HOLLYWOOD—That's what it might have been called. As if they'd been assigned their own throne from whence to lord over the evening, talent agent Mark Spiegler and his band of beautiful Spiegler Girls commanded the center table at the 28th annual XRCO Awards Thursday night at The Highlands nightclub. And there, the trophies piled up higher than at any other spot in the room.
All but three of the women who picked up XRCO "Heart-On" plaques at the ceremony for their individual work were Spiegler Girls, and two of those received a pair: Jessie Andrews for Best Actress and New Starlet, and Asa Akira for Superslut and Female Performer of the Year. What's more, movies built around both girls won big honors of their own; respectively, Portrait of a Call Girl scored Best Epic and Asa Akira Is Insatiable 2 Best Gonzo Movie—both from the night's next biggest winner, Elegant Angel Productions.
In addition to the aforementioned duo of accolades, Elegant's Big Wet Asses took home Best Gonzo Series, and exclusive directors Graham Travis and William H. were crowned (again, respectively) Best Director – Features and Best Director – Non-Features. Axel Braun, too, collected an unsurprising bounty of trophies for his proliferous efforts behind the camera; specifically, his Spider-Man XXX: A Porn Parody (Vivid Entertainment Group) took the new Best Parody – Comic Book award, This Ain't Ghostbusters XXX (Hustler Video) nabbed Best 3D Release, and he himself was named Best Director – Parody.
But the festivities were about much more than just the accomplishments of the past year. In fact, one might say the overall theme of the evening was flashing back to porn days far prior. Founding XRCO member William Margold started the ceremony off with the Hall of Fame inductions, something usually reserved for much later in the show but which he said would from now on become the first order of business.
Even before that, however, Margold brought up director Bryce Wagoner to introduce the trailer for his forthcoming documentary After Porn Ends (which for some reason continued to play in a loop, sans sound, on all video screens throughout the remainder of the event). In the movie, Margold and a number of other former performers including Randy West, Richard Pacheco, Seka, Asia Carrera, Houston and Crissy Moran discuss the paths of their lives following their exit from the sex-on-camera spotlight.
Repeatedly emphasizing the importance of knowing the history of those who came before you, Margold then called up the first of the four Hall of Fame inductees present, Luc Wylder, and his wife Alexandra Silk to present him his trophy. Silk reflected on how she'd met Wylder through VCA owner Russ Hampshire 20 years ago, and joked that in the years since, "He's seen more pussies than Siegfried and Roy." Taking the trophy in hand from her, Wylder mused, "Years ago I realized I was starting to shoot girls who were younger than my daughters; now I'm shooting girls who weren't born when I started shooting porn."
The next inductee was director Miles Long, who also went into the AVN Hall of Fame this year. After Long expressed humble thanks to contemporaries and predecessors including Jeff Mullen, Michael Ninn, Chris Streams and Barry Wood—as well as wished his wife a happy birthday and thanked her for spending it at this show—Margold, who in recent days had publicly criticized the choice of Long for Hall of Fame entry, commented, "I've heard a lot of acceptance speeches over my years at XRCO, and that was a very humane acceptance speech. This gentleman has earned his induction into the Hall of Fame."
Taylor Wane took the stage next to present performer/director Vince Vouyer his Hall of Fame Heart-On, remarking that she'd thought she was going to be presenting Jesse Jane hers, and had gotten all worked up to "kiss her and touch her vagina." Nevertheless, she happily did the honors for Vouyer, who reminisced, "It all started back in 1994, March 11, with my good friend Alicia Rio. She got me in the door with my first amateur shoot. It was pretty hair-raising. I came four times with one girl." He went on to note that he'd "just hit the 18-year mark" last month.
Before the last Hall of Fame presentation, to Julia Ann, Margold brought out a special guest to say a few words, and asked the room to pay her extra respect—demanded, actually, that they give her a standing ovation, which they obediently did. That guest, who he informed the audience had been the very first XRCO Heart-On Girl in 1985, was none other than Amber Lynn.
"I just wanted you to see what a real legend looks like," Margold proclaimed. "Bask in her glow."
Lynn recollected the days of shooting porn in the San Fernando Valley before it was legal to do so—and how she and her fellow actors would keep their clothes set aside just off-camera so that they could throw them on post haste in the event of a raid while the crew zoomed off in a getaway vehicle.
Finally, another performer of yore (though more recent yore, as in the '90s), Lana Sands—who announced that she is back to shooting—presented Julia Ann with her Hall of Fame trophy, effusing, "You are beautiful, sensual, amazing, and I am so honored to present this award to you."
Ann graciously remarked, "When I started, I didn't think much about it, except I thought, 'This is going to be my job now.' And then it continued to be my job, and now it's become my passion, for lack of a better word. It's great to be recognized for your job, whatever it might be."
She then passed on some valuable advice to the younger talent in attendance: "My agent used to tell me, always be nice to the people you see on the way up, because they're the same people you're going to see on the way down."
Fittingly, it was an old compatriot of Ann's whose presence caused the biggest stir of the evening: her former partner in exotic dance duo Blondage, Janine Lindemulder. Also there to make her return to performing known, Lindemulder joined Chanel Preston and Digital Playground contract girl Stoya to present the first actual awards of the show.
From the audience, BurningAngel regular Brian Street Team shouted out, "Janine, I want to fuck your face!" Preston, hearing him over the customary XRCO Awards din, responded, "Everybody does."
A few other long unseen faces who made unexpected appearances were Steven St. Croix, Taryn Thomas, and the biggest bombshell of all: from the far reaches of his Kettering, Ohio home, XRCO co-chairman "Dirty" Bob Krotts, attending the event in the flesh for the very first time.
Easily the most memorable presenter of the night was Dana DeArmond, who greeted the crowd with: "Hi, I'm Dana DeArmond. I need attention."
Shortly thereafter, as her fellow Spieglerette Jessie Andrews was approaching the stage to collect her Best Actress trophy, Dana cooed, "My Baby Jessie! I'm so proud of you. This is the proudest moment of my life. I'm so happy that I didn't abort you!"
The final two awards, Best Epic and Best Release, brought Amber Lynn back up to the mic to serve as their presenter, after which the show's co-hosts, Kayden Kross and Dylan Ryder, took the stage for the last time and Kross offered the following send-off: "Today we want to leave you with this: Peace out, motherfuckers! Good night everybody!"
From there, it was off to The Highlands' rear wing for more drinks, pictures and merriment by all.
The 2012 XRCO Awards were sponsored by Wicked Pictures, Deep Throat Energy Drink, IAFD.com, Evil Angel, Jules Jordan Video, Smash Pictures, X-Play and Pipeline Multimedia. For a complete list of winners, click here.
Photo of (l. to r.) Brad Armstrong, Axel Braun, Chanel Preston, Manuel Ferrara and Tommy Pistol, courtesy of IndustryByRick/EMMReport.com.