CHATSWORTH, Calif. - Former adult film star Christina Aguchi won the Spearmint Rhino Entertainer of the Year competition Thursday night at the Rhino in Torrance. (photo gallery)
Christina, who retired from movies in 2007 and now dances at the Rhino's Rouge Van Nuys location, received $5,000 cash and a feature dancing contract to tour Spearmint Rhino clubs in the U.S. and Canada in the coming year.
"I was nervous, I'm not going to lie," the 22-year-old New Orleans native told AVN. "My adrenalin was pumping. Five minutes before I went on stage I was laying down on the stairs and my manager asked me if I was alright."
She pulled it together in dramatic fashion, closing the competition with an electrifying performance in which she showcased her martial arts and tumbling background. The theme of her costume was inspired by the character Sub Zero from the video game "Mortal Kombat." With the stage bathed in a smoky haze from the dry ice effects, Christina came out dressed like a futuristic ninja warrior and quickly showed her athleticism with dazzling kicks and punch combinations. Then she grabbed a Bo staff, or long spear, and wielded it with expert precision before ripping off her mask, letting down her long, black hair and launching into a back-flip that ended in a full split.
As Britney Spears' "Break the Ice" mixed into a hard-hitting Korn track, she rang the giant gong that was part of her stage show and finished with a high-energy, head-banging sequence that clearly impressed the judges.
"I did martial arts for 11 years and tumbling for two years," said Christina, a first-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do who took a bronze medal in the Junior Olympics as a teenager. She credited her manager Marcelo "Celo" Troilo with helping her come up with the winning routine.
"I think she was pretty original in my opinion," Celo said. "We worked together for weeks."
The Chinese-Vietnamese beauty who performed in over 50 adult movies said she rehearsed her routine three nights a week for nearly a month after winning the first preliminary round of the competition on Sept. 18. The finals were comprised of nine of the top dancers from the five prelims that included girls from Spearmint Rhinos and their sister clubs across the country.
"This was something for me to prove to myself that I'm good at something," Christina said, adding that she built up her pole skills by practicing in her living room. "I love what I do."
Christina, who accepted the 2009 crown from 2008 Entertainer of the Year Star, also received a diamond and gold, custom Spearmint Rhino necklace courtesy of Capri Jewelers. In addition, she left with a $5,000 gift certificate from Dr. John Anastasatos, a professional photo shoot with a portfolio and a $1,500 gift certificate to the Spearmint Rhino Superstore in City of Industry. The title is worth over $40,000 in cash and prizes.
Lisa Rei, representing the host club in Torrance, took second place and received a gift from Dr. Anastasatos. Rei, a stunning Cuban, Italian and Swedish dancer, performed a festive, Latin-themed show. She danced to Samba and other Latin music with green and purple feathers in her hair.
"I had so much fun," said Rei, a native of Anaheim who has been an entertainer in Torrance for only five months. "I wanted to put some flavor in there. I was thinking Rio de Janeiro. I wanted a Brazilian theme."
The top two girls narrowly edged the talented final field that included the 2007 Entertainer of the Year, Taryn (Torrance Rhino), who got the crowd rocking with her sexy dancing, twirling and booty shaking. Shay Lynn (Rouge-Van Nuys), who won the 2008 Exotic Dancer Newcomer Feature of the Year honor in August, displayed some incredible pole tricks and great energy during her Candyland performance. Lynn thrilled the standing-room-only crowd when she bounced on a trampoline and closed her show by pouring chocolate syrup on her torso while lying in a bowl of candy.
The sexy Chase from Van Nuys walked out on a red carpet like a movie star in another popular number. Each of the finalists was presented with a bouquet of roses before the winner was announced.
For Gia Jordan's photo gallery, click here.
Pictured: Erick Sikkenga, executive vice president of operations for Spearmint Rhino, and winner Christina Aguchi.