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Billy Masters

By | 2008-03-27T09:00:00-04:00 March 27th, 2008|Entertainment|

“You can forget all the Emmys. This means more to me.” – Barbara Walters got all choked up when accepting an award from GLAAD for her “20/20” report on transgender children. At the same time, Elizabeth Vargas was sitting home in her feetsy pajamas thinking, “I thought that old woman retired!”

Due to my extreme youth, I never got to see Judy Garland live. But I remember when I was younger seeing videos of Judy near the end and thinking “How sad.” Now that I’m a bit older and (perhaps) wiser, I’d give my left testicle to have seen Garland, Callas, Baker, Piaf, Holiday, etc. – even at their lowest ebb. I was thinking of this when I saw Liza Minnelli last week. Don’t get me wrong – Liza’s nowhere near her worst. But she’s also not vintage Liza. I wondered how the younger moi would have regarded her. I’d likely cringe and feel sorry for her. But, from where I sit now, I feel sorry for the younger me who perhaps missed out on some very special performances.

The truth of the matter is, she is Liza Minnelli, and she never lets you forget it. No one can pretend that Minnelli’s voice is what it once was – in particular, the ability to sustain a note for more than a couple of seconds is tenuous at best. But, in sharp deviation to what lesser performers do, Liza doesn’t avoid these pitfalls. She goes for it whole hog, and lets the chips fall where they may. More often than not, she gets by on sheer willpower. And if the results are somewhat sour, Minnelli had the attitude of, “At least I tried.” In that regard, she’s Mama’s little girl. She gives it her all, and if her all ain’t good enough…well, that’s showbiz.

The audience responded with the love and adoration that Liza seems to need just as desperately as we mortals need oxygen. The lovefest continued through the presentation of a birthday cake (Minnelli’s 62nd birthday was two days earlier), and she responded with a heartfelt a capella rendition of “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

After the show, I was in a roped-off area with some of Minnelli’s inner-circle. She came out and very graciously made her way around to say hi to us all. From the other side of the ropes, a voice kept bellowing “Liza with a Z! Liza with a Z!” And there, all nine feet of her, was Lady Bunny. I guess she figured if she couldn’t get to Liza, she’d make Liza come to her. And, as often happens, Bunny got her way.

Ryan Seacrest finds himself in an awkward position – and I’m sure it’s not the first time. On one hand, he tries to present himself in the league of Larry King and Merv Griffin at the same time as trying to appear hip and down with Justin Timberlake and Fergie. If you think that’s confusing, check out the latest issue of “Details,” sporting an extensively (or is that “expensively”?) Photoshopped cover story on Seacrest. I was struck by a description of his desk: “the only notable feature being a framed photograph of Seacrest and Dick Clark looking eerily similar.” Is it a compliment to tell a 33-year-old (if he’s a day) guy that he’s the spitting image of a 78-year-old stroke victim?

This next story isn’t even remotely gay. And yet, I feel compelled to share it. Last spring, a 21-year-old female college student was flying from Dallas to Los Angeles on American Airlines. Since it was a late flight and she had a whole row to herself, she decided to take a little siesta. During descent, she awoke and noticed that a man had slipped into the aisle seat. Then she noticed he was jerking-off. Shortly thereafter she noticed a sticky substance in her hair. Presumably she saw “There’s Something About Mary,” and realized in short order she had a head full of semen. She says she informed the flight crew, who did nothing. As it turns out, the crew did radio ahead and had the police waiting to arrest the man when they landed 20 minutes later. Anyway, the chick just filed a lawsuit against American for $200K – and double miles! I’m just curious – what did she want them to do? Make an emergency landing? I guess in this case there really was something “special in the air”!

Anna Nicole says Ashton Kutcher screwed her. Well, we know he likes ’em older – but dead? Not exactly. Anna’s reps (read: Howard K. Stern) claim that Ashton’s new show, “Pop Fiction,” is a rip-off of a show the buxom pin-up pitched to E! back in 2004 called “Celebrities Strike Back.” Her show would have celebrities turning the tables on the media – which is indeed what “Pop Fiction” is doing – also on E!. Hmmm…

What I’m sure is far more interesting to my readers is Kutcher’s spread for VMan magazine. The spring issue includes a photo essay following Ash throughout a fictitious day. The photo that has grabbed the most attention is Kutcher standing there in a pair of white Calvin Klein undies and an open white robe while a doctor checks him out with various electrodes. While I’m always interested in a taut, tight, lickable torso, my fans are known to enjoy a tastefully arranged bulge. Of course, Kutch is no stranger to underwear modeling – including his SNL parody of a CK commercial starring Kevin Federline. Still, this is quite impressive and we’ll run the photo on our Web site.

Speaking of Federline, we hear that Britney has been ordered by the court to pay Kevin’s legal bills, to the tune of $375K. That’s a lot of scratch for someone who’s basically tone-deaf! Brit has been put on a $1,500-a-week allowance by an LA Superior Court Commissioner. This will be administered by her temporary co-conservators, one of whom gets a $25K retainer to be on call 24/7, while the other receives $15K a month. Where do I apply for that job??

Our “Ask Billy” question comes from Timothy in Detroit: “I heard Ozzy from ‘Survivor’ did a porno movie. Do you have any details? Where can I see the video?”

I hate to be predictable, but you can see the video at – naturally. One of my friends sent me this clip a few weeks ago, but since I don’t care about “Survivor” (other than my personal involvement with some people on the show), I didn’t follow-up. Since a number of you have written in, I figured I’d do some digging. Apparently, Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth was on an episode of “Foursome,” which is a series on the Playboy Channel. It’s also something I indulge in on most weekends, but that’s another story. Ozzy did the show two years ago and, in sharp deviation to other reality stars who have been caught with their pants down, he’s not denying it. When asked about it, he says: “That was me being young and stupid. The whole thing was me being stupid and needing money. I just didn’t really care too much. I didn’t ever plan on being on ‘Survivor’ or in the public eye. I made a stupid mistake, and it’s something I’m not really proud of. I think since then I’ve grown and changed a lot.” I don’t know how much he’s grown in two years – he looks kinda impressive in the clips and photos we’ll run on our Web site!

When my Easter column includes a bunny, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. No blind item, but you did get a few penises, bulges, and broads – and that was just on Lady Bunny! And a story about semen flying through the air – you don’t get that from just any column. Oh, no – for that, you must regularly check out, which usually has stories that don’t make the print edition. For your questions, feel free to drop a note to me at and I promise to get back to you before Ashton steals an idea from Liza (she’s probably too young for him)! Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.