Once again, our readers were some creative Peeps!In our seventh annual Peeps Diorama Contest, we received 74 entries (five more than last year), and there was no shortage of personality from this year's contestants. The creations ranged in theme from current events ("Peep-questration") to award-winning movies ( Lincoln, Les Mis) to causes close to the heart (autism awareness, Alzheimer's awareness). Certain themes were extremely popular this year, with multiple dioramas involving the Pope, Duck Dynasty, The Life of Pi, The Walking Dead and the State Fair of Texas. Among the unique motifs were "Geriatric Water Volleyball" and a "Peeple Factory."Whittling down the field of 74 to a top 10 proved to be hard. So hard, in fact, that our judges chose 13 finalists instead of 10. Official judges Gaile Robinson ( Star-Telegram art and design critic), Andrew Marton (local arts writer) and Stephanie Allmon ( Star-Telegram Life & Arts editor) chose their favorites, and for the first time, taking a page from reality television competition shows, all Star-Telegram employees were invited to have a say in a "popular vote," too. They were asked to judge on idea, creativity, execution and also to consider the ages of the creators so that kids got a fair chance at the finals, too.After the finalists were narrowed, we asked readers to vote online to determine a winner.With more than 275,000 votes cast online for our contest, the "Van Cliburn" diorama created by Leon and Leslie McGee of Fort Worth took the win with 34 percent of the total votes. This diorama, perhaps a sentimental favorite, honored the renowned Fort Worth pianist who died Feb. 27."It's a wonderful tribute to Van Cliburn -- literally sweet," wrote Marton of the creation, which depicted Cliburn in two different scenes.Winning second place was "Peep Dynasty" and third, "The Scream."First-, second- and third-place winners will receive prize packages from Just Born, the maker of Peeps.Check out this flyover video of the winner:Read on to see what the winners have to say about their creations, as well as a closer look at our other finalists.The winner: Van CliburnLeon McGee, 51, and Leslie McGee, 45, Fort WorthLeon and Leslie McGee's two-scene diorama of Cliburn's winning performance at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 and the ensuing ticker-tape parade in New York City captured the hearts and the votes of our Peeps fans.Judges said they loved the tuft of brown hair on Cliburn's head, as well as the detail of the roses thrown onstage and the realistic ticker tape in the parade. Even the programs the audience members are holding say, in tiny writing, "International Tchaikovsky Competition 1958," and one paradegoer holds a tiny old-fashioned camera.Where they got their inspiration:"I was a big fan of Van Cliburn," says Leslie McGee, who is also a classically trained pianist. Originally from Tulsa, Leslie McGee said one of the things she has always been proud of since moving to Fort Worth is that Cliburn chose to make his home here as well. She describes Cliburn as having been an ambassador for the world, for Texas, for Fort Worth and for music.How long it took them to make the diorama:The McGees, who have participated for the past four years in the Peeps Diorama Contest, created their entry throughout the week of spring break. Of all the Peeps entries Leslie McGee has done, she says, this is the one that has held the most meaning to her.The hardest part of putting the diorama together:Having never used Mod Podge before, Leslie McGee says she was alarmed to find that using the adhesive warped part of her diorama and, at one point, she thought she might have to scrap the project. Thanks to the help of her daughter and husband, though, the crisis was averted.Runner-up: Peep DynastyShelly Jackman, 26, JoshuaThere was no shortage of Duck Dynasty-themed dioramas this year (and in fact, one of our judges strongly argued in favor of another of the entries). But Jackman's entry captured the popular vote both among our semifinal judges and our online voters, and earned second place in our contest.