Ah, 'tis that time of year again for $9 Bud Lights and a bevy of beautiful beefcakes shaking their stuff on stage -- the crowning Mr. Marina 2014.
Last night's festivities kicked off at the Regency Ballroom packed to the rafters with a heady blur of neon, pastel, party dresses and Wolf of Wall Street t-shirts; I couldn't tell if I was in Vegas, the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore. Disoriented I made my way through to the crowd (most of whom brandish -- or wear -- their favorite contestants' swag) and head to the bar because as MC and Mr. Marina founder Brianna Haag reminds me, those drinks are philanthropic tonight!
Mr. Marina is about raising money for Slap Cancer (which benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) but it's also about crowning the man who "embodies the spirit of San Francisco's Marina District: social, fun-loving, generous, manly... and it doesn't hurt if he enjoys wearing pastel colors from time to time."
Every one of the 12 zip code 94123-loving contestants held fundraising events leading up the big night; this year they raised a whopping $155,000, Slap Cancer's most successful haul to date.
Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. While the contest is judged by a panel (including last year's Mr. Marina 2013, the ever-dapper Ish Simpon, Miss California and yes, Kate Ward of The Bachelor) the men who raise the most moola start off the competition with 30 points. Swimwear (20) Talent (30) and Marina-wear/Q&A (20) comprise the rest of the potential 100 points.
I can't lie -- things started off a bit slow. (I'm a theater bitch so I was expecting a show-stopping opening number), and with all those gold lame pants, a kick-line would have been killer. Wilson Phillips' "Hold On For One More Day" kicks on and the men begin gyrating about, flexing muscles and generally looking alternatively sheepish and swaggering. Soon enough they wandered off stage to don their skivvies.
Each man traipsed out in his chosen swimwear which ranged from a blue-jean speedo and cowboy hat (Jack Wall) to a yellow banana hammock (Charlie Walker) to holographic booty shorts (Jieren Chen).
Ward Sorrick supplemented his strut with handstands and Cameron Crockett showcased his patriotism with tear-off board shorts revealing a tiny American flag speedo. (He also planted some pals in the audience to send off poppers as his schlong swung into view -- nice to see some serious showmanship
Okay, let's move onto the juicy stuff.
Every heterosexual male pal in my life has one time or another admitted Eric Prydz's "Call on Me" video was serious masterbatory fodder in their adolescent years. (If you've never watched it, it's basically a soft core porn video of smoking hot eighties babes in an aerobics class). Capitalizing on what is generally considered music video gold, Cameron got together a throng of thonged babes who gyrated in a top notch way.
Corey Williams (who chose the unfortunate tagline of being "The Wolf of Lombard") busted out a dance medley to guilty pleasure powerhouses including "I Want it that Way" and Ginuwine's "Pony." (A personal fave.) He culminates his personal dance party with a joyous onslaught of pals who break into that viral sensation heard round the world: a raucous Harlem Shuffle which, if I'm not mistaken, definitely included some references to butt sex.
Jeff Zeller strolled out in a faux Macklemore getup and unintelligibly rapped about Marina life (maybe if I could have heard the lyrics over the crows I would have been wowed?). He also produced a kitschy music video which showcased topsiders and Melrose Place.
My bestie gay pal was my date for the night and said that Jason Root's "talent" was his personal favorite because he "vogued correctly."
Amid other odd choices (including dog training with Keegan Youmans-Via, a Risky Business reference by Stephen Patkay, and a semi-Missy Elliot rap number by Jieren Chen, and the opening of a champagne bottle with a scimitar by Patrick Doyle) there was one incredible standout moment.
Ward Sorrick sauntered onto stage in a Patrick Swayze wig with his "Baby" by his side. Oh shit, I thought. They're about to do the it scene from Dirty Dancing. And yes they did. They blew it out of the water. And yes, they did "the lift" and minds were blown.
Marinawear + Q&A came up next; the men basically described their sponsored outfits which of course included a bevy of WASP-y wares in pastel colors and regaled us with their Marina-fueled days of decadent fare, to-kill-for-parties and unabashed chivalry for the local babes.
So without further ado, this year's Mr. Marina 2014 is... Jeff Zeller! (Or JZ if yer nasty.)
Second place: Cameron Crockett (Yes, call me.)
Third Place: Ward Sorrick (Finally, someone I can practice that lift with!)
It's a quintessential Marina scene, but a gold-hearted one -- I can't wait to see next year's Marina men folk in all their flippant finery.