Miss Burlesque Victoria 2019 | Miss Bettie Bombshell

Miss Burlesque Victoria 2019 | Miss Bettie Bombshell

Bombshell by name, bombshell by nature – frankly, this is one megastar of Aussie burlesque that smashes a stage with as much gusto as a garage full of greased up fuel-guzzling vintage racers. Miss Burlesque Victoria 2019 is one bombshell that packs a powerful punch of bumps, sizzling scorchers of side-eyed stage snears and a garter snap with such crack, that it’ll whip you in the chops and leave you dazed like a whisky soaked New Orleans fool asking for another shot!

Alyssa Kitt caught up and reminisced about swigging whisky disguised in a kombucha bottle backstage at the Burlesque Hall of Fame with the freshly re-crowned Miss Burlesque Victoria, Miss Bettie Bombshell.

Firstly, Miss Burlesque Victoria 2019 – huge congratulations – how did it feel when that crown was placed on your head?

Miss Burlesque Victoria State Final winners for 2019! Bettie Bombshell and Ferri Maya. Image captured by Alexis Desaulniers-Lea Photography.

Thank you darling! It felt absolutely sensational having that crown placed on my head. You never ever know what is going to happen in a competition, so to finally get that crown really was the best feeling. It was a culmination of months of work, creating, and training leading up to the event, and it was just so wonderful to have my hard work and meticulous planning come out on top!

This is not your first time being crowned Miss Burlesque Victoria – without getting into the specifics of the controversial past – what made you want to enter the competition for 2019?

No, it’s certainly not the first time I have won MBV indeed! I entered Miss Burlesque Victoria again because I really wanted to re-launch myself, and the Bettie Bombshell brand. I am always so busy touring and producing and all the rest of it, that I had put my own creative endeavours on hold for so long. It was wonderful to have a major deadline, and really push myself to create new work, to be better than I was last time I won, and to launch the Bettie 2.0 phase!

I also feel like I have achieved so many of my goals in this industry, and this is one of the things I have always wanted to do. It was taken from me once, and I was determined to make it stick this time!

Bombshell by name – bombshell by nature. Bettie in the Unique section. Image by Alexis Desaulniers-Lea Photography.

You’ve toured the world, performed on the highest level of stage at the Burlesque Hall of Fame, Bustout Burlesque in New Orleans and generally just smashed it out of the ballpark in just about every performative sense – did you feel as though you could lose face if you didn’t do well or win?

I have tried to answer this question about five times now… I would say yes and no. I won’t lie it absolutely cross my mind, what if I don’t win, what if my acts aren’t up to scratch, what will happen to me and my career? What would people think?

I very quickly I reminded myself of my dancing days. I was always told that if you do everything you can, so long as you leave no stone unturned and prepare yourself the best you possibly can, the result really doesn’t matter because you couldn’t have done anything more or better.

Did you feel a lot of pressure to take out the title?

I felt a lot of pressure from myself to be honest. I grew up on comps, I grew up being told that winning was what you did, and I am always trying to be the absolute best performer I could be. Any pressure that I felt was completely self-inflicted! But truth be told, I kinda love the pressure.

I think that kind of pressure really makes us extend out of our comfort zones, makes us take those risks and makes us evolve as artists.

Bettie competing onstage at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, 2017.

How did you prepare for the competition for 2019?

I started planning about five months before the comp began. Laying down all the concepts, what I wanted to achieve on stage and what I wanted my MBA 2019 journey to say. My favourite place in the world is New Orleans, so I immediately knew I wanted to capture the intoxicating atmosphere that is New Orleans! I could see the smoke jazz bars, and the roaring has music floating through my mind as I was dreaming up this number, and I absolutely LOVE performing it!

I actually had another Unique act prepared for Miss Burlesque Victoria! It was ready to go – the choreography was finalised, I had spent hours rehearsing every fine musical cue and I was proud as punch! Luckily, I took the act for a spin at a show that I produce and realised that it wasn’t quite right for this year’s event. It was a fun act, but it was not a winning act. I needed to showcase more of me, who I am now as a performer what I really wanted to say on stage. I speedily dug into my brain and brought out an idea that I had been sitting on for a while now, and I made it happen!

I re-learnt how to dance on pointe, I was in the studio every single night for a month leading up to MBV, and I enlisted super star choreographer Miss Friby to help me with the acts WOW factor!

I joined the gym, I went on a healthy eating diet, and I generally got myself in peak performance mode. I told ya, I grew up on this shit!

Bettie onstage at the Australian Burlesque Festival. Photography by 3 Fates Media.

I saw a real crazy photo of you somewhat hovering in mid-air in a tutu – what did you do for your unique?

A magician never reveals her secrets 😉

Give me three words that sum up who Bettie Bombshell as a performer is.

Power. Dance. Energy.

You’re a super accomplished performer – tell me about some of your career highlights to date?

I have had the privilege of performing all over the world with some of the best in the business. I think honestly my biggest highlight has been being a successful, 5ft size 12 dancer. I grew up in a world where I was told no matter what I did I was never going to be a dancer… I guess I showed them.

A magician never reveals their secrets. Bettie hovering on stage in the Unique section. Image by Alexis Desaulniers-Lea Photography.

I have been accepted to perform at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas three times now, I mean it’s so wild, when I am 80 years old with a whisky in hand still romping around in that leopard print gown I can say, I was once a Vegas showgirl. I have headlined the Australian Burlesque Festival, I have created multiple five star shows that have toured extensively nationally & international, I have mentored winners, and I have won titles all over the globe.

It’s a blessed life that I live. I have met my best friends in this industry, and I am so incredibly lucky to be able to step on stages weekly and entertain the world. Some people never get that chance to do what they love, let alone make a living out of it!

How are you going to prepare for the Grand Final?

I have a few mafia connections 😉

Bettie backstage at Bustout Burlesque in New Orleans.

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