Don’t know about you, but one of the things on my bucket list is to share a hot tub with Channing Tatum.
But looks like Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka beat me to it, dammit.
Neil, sharing his top 10 picks for this year’s AfterElton.com Hot 100 list, ranked Channing at number 8 and shared with steamy tidbit: “Shared a hot tub with Channing and Mr. Burtka at Adam Shankman’s Laguna Beach pad two summers back. Nothing naughty transpired, but ’twas a visual strongly seared into my skull.”
The number one hot man on NPH’s list? The adorable David Burtka! He writes of his love: He’s the total package (Yeah, I did.) Singer, dancer, chef, brilliant actor and, hands down, one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I’m very lucky to have him in my life.
My pal Trevor made a simple request yesterday: “More skin on Morning Man.”
So for Trevor, and everyone else, I offer you James Guardino, a model who is showing plenty of skin!
In an interview with OhLaLaMag a few years back, James shared his beauty secret: “The secret to looking good has to do with maintaining a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis, and always keeping a positive attitude. Cause we all know what stress can do on our looks!”
He was also asked about his biggest dreams: “There isn’t just one, they are never-ending, dreams are what keeps me going, You always need to reach for your next dream or else you’ll be stuck in neutral. Dreams are a driving force! Ultimately I’d like to be in a position where I can give back and help people less fortunate and in need.”
There is a real mutual admiration society going on between me and the hilarious Ester Goldberg whose blog Views From A Broad is a must-read.
We’ve exchanged some emails but met for the first time face-to-face at last night’s event at The Hollywood Museum where we were next to each other on the arrivals line chatting up such stars as Florence Henderson, JoAnne Worley, Donna Mills (who makes a brief cameo in our video), Stefanie Powers, Rose Marie, Dee Wallace, Kate Linder, Ilene Graff, Alison Arngrim, Judy Tenuta, Rip Taylor, Margaret O’Brien, and Nancy Dussault.
The event was the unveiling of The Hollywood Grafitti Gown which contains over 350 signatures of female stars from Bette Davis to the cast of Desperate Housewives. The gown was created by Randy McLaughlin and is being auctioned off to benefit AIDS causes. It is being displayed at the Hollywood Museum in a specially designed glass cast.
Stay tuned for a full report this weekend – including my interviews with Florence Henderson and her TV daughter Eve Plumb!
My friend Beth and I were having lunch at Art’s Deli in Studio City today and part of our conversation was about country music singer Chely Wright and how her very public coming out might help the world understand gay people better.
Chely is sharing so much about her journey and I think it’s so important to shine a light on the fact that while a lot of the gay people who are very publicly out are very strong now, most of them had to go through hell to get there.
I’m one of them and so is my friend Karen Ocamb who has written what I think is the best piece on Chely to date. I’m sharing a few parts here but do read the article on Karen’s site LGBTPOV in its entirety. It’s wonderfully done:
By Karen Ocamb: At the beginning of our 56-minute phone conversation last week, I told [Chely] Wright that I started underlining every page of her book. I am older than her, the details of our life experience are vastly different – but she told my story: I, too, am a suicide survivor. I know the depths of despair, the anguish of keeping a secret that gnaws at the very core of your humanity. And then the decision to surrender to the truth – knowing its potentially devastating costs – followed by the fear and joy of creating and finding yourself – like choosing your own birthday. Beyond the burst of publicity about a celebrity coming out – her story of anguish and re-birth many well save lives.
It was in that context of mutual understanding that we spoke, like war veterans who’ve experienced devastation first hand and feel the importance of sharing their story of survival. We choked up often and laughed deeply.
“I don’t feel like I’m coming out. I feel like I’m coming together. I feel like my birthday is next week. I feel like I get to start living my life. [Chokes up]
I’m so excited. It’s incumbent upon those of us who can stand up. I don’t care that we don’t talk about my record because what is germane in my story – it’s not about my being a celebrity. It’s about everybody hides something. Our secrets shouldn’t take us down. There’s so much in the world that’s so painful – this shouldn’t be one of them. This shouldn’t be a reason a kid goes into his basement and puts a gun in his mouth. This shouldn’t be a reason a 45-year old man takes a bottle of pills but he does.
