by Alessandra Izzo aka Ally Cat
Welcome to your official APDM wrap for the biggest night on the annual Aussie pole calendar, Miss Pole Dance Australia 2018, or as I would like to call it, The Blue Phoenix Extravaganza. If you weren’t there and you missed the livestream (who even are you?), our hypnotic-legged, cephalopod-loving, azure dreamboat appeared in no less than four performances (or was it more? I was so dazzled I may have lost count). His quick changes were nothing short of wizardry and will surely go down in history, or earn him some kind of lifetime achievement award. If it doesn’t, shame on us. We must do better.
Anyhoo, back to the show.
I haven’t made the pilgrimage to MPDA since 2009, when I saw Felix Cane take out the title for the third time. I have religiously watched the livestream for the last few years from my couch in Melbourne, wine in hand, always wishing I was there. So I was genuinely elated to finally make it back to the Enmore for the Aussie pole night of nights. I was also fascinated to see what Chilli Rox was billing as her “best opening show ever”. My expectations were high. And hot damn, she didn’t disappoint.
It was a full spectrum Prince tribute, featuring a star-studded cast including Miss Filly, Carlie Hunter, Daisy, Blue Phoenix, Danny Golding, Adam Lin, Felicity Logan, Djani Davidson, Roxy, Renee, the magnificent Felix Cane (who has now officially been Damed by Maxi Shield), and Chilli Rox herself.
We were treated to a gospel choir opening, sensational group choreo, simulated sex acts (I’m onto you Chilli, that scissoring situation was very convenient, wasn’t it!), Chilli eating actual cream off Blue Phoenix (I’m sensing a theme here…), a threeway on the pole, a stunning lyrical sequence, and a smoking hot kiss between Miss Filly and Danny Golding that I’m not ashamed to say is going in my personal spank bank.
The visual feast described above was enough to make me require an excitement pee. Add Prince to the mix and I was in heart-exploding ecstasy. But then, Felix Cane appeared on stage like some divine celestial being for a double spreadie to the Gods with Filly and her Rainbow Marchenko debut. Suddenly it became a spiritual experience. I think I actually glimpsed nirvana. I may have started speaking in tongues. I literally wept in glorious rapture.
What an incredible achievement, and definitely the best MPDA opening I have ever seen – I have no idea how it could ever be topped (though if anyone can do it, Chilli can). Congratulations Chilli and all the performers who brought that to life, and transported the MPDA 2018 opening to the heavens!
And so followed, a night of almost thirty shows with every single competitor an absolute force of nature. I was blown away by the strength and skill shown, however it shouldn’t come as a surprise given this is the playground for the best of the best to showcase their abilities. I won’t give you a blow by blow, as you can catch it all on the livestream which is still available to watch… and if you miss it I’m pretty confident you’ll be able to get your hands on a downloadable version sometime in the near future. Thus, I’ll just share with you the shows that truly stuck with me.
Her piece was mesmerising from start to finish. Yes, it was beautiful seeing Bailey on stage with her real-life fiancé Luke (I’m not gonna lie, I welled up a little at the cuteness overload), and I had a feeling something was amiss when Luke disappeared behind what appeared to be a screen and nothing more happened with it (turns out there was supposed to be projections on it, but the projector overheated and switched off… so I am determined to see this piece run in its full expression at some point), but Bailey was in absolutely spectacular form. Her dancing and movement both on, and off the pole is just delightful. She is a joy to watch, and a truly multi-faceted performer.
I’ve watched her on Insta, I already knew that she is a very skilled pole dancer, but this is the first time I’ve seen her perform live. Her piece was superbly crafted. Well thought out, interesting, captivating. Gracefully, and skilfully executed. I was hooked from the stunning lotus blossom prop start, and was on the edge of my seat the entire performance. As an aside, thanks for the lolz in your intro, Gia – apparently a book about her life would be called “But Where Are You Really From?: A Book of Casual Racism and Misogyny in Australia”. Good times.
