The 2009 AfterElton Hot 100

After triumphing for two years in a row, Jake Gyllenhaal is not the winner of our third annual Hot 100 poll (see the results for 2007 here and 2008 here). So which out man did take the top spot? If you’re
the kind of person who always burns their mouth biting into that piping hot
chocolate chip cookie, you can just cheat and go here to learn who came in
first place.

Here at, we’re thrilled to announce an out
gay man topped this year’s list – especially this particular man as most of us
voted for him as well. In fact, out gay men snagged nearly 20% of the spots,
including the top three. To be sure, we’ve nothing against our straight male
crushes, but it says something great about 2009 that there are so many out men
to choose from.

What we find almost as interesting is the amount of turnover
amongst the gay men on the Hot 100. Missing from this year’s list are gay faves
such as Tom Ford, Rufus Wainwright, Jake Shears and Lance Bass. But gay culture
is so vibrant that there was any number of out hot guys ready to take those
places, including Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham, Broadway star Nick
and American Idol finalist Adam

While Americans make up the bulk of the list, numerous other countries also landed men in the hot 100 including Canada, England, Australia, Germany and Mexico. In fact, more than a quarter of the list hails from outside of the U.S. 

As in 2007 and 2008, actors continued to dominate the list,
taking a grand total of 87 spots, exactly the same number as last year. And gay
men continue to especially appreciate those actors who are willing to play gay,
or at least speak out in favor of gay causes. In fact, more than half of the
straight actors on our list have played gay roles and a number of those who haven’t,
such as Brad Pitt, actively worked against Proposition 8 and other anti-gay

The Hot 100 also continues to demonstrate a healthy amount
of turnover with nearly one quarter of the faces from last year’s poll being
replaced with new ones this year. Speaking of new, this time around we added three new
polls to shake things up a bit: Out Gay Men, Men of Color and Men Over 40. That
means gay and bisexual guys got to say even more about who appeals to them
most, something much needed in our decidedly heterocentric culture.

The highest debut of the year goes to a fellow who made
quite the “splash” last year. Matthew Mitcham’s debut on the list marks the
first time an out gay athlete made the cut, which is another welcome change
when it comes to gay visibility.

As a whole, athletes again only make up a small percentage
of the total, including soccer stars David Beckham and Ben Cohen. It’s
interesting to speculate why more athletes aren’t among gay faves, but given
both the lack of out gay men in professional sports and the fact the homophobia
and sports still too often go hand-in-hand, it isn’t entirely surprising so few
are on the Hot 100.

This year’s list also includes another first: an actual
writer! Academy Award winning writer Dustin Lance Black gets credit for
breaking that particular barrier and showing that, while gay men appreciate a
great smile, dimples and a rocking bod, we also appreciate when that package
comes bundled with brains and talents other than emoting on screen. (In fact,
we can’t tell you how much those of
us toiling here at appreciate seeing a writer make the list!)

The 2009 Hot 100 contains another first as well: our first
politician to make the cut. As if Barack Obama doesn’t already have enough
firsts to fill out his Wikipedia page, he can add first elected official to be
recognized as “hot” by gay and bisexual men.

On the downside, Barack’s debut highlights a problematic and
ongoing issue with the list: its lack of racial diversity. Indeed, coming in at number
40, Barack is the highest-ranking man of color on the list. He’s joined by past
Hot 100 entrants including Darryl Stephens, Taye Diggs and Jensen Atwood. Gael
García Bernal
also makes the list along with Wilson Cruz who returns after
dropping off of last year’s list.

But overall, men of color only took only seven spots, down
two from last year. What we said in 2008 about this issue holds true this year:
most of our Hot 100 winners come from television and movies and, even in 2009,
Hollywood is distressingly white (and straight) when it comes to the product
they put out. While the election of President Obama showed that racism is no
longer the issue it once was, it clearly still plays a role in American

Perhaps things will improve on next year’s list. Haaz
will play a gay character in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie while out actor Guillermo Díaz will be on NBC’s new
hospital drama Mercy. With any luck,
perhaps we’ll see both of them make next year’s Hot 100.

