Representing the City of Industry club, Melrose captivated the audience with a slow, sensual performance on a set designed to look like her private bath. She narrowly edged Viviana, also from the City of Industry, and Lily from the Spearmint Rhino in Boise, Idaho, in one of the closest final fields since the annual contest began in 2004. Both Viviana and Lily were named co-runners-up — and only four points separated the six finalists.
“I’m excited, I’m just surprised that I won,” Melrose said breathlessly, minutes after coming off the stage. “I just thought there were a lot of talented girls in the competition.”
With the victory, she earned $5,000 in cash, a $1500 gift certificate to the Spearmint Rhino Superstore in City of Industry, a photo shoot with a custom portfolio, a Rhino pendant and a one-year feature entertainer’s contract.
“I want to feature. I want to travel the world,” said Melrose, who accepted the winner’s tiara from the 2010 Entertainer of the Year, Celine.
A junior communications major at an L.A.-area college, Melrose has been dancing for the past two years and also works as a makeup artist on mainstream movies and fashion shows.
With her degree, she said “I want to do something in journalism or the p.r. world.”
Melrose’s sexy show drew the most raucous crowd reaction on Thursday as she shook the tassles on her pink bra and panties before eventually lying in the bathtub in the middle of the stage and doing an incredible leg tease.
Afterward, she accepted the grand prize package from the Rhino’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Kathy Vercher, Executive VP of Operations Erick Sikkenga and Senior District Manager Brett Schuster, all of whom judged The Finals from stage side.
Vercher could not have been more pleased with the quality of The Finals.
“Real sexy. All the girls brought it,” Vercher said. “The sets were really creative and they didn’t just go cute, they went sexy and erotic. I’m very happy about that.”
Each of the dancers advanced to the final round by placing either first or second in three preliminary rounds, the first of which was Sept. 30.
Co-runner-up Viviana, a 23-year-old who has been dancing for the past year, said she came ready for The Finals, stripping out of her blue “ice princess” outfit to a medley of electronic music.
“I’m excited. I thought I did a good job,” said Viviana, who was Super Mario during the prelims. “I was a little nervous, but not really.”
Viviana already has her bachelor’s degree in bio-chemistry and is doing an internship while she dances “just for fun.”
Lily and her entourage drove to The Finals from Boise with some elaborate props that included a laser light show. She represented well in her tight-fitting Red Riding Hood costume — she even got carried off by the Big Bad Wolf at the end.
Strong showings by former adult film star April Flowers (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who looked as good as ever, Genevieve (Torrance) and Sasha (Dallas) made the competition almost too close to call.
“Poorman’s Bikini Beach” covered the event for an upcoming TV broadcast, and Goldie DeWitt shot the competition — including backstage interviews with all the finalists — for SpearmintRhino.com.
Pictured from left: Viviana, Melrose and Lily. (photo by Gia Jordan).