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I was a judge
I was a judge
Last week I got to be a judge at Amateur Night at a local strip club. It's not a complicated selection process - you go to the club on Amateur Night, and when they ask for judges, you volunteer. The only rule, apparently, is that you can't be associated with one of the contestants, but if you were discreet, it's not clear how they'd even know that.
It's also not clear what counts as an amateur. I've only been to a couple of these, and once there were waitresses from the day shift competing at Amateur Night. Okay, they're not dancers, but that certainly seems more like Semi-Pro Night, in the sense that it wouldn't be fair to a contestant who expected to compete against other true amateurs. In this case, though, I believe that all of the contestants (there were only five) were really amateurs in fact and in spirit - their moves were just different from the real dancers' moves. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.
I admit that I felt a little like the old East German judges used to in the Olympics. Whether it's figure skating or gymnastics or exotic dancing or whatever, you're hesitant to give a really high score to the first contestant, because if somebody else does better, what score do you give them?
Also, I made one scoring decision before seeing any of the contestants. We were judging on a ten-point scale, and I decided that anybody who has gets up and dances in front of a crowd of total strangers has more balls than I do, and there was no way anybody was getting below a 7 on my scorecard - and assuming they actually stripped, they get at least an 8. Minimum.
So here were the results:
Our first contestant was Jocelyn. (Okay, I need to say something about stage names. We all know it's not your real name. But a strip club is about fantasy, and it helps the fantasy if your stage name COULD be your real name. Her name wasn't Jocelyn - at least, I assume not - but we can pretend, and that counts, in my book, and since I was a judge, my book counted.) Jocelyn got off to a pretty slow start. I can't blame her too much for that. It's got to be intimidating enough to do something like that, and to go first must be even worse. She did better as her dance went along, and she was actually pretty good at the end. I debated between an 8 and a 9 for her, finally settling on an 8. I figured I could always go back and change it later if I felt she deserved more in comparison to the others.
The second dancer was Surreal. (See above about stage names. Come on, pick something that lets the imagination work.) She missed her cue or something and didn't go on stage, but they eventually found her and she went on at the end of the contest. She did all right, but not quite as good as Jocelyn. I gave her an 8 too - although I felt Jocelyn did better, I didn't think Surreal deserved a lower score.
Contestant #3 was 69. (This rates as truly awful in the stage name category.) She didn't seem into it at all, and hardly looked at the audience. I know it's intimidating, but you have to at least acknowledge that we're there. And letting your top ride up over your breasts while keeping your shorts exactly where they started doesn't count as stripping. She got a 7.
The fourth contestant was Velvet. I gave Velvet an exemption on the stage name thing. Sure, it doesn't meet my normal criteria, but she danced to the song "Black Velvet" and had a great outfit to go with it. Unfortunately, she couldn't figure out where the stage entrance was and missed the first half or so of the song. (Hint: You could just go where the dancers in front of you went.) She was very tall, with curly red hair and an all-black outfit - shoes, stockings, garters, panties, bra, gloves, and a collar-type thing around her neck. She was the first contestant where I said, "I want her!" She really moved well with the music too ... all in all, a great show. But I only gave her a 9, since she only did half a song. Still, she was clearly the best so far.
The last contestant, Sonia, stole the show. Nice name - it's not her name, I assume, but it's a name that's plausible. She had straight blonde hair, parted in the middle, down to about halfway between her chin-line and shoulders. She wore very sexy glasses, which went well with her outfit, even though they weren't part of the outfit - they just seemed to be her glasses, judging from seeing her after the contest. She wore a short-sleeve black top and a little black skirt over white panties. She had little black heels on, but the thing that caught your attention first about her outfit were her socks - little white socks that came up just to her ankles, with a little cotton ball thing at the top. So she's very cute. Then she started dancing, and she was into it from the start. Very energetic, obviously having a great time. And it was obvious that she was an amateur, too. The professional dancers try to be more sensual and seductive about their movements. Sonia was just having a blast and loving every moment of it.
She stripped quickly and energetically, and soon all she had on were the shoes, socks, and glasses. One of the dancers (the ones who work there) sitting in the front row even got up and lay on her back on the stage for Sonia to simulate a little oral sex. (To be honest, rather than helping her on my scorecard, I almost counted it against her, just for being too blatant about trying for a high score. But I ended up simply disregarding it.) I gave her a 10 and wrote "Very cute. Very energetic. Great socks! I want a couch dance from her!"
(Apparently the amateurs can't give couch dances, because they don't have the required entertainer's license or whatever. I didn't ask - I just overheard something like that.)
Sonia, Surreal, and 69 made the finals. I should say that I don't know what effect the other dancer being onstage with Sonia had on the other judges. I disregarded it, but I don't know what they did. At risk of stereotyping my fellow males, they probably rated her higher because of it. And I think there's something to that generalization with this particular group of judges. Sonia belonged in the finals, definitely. But Velvet was clearly the best of the other four. The other judges must not have appreciated her, and that's too bad. (As for choosing between Jocelyn, Surreal, and 69, I would have gone with Jocelyn, but between those three I can accept either of the other two as simply a matter of different people with different tastes.) In any case, it's winner-take-all, and even if Velvet had made the finals, Sonia was still the best, so there's no harm there in the end.
They do Amateur Night every Wednesday. If any of you lovely ladies would care to join me there (to watch, judge, or compete), I'd be delighted with your company next week. A wink's as good as a nod, as they say.