As I was down in LA for Comikaze, I decided to extend my stay for one night and go to the competition.
The competition was slated to be held at Circus Hollywood. Literally one day before the competition, I started seeing posts on Facebook that the venue had changed (to Arena Hollywood, which is in the same parking lot at least). Also the time was moved up by an hour and a half or so, which bummed me out since I was supposed to go watch a panel on women and size diversity at Comikaze. I was also disappointed because I never got an e-mail announcing the time change. If I hadn't noticed the posts on Facebook, I would never have known. I found out later, that was because I was not on "the list." Luckily, I was able to show the door the receipt for my $99 ticket and my reserved seat had been left empty, so there was no harm, no foul.
|My shirt from Poleitical Clothing|
The Circus nightclub is a much larger venue than Arena. I felt like the tables were really squashed together in order to get the same number of people into Arena. The stage was also smaller and there was no awesome sparkly background. At the same time, watching an event of this magnitude in a smaller venue is kind of cool and makes everyone feel like they have a front row seat. It appears that the venue was at fault for over-booking. CPDC was forced to start earlier and literally the minute the show was over, the lights went on and everyone was told to go home so they could set up for the next event. Considering how many events Anjel has now done with this club, you would think they would have a little more respect for her. I seriously hope she was given a large refund for this mistake. Despite all of this, the club was packed and the show went on! I saw Nadia Sharif (last year's winner) working her booty off as she hustled around the club keeping everything on schedule.
There was no video allowed at this event so I haven't been able to go back and re-watch performances to give a better reaction. If you are interested in watching performances, I believe United Pole Artists and MFEO.tv are offering them for 99 cents. Therefore, I am commenting on this contest only by memory and notes. My phone also didn't take many great photos because the lighting was whiting everything out.
Judging this competition: Natasha Wang, Mina Mortezaie, Amy Guion, Flying Laura Martin, Kelly Maglia and Josiah "BadAzz" Grant. BadAzz started the show off with a reprise of his winning Midwest Prince routine. And Flying Laura closed the show in the only way she knows how -- with her bad ass flying tricks and spins.
Neo (amateur) category included: Drusilla Ray, Nancy Ly, Uyen Hoang (took third place in amateur division in 2012), Moana Moon, Tehera Nesfield, Jhasmynne Hider, Candi Vastlik, Venus Manuel, Adrienne Strauss, Heather West and Margarita Evans.
Indeed, I felt like the winners did put on well-rounded, and often emotional performances. Margarita took first (with her cooking-themed routine, which I saw showcased at Pole Expo in Las Vegas; she was also crowned Champion in Level 3/Senior at Pacific Pole Championship earlier this year). Venus (one of my personal favorite people in general) took second with her very, very emotional routine. She also won People's Choice Award from Mighty Grip and X-Pole. Moana placed third. She also had a very beautiful routine.
Pro category include: Shelly Lamb, Brandon Rosario, Sasja Lee, Brynn Route, Lily Huang (took first in amateur division in 2012), Stacey Craven (took second place in amateur division in 2012), Drea Roers, Crystal Gibson, Amanda Rose and Katherine Voorhees (not listed on the program). Side note: To see other past winners, click HERE.
First off, little Amanda Rose sailed on to the pole competition circuit only this year after turning 18. Keep an eye on her. She has big things coming. I believe adding Brandon to the pro line-up is the first step in adding a men's division to future CPDC competitions. I was also slightly saddened that only one Northern California poler made it into the entire competition. Congratulations to Shelly Lamb for representing all of Nor Cal.
Sasja Lee (another one of my favorite people in general) took first place. She also won Most Athletic. Amanda Rose took second place with her energetic routine. She also won Most Artistic and Most Entertaining. Brynn Route took third, and also won Most Flexible. Crystal Gibson (another of my favorites) won X-Pole and Glitter Heel's Miss Congeniality award.
All-in-all, despite the last-minute monkey wrench, this was another fun pole event. I am really glad I stuck around to watch and thank you to Nadia and Anjel for a great event!
Do you agree with my assessment of the performances? If you watched any of them, let me know what you thought!