GLENDALE, Calif.—It was truly a "Night of the Stars," tranny fashion, on Sunday evening, with more than 200 attendees styling and socializing at the Fifth Annual Tranny Awards, thanks to the event's primary sponsor, Grooby Productions. [Update: Final attendance was estimated at closer to 350.]
The evening began a little after 8 p.m., with a red carpet procession that featured almost all of the evening's big stars, with statuesque TS Morgan Bailey—she dwarfed nearly every star coming down the carpet—handling the interviews for Grooby's live netcast of the event. One unexpected guest was now-retired world famous adult star Jenna Jameson, accompanied by AVN's 2013 Unsung Starlet of the Year Brandy Aniston and partner Barry Scott. (Jenna told AVN that she's happy just being a mom to her four-year-olds now.)
But the event's biggest improvement was its venue: The Beyond the Stars Palace on North Brand Boulevard, a genuine theater with its own stage, professional lighting and plenty of seating for guests, several of whom commented that, unlike last year at Joseph's Nightclub in Hollywood, they could actually sit down as the awards were being presented.
This year's hostess was again an alumna of Logo TV's RuPaul's Drag Race—this time, Season 2—and RuPaul's Drag U: the Laotian beauty Jujubee, a model with 10 years' experience in the entertainment industry, who took excellent command of the event stage once the show got started, at around 10:15 p.m. Early arrivals got to hear the guitar stylings of TS Chloe London as attendees fortified themselves with drinks from the full bar, and some even ordered off of the venue's dinner menu, which offered everything from a cheese and fruit plate to a filet mignon with roasted potatoes.
Popular internet radio entertainer TS Michelle Austin presented the first award, the Shemale Yum Model of the Year, to newcomer Jane Marie—the first of three awards the raven-haired actress would receive this evening. Though it certainly wasn't obvious from her dress, Jane Marie said that her pre-show preparations had been sidetracked by a faulty sprinkler in her hotel room, which drenched most of her belongings.
The Best Non-Typical Model Award, also sponsored by Shemale Yum, was presented by female-to-male (FTM) performer James Darling, himself a nominee in several categories, and the prize for the "alternate model" who "[did] things her own way in 2012 and perform[ed] fabulously with aplomb" went to the short-haired, tattooed Danni Daniels.
The presenter of the Best DVD Award, Tempest, treated the crowd to some of her poetry before announcing that Nica Noelle's Forbidden Lovers for Transromantic Films (a multiple AVN nominee) had won the fiercely contested award. Not long afterwards, Noelle's main rival, famed TS director Joey Silvera, took home the Best DVD Director statuette.
Interestingly, Forbidden Lovers' highly rated sex scene between Amy Daly and Christian XXX didn't snag the Best Scene award. Instead, that honor went to the Wendy Summers/Sadie Hawkins coupling, "Managed," from Wendy's website, WendySummers.com. The red-headed actress accepted the award in what might be called "comic book chic" attire: A black latex body suit with a big yellow "X" on the chest, reminiscent of X-Men comics circa 1965. This was also the first award for newcomer Sadie Hawkins, whose work for Sammy Mancini's She-Male Strokers had received AVN nominations.
And speaking of Sammy Mancini, the prolific TS shooter won the Best Photographer/Scene Producer award for his many TS series stretching back nearly a dozen years. Mancini has long been one of the TS community's favorite directors, and this year, they showed their admiration by voting Mancini a Lifetime Achievement (Behind the Camera) Award. He took the stage again to accept that new honor moments after the Lifetime Achievement (In Front of the Camera) Award went to retired star Gia Darling, a 15-year veteran of adult movies who accepted the trophy on-stage with her husband, telling her longtime fans that she truly missed the business, but was happy with her current life and had no plans to return to acting.
It should be noted that this year's Lifetime Achievement Awards were sponsored by top director Joanna Jett, and they came with cash prizes—this time, $1,000—as did several of the other sponsored awards, like Third World Media's Best Foreign Performer award, which cute Asian Rui Matsushita accepted from Third World honcho Ed Hunter.
Morgan Bailey herself presented the newly created Best FTM Performer award to the guy who's done the most to bring female-to-male transsexualism into the mainstream, Buck Angel—whose company, Buck Angel Entertainment, coincidentally was one of the sponsors of the award. Though Angel wasn't present, he did send a video acceptance speech, in which he thanked many of the performers with whom he's worked, as well as event sponsor Grooby Productions.