People are going to tell me I’m going to burn in hell. I know it. There are a certain number of fans that are going to say they’re disappointed in me and that being said is a sin. I know the sin I’ve committed. Since I was a kid, my parents have looked me in the eye and said, ‘It’s a sin to lie.’ Yes, it is. It’s a sin to lie and I’ve been lying this whole time. It’s a sin for me to try to be with a man and wreck havoc on his life and devastate him. It’s a sin for me to lie down in a bed and try to be physical with a man knowing that I’m never ever going to be able to love him the way he loves me. That’s a sin. I can’t do it. I’ve done it and I know what it does to him and I know what it did to me.
My pal Karen Ocamb has shared this wonderful news on her LGBTPOV site:
Statement from Transgender Law Center Legal Director Kristina Wertz: “Today the Transgender Law Center represented Chaz Bono in a petition for change of name and gender. The court granted the petition and Chaz now has a court name change and a court order recognizing him as male. Chaz couldn’t be happier. This is an important step in his transition and will allow him to change a variety of his identity documents to show who he truly is.”
I’m just gonna say it: this is the best male same-sex kissing in the history of daytime. Sorry Noah. Sorry Kyle and Fish.
Luke and Dr. Reid Oliver are on FIRE here! Until Luke pours a bucket of water on things, pulling away and saying “this is a mistake.”
I love Reid’s response: “How do you know it’s a mistake until you make it.”
Luke thinks he should be by Noah’s bedside while Reid speaks the truth: “Something has been brewing between us for a long time. And deep down, you want it to happen as much as I do.”
Luke is freaking out and Reid wants to know what them getting together has to do with Noah: “We were about to have sex, not move out of the state. The minute there’s a change in Noah’s condition, we will both be there.”
Luke runs out anyway. How he found the self-control not to proceed, I’ll never know!
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Did Luke get a haircut between scenes? His hair looks shorter today, no?
Chely Wright’s very public coming out this week has been accompanied by a book, an album, and several high-profile interviews. Lance Bass and Clay Aiken came out on the cover of People, Adam Lambert on the cover of Rolling Stone, Meredith Baxter dramatically came out on The Today Show while Sean Hayes took the old-fashioned route: the cover of The Advocate.
In contrast, others have been more low-key: Ricky Martin simply posted an update on his Twitter account sharing that he is a gay man, Neil Patrick Harris and T.R. Knight released short statements. Broadway star Jonathan Groff (Glee) casually mentioned being gay while taking part in the national equality march in Washington D.C. last year.
For stars considering coming out publicly, there are now so many templates to follow!
I gotta say, the growing number of people in the spotlight willing to live more open lives is so damned encouraging.
I launched my first gay-themed entertainment blog back in June of 2006 and I remember then thinking how many stars were openly gay. Seemed like a lot at the time: Elton John, Wilson Cruz, Chad Allen, Ellen DeGeneres, George Takei, Portia de Rossi, Mellissa Etheridge, Rupert Everett, Martina Navratilova, Rosie O’Donnell, Ian McKellan, and, after many years in the closet: Richard Chamberlain.
Nearly four years later, that list has grown exponentially. I’ve created a gallery here that is by no means every famous gay person but some of those who have come out in recent years: Chely Wright, Ricky Martin, Sean Hayes, Michael Urie, Suze Orman, Meredith Baxter, Adam Lambert, Chris Colfer, Cheyenne Jackson, Gareth Thomas, Nicholas Rodriguez, Jonathan Groff, Matthew Mitcham, Wanda Sykes, Neil Patrick Harris, Cynthia Nixon, Clay Aiken, Lily Tomlin, Luke Macfarlane, Scott Evans, Jesse Tyler Fergusen, David Hyde Pierce, T.R. Knight, Kelly McGillis, and Jane Lynch.
With only four contestants left on American Idol, I’m still missing my Timmy.