Speaking of that, it’s time to get on to this year’s winners, so
without further ado we present you with your 2009 Hot 100! (And to find out who the ladies named hottest check out the 2009 Hot 100.)

A special thanks to Ed Kennedy for his help in writing this article.

100. Tahmoh Penikett

Rank last year: N/A

Photo credit: kk+/flickr

99. Wilson Cruz

Rank last year: N/A

98. Kris Allen

Rank last year: N/A

97. Jason Mraz

Rank last year: N/A

96. James Sutton

Rank last year: 76

95. Ashton Kutcher

Rank last year: 61

94. Zachary Quinto

Rank last year: N/A

93. Misha Collins

Rank last year: N/A

92. Brad Rowe

Rank last year: N/A

91. Ryan Phillippe

Rank last year: 21

90. Ronnie Kroell

Rank last year: 69

89. Justin Hartley

Rank last year: 88

88. Emile Hirsch

Rank last year: N/A

Photo credit: FilmMagic

87. Trevor Wright

Rank last year: N/A

Photo credit: Barry King/WireImage

86. Patrick Wilson

Rank last year: N/A

85. Nathan Fillion

Rank last year: N/A

84. Matt Damon

Rank last year: 49

Photo creidt: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

83. Jared Leto

Rank last year: 100

82. Dustin Lance Black 

Rank last year: N/A

81. Ben McKenzie

Rank last year: N/A

80. Ian Somerhalder

Rank last year: 62

79. Simon Baker

Rank last year: N/A

78. Orlando Bloom

Rank last year: 65

77. Jude Law

Rank last year: 87

76. Eric Dane

Rank last year: 50

Photo credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

75. Chris Pine

Rank last year: N/A

Photo credit: Fred Duval/FilmMagic

74. Dave Annable

Rank last year: 75

73. George Clooney

Rank last year: 47

72. Clive Owen

Rank last year: 71

71. Gerard Butler

Rank last year: 41

70. Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Rank last year: N/A

69. Hayden Christensen

Rank last year: 98

68. Eddie Cibrian

Rank last year: 58

67. Mario Lopez

Rank last year: 37

66. Colin Farrell

Rank last year: 57

65. Ryan Gosling

Rank last year: 39

64. Ben Cohen

Rank last year: N/A

63. Matthew Fox

Rank last year: 46

62. Nick Adams

Rank last year: N/A

61. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Rank last year: 74

60. Lee Pace

Rank last year: 64

59. Gael Garcia Bernal

Rank last year: 52

58. Jamie Bamber

Rank last year: 35

57. James McAvoy

Rank last year: 45

56. Christian Bale

Rank last year: 26

55. Jensen Atwood

Rank last year: 60

54. Jason Statham

Rank last year: 78

53. Mitch Hewer

Rank last year: 77

52. Chris Meloni

Rank last year: 48

51. Taye Diggs

Rank last year: 51

50. Wentworth Miller

Rank last year: 18

49. Henry Cavill

Rank last year: 82

48. Ewan MacGregor

Rank last year: 54

47. David Boreanaz

Rank last year: 42

46. Daniel Leary

Rank last year: N/A

45. Darryl Stephens

Rank last year: 72

44. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

Rank last year: 36

43. John Krasinski

Rank last year: 86

42. Justin Timberlake

Rank last year: 25

41. T. R. Knight

Rank last year: 14

Photo credit: Avik Gilboa/WireImages

40. Robert Pattinson

Rank last year: N/A

39. President Barack Obama

Rank last year: N/A

Photo credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

38. Russell Tovey

Rank last year: 94

37. David Tennant

Rank last year: 33

36. Robert Gant

Rank last year: 23

35. Tom Welling

Rank last year: 31

34. Matthew Rhys

Rank last year: 22

33. Randy Harrison

Rank last year: 32

32. Daniel Craig

Rank last year: 16

31. Milo Ventimiglia

Rank last year: 38

30. Channing Tatum

Rank last year: 27

29. Johnny Depp

Rank last year: 40

28. Paul Walker

Rank last year: 53

27. James Marsden

Rank last year: 30

26. Chace Crawford

Rank last year: 19

25. Chad Allen

Rank last year: 56

24. David Beckham

Rank last year: 12

23. Paul Rudd

Rank last year: 66

22. Jake Silbermann

