the Mr. Gay Lonestar USofA Pageant, said that male entertainment competitions are “jam packed in San Antonio and Houston.”
“Mr. Gay Texas USofA [earlier this year] had about 400 people.” Bufford said.
When asked why male entertainers are not as pervasive in Dallas as other cities in Texas, Bufford theorized that it might have something to do with not having a consistent venue in which to work.
It’s true that Dallas culture tends to favor drag and its art of female impersonation. The Rose Room at Station 4 attests to that. Joe Hoselton, aka Jenna Skyy, one of the judges of the competition, offered his perspective on male entertainers.
“The audience [in Dallas] loves drag when it comes right down to it,” he said.
Hoselton was quick to add that as far as being entertainers,”they are held to the same standard, it’s just a different craft.”
There might be room for male entertainers in the Dallas entertainment scene as there were a number of big name special guests featured as entertainment during the competition. Some included LaWanda Jackson, former Miss Gay USofA Classic and former Miss Gay USofA; Rasean Montrese, Mr. Gay USofA 2012; Patrick Mikyles, Mr. Gay Texas USofA; Keaton Zane Paige, Mr. Gay Southern States USofA 2012, as well as others.
The breadth and depth of talent of many special guests seemed to be matched by the long distances traveled. Sunny Dee Lite, former Miss Sweetheart International, traveled all the way from New York City. Michael Silas, a former Lady Gaga dancer, journeyed to the competition from Los Angeles. Rasean Montrese currently hails from Indianapolis.
In an unexpected move, the pageant promoter announced that all three competitors will be allowed to advance to the Mr. Gay USofA national pageant held Oct. 16-18 at The Saint in San Antonio.
Established in 2008 and affiliated with USofA Pageants, Mr. Gay USofA has more than 30 local, state and regional contests in which men from all over the country compete.
More photos by Patrick Hoffman below.