RuPaul voted ‘Best Reality Host’ in TV.Com poll

RuPaulAfter an intense week of voting, the world has finally declared what we all already knew: RuPaul really is the best host of a reality television show there is.

The Supermodel of The World beat out the likes of Adam Levine, Demi Lovato, Blake Shelton and Howard Stern to take the crown for “Best Reality Show Judge Or Host 2013” in this year’s annual TV.com poll, The Huffington Post reported.

In fact, RuPaul didn’t just win — he slayed the competition with over 30,000 more votes than Shelton, who nabbed second place, topping the charts with 104,871.

As if that wasn’t enough, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” also snatched the wig title of “Best Reality Competition Series 2013” from big names such as “Face Off,” “Survivor,” “The Voice” and “American Idol.”

ConDRAGulations, Mama Ru!

—  Steve Ramos

Dallas “gay sex symbol” will be new “Bachelor”

To be honest, I’ve given up watching all reality shows except Drag Race, Project Runway and Top Chef, so the fact Dallas businessman (and, according to my friends at Instinct magazine, “gay sex symbol”) Sean Lowe was the hottie of the summer on The Bachelorette escaped me. But Lowe won over America’s heart, making the top 3 before being dumped; how, he gets to do the same to 23 girls in a row.

Starting in January, the local abs model will be The Bachelor, according to ABC. Hmmmm…. maybe I’ll start watching again.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay Dallas designer wins HGTV’s “Design Star: All-Stars”

Leslie Ezelle, the gay Dallas-based designer whose story of surviving breast cancer inspired many last summer when she was a contestant on a Season 6 of HGTV’s Design Star but who was booted about midway through her season, redeemed herself by winning the first-ever edition of Design Star: All-Stars, which aired last night.

Ezelle bested fellow Dallas designer Hilari and sole male finalist Tom in transforming a storage container into a living space. Her genius touch: A Murphy bed that doubles as a blackboard for children to write on when not in use.

Ezelle, who became active in breast cancer awareness following her appearance on the show last summer, really deserved to win, as well. The judges praised her growth both as an designer and as an on-screen personality.

Ezelle welcomed the win surrounded by hundreds of friends and well-wishers by celebrating at a screening at Studio Movie Grill of the finale.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

“Biggest Loser” back to DFW to cast new season

The Biggest Loser seems to spend a lot of time looking for contestants in Dallas. I don’t know exactly what that means about us, but it does give people an opportunity to get on TV and get fit. The new casting session will take place at Gilley’s in the Cedars area this Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You have to be ready to lose at least 85 lbs., but if you do, you could win the $250,000 prize (and maybe befriend one of those  sexually ambiguous but undeniably hot trainers). To pre-register and for more details, go here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Getting hitched? You can be on MTV

MTV International is making a docu-series about young marrieds, and they want Dallas folk — even the gay ones.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 24 and are recently married, or getting married in June, July or August — whether through legal, church-approved hetero-bliss or just a commitment ceremony between same-sex couples — MTV wants to meet you. They will be holding casting session this weekend. From noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday — during Razzle Dazzle — you can find them under the MTV banner along Cedar Springs. They will also be staked out at the Indigo Hotel Downtown from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday. To schedule an appointment in advance, email MTVYoungandMarried@gmail.com.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Season 2 of “Big Rich Texas” premieres Feb. 19

The Style Network’s Big Rich Texas was one of, I think, 24,604 reality TV shows set in or around North Texas in 2011 (that’s just an estimate), and despite trafficking in cliches about Texas hair and such, it turned out to be a pretty big hit. So of course, Season 2 is back. It will begin airing on Style Sunday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m., following the premiere of Jerseylicious.(That’s quite a one-two punch of States on parade.) The Big Rich Texans on the show turned out to be pretty good friends of the gay community and didn’t really embarrass the gays the way some shows have.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The good, the bad & the ‘A-List’

These arts, cultural & sports stories defined gay Dallas in 2011

FASHIONS AND FORWARD  |  The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

FASHIONS AND FORWARD | The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

A lot of eyes were focused on Dallas nationally in 2011 — for good and bad — but much of what made the city a fun place last year has specific queer appeal. CULTURE The rise of the reality TV star. 2011 was the year Dallas made a big splash across everyone’s television sets — and it had nothing to do with who shot J.R. (although that’s pending). From the culinary to the conniving, queer Dallasites were big on the small screen. On the positive side were generally good portrayals of gay Texans. Leslie Ezelle almost made it all the way in The Next Design Star, while The Cake Guys’ Chad Fitzgerald is still in contention on TLC’s The Next Great Baker. Lewisville’s Ben Starr was a standout on MasterChef. On the web, Andy Stark, Debbie Forth and Brent Paxton made strides with Internet shows Bear It All, LezBeProud and The Dallas Life,respectively.

