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A colourful, masterfully crocheted delight about yarn bombing has been ruled the 2023 WOW Show: BEYOND audience favourite in the People’s Choice Award, brought to you by Stuff.

Blooming Proof! by Erna Van Der Wat from Auckland, her mother Joanne Van Wyk, 82, and mother-in-law Lena Van Der Wat, 86, both from South Africa, was a clear audience favourite, drawing much applause during the 19 show season of the 2023 WOW Show.

Joanne Van Wyk and Lena Van Der Wat were the oldest finalists in the 2023 WOW Competition, while Erna is a long-time entrant.

Blooming Proof!, Erna Van Der Wat, Joanne Van Wyk & Lena Van Der Wat, New Zealand

Erna said she was completely blown away to hear they were chosen as the audience favourite.

“I just can’t believe it. The joy and pride this has brought Joanne and Lena is indescribable. They live very quiet lives in their community in South Africa and now they are suddenly celebrities! What a thing to happen in your 80s! We are just so happy for them and grateful for the opportunity.”  

Erna, Joanne and Lena plan to use the prize money to reunite in South Africa.  “I’m going to spoil them rotten!”

Blooming Proof! delighted audiences with its playful spirit, says WOW Head of Competition Sarah Nathan.

“There’s something mesmerising and wholly delightful about this head-to-toe yarn bombed alien. It’s also incredibly constructed – taking the popular craft of crochet to its limits!”

The 2023 WOW Competition judging panel were equally impressed, awarding Blooming Proof! the winner of the Mars & Beyond Section on Awards Night.

Stuff People's Choice Award Audience Winner

The audience member who voted for Blooming Proof! as their favourite garment in the Stuff People’s Choice Award and was drawn as the audience winner is Anne Benton from Porirua.

“Blooming Proof! was so clever- it stood out on stage,” says Anne.
“You could see the detail without needing to be up close! I've been learning how to crochet, so it was pretty cool to see it.”

A regular WOW goer, Anne says it’s mind-blowing how the WOW Show gets better year on year.

“I’ve been numerous times to the show and always come away mesmerised by it all. It’s an inspiration to see what creations that come out of the designers’ minds!”

Both the designers of the winning garment and audience member winner receive $2,500 NZD prize money. Voting in the People’s Choice Award is open exclusively to audience members of the show.

Congratulations Erna, Joanne, Lena and Anne!

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