GLENDALE, Calif. — In 2008, Giana Taylor had an idea. She wanted to bring forth an ethnically diverse awards show to honor her friends, colleagues and the industry as a whole. With the help of show-runner Alexander DeVoe and publicist James Bartholet, that idea became less of a pipedream and more of a reality.
“Alexander DeVoe and I had the idea at the same time,” Taylor told XBIZ. “He really pushed me to go ahead and make it happen. We were directors at that same time, and we just felt that there needed to be a show that was more ethnically diverse, to say the least. So we came up with Urban Spice Awards, which happened in Studio City in 2008. We then renamed the show to the Urban X Awards the following year, and it continues to be the Urban X Awards now.”
The first-ever show, despite Taylor’s initial fears, was a success. It’s been a hit since, she said.
“I was afraid the first year no one would show up,” she added. “And then people pulled up in limos and we were at no capacity. I had never done an awards show, so everything was a trial and error. I had to figure out what was right or wrong. Every year we learned more and more.”
DeVoe, Taylor added, used his production skills to help the show prosper. But, if the show was brimming with success … why step away in 2012?
“I’m a mainstream model and reality star,” Taylor explained. “I had to personally take some time away from adult and focus on myself. I was really thrown into the adult world, and I kind of forgot my mainstream roots. It was more of a personal decision to stop the show then.”
This year, Taylor, DeVoe and Bartholet returned to the venue which hosted the first-ever Urban Spice Awards — the Stars On Brand event hall in Glendale, Calif.
“I have been with them since the beginning of the show, I applaud them for what they’re doing,” Bartholet said. “I’m more hands on this year, too. But … Urban X Awards isn’t just a black award show, urban means everything and it’s all people of all color, that’s urban. When you think urban, you think of urban people wearing urban wear. It’s not just one people of color or one ethnicity. It’s everybody. What this awards show is doing this year, is we’re adding more diversity.
“The fact that we’ve added in web companies, the best toys … the best trans and the best gay websites,” he added, “we have these categories that we’ve never had before. This is a celebration of all of us in the industry. If there’s anytime in the industry that has needed unity it’s now.”
DeVoe agreed with Bartholet adding, “Going forward, we will drop the seperation of categories into ‘ethnic’ classifications, as it is our position to have a show where we celebrate all as one industry!”
And unify and celebrate the industry it did. Last night brought together performers of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds for one fun-filled night, hosted by Luna Star, Ana Foxxx, Jada Stevens, Mia Isabella and guest emceeing by none other than Bartholet, the industry’s residential cool cat.
Wearing a well-fitted gray plaid suit, accented by a poppin’ purple bowtie and matching ombre pink/purple sunglasses, Bartholet’s eccentric attitude riled the crowd up to get the show started.
“We’re going to show there’s unity!” Bartholet boomed into the microphone from the side of the stage as comedian Chris Sneed joined him on stage. “All races, all religious backgrounds … everyone! We are thankful that you are here to celebrate with us.
“Everything is going to be really wonderful,” Bartholet assured. “Is everyone happy?! Everyone pinch their nipples!”
Only several members of the audience pinched their nipples, but everyone did laugh. Then, Sneed pumped up the crowd by asking if they were ready to “get lit in this fucking house!”
Beautiful hosts, Star and Foxxx, took the stage wearing similar latex dresses (Star's was pink and Foxxx's a sexy red) as Sneed walked to the side. Along with Bartholet, they announced the hall of fame inductees and welcomed them on stage.
The inductees included Brad Armstrong, Farrah Foxx, Roxy Reynolds, Pinky, Cherokee, Jazmine Cashmere, Lisa Daniels, Carmen Hayes, Asa Akira, Jada Stevens, Sky Black, co-host Isabella, Rebecca Bardoux, Prince Yahshua, Tony Eveready and John E Depth.
Following brief speeches from the inductees, it was time to announce Orgasmic Oralist. Cuties Sadie Pop and Zoey Reyes announced Aaliyah Hadid as the winner. Foxxx and Star then welcomed the winners of Best Romantic Scene, Lexington Steele and co-host Star for Evil Angel’s “Lex’d.”
“We’ve both been in the biz for awhile,” Steele beamed while holding his award in one hand. The other arm was wrapped around Star. “This was our first scene together! And I want to thank Evil Angel for that opportunity, and the Urban X Awards for throwing this show. Thank you.”
Best Black Release went to Armstrong’s “Ethnicity.” Looking dapper in a sleek, all-black suit, Armstrong took center stage and cradled the trophy in his arms. He invited the cast of “Ethnicity” to join him on stage, stating the film was a group project.
“Where’s my people at!” Armstrong smiled while asking for everyone to join him on stage. “I was excited about an all black cast. It doesn’t happen enough. Everyone worked so hard!”
Up next, Foxxx was joined by BBW performer and hall of fame inductee Farrah Foxx and Sienna Hills in announcing BBW Star of the Year.
“Once you go BBW, you never go back!” Farrah joked, before announcing Sofia Rose as the winner.
Best MILF Performer went to Kendra Lust and Rising Star Female went to Adriana Maya, who was also not in attendance.
In between the next announcement, Star and Bartholet playfully complimented each other’s outfits before announcing Jenna Sativa as Best All Girl Performer.
Then, in one fell swoop, Bartholet announced RealityKings.com as Best Company Website, Bad Dragon as Best Novelty Company, Chaturbate as Best Webcam Company Website and BreedItRaw.com as Best Gay Website.
