After grueling weeks of competition...tears and laughter...joy and disappointment...hopes and dreams...it's time to find out who will be chosen as the winner of the Dolores Look-Alike Contest.
Before we begin, let's say hello to our international panel of celebrity judges!
- She's witty, she's pretty, she swears like a drunken sailor–she's Rabbitch, blogger and purveyor of fine fibres to the gentry!
- Poets have hailed her as the rose of Philadelphia–she's Carol, author, blogger and proprietress of Black Bunny Fibers!
- What's that lovely sound, purring in your ear as you k2tog? Why, it's the voice of knitter in excelsis Brenda Dayne, hostess of Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters!
- She knits! She sews! She makes you laugh until you tinkle! She's the curator of the Museum of Kitschy Stitches, blogging authoring sewing Stitchy McYarnpants!
And yet, as Dolores said to the steeplejacks, there's only room for one at a time on top.
From the pool of contestants, nine finalists were selected and randomly assigned letters for identification purposes.
We begin with those who were singled out for Honorable Mention.
Contestant B: Honorable Mention and Franklin's Special Nod for Ingenuity
Rabbitch: Very creative, but unfortunately this picture Gave Harry Ideas. There's going to be trouble in the old town tonight.
Carol: Very high concept.
Stitchy: It's not surprising that even without her, Dolores' fleece manages to find a fan and relax with a cocktail. For some reason, I get the feeling that this sock actually sent in its own photo and I find it a little unnerving.
Brenda: I almost dismissed this out of hand as being too inanimate for the job. But the more one looks, the more one notices the remarkable resemblance. It really is uncanny. As are the "eyes" that follow you around the room. This one gets full marks for the deeply disturbing use of a cable needle, and my vote, as I feel certain Contestant B would fool Anne Coulter.
Contestant D: Honorable Mention
Carol: Cross-species verisimilitude plus minimalist styling. I like.
Stitchy: I'm not sure if it's the fluffy white hair or that this shepherd is in fact German, but he is evoking images of Mozart more than Dolores for me. The glasses certainly add a more modern touch, perhaps he's imploring us to "Bark Me, Amadeus."
Brenda: Contestant D has the withering glance down, but the glasses, I feel are a little too Wolf in Sheep's Clothing; a bit too (But hey, the Girls are touring again, and I really think you could pass for . Singing, as we know, is optional.).
Rabbitch: How I wish everyone could have won. It would be especially sweet for the owner of this dog, who surely bit her face off right after the photo shoot.
Contestant G: Honorable Mention
Brenda: I really pity the poor sales clerk at the furniture store when Dolores purrs, "Come help Mama pick out a new sofa, Lambkins." With minimal styling Contestant G has captured Dolores' predatory nature.
Stitchy: I believe this is actually Dolores' cousin, Vera. I read about her in this article a few months ago. Judging by the number of sofas in her living room, I'm going to venture to say that she's a real party animal. She doesn't seem to like being more that a foot away from someplace to lie down. These two really used to tear up the pasture in their heyday.
Rabbitch: Very glamorous, and what a lovely rack if you don't mind me mentioning it.
Carol: How the hell did she get Lisa Marie to let her shoot in Graceland?
Contestant H: Honorable Mention
Carol: Just as a pair of simple shades signal the arrival of the rock star or jazz musician, so this canine entrant's sunglasses symbolize both his celebrity status–and that he is likely experiencing a massive hangover. The deal killer was the ever-so-demure peek of his nuts. Dolores has a pair of brass ones and lets 'em swing free for all to see. Unless I just need to clean my monitor.
Brenda: Who did this to you, honey? You want me to have them killed? It can be arranged.
Rabbitch: A lovely example of a woof in sheep's clothing.
Stitchy: Black dog in sheep's clothing – Is it possible that this was sent in as a proposition for Dolores? Because this dog is totally hot and I love that he's not constrained by convention and likes to dress up to keep things interesting! Dolores should totally give him a booty call.
Contestant I: Honorable Mention
Stitchy: This little cherub is definitely channeling the more Norma Desmondine aspects of Dolores' personality. Posing in front of a fireplace, cramming as many jewels as she could on her tiny face, swathing herself in leopard. Oh yes, this one is definitely ready for her close-up.
Carol: This is the love child of Elton John and Lee Remick. Unfortunately, Dolores does not possess the trim prepubescent figure that would allow her to wear horizontal stripes and still look so svelte.
Brenda: A delightful amalgam of "This old thing?" false modesty and "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful…" detachment, Contestant I is, I feel, just a touch fresh-faced for the job. (But come back in a year or two, okay?)
Rabbitch: Good use of glasses, excellent posing. I suspect this child was out drinking with Contestant E earlier in the day.
And now...the mesmerizing creature who stole FOURTH PLACE.
Contestant F: Fourth Place
Brenda: What becomes a legend most? This girl knows how to wear fur! Contestant F cannot hide the fact that she's a star, and the nod to in the upswept do is utter genius. Full marks for glamour, tinged with the crushing loneliness of life at the top.
Rabbitch: The hair. It's the hair that got me. That, plus I almost bought those exact same glasses last week.
