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Click play to see a little bobbly dance action video. My daughter provides a dance critique.
Saturday night arrived and I drove down to the Zone Ball with a giant head in the back of my hatchback.
In the parking lot, I got Dwight's giant head attached to the backpack harness and approached the front gate. For a few minutes, I was Dwight the scalper, until a skeptical peacock bought my extra ticket.
Security checkpoints are always the physical bottleneck at costume contests. This year I had to crouch-walk through a 7' tent so that they could make sure I wasn't sneaking any liquor or weapons inside.
The Zone Ball is a really huge party. There are probably about 8,000 people there, and a lot of ground to cover.
Within minutes I was sizing up my chances. I was hearing a lot of "who is that?" and "Big Head guy", which was not encouraging.
I also sized up the competition. My favorite was this couple dressed as a photo booth and film strip. These are so great! I love how he is wearing the backpack harness in the other photos!
The sides of the white frames were also open, so that people could pose with him in frame. This is really great for a big crowd party! Really one of the most original I've seen.
|I visited the contest pre-judging mini-stage and got my wristband for the best costume contest. The contest was scheduled for midnight.
Dwight was a hit with the crowd. Although not everyone recognised him on sight, the people who did recognise him were huge fans and gave me a lot of great feedback. I posed for scores of photographs.
At about 11:45, I moved to the pre-contest area with all the other prize-worthy costumes. Although the competition in 2007 was fairly weak, I did not feel very confident about my chances of winning. I've done this too many times to believe that there is any way to know what the crowd is going to like best.
I stood next to a guy in a Predator costume, and we complained to one another about the crappy visiblity within our costumes.
The first two contests were for the king and queen of the ball, two $500 contests for the sexiest costumes. The contest pre-judgers had, for some reason, allowed a guy in drag into the "sexiest woman" contest, and lo, he got the most applause and won!
That should give you an idea of how screwy these "audience response" contests can get. On the other hand, I've been the proud victor in many similar contests, so I can't be too bitter.
As the sexy contests were ending, a giant robot costume, piloted by a guy on 3-foot stilts made his way onto the stage. His costume was an impressive mess. It was huge, tall and wide, but totally crap-tastic, silver spray-painted cardboard.
I knew this would be tough competition. Unfortunately for him, his poor mobility required him to amble up onto stage before the proper time, giving the crowd time to grow critical of his creation.
The contest began and we were led onto the stage in four groups of seven. Each costume was given a moment of spotlight, and the audience reaction was weighed. One finalist emerged from each group.
In my group, I felt confident to have the best costume. No one was on stilts, and no one else had a harness-costume of any kind. My moment in the spotlight resulted in a terrific shout of applause, but the Predator costume did better!
I walked off the stage in defeat, and watched as the final round knocked out everyone except for the guy in the Predator costume! He won the whole thing! $2,500!
Son of a bitch! His costume did look good, and he did have three laser-pointers flashing over the crowd, but it looked like it had come out of a box.
After the contest, I wandered into the outside courtyard in search of a port-a-potty to cry in. There was a pleasant chorus of "you were robbed" among my fans outside.
Some of the best comments came from these three guys, who proclaimed the Dwight Bobblehead costume to be "the best costume ever made". The guy in the Hulk Hogan costume peppered me with Dwight-isms, such as "Question!: How do you walk in that thing?" and "Question!: Does that costume contain any beet root?"
After posing for a dozen more photos, I made my way to the exit. The Zone Ball Costume contest had been a bust!
Please continue reading page 9 of the Dwight Shrute Bobblehead Costume 2007.
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November 8 th, 2007.