Emile Hirsch Soldiers On Atop July’s SMA, With Zac Hanson Suddenly One To Watch

It’s another fairly stable month on the Sexiest Males Alive last, and as usual Emile Hirsch is that stability’s best ambassador. This month he fended off a surprisingly strong challenge from Jesse McCartney, one I admit picked up steam after I noticed that one poster at a JesseMac fan forum had cited my recent ECG as an example of Jesse’s gay fanbase. We have only one rookie, actor Dan Stevens of the wonderful British drama The Line of Beauty, who in my opinion looks a little like a mature Nick Hoult. To compensate for our lack of newcomers, serial returnees Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt bot agreed to re-emerge, courtesy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and (500) Days of Summer, respectively. I’ve written repeatedly about my special relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio, and that relationship proved its strength yet again this month, as Leo surged 16 spots to #21, momentum created by the otherwise flawed Total Eclipse. One of the few in the top 30 to stumble badly, Alex Pettyfer’s quite surprising eight spot decline makes for the steepest fall this month, and Dev Patel, Jeremy Sumpter and Andrew Carroll are all exited.

As always, the changes on the list are usually caused by any particular guy being considered by me to be relatively more attractive than he was considered last month. That, however, of course doesn’t necessarily mean that any of the other people on this list have become markedly less attractive, only that they perhaps have not been as good at getting my attention lately. With that said, let’s break it down:

#1-10: Apart from the obvious reasons, I’m not sure how Emile Hirsch is able to remain atop the SMA every month, surrounded by so many drool-worthy challengers. I’m starting to suspect that my relationship with Emile is developing in a Leo-esque direction, one in which my loyalty to him becomes so strong that it’s a reason in itself for his continued primacy. Whatever it is, he has deserved it, and now I’m gearing up for Taking Woodstock come September. Jesse McCartney’s ascension to lead challenger should probably be attributed to the EGC, but also to the fact that I’ve got him twittered, and thus is provided with a steady stream of new pictures. Not very satisfied with the Body Language single, but I’m sure he’ll come back stronger. In the top five, David Gallagher’s rise to fourth may sadly signal the peak of his power, as I suspect his star will fade somewhat now that 7th Heaven will go out of syndication in Norway for a while. He truly used his exposure well, though.

The real success story in the top tier has to be Zac Hanson, however. There are no particular reason why this should be the exact month in which he cracked the top ten, apart from news that Hanson will release a new EP this fall, but here he is. When writing my ECG column on him last fall, I for some reason said he could never be hot in any traditional sense of the word. Allow me to respectfully disagree with myself. The news of a new release prompted me ramp up my daily Ipod dose of Hanson, and combined with Google picture search and youtubing of the vast library of unreleased Hanson songs, his standing was only strengthened. As the case should be with singers, I think his voice is a big part of it. The Skins rivalry was resolved to Nick Hoult’s benefit this month, but I’m most impressed by Luke Pasqualino taking #9. I’m back at watching Skins season three, and he’s a standout, in every way. I wouldn’t read too much into the fact that Mitch Hewer’s #10 showing is his worst ever. First, if you’ve never been out of the top ten in one year of SMA’s I’d say you’ve earned some patience. Second, Hanson’s surge and Logan Lerman’s steadfastly impressive #6 presence – his visibility further enhanced by another round of Jack & Bobby reruns – only highlights how tough the competition is. Like David Gallagher, though, Mitch would probably be well-served to keep a higher profile.

#11-20: I don’t know yet if Dan Stevens’ spectacular #17 debut means that he’s in it for the long haul, or if he’s just a fluke, but I do know that I loved The Line of Beauty so much it’s not going to fade from memory anytime. Therefore I suspect he won’t either. I’m not entirely sure exactly how beautiful this guy is, but when I watched him in TLoB he kind of reminded me of Nick Hoult (his smile in particular), which has to be a good sign. Or maybe I just love the idea of beautiful people playing gay. It’s a kind of escapism, I guess.

In an otherwise rather uneventful second tier, kudos is due to Ryan Sheckler and Kevin Zegers. At #14, Zegers banks a personal best on the momentum from my rewatching Transamerica, but let’s stay with Sheckler for a while. Unlike many of his main competitors on this list, Sheckler doesn’t have a natural venue of exposure when Life of Ryan are not in repeats on MTV, and I’m not sufficiently interested in skateboarding to follow that scene. That means it’s actually quite an achievement by Sheckler to remain a viable top ten contender month in, month out. Sure, SMA colleagues like David Gallagher, Charlie Hunnam and Tyler Hoechlin are in pretty much the same situation as he is, but I thought he deserved the encouragement nonetheless. The just-mentioned Hoechlin seems well-positioned to weather the expected lack of exposure resulting from 7th Heaven going of the schedule, and we should acknowledge that while it’s one of his weaker showings, being #20 and dropping a modest two spots is still very respectable for the chronically under-exposed Hunnam, still benefiting from his work on the UK Queer as Folk in the late 1990’s.

