Juan Lerm, of Pink Loerie fame, has slammed the organisation of the recent ‘Mr and Miss Gay South Africa International’ which was held at the Portuguese Hall in Pretoria.
As reported by www.gayspeak.co.za, Lerm was asked to replace the original MC the night before the May 31 pageant, and claimed that the event barely catered for its staff and contestants.
He suggested that organiser Tony Lorenz spent almost none of the R100 per head ticket sales on “making the evening special for the audience,” which apparently consisted of over 1200 paying customers.
According to Gayspeak, many in the audience were reportedly shocked to see the lack of facilities for such a contest, including the absence of an on-stage ramp and refreshments for the contestants.
“Naming this competition ‘Mr. Gay SA International,’ is laughable,” wrote Gayspeak’s Coenie Kukkuk who scoffed at the absence of regional or provincial trials. Kukkuk also claimed that several finalists have yet to receive anything beyond the bouquet of flowers presented on the night, and that this unprofessionalism was intolerable.
Mambaonline also received a complaint via email against the organisers, directed towards www.coolconnections.us (the ‘official’ website for ‘Mr and Miss Gay SA International’), concerning the reservation of tickets for the event.
According to the writer, who said that Lorenz “was extremely rude and put the phone down on me,” the site had been accepting orders for ticket reservations, despite the fact that no more tickets were available.
While admitting that “there were lots of people who enjoyed themselves on the night,” Gayspeak claims that without the cooperation of the venue owner, as well as Juan’s role as MC, the night would have been an even bigger embarrassment to the gay community.
A contestant, who wishes to remain anonymous, confirmed these allegations, stating that along with the lack of a ramp, “the judging was inaccurate,” and that the venue “could definitely have been more posh”.
Gayspeak says that Tony Lorenz is now planning on organising ‘Mr Gay Universe’ in Pretoria, an event that he claims will be attended by 10 000 people. Kukkuk says that this will be yet another “money-making scheme,” and has opposed the buying of tickets for the event that will apparently go on sale on July 1.
At the time of publication, attempts by Mambaonline to contact Lorenz telephonically have been unsuccessful.