I'm a Dolly Parton lookalike – I dress up as a different version each month but there's a secret my husband doesn't know | The Sun

A DOLLY Parton look-alike has given an inside look at her expensive habit and lavish lifestyle posing as the country star.

In 2018, Lauren won the cutthroat competition at a barbecue restaurant in New York City that tested her knowledge of Dolly and sparked a hilarious obsession.

Years ago, the future champion's friend challenged her to compete in the look-alike competition held at Mable's Smokehouse & Banquet Hall in Brooklyn.

In an exclusive conversation with The U.S. Sun, Lauren recounted her friend asking, "Can you go and win this?"

"I showed up in my own clothes and a wig, and it worked out," the Dolly doppelganger said.

A fan since birth, Lauren had what it took to secure the win, including a vast history of knowledge and a conveniently buxom physique.

She joked, "I'm five foot one, and I am blessed in my body, my personage, and my personality."

Lauren's win, "unleashed a passion inside me," as she put it, and led to a fun yet expensive challenge.

"After I won, I made a 12-month Dolly Parton calendar by myself for fun," she said.

The calendar includes fabulous photos of Lauren dressed in various iconic Dolly looks.

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"I sent it to all my clients, all my friends, all my family," the student of Dolly said.

When asked how much the project costs, Lauren gave a sly grin and said: "Don't tell my husband."

"I think I'm upwards of $3,000.

"If anybody needs to call me in the future because you need an enthusiastic person to show up and be Dolly, I'll be there for you."

It isn't just the appearance that will secure competitors the crown.

Years later, Mable's Smokehouse owner Meghan, who started the competition in 2016, said she's still grilling Dolly lovers on their knowledge of the star.

"You can have perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect everything, and if you don't really know anything about Dolly, you're not gonna take it home," she told The U.S. Sun with a stern look.

It all began after the Dolly disciple watched the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta and Deborah Winger.

The movie features a similar competition at a honky-tonk bar outside Houston, Texas, which really stuck with the owner.

"I was always so inspired by that movie and by that contest," the dolled-up owner said amid a teaming crowd in the busy joint.

"I thought, I really want to do this. So I took that idea and I ran with it."

Since the idea came to fruition, hundreds of people have filled her barbecue restaurant to watch contestants go to great lengths to prove their dedication to the Jolene singer.

Some of the wildest moments described by Meghan include making the Dolly fans throw lassos at targets – just like the star did in the movie 9 to 5.

Last year, Meghan said, they had the contestants "pin the Botox on Kenny Rogers."

"You just never know what's going to happen."

Meghan added that the show has sold out every year it's been held.


This year, a motley crew of eight contestants lined up on the stage to out-Dolly each other.

The competitors ranged from a 65-year-old New Hampshire native to a drag queen who has been impersonating the county icon since 2010.

"I just love everything about her," said drag performer Sequinette.

"Her autobiography is like my Bible."

On stage, host and fellow drag performer Beth Western immediately started grilling the girls with questions about the singer.

Standing in a line, each contestant came up to the mic to be quizzed while the crowd applauded or booed.

Questions ranged from lore surrounding Dolly's songs to the county where she grew up.

Round by round, the hopeful ladies were voted off by the three judges – drag queen GiGi St Croix, self-proclaimed Dolly expert and volunteer firefighter Shawn, and last year's winner, Shenanigans.

"If somebody's a little too sloppy, that's not Dolly," said Shawn.

"If somebody's too provocative, that's not Dolly.

"Also if somebody is not as kind as Dolly – those sort of things matter to me almost more than if somebody looks and feels like Dolly."

Multiple people throughout the night dubbed the Tennessee belle the "great unifier" of America, meaning she is beloved by everyone despite their differences.

After forcing impersonators to shotgun beers, dance to iconic Dolly songs, and reverently read from passages of her autobiography, the winner was more than clear.

One fierce competitor immediately stood out with her gorgeous yellow gown, striking resemblance, and surprisingly thorough knowledge.

One by one, her rivals fell.

But the coup de grace was a dramatic lip sync to Dolly's rendition of Stairway to Heaven complete with an air violin solo.

Sequinette flashed a gorgeous smile at the crowd when Beth Western announced that she was 2023's Dolly Parton look-alike.

"It feels amazing. I'm so happy," the classy queen told The U.S. Sun after stepping off the stage.

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"I mean, I'm sad. I hate that other people don't win," she continued in a very Dolly response.

"But I love Dolly, anything for her. I'll carry on the legacy with pride."

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