This girl is on fire. I know she already has a pretty solid fan base, but I think she is soon to be recognised nationally as one of the cream of the crop. She’s beastly strong, stylish and creative in her sequences, her musicality is on point, and she has a killer stage charisma that is impossible to fabricate. It’s definitely been a great year for her, pulling out some truly exceptional routines (hello, Vortex) and her MPDA piece was undoubtedly one of them.
I’m calling it now, I think Camille is destined to win this competition in the near future. She is just something else, and I’m actually pretty stunned she didn’t feature in the top three. What a class act. Absolutely smoking hot, super strong, uber flexy, with liquid smooth and interesting transitions, plus stage presence that is second to none. I am genuinely excited to see what she brings to the stage in the coming years.
Honestly, as an armchair observer I thought she had this one in the bag. She always brings fire, but this routine was explosive. She clearly had the hunger, and Gracie seems to thrive under pressure. While some appeared overwhelmed by the experience, it seemed only to propel her harder. She was the sonic boom of the show. Her routine was definitely a highlight of the evening for me.
There were actually loads of other moments that deserve a mention, here’s a few more:
- Dallas Dee bringing a flippin’ bagpipe band on stage – and doing something most thought impossible, winning a sash by dancing to John Farnham
- Ruby kicking ass channelling Top Gun and ending with some mystical glow sticks that made pictures in the air as she swung them around her (where does one get these? I must have them!)
- Shimmy freaking twerking in a straddle handstand, in an hilarious feminist fairytale
- Natty bringing her signature epic, blinding musicality
- Andrea creating one of the coolest opening scenes I’ve seen with creepy hands and faces pushing through a screen behind her
- Shannyn Leonie putting one of the most unique concepts on stage I’ve ever seen in this competition
and then of course, Amy Hazel winning the god damn crown! It was needless to say, a night to remember.
Beyond the pole shows though, the Chilli Rox/Maxi Shield enduring partnership is nothing short of masterful. Their antics are truly world class entertainment, and I take my hat off to them for being just a joy to behold.
Some of my favourite non-pole moments of the night included:
- Chilli and Daisy getting vajazzled and tits out for Caroline Cazcapstar, watching from her hospital bed (we love you Caz!)
- Lennox Moon and Danny Golding showing off their Adam Lin originals and giving us their magazine cover poses (obviously the Australian Pole Dancers Magazine pose was the best one haha)
- Chilli parading around in her own Adam Lin original – a dress made entirely from APDM covers featuring herself
- Chilli and Maxi’s “non-staged” moments – the times where they needed to “fill” due to an extensive clean up or set-up, and had me transfixed with their off-the-cuff delightful banter
The calibre of MPDA is truly the elite of the elite. It was an honour to be treated to performances by some of the greatest pole dancers in Australia. But one of the biggest surprises of the night was the closing act. A group from Hong Kong I had never heard of – Melody Pole Studio – did a routine called Black Opium that was absolutely thrilling. Stunning and fascinating choreography executed with glorious precision. It was unpredictable, weird, sexy and hypnotic. A real treat and huge kudos to the choreographer/s and performers for coming all the way to Sydney and completely knocking it out of the park!
Congratulations to ALL the competitors for putting your heart and soul on that stage. A huge congrats to Amy, Gracie and Olivia for taking out top three, and to Dani and Dallas for your sashes. Congratulations to Chilli for the best opening ever, and all the other performers who took to the stage to make MPDA 2018 such an outstanding show.
And while it absolutely takes a village to create a night like this, the biggest thanks go to Ness and Gabby for organising such an epic event. It means so much, to so many, yet precious few realise how much work it takes behind the scenes. You ladies created magic. Thank you for giving us Polemas.
mpda 2018 RESULTS
WINNER: Amy Hazel
FIRST RUNNER UP: Gracie
SECOND RUNNER UP: Olivia Oates
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Miss Dani
SPONSOR’S CHOICE AWARD: Dallas Dee
The Miss Pole Dance Australia stream is available to watch until 6pm TONIGHT (Monday 6th November, 2017), if you miss it keep an eye out for the download which will be available soon.