The Costume Contest
The costume contest was one of the best organized and fastest moving I have been to. There were approximately 200 contestants and the line to get into the room twisted around two halls. Despite this once the contest started there was no delays. The contestants were sent down the isles and told to stop and pose at three strategic locations allowing for the crowd to take up close pictures. They were to watch the next square and move to it as soon as the person in front of them was done. The final stop was on stage next to the judges.
The judges each added to the entertainment of the contest. They were Jason David Frank, Brimstone, Jesse Snider(son of Dee Snider from Twisted Sister), and a special guest from within the cosplay scene. The host was Jerrie “The Diffuser” Crippen winner of the reality TV series “Stan Lee’s Who Wants to be a Superhero?” Season 2. Crippen found a good balance of banter with the judges and contestants throughout the competition and made sure that the line was always moving. With his direction they made it through all 200 contestants in just about an hour.
Immediately after all contestants had been seen everyone was sent out of the room and encouraged to attend the after party. The judges went through their notes and made their decision once the room was cleared and then Crippen announced the winners onstage at the party. This allowed for a faster contest as well. For those like me that were not interested in the after party this led to waiting around for the announcements in a very loud and crowded area. This was the only real drawback I had for the costume contest other than my camera batter dieing half way though it.
There were male and female categories for best villain and best hero as well as a single best hero group, best villain group, and best in show. There was a separate contest for children so these were adult only contests. You could see a strong video game influence as there were multiple groups dressed as characters from Borderlands 2 and Team Fortress. I lost track of just how many people were dressed as a character from Assassin’s Creed.
Some of the highlights of the costume contest for me:
- Some of the costumes were extremely impressive, but it was the showmanship that really pushed certain contestants over the top. The best example of this was the man dressed as the Jack Nicholson Joker from the Museum scene in the 1989 “Batman The Motion Picture.” He danced down the isle spinning and shaking his cane just like Nicholson. This combination of appearance and attitude won him best solo male villain.
- There was a Doctor Who with a homemade K9 that he dragged behind him. The costume was not the greatest, but his K9 was very impressive.
- The guy dressed as Kato was very acrobatic and did rolls down the isle. This led to an on stage jump kick-off with Jason David Frank. It was truly a highlight to see the original Green Ranger performing jump kicks on stage.
- Vampire Mary Poppins. Pictures simply do not do her costume justice. Her makeup and prosthetics were as good as anything seen on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She had her umbrella up as she walked down the isle and was in character the whole contest.
- By having the contestants walk down the isles everyone in the audience had a chance to see the costumes up close and get posed pictures of them. Also as they explained the rules of the contest they mentioned that there was a time when the winner was just the woman who showed the most skin. They went over how they avoid that now and try to give fair and measured scores. From beginning to end logistically they demonstrated that they knew how to run a well organized contest.
- The Predator costumes were amazing with enough detail that they could take the outer masks off and have snarling faces underneath.
- Green Arrow had the boxing glove arrow and shot it off on stage. He then fumbled through his quiver until pulling out an arrow with handcuffs attached to the end. It was so cheesy I couldn’t help but love it.