How It Works

Why be a part of the show

Burlesque Idol was created to give a platform for artists because we know how difficult it can be even for the very best and brightest stars in our industry. It is a competition but we don't focus on that element but rather try and make it a fun, supportive and worthwhile showcase for everyone. Every contestant receives professional photos, sponsor gifts, and then the winner will go home with a prize package worth over $1,000. 

What makes Burlesque Idol unique

Burlesque Idol is free to compete in, is judged primarily by the audience, and is open to all types of burlesque styles. Our past winners have included comedy, operatic, circus, and classically inspired burlesque. We leave the judging primarily to the audience as we believe, in the real world, that is ultimately every performer focus for their personal business. Creating an act that is a unique reflection of their individual artistry, as well as being genuinely engaging or entertaining is a recipe for success and what we aim to support. 

The application process

We are so excited every year by the quality and amount of applications we receive, but unfortunately only have space for a handful of performers in each city. Because of this, we're often not able to accept very talented performers. While Burlesque Idol is often dubbed as 'supporting emerging talent' we are not a show for beginners. Most of our winners have been performing for at least three years, however, we encourage artists from all backgrounds to apply. We don't categorise for 'types' of burlesque, and we don't categorise for years of performing. We just ask that you do the best version of what you do. We do require videos of all applications to inform us on the content and quality of the act. The quality of the video is not important, and will in no way affect our judgement. As stated above, you are welcome to apply with any kind of act - there is no preference given to one style over another. 

Applications for 2020 are now open. The closing date for applications is November 1st, 2019. Please be patient as we give proper time to all of them. We will notify everyone whether or not you've been chosen by November 15th.

If you have any questions please feel free to email

Please also take a moment to read our Frequently Asked Questions and Terms and Conditions pages.

The judging criteria

The winner of each Burlesque Idol is chosen by a mix of 70% audience and 30% judges votes. Each audience member gets only one vote.

There are no set criteria for the judges' votes. They provide optional comment cards at the end of the show but are briefed to choose whatever act they feel is strongest across the board. There have occasionally been concerns about judges playing favouritism but we do everything we can to prevent this from happening. In addition, each judge is only 10% of the entire vote, and to date has never swayed who's won with their individual vote.

The content, skills, story, flow, music, precision (amount an act has clearly been rehearsed), costuming and cohesiveness all go into making a great routine. Occasionally one area can be so incredible that it makes up for others, but in general, our winners have shows which include professional-level elements of each of these elements.

What you'll win

The prize packages for 2020 are still being finalised but will include a professional photo shoot, champagne, crown, and at least $500 in additional prizes FOR EACH CITY. For more information check out our Sponsors & Prizes page or like us on facebook to get up to the minute announcements!