Well, here we go again! Thank you all for your patience – I have counted, confirmed and written up the results as fast as I possibly can, and here they are.
A record number of you voted this year, and the results are very interesting. There are several new entries in the TOP 50 this year. There are also a few tied positions, so there are more than fifty people acknowledged in this list, but we see it as an excuse to celebrate even more people by sticking to fifty positions, rather than fifty individuals.
2011 was an amazing year for burlesque, and I think the TOP 50 reflects its variety, creativity and quality. I had the pleasure of enjoying some incredible performances, and interviewing many beautiful and talented people. I am thrilled to see some new faces make the list after the fantastic contributions they have made in 2011.
Please feel free to leave comments below, and discuss the results on our TOP 50 Facebook page, or on Twitter with the tag #burlesquetop50
(Tired but happy Editor-in-Chief)
RESULTS: 30 – 21
The jaw-droppingly beautiful Finnish fireball makes her TOP 50 debut at No. 30. And what a year she has had! LouLou wants to revive and celebrate the Golden Age of burlesque in her acts, and looking at her you would think she had just stepped out of it.
In 2011 she won ‘Best Debut’ at BHoF, dazzling us with a smouldering cocktail of ice and fire and a surprise quick change. (You can read her post-win interview here…) She also won 1st Runner Up in the New Orleans Burlesque Festival competition with a gorgeous routine – ‘Sex on Legs’. LouLou also enjoyed great success as the producer of the Grand Tease Show in Helsinki, which completely sold out for the whole run.
LouLou is a really dynamic performer – she struts out onto the stage with real attack and energy, and she always looks devastatingly gorgeous from head to toe.
At No. 29 is host, singer, burlesque and cabaret queen extraordinaire, Kiki Kaboom! “Part Sex Kitten, Part Clown, All Woman” – Kiki performed in a variety of UK and European shows in 2011, and took part in the ‘An Evening of Burlesque’ UK tour with fellow UK starlets, Slinky Sparkles, Amber Topaz and Chrys Columbine, among others. Kiki also finished filming her role in Burlesque Assassins – an upcoming movie we can’t wait to see, with a fabulous burlesque cast.
At No. 28, long serving emcee, singer, producer and director, Nadine DuBois! She has performed with Lili’s Burlesque Revue in Minneapolis since 2004, and co-produces the Best of Midwest Burlesque Festival. We enjoyed catching up with Nadine at BHoF in June, where she co-hosted the Superstar Sunday Closing Gala. Nadine is so charming and dedicated, and it makes us really happy that she has made the list this year.
“The gem you’d love to polish” is in at No.27. This poised porcelain princess of tease is the co-founder of Texan troupe, The Jigglewatts, and enjoys a varied career in dance, theatre and film, as well as burlesque. Ruby’s 2011 appearances include performances at the Texas Burlesque Festival, The New Orleans Burlesque Festival (NOBF performance here…) and the Montreal Burlesque Festival (you can read her Montreal Festival diary here…)
Angie Pontani (Reigning Queen of Burlesque, 2008)
Credited as one of the pioneers of Neo-Burlesque; Angie Pontani has made burlesque her passion and her business. She enjoys a high-profile career; appearing in a variety of publications and television shows, posing for prominent photographers, and entertaining A-list celebrities.
As well as co-producing and performing in The New York Burlesque Festival, where she was awarded the 2011 Golden Pastie for ‘Best Body’, Angie also performed in Rome and Hong Kong.
A living, breathing, strutting and stripping British Marilyn Monroe is at No. 25. Perhaps best known for her cork popping, show stopping, ‘Champagne Showgirl’ routine, Banbury pays tribute to Marilyn in her ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ and ‘Heatwave’ shows. (Heatwave is my favourite! Ed.)
In 2011, Banbury’s performances were enjoyed throughout the UK and Europe, particularly in London, Spain, Geneva and Italy.
Ohhh it just got a little hotter in here! Peekaboo prowls across the stage and leaves the audience (as well as a long line of celebrities and top brands) purring for more. Peekaboo led a number of classes at BurlyCon 2011, and performed at the Montreal Burlesque Festival and the New Orleans Burlesque Festival. The tassel twirling at the end of this NOBF routine – GAH! The “Fastest Tassel Twirler from East to West” lives up to her name!
Amber has been singing, dancing and stripping for over a decade, and has made your TOP 50 list for a third year. In 2011 she won two more Golden Pastie Awards, voted ‘Glitter Monster’ for using excessive amounts of glitter, and the ‘Drama Award’, as the performer ‘most likely to star in her own lifetime television for women biopic.’ She also took her beautiful Lotus Blossom act to the Montreal Burlesque Festival.
Amber continues to create beautiful hair flowers and accessories, and has recently opened a new Etsy shop – go and check it out!
At No. 22, the Little Blonde Bomb! Inga has had a wonderful 2011 – and it’s fantastic to see more and more people discovering her and talking about her, because she really is one of the most talented and skillful performers we have. A beautiful dancer and inspiring teacher, with natural stage presence and audience rapport.
When she was crowned Miss Viva Las Vegas 2011 (VLV winning performance here…) and performed the same winning act at BHoF in June, the footage of her performances was viewed by people all over the world, and the response was amazing. Inga’s ‘Minnie the Moocher’ routine is not only one of the best performances of the year, but possibly one of our all time favourites. It is so polished and well put together, and executed brilliantly, with such easy authority and charisma. If only the footage could fully communicate how show stopping it was!
In 2011, Inga also performed at the Seattle Gypsy Rose Lee Centennial celebration, as well as a variety of other Seattle spectaculars, and in a fabulous show at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas, with Catherine D’Lish and Kalani Kokonuts. She also continues to teach at Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque.
With an equal number of votes, No. 21 is shared by…
Beautiful, brilliant Perle gave us two of our favourite moments of 2011. The first was a fantastic response to a couple of ‘difficult’ audience members at a Bustout Burlesque show, and the second was a very moving performance in tribute to Diane Naegel, at the New York Burlesque Festival.
Perle also entertained at the New Orleans Burlesque festival – where she has a loyal and affectionate following – with a solo performance, and a special, super fun number with host, Cora Vette.
Also at No. 21, is dancer, artist and muse,Vicky Butterfly. Vicky travelled to Las Vegas this year to compete for the title at BHoF, and was also involved in a very special theatrical cabaret show by the Boom Boom Club, which took place in the Old Vic Tunnels under Waterloo Station in London.
Vicky filmed a number of beautiful trailers in 2011 for her current shows, which you can enjoy here…