Details of the 15 finalists in the Mr. Gay South Africa™ 2011 competition have been revealed and public voting, which counts for 25% of the final score, has opened.

“The LGBTI community has a large say in who the winner will be as this vote could be the king maker,” said the organisers.

Public voting is via SMS (each SMS costs R2). No more than 100 votes per day per phone number is allowed; all votes from a phone number that transgresses this rule will be forfeited for the day to prevent automated voting.

SMS the abbreviation GSA plus the number code of your favourite finalist to 34008. A gallery of the 15 finalists, along with their SMS number codes, can be viewed on Mambaonline here.

All 15 will appear on stage at Joburg Pride on 1 October and will be on the gay-friendly cruise from 14 – 18 November on the MSC Sinfonia to Mozambique, during which most of the judging will take place.

A fundraising auction will be held at Barn 52 restaurant in Irene, Pretoria on 30 September when all the finalists will model clothing by Bone Wear and Wonderguy.

“We are grateful that overall, they are a diverse group in terms of personalities, appearance, background and region including the first ever finalists from Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape,” said Coenie Kukkuk, Operations Director of Mr. Gay South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

“We also have our first finalist ever from Indian descent and a finalist who is out and proud about his HIV positive status – which are welcome additions to the line-up. Our participation from non-white entrants is still below par, but there was a growth from only 11% of non-white entries in 2009 to just over 30% in 2011.

“That is an increase of about 10% per year and if this trend continues, the demographics will look much different in a few years time. Our efforts to encourage more black participants to enter will continue”, said Kukkuk.

Prizes for the winner of Mr. Gay South Africa include flight tickets and accommodation by Club Travel Honeydew for seven days in Thailand and a further seven day stay at The BougainVilla Guest House in Phuket, Thailand as well as a year’s supply of Bone Wear, MichaelGamePlan cosmetics, jeans from True Religion, insurance from brokers Gaysure, a photo portfolio from official photographer Kyle Correia De Araujo, formal dress for functions by GF Men’s Wear and many more totalling more than R300 000.

Ticket sales for the Grand Finale on Saturday 26 November at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, in Johannesburg have already opened and can be booked through Computicket or bought at any Shoprite or Checkers.

Profiles of the finalists including a bio, photos and which charity each finalist will be supporting, may be viewed on under the header “Finalists 2011”.

A gallery of the 15 finalists, along with their SMS number codes, can also be viewed on Mambaonline here.

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