A beautiful venue, amazing feature entertainers and three nights of packed crowds at Christie’s Cabaret in Cleveland each contributed to a truly memorable EXOTIC DANCER Invitational (EDI) East Contest on May 29-31. When it was over, only two of those entertainers wore the respective crowns for Showgirl Champion and Newcomer Champion. For the Newcomers, it was the beautiful and talented Phoenix Phires who outlasted the competition to take home the title of Newcomer Champion, while the Canadian burlesque sensation Roxi D’Lite seduced the crowds and the judges to take the crown in an extremely competitive Showgirl Division.
Produced by ED (EXOTIC DANCER) Publications, the EDIs are national, invitation-only dance contests for the nation’s top touring feature entertainers in both a Showgirl and Newcomer Division. The dance contest will be held twice a year—once in the West (EDI-West) and once in the East (EDI-East)—with the winners of each contest filling two of the four nominee slots for the ED’s “Overall Feature Entertainer of the Year” Award, the most prestigious award in the feature entertainer industry. Thus, Tali De’Mar (who won the Showgirl Division in the EDI West Contest, held at Dames n’ Games in Los Angeles April 12-14, 2014) and Roxi D’Lite are automatic ED’s Overall Entertainer of the Year nominees for 2014.
“Both sets of entertainers—the Newcomers and Showgirls—each brought amazing shows and unbelievable energy to the EDI East Contest,” says the EDI Show Producer & Founder Dave Manack, who is also the Associate Publisher of ED Publications. “Jaws were dropping in the club each night, all three nights. I saw feature shows that were on a level that I’ve rarely seen in 16 years in this industry, and the camaraderie amongst the competing entertainers was so refreshing to see.”
"It was an awesome and amazing contest,” says Christie’s Cabaret Cleveland’s General Manager Charity Koschnick. “But not only a contest, a ‘show’ that brings back real entertainers the way they started out years ago. It was refreshing!”
Though she is a veteran burlesque performer in Canada, this was Roxi D’Lite’s first actual competition, and her classic style of dance performance was not lost on the contest’s judges. Her dance ability also scored her the “Best Dancer” mini title. The Finalists in the Showgirl Division also included Lacey Rain (First Runner-Up) who brought down the house and received a standing ovation on Friday evening for her “Mime” show (which helped garner her the “Audience Favorite” and “Best Overall Show” mini titles) and Simone Danalustrous (Second Runner-Up), who wowed the crowds with her “Punisher” and “Star Trek” shows, both of which earned her the “Most Original Show” mini title.
“I am still pinching myself from all of the excitement from last weekend!” says Roxi. “I am truly honored to have been crowned EDI East Showgirl Champion for the very first Exotic Dancer Invitationals. I was impressed with how professionally the contest was run, and am truly honored to have been part of such an incredible event. Thank you so much Dave Manack and Kristofer Kay (of ED Publications) for inviting me to be a part of this great event. Christie's Cabaret was a beautiful venue with helpful and friendly staff. Most of all I want to thank my sexy and talented co-competitors for your smiles, laughs and camaraderie backstage, I'll never forget you lovelies. Burlesque and striptease have always been an art form I've been passionate about since the moment I stepped on stage to pay off my student debts. All I can say is this is way more fun than graphic design and I feel fortunate to have found my calling! I'm excited to see you all again in August at the Gentleman's Club EXPO in Las Vegas! Viva la showgirl!”
The EDI East Contest was emceed by Tony Batman of A Entertainment and the Planet Platypus Network, and was produced by longtime pageant and event coordinator Lexi Lamour. The EDI East sponsors included Anheuser-Busch, PlanetPlatypus.com, StripClubMusic.com, Safari Sun, the AdultMart store chain and, of course, ED Publications.
In the Newcomer Division, Phoenix Phires brought not one but two amazing shows to the EDI East; her “Mad Hatter” show and a new “Mermaid” show that both scored well with the contest’s judges. Fellow Newcomer Finalist Vayda Kiss (First Runner-Up) got the crowd into a stir when she secured a six-foot wooden cross to the pole at center stage, then launched into a “Nun” show that ended with her twerking on the aforementioned cross, while Sarah Hunter, the Second Runner-Up, presented her unique style of steampunk-styled seduction. The Newcomer Division also included Lady Sirene, who provided an encore performance on Saturday evening.
Each Champion (Showgirl and Newcomer) won the official EDI crown and trophy, while cash prizes were also awarded to Roxi D’Lite, Lacey Rain and Phoenix Phires as Showgirl Champion, Showgirl First Runner-Up and Newcomer Champion respectively. Also, the following “mini-titles” were awarded at the EDI East:
Best Costume: Viva La Muerte (for her custom “Iron Maiden” costume); Hottest Body: Jayden Cole; Best Dancer: Roxi D’Lite; Audience Favorite: Lacey Rain; Most Original Show: Simone Danalustrous; Best Overall Show: Lacey Rain. Other talented EDI competitors included (in the Showgirl Division) The Evil Pin-Ups duo (Shay Lynn and Jaded Dawn), Jayden Cole and Viva La Muerte and (in the Newcomer Division) Lady Sirene.