Michael Sam booted off of ‘DWTS’

PETA MURGATROYD, MICHAEL SAMHe hasn’t had a great week. After failing to secure an NFL slot following the first-ever veterans’ combine, Michael Sam was voted off of Dancing with the Stars last night. I actually liked his performance the week before, though the competition was pretty fierce. Honestly, I haven’t watched the show much over the years and tuned in specifically to see Sam. But there are so many shirtless hunks this season, I may come back to it.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Michael Sam shake it with a funky debut on ‘DWTS’

PETA MURGATROYD, MICHAEL SAMAthletes often do well on Dancing with the Stars because they are physical beings who know how to control their bodies. But a gay athlete? Well, you knew Michael Sam would be a standout on the 20th season premiere of the show, and he was. Catch that ass during the funky cha-cha he does with Peta Murgatroyd to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Whoa!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Michael Sam gets drafted! … for ‘Dancing with the Stars’

He didn’t make the final cut for the NFL, but this morning Michael Sam found out he will be on a roster this spring. He’ll be one of the celebrities on the next season (its 20th) of Dancing with the Stars on ABC. The season begins March 16.

Sam will be paired with Peta Jane Mergatroyd on the hit reality show, which has been especially supportive of athletes; fellow former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith even won one season.

Among the other contestants on the season are Patti LaBelle, Suzanne Somers and Rumer Willis.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘DWTS’ announces new cast

Premiere Of Relativity Media's "Act Of Valor" - ArrivalsMaybe it’s just my circle of friends, but I know more gay people who watch Dancing with the Stars than all other reality competition shows combined — with the exception of Project Runway and RuPaul’s Drag Race (hello!!??!). I’ve caught the show on occasion myself, though I’m not nearly as devoted to it as my friends. Still, even since Lance Bass was on, I do wait with anticipation for the big reveal of the cast to see what gays might be participating.

I’m usually disappointed.

But there always is some excitement anyway, just to see what hotties, horrors and “hmmmm”s the producers recruit.

The main hotties this year, of course, is former Disney Channel star Corbin Bleu (pictured — sigh); and Brant Daughtery, best known for appearing on the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars (directed, interestingly enough, by former North Texan Norman Buckley, the gay brother of B’way star Betty Buckley). Former Dallas Cowboy player Keyshawn Johnson is also on deck, but the other men — Jack Osbourne, Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Bill Engval — won’t be swoons from me.

Glee star Amber Riley is a gay fave among the women, but there are other gayish icons as well: Actress Valerie Harper (who, earlier this year, was expected to die soon from cancer, only to go into remission), Showgirls star Elizabeth Berkley and “Snooki” Polizzi (who, let’s face it, is basically a drag queen). Former Scientologist Leah Remini and singer Christina Milian round out the cast.

The season premiere is on Sept. 16.

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The gay interview: Travis Wall

In this week’s Voice, we published a review of the new reality series All the Right Moves, which stars gay former So You Think You Can Dance phenom Travis Wall and premieres tomorrow, July 31, on Oxygen. Travis sat down with our intrepid reporter Chris Azzopardi for a one-on-one interview with the 24-year-old as he tries to launch his own dance company. The eight-episode stint follows Wall and his bendy buddies — Teddy Forance, Kyle Robinson and fellow SYTYCD gayboy (and Season 1 winner) Nick Lazzarini — as they go through business challenges, power struggles and friendship drama. Wall dishes on his roommates, his first big movie and why gay dancers shouldn’t dance gay.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Chaz Bono to receive Elizabeth Birch Equality Award
 at Black Tie Dinner


Chaz Bono

Chaz Bono will receive this year’s Elizabeth Birch Equality Award, co-chairs of the 2012 Black Tie Dinner announced today.

“While Chaz has found fulfillment in his work as a national activist, one of his greatest values in the GLBT community lies in reaching out and raising awareness on a grassroots level among young minds,” said Black Tie Dinner Co-Chair Chris Kouvelis. “Via his high national profile, Chaz continues to create visibility, increase awareness and impact change for transgender issues.”