Tim Urban was voted off the show a few weeks ago and had to settle for seventh place. He says in this new interview that “I went home when I was supposed to go home … All in all, I look back and this was an amazing journey, an amazing start of hopefully a career.”
He realizes that being a last-minute replacement in the top 24 and bombing that first week did not bode well: “I was going to be the alternate who is escaping the inevitable, barely getting by. I created the perfect storm, I was the alternate who went on the first week and just tanked it.”
But Tim got better and peaked last month during back-to-back weeks when he nailed The Beatles’All My Loving then Elvis Presley’sI Can’t Help Falling in Love. He also had a standout week with the song Halehlulia.
As for who ultimately takes the Idol crown, Tim is not playing favorites: “I don’t really care who wins, they’re all great.”
Bernice Clifton (the wonderful Alice Ghostley) has to prove that she’s not crazy to a judge. The ladies are really no help because they keep coming off as crazier than Bernice!
The worst is Suzanne (Delta Burke) who arrives at the court proceedings direct from an international cruise that has left her sunburned and cranky.
Of particular annoyance to Suzanne was a woman on board named Cappy Badminton who didn’t like to cover up.
“She didn’t wear a top for seven straight days,” Suzanne complained. “Just any excuse to go around naked and act like you don’t speak English, If the sun came out , that top off, if the sun went down, that top came off. If the moon came out that top came off. I tell you, my whole life I’ve never been so sick of looking at one girl’s breasts.”
Later in the episode, Bernice testifies on her own behalf and her complaints about the niece who thinks she’s crazy are hilarious. Enjoy!
Was glancing through photos from this week’s Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala and saw Jack Dorsey in one of them.
I had to know: Who is HE?
Turns out that not only is he completely cute, he’s also one of the co-founders of Twitter!
Just 33, Jack partnered with Evan Williams and Biz Stone (the three are pictured at the bottom of this post) to co-found Obvious which then spun off Twitter, Inc. As chief executive officer, Dorsey saw the startup through two rounds of funding by the venture capitalists who back the company. He became chairman of the board in 2008.
Jack grew up in St. Louis and after high school, spent some time at the University of Missouri-Rolla before heading east to NYU. In New York, he found a job writing computer programs for a dispatch company and it was there that he found the inspiration for what would become Twitter.
“I feel that it’s something new, I think it’s a new way to communicate,” he told the LA Times last year. “It has a new take on the address book. It’s a new way to interact with people. And at the same time, it does a very good job of exposing what’s happening in the world right now: You can see what’s …
… trending globally, you can limit that locally and figure out what’s trending within a five-mile radius of you, or you can use it socially and figure out what’s trending within your own social network. That’s where the newness is. I just haven’t seen anything like that before.
When I think of Twitter, I think of — it’s really hard to define because we’re still coming up with the vocabulary — but I think it’s defined a new behavior that’s very different than what we’ve seen before. So yeah: new medium.
Chely Wright’s coming out story has touched me so deeply and I think it will tough a lot of other people – gay or straight. For some, you will see a lot of yourself when she talks about the pain of the closet and others – straight people – will hopefully have more understanding and compassion about the coming out process.
The country music star said in an interview on The Today Show this morning that she felt there was no way to reconcile being a lesbian with the rest of her life so she considered ending it: “I had a 9 millimeter gun in my mouth. I was taking inventory of my life and I realized I had pieces that I just couldn’t get to intersect. I was living a secret life and I was very much a country music celebrity, and I saw no way to get those to coexist. I gave up hope and I was ready to take my own life.”
She told Natalie Morales she had known since the third grade that she was different and would pray to God: “Please don’t let me be gay.”
Chely’s decision to come out is pioneering in country music: “I knew that I needed to hide this to achieve my dreams. There had never been an openly gay country music artist. Country music is typically known to be conservative…it’s widely known to be about God and country and family and for some reason people don’t think that can co-exist with being a homosexual.”
Trust me, today’s scenes of Luke and Reid are worth watching to the very end.