The three Disneyers, Raviv Ullman, Lucas Till and Matt Prokop all hold up well this month. Prokop looked set for a slide, until I rewatched High School Musical 3 and was reminded of why I like him. Falling a mere one spot in his second month, from his great #15 debut, also suggests that Lucas Till could become a permanent fixture. Ullman runs the continuing risk of falling off my radar, but as long as Disney Channel loyally grant screen time to reruns of Phil of the Future, he should be safe.

#21-30: The point with Leonardo DiCaprio is that he’s the one man on the SMA list who has the most to gain from getting his pretty face out there. He may be slumbering in the mid #30’s for months, but if something happens to bring him to my attention, you can be fairly sure he’ll at the same time be catapulted upward on this list. This month it was the Norwegian DVD release of Total Eclipse. #21 is nowhere near his personal best, however; he was #14 on the somewhat messy initial SMA in June 2008, and a Revolutionary Road-induced #19 back in January. Among those moving only one or two spots up or down, it could still be worth noting that Chris Lowell, who rose twelve spots last months, seems to have settled in well in the twenties, in fact continuing to climb. If I can convince myself that he in fact does remind me somewhat of Luke Pasqualino, his stock could be rising further.

Jay Brannan didn’t get a boost from releasing a new album, the magnificent In Living Cover, this month, but because his sexy voice is still in my ears every single day, I’m not very concerned about his long-term prospects. Alex Pettyfer, however, is another story. Dropping eight spots is never a good sign, but perhaps paradoxically, it could prove to be particularly ominous because I can’t point to any reason why. It could of course just be due to natural fluctuations over time, but if this is the start of me questioning if he really is as hot as I though he were, it could spell trouble. Jonathan Taylor Thomas didn’t have a good month either, but for some reason, I think he has worked up a reservoir of loyalty with me, as well.

#31-40: The return of Joseph Gordon-Levitt by now has become such a frequent feature that I won’t comment further on it, except to say that he looks absolutely smashing in the Days of Summer trailer. There’s a hint of the JGL of Mysterious Skin there somewhere, and I love it. Also, it should be noted that he seems to be one of the smartest and most knowledgeable young actors in the business these days. One of those who should want to be like him is Adam Brody, but he’s really struggling to get his post-O.C. career going. I think the guy is super cute in a slightly geeky way, but he needs to do something to keep visible. Seth Cohen was a long time ago. This month he’s out of the top thirty for the first time since July 2008.

Sean Faris may not be as interesting as an actor, but he struggles with pretty much the same problem as Brody. In short, he’s underexposed, and immediately it seems like his way back may be longer too. The modest-movers of the #30’s are led by Disney icon Joe Jonas, who continue to surprise me with clawing desperately at the top thirty. I don’t really know why exactly, considering he is not quite my type, but again, there may be something about the voice. I guess people who have the guts to get themselves out there singing are just naturally attractive to me. (An explanation that breaks down almost immediately, as it fails to account for Taylor Hanson’s two spot decline.)

In positive news, last month’s newcomer, Star Trek‘s Chris Pine, actually gains three spots in his second months. This takes him past both Fernando Torres, Rafael Nadal and Cristiano Ronaldo, three sportspeople in varying degrees of decline. Torres seems to have leveled, but historically #38 is not a good showing on his part. With Nadal, I should probably just accept that he will bounce up and down on this list (…insert tired tennis metaphor here) with seeming regularity, while Ronaldo may be reaching something close to a point of no return, now that he has cracked the forties. The issue for the Portuguese probably is closer to overexposure than underexposure, and so far, I have no reason to believe his move to Real Madrid is going to make me miss him as much as his still fabulous body may merit. It’s not you it’s me, etc.

#41-50: Speaking of points of no return, it doesn’t look like such a thing exists for Daniel Radcliffe. On the contrary, the one thing you can be sure that no matter how often he gets knocked off the list, he’ll eventually rise like (insert tired Voldemort/phoenix-related metaphor here) from the ashes to fight his way back. This month it’s only courtesy of the Harry Potter movie, but also thanks to a very nice interview he did with Attitude, in which he denounced all forms of homophobia and outed himself as a Liberal Democrat (in the British sense). But for those to whom the point-of-no-return dynamic actualy apply, like Chace Crawford, the July SMA may be the bearer of bad omens. The photogenic Gossip guy has been unable to turn his ship around over the last several months, and at #48, this may well be his final showing for a while. Unlike with Ryan Phillippe, or to a lesser extent even Brady Corbet, I have no nostalgic or emotional bond with Crawford that may trigger my loyalty in situations like these. Corbet is in danger of falling off practically every month, but in part because of goodwill he built with Mysterious Skin, he has yet always survived to fight another month.

Aaron Carter, who like Crawford has seen his fortune drop of late, could also be in serious trouble, dropping to a shaky #45. The most cause for concern could well be that the presence of regular House of Carters reruns could actually work against his future prospects. On the show, the once adorable pop star simply is so obnoxiously narcissistic that not even his obvious physical attributes is always able to neutralize it. On a final note, Mitch Firth decline is significant, and his former Home and Away colleague, the forties-regular Rhys Wakefield, may be more battle-tested at this level. Still, I feel confident they will both be looking up, eventually.

