A Spelling Bee for Strippers: Find Out Who's Really "Saving for College"

The idea for this Sunday's Stripper Spelling Bee at Baby Dolls was first created in Montreal a few years back and didn't include professional dancers as contestants. Strip spelling's father, scientist and medical illustrator Sherwin Tjia, just kinda thought it would be fun. His contest operated under basic framework: take a standard spelling bee forum but apply the same disciplinary action as is used in strip poker.

Then Tija drew up some rules:

1.) No photographs In fact, photographing anyone's shameful disrobing would cause immediate event removal for the guilty party and a complimentary drink for the snitcher who turned him in.

2.) If the contestant spells the word correctly then they can keep their clothes on.

3.) If a word is misspelled the guilty party must undress a third of the way. Meaning, after three "sometimes 'y'" mishaps the contestant is in the buff. Or down to knickers -- whatever their personal humiliation threshold allows.

In its earliest prototype the programming fell flat: too many easy words, not enough hard bodies. So it was tweaked. And twisted. And bastardized.

Then suddenly, it was hilarious.

According to urban lore everyone had more fun when people made mistakes -- contestants and attendees alike. That's when things got raw. Tija came up with a new game plan. He explained it to the Torontoist like this:

We ... pick words that are deliberately designed to trip people up. They're just clever in that you think you know them but you don't. Or we'll choose something like 'embarrassedly,' and you'll be like 'Oh fuck, how many of each letter is in there?'

The result? Nudity.

So Baby Dolls adopted this rough outline to design the club's first ever Stripper Spelling Bee. Are the stakes as high when the participants fully intend to strip repeatedly that night, regardless of grammar?


Is there something universally appealing about spelling pennants through nudity?

Oh yeah.

The cash prize is pretty nice: The club's finest speller gets $500 for her oratory proficiency, which in stripper terms is like one bachelor party, two side stages and one main stage, on a good night.

But will guys be happy if these girls can spell? What if they really are just putting themselves through college? Will the phrase "My manager doesn't like it when I stand around and spell properly" possibly be uttered?

A Baby Dolls publicist, assures that the crew likes competition so it's all in good fun. "They did a contest last year, "Are You Smarter Than A Stripper," and had some very smart girls involved," said the unnamed representative.

Sorry dudes. If these girls kill it, you won't thrill it. Can you spell D-I-S-A-P-P-O-I-N-T-E-D?

Visit Baby Dolls here for more information.

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Jamie Laughlin
Contact: Jamie Laughlin