Rank last year: 20

21. Ryan Reynolds

Rank last year: 10

20. Van Hansis

Rank last year: 7

Van Hansis, half of daytime’s first gay supercouple, stormed into
our lives when he was paired with the sexy, but emotionally reserved
Noah on As the World Turns. Van’s character has survived a
rough if interesting couple of years in the surprisingly complicated world of Oakdale
where he’s been shot, kidnapped, served as best man at his boyfriend’s
wedding, had his step-grandfather grope him, become a gay activist,
and danced with the iconic Cyndi Lauper.

But Van’s got talent beyond
playing a wealthy young man in an insane small town. He’s done theater
work, getting all glammed up for Dance Dance Revolution on the
stage. He makes appearances for a number of charitable organizations
and does PSA’s for GLAAD. Then there are those daytime Emmy nominations.

It’s not just these accomplishments
or his cute blond mop that the stylists can’t stop messing with that
warms us up. Beyond giving us daytime’s first gay male kiss, first
Pride celebration, and first gay male sex (even if it was off screen), it’s
really another title we most admire about Van: trailblazer.

Leading the way is hot.

19. Thöre Scholermann

Rank last year: 17

Last year, Thore Schölermann zoomed from nowhere
to land in our Top 20, quite a feat for an actor in his first role and
that only being a smallish part on a German soap opera. But a lack of
exposure doesn’t matter when you’re this hot – not to mention
you play Christian, one half of Forbidden Love’s supercouple

Like his character, Schölermann
doesn’t commit to something half-heartedly. While the actor told us
he took some time to ponder the ramifications of playing gay, once he
agreed, he jumped into it with both feet. Indeed, much of the reason
for the success of the Ollian storyline is due to the fact that both
actors committed so wholly to the part, rehearsing scenes again and
again and adding in extra looks, touches and kisses to make the couple’s
loving relationship clear even when the writing didn’t.

While there is no arguing Schölermann
is physically very attractive, it’s the sort of commitment he’s
shown playing Christian that prompted gay men to place him in the top

18. Brad Pitt

Rank last year: 15

Like a fine wine, Brad Pitt just seems to get better with age. At 45-years-old, he’s become so much more than the almost achingly beautiful
face we fell for back in Thelma
& Louise, or that taut body from A River Runs Through

These days Brad seems to spend
most of his time being hot off screen. He’s an active father of a
growing brood of kids and is there anything sexier than a man being
a good dad? But Brad’s good heart extends far beyond his own family
and into making the world a better place. He’s supported the ONE program
for years, fighting HIV in the Third World, and among all of his other
causes, he now spends a great deal of time with his own organization,
the Make It Right Foundation, dedicated to rebuilding New Orleans in
a green, sustainable manner.

If the looks, the good dad
stuff, and the charity work weren’t enough, Pitt is an ally for the
gay community. He followed up on his comments to Esquire that
he and Jolie wouldn’t wed until it was legal for everyone to wed,
with action by donating $100,000 to the No on Prop 8 campaign in 2008.

Something tells us Pitt will
stay one of the sexiest men alive for many years to come, but it will
have as much to do with how he looks on the inside as it does on the

17. Jo Weil

Rank last year: 29

German engineering gave us
The Ultimate Driving Machine, and now it seems those crafty Germans
have gone and built us the perfect boyfriend: Forbidden Love’s
Olli Sabel, played adorably by Jo Weil, who rockets up our
charts this year from #29 to #17.

