The contest returned after a three year gap, a return explained by organisers as ‘due to popular demand and the extension of social-networking opportunities, giving a new edge this year – the online vote.’
People could vote via the website www.mrgayuk.co.uk, Facebook or Twitter for the guy they felt has the ‘cutest face, hottest bod or nicest bum’ (none of that high-minded nonsense here). The top five were then invited to the Grand Final, held at Club Mission in Leeds on Saturday 10 December, where Samuel was crowned the winner by the three judges, including Hollyoaks’ Kieran Richardson.
The prizes this year include a professional photo-shoot on location in Morocco, the opportunity to enter Mr. Gay Europe and £2000 in cash so it’s pretty good going. Well done Samuel (although frankly I was surprised the runner up, Charlie Drummond – who was a previous contestant in 2007 and was also in the Big Brother House in 2009 – didn’t win). I guess Drummond was desperate for some extra time on his 15mins of fame but the judges thought it fair someone else had a go in the spotlight.
The competition is a curious anachronism in the modern homonormative world -showing gay men as (gasp of air) horny creatures who are looking for the ‘cutest face, hottest box or nicest bum’ (and presumably those with bulges that resemble an anaconda in a jocks trap). Presumably winners will have to adopt to our new socio-legal times, and thus I await photos of Kneen with his new partner (via a Civil Partnership) and their adopted first child (or if they have money, surrogate child – currently reserved for posho gays). The continued presence of this gratuitous ‘old gay’ contest is political in a way I suspect it does not intend, but how long before legal freedoms prevent such public ogling? How much longer can homosexual men admit to being sexually aroused by men?
It can surely only be a matter of time before we hear about the soul-destroying nature of this competition, how degrading it is for the men, and the those who watch. So chaps, ogle while you can, and I shall permit myself to comment that red does rather suit him. Next year we may be restricted to commenting upon his home-cooking and intellectual prowess. I really must try and be less cynical in 2012…