Chicago, IL —
The U.S.A. Mr. Gay preliminary contests are over and now the judges will select the candidate who best represents America's "boy-next-door."
When he's chosen, he will then compete against "Mr. Gay" winners from Germany, Australia, Hungary, Philippines, Iran, Lebanon, Israel and the Vatican City (just to name a few of the 40 representatives) for the Grand Finale title of International Mr. Gay.
Both competitions happen in Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 27-28, in the desert city's new Convention Center.
The event will be hosted by Bruce Vilanch, star of "Hollywood Squares" and "Hairspray," and co-writer for awards shows such as the Oscars, the Emmys and the Tonys.
"Mr. Gay" winners from twenty cities nationwide, including Chicago, will compete for the U.S.A. title on Friday, Oct. 27.
On Saturday, Oct. 28, the new U.S. Delegate will go against 20-plus international delegates from around the globe; heating up the desert valley faster than the summer sun! The winner will hold the worldwide title of International Mr. Gay 2007.
According to program organizers, the number of contestants has grown from twelve at last year's inaugural competition to over forty this year.
Chicago's Erik R. Sosa
(pictured) was selected during preliminaries to represent the Windy City. Born in Mexico, Sosa is an American citizen and calls Chicago home. He was honored with Vox/Out’s Emerging Voices of Style+Design Award and remains on the frontline of the Chicago’s art scene. Sosa created the commemorative poster for the 2006 Chicago Gay Games.
Since there isn't currently a Mr. Gay Chicago competition, something Sosa hopes to change, he was chosen as the Chicago finalist from the pool of Chicago entries by the Mr. Gay Competition organization. "The thing I am most excited about is producing the Mr. Gay Chicago show for next year," said Sosa. "Working with key bars and people, the community will help choose the best individual to represent Chicago."
This winter, there will be a call out to applicants at various Chicago bar venues and judges will pick the best "Mr. Gay" with finalist from these bars competing for the "Mr. Gay Chicago" title.
For more information, visit www.mrgaycompetition.com
contributed to this report.