WATCH: Sorry Piers Morgan, Gays Can Be Pole Dancers (Not Just Smokers)

Thanks to a handy heads up from Queerty reader Areta Marie, we’ve just been schooled about our old friend  Steven Retchless‘ amazing work on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, where the champion pole dancer has landed in the semifinals. Since the 24-year-old’s first outing on the show, judge Sharon Osbourne hasn’t been able to contain her enthusiasm, while Howie Mandel remains somewhat bemused and Piers Morgan (a.k.a. Britain’s Donald Trump) can’t hit his “No” buzzer fast enough. Yeah we get it, Piers: you’re not gay, just English. Overcompensate much?


America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9pm EST on NBC.

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  • Nice Sean (formerly Sean, and Sean from england.)

    Seriously Piers, get with program, British people love the gays now. I apologise America, some of our people have not quite “gotten the memo”.

    Also I’m stealing Sharon for Team GB, she lives here, we love her, she’s ours.

  • steve

    Why does Piers get any air time?

    He’s ignorant, he’s self serving and… not even attractive. NEXT!!

  • Snark

    Piers Morgan’s homophobia is pathetic. Instead of judging the dance from an artistic perspective, he can’t over come his views of pole dancing as purely sexual. How is pole dancing any different from the athletic dancing presented at Cirque du Soleil?

  • theo

    I miss Larry King

    Piers Morgan is just awful, they need to cancel his show

  • mick

    Well, while I don’t doubt Piers is not giving the kid his due, he does have a point. AGT is about finding a Vegas show. Will a male pole dancer be enough to carry a show? Sort of like the yo-yo kid. It’s a neat talent that, i’m sure, takes incredible amount of dedication, but…after about 5 minutes what is the point? are the “masses” going to pay to see it? It it really a million dollar act?

    I can see it being PART of something larger, but the ONLY thing? not really. Yes it’s athletic, yes it’s difficult, yes it’s artistic, however, the cirque shows are not one guy on a pole… is the point I think he’s making.

  • jason

    British people are amongst the most homophobic in the world. Don’t fall for the bullshit propaganda that the Brits are gay-friendly.

  • Aaron

    When appearing on Britains got Talent it was regularly Simon Cowell who could not buzz the likes of Hoop Lala etc fast enough as anything seen to him as overly camp or too obvious was not appropriate for the royal family, despite Amanda’s over the top enthusiam for them, Piers always defended these acts saying its part of being British and what makes the show unique, too be the good guy to Cowells Bad…so It always confused me as to why on AGT he was foul in his comments to the likes of the Britney Impersonator or Dorae the Tina Impersonator…it makes me think he actually doesnt know where he stands he just makes his opinions up as the shows go on in order to secure his place as a judge. After all If you Like everyone like Sharon, or only support obscure and somewhat needless acts like Howie your role as Judge easily replacable.

  • JWilliamson

    Sorry, but I agree with Pierce on the buzzing (I didn’t bother sticking around for his comments, mind). It was an incredibly dull pole dance and he fumbles it twice.

  • JWilliamson

    @jason: Perhaps in your neck of the woods? I’ve only ever encountered two instances of homophobia in the last decade (in Britain).

  • Aaron

    I agree with @JWillamson in response to homophobia in Britain. I lived in the east end of London for 20 years and essex for 10, and have never encountered Homophobia. Yet experienced it profoundly in the three months I lived in Boston MA, and Florida.

  • Kev C

    Can we deport Piers Morgan? We also need to add Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay to the terrorist watch list so they don’t enter this country.

  • Kelly

    He is awesome!!! I am in a pole dancing class level 4 and he does stuff that is so very hard and requires lots of strength!! Good for him!! Who cares if he is MALE!!! Keep it up!!!

  • Nice Sean (formerly Sean, and Sean from england.)

    I agree with @JWilliamson too. I’m from Devon, I’m out to everyone I know. Since I left school, I have not had a single homophobic incident. My coworkers are supportive, my family etc etc.

    Stop slandering our good name. We love the gays, now if only we stopped hating on the transpeeps and the Americans…

  • Nice Sean (formerly Sean, and Sean from england.)

    @Kev C: “The bad TV show watchlist”
    “I’m sorry sir, but by royal decree, and that of the government, you are too much of an arse to return here.”

  • Rikard

    are we really defending this “act”? his first turn barely rose to the novelty level BECAUSE he’s male. his make up and costume were jr high drama club halloween. his moves are ok, good. i’d cheer for him on a pride day float, or tuck a few bills in his jock, but i’m not buying a ticket to his show. there’s a reason he’s not a cirque star.

  • christopher di spirito

    The phone hacking noose can’t tighten around Piers Morgan’s snooty, limey neck fast enough. I can’t wait for him to be arrested and deported.

  • Philip

    Piers: Were I you, I’d worry more about being a 4th rate replacement for Larry King whose flop sweat can be seen from outerspace.

