Reality TV

Andy South: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

Andy South was the youngest gay contestant on Project Runway this season, and made it into the final three contestants who got to show an entire collection at Fashion Week. He may look familiar on the site because he wrote an article for Oasis about his thoughts on fellow contestant Mondo Guerra revealing he was HIV-positive on the show a few weeks back.

Sadly, Andy didn't end up winning the show, but he seems very aware that Project Runway is an opportunity to build on, and from now, it is up to him to succeed.

We spoke last weekend, two days after the finale aired, and the first day he remembers sleeping in for a very long time, as he transitions from being a reality show contestant back to being a full-time fashion designer.

Here's what we said:

ShowMeLove's picture

Big Brother

YAY!!!!!!!! My favourite person on Big Brother got saved from eviction tonight!! I'm actually surprised but a good kind of surprised :) It looked like Lydia was going to get sent packing this week, but she's not so yay!! I like her a lot because she seems pretty nice and cool and just like a really neat person in general. Plus check out her tattoos:

Lydia Pictures, Images and Photos

Pedro: Movie Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Pedro," which airs on MTV and LOGO tonight (April 1) is the story of Pedro Zamora, a Cuban-American who found out he was HIV-positive at age 17, and took his desire to speak out to a huge audience as a member of MTV's The Real World. He died in 1994, several hours after the season finale ended.

The movie itself was a strange flashback for me, since his story was so urgent to me at the time and so many of the scenes from that season are burned into my memory. So, it was somewhat strange seeing actors portraying people I knew from a reality TV and recreating famous scenes. At first, it almost seemed like the movie could star Pedro himself, but then the story becomes bigger than his brief time on the show, and we learn about his life before The Real World.

Spencer Duhm of Survivor Tocantins: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

When I first posted that Spencer Duhm was the openly gay contestant on this season of Survivor, I didn't know that his strategy in the game was to not tell anyone. Each week, I'd watch wondering when it would come up. It never did.

Last night, after 15 days, this 19-year-old University of Florida student was voted off. If you watched the show, it seemed like his weak performance in a physical challenge was the reason, but in this interview, he says more was going on behind the scenes.

Here's what we said:

Hey Spencer. I just watched the show this morning and didn't realize we were going to be talking so soon. It's interesting, because when you were first on the show, I put a notice up on the site that there's a young, gay contestant this season, then as I'm watching the show there was no reference to it, so I figured maybe they're just not using that storyline yet. Until last night, I never realized that no one knew…

It was a conscious decision of mine going into it. I get flak for this, because people say 'Oh, everyone's really accepting…' But I'm thinking, in a social game, people will find any reason to get rid of somebody and I was good friends with all the guys on the tribe, so I don't want some subconscious thing… I mean, I was ona tribe with a bunch of people from the south, and I come from the south, too. I'm not bashing people from the south. It's a known fact that sometimes Southerners can be a little less open-minded to homosexuality, so I first see my tribe and I got people with the belt buckle and the boots and everything, and I'm like, OK, it might not work out in my favor to tell everybody that I'm gay. So if they don't ask me, I'm not going to sit there and offer it up. And they never asked. I felt there was really no upside, and there could be a downside.

Charlie Herschel of Survivor Gabon: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

It’s no revelation on here that I’m a fan of Survivor (see past interviews with Todd, Brad, and Brandon). As part of my ongoing preparation to be on the show, I interview all the gay contestants on here as they are voted off or, in the case of Todd last year, win the million dollars.

Last night, gay New York City lawyer Charlie Herschel joined the list far sooner than I anticipated, especially with two people openly arguing about their dislike for one another before the vote. It shouldn’t be surprising, though, in a season where the strongest, most capable players have all been blindsided at tribal council. Charlie was no different, and joins his bromantic ally Marcus on the jury.

This interview happened really fast, with CBS calling and saying, “Are you free now?” seven minutes before I had a scheduled teleconference for my day job, but we went for it. Here’s what we said:

I know we just chatted briefly on Facebook last week, but I certainly didn’t think we’d be talking again so soon.

You and me both…

Watching last night’s show, I was a bit surprised. You seemed to be off most people’s radar and then out of nowhere, you’re being called the mastermind and pulling the strings. Where did that come from? I didn’t see it on the show.

I think, starting out, I had a little bit of a target on my back as being more of a thinker or maybe schemer because I looked like Todd, I was wearing a suit, I’m an articulate person… so I think people knew I was an intelligent guy. But I don’t think anyone thought I was the mastermind.

When Ken put that in people’s minds, it was the first time they thought of or heard I was the mastermind, but it wasn’t so far-fetched that it didn’t make sense. I was getting along with everyone. I was performing well in the challenges. Things were lining up in my favor throughout the game, so I don’t think it was so outlandish. But, yeah, Ken totally made that up out of thin air.

Todd Herzog, winner of Survivor China: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

Todd Herzog wanted to go on Survivor since he was an overweight 15-year-old in Utah. When he finally turned 21, the now-skinny gay Mormon flight attendant almost made it on the show two seasons ago, but was turned away because the producers felt that he looked too much like hunky Asian hottie Brad Virata?!? But, this time around, Todd made it to Survivor: China, where he made no secret about the fact that he was playing the game and playing to win.

Last night, he took home the million-dollar prize. Possibly the youngest winner of the show, and the first gay winner since daddybear Richard Hatch on the first season, Todd actually founded a Survivor club when he was in high school. He was even voted "most likely to appear on Survivor." So, this wasn't just a passing fancy for him. Online, he has his detractors, to put it mildly. He made no bones about the fact that he would lie and manipulate people to win (but if you don't, you don't win.).

