“My nerves are frayed, I’m gonna take a Valium and watch it.” — Billy Porter on his “Pose” sex scene.
Another year, another season of “Dancing with the Stars.” As in recent years, the term “stars” is being used loosely. I certainly consider James Van Der Beek, Christie Brinkley and Mary Wilson stars. And I suppose one or two of the others are notables in their fields. But the bulk of the lineup is what I like to refer to as a “bunch of nobodies.” One name is getting lots of attention – former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Political figures are nothing new to DWTS. But this one has drawn the ire of an unlikely person — host Tom Bergeron.
It is unusual for Bergeron to voice an opinion about a contestant, and unheard of for him to criticize his own network. But Tom did both. In a lengthy statement, while acknowledging that he has no say in the show’s casting, he discussed a lunch meeting he had with the executive producer regarding the direction of the show. He hoped that DWTS “would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY political affiliations. I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement. Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.'”
Elsewhere on ABC, we got the heavily promoted “Bachelor” lesbian relationship. For those of you who don’t watch “Bachelor in Paradise,” alums from the franchise are thrown together on a secluded resort, ostensibly in hopes of finding romance. If they are unsuccessful in making a connection, they’re booted off – after creating havoc. This year, we have Demi – a cast-off from Colton’s season who claims to have recently experimented with lesbianism. Although she made a connection with mega-hot Derek on the show, she also harbored feelings for her hometown lady-love. She voiced these concerns to Chris Harrison. In the past, anyone in such a conflict would simply leave “Paradise.” But suddenly, as if a gift from the gods, Demi’s lesbian lover almost immediately materialized in “Paradise” – in a way that I’m sure was not intended to appear planned. The two women reunited with the most non-sexual, awkward kisses ever, went public to the rest of the cast, and everyone applauded Demi for her bravery…with the exception of Derek, who awkwardly shook hands with his female replacement. You probably expected the ladies would leave “Paradise” happily ever after. But, surprise, Harrison said they could stay and explore their relationship on-camera. Presumably, more drama will ensue.
While Billy Porter has had a great year, it hasn’t been without some ups and downs. When he got the script for a recently aired episode of “Pose,” Porter was shocked to learn he’d be doing a love scene – with nudity! He always knew it was a possibility. “Listen, listen to me. I got that contract and that contract said, ‘Nudity Clause,’ and I literally sat and went, ‘Child, they don’t want to see my black ass.’ And I signed it, never thinking in a million years that anybody would call me on it. These bitches wrote a script where I show my ass!” Still, he took it not only in stride, but as a major stride forward. “I have spent my entire career not being the object of anyone’s affection. They cut our dicks off. So to be turning 50 on September 21, and having a very loving, connected sex scene is sort of blowing my mind.” You can check out the scene on BillyMasters.com.
Since I’m in Fort Lauderdale this week, I was able to see the world premiere of “Pray the Gay Away,” starring the Zakar Twins (based on their best-selling book). The boys previously made it into this column last August, when they accused a photographer of sexual assault. Alas, that storyline didn’t make it into this show, which is billed as “A true life coming out comedy.” You know how Jerry Seinfeld surrounded himself with a talented cast of actors on “Seinfeld?” The Zakars have done the same thing – and for the same reason. Vince Kelley all but steals the show as their mother, knocking the fourth wall down with aplomb and reacting on the spot to mishaps (like singing during his entrance, saying, “That was supposed to be my sound cue”). Close behind Vince in the scene-stealing category was Jeffrey James Fox, who plays numerous roles – most of which require nudity. It is rare to find someone you’d want to see naked who not only can act but also is funny. Fox is one such person. Cory Shorter made it clear he was the star of every scene he was in, while Zachary James Morgan held up the rear…literally.
As to the Zakar Twins, one must admire them. They’ve taken virtually nothing and developed a following based on…well, virtually nothing. If you want to see them nude, save your money – that doesn’t happen here. If you expect some mildly incestuous twin action, you’ll also be disappointed (for that, check out BillyMasters.com). If anything, the boys come off decidedly asexual. In spite of them, the show is entertaining. So, even with all these caveats, I recommend going. And you may get the chance to see it since the show is touring. Keep up with the boys and their travails at ZakarTwins.com.
When the Zakar Twins are more famous than most of the people on “Dancing with the Stars,” it’s definitely time for me to end yet another column. To keep up with the latest dish, check out www.BillyMasters.com. If you’ve got a question for me, send it to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Miley turns up on “Bachelor in Paradise.” Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.