There’s something infectious
about Jo’s smile, whether he’s being interviewed by
at Whistler,
or if he’s just being domestic with his onscreen hubby on Forbidden
, the German
soap that’s made him an international heartthrob.

There’s something playful
and real about Jo as he portrays Olli, the little touches and kisses
he throws into his relationship with Christian. He reminds us of young
love and what it feels like to be completely smitten with someone. And
when those dimples appear on his face as you look into those green eyes,
you can’t help but be smitten with Jo.

One thing is certain for this
hot young man; his star is shining ever brighter, and he’s kind enough
to let us bask in its heat.

16. Adam Lambert

Rank last year: N/A

It’s not his broad shoulders
or his heaving chest that rocketed Adam Lambert to #16 on our list.
It’s not his reported 8-octave voice, or even his ability to
make notoriously grumpy Simon rise to his feet for a standing ovation.

What makes Adam hot is that
he is, while competing for the hearts of America on Fox’s juggernaut
American Idol
, unabashedly Adam. In a show that leans to the “package”
pop star, he defies all classification and convention, rocking out a
glam number, or stripping a pop song down to its barest melodies, yet
somehow making it soar.

Adam is that rarest of things
in modern music – a born star, one who doesn’t have to compromise
his artistry for the public, and his refusal to fit a mold has earned
him comparisons to some of rock’s heaviest hitters including Freddie
Mercury and Janis Joplin.

Adam is only 27-years-old, but there’s no doubt in our minds that this determined,
unique and sexy voice will soon be wowing audiences in stadium shows
starring him as the headliner wearing leather pants and guyliner, and
still surprising us just by being Adam.

Let us know as soon as the
line forms so we can get our tickets.

15. Matthew Mitcham

Rank last year: N/A

Arriving at #15 on our countdown
with nary a splash is cutie Matthew Mitcham, who won Olympic
Gold in Beijing last year with the highest diving score in Olympic history.
But before he won the medal, he won our hearts when he casually came
out to the world in a newspaper interview three months before the Games.

What makes Matthew hot isn’t
his amazing abs or his occupational hazard of running around in a Speedo
all the time,
although those certainly don’t hurt. What makes him hot is his obvious
joy in living life and assuredness of who he is.

While American swimmers celebrated
victory by screaming and pumping the air with their fists, Matthew came
out of the pool after his winning dive, grinned at the camera, and gave
a little wave. It was endearing, just like everything else about him.
As if that wasn’t enough, once his score was announced, he ran to
the stands and hugged his partner, Lachlan.

At the games, Matthew was 1
in 10,000 – the only openly gay athlete among the thousands competing,
and while he says he’s staying focused on his diving for the London
Games in 2012, he understands what his newfound status means. According
to him, “As soon as anybody looks up to you, you automatically become
a role model whether you choose to be or not, and you can either embrace
it or not. I choose to embrace it and try to be the best role model
I can be.”

Matthew, we’re all looking
up to you.

14. Gareth David-Lloyd

Rank last year: 11

Gareth David-Lloyd may actually
have the best job on earth. And it’s a job that even allows him to
stay on earth, most days. As the droll Ianto Jones on Torchwood,
he plays the straight man to John Barrowman’s double entendres as
well as the not-so-straight man to Capt. Jack Harkness after he saves
the world. Ianto can make the perfect cup of tea, stop an alien invasion,
knows creative uses for a stopwatch, plus all the rules for naked hide-and-seek.

Gareth doesn’t seem to take
life too seriously though, and it’s his general zest for life that
just adds to his sexiness. On Torchwood, Ianto’s suit is always Seville
Row, but on the weekends you’ll find Gareth  in jeans and a t-shirt, fronting
his heavy blues band Blue Gillespie. 