  • CJ

    It’s called, “American’s Got Talent” and yet 2 of the 3 judges are from the UK. Just seems a bit ironic. Why not just get a couple of Chinese people on there to judge “American’s Got Talent” since they now own the USA via Walmart, Dell & other companies that basically make everything over there? Now, we’re outsourcing our news people (Piers vs. Larry King) and our judges on “American” talent shows. Anyway. That’s my rant, even though I love Sharon on the show (and like Simon AND will watch X-Factor when it comes out). Piers can leave and I’d be fine with that.

    In regards to Piers, my biggest beef with him is that he’s turned the Larry King hour into another biased political show and keeps saying “WE” every time he refers to the USA. As far as being a talent judge, sometimes he is good – and sometimes I disagree with him. In regards to THIS particular routine, he’s not judging it on the artistic merits, he’s just judging based on that it’s a “pole” dancer. Like I said, he can leave these two shows and I’d be fine with that.

  • Irish-boy

    wow I fucking love it! Marry The Night is such a beautiful song

  • gherkin

    He’s lying about the hacking – send him back across the pond to face the music, but no, men should NOT be pole dancers.

  • fredo777

    Thanks to who? What the hell? I gave Queerty the heads-up about Steven on AGT the very first day he auditioned.


  • Ginasf

    I don’t normally watch that show, but I did see Steven’s beautiful act. How anyone could observe what he does and make some uncomfortable glib joke about “only women should be doing pole dancing” made me sick. Steven is an artist at what he does and didn’t deserve that shallow, witless display of homophobia from Morgan. At least Sharon Osbourne gave him the unqualified admiration he deserved (I notice Howie whats-his-name also had to make some uncomfortable joke).

  • Daez

    What do you guys honestly expect? You honestly believe some straight guy is going to give a thumbs up to a gay pole dancer? In this country? Maybe the two straight men on the panels felt like they needed to protect their image.

    The even more scary thing in this case is that when you say gay or lesbian most people think you are like this dude.

  • Dallas David

    Unless I’m badly mistaken, this kid is going to do more than just get married tonight.

    As for Piers Morgan, well, some people would complain if the lynch mob used a brand-new rope to hang him. Just no appreciation for class.

  • fredo777

    @Daez: I can think of much worse things to be thought of as.

  • jeff4justice

    There appears to be a few LGBT contestants on the show this year. They don’t come out but more or less it’s conveyed.

    Anyway if you don’t like Piers Morgan as a talk show host, check out the very gay talk show on YouTube Conversations For Connecting. See example at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIRgLf2LBIU

  • Irish-boy

    @fredo777: haha it’s not “Im gonna get Married tonight” it’s “Im gonna Marry The Night” – Lady Gaga

  • Frank

    Piers is just another bloke..even sounds a bit Cockney…next !

  • lambillio

    wow im amazed and ashamed at the comments here. i read all the comments on youtube (which is much less queer than queerty, mind you) to this guys videos and they are overwhelmingly positive. even straight guys say they “would fuck him.” see, this is the perfect example of how we hate on ourselves. (*see piers morgan, marcus bachmann, and all the other closeted haters).

  • jack e. jett

    piss morgan is so wound up within himself. he should sign up with grindr and be done with it.

  • jason

    If you live in gay ghettos in London, you get an incorrect impression of attitudes to gay people. Step out of the ghettos and try holding your partner’s hand – you’ll be spat on in no time.

    The simple fact is that London’s gays think they’re accepted when in fact they’re not. In the mainstream, they’re not accepted.

  • timncguy

    My question is why are there so many British and Australian “hosts” on American TV shows? Aren’t there enough talented Americans to do these jobs? Isn’t it bad enough that corporations keep outsourcing jobs to other countris. Now, American media companies “insource” their employees from other countries. Americans can’t even have the jobs in America now.

    2 British hosts on “America’s Got Talent”
    Piers Morgan taking over for Larry King on CNN
    A New Zealander hosting “The Amazing Race”.
    An Australian hosting “Love in the Wild”.
    Martin Bashir, from Britain, hosting a news program on MSNBC

  • JKB

    Piers is a hacker…the fuckwad/

  • Louisc

    @timncguy: You forgot! Howie’s from Canada!! So basically all 3 judges are from other countries.

  • Carl

    @jason: What a load of nonsense – I live in a small former-mining town and have encountered very little homophobia (been called a few names in 18 years is the sum total of the homophobia I have experienced), both in my home town and in general. The UK in general is very, very tolerant of differences – I implore everyone to ignore the rubbish Jason is saying about this great country!

  • Carl

    Also, exaggerate much Queerty with the “fast enough” comment? The act last for 1 minute 40 seconds and he buzzes at around 1 minute 15 seconds – hardly a swift decision. Further, the act is dull and uninspiring – yes, it’s physically impressive but I got bored 20 seconds in, I seriously can’t see it supporting an entire act.

    Piers’ comment is pretty narrow minded though, although it gets a roughly equal response of boo’s and cheers from the audience. These shows though, there is *always* a “mean” judge and I get the feeling he has been handed that card, because on the UK shows he usually explains why he has buzzed someone in a reasonably intelligent and polite manner.

  • fredo777

    @Carl: Dull + uninspiring, my ass. He’s phenomenal at what he does.

  • Michael

    Piers isn’t too hard to figure out…. He slams on that buzzer the moment he starts getting wood. He’s pathetic and I’m still don’t understand how he’s some celebrity.

  • Interesting

    It may not be for Vegas, but then who would have thought Cirque Du Soliel was for Vegas?

    Hope I got the spelling right. The point is- his act is very much like theirs. So claims that he can’t contend is bullshit. He’s like ballet on that pole. very creative. He would have to do a lot to up his game, but he does have a game.

  • Interesting

    @timncguy: Agree it does seem odd that the Brits are heading up a show about America’s Got Talent.

  • bluechip244

    Piers Morgan is a major tool. Where the hell did he come from anyway? Take your homophobic, boring, snobbish ass back across the water. Of all the people they could have sent over here, we have to be stuck with that bloody bloke. You could see the homo hatedness on his face as he was trying to justify not liking a male pole dancer and it was pitiful.

  • Seaguy

    Piers is the same guy who “banned” Madonna from his CNN show in a pathetic attempt to get publicity and boost his ratings. Madonna never wanted to come on his show to begin with.

  • Alex Sarmiento

    The winner of AGT gets $1,000,000 and headline a live show in Las Vegas. Well, to be exact, the winner headlines a live show in Las Vegas with OTHER AGT contestants. I’ve watched the show for many years, and there have been only two acts with million-dollar talents and true Vegas potential: Terry Fator (the singing ventriloquist who won Season 02) and 2010 finalist Prince Poppycock. Prince Poppycock would have won were it not for that overrated Jackie Evancho and that overrated white dude with a guitar named Michael Grimm (the eventual winner). Nowadays, you have to be a precocious pre-teen (Jackie Evancho, Bianca Ryan, Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Ronan Parke, Australia’s Got Talent finalist Jack Vigden), a white dude with a guitar (Michael Grimm and Kevin Skinner), a relatively mature person who never got a break (Susan Boyle and Kevin Skinner), someone with a manipulative sob story (too many to name), or someone with any combination thereof to really get the judges’ attention. I liked Terry and Prince Poppycock partly BECAUSE they didn’t fall prey to AGT stereotypes.

    Oh, and Piers Morgan can fuck off. Shouldn’t he be hacking into some dead girl’s cell phone or something?

  • Dome

    Good lord this blog is insufferable, much less the video itself. Are we to sit back and be feminised in the name of PC until the notion has pervaded every media context available?

  • Dome

    Oh sorry, letting a tiny part of our population speak categorically for the whole is really INCLUSION, I forgot.

    Because that’s really the impression that the mainstream is getting of gays….

  • fredo777

    @Dome: On that note, who gave you license to speak for the whole of us? You certainly don’t speak for me. Especially not if your idea of gaining respect is jockeying for the approval of the mainstream.

  • Aaron

    @jason: Couldnt disagree more, was out in Hackney and lived on murder mile as a teenager and young man. Never had any disrespect additionally I worked for an african religious organisation and within a muslim organisation in the work I do and me and my partner were fully accepted in all circles, invited to functions and made great friends with people that usually get stigma’d as homophobic. Maybe it depends on areas and people I dont know, theres good and bad everywhere, but from my background I’d like people to know peoples experiences are different and we (British) and London itself are not generally gay bashing twats.

  • Aaron

    Maybe as far as reality TV is concerned the answer may be to petition the studio so that Sharon and Piers come back to our BGT and Xfactor and America gets David Hasslehoff and Kelly Rowland back, at least then the panels would be more reflective of the societies their supposedly speaking for even if their ofter wrong or controversial.

  • lambillio

    @CJ: i think the reason why all these brit/foreign judges and hosts are on these shows is because the shows themselves (and producers) all come from other countries. contrary to popular belief, not all ideas for great tv come from the us. in fact, a huge chunk of our reality and game shows (and otherwise) come from britain. i still agree we could get some americans up there. and NOT the likes of david hasselhizzy…

  • GayBachelorBlog

    Why is America’s Got Talent judged by 2 Brits and a Canadian?

  • Carl

    @fredo777: I said physically he was good, however the act itself is boring. Someone gyrating around a pole is not entertaining in any way shape or form, doesn’t matter how impressive it is physically – boxing is impressive physically, but I still find it boring and tasteless. Had I been there I’d have buzzed after 20 seconds, not 20 seconds from the end.

  • fredo777

    @Carl: Your review is boring. Too bad Queerty isn’t equipped with its very own buzzers.

    Somebody bust out the comically-large vaudeville hook!

  • Guillermo3

    Isn’t it a god-damn shame we waste so much of our lives on bad t.v. and commenting on Queerty?!

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