Official Mr. GSA Photography by Ryan Lourens. Written by Wim Vorster. Producer: Kosie Smit. Choreography by Gerrit Prinsloo
The Mr. Gay South Africa™ 2012/13 Grand Finale was held at the very Larney Atterbury Theatre, Lynnwood Bridge, Pretoria on Saturday 08 December 2012.
I felt like I was in Sandton.
Hosted by the hilarious and very talented Terence Bridgett and Cathy Specific this duo sure made the evening really entertaining with Terence being one heck of a mischievous character on stage.
As always the Mr. Gay South Africa™ evening opened with a bang! Strong shirtless finalists dressed and styled by Bone Wear and Jawy hair design danced and modelled as Cathy Specific Sang (not lip Sync’d) her way through an extravagant performance in a skin tight number with some diamond jewels literally covering…ahem…the “other” jewels?
Here is a Vid of the opening sequence:
The singer and Songwriter Freddy Van’Dango, a previous contestant from Idols also performed with his rather unique style.
The Finalists were all introduced wearing Wonderguy Clubwear.
So for the last time the finalists:
From Stellenbosch in the Western
Cape is Dijan Botha, aged 21, he supports Animal Welfare Stellenbosch.
From Nelspruit, Mpumalanga,
supporting the Belfast Children’s Home, is 22 year old Brian Clough.
From Welkom in the Free State with his chosen charity Claws, is twin brother Rodney Clough.
A 19 year old supporting the Highway Hospice Association, Aaron Blandin de Chalain from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.
25 year old Martiens de Jager
From Somerset West in the Western Cape, for the Triangle Project.
From Cape Town, in the Western Cape, supporting Pride Shelter Trust, 23 year old Brandley Gallant.
From Johannesburg, Gauteng, 24 year old Tumelo Makgaora giving his support to Soweto Home for the Aged.
Another twin From Pretoria with his chosen charity Amadea Safe House for Kids, 28 year old Hendrik Kruger.
All the way from Gugulethu in the Western Cape is the 23 year old Wandile Mbunyuza with his charity Health for Men.
A 22 year old, from Centurion in Gauteng, with his charity The Pink Hearts, Jason Rogers.
From Randburg, Gauteng, 24 year old Jodian van Aarde, supporting Talitha Stimulation.
Schalk van der Merwe, a 28 year old from Wolseley in the Western Cape who’s charity is Cape Town Pride.
Steve Williams, 37, from Johannesburg and a great supporter of CANSA.
Terence went about the first round of interviews asking the finalists some interesting questions.
Some of the questions and answers that really stood out to me were:
Rodney Clough when asked who inspired him he said public figures like Lady Gaga and Brad Pitt, who are straight but who also fight for gay rights and gay marriage.
One of the funniest questions and answers was when Aaron Blandin de Chalain was asked how he would describe himself to a blind date.
Aaron answered: he would say that he had reached the finals of Mr Gay South Africa, had looks and personality, so would the date still be on?
Brandley Gallant dreams of destroying all tags and labels put on people for good.
Tumi Makgaora wants to be a role model for all gay people, but black Gays especially as there is still so much stigma attached by straight friends and family but his voice will be able to make a difference.
When Wandile Mbunyuza was asked how he feels about the way society has been treating him as a Gay Man. He said that a lot of people have scolded him for being ungodly and unnatural but said that he didn’t complete an application form for being Gay. (O’Snap!)
When Jodian van Aarde was asked why he entered Mr. GSA. He answered that when he told his mother he is Gay, her words were: “Be Safe”. Mr Gay South Africa would give him the platform to promote Safety, Acceptance and Love.
Schalk van der Merwe said that being Gay, although extensive, was only one part of who he is.
It was time to announce the winners of various prizes:
The Winner for Best Ticket and Ad Sales: Steve Williams! Winning a 3 day dinner, bed and breakfast stay at Nomndeni Celukhule Lodge in Nelspruit.
Best score for the Written Exam was achieved by: Steve Williams!
Winning ANOTHER Nomndeni Package. Wow!
Best Blog was awarded to Aaron Blandin de Chalain. Also winning a Nomndeni Package. Aaron had a great blog which he really put effort into and wrote such personal yet beautiful blogs on his life and his time being a finalist for Mr. GSA. You can take a look at his cute blog here: www.mrgsafinalist.co.za/aaron
I do think Jodian van Aarde was a strong contender with his hilarious (and also personal) blog: www.mrgsafinalist.co.za/jodian
Both Aaron and Jodian told me that they will be continuing their respective journeys as a bloggers so watch out for their fabulous work in the near future!