The cast of Torchwood
is a notoriously cheeky group, and you’ve got to have a sense of humor
to get by. Recently appearing on a panel about the show, Gareth somehow
got goaded into taking off his pants. We can report he remains just
as hot in a pair of black boxer briefs as he does in a snazzy suit.
That’s our kind of man.

13. Anderson Cooper

Rank last year: 9

He’s known as the Silver
Fox by some. Others refer to him as Gloria Vanderbilt’s son, while
one prominent blogger refers to him as Mah Boo. By whatever name, there’s
something about this smart news guy that inspires you to listen to what
he’s saying, whether he’s wading through a devastated New Orleans
or reporting on the latest world crisis.

While we’re not going to
discount the piercing blue eyes hypnotizing us, his huge appeal is likely
because he does something unique in this day and age: he reports actual
news and talks to us like grownups.

That’s not to say Anderson
doesn’t have a lighter, even – dare we say – snarky side. He just
doesn’t display it on his news broadcast where he is the consummate
pro. But sitting next to Kelly Ripa, he can display an encyclopedic
knowledge of trashy reality TV, from Living Lohan
to Real Housewives. He might not understand himself why he watches,
but he never seems to miss an episode of his favorite reality shows. He even
passes notes a ten-year-old might write to the Insult Comic
Dog while at the Democratic National Convention.

He’s smart. He’s handsome.
He likes reality TV and foul-mouthed puppets. Yes, he’s unconventional,
but that’s much of what makes him so undeniably hot.

12. Jared Padalecki

Rank last year: 43

Jared Padalecki is living proof
that things are bigger – and hotter – in Texas. Clocking in at 6’4”,
this San Antonio native looms over his equally hot co-star, Jensen Ackles,
as the brooding Sam Winchester on Supernatural.

This mop-headed demon hunter
brings a thoughtful element to the show that inspired the concept of
Wincest. While his TV brother was into heavy metal and chasing girls,
Sam was headed to Stanford before getting sucked into the world of angels
and demons. Now he’s the brother who always has the answers, often
quoted from a third century Greek poet.

Padalecki’s first major gig
was setting teenage girls’ hearts aflutter on Gilmore Girls
at the tender age of 18, but since then his roles have taken a decidedly
darker turn, whether dashing around the Midwest every week trying to
save us from the coming Apocalypse, or starring in the latest Friday
the 13
th movie.

Obviously, Jared likes things
dark and scary, which is fine with us, as long as he’s there to hold
us when the monsters come at night.

11. Zac Efron

Rank last year: 24

Perhaps better than any casting
agent or studio, Disney knows that when you hire a teenage actor, he
can either grow into his looks – or not. Then there’s Zac Efron,
who grew into something so much hotter than anybody could have expected
that he zoomed into the 24th spot on last year’s Hot 100
list.  Hiding beautiful blue eyes behind a shaggy, yet perfectly
groomed haircut, Zac moves up another twelve spots this year as proof
that he’s making the successful transition from Tiger Beat fave to
certified Hollywood hunk.

While mostly known for wholesome
fare such as Hairspray and the High School Musical franchise,
Zac revealed in a recent GQ interview publicizing his new flick
17 Again
that he was taking career advice from two actors who know
a thing or two about starting out as teen stars who made it as serious
actors: Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp.

Nobody is quite sure what the
future holds for this gorgeous 21-year-old. But here, as in Hollywood,
all eyes are on Zac.

10. James Franco

Rank last year: 99

A decade after his breakout role in Freaks & Geeks, there’s still something very much the “slacker”
about James Franco. Sure he’s smart, finishing up a degree at UCLA before
heading to Columbia for some naps in grad school classes. But it’s that laid
back everyman vibe that’s so appealing about James. He seems to get that life
is kind of ridiculous at times and is cool just being in on the joke.

For his film roles, he tried out being the conflicted
villain in the Spiderman franchise
and one half of the “couple” in the very bromantic stoner comedy Pineapple Express. He’s currently tackling the role of Allen Ginsberg in Howl, and watching Franco running around
New York City, it’s sometimes hard to tell if he’s shooting for Howl – or running late to class.

What accounts for Franco’s dizzying ascent from #99 on
2008’s Hot 100 to tenth place this year? Gay men like straight men who aren’t
afraid of playing gay, so in all likelihood it was his portrayal of Scott
Smith, the real life young man who inspired Harvey Milk to change his life in
Gus Van Sant’s Oscar winning biopic Milk. We watched as Scott evolved
from a one-night stand in a NYC subway station to a frustrated lover to a rock
solid friend and confidante of Harvey’s.

We also got to see his cute rear end swimming by in slow
motion. Surely, that earned him a few votes as well.

9. Gale Harold

Rank last year: 6

Disproving the old adage that gay men are fickle, the
staying power of Gale Harold is becoming legendary. Nine years after he put his
mark on the American version of Queer as
as bad-boy-who-turns-out-to-have-a-heart-of-gold, Brian Kinney, Gale
continues to burn in our minds as the poster boy of gay male sexuality and over
the years, we’ve seen a lot of Gale
on our television screens.

He’s really the only actor from the landmark Showtime series
to make the transition to network television with a stint on the short-lived Vanished, followed by a recurring role on the ratings powerhouse Desperate Housewives. There he broke the
hearts of more than one gay man by playing straight love interest to Teri
Hatcher’s Susan rather than pairing up with Andrew or coming between husbands
Bob and Lee.

Gale disappeared abruptly from Desperate Housewives earlier this year after suffering major
injuries from a motorcycle accident during his time off. He’s recently
returned, and rumors have it, the stud from QAF
who would never settle down with poor Justin, will be popping the question
before the end of the season.

Whatever his Desperate
future, we hope that Gale protects his pretty face in the
future, and keeps bad boy antics, like motorcycle riding, to his onscreen

8. Hugh Jackman

Rank last year: 28

How hot do you have to be to make sexy Ryan Reynolds
insecure about his body? Why, just as hot as our #8 stud, Hugh Jackman, whom
Ryan recently described as being in “terrifying shape.”

There’s something about Jackman that screams manly no matter
what he does. He doesn’t have to be snarling as Wolverine to convey it; it can
just as easily be when he’s singing on the Oscars with Beyoncé and doing jazz
hands. And he doesn’t take himself too seriously, as evidenced by his
budget-conscious opening number.

Being the star of stage and screen, being named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man alive,
it’s no wonder that gay men would love to claim Hugh as one of our own. Hugh
(and his wife) continues to laugh off the gay rumors, but in a very
non-reactionary way. When Parade Magazine
recently asked him for the umpteenth time about the rumors, he smiled, and in
that oh-so-charming accent, said, “I’d be happy to go and deny, because I’m
not. But by denying it, I’m saying that there’s something shameful about it,
and there isn’t anything shameful.”

This class act can claw his way into our hearts any time he

7. Cheyenne Jackson

Rank last year: 4

OK, we admit it. We at have a problem. We’re
completely, totally, head-over-heels in love with Cheyenne Jackson. In fact, we
need a support group, but can’t find one, because, seriously: who wants to
be cured of dreaming about this hunk of 100% USDA Certified Grade-A beefcake with talent oozing out of every pore?
Apparently no one, because we can’t find a single sponsor.

Since he wrapped up his acclaimed run in the fabulously
campy, roller skating Xanadu on
Broadway, Cheyenne’s shown up in a few guest spots on network TV, making a
big impression each time. His glam rocker on Life on Mars stood out like a strobe light and he showed up as an
adorable if far too brief love interest for Marc on Ugly Betty.
He also took time to hang out and chat with readers for an hour,
and yet again proved himself to be just the sweetest guy.

While we know that Cheyenne is happily partnered, the fact
that his boyfriend is camera shy allows us to nurse dreams that he’s actually
single, and if given the chance would ask us to skate around the rink while Purple Rain played in the background.

