The most talked about guy on TV these days ain't on CSI, he's not Bill O'Reilly or Letterman, it's not "Earl". It's almost Jeff Conway but certainly not Tony Danza.
He's Santino Rice.
The towering, beady-eyed, ponytailed, stilleto'd "Project Runway" fashion designer is on the tip of everyone's tongue, polarizing the nation at the speed of our President. EVERYBODY - from the 14th floor janitor at 30 Rock to the American Airlines flight attendant who served me coffee yesterday - has an opinion about Santino. There's rampant speculation all over the internet regarding his sexuality, many thoughts about why he wears stilettos (see "Designing for a Socialite"), and exclamations in every direction about whether he's super-hot or super-not.
For the record, he's said in interviews that he's bisexual. As for the stilettos, it's a statement! You gotta have a gimmick.
On one thing almost all agree, the designer is very talented. He's won two challenges, counts Nicky Hilton as a fan, and gets a lot of attention for his designs alone.
"Santino is the designer that will surprise you with the risks he takes. You can't ever discount his strong point of view - and that's what makes him a compelling designer," executive producer Rich Bye says. "The judges always respond to risk taking over playing it safe."
"Runway" fanatic and supercool actress Kristen Johnston is already betting that Santino and Nick Verreos will make it to the final three
But is he a villian? You see, people are reacting very strongly against he and his big personality. Thus the call I take every Thursday morning from The Voice of the Heartland in St. Louis, Missouri.
"I can't deal with that Santini! He's not nice! I can't watch him!"