‘A’ to Z  |  ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

‘A’ to Z | ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

There were downsides, though. Drew Ginsburg served as the token gay on Bravo’s teeth-clenching Most Eligible: Dallas, and the women on Big Rich Texas seemed a bit clichéd. But none were more polarizing than the cast of Logo’s The A-List: Dallas. Whether people loved or hated it, the six 20somethings (five gays, one girl) reflected stereotypes that made people cringe. Gaultier makes Dallas his runway. The Dallas Museum of Art scored a coup, thanks to couture. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk not only featured the work of the famed designer, but was presented the designs in an innovative manner. Nothing about it was stuffy. Seeing his iconic designs in person is almost a religious experience — especially when its Madonna’s cone bra. Gaultier reminded us that art is more than paintings on a wall. (A close runner-up: The Caravaggio exhibit in Fort Worth.) The Return of Razzle Dazzle. ­­There was speculation whether Razzle Dazzle could actually renew itself after a near-decade lull, but the five-day spectacular was a hallmark during National Pride Month in June, organized by the Cedar Springs Merchant Association. The event started slowly with the wine walk but ramped up to the main event street party headlined by rapper Cazwell. Folding in the MetroBall with Deborah Cox, the dazzle had returned with high-profile entertainment and more than 10,000 in attendance on the final night. A Gathering pulled it together. TITAS executive director Charles Santos took on the daunting task of producing A Gathering, a collective of area performance arts companies, commemorating 30 years of AIDS. Groups such as the Dallas Opera, Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Theater Center donated their time for this one-of-a-kind show with all proceeds benefiting Dallas’ leading AIDS services organizations. And it was worth it. A stirring night of song, dance and art culminated in an approximate 1,000 in attendance and $60,000 raised for local charities. Bravo, indeed. The Bronx closed after 35 years. Cedar Springs isn’t short on its institutions, but when it lost The Bronx, the gayborhood felt a real loss. For more than three decades, the restaurant was home to many Sunday brunches and date nights in the community. We were introduced to Stephan Pyles there, and ultimately, we just always figured on it being there as part of the fabric of the Strip. A sister company to the neighboring Warwick Melrose bought the property with rumors of expansion. But as yet, the restaurant stands steadfast in its place as a reminder of all those memories that happened within its walls and on its plates.  The Omni changed the Dallas skyline. In November, The Omni Dallas hotel opened the doors to its 23-story structure and waited to fill it’s 1,000 rooms to Dallas visitors and staycationers. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center, the ultra-modern hotel is expected to increase the city’s convention business which has the Dallas Visitors and Conventions Bureau salivating — as they should. The hotel brought modern flair to a booming Downtown and inside was no different. With quality eateries and a healthy collection of art, including some by gay artists Cathey Miller and Ted Kincaid, the Omni quickly became a go-to spot for those even from Dallas. SPORTS The Super Bowl came to town. Although seeing the Cowboys make Super Bowl XLV would have been nice for locals, the event itself caused a major stir, both good and bad. Ticketing issues caused a commotion with some disgruntled buyers and Jerry Jones got a bad rap for some disorganization surrounding the game. But the world’s eyes were on North Texas as not only the game was of a galactic measure, but the celebs were too. From Kardashians to Ke$ha to Kevin Costner, parties and concerts flooded the city and the streets. The gays even got in on the action. Despite crummy weather, the Super Street Party was billed as the “world’s first ever gay Super Bowl party.” The ice and snow had cleared out and the gays came out, (and went back in to the warmer clubs) to get their football on. The XLV Party at the Cotton Bowl included a misguided gay night with acts such as Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell that was ultimately canceled. The Mavericks won big. The Mavs are like the boyfriend you can’t let go of because you see how much potential there is despite his shortcomings. After making the playoffs with some just-misses, the team pulled through to win against championship rivals, Miami Heat, who beat them in 2006. In June, the team cooled the Heat in six games, taking home its first NBA Championship, with Dirk Nowitzki appropriately being named MVP. The Rangers gave us faith. Pro sports ruled big in these parts. The Mavericks got us in the mood for championships and the Texas Rangers almost pulled off a victory in the World Series. With a strong and consistent showing for the season, the Rangers went on to defend their AL West Division pennant. Hopes were high as they handily defeated the Detroit Tigers in game six, but lost the in the seventh game. Although it was a crushing loss, the Texas Rangers proved why we need to stand by our men.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Fire Island reality series seeks gays to audition

If you think reality TV has made gay Dallas look a little crazy lately, well, here’s you chance to bring a little Texas-crazy to New York.

You have until Friday to apply to become a cast member of the Fire Island Summer Project (a working title, we’re assuming), a new series from the producers of RuPaul’s Drag Race. And here’s the best part: You don’t need to be from the NYC area — they want folks from all over to apply!  Filming begins this summer, probably in a beach house the Pines (despite a fire recently that scorched parts of the island).

The application has some pretty straightforward questions, plus a few that indicate the casting agents’ interest in seeking diverse and charged action on the show, such as “What do you think makes you stand out from the crowd?,” “What role do you play in your social circle?,” “Do you have any quirks or strange habits? and “What is your craziest Spring Break story?” And you never have to have vacationed on Fire Island before to be eligible.

If you think you might be interested, click here. And if you end up getting cast and turn out to be the asshole villain on the series, do us all a favor — say you’re from San Antonio!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones