Forty-two women were desperately seeking Madonna last night. Her look, that is.

Polly Delia, 21, of Arlington, proved to be the material girl at the Madonna look-alike contest at the Bethesda Cinema and Drafthouse last night. "Madonna represents femininity and success," Delia said. "Women want to be more feminine today but they don't think they can and still be equal with men."

The contest prize was two tickets to Madonna's sold-out concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion tomorrow night and Madonna albums. To win required the mandatory garb of off-the-shoulder bra straps, tousled hair, torn fishnet stockings, exposed belly buttons, leather, chains, handcuffs and lots of red lipstick.

The look is inspired by the music videos of the 26-year-old pop star and her role in the hit movie, "Desperately Seeking Susan." Madonna developed her much-copied style by wearing lingerie as outerwear, lace head wraps, loads of arm bangles and necklaces, and by exposing her round stomach and writhing on the ground in a provocative manner as she sings.

In the movie, Madonna is irked by a woman who looks like her and accidentally steps into her identity. Last night, she would have had big trouble. One finalist, Susanna Bernstein, 17, had no doubts: "Madonna looks like me."

Each contestant walked, strutted or danced across the stage and a panel of five judges (Cinema employes) selected 10 semifinalists based on the audience reaction. The 10 danced for about 30 seconds each to Madonna's music, doing their best gyrations and pouts. When the judges picked three finalists, tears were shed and squeals of delight heard.

"Are they crazy," said Tammy Mader, pointing to her friend, Missy Totten, who failed to make the first cut. "She looks exactly like Madonna!"

The finalists disappeared to the ladies room for a last primping and then took their places for the grand finale -- a dance and lip-sync to her favorite Madonna song.

Delia, wearing black leggings with two leather belts, a bolero-type blouse pinned at the bust, long chains and pearls with crucifixes, black-lace gloves, a lace head wrap and rhinestone earrings, slinked across the stage floor on her stomach and gryrated her hips, to the delight of the crowd. All this while she lip-synced Madonna's hit, "Like a Virgin."

She defeated Katharina Bayliss, 20, of Potomac, and Bernstein of the District.

Delia, a lab technician at Doctor's Hospital and a nursing student at George Mason University, said her victory was "a pleasant surprise." Of her winning performance, she said, "A sexy woman can do anything. It depends on how she feels about herself."

Friends of Delia persuaded her to enter the contest sponsored by WBMW-FM after she had been told many times that she looked like the star. She said she'll take her sister, Anita, who coached her routine, with her to the concert. While waiting for the judges' vote, Delia said, "I feel pretty good. I'm just here to have fun."