Arts & Entertainment
4 min

Out with 2008

Bub-bye 2008. Don’t let me hit you with the door on the way out. Before a new year takes over let’s hand out some awards.

Glamourpuss Nina Arsenault gets the Best Blonde Award in honour of her most recent hair-colour decision. Bold, not brassy. Bravo.

Speaking of blondes, a Gone But Not Forgotten Award to queen Terri Stephens, now channelling Reba, Cher and Dame Edna in Calgary. Lucky cowboys.

Which brings me to the Best Terri Stephens Replacement Award. Congratulations Daytona Bitch, winning the fierce competition of Drag Idol 2008. Bitch is real talent, from face-painting to performing.

Then there’s the coveted Worst Interview of the Year Award, for which there was little competition. Well done original Project Runway winner Jay MacCarroll. He blew into town to promote a documentary about himself, couldn’t tear himself away from his compact mirror while dabbing gloss on lips, then declared he wanted to sperm all over my interns and watch me lick it off. Just go.

The Foulest Mouth Award is an easy one when insult comic Lisa Lampanelli roars in to Toronto for a couple of gigs, calling me a foul-mouthed fudge-packer during a chat. How dare you call me foul-mouthed, kettle? The shock sister returns this March — you’ve been warned.

The Oh-My-God-I-Just-Have-to-Meet-Her award? Margaret Cho. When word got out I’d nabbed one of the two interviews she’d granted while in town, the phone didn’t stop ringing and some people just plain ol’ showed up unannounced to touch and gaze at the tiny tour de force.

The Go Bitch, Go award goes to local lovely Billy Newton-Davis whose “All You Ever Want” won a Best Dance Juno. New music in 2008 included a “celebration of all the naughty things men can get up to when left to their own devices.”

Bring Britney Spears up please to collect her A Car Wreck Is a Car Wreck Is a Car Wreck award. She started off 2008 with a police standoff and ended it with a new album and tour announcement. All you have to do is look at the pretty pictures in the liner notes of her CD Circus and see the complete deadness in her sad eyes to know this saga ain’t over by far. Would it be so bad if she took a year off and just hung out with her kids?

A Hiss Boo award to Circa. The mind-boggling firings of stalwart queer supporters Rolyn Chambers and Steve Ireson was a slap in the face to all the queers behind making that space happen in the first place.

The Horrible Anus award of course to our gal Madonna. From the shitty Toronto launch party for Hard Candy to mixed reviews for her tour to the divorce, the A-Rod scandal and the did-she-didn’t-she rumours about paying Guy Richie $70 million to fuck off, her year was more sticky than sweet. Note to self: Send Madge Heather Locklear’s number and suggest a few rounds of lemon drops.

Which brings us to the Judas Award. In the midst of it all Madonna’s little brother Christopher Ciccone publishes a memoir of their lives together and it’s the ultimate in sibling rivalry. I snagged his first Canadian interview and he’s clearly a tortured man unaware of the myriad contradictions in his tale. For example, “I have not set out to be mean to my sister,” followed two minutes later by, “The only things I wouldn’t think of discussing would be things that were medical in nature. And I’m not talking about the face-lift.”

A Catch Me I’m Falling Award to Mel C. Hit by some weird bug the morning I’m set to meet her in her hotel room, I haul it there anyway and she’s grounded and gracious as I fight the feeling I’m going to pass out. During photos after I fairly hang on to the back of her bra to keep from falling over.

A Cringe Award to RuPaul. Child, you’ve come too far to be grabbing cash during a Toronto Pride performance! A Fresh Pop Tart Award to Sweden’s Robyn, who rocked the Phoenix with her show this spring and told me pre-performance that when she’s old she wants to just walk around with her saggy titties hanging out. Why not? An Everywhere Award to DJ Jamal, whom most had not heard of a year ago. The dude has since popped up at practically every party in town and landed the cover for Xtra Toronto’s Pride issue. Plus, I hear he’s hung like a mule.

Best Comeback to Fashion Cares, masquerading as Fashion sCares this year. Smaller than past efforts, but A-plus all the way. And did a lucky few really get to see Dame Shirley Bassey live or was that just a dream? You might as well have plopped Barbra Streisand in front of 2,000 of us. Thanks.

The Not Kool Award to Kool Haus. Owner Charles Khabouth promised in a press release he wouldn’t allow Jamaican dancehall artists who sing about killing homosexuals into his space, but then did just that, hemming and hawing during an on-air interview I had with him. To make matters worse he went and repeated the same process, bringing another act to the space that our queer community has been supporting for years. Hot rumour: in 2009 Kool Haus will host Fred Phelps and his Matthew Shepard Is in Hell Tour.

Back to the cooler side, a Werk! Award to Sofonda, Titi Galore and Tulsi, who mesmerized and hypnotized all in attendance at Prism’s Pride party Saturday night at Sound Academy with a golden show that proved there’s no place like home for massive talent.

Album Cover of the Year Award: Ultra Nate’s GST Remixed and Reloaded. Worst Album Cover of the Year Award: Britney’s Circus (see above).

A Repeat, Please Award to Joseph Patrick and his sunny something of a party at Hanlan’s Point. Water, sand, sexy — when’s the next one?

Best Interview? That’s like Sophie’s Choice. I was fortunate to have landed some cool chin-wags in 2008. Rosie O’Donnell for being earthy and cool, Matthew Shepard’s mother Judy Shepard for grace on the 10th anniversary of his murder, Rue McClanahan for being everything you’d expect a Golden Girl to be, chatting with me after Estelle Getty’s passing, and The Young and the Restless’s Daniel (Cane Ashby) Goddard because I want to sit on his face.

Speaking of Y&R, that’s top pick for Moment of the Year Award. I was standing in the CBS studios in Hollywood drinking in the set of the Abbott mansion only to see Jack friggen Abbott walk through the famed front door. Fast forward and suddenly I’m on a couch with Katherine Chancellor a day before portrayer Jeanne Cooper’s Daytime Emmy win for best actress and she’s chatting to me while running a long, polished talon down my thigh.

As that old Yaz song says, the only way is up. Bring it, 2009.