Zac Efron Takes SMA Title For May; Nicholas Hoult Snubbed

Having been on hiatus since February, it felt like the right time to bring back the regular edition of the SMA. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy doing the ‘Twenty over 30’ edition in April, but since the inception of this blog, the SMA has sort of become part of its backbone. But it’s easy to see that it has been away for awhile. When I discarded with the March edition, Nick Hoult of A Single Man looked set to dethrone Logan Lerman and take the top spot he had been angling for ever since the very first SMA. Sure enough, Logan Lerman, offered little help from my watching Gamer, was dethroned, just not by Hoult. Rather, Me and Orson Welles helped Zac Efron to top honors. The June DVD release of A Single Man should give Hoult a prime opportunity to take what was once his, however.

In a broader view, Adam Brody rockets up 14 spots to take the Climber of the Month mantle, while Chace Crawford, drops 15 spots and posts the steepest decline. We have a total of three newcomers, two of whom, The Last Song’s Liam Hemsworth and Valentine’s Day‘s Carter Jenkins, managed to score a place on the list very much in spite of the movies that brought them to my attention. Logan Huffman of V also made it, after having simmered just below the top 50 for months. Serial returnee Daniel Radcliffe reprises his signature act this month, and he’s joined in that by Ryan Phillippe, who was catapulted back on a hefty wave of nostalgia. The list of those relegated includes two February returnees and a newcomer, Jody Latham/Chris Pine and Andrew Garfield, respectively, but even longer time staples like Shad Moss, and particularly Alex Pettyfer, who climbed as high as #9 in July 2008.

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.

On that note, let’s break it:

#1-10: Hoult may have a fair shot at being #1 sometime this summer, but the problem is he doesn’t lose Efron. Sure, Charlie St. Cloud looks like something that could make The Last Song seem like complex stuff, but the trailer and photo stills are unsurprisingly amazing for fans of Zac Efron. Even if there was a cure for watching execrable movies for the eye candy, I’m not I would have taken it. It’s gonna be a hard fought summer on the SMA. But Nick Hoult wasn’t the only one to suffer from the long SMA holiday. Back in late February/early March, when I saw him in the competently charming It’s Complicated, he was a very serious contender for the top spot, mainly competing with Nick Hoult, but the wait gave Efron time to gain strength, and suddenly Parrish found himself somewhat shut out. Moreover, he was one of many factors that made It’s Complicated a surprisingly pleasant experience.

In the lower half of the first tier, however, the spotlight is on Jesse Eisenberg. I saw Adventureland a couple of months ago, and it was as irresistible as Jesse himself, and before that I saw him in The Education of Charlie Banks. Adventureland had a refreshingly light touch, while Charlie Banks double on its own seriousness, and in my opinion succeeded in creating an engaging story. Anyway, Jesse’s charm and tenderness added much to both, and reminded me once again of why geeks are sexy. Elsewhere, it’s that time of year again; the syndicated 7th Heaven rerun have come around to the seasons in which David Gallagher grew into the sort of icon he is for me, and predictably he’s on the rise. Zac Hanson’s rise is halted somewhat, but next month’s release of the new studio album Shout It Out at least ensure he’ll have plenty of exposure in the months to come. Not that I think he’d need it.

#11-20: Where to begin? Let’s give credit to Adam Brody for his meteoric rise to #20. It was fueled entirely by my decision to rewatch the first season of The O.C. I still love that show, all those years later, but now there’s even a nostalgic taste to it. I’ve been meaning to write an Early Gay Crushes piece on Brody for years, and hopefully I’ll now get around to finally doing it. With regard to his future prospects on the SMA, he would, however, be in better shape if I didn’t have such seemingly insurmountable problems getting through the first half of season two. I love the second half, but I don’t find a way to get there, his exposure might simply dry up. The same lack of attention could easily fall on Chris Lowell, but he continues to build on his February momentum, and advances further, to #18, his best showing yet.