Soulful singer Nell performed her song “Anderkant die stilte”. Nell who also hails from the female group “La-Diva” studied Jazz and is a vocal lecturer at Tshwane University.
The Judges were announced:
Radio Personality from Radio Today’s show “OUTspoken” fame, socialite and journalist.
CEO of the public Protector, Advocate Themba Mthethwa.
Miss Junior South Africa 2011 Danmari Bouwer.
Mr. Gay South Africa 2009 and Mr. Gay World 2010 Charl van den Berg.
There were performances by Eden Michelle with her song about bullying called “Shout!”. Did she “Shout and Scream”?
Well, just enough for a singer but she does look like a rocker chick!
The active wear was up next with a very high powered modelling sequence. The Muscular (and oh, yes, shirtless) finalists paraded sexy jeanswear by True Religion to a very excited audience.
Interval arrived and everyone had a chance to recharge their booze batteries and have a ‘piepie’.
Among the glitteratti to be seen attending Mr. Gay South Africa was the famous Britney and GaGa impersonator Derick Barry who recently visited SA doing a run of his ever popular show at Babylon the Club as well as the Bar and Andre Smuts, the proudly out Afrikaans singer. Some of the Drag Royalty to be seen was Claudette Lee Cooper as well as Megan Carreira in their gorgeous blinged up evening gowns.
After interval one of the clear favourite parts of the competition was up next: Bone Wear and the audience went crazy even at the mere mention of these muscle bound hunks who would be strutting their stuff in a more bare medium. When one has the privilege to sit in the front row of a contest you get to really appreciate your seat when it comes to the Underwear section. This is especially so when you can see EVERY single detail and realise that the contestants were not hiding any tissues in their undies. *Raised Eyebrows*
The audience got a bit hot under the collar and if my boobs were wax they would’ve melted!
Even Terence had to crawl onto the stage as he just couldn’t handle the heat of those hot bods!
It was time for more prizes:
The Bone Wear Underwear Model of the Year and a year’s supply of Bone Wear was awarded to Jason Rogers! With a body and smouldering looks that even Daniel Craig would have a licence to kill for it came as no surprise.
Mr Popular for receiving the most SMS votes was: Steve Williams! Receiving his THIRD Nomndeni package! According to Coenie just on 5000 SMS votes were received for the popularity competition so this just goes to show the phenomenal support that came from the LGBTI community and greater SA public.
The Winner for Best YouTube Video went to Schalk Van Der Merwe! His clip was very well directed and conveyed his message as Mr. GSA finalist beautifully. Schalk also walked away with a Nomndeni Package.
Here is Schalk’s award winning YouTube Clip:
Goodness all the packages that were at this contest were so much! Some were given away and others were on display! Eish so confusing LOL
The Mr. GSA directors and organisers namely Coenie Kukkuk, John-Louis O’Neil, Frank Malaba and Karin Sephton were thanked for their tireless work and many hours of self sacrifice to put up such a spectacular event. What many people do not realise is that this event was organised in their spare time and many sacrifices were made but as Coenie mentioned it was worth it.
The saddest part of the evening was the announcement by Coenie that both he and John-Louis O’Neil would be stepping down as Directors in their respective portfolio’s. Coenie will still remain Director for Africa for the Mr. Gay World Organisation.
Coenie Kukkuk said that when he was younger there were no such institutions like the Mr. GSA organisation. The LGBTI community needed “someone to give hope and who they could aspire to.” It has always been a dream of Coenie and the Mr GSA Organisation to host the Mr. Gay World Pageant here in South Africa and this year that Dream was realised. Another chapter in LGBTI history has closed but there is always another great one to be written.
Before Timothy Moloi began to sing a beautiful version of “Paradise Road” a slide show played on the big screen of everything and anything to do with our Beautiful South Africa with the Lyrics: “There are better days before us, there’s a burning bridge behind us…” Images played of the healing that took place in our country’s past.
The slide show ended with the names of members of the LGBTI community. It was a tribute to those who had lost their lives to preventable Deaths: Hate Crimes, Suicide and yes Car Accidents, my dear Foxylopez Brown’s name, who had just recently passed away, was on that screen and one couldn’t help but have a lump in the throat.
