On the heels of Brandon Hilton comes another Dallas glam popster — Chris Sapphire

Chris Sapphire

After posting Brandon Hilton’s newest video last month, I got an e-mail from “Emmy™ Nominated Film, Television and Music Producer J. Michael Brown,” informing me about another local pop singer. According to Brown’s e-mail, Chris Sapphire is a Dallas-based artist and radio/TV personality who just released a new video.

But first, I have to say that Sapphire is also part of the MZLive Internet radio team. Seems a lot like Rational Radio with an apparently higher profile. I checked out the site after reading Sapphire’s bio and checked out the latest webisode. I was kinda stunned when the show opened with Sapphire happily drinking Four Loco. Bad timing for days.

Anyway, Sapphire’s debut video, “Shake Your Ass,” has its catchy moments. Nothing complex, but I could get into the groove a bit. And I dig his Tina Turner momma.

Perhaps Dallas is becoming the home of gay glam pop. Like Hilton, Sapphire does the lip gloss gender-bending glam thing. What’s also similar is their approach to music stardom. Using aggressive social networking and web presence, the two are pushing that into a music career. Now we just have to wait and see where that takes them and subsequently, whether it makes Dallas the glam pop capital of the world.

Hey, we can dream. Watch the video now.

—  Rich Lopez

Dr. Laura’s demise began in Dallas

Dr. Laura

Maybe Dr. Laura Schlessinger should have stuck to bashing gays and lesbians.

The right-wing radio talk show host announced Tuesday night that she won’t renew her contract, ending her radio talk show at the end of this year.

In the 90s, Schlessinger became one of the top radio talk show hosts by becoming increasingly homophobic in her rants against callers who were seeking advice.

When she was offered a TV contract, she finally ran into trouble when activists from Dallas reacted. The Metroplex was her No. 1 market nationally.

KTVT, the CBS affiliate in Dallas, signed on to air her show. Dallas activists staged the first protest against it. Protests spread to cities around the country. John Seelig of Dallas began going after her advertisers, calling corporate executives and convincing many to pull their advertising from her program.

The show debuted with little advertising, and it sunk after one season due to Schlessinger’s terrible TV personality. After three or four format revamps, it was canceled.

Over the past decade, she continued to broadcast on radio, but on fewer and fewer stations.

In her latest high-profile rant, Schlessinger was criticized for using the N-word repeatedly while giving advice to a woman who called with a question about her interracial marriage, upset by her husband’s friends’ racial slurs. Schlessinger attacked the woman, saying that if she was so sensitive about racial issues, she shouldn’t have married outside her race.

Schlessinger apologized for using the N-word, but not for her stupid advice. In her statement about quitting the show, Schlessinger said that she’s not retiring and told Larry King that she’s looking forward to regaining her First Amendment rights.

Presumably, she sees those rights as attacking, insulting and encouraging hate. While the Supreme Court has upheld free speech for hate groups such as the Fred Phelps clan, it has not upheld the right to incite violence against a target group using public airwaves.

Although Schlessinger’s program is an advice show and she uses the title “Dr.,” she does not hold a doctorate in counseling, psychology or any related field.

—  David Taffet

Flippin’ crazy

The ex is gone, but OCD real estate designer Jeff Lewis is not a ‘fun gay’

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

2.5 out of 5 stars
FLIPPING OUT
airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo. Season 4 premiere Aug. 10.

……………………………..

DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY | Jeff Lewis and his stable of largely incompetent assistants make you wonder why the unemployment rate isn’t even higher.

It’s ironic that the most fun gay reality program on Bravo is the one about a straight woman, but with the season finale of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List now in the books, our sluggish replacement is settling into her time slot.

“I used to be a fun gay,” Jeff Lewis, the OCD real estate speculator on Flipping Out, says in the season 4 debut. “Now I’m not a fun gay anymore.”
Ummm, I’ve watched this show for three years … when exactly was he ever a “fun gay”?

The Botoxed, demanding little martinet who drives his (admittedly) incompetent staff crazy with his nitpicking is an oddly compelling reality TV personality. His drama doesn’t seem manufactured — he really is a black hole of bad vibes.

The new season kicks off with some major changes. Gone from the series is Ryan, Jeff’s ex lover and long-time business partner, who last season apparently Google-pirated search engine results from Jeff, building his own company at his friend’s expense. The post-season reunion wrap-up last year was the most dramatic moment in the show’s history, and Ryan’s absence lingers like a ghost over all relationships gone sour.

But there’s still Zoila (the deadpan Latina maid) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus lookalike Jenni, Jeff’s Zen assistant, plus relative newcomer Jett, the hunky house assistant, and Sarah, his useless helper.

Jeff’s flat affect belies a droll sense of humor, but ultimately, as with most non-competition reality series, it’s a mystery as to why we should care at all about his life: The business is not all that interesting, his life no harder than mine and the season opener feels unfocused, even rote. What I’d give for a decent flip out this time.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 6, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens