By: Al Ballesteros
Tony Ardolino (Tony Cannoli), the 2022 Mr. Gay World USA crowned winner and the First Runner up Mr. Gay World now finds himself looking for love as one of the contestants on OUTtv’s new reality television series For the Love of DILFs.
For so long reality type dating shows like The Bachelor were all that existed and finding LGBTQ focused entertainment like this was limited. This new, fun, easy to watch reality TV show is refreshing, light hearted, exciting and now available for those of you who love DILFS.
For the Love of DILFS puts five Daddies and five Himbos in one gorgeous mansion with an open bar and plenty of drama. Adelante Magazine’s favorite contestant Tony Ardolino, accomplished actor, director, LGBTQ+ author of the book “Gill the Merboy.” and current Mr. Gay World USA is one of the five Himbos. Tony is fighting his way to get a DILF. The cast is a group of sexy gay men looking for love, but the show is hosted by the iconic Stormy Daniels, who serves as master of ceremonies as well as friend (and sometimes counselor) to the men, who are in the house looking for a real love connection.
The end goal of For the Love of DILFS is to pair up two groups of gay men and have them get to know one another, to see if there’s a connection. In the end, for one lucky couple, not only will they find love, but if they’re voted to be most likely to succeed as a couple they will take home a cash prize of $10,000.
Tony recently competed in South Africa representing the United States in the Mr. Gay World Contest where he placed as first runner up. It was a close contest and in the end, the stats showed that Mr. Gay World Puerto Rico received the title ahead of Tony by a just a tenth of a point. He
The event was held in Cape Town, South Africa in October 2022 and featured 10 contestants from around the world. “It was the best of the best that showed up to compete. Everyone was so different, diverse in races and cultures, it was like the gay Hunger Games and I was a New Jersey version of Katniss Everdeen with a suitcase full of costumes I made and a great pair of freshly waxed eyebrows. ” Tony laughs.
Tony’s mother traveled to the contest to support and cheer him on. “My mom surprised me, I was originally going to go alone and out of the blue, my mom calls and says she is coming to South African to be with me. It felt good that she went there to be with me because my mom is my best friend and to have her there meant the absolute world to me. I wish I little me could see it now. I so scared his that his mom would never talk to him again if she found out he I was gay and here she is cheering me on in South Africa waving the US Flag.” “My parents have always been my strongest supporters.”
Tony says the contest was very intense and a lot of fun. From interviews to press conferences, the contest kept them all quite busy. They visited an orphanage for children and a safe space for LGBTQ youth. They had sports challenges and nightclub appearances. But when pageant day started, they all had to be at their best.
Adelante: Did you feel any pressure representing the United States at Mr. Gay World?
Tony: A little. Going into Mr USA I felt like the underdog. I made all my costumes, I didn’t have millions of fans in the audience, I just trusted my creativity and had fun. One thing about the World pageant was there was no talent category, so I had to be sure all my looks were on point and my answers were meaningful. Everyone was so great, I just had to keep reminding myself that I was here for a reason and enjoy every second of it.
The contest had four rounds of looks and judging. The first was a national costume, then a swimsuit, sportswear and finally evening wear. The contestants wore traditional type or iconic fashions from their native countries and that seemed to bring a sense of national pride for the contestants and quickly distinguished the regions of the world.
Tony’s chose and made outfits that represented different cities in the US. He wore a swimsuit that was iconic American Baseball oriented with a Texas-like feel. His formal wear was based on a New York City, glitter type look and something fun for NY nightlife. His national costume was larger than life where he sported Captain America and his casual wear signified an LA / West Hollywood look.
Part of the contest awarded points for answering a question. Tony’s question was about Conversion Therapy. In which at the end the audience applauded with a standing ovation. “Conversion therapy is a disgusting idea from people who are fearful of things they don’t understand mixed with judgement and hate. They are trying to kill our magic. Because that’s what being gay is…magic” “They may try to clip your wings, they may try to tint your sparkle, but they will never take away our magic.”
The winning spots were awarded with metals for First, Second and Third places.
Adelante: Did you make any special connections with the other contestants?
Tony: Mr. South Africa, Shanon Kannigan is like one of my best friends now. He always kept me laughing. He was my best friend the entire time. He loves fashion and was not afraid to be himself. I made a connection with Jhapett Raymundo, Mr. Philippines who I found to be such a great person. We had somewhat of a language barrier between us, but he and I got to communicate them through song lyrics, we would sing songs together all day long.
Adelante: Besides the contest, how did you like the country of South Africa?
Tony: It was amazing. I wanted to explore South Africa because who knows when I would ever get the chance to be there again. Mr. South Africa was so gracious in taking me around to see the city. The people were amazing, the sights were beautiful, and the food?! So good! I just enjoyed every second of it. I went on a safari with my mom and explored a beach inhabited by penguins. We played soccer with the locals and ate all the delicious sea food. You get one life in this world and I had to keep pinching myself as I watched the clouds pour over the great mountains. I’m just so humbled by this amazing life I live. Such a great adventure.
For the Love of DILFS premiered on January 31, 2023 on OUTtv. There are eight episodes and contestants get eliminated each week until a lucky couple is chosen, a DILF and a HIMBO. Tony is very different from the other HIMBO contestants. He presents as a Boy from Jersey that has lived in LA, NYC, and Singapore and has toured the country performing. He lives in New Jersey and spends his days working out, making people laugh and teaching. He recently published is own book called Gill the Merboy. He’s very different from the other contestants and we think this gives him the advantage.
Adelante: Besides love, what are you looking for in a DILF?
Tony: I’m looking for someone to laugh and go on spontaneous adventures with. Someone who is not just my boyfriend but my friend also. I think we all love the idea of love. We romanticize it. Finding Prince Charming though sometimes is harder than you think. Once upon a time sometimes starts with a “hey, unlock your album.” I find myself just open to anything nowadays. I just want someone with a great sense of humor, dreamy eyes, and a good credit score hahaha kidding.
For the Love of DILFS is available in the U.S. via OUTtv.com, the OUTtv Apple TV Channel. Unlimited access to OUTtv.com is available for $3.99 per month in Canada and the US.
The Mr. Gay World Contestants included: Jesus Castillo-Perez, representing Chile; Kevin Drabek of the Czech & Slovakia Republic; Max Appenroth representing Germany (first transman to compete); Jhapett Raymundo of the Philippines; Jose Lopez-Duvont of Puerto Rico; Shanon Kannigan, South Africa; Roberto Molina-Gimenez representing Spain; and Tony Ardolino representing the United States.