With the premiere of "Survivor: Panama – Exile Island" just days away (Feb. 2), it's time once again to pull out the ol' Survivor Gaydar™. Because we know there is always at least one.
Armed with only the castaways' photos, biographies and my Google toolbar, I was pretty successful in my prognostications last time, having "nailed" Rafe, so to speak, before the first episode even aired. As for Brian, I think he still just doesn't quite know it yet.
So without any further ado, your guide to what is (potentially) gay about the men of "Survivor 12":
NAME: Aras Baskauskas
WHY HE MIGHT BE GAY: This Lithuanian cutie, who played professional hoops for a time, has come down with a slight touch of Gayface. His condition is serious but isn't necessarily considered to be heterosexuality-threatening.
"Currently single." Opened a "donation-based yoga studio" in South Africa.
"In 2003, he was named one of UC Irvine's 'Most Eligible Bachelors' in the student newspaper." Do they mean "eligible" in a George Clooney kind of way?
Has dabbled in the faux-hawk. Cites favorite actors (John Cusack, Dustin Hoffman), but no actresses.
Favorite scent: "Lavender."
Favorite fruit: Banana.
NAME: Austin Carty
WHY HE MIGHT BE GAY: Austin is my No. 1 seed in the Survivor Gaydar Challenge.
Pretty boy. Model and actor. Educated in "speech communications," a field dominated by the 'mos. Has worked in retail, is currently "single" and has a beauty-pageant sister. Attended that hotbed of man-love, Liberty University. Also has a bit o' the Gayface.
Austin is also a (self-)published author, having written "Somewhere Beyond Here" (available for $13.59 at Amazon.com). It is described as the story of a young man who "transforms into a young boy whose only ability is to depend on the one lady who'll always be there for him: his mother. ... Forgetting his faith, his friends, and his fiancee, Gray lets go of it all to spend time and grieve with his mother. "
As one reader said of Austin, "I think the author may in turn suffer from an Oedipus complex." And, of course, an Oedipal complex is just a short ferry ride from Moville.
Favorite colors: Blue, green. I sense a pattern here.
The clincher for the numerologist in me, of course, is that Austin's birthdate is April 29, or 4/29.
NAME: Bobby Mason
WHY HE MIGHT BE GAY: He's not. And judging from his life in South Central and all the tats he is sporting, he might just kick my ass even for suggesting otherwise. (Did I say "tats"? Hmm, wait a minute ...)
NAME: Bruce Kanegai
WHY HE MIGHT BE GAY: Has the gayest name in the bunch, in the absence of a Scott, a Brian or an Amanda Lepore.
Knows how to handle a snake.
But he has a fifth-degree black belt in karate. Could also probably wipe the floor with me. Hassan Chop!
NAME: Dan Barry
WHY HE MIGHT BE GAY: Is a scientist, a profession not known for its ability to attract dates, but is also a former NASA astronaut, making him a virtual pussy magnet. Was on the first mission to dock with the International Space Station, as hetero-coital a metaphor as there is.
However, Dan enjoys a good showtune and has spent time in "Woods Hole."
Is from the state of gay marriage, Massachusetts, but has been in a straight marriage for 24 years.
Favorite alcoholic drink: Frozen strawberry margarita.
NAME: Nick Stanbury
WHY HE MIGHT BE GAY: Because we really, really want him to be.
Probably the most enigmatic castaway, nothing unrelated to "Survivor" shows up on Google for Nick.
NAME: Shane Powers
Favorite color: "Scarlet." Not red. "Scarlet."
Favorite flower: "Lavender."
In an act of over-compensation, claims one of his favorite scents to be "girls that get the perfume right."
In an act of extreme over-compensation, has fathered a son.
NAME: Terry Deitz
WHY HE MIGHT BE GAY: That shirt.