Saturday, February 9, 2013

Toddlers and Tiaras: Georgia's Fresh Faces - Beauty Under the Big Top

To open the episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, pageant director Angie Pearson introduced us to the circus themed pageant, called Georgia's Fresh Faces - Beauty Under the Big Top. She let us know that there were no rules for circus wear, which should make the pageant interesting. Her only criteria for the girls? If they're smiling or pretty, they're good to go.

The Contestants

First, we were introduced to 22 month old Oliviana from Mississippi. Mom Delia calls her daughter "Ollie" as a nickname. What is interesting about Oliviana's story is that dad Rob is her biggest supporter. He's passionate about pageants, which involves designing everything from Oliviana's performances to dresses. He even wants to open up a pageant-related studio of his own.

Oliviana has become a threat to other pageant participants in her area because she typically takes home the crown. Pageant parents have been known to reach out to pageant staff to find out if Oliviana's competing so they know whether or not to enter their kids. Wow!

Oli, at 22 months, takes a Mixed Martial Arts class to help her with her stability for pageants. Her mom says it also teaches her confidence, but I'm not entirely convinced. That being said, I still think it's adorable that her parents have her in MMA classes - it is a good way to start strength training early in life! Don't be mistaken about Oliviana being all about toughness, though - she also gets french manicures for big pageants.

Second was Georgia native 6 year old Katlyn. Right off the bat, she seemed to be a fun kid, although definitely strong willed. Mom Renee and her sister competed in pageants, and decided to continue the tradition with Katlyn.

When Katlyn checked out her tiger cage for Circus Wear for the first time, mom Renee worried because the routine Katlyn was doing was the first that she had to memorize. That makes me wonder - does she not do a lot of pageants with special portions like Circus Wear? Does she not do a lot of pageants? Does her mom always do the routine in the background? At 6, you'd think Katlyn had been memorizing routines for years.

Also from Georgia was the third contestant, 4 year old Alivia. She was introduced during her practice as "Ali". Mom Lauren has had Alivia in pageants since she was 5 months old. One notable thing about Alivia is that she's very articulate. She seems to be intelligent and strong willed, as well. While she is bossy, she makes it look adorable...probably because she knows that she's playing her mom every step of the way.

The Pageant

The categories for the pageant are Glitz Beauty and Circus Wear.

Pageant prep with Oliviana was absolutely adorable. She was in a great mood. Her parents let her choose from two dresses to wear for beauty, which was really nice. It was cool to see a child have some say in what she's doing.

Ali, on the other hand, wasn't in a great mood before the pageant, and Katlyn wasn't feeling terribly friendly before the event either. And later, Ollie's mood changed to a negative one as well. It wasn't looking like a good day for anyone at that point.

First up for beauty was Oliviana. Dad took her onstage and it was adorable. Her smile was sincere and she did a wonderful job onstage, although she did try to run off a few times.

Alivia was next. She was beautiful, but her confidence didn't seem to be in full swing. Her smile wasn't strong enough, and her eyes kept looking around. A judge commented that she appeared to be looking behind the judges and not at them, an attribute that could cost her points.

Katlyn was third. Earlier in the episode, Ali's mom Lauren had made a comment about how girls in pageants often look like Barbies, and Ali stands out because of her dark skin, eyes and hair. When I saw Katlyn, I knew exactly what Lauren was talking about. Ali was a walking, talking Barbie doll. Don't get me wrong - she looked amazing - but if she stood still long enough, you probably could mistake her for a life-size Barbie doll. Also, her aspiration (per the announcer) is to be a princess in a big castle, which is a pretty Barbie-like thing to say! Katlyn caught some criticism for her frizzy hair, but other than that, she was great.

Circus Wear was next. Unfortunately, Circus Wear prep was less than stellar for Oliviana. She was very upset and her shoes didn't fit. Fortunately, mom knew someone whose shoes Ollie could wear, and the crisis was averted. It's too bad that all of the backstage madness seemed to tire Oliviana out - her performance was less than stellar.

Alivia was second, performing as Britney Spears. (You know, the Britney Spears Circus tour? Yeah, that.) Okay, I realize I'm going off on a tangent here, but part of Katlyn's routine included hitting a stuffed animal with a whip. I'm not going to go into the morality of turning your 6 year old into Britney Spears, but I have a HUGE problem with teaching animal cruelty, even if it's in a pageant routine featuring a stuffed animal. NOT OKAY. Also, her performance wasn't awesome - her energy was low.

It was down to Katlyn, who cried backstage before Circus Wear. To remedy that, her parents gave her coffee. At first I was appalled, but I guess it's no different than Red Bull or Pixi Styx moms, so whatever! And I will give credit where credit was due - Katlyn's performance was FIERCE. At this point, I'm 100% Team Katlyn - I think this girl's got the win in the bag. Although a judge said her lip syncing could count against her, so we'll see!

Crowning

In Oliviana's category (12 - 23 months), Ardem took the Queen title, which meant that Ollie pulled for a higher title.

The 4 year old division was next. Cereza took Queen, and Ali was pulled for a higher title.

The 5 - 6 year olds followed. Jasey took Queen, and Katlyn moved on for a higher title.

The money titles were up next.

Novice Supreme, and $150 cash, went to Alivia. Mom was surprised that she scored so high.

Fresh Face Supreme in the 0 - 4 division went to Oliviana.

Fresh Face Supreme in the 5 - 10 division went to Katlyn.

Ultimate Grand Supreme went to Jayla, who was so excited that she fell running onstage. But she recovered well and smiled, which proves that she's truly a pageant star.

My Notes

I love the fact that all parents featured on this episode were happy with how their kids performed. They knew their kids messed up on some things, but were proud and didn't get upset that their kids didn't win it all.

I loved that there was were friendships at the pageant! Ollie's mom was able to borrow shoes from another pageant family...that's amazing! The other mom could have easily been malicious and not lend Ollie the boots, but she did it.

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