And so we begin our countdown. We would like to apologise for the slight delay in our announcement – we had an incredibly high number of votes this year, many of which were last-minute, and we have processed and confirmed your votes as quickly as we can.
There are twenty-one new entries in the Top 50 this year, and we received votes from over eighty countries across the world. You nominated over four-hundred different performers and community members.
When we launched the voting for 2010, we asked people to consider the non-performing members of the community that work equally as hard and contribute so much, and several non-performers received a high number of votes this year. However, none of them quite made the Top 50.
We have decided to make two extra announcements this year. When we have announced the Top 50, we will also announce the Top 10 Highest-Polling Non-Performers – many of which received a large number of votes and should be celebrated.
We have also decided to release a list of 100 – 51. Hundreds of individuals were nominated, and so many wonderful and popular performers polled very closely together, but didn’t make it into the Top 50. Therefore, in the interests of celebrating as many people as possible, we thought you would like to see this list as well.
RESULTS: 50 – 31
We first came across Ms Cynders five years ago at Teaseorama, where she performed a geisha-inspired striptease with a blossom parasol. A trained dancer and vocalist; Flame began as an exotic dancer, before auditioning for Big City Burlesque in 2003. She has competed at BHoF and Viva las Vegas, and has performed across the USA, Europe and the UK.
Mr Showbiz has made your Top 50! One of the best and most loved hosts in burlesque – Murray has had a busy 2010. His Christmas show, Murray Little Christmas, was a complete sellout; he hosted Dita von Teese’ spectacular run at The Roxy in LA in December, and her July show at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, and he has made television appearances, including a cameo on HBO’s Bored to Death, and an appearance on Channel 4 in the UK. With countless burlesque starlets falling at his feet, overpowered by his sexual magnetism, it is no suprise that he has secured enough votes to make the list!
Making her beginning in the Moscow ballet at the age of three; Greta is a fire-breathing, trapeze-flying temptress who performs with The Alley Cat Revue, St. Louis.
The creator of Peaks and Pasties – Southern Colorado’s first and only burlesque, boylesque, vaudevillian, variety troupe; Lola Spitfire and her troupe perform at the most prestigious venues in Southern Colorado and frequently contribute to local charities. She aims to incorporate ‘classic, traditional, vaudevillian, and modern talents, along with the art of theater and burlesque’ into every show she produces.
Lola is the co-producer of the Colorado Burlesque Festival, and headmistress of ‘Spitfire and Sparkle Academy of Burlesque’. Additionally, she is a Satan’s Angel-approved fire tassel queen!
With an equal number of votes, No. 46 is shared by…
Alotta is another performer we first ‘experienced’ at Teaseorama. She’s gorgeous, she’s talented, she’s driven – and it glows from every pore. We are very happy to see her make the list this year…
“Straight from the womb to the limelight, this lady’s been performing since her first breath. Itching for her own little niche in this glamorous world, she went searching for her place and found it in the stories of her moonshinin’ grandpa and brazen matriarchy. Alotta relished her rich Creole family history and the dirty blues of the Deep South. She added her queer-as-hell family, vibrant with drag of all kinds, and refined the mix into the perfect audacious spitfire sweet-treat you’ve ever had the pleasure to see. You can find this bawdy, brassy, juke-joint mamma performing throughout San Francisco and on occasional travels around the globe…”
Also at No. 46 is Cora Vette – a hostess and vocalist with “the mouth of a sailor and the voice of an angel”. After three years as Tanya in Mamma Mia! at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Cora founded her own burlesque company, Burlycute Presents. We have particularly enjoyed Cora singing and hosting at The New Orleans Burlesque festival for the last two years.
A burlesque songstress that can count Sting among her fans – Melody has performed for and worked with a dazzling list of celebrities, and is the first burlesque performer to produce her own music video! In 2010, she performed in Rome, and sizzled and sang at the New York Burlesque Festival.
Kitten has had an amazing year as a member of Cabaret New Burlesque – the stars of Mathieu Amalric’s film, Tournée (On Tour), which has received high praise from the burlesque community. Some have declared it to be ‘the real burlesque movie’ of the year. Kitten continues to entertain with her hilarious songs and array of colourful costumes…
Miss Astrid has made your Top 50 again in 2010. For many of you she was your host at the New York Burlesque Festival or the Burlesque Hall of Fame Pageant, and some of you may have been lucky enough to attend one of her classes.
This Weimar wonder holds a very special place in our hearts. We defy you to find an emcee with such eye-wateringly sharp wit and deadpan disdain! Her timing and perception is simply brilliant – you don’t know whether to cower in your seat or howl with laughter…
One of our greatest living legends is at No. 42. In 2010, Tempest featured in a wonderful documentary film – Leslie Zemeckis’ Behind the Burly Q, and was featured in the press responding to the Hollywood movie, Burlesque. She has her own Las Vegas revue and burlesque cruise, and a mass of adoring fans who look to her for inspiration.
Innovative and hilarious in equal measure, Clams is a NYC burlesque treasure. She is a Golden Pastie and BHoF award winner, has co-produced and starred in a string of successful shows, and has been featured in many publications. In 2010, she has travelled across the US with her fellow Dangerous Curves Ahead members and continues to produce fantastic shows.
