The World Beard and Moustache Championships have come to a head in Carson City, Nevada; with the first prize being won by Karl-Heinz Hille, stereotypically-named German from Berlin.
The competition, which attracted record crowds of six, took a gruelling two hours to complete, with judges struggling to choose the winner. It was Karl-Heinz who eventually scooped the prestigious award; he wins a nice trophy and a fiver in prize money.
Karl-Heinz said, "In Germany I will be a hero."
Last year's event was dogged by controversy because one Welsh entrant was a woman, though she thought she had a good chance of winning.
However, this year's competition managed to escape that cloud with everyone in high spirits. Security was tight, with only one contestant disqualified for possession of an electric razor. Event organiser Hank McGraw said, "We frown on electric razors."
Accusations of drug abuse in the competition were played down, though one packet of Just For Men was confiscated. "Hair colourant is not allowed" said chief of security Butch Dungaree, "any use of such products carries a hefty fine."
One spectator said, "These men are fine athletes, why they'd use Just For Men is beyond me."
Another spectator said, "Sorry, I thought this was the tractor pull - that must be next week."
He promptly left.
Despite the complications, the Beard and Moustache Championships finished with Hille being declared the victor. In second place was Italian veteran Marco 'Il Presidente' Spaghetti, whilst runner-up was Greek wonderkid Ionis 'Goats-Cheese' Ligkos.
The Belgian entry was sent home for not having a beard and wasting everyone's time.
Training has already begun for next year's event, with Karl-Heinz leaving the party early to trim his sideburns. Russian entry Vladmir 'Chinny Beards' Potski said, "Qualifiying will start soon, my beard needs heavy grooming." He left early too because he'd left the kettle on.
Disappointed losers ZZ Top went home in their hot-rod saying, "Everyone knows our beards. They're the best in the world." Jeremy Beadle missed the competition for the third year in a row, he was busy opening a supermarket in Basildon.