Entertainment » Television

Meet The A-List :: New York

by Joseph Gillis
Monday Oct 4, 2010

When Logo came up with the concept for The A-List :: New York, it's first title was Kept, which sounds like a much different show than the one airing on the gay network this week. No, the show will likely be better-known by its nickname :: The Gay Housewives, which makes sense because the reality show is modeled after Bravo's enormously successful Real Housewives series. (It is even produced by the team behind The Real Housewives of Atlanta.)

The show, according to its website, promises to "give viewers a V.I.P. pass into the fabulous - and ferocious - lives of New York's gay elite.  Follow the most envied and sought-after men of New York City as they live the high life hopping from boardroom to benefit to beach house to bedroom.  Watch the drama unfold as they attempt to "have it all" juggling their careers, families, friends and perhaps most importantly, enemies."

But who is on the A-list and where did they come from? Best-known is The Amazing Race winner actor/model (and Lance Bass' former boyfriend) Reichen Lehmkuhl. He's paired with his Brazilian model boyfriend Rodiney Santiago. Joining them is renowned celebrity photographer (Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Dolly Parton, Christina Aguilera) and "RuPaul's Drag Race" and "America's Next Top Model" staple Mike Ruiz. Finishing off the cast is international model (and Marc Jacobs' former flame) Austin Armacost, modeling agent Derek Lloyd Saathoff, and ultra-high-end salon owner Ryan Nickulas.

Here's more on each:

Reichen Lehmkuhl

Reichen Lehmkuhl could be considered the group’s busiest multi-tasker, juggling acting, modeling, writing, political activism and jewelry design in his busy career. Though most infamous for being the ex-boyfriend of NSYNC’s Lance Bass, Reichen is in New York to make his Off-Broadway debut in My Big Gay Italian Wedding. Since his win from The Amazing Race, his credits include: Frasier, The Drew Carey Show, Days of Our Lives, The Young and The Restless, and Dante’s Cove.

"My claim to fame is that I won ’The Amazing Race" and I was in a very public relationship with Lance Bass. And then through being seen together, he was kind of forced out of the closet and it still follows me around. But I don’t like that to represent me."

Mike Ruiz

f any of the six can claim A-list status it ’s Mike Ruiz. A fashion/celebrity photographer, video director, his client list is a "who’s who" of A-List glitterati:  Tyra Banks, Dolly Parton, RuPaul, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, 50 Cent, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.   He has been  seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race, America’s Next Top Model and My Life on the D-List, His photography has been featured in Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler, Interview, Italian Elle, Spanish and Brazilian Vogue. Additionally, Mike has contributed to D&G’s Hollywood book and Iman’s The Beauty of Color beauty book and continues to explore different forms of expression via film, television and music. Ruiz is also a founding partner of elite L.A photography complex Miauhaus Studios.

"Vanity is subjective. I have a healthier relationship with my appearance. I’m not 21 anymore, so I like to take care of myself. I need to stay on top of things. Otherwise things start falling apart really fast. I like to take care of myself and look attractive for my partner and attractive for, you know, everyone. Yes, yes, I’m vain. I’m guilty."

Ryan Nickulas

Ryan Kickulas is a salon owner who owns "one of the most prestigious salons in New York" (his words). He is married to an older businessman named Desmond. ("Desmond is my Mr. Big. Not that I’m really Carrie Bradshaw, but he’s definitely my Mr. Big.") The pair live in a penthouse with panoramic views of Manhattan. Next phase? They are planning to adopt.

"I own one of the top downtown salons. On any given day, you can come into my salon and run into Pamela Anderson, Isaac Mizrahi and Rachael Ray."

Austin Armacost

Austin Armacost is best-known for having a relationship with designer Marc Jacobs, which came to a highly publicized end a year-and-a-half ago. After that, he spent his time between London and Los Angeles continuing his modeling career. Recently he returned to New York and has joined the cast of The A-List. According to the Logo website, "Last time the paparazzi and gossip columns had a field day with him because of who he was dating.  This time, he is braving them alone." There are already intimations that he’s out to get his old boyfriend and fellow A-Lister Reichen Lehmkuhl, so stay tuned.

"My biggest claim to fame would have to be the time I spent with famed designer Marc Jacobs. Our friendship led to a relationship. And then Marc swooped me away into his world that is all luxury and glamour. And I loved it. I just didn’t know how to handle it."

Derek Lloyd Saathoff

Considered the least likely to be on the A-List, Derek Lloyd Saathoff has proven he can hold his own with New York’s gay elite. His successful career in model management has been so successfu he was able to retire before he turned 30. He counts numerous celebrities as his close friends, chief amongst them is hottie Sean William Scott and Lindsay Lohen, who stays at his apartment when she’s in NYC. His name is frequently in NYC’s gossip columns.

"I’m obsessed with spray tanning. If I look in the mirror and I see a pale face, I instantly shriek. I’m like ’AHH, I have to spray tan.’ It’s instant. No one sees me without it. It’s almost like putting on your face. Girls wake up and put on makeup. I wake up and put on a spray tan."

Rodiney Santiago

Rodney comes to the United States from Brazil. Once here he quickly established himself in Miami and Los Angeles as a model. He moved to New York to live with his boyfriend (and A-Lister) Reichen Lehmkul and to establish a modeling career in the city. The question the first episode of the show raised is will their relationship last with one of Reichen’s exes, Austin Armacost, re-entering the picture with his eyes on re-establishing their relationship. Stay tuned.

"Reichen is working all day, and I feel kind of alone, by myself here. And I have to figure out everything by myself. ... Do you think I’m going to find some agents here? Do you think it’s going to be easy?"


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