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Build Up and Release

Here's what we were looking forward to in 2007, how anticipated it was (on a scale of 10) and how each ultimately panned out. SpectaclesHairsprayAnticipation: 6. Some of us curmudgeonly queers were lamenting John Travolta stepping into Divine's mules as Edna Turnblad, and the mass-marketing of trashmeister Waters. Payoff: 9. Box office was hot, reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and both Travolta and Queen Latifah put on a dress. Grey's Anatomy: Real Life Soap OperaAnticipation: 2. Who knew this show for 30-something women would erupt in such a volatile way? Payoff: 9. The whole Dr. McDreamy-vs.-Isaiah Washington-turned-T.R. Knight-versus-Washington-turned-Katherine Heigl-versus-Washington was the best he said-he said-she said on TV. Plus rehab for homophobia. Really? Xanadu on BroadwayAnticipation: 4. Jane Krakowski was set to star in (yet another) stage remake of a film -- this time the clunker that nearly derailed Olivia Newton-John's career -- then she didn't. James Carpinello was injured in previews, and all seemed lost for Kira. Payoff: 10. With Kerry Butler's genius ON-J impersonation, Jackie Hoffman as a pissed-off Muse, and hunky Cheyenne Jackson strapping on the roller skates, the show was an instant hit-hilarious, and while ostensibly hetero, it was oh so queer. The Academy AwardsAnticipation: 5. Sort of interesting. Great excuse for a party, even if you talk through the whole show. Payoff: 7. Ellen hosted; Al Gore, Melissa Etheridge, and Jennifer Hudson won Oscars, and there was that wonderfully awkward presentation by Latifah and Travolta, who couldn't say the word Hairspray. Logo/HRC Presidential ForumAnticipation: 8. Emotions were running high, and ALL the major Democratic candidates attended. Now we're gonna get somewhere! Payoff: 4. No likely nominee (we love you, Kucinich) said he or she supports gay marriage. There were other topics, but who remembers those? Mary Cheney Gives BirthAnticipation: 9. Like the discovery of an incarnation of the Dalai Lama or the second coming of Jesus, we greeted this birth with the certain knowledge that from Mary's gilded womb would come the child that would revolutionize the political right's views on gay parenting. Payoff: 2. Where the hell is that kid? Are we sure it's real? I Now Pronounce You Chuck and LarryAnticipation: -3. An Adam Sandler movie? Worse yet, an Adam Sandler issue movie? Payoff: 0. Even though GLAAD capitulated, critics panned it and queer audiences stayed away in droves. DivasBritney SpearsAnticipation: 10. The poor thing lives with paparazzi parasites permanently in tow. Anticipation is permanently at a fever pitch. Payoff: 20. Alphabetically: Car bashing, car crashing, divorce, drug tests, haircut, losing custody, losing visitation, rehab, rehab again, and the disastrous VMAs: a snark's dream come true. Jennifer Hudson's OscarAnticipation: 8. She was dynamite as Effie and we wanted her to win. Payoff: 5. She won and it was lovely. But we're still pissed about Brokeback. Justin Timberlake Conquers the WorldAnticipation: 7. We knew his big concert on HBO would be a hit, but JT also hit the big screen in a big way with Shrek the Third, Black Snake Moan, and Alpha Dog, and got favorable reviews. A big HBO concert was icing on the cake. And he never got arrested, threw a public hissy fit, or entered rehab. Payoff: 8. Getting am Emmy for Dick in a Box was pure genius. Paris Hilton as Ann-Margret in Kitten with a WhipAnticipation: 7. Our Paris fatigue started long ago, but -- a light at the end of the tunnel -- she was going to jail! Payoff: 4. Apart from the 24-hour news channel's zeal for tracking her O.J.-style, she's been boringly mum since the hoosegow. Lindsay LohanAnticipation: 6. Broadway might not go for booze and dope, but Hollywood does. Payoff: 3. Successful rehab? We're not holding our breath that it sticks this time. Kanye WestAnticipation: 7. Graduation was poised to hit it big, and it did, in sales. Payoff: 9. His category 4 hissy fit -- furtively recorded backstage at the VMAs -- was his best video yet. Forget MTV, Kanye. We'll give you an award!
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Matthew Breen