In other positive news, Queer as Folk‘s Randy Harrison continues to climb as well. He was among the few who had good news to report even when the SMA was absent, coming in at a very respectable #8 on the Twenty over 30 edition, and I’m still under his spell. Fellow climbers include Nick Jonas and Twilight‘s Taylor Lautner. Jonas has benefited from stills available from the upcoming season of his mostly dreadful family sitcom, while Lautner’s surge is, at least in part attributable to the large space that Eclipse takes up in my calendar of mostly unexciting summer premieres. New Moon paradoxically was a worse movie but a better experience than the first installment, and I have to admit that Lautner played a large role in that. Watching the Twilight movies tends to make both gayer and more cynical than usual, but what I like about are that while the characters are laughably self-serious, the movie is cinematically and aesthetically playful. I’ll go elsewhere for brain candy, though.

I’ve been saying for a while now that Jesse McCartney’s authority on the SMA has been weakened lately. He has been going up and down, but the general trend has been that he no longer is a serious candidate for #1. I’m not sure what caused this, but after a brief rise in February, he lands his worst showing yet in May, dipping eight spot to #15. The irony of the SMA however, is that by writing him off in this way, I could actually be doing him a favor. He has pretty much ensured that I’ll be giving him more attention, to make sure that he’s not treated unfairly. But as I’ve said before, the key to renewed success for him on the SMA probably is for me to reconnect with the Jesse McCartney of his Summerland days. I’ve said things to the contrary before, but now I prefer his blond look.

#21-30: The third tier has mostly minor changes to report, with two almost random exception. First, Kevin Zegers dips six spots to #22. At some point we have to ask how long he’ll be able to deliver on the continued of Transamerica, but the long list of people who have earned distinguished careers on the SMA based on previous merits, I’m not all that worried yet. He is still well within the typical Kevin Zegers margin of error. If anything, he may have been artificially high on the list in February. Matt Prokop’s SMA history suggests unpredictability, but also a proven ability to bounce back. But ideally, he should have been able to benefit from the fact that I rewatched High School Musical 3 recently. Unfortunately for him, then, I have some standards, which means I refuse to see his upcoming Furry Vengeance.

On the mildly positive side, Jamie Bell is lifted back into the twenties, courtesy of a TV screening of Hallam Foe, and Gaspard Ulliel, who I’m still not sure how got onto the list in the first place, gets a boost as well. I don’t think I’ve ever watched any of his movies, but his classic beauty has a tendency to shine through no matter what, defying the old rule about how the most important is to be visible and to have new projects in the works all the time. I feel like I complement him every month, but the same is still true for Ryan Donowho, and now even for Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who still hasn’t quite recovered after having been a second tier contender not that long ago. Now at least he rises to #28.

#31-40: Let’s get the bad news out of the way: The kind of collapse Chace Crawford had this month is something previously associated with his Gossip Girl colleague Ed Westwick, who has been all over the place for his entire career on the list. As always with Crawford, it comes down to the boring vs. beautiful discussion, and after a good run, it seems boring is well positioned to win again. That said, this he fell from a very high showing, and dropping 15 spots to #32 actually is a fairly average showing for him. But the trend line is not good, of course. Even though I had expected another one of those on a downward trend, Leonardo DiCaprio, to make better use of the attention (the seriously underrated) Shutter Island got him, he’ll be doing just fine. And in July, we’ll finally get to see Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

But it wasn’t all gloomy for the old nineties heartthrobs. After a surprise relegation in, Ryan Phillippe is back with a vengeance. Not only did he land the #3 spot on the April special edition, now he returns to the SMA at #37. Watching 54 (1998), I was suddenly remembered exactly why he was an Early Gay Crush. Sure, back then it was all about Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but I think 54 was his hottest moment. It didn’t hurt that he was shirtless for practically the entire movie (and even naked in one scene). In unrelated happy news, we welcome Carter Jenkins, and hope he’s able to outlast Valentine’s Day, the awful movie that made it possible. Ed Speleers, who on a different note had another disappointing month, is proof that the quality of your movies doesn’t have to mean anything if you’re cute enough, but for Carter Jenkins, even that is too early to tell. I have to admit, though, that if one of his key scenes in Valentine’s Day hadn’t involved him running around naked and showing off his glorious abs, I’m not sure if would have been included on the list. Liam Hemsworth faces much the same challenge, down to the awful movie and movie of him naked lying around the web.