Chaz Bono is an LGBT rights advocate, author and speaker. Most recently, Chaz received the GLAAD Media Award and was honored for his OWN documentary, Becoming Chaz, which chronicled the struggles of his gender reassignment journey. He also received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is given by GLAAD to an LGBT entertainer for promoting equality. Chaz embarked on uncharted territory last fall when he appeared on Dancing With The Stars.

Born Chastity, to Sonny and Cher Bono, Chaz came out as a lesbian to his parents at 18 in 1987. He did not come out publicly until April 1995 in an interview with The Advocate, and spoke about it publicly on the air for the first time ever on Lambda Weekly when he was in Dallas for National Coming Out Day

Chaz has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and became spokesperson for the HRC, promoting National Coming Out Day. Chaz also served as Entertainment Media Director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

The Elizabeth Birch Equality Award honors national leaders, and is given in recognition of the inspirational leadership of former Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Elizabeth Birch. This award is given to an individual, organization or company that has made a significant contribution of national scope to the LGBT community.

Birch received the first award and last year decorated veteran Eric Alva, the first servicemember injured in the Iraq War received the honor. Other recipients have included Showtime Networks/Robert Greenblatt, Alan Cumming, Sharon Stone, Bishop V. Gene Robinson, Judy Shepard and American Airlines.

—  David Taffet

A-‘Ledge’-dly, a thriller

A month into 2012, and already a contender for worst movie of the year

Screen

GO AHEAD & JUMP | Sam Worthington gives a tic-filled performance in the execrable ‘Man on a Ledge.’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

It’s a mitzvah when the movie studios get the worst movie of the year out of the way early — and kind of canny. Cause once you see Man on a Ledge (if you even bother), every movie that follows it will look so good by comparison. It’s rather genius, really, like burning your partner’s toast so your omelet seems tastier.

The title says it all, doesn’t it? We don’t know much about Nick (Sam Worthington), other than he’s a former cop who got sent to the big-house for some reason, and has now escaped and stepped onto the ledge of a building on Madison Avenue. He is both determined that the cops not know who he is, yet actively courting folk-hero status with the people in the street. A hostage negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) serves some function, I’m not sure what. There’s a smug TV reporter (Kyra Sedgwick), too, just so you know who to hate for doing their job.

Sam Worthington got off to a propitious movie career: His first three roles (in Terminator: Salvation, Clash of the Titans and Avatar) made him a household name, if not face, and last year he took on a “prestige” picture, The Debt, which wasn’t very good but looked like it might be, so props for that.

By now he should be realizing that lucky casting and good hair will only take you so far. He’s expected to carry Man on a Ledge, despite the “all-star” cast (with “star” having the same definition it does on Dancing with the Stars). Worthington is, after all, the title Man, who doesn’t seem suicidal but appears to have nothing to lose… unlike the audience, which loses nearly two hours of its life. He goes for being twitchy, since he doesn’t get to move around much.

As a Donald Trump-like real estate mogul and professional blowhard, Ed Harris appears positively skeletal; I don’t think it’s because he’s supposed to remind of the villainous Skeletor, either. He’s gaunt and frail, and he moves as if his entire body is in a cast. You don’t so much want him to get his comeuppance as you do an MRI. Edward Burns, inarguably Hollywood’s most boring actor, plays a rough-and-tumble cop, because, I mean, what’s a cop movie without someone who can be a sexist asshole to the women in the movie? Man on a Ledge doesn’t miss many clichés: Its plot is needlessly complex (an elaborate heist, reliance on precise police procedures, a series of “planned” coincidences) but also nonsensical (if any one of the Rube Goldberg-eqsue plans varies even slightly, the entire thing collapses; even if they accomplish their task, they prove nothing), as well as, for example, a beautiful girl stripping down to her bra because, you know, guys like to see that kind of thing. (The men also make crudely homophobic jokes, just to prove they are “real men.”) Gaps in logic and cheesy objectification and bigotry are the least of its problems however. The director, Asger Leth, and scripter, Pablo A. Fenjves, find it necessary to make every single scene a conflict between some characters, as if that will mask the lack of overall dull idea underlying it and a climax that’s flabbier and less exciting than an obese person marathon.

