In Belated August Upset, Efron Wins Back SMA Title

Before you re-read David Plotz’ otherwise excellent case for abolishing August (it’s such a crappy month that even its SMA edition runs late!), consider the August edition of the Sexiest Males Alive list. Things have been fairly stable for months and months, and I didn’t expect August, of all months, to be the one to change that (heck, the SMA even was on an August hiatus last year!) But that was before these pictures of Zac Efron came before my eyes. Just when I thought the lovely Emile Hirsch had crushed all opposition once and for all, Zefron manages to regain pole position for the first time in ten months. It was somewhat surprising, since the premiere 17 Again earlier this summer failed to topple Hirsch. Maybe it was my purchase of the 17 Again DVD that made the difference. September’s arrival of Ang Lee’s Hirsch-induced Taking Woodstock has potential to put the heat back on, however (as if it was ever off).

But that’s not the only way in which August has been an eventful month on the SMA. We welcome two newcomers – Harry Potter‘s Freddie Stroma and the lovely young Brit Dougie Poynter, and two old regulars that have had a brief stint out in the dark. And in a month rich on dramatic ups and downs, Corbin Bleu of the upcoming Beautiful Life surges a massive 19 spots to claim the Climber Of The Month title, while his former High School Musical 3 co-star Matt Prokop, shockingly, is awarded the dubious honors of having taken the steepest fall, a marked 18 spots, to #38.

Finally, we bid farewell to two of the most longstanding members of the SMA fellowship. Aaron Carter has been on a glide path to this conclusion for months, and something really happened when reruns of his obnoxious shtick on House of Carters actually started to worked against him. I’ve held conflicted feelings toward Chace Crawford from the beginning, certainly recognizing his beauty, but at the same time wondered if ultimately he’s just boring. Also, the rehabilitation of cast mate Westwick, another one of those who’ve had a bumpy ride on the SMA, may have played to Crawford’s disfavor. I wouldn’t count any of them permanently out, though.

The departure of Michael Pitt may pale in SMA-historic importance, but he’s off too.

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: It came down to this. My love for Emile Hirsch is practically limitless, but when Zac Efron hones his complements his beautiful face with a body this well-honed, he at least a month in the spotlight. I know he’s not a great actor, but that’s not what this list is about anyway. And sexy he is. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Elsewhere in the top tier, the most interesting development may be Jesse McCartney’s mini-collapse. I’m not being consistent here, of course. Elsewhere on the list, a four-spot decline will be treated as just a minor adjustment. That I’m now no longer sure whether I prefer the surfer dude Jesse of his Summerland days or the black-haired guy of the Departure era, could be a cause for longer-term concern, however. I’m not saying I’m questioning his hotness, but as with the discussion of which Leonardo DiCaprio should be considered for the SMA, such deliberations could possibly weaken his standing.

Rising to the occasion are Logan Lerman and Zac Hanson, both securing personal bests. Lerman probably would have been up there regardless of the recent red-carpet shots for My One And Only, but they didn’t exactly hurt his chances, if you see what I mean. Zac Hanson’s continued momentum is more deeply founded. I’m not saying he’ll now be as firmly planted in the top ten as Hirsch or Efron, only that my Zac-scination doesn’t have to with his looks alone, though they’re certainly a big part of it. After ten years of passionate, but not always open fandom, there’s a certain sense of what could only be described as loyalty there, too. Luke Pasqualino, whose rose along with Lerman and Hanson in July, also keeps on climbing, to become the highest-placed Skins star. Rounding out the top tier is skater Ryan Sheckler. I feel like he would have been higher on this list, if he hadn’t decided to cover much of his amazing body with enormous tattoos. He is beautiful, but all that ink is a definitive turn-off.