6. Chris Evans

Rank last year: 8

Discussing how hot many of the guys on our list are is a
subjective thing, but with Chris Evans, we can actually get quantitative. Best
known at this point for portraying the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies, we know precisely how hot Chris can get:
1,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, Chris Evans is officially hotter than
the surface of the sun.

This guy’s oh-so-amazing abs, or those dimples aren’t the
only reason he’s hot. We think he’s hot because he likes us, and isn’t afraid
to say it. And Chris has a stake in the gay community, namely his brother,
Scott. And Chris doesn’t need much prompting to share his thoughts on gay

It’s mindboggling and appalling
that human beings are being denied civil rights in this country. But time will
heal all. I have to believe that in 10 years we won’t be having this

Of late, Chris has been moving away from superhero fare, and
into more serious roles such as Sunshine, and now he’s tackling the
role of Jack Kerouac in Kill Your
. We’re hoping that while Chris stretches his acting chops, he
occasionally dips back into fun movies that require him to take his shirt off.

But even if he doesn’t disrobe any time soon, he loves his
brother, and he’s outspoken for his and our rights. And that just melts our

5. Jensen Ackles

Rank last year: 13

Thinking about Jensen Ackles, of course, led us to think
about his character, Dean Winchester on Supernatural.
That led us to thinking about the relationship between Jensen and his onscreen
brother, and why some of us prefer one or the other. Then we realized choosing
between them is an age-old television dilemma: Mary Ann or Ginger from Gilligan’s Island?

While thoughtful egghead Sam is certainly (demon blood
aside) sweet and goodhearted, like Mary Ann, Jensen gives his Dean a definite
Ginger vibe. Dean is all about the good time – chasing women, drinking whiskey,
and eating cheeseburgers. It’s all instant gratification with him.

And we do find him
gratifying – chiseled face, great body, and thanks to a recent episode that had
him impersonating a high school gym teacher, we know he’s got thighs he could
crack walnuts with.

If we go out on a three-hour tour, and get shipwrecked on a
tropical island, we can’t help but think we’d enjoy exile a little more with
Ginger. We mean Jensen. 

4. Jake Gyllenhaal

Rank last year: 1

After two consecutive years at the top of the charts, the
unthinkable has happened: Jake Gyllenhaal is not the hottest guy in the esteemed opinion of
readers. This isn’t to say Jake isn’t still smokin’ hot – he still manages to
clock in at #4, after all. And don’t forget, Jake hasn’t had a movie released
since 2007 and he still managed to beat out all but three other men in the
entire world. That’s some residual heat he’s got going.

Don’t feel too bad
for Jake – Hollywood hasn’t exactly forgotten him and thanks to the paparazzi,
we know he’s spending a lot of quality time with Reese Witherspoon buying
coffee and strolling around Santa Monica. No, life is good for Jake, and you’re
about to see a whole lot of him.

The Brokeback Mountain star has three movies in post-production for release in
2009, and they show the range of this talented young actor. He’ll come
to us first in Brothers, an Afghan war-era
tearjerker, followed by the political satire Nailed. Then we get to the prize: Prince of Persia, based on the video game. Pictures from the set of
Persia show Jake as a buff, ripped,
action star, defying gravity and defeating the bad guys as his long hair ripples
in the wind.

So, yes, the lovable Jake slipped a little this year. Call
it out of sight, out of mind. But something tells us that come next year, Jake
will have a good shot at regaining his Hot 100 crown.

3. Luke MacFarlane

Rank last year: 3

The twinkling blue eyes of our #3 entry have inspired readers to come together every Sunday night hoping to get even
just a glimpse of those dimples on ABC’s Brothers
& Sisters

It was on B&S
that readers first fell in love with this Canadian-born actor who portrays half
of the show’s gay supercouple and one of the only same-sex male couples on
television. Luke is Scotty Wandell to Matthew Rhys’ Kevin Walker and together
last fall, they had the first primetime gay wedding on U.S. television between
regularly recurring characters. On top of that, they have the unusual
distinction of being the only functional relationship on the entire show. Score
one for gay marriage!

While readers are adamant that there’s still
just not enough of Luke on the show, the shy, out-and-proud actor keeps himself
busy by having recently starred in the Canadian miniseries Iron Road as well as on stage in The Jazz Age as F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Luke also inspired many with
his decision to come out last April, which propelled him to the 3# spot on last
year’s list. Who knows? If Brothers &
gives Scotty and Kevin a bit more screen time next season, a
certain Canadian might just come out on top!

2. John Barrowman

Rank last year: 2

It’s not often we feel sorry for Scottish actor John
– he’s an international star and
is married to the adorable architect Scott Gill after all – but for the second
year in a row, he’s blocked from the top spot by some cheeky Yank. Hopefully,
when John hears the news, he’ll have the same reaction he had last year in
placing second to Jake Gyllenhaal when he said, “I’m thrilled with the results. Who wouldn’t
want to come in behind Jake Gyllenhaal?”

That, of course, is half the reason we love him so much.
Then there are those blue eyes, that impish smile and those leading man good
looks. While we fell for John as the saucy omnisexual time traveler Captain
Jack on Doctor Who and Torchwood, Barrowman has his finger in
many pies, writing an autobiography and working on a Torchwood comic with his sister, recording a new CD, judging
reality competition shows, and appearing on stage. Yet despite all that, listening
to his stories, you have to wonder if it’s all work or all play.

Doctor Who co-star
David Tennant admits the two of them are pranksters, and have been known to
have “competitive” farting competitions in the TARDIS. The Doctor Who prop department built him a full-size model of an evil
Dalek from the series to sit in the foyer of his home. As visitors enter, it
asks them questions such as “Would you like some fries with that shake?” He
calls it a prized possession. He also recently apologized to the British public
for exposing his “parts” on a radio program. Scott, his husband, must have the
patience of a saint.

For his energy, his visibility, his sheer energy, not to
mention that naughty grin, John is an favorite year after year.
Just don’t play naked hide-and-seek with him. We hear he cheats.

1. Neil Patrick Harris

Rank last year: 5

Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Here in the newsroom, we’re not sure if our
#1 Hottest Guy is steaming up our glasses or if we’ve got tears in our eyes.
Not that we haven’t loved our top guy in the past, but this is the first year
since we started the Hot 100 that an out gay man tops the list.

Last year, when we told Neil Patrick Harris he came in 5th, he
jokingly said he was “hoping the four men above me age rapidly in the next
twelve months.” We don’t think Neil moved up because anyone gained a single
wrinkle or added a gray hair. Instead, Neil seemingly managed to be multiple
places at once and turned the heat way
up. Did you see his bod in “The Naked Man” episode of How I Met Your Mother earlier this year?

Neil’s a very busy guy and in his already lengthy career
he’s played every kind of role, from iconic child doctor Doogie Howser to
jingoistic Colonel Jenkins in Starship
womanizer Barney Stinson on the hit sitcom HIMYM.
He even took advantage of the down time during the writers’ strike to play
a hapless singing super villain in Joss Whedon’s iconic web series, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. On top
of that, he somehow found time to host the TV Land Awards, as well as the 2008
World Magic Awards, indulging his passion for that particular pastime.

Speaking of passions, Neil’s been with cutie actor David
Burtka since 2004. Gay guys everywhere still get excited when the two appear
together on the red carpet and applauded enthusiastically when Neil and Ellen
DeGeneres traded stories about their spouses on Ellen’s show. That’s the kind
of visibility some of us have waited our whole lives to see.

We feel like proud papas with Neil – first we watched him
grow up on screen, and now he’s grown into the hottest, out proud man on the

So say we all!

That’s it for the 2009 Hot 100! Want to see a short, text-only version of the list? Go here.

Click on these images to go to our additional lists:

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, but please don’t give away any of the results in your subject line!