Avn Noms: Yesportal.com Article


It is that time of year again, time for two of my favorite holiday traditions. First, AVN has announced their annual award nominations. As the industry’s leading publication, the burden falls upon AVN to pour over thousands of adult movies and pick the best of the best in nearly one hundred categories. As their award list has grown, so has collection of nominations. This year the complete list comes in at just over fifty pages. Rather than going over each and every award, we’ll just hit the highlights. For a complete list, visit http://www.avn.com/imagearchive/05/58/32/55832Nominations.pdf The second tradition that comes with this time of year is second guessing the AVN nomination list. Since they are kind enough to give us so much to peruse, the least we can do is strap on our helmets and do a bit of Monday morning quarterbacking.


The over-specialization of the awards has made the list of nominees somewhat ridiculous. Separating movies shot on film from those shot on video makes sense on one hand. There is a different look and feel to film, However, passing out nominations and awards for every conceivable sexual pairing in both film and video categories is ludicrous. It’s just a way to make sure that everyone gets a little recognition. Understandable, but does anyone really think that the best three-way scene on film needs to be separated from the best three-way scene on video? In recent years, AVN added awards for ethnic themed movies and lines, but have now taken things several steps further by handing out awards for sub-categories for specifically Asian, Latin and Black movies.

Awards for performers have also increased over the years. Originally the best male and female performers were recognized with a third award going to the top new female. New male performers are now eligible for their own award, as are transsexual performers. These are logical expansions onto the base, but separate awards are now given for European performers even if most of their work is done in American productions. This should probably be re-named the “Rocco Siffredi Exemption Award” because one could argue that Rocco could and even should win the award for Male Performer of the year every time they hand it out. The Euro-cross over is so complete that having separate awards for foreign is silly. Let’s not even get started on the fact that Brandon Iron and Erik Everhard are Canadian yet are not considered “foreign.”

In terms of individual movies, Vivid’s “Heart of Darkness” earned 14 nominations in the film category, narrowly beating “Compulsion” from Elegant Angel which had 13. On the video side, Adam & Eve’s western “Rawhide” did one better, earning 15 nominations, one-upping Wicked’s “Beautiful.” Even with all of the nominations garnered by these titles, there is no runaway favorite this year. None of the movies up for 2003 can match the momentum that Evil Angel’s “The Fashionistas” had going into last year’s awards.

Most interesting to porn fans, the individual performer nominations are my favorite as well. Let’s take some time to check out who AVN has singled out recognize this year. The starlet of the year award along with best male and female performer make up the big three. This year’s nominees are as follows.

Female Performer of the Year

Sunrise Adams
Ashley Blue
Bella Donna
Jessica Darlin
Olivia del Rio
Jewel De’Nyle
Bridgette Kerkove
Devinn Lane
Ashley Long
Carmen Luvana
Gina Lynn
Taylor Rain
Savanna Samson
Aurora Snow

As usual, the list is dominated by Contract starlets (Or ex-Contract starlets) from the big companies. Seven of the fifteen women are under contract, though only Vivid has more than one. (Sunrise Adams & Savanna Samson.) The two previous winners (Jewel De’Nyle & Aurora Snow) made it onto the list. There is at least a nod to raincoater favorites like Ashley Blue and Monique this year. Traditionally this award goes to women who spend most of their year starring in features even if most ordinary fans are watching gonzo and all-sex movies. With some of the most deserving female talent showing up in the list of European nominees, it’s hard to argue against any of these women. Some of the more glaring omissions would include Sabrine Maui, Loni and Avy Scott. Many people felt that Belladonna had an unbeatable year last year and though she lost to Aurora Snow, one would have to expect that she is the front runner this time around. Put you money on Bella with Taylor Rain or Aurora Snow as your longshot contenders.

Best Male Performer

Jay Ashley
TT Boy
Erik Everhard
Brandon Iron
Nick Manning
Mr. Pete
Randy Spears
Steven St. Croix
Lexington Steele
Michael Stefano
Evan Stone
Mark Wood

This is a pretty simple list. With the addition of a separate foreign list, some of the top males in the business are missing. In reality this should be a two man race again this year. Lexington Steele and Erik Everhard are the only guys on this list worthy of winning the award. Guys like Randy Spears and Steven St. Croix deserve all of the acting trophies they win, but this award should go to the best sexual performer and no one here is on the same level as Lex and Erik. That said, there is clearly a very strong second tier this year that includes Brandon Iron, Mr. Pete and Michael Stefano. These guys are all very good and would be vying for top notch were it not for the big two at the top of the mountain. There are some big omissions here as well including Mandingo, Lee Stone & Brett Rockman. Personally I think cutting some of the deadwood and bringing in guys like Rocco, Nacho, Manuel Ferrara and Steve Holmes from the foreign nominations would make for a much stronger field.

Starlet of the Year


Alaura Eden
Ander Page
Ashley Blue
Bella Maria Wolfe
Cindy Crawford
Crystal Ray
Jesse Jane
Kaylani Lei
Lauren Phoenix
Mary Carey
Rachel Rotten

This award almost always goes to a contract girl so it’s no shock to see Cindy Crawford, Daisy, Jesse Jane, Kaylani Lei, Mary Carey and Stormy on this list. That doesn’t mean that these women aren’t deserving. In fact, I would put my money on Stormy or Jesse. Many popular new females made their mark too late in the year to really show up on AVN’s radar. Selena Silver, Vicky Vette and Ariana Jollee top that list and become instant favorites for next year should they stick around long enough to enjoy the fruits of their popularity and hard work. My list of omission for this category is almost as long as the list of nominees. It amazes me that a group of writers could manage to leave Sabrine Maui, Melanie Jagger, Amee Donavan, Loni and Kitty off of such a long list.

With thousands of movies to choose from, hundreds of nominations to make and a list of categories that is growing faster than Ron Jeremy’s belly, it’s a wonder the writers at AVN can come up with a list at all. We can second guess all we want (and we shall) but in the end, it’s AVN that chooses the AVN awards and the rest of us get to sit back and pontificate on how we could have done better. Ahhhh tradition!

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