#11-20: Last month, I predicted a drop-off for David Gallagher, due to syndicated 7th Heaven episodes coming to a temporary halt. Turns out the halt was very temporary, as he’s now back gracing Norwegian television screens as the conflicted Simon Camden. For reasons more closely related to tight competition than any real challenge to his overall cuteness, he still tumbles out of the top ten, for the first time in many, many months. There he’s challenged from below be a still upwardly mobile Kevin Zegers, generously taking advantage of his Transamerica exposure of early summer.

Three guys more pressed for exposure than Zegers though, Charlie Hunnam and Ed Speleers, also put in impressive performances, climbing five spots each, to #15 and #20, respectively. This generally is the dilemma for Hunnam, like it is for the aforementioned DiCaprio, among others. If this list was about physical attraction only, and if all contenders were awarded equal exposure, Hunnam would probably be a regular in the top ten. When he isn’t, despite my fond memories of the coming-of-age left me from Queer as Folk UK, it has to do with him not being nearly as beautiful today as we once was. I suppose Speleers is a better model than he’s an actor, but in the capacity of the former, he has a constant potential to crack the top twenty. We also take note of Ryan Donowho and Chris Lowell’s strong showings. Donowho seems to be one of those who will always bounce back when dealt a setback, and he should be awarded a major role soon. Fortunately, Private Practice has kept Lowell in the public, though I much prefer watching Veronica Mars reruns to get my fix. Finally, Raviv Ullman’s rise to #13 deserves a mention, too. As always, I can’t quite explain my attraction to this guy, but there has to be something there.

#21-30: I don’t really know how to explain this, but when I saw the promo pictures of the CW’s new drama Beautiful Life, I found Corbin Bleu, he of Zac-Efron’s-basketball-obsessed-best-friend-in-High School Musical-fame, could actually be quite hot. That was news to me. Cute? Sure. Hot? Meh. Until now. He has a great body, and a self-conciously cocky attitude that I found really attractive, catapulting him up 19 spots, to #25. Early on in the franchise, he stood for me as one of those fresh-faced youngsters who placed HSM movies firmly in the kids’ movies camp, but now times have changed. Also in positive, Taylor Hanson gains nine spots, sprinting into the twenties. I listen to Hanson regularly, but last week I decided to pop the Underneath Acoustic Live concert in the DVD, and it made me realize more than ever before what I beautiful and talented the Hanson frontman is. It’s six years since that show recorded, but I have to say has aged really well. Zac has always “my” put that doesn’t mean I haven’t also had an eye on Taylor.

For another one of my Early Gay Crushes, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, August was a rather uneventful month, but almost everyone saw gains; Joe Jonas followed Taylor Hanson’s lead and used his modest three spot gain to break into the third third, while Jamie Bell and Alex Pettyfer. to guys who should be familiar with unpredictable highs and lows by now, both got a lift. Most importantly, Pettyfer. the sometimes too-perfect Brit, rose to #22, practically reversing his slide last month. I’m not sure exactly triggered Bell’s gains, but I did catch a few minutes of Billy Elliot a couple of weeks ago, perhaps triggering memories of Bell’s hotness in movies like Mister Foe and Dear Wendy. The less-talented but equally beautiful Lucas Till saw a minor setback, but something says me we’ll see more of him. And there more I see him, the more I like what I see. Having said that, I might as well admit that I have watched this Taylor Swift video several, only to look at Lucas. Finally, I have to point to Dan Stevens’ very impressive #24 showing. Sure, that’s down seven spots from July, but this is a guy whose only noteworthy acting credit was in The Line of Beauty, and who will probably not get much exposure elsewhere. Keep this high under such conditions is nothing short of impressive.

#31-40: Now that the Harry Potter series is the most commercially successful movie franchise of all time, I’m not exactly surprised to see that it has also fostered yet another potential heartthrob. Freddie Stroma’s appearance in The Half-Blood Prince may not be big, and his character may not be among the most likable, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. Stroma looks a little like a young Ryan Phillippe, and alongside Dan Radcliffe, he ensures that the movie has plenty of eye-candy. If the 36th placed newcomer doesn’t fall victim to the dreaded so-pretty-he’s-boring syndrome, he could be in it the for the long run. Potter rides (insert erotic broomstick metaphor) the movie momentum to #35, up six since last month. Like Lerman and Radcliffe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt too proves the benefits of having a new movie out. In the 500 Days of Summer trailer, JGL’s look is back to his super attractive Mysterious Skin days, and I’m not one to complain.

