MONTREAL - This week, inside a swank Montreal restaurant-turned TV studio, 30 performers selected from bars across Quebec squared off head to head - and pole to pole - for provincial striptease supremacy.
Packaged into a four-episode series, "Pole Position Quebec" will hit pay TV in May, but the show's producer and host, Anne-Marie Losique, said she isn't stopping there.
Losique said a pan-Canadian competition - and possibly U.S. and European tilts - could soon follow.
"Eventually, we actually want to do a Canadian version because there are lots of stripteasers also in English Canada," said Losique, a TV star known for her scanty on-screen outfits, flirtatious personality and time spent on actor Ben Affleck's lap.
"The idea is really to put region against region and cities against cities to find the best dancer.
"In sports, you always have fans for Vancouver and fans for Toronto - I'm sure the people in Toronto like their Toronto girls."
The ladies vying for the "Pole Position Quebec" title duelled in 20 events. Details of the contests are guarded secrets, but the showdowns included strip-club classics such as pole and lap dances.
Losique, the daughter of Montreal World Film Festival founder Serge Losique, made international headlines a few years ago when videos of her groping-filled interview with Affleck surfaced on YouTube.
Throughout the 2004 interview, a giggly Losique sat on Affleck's lap while he snuggled up to her and went on - often using an unconvincing French accent - about her breasts and sex.
Losique has produced many TV programs, including "La Job," a Quebec version of the popular British show "The Office." She has also starred in the French-language take of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's hit show "The Simple Life" (La Vie Rurale).
But Losique, a longtime admirer of exotic dancers, said the Pole Position concept has been on her mind for years.
"Some girls do amazing stuff - upside down, holding with one hand, I mean I can barely lift myself on those things," Losique said on the show's set, which featured two poles side by side, a giant wall mirror and a massive disco ball hanging from the ceiling.
"The ones who do it well - (they're) gorgeous."
Kandy, a 19-year-old contestant, said it's all in the way you carry yourself.
"A smile, the way the person dances, if the person's original and just if the person's comfortable, because you see if you're not comfortable when you're dancing it's not worth it because it shows that you're not at ease," she said during a short break from the shoot.
What about your chances of taking the title?
"Well, if I'm here I think I do have a shot, but me I came here just to have fun and do a new experience," Kandy said.
The dancers represent strip joints from Montreal, Mont-Tremblant, Berthierville, St-Hyacinthe, Longueuil and Mirabel.
Along with provincial bragging rights, the winner earns a trip to a southern destination and several other prizes.
Quebec stand-up comics Michel Sigouin and Guy Bernier joined four out-of-province Canadian strippers on the panel of judges.
"It's pretty funny, it's one of the funniest gigs we ever got, that's for sure," Sigouin said. "But the show's pretty nice, I think the guys are going to like it."
Asked how he thinks he got the job, Sigouin replied: "I guess my reputation as a perv has preceded me, I don't know."