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Michael Musto

Musto on the Gaga vs. Katy Showdown


Plus: 'Hugh Jackman Is Straight' and Other Hot Gossip Tidbits

Photo of Billy Porter by Andrew Werner Photography |

Remember when Hugh Jackman had a great sense of humor about the gay buzz, and even played into it with jokes and other giddily nonchalant antics? Well, those days are as over as The Boy From Oz. It seems like a few years ago, when Hugh was clearly set to be an action star for the ages, he dropped the wisecracks and started aggressively trumpeting the wife and their incredible, romantic, communicative, loving, sexy relationship. He talked about it and talked about it until every person in the world knew even more about the Jackmans' electric connection than about their own love life. Hugh and Deb's mutual adoration became virtually unavoidable to anyone who reads or owns a TV, and this summer, when The Wolverine was opening wide, as it were, Hugh seemed to amp up the "my wife is great" offensive even more, practically taking us into their loving home with every utterance (while telling us how hurt she is by the gay rumors). I'm happy for these two, mind you--they're the kind of couple you'd expect to run into at a piano bar--it's just that, while they apparently never want a break from each other, I might be needing a break from them!

While I'm in a snitty mood, let me spew some other tidbits that will undoubtedly prove I'm married to my job: Another straight guy, Joe Manganiello,could have been an action star, but it turns out something has gotten in the way. No, it's not that he's single--it's the fact that he's committed to a hit TV show! Joe just told an interviewer, "My schedule from True Blood has held me back from playing every single movie superhero. Superman was the prime example. I couldn't do that, I couldn't do Hercules, I had to be pulled out of the cast of Draft Day. I had a call about Captain America 2, a call about Thor 2, a call about Iron Man 3. I mean the list goes on." Well, thank the gay gods he found the time to do Magic Mike!

Billyporter-musicalmondays-andrewwernerIn the world of Broadway superheroes, Kinky Boots' Tony winning Billy Porter performed at xl's Monday Musicals event the other night, naturally wearing the red, thigh-high footwear of his show's title. Explained Billy, "I've been on Grindr, Manhunt, and Scruff, and there's a lot of dragophobia out there. People talk about how masculine they are in their profiles. But all you bitches want to dress up in these heels!" I didn't hear a single contradictory peep for miles, even--I mean especially--from the muscle queens....When flamboyantly dressed Andre Leon Talley left Vogue to edit the Russian style magazine Numero Russia, I thought, "Let's hope they don't arrest gay fashion editors!" But as you know, Andre told Vanity Fair that he rejects the gay label (but not the Lagerfeld one, I'd imagine). Whew! He's safe, right?

Another ebony diva, Queen Latifah, is starting a new daytime talk show in September, and she's already alerting the press that no labels whatsoever should be stuck on her, sexuality-wise. Latifah reminded the Hollywood Reporter that she adamantly won't discuss her personal life on the show--or any other show, for that matter. Oh, good. We don't want her to be a terrible failure like, you know, Ellen!!!

A more upfront kind of gal, Lady Gaga, tweeted the other day that she's dying to be a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race. Wouldn't she be better as a contestant?

In other larger-than-life small screen casting news, Patricia Field acolyte and kinky boot wearer Codie Ravioli says she's working on a reality show. Codie was one of the Boy Bar Beauties, the high-concept troupe of performers at the legendary drag/transsexual East Village bar in the 1980s. She's since transitioned and had three sons, and the result will be the rare reality show I'd actually watch without frequent bathroom trips.

In another nightlife-related transition, Gene DiNino went from club kingpin to homeless in a dramatic turn of events that's very New-York-in-the-aughts. Gene owned a straight lounge called Eugene, plus the long-running dance club the Roxy, where heaving chests thumped to the beat every Saturday on gay night. Then things went bad and he was suddenly on the IRS's most wanted list. When the Roxy closed in 2007, Gene tried to make some bittersweet lemonade out of the situation and, out of desperation, he ended up living there! What a tumble! There's nothing more depressing than a club without people--or electricity. But Gene's up again. He now sells antiques at the Garage showplace and he seems to have shelter. What's more, he's written a book about his experiences, and it would make a great movie--or maybe a terrific dance club.