Miss Coney Island 2009 has bumped her way into the Top 50! In 2010, Gigi won a NYBF Golden Pastie Award for her ‘Positively Perfect Posterior’, and toured with the ladies of Dangerous Curves Ahead: Burlesque on the Go-Go – performing her signature acts alongside Anita Cookie, Minnie Tonka, Darlinda just Darlinda and Clams Casino.
Described by Lola van Ella as ‘an action packed power house of amazing!’ Jeez Loueez has made her presence felt in the Midwest.
Her burlesque journey began in April 2009, with The Ripettes Burlesque. In September 2010 she became a member of Vaudezilla Productions, and in April she performed at the Windy City Burlesque Festival in Chicago. A month later, she headlined as a special guest in Lola Van Ella’s Show Me Burlesque. A trained actor and dancer; Jeez has appeared in various revues and musical productions, and gives private dance lessons in Chicago.
Beatrix has enjoyed a full and successful 2010, as a performer, a writer and a mentor. Her guides and articles for 21CB are as popular as ever, and her Branding your Burlesque Persona workshops in the UK continue to book up. Much of her time in 2010 has been spent performing in beautiful venues in Germany, and at other European events. Thoughtful, creative and highly respected – Beatrix is a credit to the community.
The Queen of Australian Burlesque is at No. 37, and we are thrilled to see her in the Top 50. Imogen remains one of the most original, innovative, bold and creative performers in burlesque. Her performances inspire excellence and ambition within the Australian community. A highlight of 2010 was her performance at the final of Miss Burlesque Australia, but her Marie Antoinette routine will remain one of our all-time favourite burlesque acts…
“Vicky is so distinctive and unique, as a person and as a performer – it is as if she has literally stepped out of history and materialised on the neo-burlesque stage. Her acts could more accurately be described as moving, breathing paintings. Her skill as a costumier, her grace and incorporation of so many forms of dance, drama and artistry, and her vast imagination produce ethereal mischievous magic…”
We can only repeat our sentiments from last year – Vicky continues to be unique, graceful and magical. Vicky has performed across Europe and made TV appearances throughout 2010, and performed alongside Immodesty Blaize in a special London show. We particularly enjoyed her snow globe act, and we look forward to seeing ‘The Bubble’ in action!
‘The Fastest Tassel-Twirler from East to West’ is at No. 35, and boy, has she had a busy 2010. She toured Australia as a performer at The Burlesque Ball, she performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the award winning, Vive La Cabaret, and has scorched stages across Europe…
We have another tie at No. 34!
“A few years ago I discovered burlesque existed while attending Viva Las Vegas. Back in Chicago, I took my time learning about the art and looking for ways to get involved in the scene. Starting as a Vixen, or promotor/pick-up-girl, with the Vaudezilla troupe two years ago. Since then… well… It’s been a crazy adventure that has opened a part of my soul that I didn’t know existed. My love of dance, wild creativity, drive to learn and disciplined nature had at last found their outlet. I strive to create acts that are unique, ripe with energy and entertaining.”
Clearly her acts are entertaining, because you have voted Donna into your Top 50. This Chicago cutie is looking set to compete at Viva las Vegas this year, and she also happens to be a bit of a marketing and design guru!
It is a pleasant coincidence that Annie and Donna share this spot together. A pinup model turned burlesque performer; Annie is the co-creator of Vaudezilla. In 2010, she was the executive producer of the Windy City Burlesque Festival, and performed at the Texas Burlesque Festival, and the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.
At No. 33, it’s the ‘shining burlesque star from the City of Light’. In 2010, Gentry performed in Scarlett James’ Grande Burlesque Show in Montreal, the Montreal Burlesque Festival, The New York Burlesque Festival, for Schweppes in Cannes, at the closing of the Monaco Grand Prix, danced onstage with Patricia Kaas, performed at the AmFAR Gala in Paris, and produced and performed in a number of revues and shows of her own! We already hear whisperings about some exciting projects already underway in 2011 – with Gentry, we know anything is possible!
A classically trained dancer; Gentry shares her ethos and experience with her students at her school of burlesque, and is frequently consulted by the French media for her burlesque insight and expertise…
Voted, ‘Most Likely to get Everyone Kicked out of a Hotel’ at The New York Burlesque Festival 2010; Minnie is a ‘sassy semitic sexpot’ that can always be relied upon to be quirky and unpredictable, especially with her fellow Schlep Sister and partner in crime, Darlinda Just Darlinda. Credited by some as the creator of ‘Jewish Burlesque’, Minnie produces her annual Menorah Horah burlesque Hanukkah show, and is a producer and performer in the Dangerous Curves Ahead burlesque troupe.
A member of the famous, pioneering Velvet Hammer Burlesque; Jewel has performed in cities across the USA, as well as London and Amsterdam. In 2008, Jewel won Best Duo at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, with Kat Bardot. She enjoys researching dance-based subcultures, and currently teaches and performs burlesque and belly dance.
Further results will be published shortly. In the meantime, we invite you to browse 21st Century Burlesque Magazine, or join our Top 50 Facebook Page…