The final segment of the show was the evening wear sponsored by Top Hat Suit Co.
Each finalist was dressed in his own unique outfit. As Timothy sang his powerful rendition of Heather Small’s “Proud” with the lyrics “What have you done today to make me feel proud” trio’s of handsome and dashing men graced the stage. Amongst my Favourite’s were Aaron Blandin de Chalain’s Tuxedo, Jodian van Aarde’s Champagne suit, Martiens De Jager’s very corporate look and Dijan Botha’s smile.
The Mr. MichaelGamePlan title for Best Sportsman of 2012/13 award went to Brian Clough! According to Coenie, at the breakaway week before the contest Brian (and later his brother Rodney as well) fell down during the sport challenge but managed to pick himself up and get the top score.
Finalists at the Mr. GSA Breakaway Mpumalanga held at Kat-Man-Doo Gay Male Resort; Flycatcher Castle, Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve – photo by Ryan Nicolas Lourens
Just to note some of the fantastic support from Sponsors, Tempest Car Hire sponsored ALL of the transport for the Mr. GSA finalists at Joburg Pride, the Breakaway week, the Grand finale itself, Mr. Gay World 2012 AND yes even the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival in Knysna this year. Phew that’s a lot of petrol! I wonder who played taxi Driver? LOL
The Best Charity Work award was given to Jason Rogers for raising R13,000 for The Pink Hearts Animal Charity winning a College SA Study grant of R15000. Jason raised the funds by organising a charity “Bitchy Bingo” at the fabulous Beefcakes Restaurant in Illovo, Joburg who by the way won the Rosetta Award 2012 for Service Excellence from RASA (Restaurant Association of South Africa).
Mr Personality was awarded to: Jodian van Aarde, as Gay as a Jacaranda, he really deserved this prize and like “Miss Congeniality” this prize was decided by fellow finalists. He also won a Nomndeni package! Phew!
One of the biggest parts of the evening arrived with the announcement of the Top 5. This was as they say “Maak of breek” (Make or Break)
The Top 5 finalists for Mr. Gay South Africa™ 2012/13:
(Hopefully in no particular order?)
Martiens De Jager
Jodian van Aarde
The Top 5 were then each asked the same question as the rest were soundproofed backstage from hearing the ‘questioned’ .
As with Mr. Gay World 2012 Terence had the pleasure of asking the question:
“If a young Gay Male/female approached you who is being bullied or abused what would you say to him/her?”
Some of the things that stood out with the top 5’s answers were:
“Respect and stand up for yourself. You can become your own superhero”
“There are people out there who are willing to help and talk about it.”
“Love yourself, you are not alone, you are special, each person is there to find his purpose.”
“They should never doubt themselves. Step away from the bully. Make yourself the best person possible.”
“Stay strong. He would support him/her all the way to have a better future.”
While the audience was anxiously waiting for the judges to make a final decision Freddie Van’Dango Performed next in you may have guessed it, a rather prudish looking dress, “deurmekaar bolla” (confused hair) and high rise Orange sneakers.
All that I could say was:
“Freddy in a Frock!”
Freddie sang his song: “I’d be your Supergirl” and despite the rather ‘avant garde’ choreography one realises that he actually has a great voice. I do not know if I would class his music in the right genre but it may be something in the line of Electro Pop however he may just be way out there!
The final moment arrived where the biggest announcement for the evening was to be made: Who would be the next Mr. Gay South Africa. To add to the suspense Coenie asked the audience to take a 10 minute break as scores were close, a mere 0.2% and over 4000 marks had to be calculated. This just goes to show that the Mr. GSA judging process is quite rigorous and the winner is carefully selected.
As we were waiting for the final score to be checked one of the other highlights of the evening was of course the free booze by Creation Wines. We had the privilege of tasting a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc called “whale POD” which is just a superb light white wine but which made my heels quite heavy after having to down the rest quite quickly before getting back to the show and almost falling my way down the stairs to our front row seats! LOL
It was time for the previous Mr. Gay South Africa, Lance Weyer, to hand over his reigning title. I actually shed a tear or two because he is the first Mr. GSA that I have come to know quite well and I will surely miss him. I mean I bought one of his Bone Wear undies (ok, technically swimming trunks) at the Mr. GSA Gala Dinner and Charity Auction! A slide show of Lance and all his adventures while Mr. Gay SA played showing all the events he attended as well as his travels all over the world, compliments of Club Travel Cape Quarter (The Lucky Fish!). One Could See that Lance was holding back his tears but he had said that 2012 was one of the busiest but best years of his life!