But things don’t start off that way. Luke is furious that Noah’s brain surgery has gone badly and is blaming Dr. Oliver. Reid responds by turning on the professional persona and calls Luke “Mr. Snyder” in explaining Noah’s condition.
It’s just too much for Luke: “I want you to talk to me like a human being! I want you to talk to me like someone who gives a crap about Noah!” He also calls him a “son of a bitch” before Lily and Holden arrive to restrain him.
The look on Luke’s face when he asks Reid: “What have you done?” is so intense, so full of anger and hurt. It’s Emmy-worthy acting from Van Hansis.
He later confronts a shirtless Reid at home and asks if he botched the surgery on purpose. “You can’t stand the fact that I still have feelings for him,” Luke said.
Reid tells Luke to “shut the hell up. What you are accusing me of is outrageous and I’m not going to listen to it anymore.”
Luke becomes vulnerable and Reid tenderly touches his face. Luke is shaking and licks his lips a little as Reid moves in for a kiss – a passionate kiss. Luke kisses him back.
Wanted to share with you some photos of the out and proud people who attended last night’s Time’s 100 Most Influential People Gala.
They included Neil Patrick Harris, Billie Jean King, Elton John and David Furnish and Suze Orman.
And, of course, had to also include gay icon Betty White who is in New York City this week to host Saturday Night Live. It is just a blast to have Betty as not only the toast of the town, but the toast of the entire country right now. At 88, she can be sure of knowing that she is beloved by the public for consistently entertaining us for all these years.
Casey James will likely be voted off American Idol tonight after his unimpressive performance of Blue Skies on a night dedicated to the songs of Frank Sinatra.
Casey seems to be ready for the inevitable: “I might not be here next week, it’s reality,” Casey told E! backstage last night. “I could have went last week. Every week is blessing, and honestly, out of all of us, I absolutely deserve to go home tomorrow if you’re going to base it on this performance.”
The judges were indeed brutal starting with Randy: “This was, like for me, your worst performance. You were kind of out of your element … it didn’t work baby.” Kara said Casey’s vibrato sounded “like a lamb” while Simon said “you weren’t fantastic.” I don’t remember what Ellen said. I love her but does it really matter what Ellen said?
The judges are bugging the crap out of me this season, quite frankly.And don’t even get me started on Ryan Seacrest who, thankfully, seems to have reigned himself in a bit.
I thought Aaron Kelley did really well opening the show with Fly Me to the Moon. It was maybe his best performance ever and will result in his being in the top four. But Kara thought he needed more charisma while Simon remarked that while Sinatra was “a lion,” Aaron – who just turned 17 and is in high school – is “just a mouse.”
But Simon did add: “You do try hard and I’m going to give you that.”
Crystal Bowersox, determined to march to her own drummer and wisely ignore the advice of these judges, was just lovely singing Summer Land. I loved it. Randy said it was “okay but sleepy,” Ellen said nothing memorable and Kara said she “kind of liked it.” This left it to Simon to let her have it: “It felt a little bit indulgent – you’ve had to okay weeks. If you survive to next week, it’s about being in it to win it …. I expect better.”
What the judges expected was what they got from Michael Lynche and Lee DeWyze who dazzled with The Way You Look Tonight and That’s Life, respectively.
These two guys seemed to have collaborated best with mentor Harry Connick Jr. who not only personally did the arrangements for the singers, but also played on stage on each song. He cared so much.
Michael nailed his performance and the judges were impressed with Randy saying “Mike is in it to win it … You threw down the gauntlet tonight.”
But the real raves came for Lee who is now looking like the front-runner to win the crown. Ellen said: “If this was the last night of performances you would have won this whole thing.” Huh? Then Kara decided Lee needed a nationally-televised pep talk: “Do you think you can win? Go write that down on a piece of paper a hundred times.” Simon said: “What I really loved is you have it 110 percent.”
It was nice having not only Connick Jr. as part of this night, but the presence of Nancy Sinatra and Tina Sinatra in the audience was very special indeed. Both have been very devoted to their father’s legacy.
The Chely Wright coming out story is in full swing and how nice it is to have such an articulate and introspective person at the center of it.