Todd called us up himself Monday after waking up from an afternoon catnap in his apartment in Utah. Well, OK, actually CBS publicity called us and Todd (who was now in New York City, and had yet to sleep from winning the show 17 hours earlier in Los Angeles) spoke to us while still buzzing on the frenzy of the finale, after hours of endless interviews. Here's what we said:

Tim Gunn: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

With his new book, "A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style," Tim Gunn brings the expertise and charm that has made him famous on "Project Runway" and boiled it down to the essentials that everyone can use in their own life. Gunn, 53, recently left Parsons: The New School for Design, where Project Runway is taped, for a new position as chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne, although he will return for the show's fourth season. In addition, Gunn will also host Tim Gunn's Guide To Style, which will air as eight one-hour shows on Bravo starting in September.

As much as I love Project Runway, and understand that it is "reality TV," I was surprised at how down to earth and affable he was. Our initial interview was set up for Friday, via phone, a day in advance of his San Francisco visit. He was doing two book events in one day, so not surprising to do it over the phone, really. So, he calls me on Friday, and just as we're getting started, I mention I'll be seeing him at the book event in San Francisco tomorrow. "You're in San Francisco? Why don't we do this in person? We'll get a better interview that way." We make plans to meet at the bookstore the following day, in advance of his event, and that was that.

Jesse Brune: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

Fans of "Work Out," the reality series on Bravo that tracks the high-end Beverly Hills gym run by hot lesbian Jackie Warner, know that drama builds quicker than muscle. Jackie is a strong-willed, powerful woman, who keeps her staff operating at her high standards. Outside of her work environment, though, Jackie has a strange, interdependent relationship (or did, until recent episodes) with a younger, immature woman. So, you see two opposing sides to her personality. But when you combine all the different personalities of all the trainers on the show, there's a lot of drama swirling high above Beverly Hills.

I recently chatted with Jesse Brune, one of the trainers on the show. He's always had a really sweet spirit on the show, but one of the reasons I wanted to get him in Oasis was because he and Doug, one of the other trainers on the show (who, sadly, died in the middle of filming the second season), had a conflict as a result of the first season of the show, which has been a big topic at the beginning of the second season. Doug asserted that he was happy to be on the show to show someone who was gay and "normal. Not over the top gay," and referring Jesse as more like Jack from Will & Grace. While not interested in the argument, it led to an interesting discussion about topics that come up a lot on Oasis, such as stereotypes and how butch and masculine are perceived as better. All things I totally and completely think are internalized homophobia, so I really wanted to get Jesse in here so we can chat about it more, since it is such an important discussion within the community.

Brad Virata of 'Survivor: Cook Islands' Interview

By Jeff Walsh

Brad Virata went on Survivor to break stereotypes and win a million dollars, but only accomplished one of his goals. He was voted off the show on the show's eighth episode, but became the first member of the jury that decides who wins the million dollars. On Sunday, December 17, he will be on the jury that selects the million-dollar winner and appear live on the reunion show that follows. Throughout the show, Virata seemed to be having fun with the whole notion that he was playing a game, rather than follow the stressful (albeit possibly more successful) path of other people on the show. Whenever the game had a twist, he was there smiling and taking it all in, while everyone else winced, plotted and schemed. Chatting with him on the phone, it becomes very clear that is just the way he handles life. Talking to Oasis exactly a week after his being voted off the show, he was still upbeat and engaged after days of a rigorous publicity schedule. In fact, he laughed so freely and often during our interview, I just removed the (laughs) marks from the transcript, because without the audio or knowing his take on life, they actually came across as excessive. But on the phone, they were playful and addictive, and really did help paint a picture of his great outlook on life. Virata, the fashion director for Lucky Brand Jeans, recently spoke with Jeff about his life on and off the show:

Chris Beckman brings some reality to The Real World

By Jeff Walsh, Oasis editor

Chris Beckman may only be 23, but he's already gone through a lot in his life. As an artist, he is represented by a gallery in Boston and has his own Web site to showcase his work. He's been sober for an entire year, after a co-dependent relationship got him involved with alcohol, ecstasy, and other party favors. And, after an entire season with no gay cast members, MTV corrected the error by giving us two this year, both Chris and openly lesbian Aneesa (who recently appeared together on the cover of Out Magazine). Sorry boys, but it is Aneesa that you'll be seeing naked all season. Chris doesn't think they caught him, but tune in to find out.

Out in Africa: Brandon brings positive gay portrayal to TV

By Jeff Walsh

I wasn't supposed to watch Survivor this year.

I've been purging a lot of my TV shows to concentrate on writing my novel more, and Survivor was on the hit list. Do I really need to watch starved, dehydrated people making puzzles on the ground in Africa?

But, I happened to catch the first show, where they just introduced the cast and showed highlights from the upcoming season, and then I saw Brandon Quinton. Damn that CBS! They put a hot femme twink on! Now, I have to watch the damned show all season!

Keeping it real... with Sean Sasser

By Jeff Walsh

For many gay youth, falling in love is a distant dream. While their heterosexual peers are making their first awkward forays into dating and romance, queer teens usually either play it straight or go asexual. Few are out, and those who are usually can't find a date due to lack of options.

Dan gives MTV viewers a 'real' look at his life

By Jeff Walsh

I was at a loss when I interviewed Dan Renzi, this season's hot young gay guy on Real World V, taped in Miami. Having just moved to San Francisco, I don't yet have a TV. But I have always been a fan of the show since its inception, despite the constant debate on whether it's actually 'real' or just bullshit. Who cares? We all know how it works, believe what you want.

Syndicate content