The audience was somewhat surprised when the winner of the next award, for Best Solo Site, was announced. It went to TS Jesse, and unless there was some error in the printing of the award show program, she wasn't even nominated—a fact of which she was well aware, and had to be pushed up onto the stage to accept. Her acceptance speech was brief and to the point: "I wasn't nominated, but thank you." [Update: Though Jesse's name was missing from the program, she was among the official nominees and her name had been given to the panel of judges.]
Another sponsored award was the Black TGirls Model of the Year, presented to popular performer Chanel Couture.
An intermission followed, featuring a stunning striptease by beautiful redhead Tara Emory, who, dancing to the classic tune The Mating Game, doffed her corseted costume behind a pair of giant feather fans to an enthralled crowd. Her act was followed by a pair of gogo dancers, and several fans came up to the stage to slip dollar bills into the gals' g-strings.
When the award presentations resumed, it was time for Jane Marie's second win, the Reader's Choice Fan Award, presented to her by familiar web performer Natassia Dreams.
The next award was another sponsored one: The Bob's Tgirls Model of the Year, and site proprietors Bob and Melissa Raymond sifted through a host of possibilities to finally decide on their winner, Adrianna Lynn Rush, who in addition to her statuette also received a $500 cash award.
The next award came with the biggest entourage to take the stage: promoter John Ed and his employees and stars from New York City's Tranny Strip, which sponsors TS get-togethers every weekend at the Evolve Lounge. Their selection for their Best Internet Personality award (and its $250 prize) went to the irrepressible Wendy Summers, who seemed delighted that John Ed got the point of her costume: "She's an Ex Man, get it?" he quipped.https://secure.avn.com/avncm/articles/edit.html?mode=edit&contentmap_id=506819
There were also plenty of possible winners for the Best Non-TS Performer award, including such popular performers as Alia Janine, Angelina Valentine and Christian XXX, but the trophy, sponsored by Joey Silvera and presented by TS Tiffany Starr, went to relative newcomer Wolf Hudson, a favorite of both straight and TS performers.
"I want to thank my mother and father for not practicing safe sex," Hudson began, then proceeded to list a number of companies, directors and co-stars that he wanted to thank for helping him with his career.
The Shemale Strokers Model of the Year, sponsored by—well, who else?—brought Stevie Strokers to the stage to present the award to Tyra Scott, a staple on Mancini Productions for more than seven years.
Another category with plenty of competition was Eros.com's Best New Face Award, and though she faced tough competition from other newcomers like Venus Lux, Annalise Rose and Sofia Ferreira, it was Jane Marie who snagged her third win of the evening. Her response? "Call 9-1-1! My pussy is on fire!"
Kink's Kinkiest TS Dom Award was presented by Kink.com employees Kelly Gene and Porno Bobby, and was snagged by internet favorite Jessica Fox, while the iFriends.com Best Solo Model award was presented by stars Amanda Allen and Wendy Summer to Sarina Valentina, who seemed genuinely perplexed when she commented, "I think I won this award last year, too!"
The evening's final award was sponsored by ICM Registry, owners of the .xxx top-level domain, and once again Morgan Bailey took the stage to present the Best Hardcore Performer to TS Foxxy, who beat out such popular stars as Amy Daly, Eva Lin, Jesse Flores, Joanna Jet, Wendy Williams and even Morgan Bailey herself for the evening's ultimate honor.
What follows is a complete list of the winners of the Fifth Annual Tranny Awards:
Shemale Yum Model of the Year: Jane Marie
Best Non-Typical Model: Danni Daniels
Best DVD: Forbidden Lovers
Best Scene: Wendy Summers & Sadie Hawkins in "Managed"
Best Photographer/Scene Producer: Sammy Mancini
Best DVD Director: Joey Silvera
Best Foreign Performer: Rui Matssushita
Best FTM Performer: Buck Angel
Best Solo Site: TS Jesse
Black Tgirls Model of the Year: Chanel Couture
Reader's Choice Fan Award: Jane Marie
Bob’s Tgirls Model of the Year: Adrianna Lynn Rush
Best Internet Personality: Wendy Summers
Lifetime Achievement Award (Behind the Camera): Sammy Mancini
Lifetime Achievement Award (In Front of the Camera): Gia Darling
Best Non-TS Performer: Wolf Hudson
Shemale Strokers Model of the Year: Tyra Scott
Best New Face: Jane Marie
Kink's Kinkiest Tgirl Domme Award: Jessica Fox
Best Solo Model: Sarina Valentina
Best Hardcore Model: TS Foxxy