I’ll post her interview on The Today Show in a bit but wanted to share a few excerpts from an interview she did with William Kapfur for Edge.
On why Chely decided to come out with a memoir (Like Me) and new album (Lifted Off the Ground) at the time of the announcement: “I needed my story fully recorded, I needed my story of spirituality, I needed my story of patriotism, my relationship with God, my relationship with friends,” she explains of the process of writing her story. “Hiding was a spiritual and emotional cancer. I am thankful to God for giving me the gift of language, the ability to know how to communicate. I thought I’d only be able to communicate in song, but as my sister Jenny said to me, ’The best communication you will ever be able to do will be this book.’”
For all of her well-respected confidence, however, Wright admits she cannot know how her fans will react to the news that she is a lesbian: “I have spent my entire life imaging what my Country-Western fans will think about this. I’m relieved of the duty of having to spend time worrying about what people will say.”
Rosie O’ Donnell, who interviewed Chely this week, said she’d throw me a party and introduce her to some lesbian friends: “She read the book and loved it. She said it made her cry, it moved her. She showed me her craft ’house,’ an entire house devoted to crafts; and we shared a candid, ’microphones and cameras off’ visit.”
She and O’Donnell also share a new commitment: to set a healthy example for today’s LGBT youth. “I do absolutely feel I have responsibility, a responsibility I welcome, a responsibility I’ve been waiting for,” she explains. “There was a time when I thought I was afraid of that responsibility, but that very responsibility was one impetus for doing this.
With As the World Turns literally doing its last lap (the show goes off the air at the end of summer), how cool it is to have a nice gay love triangle developing!
I don’t know about you, but I just think there are not near enough gay love triangles on television and this one feels even more scintillating that Fish-Kyle-Nick on One Life to Live when that show still had gay characters.
Dr. Reid Oliver (played so well by Eric Sheffer Stevens) is a real rival for the affections of Luke Snyder (Van Hansis) whose heart for so long has belong to Noah Meyer (Jake Silbermann).
Noah began to push Luke away when he went blind but now seems to want to be close again.
“Noah was pushing Luke away, because he wanted to know for himself that he could be an independent person,” Silbermann tells Soap Opera Weekly. “He felt the only way he could do that was to push him away. He didn’t always handle it the best or as sensitively as he could have, but Luke didn’t quite understand what he needed. As often happens, people misunderstand each other.”
Silbermann said it’s not going to be an easy for anyone involved: “I think people would like to see a little more smooth sailing. But you can’t always get what you want.”
I’d just like to see smooth sailing for Luke and Reid! (Sorry Noah).
Kyan Douglas came to our attention when he was the grooming guy on Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy which was all the rage for awhile.
He was like Paul McCartney was with The Beatles, Kyan was pretty much “the cute one” among this Fab Five who actually were all pretty cute.
Kyan, who turns 40 today, is currently making a series of appearances on the popular Rachael Ray Show and is host of the TLC makeover show Ten Years Younger.
He had kept a pretty low profile until recently and explained why last year to Metro Source magazine: “I didn’t realize how private a person I was until the Queer Eye thing happened. I think while some of my castmates were immediately ready for more action, I just needed some time to myself.”
Speaking of being by himself, Kyan confirmed for the magazine that he is single: “I think finding the right one is hard for anyone,” he said. “Timing seems to be the biggest issue for me. That said, I have had some really lovely relationships even if they didn’t last forever.”
Tom Cruise was, for a very long time, the biggest movie star in the world. He isn’t anymore but will try to reclaim some of his former glory this summer with the action-comedy Knight and Day which looks quite promising.
Despite his couch-jumping and Scientology weirdness, I’ll probably always have a soft spot for Tom who is an incredible screen presence and a very good actor.
One of his best performances in a career filled with them was in 1992′s A Few Good Men as Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a neo military lawyer who defends Marines accused of murder who contend they were acting under orders.
We find out that those orders came from Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) who in this riveting courtroom scene admits what he’s done under blistering questioning by Lt. Kaffee.