February 11, 2020 at 10:59 am PST | by Billy Masters
Liza strikes a pose
Liza Minnelli, gay news, Washington Blade

Liza Minnelli on the cover of Variety.

“Thank you. I will drink until next morning.” — Bong Joon-Ho, winner of Best Director for “Parasite.”

When people look back on the 2020 Oscars…well, God only knows what they’ll think. Here’s my general thought – confusion. Every time someone popped up around the theater to introduce a segment, I was bewildered. First off, I had no idea where to look. It was like a celebrity version of “Where’s Waldo” – minus the celebrities. Who were these people? I suppose using lesser performers made sense. You couldn’t have Diane Ladd hanging on for dear life from the rafters. I will definitely remember some of the outstanding performances. How fabulous was Cynthia Erivo singing “Stand Up” from “Harriet”? Even better, how fabulous was Cynthia keeping her gaze on the camera circling her to the commercial break? As great as she was and as great as the song was, I have to give it up to Elton – especially after his kick-ass rendition of “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.” Admittedly, he had to look at music and lyrics (it’s not a song he’s performed often), but it was touching to see him and Bernie Taupin win their first Oscar.

Let me give a warning to any future award show singers – don’t go anywhere near Rita Wilson with a microphone. She’s got sheet music in her purse and is ready to hit the stage. Chris Rock and Steve Martin showed how valuable comedians are to an awards show. But, it’s not as easy as you think. The night before the Oscars, the two were at The Comedy Store in Hollywood and tried out their routine, including several jokes that didn’t make it to air. I believe James Corden and Rebel Wilson are carrying the mantle of Bob Barker by reminding us to spay and neuter our pets. I do have one question – do Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig have no gay friends? Not even one?

Without a doubt, the winner of the Faye Dunaway Award for Award Presentation is Diane Keaton. My God, the only thing she didn’t do was exclaim “La La Land!” It’s sad when Keanu is the coherent one. On the flip side, Martin Scorsese always looks like he’s having such a good time – even when he lost Best Director. Lastly, after the first award of the night, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Scientologists had Tom Cruise on suicide watch.

I’m assuming most of you don’t read “Variety” religiously. So it follows that most of you didn’t see the photo of Liza Minnelli on the cover of the magazine’s “Oscars” issue. If you did, you would have seen a youthful-appearing Minnelli, clutching an Oscar to her bosom, perched high upon a director’s chair, with one leg precariously swinging over the arm. This is in sharp contrast to the Liza who is usually captured by the paparazzi having enormous difficulty walking, and who approaches stairs as if she’s being asked to negotiate a medieval gauntlet. Which begs the question: How many people did it take to get Liza into this unusual position? And is she still stuck in the chair? The interview really seems secondary, but it did provide one illuminating moment. Given her protection of her mother’s image, and the fact that Renee Zellweger was nominated for (and ultimately won) an Oscar for playing her, the topic had to come up. Minnelli admits to not seeing (and having no interest in seeing) the flick, but graciously added, “I hope she had a good time making it.” Now could someone please help me out of this chair?!

Our “Ask Billy” question comes from Roger in Detroit: “I get a very gay feeling about [celebrity DJ] Calvin Harris. Maybe it’s ’cause he’s so hot. But why did he stop doing underwear ads? And do you have anything hotter?”

I first became aware of Calvin when billboards started popping up around Los Angeles featuring his torso and his name – an odd way of promoting a DJ. But we’re in a time when one cannot be a great DJ or painter or aluminum siding installer without having a 6-pack and pecs. Or maybe that’s just what I look for in someone banging around my home. With that notoriety came the underwear spread for Armani. That was around the same time as his liaison with Taylor Swift. Perhaps coincidentally, the Armani campaign ended when Calvin’s relationship with Taylor went kaput. Still, it made him comfortable enough in his skin to take more candid shots – such as the one on his manager’s birthday when he was just standing there in his fully packed boxer briefs. We’ve gotten a peek at what’s inside those briefs and, while most DJs specialize in 12-inches, Calvin’s sporting a good, solid eight inches. And, lest you question the veracity of the photo, our forensic experts insist that certain moles on that distinctive torso line up perfectly with this photo. Check it out for yourself on BillyMasters.com.

When nothing comes between me and my Calvin, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. What a long night! I must confess, I’m exhausted. But let me quickly remind you to check out BillyMasters.com – the site that’ll perk you up. If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Liza gets out of that chair! So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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