The pictures look funny because they were actually taken of a video of one of my pole practice sessions. I don't have the kind of set up that would feed VHS to my computer and screen cap it, so this was the only way to get pictures:
From this angle you can clearly see the trick is done without hands:
I've even mastered getting down from the pole with no hands. I pull them in closer to my body, along with the free leg, and slowly slide down the pole to the floor:
I would like to figure out how to do this trick while arching my back as done in THIS PICTURE. I haven't figured out yet how she does that. It looks like she might have the top of her foot against the pole for extra leverage. But when I try to get my foot around the pole while hanging upside down by one leg, it's impossible. So I have yet to figure out how to execute the inverted one leg trick with that beautiful back arch. Any suggestions?