Abella Danger and Kira Noir then took the stage together to name the recipient of the Industry Pioneer award.
“I would be nothing without this man!” Danger exclaimed, holding the card in her hand. Noir proudly shouted Mark Spiegler as the winner. He gave both girls a hug before taking his award and exiting the stage. “Papa Spiegler!” Danger joked as she followed him off the stage.
Returning to the stage in new outfits, Star now donned a purple dress, while Foxxx wore black thigh-high boots, a matching latex-esque black skirt and a strapless pink shirt. Together they welcomed Carmen Hayes and Havana Ginger to announce the winner of Best Breasts.
“Everyone likes perky breasts!” Hayes cheered into the mic. “These ladies have enough for the big tit enthusiasts!” After the nominees were announced, the ladies on stage faked a drum roll and announced veteran performer Sara Jay as the winner.
Jay’s breasts bounced with her enthusiasm, accentuated by her tight blue dress. “I didn’t wear a bra tonight because of this! I had a feeling. I’m constantly adjusting these motherfuckers. I picked them out myself, so I feel like I deserve this now.”
Tia Cyrus and Redhead Barbie presented Best Latin Release, which went to Hard X’s “Latin Asses 3,” and Nicest Booty was then given to Roxy Reynolds.
Male Performer of the Year was presented by Lexington Steele, who offered words of encouragement to black male performers. “This is a tribute to Sean Michaels,” he said. “We come from his family tree. I want to recognize those who don’t get recognized. JC Brown, his name is JC Brown. Kudos to JC Brown, he needs more respect. Prince Yahshua, too!”
The award went to Isiah Maxwell, who like Steele wore a classy, all-black ensemble. “God dayum!” Maxwell exclaimed. “I didn’t expect this, but thank you Urban X for the recognition!”
As he walked off, Foxxx boasted into the mic, “I sucked that guy’s dick this week!”
Best IR Release went to Blacked.com’s “Kendra’s Obsession.”
“We had so much fun,” Maxwell beamed. “Thank you, Greg! We had so much fun.”
Bartholet announced the nominees for Best Transgender Performer of the Year, and joked that Ron Jeremy was amongst the hopefuls. After everyone had finished chuckling, he named Sunshyne Monroe as the winner.
Best Asian Release went to Evil Angel’s “Reamed and Creamed.” Following the announcement, Bartholet called for a 15 minute break.
The stars mingled amongst each other, moving between the banquet area and the bar, catching up and telling stories. The lights were dimmed, almost romantically, and a purple hue filled the entirety of the venue — making the ambience sexy, too. Patrons of the event could get a drink, or take a break and smoke hookah at one of the available smoking stations.
During the break, independent recording artist Lex Lu acted as the half-time entertainment. Petite and with a shining personality, she dominated the stage for two lively performances, before the hosts of the second half of the show, Jada Stevens and Mia Isabella, took the spotlight.
Stevens and Isabella welcomed founder Giana Taylor to the stage, where she gave a heart-warming thank you to all the supporters.
“Thank you to the sponsors,” Taylor said. “Thank you to the nominees, the fans, the presenters … we’ve been gone for five years, but we’re back now! The Urban X Awards is about unity. I didn’t create a show to alienate anyone. I want those deserving of these awards to receive them. I need everyone to stay positive! Tonight we drink, smoke hookah and chill. That’s what Urban X Awards is about.”
Bartholet, again, announced a handful of winners. Best Trans Website went to BigDickBitch.com, Best Fetish Release went to “Fetish Fanatic 21,” Best Female Website went to PinkyXXX.com and Best Male Website went to LexingtonSteele.com.
Then, Sneed called for a a moment of silence for those lost this year including Lori Alexia, Ron Ellis, Stacey Cash and Alicia Tyler. Farrah Foxx took the mic and offered some peace for Sidney (Scented) Kisses, too.
Isabella and Stevens announced “Little Red: A Lesbian Fairytale” from Bree Mills as Best Girl/Girl Release, while Riley Reid took home IR Star of the Year and Ricky Johnson was named Best Male Newcomer.
He accepted his award wearing an oversized mascot head in the shape of a bear, with nicely ironed black pants, white accented shoes and white shirt/black slim tie combo. A look fit to rival Daft Punk.
Social Media Star went to Asa Akira, who was unable to attend the show. Armstrong accepted the award in her honor, and joked as he walked up stage. “You guys are looking at me like I’m not Asa! And you’re right! I’m Brad from Wicked. She’s an amazing online presence. Thank you from Asa!”
The crowd yelled in unison, “You’re not Asa!” To which Armstrong responded, “I said that! I’m not Asa, but I’ve been inside her multiple times!”
Rounding out the show, Greg Lansky was named Director of the Year and Featured Movie of the Year went to Armstrong's “Ethnicity.” Once again, he invited all the cast members to join him on stage. He passed the trophy along to everyone who joined him, before taking it back on his way off the stage.
To close the show, Nyomi Banks presented the crown jewel of any event — Female Performer of the Year. The crowd went silent as Banks opened the envelope, announcing Misty Stone as the winner! The audience erupted into applause, marking the end to an exciting return of the Urban X Awards.
With the lights dimming, and people looking to catch their Ubers either home or to the after party — it was clear that Taylor, DeVoe and Bartholet successfully unified the industry, if only for a night.
XBIZ photos of the Urban X Awards program can be accessed here.