Stars Shine at XRCO Awards

Tod Hunter

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) held its 29th awards ceremony on Thursday night before an invited audience of adult industry luminaries.

The ceremony was held at Supperclub, a converted Hollywood Boulevard movie house, a venue change compelled by the shuttering of longtime XRCO venue The Highlands, at the Hollywood & Highland Center. The relatively-small, high-ceilinged venue offered a main room with concentric large upholstered seating areas surrounding a dance floor which was filled with large tables for the ceremony, and an antechamber featuring a bar and mingling area.

The ceremony began with the presentation of new Hall of Fame inductees by XRCO founding member William Margold, who first paid tribute to director/cinematographer Jane Waters, director Fred Lincoln, and ‘70s Golden Age performer Harry Reems, all of whom died in the past year. The new Hall of Fame members were inducted by people close to them: notably, Alexandra Silk was inducted by husband Luc Wylder; Evil Angel General Manager Christian Mann’s award was accepted by AVN founder Paul Fishbein, a last-minute substitution when Mann’s cancer treatment precluded his attendance; and performer/director Jonathan Morgan was inducted by longtime collaborator Rebecca Bardoux.

“Of all of the Halls of Fame that are out there, the XRCO actually means something to me,” Morgan told XBIZ. “They really take the time to choose who the people are who are going to be in it. And I’m surprised that Julia Ann is still alive,” he added as Julia Ann walked up to congratulate him.

Receiving a Hall of Fame award for his production “The Fashionistas,” director John Stagliano reflected “I sold a lot of them, and then I blew all that money in Las Vegas on a dance show,” referring to his live “The Fashionistas” show that ran for three years in Las Vegas.

Following the Hall of Fame presentation, the awards show was hosted by “Dirty Debutantes” creator Ed Powers and Misty Stone, assisted by “Heart-On Girls” Maddy O'Reilly and Lilly Evans. Powers got everybody’s attention by announcing “The bar is now closed” before following it up with “Just kidding.”

Axel Braun made three trips to the podium, winning Best Parody – Comedy for “Star Wars XXX,” Best Parody – Comic for “Superman vs. Spider-Man XXX,” and Best Director – Parody for his work over the year. “This is great,” Braun said. “I just had a baby so I haven’t been getting much sleep.”

“A lot of people worked really, really hard on ‘Star Wars XXX,’ and we’re glad that it did as well as it did,” screenwriter Bryn Pryor told XBIZ. “Vivid’s been great in supporting it and we’re working on the next two now. That’s going to be monumental.”

“Thank you, thank you so much, critics,” an excited Vicki Chase said upon winning Unsung Siren. “I want to thank everybody at XCRO for this awesome, special award.”

Steven St. Croix won Best Actor for his performance in “Torn” for New Sensations and left the back of the room to accept his award with a succinct “Thank you to XRCO,” getting a laugh before returning to his party.

Receiving Best Epic for his “Voracious,” Stagliano thanked XRCO “for putting my movie in a different category from ‘Wasteland’ so I could win. I was getting a little pissed that ‘Wasteland’ kept beating me.” Stagliano was prescient: A few minutes later, ”Wasteland” won Best Release, and Powers ended the show with a triumphant, “It’s a wrap!”

After the hour-long ceremony, the tables were cleared from the dance floor and the after-party began, with the public admitted to join in the celebration.

“Everybody was really happy. The kids were having fun,” William Margold, who habitually refers to members of the adult industry as "kids," told XBIZ after the ceremony. “There’s a vibrancy in this crowd that I haven’t seen for a long time. I don’t know long it’s going to last with all the impending gloom and doom, but right now maybe there is hope. There are a lot of happy kids in the industry right now.”

Some of the attendees—in no particular order— included Kayden Kross, Tessa Lane, Jessica Drake and Brad Armstrong, Tracey Sweet, Eric Swiss, Devon, Kiki Daire, Anikka Allbrite, Mick Blue, Jessie Andrews, Valentino, Marcus London and Devon Lee, Tony Montana, Lacey Logan. Ana Foxx, Chanel Preston, Megan Vaughn, Evan Stone, Alex Chance, Brandy Aniston, Mr. Pete, Erik Everhard, Melanie Monroe, Nina Hartley, Dyanna Lauren, Ron Jeremy, Amber Lynn, Max Hardcore, Julia Ann, Lana Sands, Darla Crane, James Bartholet, Odile, Manuel Ferrara, Tanya Tate, Glenn King, Holly Hollywood, Sophie Dee, Venus Lux, Jack Napier, Leya Falcon, Cousin Stevie, industry attorneys Allan Gelbard and Michael Fattorosi, directors Roy Karch, Mo Reese, Kevin Moore, Tim Von Swine and Will Ryder, and talent representatives Tee Reel, Shy Love and Mark Spiegler.

The complete XRCO winners list is available here.

Photo of Ron Jeremy and Amber Lynn by Gia Jordan.