  1. Emile Hirsch (previous ranking: 1)
  2. Jesse McCartney (4)
  3. Zac Efron (3)
  4. David Gallagher (5)
  5. Hunter Parrish (2)
  6. Logan Lerman (6)
  7. Nick Hoult (8)
  8. Zac Hanson (11)
  9. Luke Pasqualino (10)
  10. Mitch Hewer (7)
  11. Ryan Sheckler (13)
  12. Tyler Hoechlin (12)
  13. Chris Egan (9)
  14. Kevin Zegers (16)
  15. Raviv Ullman (14)
  16. Lucas Till (15)
  17. Dan Stevens (new)
  18. Gaspard Ulliel (17)
  19. Matt Prokop (20)
  20. Charlie Hunnam (18)
  21. Leonardo DiCaprio (37)
  22. William Moseley (23)
  23. Ryan Donowho (21)
  24. Chris Lowell (25)
  25. Ed Speleers (26)
  26. Jamie Bell (29)
  27. Alex Pettyfer (19)
  28. Jesse Eisenberg (28)
  29. Jonathan Taylor Thomas (22)
  30. Jay Brannan (27)
  31. Adam Brody (24)
  32. Joe Jonas (34)
  33. Shad Moss (32)
  34. Sean Faris (30)
  35. Taylor Hanson (33)
  36. Chris Pine (39)
  37. Rafael Nadal (30)
  38. Fernando Torres (40)
  39. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (RE)
  40. Cristiano Ronaldo (36)
  41. Daniel Radcliffe (RE)
  42. Mitch Firth (35)
  43. Ryan Phillippe (38)
  44. Corbin Bleu (46)
  45. Aaron Carter (42)
  46. Brady Corbet (48)
  47. Rhys Wakefield (47)
  48. Chace Crawford (44)
  49. Cody Linley (45)
  50. Michael Pitt (49)
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6 Responses to Emile Hirsch Soldiers On Atop July’s SMA, With Zac Hanson Suddenly One To Watch

  1. jay says:

    I’m sad to see Jeremy , drop off the to 50 , pleased to see Logan so high and thrilled that Matty P and his amazing tresses are in the top 20

    • queerlefty says:

      I wouldn’t rule out Sumpter for the future, but right now I can’t see an immediate way back for him. I sort of expected a drop-off for Matt, but ‘HSM3’ convinced me otherwise.

      I’m glad you found something to be excited about, Jay.

  2. poeticgrin says:

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt – that kid is something. I’ll say it. He’ll win an Oscar sooner than later.

    Now. Let me scream like a girl at the news of new Hanson material coming soon!

    I also have to admit something. I saw the latest Harry Potter. There was a scene in which Rupert Grint was in his room, wearing a sleeveless undershirt and he was talking to Harry. He was muscular. His was trim and fit. He was a MAN suddenly. I couldn’t not believe that I felt a spark. But, Dark Lord, I now have a crush on Ronald Weasley!

    • queerlefty says:

      I could be tempted to jump to your Rupert Grint comment right away, but let’s take things in their right order:

      I know it may sound like a somewhat cheap comparison, but now that Heath Ledger is no longer with us, JG-L may well be the most promising young actor of today. He seems like a really smart guy, with the ability to balance the challenging with the commercially viable. And he looks absolutely amazing. That Oscar will be his whenever he wants to come collect it (that is, whenever he decides to completely outperform everyone in a movie that actually has a shot at getting nominated).

      As for Rupert Grint, he doesn’t do anything for me, except for making me feel comfortable, due to his respectable comic timing. I noticed he had bulked up this time around, but alongside Daniel Radcliffe, there’s still no no question who gets my vote. Still, I’m glad you can still broaden your horizon this late in the series, hehe.

      I’m thrilled with the prospect of new Hanson material as well. Sadly, I think the upcoming EP will be fanclub members only (Some arcane tax rule in Norway makes it quite expensive for my to sign up for a membership, so I opted out). The EP is also said to be a prelude to a new album next year. Can’t wait. The thought itself may have helped propel Zac Hanson into the top ten.

      Thanks for the comment, as always.

  3. jay says:

    Do check out Rupert in the Cherry bomb trailer it almost cured me of my aversion of all things Harry Potter .

    Btw they are filming Chris Nolan’s new film near where my parents live , I don’t expect that Leo will stay locally , I think he will come up from London. JGL might though.

    Sadly they are filming inside a huge hanger about a mile away from the road, so you sadly cant see anything . I’ve allways had a thing for large film sets , Oddly you can see the Charlie Chocolate factory bus and a car from harry potter and a gotham city police lock up in the parking area , warners film the batman films there and store large props from other films .

    • queerlefty says:

      Hehe, I’m still not sold on Grint, but the movie looks somewhat promising. You really should give up your Potter-phobia asap, as Daniel Radcliffe has more than magic mumbling to add to the franchise. Also, they are simply very entertaining movies.

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