Monday, January 26, 2009

Come on down, you're the next contestant on...

So last night was pretty fun, after all. Turns out that Danny didn't bail on me, so off we went to Pulse - from this point on to be known as (Anything With A) Pulse - in the good 'ol Davie Village for Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model "Winter Wonderland" event, in support of the Vancouver Friends for Life Society.

First of all, the venue. As you may or may not know, the real estate at 1138 Davie Street in Vancouver has undergone a few changes in recent times. After a decades-long stint as a 24-hour cafeteria-style eatery (the name of which escapes me at the moment) with totally groovy half-moon shaped booths, the location experienced an impressive metamorphosis in 2007 an became The Majestic lounge, managed by Joan E. The Majestic was for a time the home of live comedy, cabaret, rollicking drag shows and a really fun Sunday brunch. Alas, it didn't last... and soon the Vancouver gays became once again on the receiving end of a new venture in our community. This winter, The Majestic has relinquished its short-lived stateliness for a somewhat redesigned and generally better-looking, (Anything With A) Pulse.

Without all the dinner tables and chairs, the place actually seemed a bit smaller to us for some inexplicable reason. But it looks good and I hope it does well. Davie needs another night spot for the Vancouver gays to hangout in. I think it'll do a better job of catering to its certain niche in the market than The Odyssey (also known as The Audacity) will do if it relocates to Denman Street. To me, that plan deserves a vomit smoothie. I just don't agree that the Denman neighbourhood is a good match for a place like The Audacity. But, time will tell and we'll see what happens with that. I digress.

Pulse was where we were last night for Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model and I took some pics of how it went down. Like most events in the Davie Village, the 10pm start time was subject to Gay Standard Time, which means it started about a half-hour late. No worries though, Absolut patience sustained me through the wait time.

When things got rolling, our appetites were whetted by a solo performance by, I think, Starlen Gold. I hope I have the performer's name correct, but it was hard to hear the announcements on the club's public address system. At any rate, here's a pic of him:

I'm not feelin' the footwear and I prefer stronger choreography, but he was clearly enjoying himself as Britney's "Kill The Lights" provided the soundtrack to his move bustin'.

After we got to see the go-go boy strut his stuff, then we got to see the contestants for Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model. Last night's event, Winter Wonderland, encouraged all to celebrate winter by wearing white. Personally I think it's a great idea in theory, but in my typically self-contradictory nature I'd rather deny winter (as a Canadian nonetheless) and focus instead on remembering year-round what sand between the toes feels like (not to mention sand in your scalp and under your fingernails). So with that in mind I totally didn't wear white at all. But all the contestants did - and that's what *really* counts.

Here's some more pics of some of last night's Gay Top Model hopefuls:

It's unclear how many West Highland White Terriers died for the footwear in the next photo:

I understand Bo Derek is honoured to learn her '10' do is making a comeback:

This contestant (Brett? Brent?) had the best shoes of the night:

And here are a few more pics for you. The contestant wearing the hoodie had a great, casual attitude toward the whole thing and the other contestant in the white oxford and black belt presented himself well (and if I'm not mistaken, last night was also his 22nd birthday):

Well done to all the contestants. It definitely takes alot of guts to get up there in front of a bunch of strangers in a dimly-lit club and expose your body, personality, hopes, dreams, failures, disappointments and aspirations all at once. I could never do it so for that reason alone they get my respect.

And since it's all for charity, the very idea of Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model also gets my respect. It's not too often we get these ingredients - a solid idea, fun-lovin' contestants, selfless volunteers, a bit of naughtiness & hotness - all wrapped up in a charitable effort. That makes Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model the next best thing in Vancouver as our fair city educates itself on how to put on a good show.

The two guys on the stage in that photo - the one on the left who had already changed out of his outfit and the one in the middle - are on the stage together there because unfortunately they were cut at the end of the night. Too bad really, but kudos to them both for having the balls in the first place. The guy on the right (Brett? Brent?) was rockin' some seriously fun & fine footwear and I have a feeling we would have seen more of that if he had stayed in the competition. But in the end, we bid them both a fond farewell.

The next public event for Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model is Thursday night at Score. Once again, the ads claim that the event'll be hosted by Aaron Ursacki, but that's also what the Winter Wonderland ads had claimed. Although I didn't see hide nor hair of him. Not sure why, though - I don't think his absence was addressed to the gathered masses. At least not that I heard anyway. Hopefully the hottie is alright and not sick or anything. Lawdy knows there's lots of bugs going around again this winter!

Make sure you get out and support Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model because not only will have yourself a bit of fun but you'll also be supporting Friends for Life.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Winter Wonderland Revisits Our City

As I watch the red-carpet coverage on E! for this evening's Screen Actors Guild awards and wonder to myself if Angelina Jolie could possibly become any more beautiful (and as I also wonder why Mickey Rourke has his left hand partially down his pants as he's interviewed), I'm getting excited to head out to Pulse later on to check out Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model's WINTER WONDERLAND show.

Tonight's Winter Wonderland show is going to be the first chance I've had to try to see or do anything related to 2009's hotly-anticipated run of last year's funnest event in Vancouver's gay community, the Gay Top Model competition in support of the Friends for Life society.

I don't think I've ever actually seen Miss Cotton live, so I'm kinda looking forward to that part of the show, too. But most of all I just really wanna lay my eyes on all the dudes that have been selected as contestants for this year's VNGTM contest.

The show's going to be hosted by the 2008 winner Aaron Ursacki. He's rather yummy and he had a great story leading up to his win last year, as someone who overcame obesity to achieve not only healthy physical conditioning, but also his own fair share of hotness.

I actually bumped into Aaron last summer at the Aquarium and couldn't resist saying hi and introducing myself to him. Not something I normally do since I'm a bit shy around boys, but he was really sweet and left me with the distinct impression that he totally deserved to win.

There's a series of public events leading up to the crowning finale in early April, so that means there's lotsa fun to come. As you consider checking out these events PLEASE keep in mind that the proceeds from the cover charges, etc. for the events or shows you might go to are going straight to Vancouver's Friends for Life Society which, according to their mission statement: serves as a catalyst to enhance the wellness of individuals living with a life threatening illness by providing complementary and alternative health and support services.

Chances are we all have someone in our lives who has had their life touched by something that means one day they - or you - might need to call on an organization like Friends for Life for a bit of support or assistance. Think about it...

Meantime, my fingers are crossed that Danny doesn't bail on me tonight to come with me to Winter Wonderland, and that we get to have a great time.

See ya there, eh! And good luck to all of the Vancouver's Next Gay Top Model contestants tonight and throughout the competition ;-)

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