(For the uninitiated, Duck Dynasty is A&E's popular TV series that features a bearded, camo-clad Louisiana bayou family that has made a fortune from its duck-hunting products company.)The diorama depicted the family on a duck hunt in the woods. Judges especially loved the use of what looked to be real hair for the duck hunters' beards. Another fun detail was the piece of Peep on a platter; it looked like it had been cooked over a campfire.When asked why she chose the popular TV show as her theme, Jackman, another veteran of the Peeps contest, said, "Honestly, I love the show. I think it's hilarious and a lot of people watch it."Third place: The ScreamBethany Marren, 27, and Summer Whitlock, 26, DentonFor their fourth year entering the Peeps Diorama Contest, Marren and Whitlock decided to go in a different direction by creating a piece of art made entirely out of Peeps.They re-created Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream, which depicts a figure with an agonized expression set in front of an orange sky."We chose The Scream because we figured it would be something that everyone would recognize," Whitlock said.This work divided the official judges. Allmon said she loved the creators' attention to detail in making a gilded frame out of gold-painted Peeps, though she questioned whether the work was really a diorama. (In the end, it was determined that since it was a 3-D creation, it qualified.)Robinson had stronger objections, saying, "Even though I did like the gold-flecked Peeps as a gilded frame, I just cannot advocate this, as it might start a trend of squishing Peeps into flatness and painting them over with irises, soup cans, still lifes or bluebonnets."But just like on those shocking elimination episodes of Dancing With the Stars, the popular vote in the semifinals far outpaced the judges' votes. "The Scream" was overwhelmingly voted into the finals, and online voters loved it, too.The finalistsTexas Peeps FairDarlene McLaughlin, 48, KellerFeaturing a motorized Ferris wheel and a Peeps version of Big Tex ("Big Peep"), McLaughlin's diorama depicting the Texas State Fair took 60 hours to design and construct.State FairAimee Hoelscher, 39, and Claire Hoelscher, 10, ArlingtonOne of two State Fair of Texas dioramas, this one had details the judges loved: mini fair tickets, a tiny ring-toss game, gummy bears hanging from an awning as prizes, and Peeps-sized fair treats like cotton candy, corn dogs and funnel cakes.Pope Peep IRhoda Tannheimer, 60; Donna Duncan, 50; Ally Weitz, 30; Drew Collins, 20, ArlingtonThis entry was part of a team-building exercise done over spring break by the University of Texas at Arlington's Department of Campus Recreation. They looked to the recent papal election as inspiration for their diorama, one of several pope-themed entries. Judges said they loved the depiction of the Vatican and of the various groups of "Peeple" holding their nations' flags.Peep SunflowersChristine Chao, 42, and Matt Chao, 12, ColleyvilleWe loved that they used actual sunflower seeds in their diorama. The Chao family's Peeps sunflowers were a sunny spot -- simple but well thought out and executed -- in the sea of entries that we received.Peeps PBRJudy Vernor, 73, ArlingtonInspired by her husband, a former bull rider, Vernor chose the Professional Bull Riders organization as the theme for her Peeps diorama. It included holding pens for the bulls and a rodeo clown.Eat More ChoklitAlexa Marmesh, 34, and Jack Waas, 70, ArlingtonA takeoff on Chik-fil-A's "Eat Mor Chik'n" ad campaign, this shows Peeps campaigning for others to "Eat More Choklit" instead of the marshmallow treats.Fort Worth Museum of Science and HistoryLauren Badger, 34, and Brady Badger, 4, ColleyvilleThe Peeps contest has become a Badger family tradition. For this year's entry, they chose to re-create one of Fort Worth's most recognizable landmarks, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History's dinosaur topiary.Hunger PeepsDrew Mize, Jenny Mize and Ellie Mize, 12, and Mallie Mize, 10, ArlingtonDesigned with the blockbuster book and movie The Hunger Games in mind, the Mize family's diorama depicts the flamboyant style of the Capitol citizens as they sit watching the big screen, eagerly awaiting the start of the games.Major Peep BaseballGrant Kline, 8, ColleyvilleShowing that even Peeps love America's favorite pastime, this diorama depicts the Texas Ranger Rabbits playing against the Barely Born Blue Jays at Peeps Park. The Star-Telegram sports editors especially liked this kid-creation.Life of PeepRay Maines, 76; Marie Maines, 75; Erin Maines, 18; and Jack Maines, 11, Colleyville/North Richland Hills After years of discussing the idea of entering the Peeps Diorama Contest, the Maines family finally took the plunge this year and created a diorama inspired by the Academy Award-winning movie Life of Pi. They took the idea a step further, though, and instead of merely re-creating a scene from the movie, depicted an audience in a theater watching it.