The show began by introducing us to Tami Shomper, director of Storybook Pageants of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The winner would take home a 14 inch Cinderella crown, trophy, teddy bear and more. Tami was realistic - she said she'd like to say that pageants are all about fun, but she realizes that they're definitely competitive.
The first contestant we met was five year old Carley, daughter of Melissa, who spent $30,000 on pageants in the past year. Melissa believes that every winning pageant girl has a great pageant mom. Carley has an alter ego when she's in pageants - she said Carley goes away and Darla comes out. Carley let us know that if she doesn't win she's "gonna be pissed".
Melissa says that Carley is her replica, the two are best friends and Melissa feels like it's her on stage when Carley is performing. (If you want to prove the whole I'm-living-vicariously-through-my-daughter theory, this does it.) Melissa said her dedication is a huge part of Carley's success.
When Carley said she wasn't excited about the pageant, mom Melissa corrected her. Melissa also forced her to dye her hair blonde, despite the fact that she wanted her hair brown. Mom had Carley's dress custom made because she'll do anything to give her an edge in pageants.
Did anyone else notice that mom Melissa looks a bit like Vienna Girardi from The Bachelor?
Alessondra, nine, was next. Her mom Alane (who dresses like she really liked the 80's) likes to do things the frugal way. Mom had Alessondra via in-vitro fertilization, and eight years later had Arabella from the same batch of frozen eggs. The Storybook Pageant was Alessondra's first glitz pageant. Mom bought Alessondra's pageant dress from a consignment shop. Alessondra said that she would differ from the other girls because they'd have the 'cupcake' style dress, while hers was long.
Alessondra was not allowed to tan or wear fake eyelashes. It was refreshing. Mom asked "Who needs false eyelashes?" and Alessondra said, "Not me." That sounds like healthy self esteem to me! That being said, it didn't sound like it would help her win a glitz pageant, but still, it was nice to hear. Mom said she wanted Alessondra to look how she wanted her to look and how Alessondra felt comfortable. That's definitely not something we hear every day...a pageant mom wanting her daughter to feel comfortable!
Third was mom Kirsten with her four year old daughter Berkeley. Mom loves pageants, and says she's even more competitive than her daughter. When Berkeley was taken for a haircut, she cried and had a bit of a tantrum.
Berkeley has a pageant coach named Ashley. When Ashley asked Berkeley to practice, she threw herself on the floor and had a fit. When getting her hair done before the pageant, Berkeley cried and said she wanted medicine. She clearly didn't want to compete. Still, mom encouraged her to give the pageant a try.
The beauty competition was first. Berkeley was the first to compete. She looked like she was moving a little too slowly, and she certainly wasn't smiling. She looked like she was in a daze. (Maybe from too much Benadryl or something.) Still, mom praised and encouraged her, which was awesome. Carley was next. She was great. She has fantastic stage presence and looks truly happy to be onstage. Her facial expressions and movements reminded me of the prize girls on The Price is Right. I thought she was almost perfect on stage, yet mom criticized her for going too fast. Mom said she needs a Mountain Dew so she can step it up. Carley protested, saying she doesn't need the soda. Alessondra was the last of the girls. Her smile looked kind of like a snarl, and the judges did not look amused at her long dress. Apparently the judges' displeasure was obvious, because Alessondra noticed. The judges said the hoop under her dress was noticeable and did not look good.
0 - 23 Month Division
Third place: Annyah (pronounced Anaya...although it certainly doesn't look like it)
4 - 5 Year Old Division
Third place winner: Aubrey
Second place winner: Caylin
First place: Berkeley
8 - 9 Year Old Division
Fourth place winner: Alessondra
First place winner: Shayla
Georgie, Carley, Page, Jessie, Lexie and Olivia were called to the stage for supreme titles.
Georgie got Talent Supreme
Alexa got Mini Supreme (0 - 5 years)
Carley got Grand Supreme (0 - 5)
Jessie got Ultimate Grand Supreme
At the end of the show, Carley said she wants a break from pageants because she's had enough of them. However, mom's already talking about the next pageant. I wonder who will win this dispute!