October 20, 2014
Big Mama Masters was recently talking to me about her favorite TV shows. "You know, Ellen's wife is on Scandal." It took me a moment to realize she was talking about Portia de Rossi. Obviously I know Portia is married to Ellen DeGeneres, but I must confess I don't immediately think of her as a "wife"....which I admit is a failing on my part. A similar thing happened a month ago, when I reported about John Barrowman taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I said that the ice was hoisted above him by someone I referred to as his hot jockstrap-clad boyfriend. A reader took issue with this: "Wow, how did [Barrowman's] husband feel about that?" My response was a terse, "boyfriend/husband, potato/potahto". Although I personally don't put much weight on labels, I can see where my attitude is bit too blasť. Some people worked awfully hard for the right to certain labels.
What's the difference in a few words? Ask the Vatican. Last week, the Eleventh General Assembly of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family issued a report on the official Vatican website. The unofficial translation contained the following: "Homosexuals have gifts ands qualities to offer to the Christian community. Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?"
This translation has since changed. Specifically, the part about "welcoming these people" has been excised. Two explanations have been offered. First, the report was a "working document" and not an official statement. The second is that the unofficial translation was inaccurate. As someone whose Italian is above average, I decided to look at the original. The phrase in question is, "Siamo in grado di accogliere queste persone." The verb accogliere literally means to accommodate, greet, or receive in one's house. So while "welcome" is perhaps a loose translation, it is nonetheless accurate. And it does seem to echo Pope Francis' response last year when asked his thoughts on the topic of homosexuality: "Who am I to judge?"
A German performance artist has announced a new project which is raising quite a few eyebrows - to say the least. Mischa Badasyan's project is entitled Save the Date. His artistic plan is to have anonymous sex with a different man in a semipublic place every day for a year. Why? Oh, it's really confusing - something about how public, sterile places make people feel more isolated. Therefore, by having sex with different people every day, his body will become a virtual place - like a bank...which accepts numerous deposits and withdrawals. He also says his project will promote safe sex and the use of condoms. So he'll be more like an ATM machine.
A couple of weeks ago, a reader asked me about Ellen's "gardener" Nick, who she was trying to get cast in Magic Mike XXL. I told you that his name was Bill Reilich, told you where he came from, and even posted quite a few nude photos of him. Last week, Ellen had Nick/Bill on the show to do some shirtless apple-picking. Just then, a phone call came in from Channing Tatum saying he was cast in the flick. Although you'll get to see him on the big screen eventually, you'll surely not see as much as you can of him right now on BillyMasters.com.
Someone else has joined the Magic Mike family. tWitch from So You Think You Can Dance (and a favorite of Ellen's) has been cast as one of the dancers. Since all the dancers have to be perfectly smooth, DeGeneres had tWitch get a full body wax on her show. That hysterical (and delicious) footage can also be found on our website.
Congratulations to Neil Patrick Harris, who will be hosting the Academy Awards on February 22nd. The show will once again be produced by my pals Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. Since NPH has already hosted the Tonys and Emmys, I think we can look forward to the Grammys next. Or, at the very least, the People's Choice Awards.
Last week, Clay Aiken returned to New York City - not to perform, but to attend a fundraiser for his campaign to become the next Congressman from North Carolina. The soirťe, which took place at a private home on the Upper East Side, included performances by Betty Buckley, Christine Ebersole, and Beth Leavel. At the event, Clay said, "I think a lot of people have been surprised with the success we've had. But I haven't been as surprised. I don't get into something that I don't think I have an ability to be successful at." This from the guy who took second place on American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice.
In some exciting news, Jennifer Holliday is returning to the stage. The dreamgirl will be playing Sophia in the musical version of The Color Purple. The three-city tour will play Detroit (October 23-26), Chicago (November 15-16) and Dallas (November 22-23). That's a pretty limited tour, but perhaps it will lead to something more.
Three dancers who were dismissed from Cher's Dressed to Kill tour have filed a lawsuit against the superstar for wrongful termination, and have specifically accused her of racial discrimination. It started during casting when choreographer and dancer Kevin Wilson suggested that they hire someone described as "a minority female dancer". Cher allegedly said "we have too much color onstage" and directed Kevin to hire a Caucasian, blond girl. Wilson further states that Cher instructed him "not to cast anymore dark-skinned black dancers on the tour". Wilson did as he was told. So why was he fired? He claims that a male dancer invited a female fan to his hotel room in St. Louis on June 3rd. The woman claims that the dancer tried to pressure her into having sex, and she enlisted the aid of a female dancer, who told another female dancer and Kevin about the incident. When the three complained to Cher and the management about the alleged assault, they were "instructed not to tell anyone what had transpired". A month later, all three were fired, purportedly because of "budget cuts".
Although the fall season has just begun, it's been announced that TNT has cancelled Dallas - which is unfortunate because it really was hitting its stride. Between Judith Light chewing up furniture (and anything else that got in her way) and Josh Henderson being naked as much as possible, it was turning into must-see-TV. RIP.
Two of my summer guilty pleasures have been renewed - Devious Maids and Mistresses. Alas, Mistresses will likely be a different animal when it returns since it will come back without Alyssa Milano. Why? Why don't we let her answer that for herself: "After two wonderful seasons in Los Angeles, the studio has decided to shoot season three of Mistresses in Vancouver, Canada, for financial reasons. It's with a heavy heart that I have decided that I can't relocate. I have two babies under 4. Being a mother and wife comes first and I just cannot uproot my children and separate my family by moving away. I will miss this job desperately and wish everyone the absolute best." Fear not - you'll get your Milano fix when she returns to host the next season of Project Runway: All Stars which will debut on Lifetime on October 30th.
Our Ask Billy question comes from Jasper in Kansas City: "I'm pissed at the changes on Below Deck, specifically getting rid of David [who got engaged on the show to porn superstar, Trevor Knight]. But Logan and Kelley are pretty hot. What can you tell me about them? Gay or straight? You must have some shirtless pics."
Logan is the new guy who some people thought was gay, but he's apparently straight. Far more interesting is Kelley Johnson, another deck hand who is hotter than hot. Imagine my surprise when I received a lead on some rather revealing photos of Kelley. And imagine my delight when I saw these photos were not only revealing, they were full-frontal and explicit. And imagine the joy you'll have when you check out the close to double-digit inches at BillyMasters.com.
When we're giving new meaning to the phrase "all hands on deck", it's definitely time to end yet another column. And you'll need both hands when you check Kelley out on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that always delivers. If you have a question you'd like me to tackle, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Ellen opens up a male stripclub! So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.