Finals of Spearmint Rhino Entertainer of the Year Tonight

Dan Miller
LOS ANGELES — The Finals of the 2011 Spearmint Rhino Entertainer of the Year competition are set for 9:30 tonight at the Rhino in Torrance, Calif.

Six finalists from Spearmint Rhino clubs across the country will compete for the grand prize, which includes the chance to sign a one-year feature dancing contract and tour the country.

Each of the dancers advanced to tonight's final round by placing either first or second in three preliminary rounds, the first of which was Sept. 28.

Erick Sikkenga, executive VP of operations for Spearmint Rhino, said this year's winner will have an option of grand prize packages. The first option is $5,000 cash, a $700 gift certificate to the Spearmint Rhino Superstore in the City of Industry and a Rhino custom pendant.

The second option is $5,000 in cash, a $1500 superstore certificate, a photo shoot with a custom portfolio, a Rhino pendant and a feature entertainer contract "that is worth a lot of money," Sikkenga said.

"She is also the face of Spearmint Rhino for the next year in many aspects. She'll be on billboards, in print ads and will do radio and TV for us, as well as feature at all our clubs across the U.S. And maybe she'll end up like Christina Aguchi."

Aguchi, the 2009 winner, has become one of the most sought-after feature dancers in the country.

Sikkenga said this year the Rhino decided to have only three prelims — in year's past there were six — in an effort to maximize the quality of the competitors.

"We did it just to get better girls. We look at the size of the club and we put a quota on them, on how many girls they need to have to get into the contest," Sikkenga explained. "We talked about it after last year and we ran the numbers. This year to make the competition better we wanted to get the top one or two girls from each location and have three weeks of prelims for a six-girl final… And the six girls that are in The Finals are just awesome."

The field includes Week 1 winner April Flowers (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who is also an adult performer, and runner-up Sasha (Dallas); Week 2 winner Lily (Boise, Idaho) and runner-up Viviana (City of Industry); and Week 3 winner Melrose (City of Industry) and runner-up Genevieve (Torrance).

Sikkenga said Lily and her entourage actually drove from Boise to Torrance for the prelims two weeks ago "because they had so much stuff to use as props for her show."

"And they turned around and went back home and drove back again for the finals. So she’s going for the win," he said.

The 2010 Entertainer of the Year winner was Celine from the Van Nuys Rhino.

The Torrance location is at 19900 Normandie Ave., 90502.

Check for more information.