Deja Vu’s Showgirl of the Year 2001 got underway on January 31st of this year, showcasing 13 of their finest and most talented fillies from across the US and Canada. And where would be the most likely location for the chain’s biggest annual event of the season? If you answered the new Déjà Vu Jewel Box over in racy Washington Park, Illinois, you may not have a shot at Who Want’s to be a Millionaire, but it will get you over to one of the newer branch’s of the vast Vu kingdom. We might add that the Déjà Vu Jewel Box is totally puss’ when it comes to rockin, nude/booze party fault lines. It now hosts a staff of 100 nimble nymphet’s, and is the shit in this neck of the star studded woods!
Now the skinny on this pageant to end all pageants goes something like this… Each year, entertainers from Déjà Vu’s across North America compete at their perspective home club’s for the local title of Showgirl of the Year. Better known as the Local’s. The next step to the top, is to conquer the Regional Showgirl of the Year spectrum. Here things are narrowed down to cities or states, depending how many Déjà Vu party outlets are located in that particular area. Throughout, hundred’s of girls are in competition with one another, painstakingly battling to grab a spot at the national level. Once this mark is made, they are then ready for the national competition where they compete for the big bucks and all marbles. To hit the Nationals, performers train all year long working on pole tricks, back-flips, floor work and overall stage presence. Props are devised, assembled, painted, upholstered and tested. Costumes are designed, cut, sewn and glued all in preparation for the big hoopla. Music is then selected, burned and clocked to fit the allotted time slot on stage, with a theme to match all of the above. It is not an easy task to say the least, but that twinkling light at the end of the tunnel keeps contestants chugging along. The final preparation step of course, is to either fly, ship or drive the entire show to the gig, which runs into some serious coin. It’s not just bright lights and dancing, it is very hard work! (Wow, and I thought my job was tough..) On the opening night, the backstage dressing room looked like a bomb had hit it, with props, showgirls and roadies scrambling to get it all together. At the front door, patrons clamored into the Washington Park Vu’ with high hopes of getting a look at one of the hottest show’s on the adult circuit today, either that or the fabulous no holds barred buffet table, that could dwarf most cruise ship spread’s. Within hours the club had filled to almost capacity, with the party already in high gear. Over at the judge’s table, we spotted this year’s celebrity judges who were more than ready to get things cracking. On hand were Tony Lee of the Lee Network booking agency sporting a new do. Next to Tony we had the pleasure to meet feature entertainer, mega- magazine and television model Blair Stryker, who arrived smiling and displaying each and every curve. Along side Blair was the candid Larry Kaplan of Exotic Dancer Magazine, with Steve from Las Vegas Novelties (a.k.a. Mr. Serenity.) And last, but not least, the stunning Tori of Seattle, Washington. You may remember Tori from countless Déjà Vu pageant’s and winner of both Po’lympics and Showgirl of the Year. Scoring the show would commence in four categories: Evening Gown, Bathing Suit, Stage Performance and a couch dancing competition. This was also the first year to 86 the Talent category and add the dance off, deeming the Talent section too time consuming and old fashion. It was quite a panel of well seasoned pageant veteran’s, and as the house lights dimmed, it was time to start the show! Now, as every Showgirl of the Year, the pageant had a theme. This year’s event was a tribute to the “History of Topless Dancing.” And hosting the 2001 stage spectacle was none other than the Minneapolis Déjà Vu’s “Duke of Devastating One-Liners and Ribald Returns, The Prince of Pun, and the Pharaoh of Flabbergasted Funny-Bones, the handsome “Big Ant” himself, Anthony. At his side as sexy CO-host was the star of hundreds of XXX-rated adult films, Wicked Pictures contract girl and heiress to the expanding Las Vegas Novelties Company, the shapely Serenity. The dynamic duo opened the show with the Ray Charles hit “What I say now,” with the Ant clad in a 60’s jumpsuit ala Superfly, and Serenity in a pair of reddish, faux-snake skin bellbottoms and silver boots. These two got things moving throughout the Evening Gown competition and the Bathing Suit compassion. The gown’s this year were very chic and custom made, as well as the Bathing Suit’s which were the sheerest ever. But when the Couch Dance competition rolled around, the comedy treads met the road! The audience was rolling in the aisle’s, after countless digs by Serenity about Anthony’s Hugh Hefner-styled pajamas and several topics. This years new Couch Dance category was based on volunteers from the audience acting as willing recipients of a grueling couch dance, complete with video disclaimer. Each patron left the stage after their dance looking a bit perplexed, with 95% sporting a woody. The other 5% was a girl dancing for a girl, where the fur was flying and the nips were hard as nails! All in all, it totally steamed up the festivities. As the Main event, or the Stage Performance began we saw the memorizing Paige from the Déjà Vu of Bakersfield, Ca. turn in another uncompromising show, as did the petite Jada Kiss who danced seductively with her snake. Zoe of Ypsilanti, Mi. knocked them out with a great futuristic show, while Sophia Simone of the Déjà Vu of Minneapolis, Mn. kinked the judges hoses with a breathtaking jungle set. Skyla Monroe of the Déjà Vu Lexington, Ky. and Ali of the Déjà Vu of Louisville, both showed what Kentucky was made of with phenomenal shows. Harmony of the Déjà Vu of Hawaii rang all bells as she blazed across the stage, as Ashley of the Déjà Vu of Spokane, Wa. spun the poles into gold with her uncanny flexibility. Kayla of the new Hustler Club of New Orleans, La. and Paige of the Déjà Vu of Toledo, Oh. rocked the house with a flamboyant display of pole tricks and split second timing, as did the Déjà Vu of Las Vegas’ Scorpio. Wow, what a show! But as all great things must come to and end, the lovely Monique of the Déjà Vu Midway at San Diego, Ca., last years winner, finished her farewell performance, and Anthony and Serenity climbed back aboard the main stage to read off the winners… And then the Ant spoke: “In the third runner-up position from the Déjà Vu of Lexington, Kentucky the beautiful, Skyla Monroe. In the second runner-up position from the Déjà Vu of Seattle, Washington the stunning, Jewels. In the first runner-up slot from the Déjà Vu of Ypsilanti, Michigan the fiery-hot Zoe. And the winner of the Showgirl of the Year for 2001 is: (drum roll please…) the amazing Sophia Simone of the Déjà Vu of Minneapolis, Minnesota! Sophia accepted her crown and bouquet of roses from Serenity and Monique, and took her winners walk with tears of joy running down her cheeks. Congratulations Sophia! As the finale of 2001 Showgirl of the Year closed the show with Serenity laying on a piano, and Anthony singing his Topless Dancing tribute song: “When the men hoot and hollered for more, the panties hit the floor,” each entertainer took off their panties and shot them at the crowd as their name was announced. What and ending! Showgirls Magazine would like to thank club managers Mike Parker, Ted Peyton, Ted and DJ Shawn for making this Showgirl of the Year competition one of the best. Special thanks to Leslie for another great show. And to all of the judges for coming down to support their local strip club, we salute you! See you next year!
Photos & Text by Trace A. Grundstrom