41-50: Since he has already been cited as a textbook example of massive declines, kudos is due for Ed Westwick. Apart from that, the bottom ten are notoriously short on bright spots. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jay Brannan, Dougie Poynter and, to a lesser extent, Corbin Bleu, faces serious dips, and when you’re so close to the relegation zone, that has to be unpleasant. Likewise, Logan Huffman’s debut at #44 is a little shaky, and the track record for guys who debut in the forties is not encouraging. Daniel Radcliffe is of course a positive, but his on-again-off-again relationship with the SMA makes it too risky to deliver any predictions about how he’ll do next month. The steady Rhys Wakefield slips a little, but he has shown a remarkable ability to stay above water. At #50, July’s Wimbledon tournament can’t come soon enough for Rafael Nadal. And speaking of the coming months, I would expect an influx of soccer players, as the World Championships open i South Africa June 11.

  1. Zac Efron (2)
  2. Nicholas Hoult (6)
  3. Hunter Parrish (5)
  4. Logan Lerman (1)
  5. Emile Hirsch (3)
  6. Zac Hanson (4)
  7. David Gallagher (9)
  8. Mitch Hewer (10)
  9. Jesse Eisenberg (19)
  10. Luke Pasqualino (8)
  11. Nick Jonas (14)
  12. Taylor Lautner (20)
  13. Ryan Sheckler (12)
  14. Raviv Ullman (11)
  15. Jesse McCartney (7)
  16. Chris Egan (13)
  17. Chris Lowell (22)
  18. Randy Harrison (25)
  19. Taylor Hanson (15)
  20. Adam Brody (34)
  21. Ryan Donowho (26)
  22. Kevin Zegers (16)
  23. Charlie Hunnam (21)
  24. Joe Jonas (23)
  25. Tyler Hoechlin (24)
  26. Gaspard Ulliel (29)
  27. Matt Prokop (18)
  28. Jonathan Taylor Thomas (30)
  29. Jamie Bell (32)
  30. Lucas Till (28)
  31. Leonardo DiCaprio (27)
  32. Chace Crawford (17)
  33. Liam Hemsworth (new)
  34. Ed Speleers (31)
  35. Sean Faris (36)
  36. Cory Monteith (33)
  37. Ryan Phillippe (RE)
  38. Carter Jenkins (new)
  39. Gareth Bale (42)
  40. Mitch Firth (43)
  41. Ed Westwick (45)
  42. Corbin Bleu (35)
  43. Rhys Wakefield (40)
  44. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (37)
  45. Logan Huffman (new)
  46. Daniel Radcliffe (RE)
  47. Jay Brannan (38)
  48. William Moseley (44)
  49. Dougie Poynter (41)
  50. Rafael Nadal (46)
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4 Responses to Zac Efron Takes SMA Title For May; Nicholas Hoult Snubbed

  1. jay says:

    I’m confident that giant nick who was so saintly in a single man will be on ‘top’ come the next SMA ,
    I’m thrilled to see Logan ‘the hunk’ huffman making his entrance and Matty P still popping up . Apparently matty p does wear tighty whities , during the gag reel at the end of furry vengeance .

    I’m also pleased to see Carter Jenkins make an appearance , I haven’t yet got round to watching valentines day , I fear it may be sometime. But the thought of carter keeps the film in my mind .

    With logan lerman , i still feel acting wise their is a lot more to come , I imagine with logan its about the right director , the longer he’s on screen the better he comes across . I notice with taylor he works best when he delivers his lines , smoulders , and finish with a pan around his sculptured bod and then cut .

  2. queerlefty says:


    I really loved Nick Hoult in A Single Man, and I’mm sure he’ll eventually get his turn. Most important, though, is that ASM may have opened some doors for him in America. He needs to keep his career going,

    Logan Huffman is another one of these who have been floating somewhere right below the Top 50 threshold for some time, until he finally broke through the ceiling. I see from the Upfronts that ‘V’ is pushed back to midseason, but that means he’ll still be in the mix.

    As for Carter Jenkins, he’s cute, but I would recommend google some photos instead of watching ‘Valentine’s Day’. I hated it.

    You’re spot on about Lautner.

  3. jessiecarty says:

    I find the detail you go into on these SMA’s just fascinating :) When you mentioned that Ryan Phillipe had a new good showing I thought you were going to mention McGruber!

    • queerlefty says:


      actually, I wasn’t even aware of McGruber before you pointed it out to me, so thanks for that! I kinda hope it’s a stept on Phillippe”s way back, but it doesn”t like it from the box office numbers.

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