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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sticky Competition: Duct-Tape Dress a Winner at Prom

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Stuck at Prom Contestants

FIRST PLACE: Yancy Esquivel, 17, Gilbert, Ariz., and Ray Banna, 18, Chandler, Ariz., Mesquite High School.

By Claudine Zap

Think of it as “Project Runway” for prom. There’s a competition to create outfits. There are the votes to decide who is in and who is out. Just one catch: The designs must be made entirely out of duct tape.

Mission very accomplished. Ray Banna and Yancy Esquivel had the winning designs that scored the most votes, earning them $3,000 each in scholarship money and $3,000 for their high school. Not bad for a bunch of DIY designs made from tape. Tape!

The two were a dream team: While 17-year-old Esquivel handled drawing and sewing, Banna, who is 18, masterminded a Facebook campaign to gather votes.
All in all, the couple clocked 300 hours and 30 rolls of tape to create the tux and gown, complete with duct tape bow tie and purse.

Competition was, um, sticky: The Duck® brand duct tape Stuck at Prom® Scholarship Contest requires competitors to make their prom wear entirely out of the multicolored, highly durable stuff. Who would guess that something used for household repairs could look, well, so un-tape like.

Lots of people, apparently. Over 240 couples from 43 states and six Canadian provinces entered. Once down to the top 10 choices, it was up to voters who visited the site to decide over a five-week voting period, “American Idol” style, which designs stuck with them. Every week, the couple with the lowest number of votes got knocked out. In all, 44,000 votes were cast.

Here’s the best part. The winners attended prom at Mesquite High School in Arizona in their made-from-tape attire. Their matching his-and-her turquoise and white swirled patterns would not – and must not – have looked out of place at the high school formal.

As you'll see in the photos of all top-10 wildly imaginative ensembles, a prom dress made of duct tape can take on inspiration from paint splatters, fairies, even rubber duckies. But all that duct tape adds up -- literally. One contestant's dress topped 50 pounds. Even Heidi Klum would agree: These designs are hardly lightweight.

Check out the winners and all top 10 duct tape designs in our slide show.

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