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Iowa has an epic 'husband calling' contest and it is blowing people's minds. Yes, it is 100% real

The women participants call out their husbands' names with great enthusiasm and unique styles in this one-of-a-kind competition.

Iowa has an epic 'husband calling' contest and it is blowing people's minds. Yes, it is 100% real
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Iowa PBS

Have you ever imagined that there could be a competition for how well you call out to your husband? There is and it is one of the most entertaining things you might come across on the internet. "Roy, Roy! Can you hear me, you get yourself in here right now. Come on, you know you are going to be late again and you know that I want to get there on time. Royee! Roy! Roy! Roy!" Bonnie Swalwell Eilert yelled, winning the Iowa State Fair husband calling contest in 2017. The video of the contest was posted on YouTube by Iowa PBS. It has more than 5,00,000 views. The women participants call out their husbands' names with enthusiasm and in unique styles. It sure seems like they have practiced their "husband call" for years and this is, in fact, true for many of them. 


Eilert shared that she has been competing for "probably 35 to 40 years in Pioneer Hall. She has won many times and has come in 2nd and 3rd too. She added: "When I first started, my husband said to me, you are not going do this Bonnie, you are not. Please don't do it. I said I'm going to do this. I defied him and I won first. So after that, he is gonna hold for me." Eilert has also appeared in the NBC talent show, "Little Big Shots: Forever Young."

"Herviee!" another woman sang out in a musical way at the competition. "Unless you want to make the bed you better get out like right now. Herviee! Hervy!" Her name is Virginia Stone and she came third in the competition. She said: "It started because I wanted a ribbon. In calling, I have gotten as high as second and then I've gotten way down the food chain too. It depends on what the judges are looking for, they basically pick them randomly from the audience so you never know what you are going to get."


Myrna Nelson, one of the judges at the competition, spoke about what they look for in the participants. She explained: "There are three things that you have to judge - your first impression, your last impression and the presentation. Your first impression just knocks you out of your seat and your last impression is the same as the first impression. I kind of went by 'can I understand what they are saying, how would I know what you want for your calling me?'"

Another contestant who secured fifth place in the competition shouted: "Bob, Bob, Bob! Hurry up! I don't wanna be late for the Iowa State Fair. Bob! Hurry hurry! Robert Deen! That's it I'm going myself."


Iowa State Fair's marketing director Mindy Williamson said that the husband-calling contest is one of the Heritage competitions that take place in Pioneer Hall at the Fairgrounds. They have close to 12 to 15 participants every year, as reported by USA Today. They are apparently other competitions as well like mom calling, hog calling and other family-friendly events. 


The schedule is updated mid-summer before the fair begins and then the entrants can sign up an hour before the competition starts at the Pioneer Hall. The Iowa State Fair happens every summer in Des Moines and this year, it will take place from August 10 to August 20, according to the Iowa State Fair website.

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