2010 Golden Iris Nominees: Physique Model of the Year
If the faces (and physiques) on the left look a lot different than the Midterms line up, it's because more than half of the final nominees were not on July's list. For the sake of purity, we pulled all of the models who also have thriving fashion careers, with the exception of Ryan Bertrocheâ€”whose fashion gigs are primarily modeling underwear for Calvin Klein and Frankie Morello (and he looks like a vintage Physique Pictorial model). But the most important reason the three new gentlemen earned a nomination is that each one upped his game in the second half of 2010.
With the help of a hit show, A-Lister Rodiney Santiago went from anonymous swimsuit model to starring in Rufskin and 2(x)ist ads. Aussie Daniel Garofali parlayed his local celebrity into several campaigns and a gig dancing on TV with Kylie. And Guy Tang's performance art take on physique modeling is redefining both the medium and Asian male sex appeal. Finally, Gay.com reader fave Allen Walker's record number of Midterms votes secured his nomination.
Go below for profiles and photos of the 2010 nominees.
Ryan Bertroche looks like he stepped right off of a 1960s Physique Pictorial magazine cover, which is probably why the former farm boy scored gigs this year modeling underwear for Calvin Klein, Frankie Morello (above left), and Ocean (above center). He also posed in swimsuits for The New York Times and stripped to his skivvies in editorials for Hercules, Attitude, and Wonderland (above right). Armani Exchange model Arthur Sales started on a similar path, and is now a bona fide fashion star. While Bertroche's career path may ultimately look very much like Sales', we're grateful that he's still getting booked primarily for his beefcake appeal. (Above right photo: Xevi MuntanĂ©)
Daniel Garofali made a name for himself as a constant on the Australian club scene. He's also a dancer who's performed with Kylie on TV (shirtless, of course). This has led to Garofali becoming one his country's most in-demand physique models, booking 2010 gigs with Aussie Bum, Marcuse, and OC Oscar Calvo (above center). And whether he's posing as a boxer for Sydney Photographic Workshops (above left) or doing a gay spin on Dr. No's Honey Ryder (above right), the 23-year-old works the camera like a top fashion model. If Garofali were taller (he's 5'11") and slimmer, he would have a serious shot in the world of haute couture. But we like him just as he is, and are quite content with his current career of wearing as little clothing as possible. (Above right photo: Magnus Hastings)
Rodiney Santiago is a perfect example of how one's life can change dramatically overnight. During the spring and summer of 2010, Santiago was just another handsome swimsuit model. The morning after The A-List: New York's October 8th debut, the bronze Brazilian was a gay household name. And Santiago immediately parlayed his new high-profile status into gigs with Rufskin (above center) and 2(x)ist (above right). There's even a 2011 Rodiney Santiago calendar (above left). It seems he's learning to gay-brand himself the same way Reichen Lehmkuhl has done with certain success. And regardless of how one feels about The A-List as a show, or even Santiago himself, it's undeniable that he's now one of the most famous physique models out there. Time will tell if we're still talking about him a year from now, but our gut instinct is that we will.
Oklahoma native Guy Tang believes that "Asian men should be publicly and personally confident in their sexuality." He expresses this philosophy in sexy videos and films on his "DestinAsian" website, as well as, in his amazing modeling work for the likes of Justin Monroe (above left), Rick Day, and Maya Guez (above right). Now residing in Los Angeles, Tang dances at GAMeboi and is involved with Asian Men Redefined, which anointed him cover man of its annual calendar this year (above center). And as much as we admire his mission to dispel stereotypes, what impresses us most is the theatrical energy he brings to physique modeling. Yes, he can present himself as traditional beefcake with the best of them, but in a field that often asks models to just show up and strip, Tang goes the extra mile to help create truly memorable images.
It looked like 2010 was going to be a stellar year for Allen Walker. During the spring and summer, he sat for fine art photographers like Fred Goudon (above center), booked an International Jock gig (above right), and appeared in a Doug Inglish editorial for Out magazine's June/July issue (above left). You guys went cuckoo for the former Abercrombie model from our very first post back in May, and cast nearly 2,000 votes for him in July's Midterms (which secured his nomination today). Thenâ€”as summer turned to fall, and fall edged closer to winterâ€”Walker went MIA. We hope this is because the handsome hunk decided to lay low after all the initial fanfare, rather than a waning level of enthusiasm for him in the industry. But no matter how much we all love him, going two seasons without a gig makes his odds of winning the Golden Iris rather slim.
The Golden Iris Award winner for Physique Model of the Year will be announced on December 21st.
Tomorrow: Photography Book of the Year nominees.
Click here for complete Golden Iris Award coverage.