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Wed, May 02, 2012
The New Paper
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Defying gravity
by Gerald Goh

SINGAPORE - She represented Singapore as a figure of elegance, poise and strength at Saturday night's competition.

But Miss Naoko Enomoto, the winner of Miss Pole Dance Southeast Asia 2012, revealed that the stress of preparation had taken its toll on her relationship in the days leading up to the grand face-off at local nightspot Avalon Singapore.

The 33-year-old Japanese pole dance instructor at Bobbi's Pole Dance Studio Singapore - who has lived and worked here for the past three years - told The New Paper: "I was quite stressed and frustrated the past week, and I warned (my boyfriend) Trip that I would be a b**** to him until the competition was over.

"Nevertheless, he said that he was okay with that as long as I warned him in advance when I was going to be catty.

"He was also very supportive and understood that my whole-day practice sessions, which could take up to six days a week, meant that we would hardly have any time to spend together."

Miss Enomoto, who had previously won the Miss Pole Dance Singapore 2010 competition, added that she has been dating Mr Trip Allen, a 51-year-old American who's working here in the IT industry, for about four months.

She said: "I'm looking forward to spending more time with him now, especially as it's still the honeymoon period for us.

"Plus, I can finally go out and have a drink!"

Her prizes included $800 cash and a three-day-two-night getaway to Kuala Lumpur sponsored by Bobbi's Pole Studio Malaysia.

Miss Pole Dance Southeast Asia 2012 was the third such annual competition hosted locally, with this year's edition also open to participants from around the region for the first time, featuring contestants from Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Mr Allen said he was extremely proud of Miss Enomoto, adding with a laugh: "To be honest, I was kind of expecting her to win."

Contest judge and Gold 90.5 DJ Hossan Leong praised her performance, labelling it "flawless."

He said: "It was a very hard decision to make, but Naoko won because she managed to combine a flawless sense of poise and style with her acrobatics."

Singapore's other representative Vivienne Tan, a 33-year-old pole dance instructor, didn't make the top three.

The Philippines' Ana Marie Garbo came in second, while Japan's Svetlana Domanova aka Nika bagged third place.

The 500-strong crowd at Avalon was treated to a spectacle, as the eight lithe finalists contorted themselves around twin poles in breath-taking poses.

They also showed off a dazzling array of stiletto heels and gorgeous costumes, even if the latter often left little to the imagination.

Event host and Australian pole dancer Chilli was particularly game in that aspect, as she warmed up the crowd with a series of titillating and sensual moves before the competition began.


One person who didn't expect to become part of the spectacle was TV host Oli Pettigrew.

The 30-year-old Brit was cajoled by his friends to go up on stage and perform a few pole dance moves during the intermission, and he gamely took off his shirt to show his ripped physique.

He said jokingly to his friends in the crowd, who were hooting with laughter: "I hate all of you so much!"

Pettigrew's performance prompted Leong to give him a standing ovation and present him with a bottle of champagne.

Leong said jokingly afterward: "He's a natural and should take up pole dancing!"

For his part, Pettigrew - who's married to US model Linda Black, with whom he has a son and foster daughter - was more modest.

He said with a bashful grin: "The show I put on tonight was somewhere between illegal and awful. "I'm happy the audience really loved it though, judging by their applause. At least I gave my friends a good laugh in the end!"

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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