And the winners for Mr. Gay South Africa™ 2012/13:
Brian Clough 2nd runner up
Steve Williams 1st runner up and deputy to Mr. Gay South Africa™.
And the Winner of Mr. Gay South Africa™ 2012/2013 is:
Congratulations! Wishing Jason and his Deputy Steve all of the best in their new roles as representatives of the SA LGBTI community. Jason will be representing South Africa at the Mr. Gay World contest to be held together with the World OUTGames in Antwerp, Belgium in 2013.
Congrats to the finalists, You all did so well and I’m sure you grew personally and gained a lot of great adventures and experience.
What I have learned from the Mr. GSA Grand Finale:
* Get a bloody GPS! Pretoria confuses the living daisies out of me!
* The most profound moment for me did not come from any of the finalists, or the hosts, nor the judges and not even Lance, Coenie or the Directors themselves! It came from Jodian van Aarde’s future Mother-in-Law.
She told me that she never knew a lot about the LGBTI community and didn’t quite understand us. That night she fully realised what our community was about: We are people just like everyone else (and beautiful too), we are proud and have our own dreams, aspirations and yes we can be good people too (duh!). If this contest could melt away the perceptions of one straight person I only know about, imagine the impact this contest has on a National level? It is truly profound.
For more photos on the Mr. GSA Grand Finale you can go to Mambaonline’s gallery here: http://www.mambaonline.com/galleries_view.asp?gal_id=697
Not a single Finalist walked away empty-handed with this Competition.
Just take a look at the staggering Prizes that not just the winner, runners up and top 5 won but finalists as well! Check out the staggering list Below the Generous Sponsors:
1. From Rani Resorts:
1st. Winner: 3 nights at Medjumbe Private Island, Mozambique for 2 people sharing (for the Winner) including all food & drink worth R32000;
2nd: 3 nights at Indigo Bay Island Resort and Spa, Moz. for 2 people sharing including all food & drink worth R32000;
3rd: 3 nights at Matemo Island. Mozambique for 2 people sharing including all food & drink worth R27000;
4th: 3 nights at The Stanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for 2 people sharing incl. breakfast & dinner worth R18500;
5th: 2 nights at The Stanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for 2 people sharing incl. breakfast & dinner worth R12500. Total: R122000.00
2. a. To the winner: a study grant worth R15000 from College SA; a year’s supply of MichaelGamePlan; Chris Winspear jewellery worth R5000; Cut, colour & style for one year from Jawy; a hamper from House of James Douglas; two pairs of True Religion jeans worth R12000; Gay Pages subscription for one year and a year’s supply of Bone Wear;
b. Study bursary worth R7 500 from College SA for the rest of the top 5;
c. Dinner vouchers for the top 5 from Beefcakes;
d. A cut, colour & style for each finalist from Jawy;
3. To the Bone Wear Model of the Year – a year’s supply of Bone Wear;
4. Winner Best Ticket & Advertisement Sales – winning a 3-day dinner, bed & breakfast at Nomndeni Celukhule Lodge, Nelspruit;
5. Best Written Exam – also winning a Nomndeni package as above;
6. Best Charity Work – winner wins the title of Mr College SA and a study grant worth R15000 from College SA;
7. Mr Personality – winning a Nomndeni package as above;
8. Best Blog – winning a Nomndeni package as above.
9. Title of Mr. MichealGamePlan going to the Best Sportsman of 2012, winning a MGP hamper;
10. Winner of the Popular Vote – best SMS scores, winning a Nomndeni package as above;
11. Best Video – winning a Nomndeni package as above;
12. EACH finalist received Bone Wear worth R3000 for the break-away;
13. EACH finalist received a MGP hamper worth R1000 for the break-away;
14.EACH finalist received a T-shirt from Wonderguy;
15. EACH finalist received a T-shirt sponsored by Globeflight & Gay Pages;
16. All received wine from Creation, alcoholic beverages from Esnell and were hydrated by Glaceau Mineral Water