In other franchise-related news, we have the dramatic decline of Matt Prokop. As I believed I said last month, he was set to drop before I coincidentally rewatched HSM3, and thus this may have been in the waiting for some time. I’m having trouble explain exactly why he fell so low, however, but my feelings about him vary almost on a daily basis. He sure is cute, but in a almost boyish way, which sometimes creeps me out a little. Speaking of slides, both Leonardo DiCaprio (by twelve) and Jay Brannan (by nine) are down. When I don’t fear of either of them however, it has to do with two things. Regular readers should know by now that Leo’s performance on the SMA is filled with ups and downs. He surged on the back of Revolutionary Road, only to fall back the next month. Now the same seems to have happened with the DVD release of Total Eclipse. I see no reason why won’t bounce back when his next movie hits theaters. For Brannan, I have a sense that someone whose (sexy) voice is in my ears constantly will probably manage to hang on. The release of In Living Cover and the continued strength of Goddamned has practically made me addicted to him.

#41-50: The same month that it seems like serial returnees Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe may have gotten their breakthrough, we also bid another welcome back to Ed Westwick. He was reintroduced briefly with his small role in Son of Rambow, but the fact that I can’t exactly explain why he has re-emerged this time may signal that he could be less vulnerable to the attention of the moment. Going in at #41 certainly is a promising sign. Equally positive is the arrival at #46 of McFly’s Dougie Poynter. Yes, I know it’s a little low, and I know he’s got some pretty awful tattoos, but he’s also got a face that reminds me of Jamie Bell. British gaymag Attitude is obsessed with his band, so I suppose I’ll get my regular fix. Stars aligning for this guy? 

Over on the negative, it’s that time of year again for Rafael Nadal. With U.S. Open underway, his five spot slip could well be reversed by October. It will take some real effort from Cristiano Ronaldo if he’s to avoid taking the route of Aaron Carter and Chace Crawford, but I would definitely be sorry if he fell off. Part of the problem is that now that he resides in Spain, my ball-watching (pun unintended) eyes won’t be on him constantly. That said, it’s not like that helped him much in his months at Manchester United either.

As blockbuster summer turns to Oscar-baiting, it looks like time’s running out on Star Trek‘s Chris Pine. I wouldn’t count him out definitively, but a fourteen-spot slide is brutal. At the moment, his best hope may be to become one of the steadfast 40’ers; those guys counted out many times already who always live to fight another month. Rhys Wakefield’s rise to #44 is one of the sunshine stories, and Brady Corbet should also be counted in this category. With the exit of Michael Pitt the argument sounds a little less convincing however. After a good few months in late spring, Mitch Firth may now be joining the club, having seen the same merciless slide as Ronaldo in recent months. But, as I have said numerous times before; with him, as with people like Chris Egan, Zac Hanson and Leonardo DiCaprio I feel some sort of loyalty. I fully expect him to be back in October.

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

  1. jay says:

    I’m shocked top see Matty P’s placing , i do think disney had high hopes for Matt and his titanic tresses , but he didn’t cross over with the audience the way they expected .

    Lovely of course to see actors , actor – Logan so high . And Giant Nick too , I can’t wait to see him in Clash of the Titans !

    • queerlefty says:

      I sort of expected that reaction to the MP news, Jay ;) He may bounce back, though.

      I love that Nick Hoult’s keeping himself busy, and while it certainly looks awful, I’ll take to the movies to see Logan in ‘Gamer’. First, though, I’m looking forward to ‘Taking Woodstock’.

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