Last Dance: Womanless Beauty Pageant goes out with a bang

By on November 10, 2017

Miss Toys for Tots Barbie 4Toys, Steve Gills, answers a question. Seated are Miss Dare Education Foundation Rent Mee, Tim Cafferty; Miss ARTS Dental Outreach Drilla Tilya Filla, Gunther Heyder; and Miss Community Care Clinic of Dare Amanda Hugankiss, Ben Reilly.

If the Last Dance Womanless Beauty Pageant was the last big dance at Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern in Nags Head, then the show went out with a bang.

As Mike Kelly gets ready to close his iconic Outer Banks nightspot at the end of the month, this raucous, wild fund raiser was a fitting tribute to what Kelly’s has meant to the local community.


The concept is simple: men dressed as women raising money for their favorite charity. As women go, well the models were clearly men, in spite of the best efforts of Tammie Scarborough and the team at Style Divita, Ru Paul they were not. Not even Dame Edna.

Miss Interfaith Community Outreach LuLu Electric, a.k.a. Lou Williams, with his full beard, 6-4 frame and football muscles was never going to be mistaken for a woman.

Miss ARTS Dental Outreach Drilla Tilya Filla, Dr. Gunther Heyder, probably pulled it off the best with his white sequined mini-skirt, although the masculine stride in his high-heeled shoes was unmistakable.

Winning this contest, though, has never been about physical beauty or talent.

Rather when Drilla Tilya Filla donned the crown as Miss Womanless Beauty 2017, it was because Heyder’s efforts in support of A Reason To Smile Dental Outreach had raised over $19,000.


Miss Outer Bank Interfaith Community Outreach Lulu Electric, Lou Williams.

This was the fifth Womanless Beauty Pageant on the Outer Banks, with all five pageants sponsored by Brindley Beach.

The contest had gone on hiatus for two years in 2015. But in 2016 circumstances seemed to come together to create an opportunity for a last dance, according to pageant mom Dee Dean, the organizer of all five pageants.

“After hearing about Kelly’s Tavern being sold, and knowing there isn’t another venue large enough to have this event, I wanted to have one more pageant,” Dean said.


“Soon after, I ran into Doug Brindley at Front Porch Café and mentioned it to him,” she said. “He was all for being the sponsor again.”

The first two pageants were in support of the American Cancer Society, a cause that was important to Max Radio of the Carolinas station and sales manager Bob Davis, an early supporter of the pageant.

Davis, who passed away in October 2016, paved the way for many future contestants with the humor and power of his performance, including at the pageant’s first edition.

Bob Davis

Bob’s influence is still a part of the event. The energy and passion the contestants seem to bring to the stage is a reflection of his advice, according to Dean.

“Bob Davis always reminded the fellas ‘Don’t go out there and be who you are; go out there and be who you came here to be.’ ”

And it seems the person the contestants want to be are people who care deeply about a cause.

Deeply enough to become a character they never thought they would be and take the stage in a role unlike anything they could have imagined.

“It was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I embraced the moment, and had a good time,” Miss Dare Education Foundation Rent Men, Tim Cafferty, said.

Miss Dare Education Foundation Rent Mee, Tim Cafferty, answering questions from emcee Cory Taylor.

The pageant has grown over the years, largely because of a commitment to the Outer Banks community and how giving it can be.

“At first it was for the American Cancer Society,” Brindley said. “Then I decided it was best used for local charity and we had each contestant chose their own charity. I believe it is important to give back to the community.”

The third year, 2013, was when contestants began raising funds for the charity of their choice. It was also the year the event moved to Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern. And that is the year of one of emcee Cory Taylor’s favorite memories.

“That first year we were at Kelly’s,” Taylor recalled. “People up in the balcony were tossing dollar bills down to the floor. It was like it was raining money.”

Miss Outer Banks Relief Foundation Carmen Gettit, Mike Rowe, rocking out with Patty McKenna on guitar.

The pageant is organized madness. There is the grand entry as the contestants enter and are introduced.

There is a question and answer with Taylor who has been the host for all five pageants. Finally, there is the talent part of the show and that is the highlight.

Sometimes risqué, but always fun, the question-and-answer and talent portion features unexpected questions and unexpected answers.

After taking the audience around the world with Drilla Tilya Filla and his A Reason To Smile (ARTS) Dental Outreach program, Taylor ended the global tour asking, “With such important issues facing you, I must ask you, ‘How much wood, could a woodchuck chuck.’”

Miss Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research Dolly Finn, Dr. Jay Taylor, working the crowd.

Heyder’s answer included a reflection of conditions in many of the places he has worked to bring dental health to areas of the world that have never seen a dentist and finished with a perfect rendering of the tongue twister.

Then there was the talent segment featuring lap dances, a rock show and a teacher—Rent Mee—strutting his/her stuff to Van Halen’s “Hot for the Teacher.”

Or Miss Outer Banks Relief Foundation Carmen Gettit, Mike Rowe, with Patty McKenna on guitar rocking out on stage.

The evening capped off with what might have been when the brothers Gunter and Markus Heyder, winners in 2012 and 2017, took the stage together in full regalia as a reminder of the creativity of the event: the commitment of the Outer Banks community and the hope that small steps will make a difference.

“This pageant started as a way to raise money for cancer research.” Dean said. “In the end, it has raised awareness for so many worthy causes but hopefully one of them is a cure for cancer.”

Hey, this pageant mom can dream,” Dean said. “If I can get men to say yes to wearing a dress, I can dream that one day soon we will have a cure.”


  • Stephen J McKenna

    Thanks for the story.
    I remember Bob Davis as a very caring person.
    I’m sure he was looking down and enjoying the Last Dance.

    Saturday, Nov 11 @ 8:03 am
  • Bud

    That’s embarrassing for the outer banks.

    Monday, Nov 13 @ 6:48 am
  • ManteoMan

    Why is raising money for a good cause an embarrassment?

    Tuesday, Nov 14 @ 10:50 am
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