Carol: Was this entrant is confused? Perhaps she believed she was entering an Edna Turnblad look-alike contest. Dolores is no hair-hopper.
Stitchy: I really like the clean, simple lines and minimalist presentation of this entry. By using only two props, this dog has been transformed from a loyal, loving friend into a manipulative and tawdry tart. The elegant swirling of the yarn and the perfect placement of the cats eye glasses evokes Dolores in an unusually pensive moment. Perhaps the dog was getting in touch with Dolores' more sensitive side. I believe that's the side she prefers to be spanked on, is it not?
And our gorgeous THIRD PLACE winner...
Contestant C: Third Place
Rabbitch: She had me from "hello." I love a woman with a dangerous glint in her eye. And who seems to be naked.
Carol: Daring attempt to display the essential slattern in Dolores without directly aping her external characteristics. A triumph of the symbolic over the representational.
Brenda: While I admire her nakedness and her tattoo, to say nothing of her skill at hands-free smoking, Contestant C loses points for the bikini strap lines on her shoulders. (Everyone on the Cote d'Azur knows Dolores is a thong-only girl.)
Stitchy: This entry is dripping with the sensuality that can only be found in a ruminant sex goddess. From the hint of tan lines from hanging out in the pasture in a skimpy bikini and to the peek at the tattoo from a wild night out that ended in a particularly good shearing, this contestant has truly captured the essence of Dolores' typical "morning after." The long ash of the cigarette is an especially nice touch and will add some suspense as she's making pancakes for her mysterious morning guest.
Our smoldering-hot RUNNER-UP...
Contestant E: Runner-Up
Stitchy: No longer must we wonder what Dolores looked like as a wee, booze-soaked lamb. This precious morsel has truly taken us back in time. While her annoying pen-mate, Babe, was kissing the farmer's ass in hopes of saving himself from the slaughterhouse, lil' Dolores was partying her way onto the 4-H circuit. Those farm kids were wild. And I can see that same spark in these rose-colored eyes. I implore her handlers to put her on the pageant circuit and watch the fireworks as she slurs out a wobbly rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and loses a shoe in an impromptu interpretive tap dance! This kid has a future!
Carol: Although the precious child's unlined visage and porcelain skin belie Dolores' squalid, self-destructive lifestyle, the juxtaposition of the wholesome with the seedy aptly captures an
essential aspect of Dolores' nature. Let's just hide this one from Social Services, shall we?
Brenda: She had me from the tequila bottle death grip, but the clever use of pink sunglasses really tipped it over the edge for Contestant E. Who knows better than Dolores the best way to camouflage those "morning-after" eyes?
Rabbitch: Any 18-month-old who starts drinking before noon is my kinda gal. I only wish the prize were monetary, as there will clearly be a need for much therapy in this moppet's future.
And, appearing with a flourish of trumpets and a cloud of Pall Mall smoke, our WINNER!
Contestant A: The Winner!
Brenda: Contestant A has put her whole soul into the transformation, and is on her way to actually becoming Dolores. Clearly unstable, she gets full marks nonetheless, because I am afraid of her. Scary, but brilliant use of leather, and boobs.
Stitchy: It was tough, but I have selected this entry as the first place winner. She has brought to life the many moods of our dear, drunken Dolores. The smokey malaise of her food bowl. The ennui of realizing that we are all just livestock waiting for our turn to step up to the chopping block. (At least she's got her knitting to work on while she's in line.) And the utter contempt at society's continued close-minded insistence that she should flick her ashes. Indeed. Well played, fellow fur-bearing creature. Well played.
Rabbitch: The variety of poses, coupled with the addition of the knitting first caught my attention. However, the politically-incorrect courage to wear fur? Priceless.
Carol: Nice jugs. Although the hat is more reminiscent of a court jester rather than
the Bella-Abzug-meets-Minnie-Pearl concoctions that Dolores favors, I have to award a prize based on the sheer number of poses, combined with the world-weary, ever-so-slightly-androgynous persona (suggesting that anyone or anything can become her sex toy, a philosophy that Dolores clearly embraces). I was especially fond of the third photo: no more will I wonder what it would look like if Madame Defarge wore Jimmy Choos. Did I mention the great jugs?
Our top four contestants get to choose from these four glamorous prizes:
- an original, signed Dolores drawing;
- the judges' super yarny fun-pak: a skein of merino/tencel sock yarn from Black Bunny Fibers (courtesy of judge Carol) a skein of Rabbitworks yarn (courtesy of judge Rabbitch), and a copy of The Museum of Kitschy Stitches: A Gallery of Notorious Knits (courtesy of judge Stitchy McYarnpants);
- eleven skeins of Lorna's Laces Swirl DK in colorway Iris Garden (courtesy of Lorna's Laces); or
- a Tulip Baby Cardigan kit (courtesy of Arcadia Knitting).
Congratulations to all our finalists, and on behalf of Ms. Van Hoofen my heartfelt thanks to the dedicated judging panel and all who took the time to enter.
There you have it, folks! See you at the bar for the after-party.