On the continuum of bad quasi-mysteries about complicated capers with hidden motives, Man of a Ledge is about on par with Inside Man and a few steps below Law Abiding Citizen and nowhere near the original Talking of Pelham 1-2-3 (though about the same as the remake). It may make you think about other films, but it’s best not to think about (or see) this one.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 27, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

The 5 Factor event hosted by Resource Center Dallas

Factoring in greatness

This year’s “5 Factor” honorees are journalist and award-winning author Jenny Block; Emmy Award-winning journalist Ron Corning, who recently joined WFAA Channel 8 as the host of News 8 Daybreak; Dallas restaurant owner Monica Greene of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum and BEE in Oak Cliff, who recently began providing commentary on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for WFAA; award-winning fashion designer Prashi Shah who created her own label, Prashe, and recently opened a showroom in Dallas’ Design District; and Bronwen Weber, executive chef and general manager of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio in Dallas who is perhaps best known to many for her appearances on television’s Food Network Challenge programs.

The evening will be hosted by Angela Betasso, with state Rep. Eric L. Johnson and his wife as co-chairs and last year’s honorees serving as the honorary host committee.

Read the entire piece here.

DEETS: eM, the venue by Marc, 1500 Dragon St. 7 p.m. $50. The5Factor.org

—  Rich Lopez

Local briefs • 10.14.11

RCD hosts ‘The 5 Factor’

Resource Center Dallas, in partnership with Dallas Modern Luxury, presents the third annual “The 5 Factor” event on Thursday, Oct. 20, at eM the venue by Marc, 1500 Dragon St. in Dallas.

“The 5 Factor” event recognizes five of Dallas’ finest in areas such as cuisine, fashion, media and literature.

This year’s “5 Factor” honorees are journalist and award-winning author Jenny Block; Emmy Award-winning journalist Ron Corning, who recently joined WFAA Channel 8 as the host of News 8 Daybreak; Dallas restaurant owner Monica Greene of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum and BEE in Oak Cliff, who recently began providing commentary on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for WFAA; award-winning fashion designer Prashi Shah who created her own label, Prashe, and recently opened a showroom in Dallas’ Design District; and Bronwen Weber, executive chef and general manager of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio in Dallas who is perhaps best known to many for her appearances on television’s Food Network Challenge programs.

The evening will be hosted by Angela Betasso, with state Rep. Eric L. Johnson and his wife as co-chairs and last year’s honorees serving as the honorary host committee.

General admission is $50 per person, available online at The5Factor.org. Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Resource Center Dallas.

…………………………….

GLAAD holds ‘Get Amped’ 5K

The local chapter of GLAAD presents Get Amped, a 5K run/walk on the Katy Trail on Thursday, Oct. 20, in conjunction with similar chapter events around the country.
Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center.

The starting gun goes off at 7 p.m. The celebration takes place at the finish line, also at the arena, at 9 p.m.

An after-party takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Round-Up Saloon.

Each runner has a goal of raising $250. The money raised will benefit the national organization.

……………………………

VNA holds Service of Remembrance

The Visiting Nurse Association will host a Service of Remembrance on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Preston Hollow United Methodist Church, 6315 Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.

The event is open to the public and will feature special music, readings and the opportunity to light a memorial candle.

Attendees of all faiths are welcome to attend the service.

For more information call Sue Rafferty, bereavement coordinator with the Visiting Nurse Association, at 214-689-2922

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Pink Noise: The Dallas Voice Radio Show

 

So here it is, our first episode of Pink Noise on Rational Radio. Still a few kinks to work out — and speaking of kinks, local leatherman Hardy Haberman was kind enough to be our guinea pig guest. We talked about the controversy involving State Rep. Jim Pitts, Troy Aikman’s fighting words for Skip Bayless, Rob Schlein and Rick Perry, Chaz Bono on Dancing With The Stars, and of course Hardy’s BDSM habit. Tune in live next Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. at RationalBroadcasting.com. You can also subscribe to Pink Noise on iTunes, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. The video version of Friday’s show is below.

—  John Wright