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Originally published Friday, January 18, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Blonde Ambition: Resemblance to Jessica Simpson paying off for Bothell resident

The pair of twentysomethings were sheepish. Shy even. They asked a friend to take a picture of the blonde in the Tony Romo jersey. She invited the pair...

Seattle Times staff reporter

The pair of twentysomethings were sheepish. Shy even.

They asked a friend to take a picture of the blonde in the Tony Romo jersey.

She invited the pair over, first asking and then insisting.

"You guys want to be in the photo," she said. "Then you can say you met me, you know?"

Met who? Good question.

Jessica Simpson? No, but close. Very close.

Lynsey Nordstrom is a 21-year-old nanny from Bothell who looks like the pop singer and paparazzi target. She's so similar, in fact, the New York Post flew Nordstrom to Dallas for last Sunday's NFC playoff game with the Giants to pose as Simpson as a prank.

That triggered a dizzying week that only a diva — and her dead ringer — could appreciate.

Simpson is dating Romo, the Cowboys' quarterback. She attended a Dallas game earlier this season, wearing his No. 9 jersey. The Cowboys lost. Yoko Ono comparisons followed, and Simpson stayed away from the playoff game against the Giants.

But her look-alike was there. The Post put Nordstrom in a Romo jersey and sat her three rows up from the Cowboys' bench.

And Dallas lost again, putting the Giants in the NFC Championship Game — and earning Nordstrom some notoriety.

She flew to Dallas on Saturday, watched the game Sunday and returned Monday to work a shift as a nanny. She headed to New York that night on a red-eye flight. She has appeared on the cover of the Post, and created such a buzz she was told Donald Trump called the tabloid to ask about meeting her.

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Nordstrom isn't related to the famous retail family. Having the same name doesn't even earn her a discount. But looking like Simpson does pay. She won't disclose her appearance fees, but it's enough that she's going to make a go at this look-alike business. The family she works for will have to find a new nanny.

Nordstrom has Simpson's nose, the same eye shape, and is a natural blonde. She also has Simpson's smile down. Now she just needs a little tinkering. Brown contacts cover her blue eyes. Getting close now. Her hair is dyed to match Simpson's lighter shade. Almost perfect. Enhancing her naturally curly hair is the last step.

"I have to use the curling iron because that's what she does," Nordstrom says.

Nordstrom has agents in New York, Las Vegas and Hollywood. She was photographed for a wine ad that appeared around Mexico City. And she's part of a group of look-alikes that book themselves out as Ocean's 6. The group includes a Johnny Depp, an Angelina Jolie, a Paris Hilton and a Jennifer Aniston.

For Nordstrom, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

"I'm a big fan," Nordstrom said. "If I did not look like her, I would still be her No. 1 fan."

She loves Simpson's music, but singing isn't part of her act. People have told her she looks like Simpson ever since she attended Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, but Nordstrom hasn't met her. At least not yet.

"I would probably cry, I'm that big of a fan," Nordstrom said. "And I would say, sorry. I don't want any hard feelings for this."

Nordstrom had mixed emotions about last weekend's trip to Dallas.

"What is she going to think?" Nordstrom said. "Because I'm kind of representing her at the game. But it was all for fun."

While the Post clearly identified Nordstrom as a faux Simpson, the tabloid's ploy to create a story isn't standard procedure for newspapers, and is an example of the increasingly blurred line between news and entertainment.

"I think the standards are changing," said Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists. "But I'm not sure they should change. We're developing different thresholds, and organizations are pushing the boundaries. The problem with that, it confuses the consumer."

Jennifer Fermino, the Post reporter who sat next to Nordstrom at the game, said having a celebrity look-alike at the stadium blended in with the carnival-like atmosphere of face-painted fans. Besides, Fermino said, it was pretty far-fetched to think Romo thought it was really Simpson behind the bench.

"I doubt he would genuinely be fooled into thinking it was his girlfriend," Fermino said.

Nordstrom said she was prepared for some booing and maybe a beer or three tossed her way. Nope. There was nothing worse than one security guard saying, "We don't need Jessica Simpson."

And after the Giants' victory, one New York fan told her she had to come to Green Bay, according to the Post's account: "In true Jessica, Chicken-of-the-Sea fashion, Nordstrom candidly responded: 'What's Green Bay?' "

Except that was no imitation.

"That was actually me," Nordstrom said.

When it comes to Jessica Simpson, Nordstrom is a natural.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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