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We had about two hours before the contest, so Scott and I wandered around, getting pulled into hundreds of photos.
Most people recognized my box of See's candy, or at least "a box of chocolates", but I was mistaken for a rock-climbing wall a few times.
The design of my costume allowed pretty good maneuverability, and the size of it meant that people got out of the way in most situations. It was also easy to put on and take off, which made bathroom breaks a lot more bearable.
Holding my camera up to my face was the only thing I couldn't do easily.
There were plenty of people, but not a lot of supersized costumes this year.
At around 11:45, Scott and I made our way to the stage entrance and got in line for the costume contest.
In line I found an unsettling development. The men from Fresh Prince of Bel Air were here, in their biker hat and bow tie, to win the whole thing, and they were directly behind me in line.
Crap. You can read more about their supernatural influence on page 14 of the American Idol Judges Costume.
The first round of judging decides who will be in the finals, so a good strategy is to distance yourself from the other good costumes, so that you will be the best costume on stage in your prelim round.
At midnight, the line positions were starting to firm up and I knew I had to get away from these three. I stepped in back of them two spots in line. This brought me a little closer to the Predator, but I absolutely didn't want the Fresh Prince guys right behind me.
After 10 more minutes of stage position anxiety, they started leading us on stage. A new M.C. was in charge this year, and he was cramming as many people as possible onto stage at once.
It looked like it was going to be a 10-person prelim round.
This was my chance. I waited for the Fresh Prince trio to go on stage, and then I paused in the wings. Yes! I was not going to be in their pre-lim, but I would have to face off against the Predator. This was unfolding into "choose your poison".
It did not work out to my advantage. The retooled Predator still ignited the audience, and I was out again in the first round. Damn!
A group of first-rate KISS costumes, Oscar the Grouch, Predator and the crew from Fresh Prince were the finalists, and I left the stage empty handed. The finals were drawn out, with two tie-breakers, and KISS dropped out of the money. It was Predator at #1, Scott's Oscar the Grouch at #2 and the dancing Fresh Prince Crew at #3.
Sadly, I'd been beat before by all three of them.
The See's Candy costume was fun and surprisingly easy to build. Creating authentic paper cups was harder than I expected, and my re-purposed box and harness were super time-savers.
On Halloween night, I skipped out on the costume contest circuit. Stacy and I got a babysitter and we went to Stephanie and Victor's party. I had almost forgotten what a regular halloween party was like!
They are fun!
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November 13th, 2008.