Meanwhile, Richie Rich was the always trending co-designer of the sparkly Heatherette line, which drew glittery supporters like Diandra Douglas, Paris Hilton, and Pamela Lee. But as the line collapsed, Richie fell on unglamorous times and started stiffing people of money and/or goods. Last year, a source of mine even spotted him taking a hot dog out of a trash can, and not to turn into an outfit. (Richie says he was joking. Such a card!) Well, just recently, Page Six reported that Richie got arrested after he and a friend skipped out on a hotel bill. (The friend ended up settling the matter.) Not chic! But rather than work this mess out on a reality show called From Richie To Rags, I hope he just gets it together with the help of his friends. He's well liked (except by those he's screwed over) and the swelling of sympathy would help make for a very fab comeback.

Tan Mom (a/k/a the formerly toasted Patricia Krentcil) has been attempting to extend her own 15 minutes before the big show biz microwave fries her chances. Alas, an observer tells me that while she's warded off the sauce since rehab, the woman seems a little too fond of Red Bulls and oxys lately. Oh, well. As long as she lays off the brown stuff!

I recently launched my own new chapter by filming a Michael Lucas porn movie called Kings of New York 2. Those who just spit out their jamba juice wasted a perfectly good drink because I happened to have been in a fully clothed, non-porn role. In fact, I played myself, a part I'm extremely well suited to assume. But much as I enjoyed the adult stars I did dialogue with, I have to admit that they're not exactly Meryl Streep, at least when there isn't an exposed genital in the area. One of the guys kept emphasizing the wrong syll-AB-le, causing everyone to break up, especially since the complicated verbiage he was asked to say (with big words like "opulence") was coming out like Esperanto as pronounced through a mouthful of marbles. But he--and everyone else--was cute and totally game, and by doing LOTS of separate takes, the scene was actually nailed, as it were. But I almost lost my hardon, lol.

Let's fluff it up again by going back to Gaga, where all roads lead, and relaying what a music biz insider told me about the hottest music showdown since Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj: "Both Katy Perry and Gaga will perform their songs ['Roar' and 'Applause'] at the VMAs, which will certainly be interesting," he said. "They've never been seen as competitors before, since their music is so different, but with both singles released on iTunes the same week, now they're engaged in a battle royale. They will fight it out for #1 this week for the singles sales chart (and Hot 100) to be released this Wednesday.

"The label's original plan was to release Gaga's song one week after Katy's, but Gaga's song leaked to radio about a week early, so the label had to put it on iTunes six days before they'd planned. Katy will have the full seven days of sales, but Gaga will have six days, having been released commercially last Tuesday. So if Katy wins, Gaga's label can use that as an excuse."

True, but "Roar" has been getting way more airplay than "Applause," and saleswise, it's projected to set a digital record for 2013. I'm amazed that Katy--who started wearing cheese hats a year after the other gal's meat dress--seems to be creaming the real Lady Gaga, and with echoes of Avril Lavigne and Sara Bareilles songs yet. Still, her sound is more polished and feelgood than the craven attention-craving of the Gaga song, which is not one of her most memorable acts of musical inspiration.

Oh, well. These songs are just opening salvos anyway. In an even bigger showdown, Katy's album is scheduled to come out on October 22 and Gaga's arrives on November 11. Fasten your sparkly seat belts and start applying your neon-colored paint splotches.

Amanda-lepore-terry-richardsonAnd finally, transsexual superstar Amanda Lepore is aiming to finesse her throat in all new ways. Amanda told me she's trying to improve her vocals by taking lessons with a former backup singer for the Scissor Sisters, and the main trick she's learned is to yawn and hold in your stomach. I do that all the time! I could be the new Callas! But first, let me find a wife who doesn't mind the gay rumors.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Michael Musto