Time to grab our biggest hair pieces and spray tan machines as we enter the full-glitz Southern Celebrity Ohio pageant on this week’s Toddlers & Tiaras…
:02 – Mercedes, 3, “is known as a firecracker,” according to her mom. (Pageant Mom-to-English translation: Bossy little sucker.) Drama already abounds as yesterday’s chocolate milk manifests itself on the firecracker’s cheek. Yes! She has a pimple. Right before the pageant! But Mercedes is not worried:
“Queens can have pimples,” Mercedes informs us.
We also learn that Mercedes’ mom has modest expectations: “We do hope that she becomes famous.” Well, if anything is going to help her become the next Meryl Streep, I’m sure it’s the Southern Celebrity Ohio pageant.
:03 — We meet 8-year-old Tiffany. Right off the bat, it is clear humility is not her strong suit: “I’m gonna beat them glitz girls at their own game,” Tiffany sniffs.
Or her mom’s: “She’s a very big deal in national pageants,” Tiffany’s mom declares with the charisma of a tomato. However, this pageant is not like the others, as we learn they are worried about the “big name contestants” rumored to be appearing, such as 4–year-old Eden Wood, who apparently is the Tiger Woods of the pageantry world. Minus Rachel Uchitel and the wronged hot Swedish ex-wife.
:04 – Isabella, 7, is not your typical pageant girl, she exclaims with a dramatic wave. I may not win all of the pageants, she tells us, “but I always try my best.” A disappointingly healthy attitude. Turns out, Isabella is worried about that pint-sized pageant dominatrix Eden Wood as well. “Eden’s going to a party because somebody’s written a book about her,” Isabella notes with awe.
:07 – Full-glitz pageants ain’t cheap. In fact, Tiffany’s dad says they had to use their entire tax refund to keep Tiffany in excessive eye shadow and glitter. But seeing your 8-year-old child sparkle in more makeup than a drag queen…? Priceless.
:11 – Cuteness overload alert: Mercedes thinks she looks like a “sock star” with all of her makeup. (In her defense, Ozzy Osbourne is about as coherent as a sock.)
:12 – Mercedes’ mom confides that she and her husband take anti-anxiety meds the day of the pageant to keep them calm. *Sigh* Whatever happened to the good ol’ days of teaching our kids — by example — to cope with anxiety in a healthy way (e.g., a bourbon-filled flask)?
:13 – Tiffany gets her nails done and eyebrows waxed.
:13 — In an aside, Tiffany’s mom admits her daughter will go over to another competitor and pull off her crown if she thinks she doesn’t deserve it. Tiffany will then helpfully inform the winner, “that’s my crown.” (See also: Gracious Loser.)
:21 – The pageant director explains that their panel of judges will be looking for “the best personality and most beautiful face” among the 45 girls competing this weekend. Because we all if there is any way to judge a toddler’s personality, it’s by throwing her on stage and telling her to “make pretty hands” for 30 seconds.
:21 – All the girls are dying to meet Eden Wood. SHE IS SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS.
:23 – Mercedes is refreshingly natural-looking, unlike most girls there. However, once her dad catches a glimpse of Eden Wood, he starts freaking out and huffing that they should have bought different outfits and piled on more makeup. (Perhaps it’s time the doctor prescribes a stronger anti-anxiety pill.) Having Eden there “makes people want to step up their game,” Mercedes mom shrugs in defense of her unraveling husband.
:23 – Isabella’s mom is worried because she’s doing her daughter’s hair and makeup for the first time. “She thinks she’ll mess up,” Isabella confides, not seeming to care.
Hmmmm. Not the most auspicious start. Good thing Isabella is a natural beauty. “I will never do glitz hair and makeup again,” Isabella’s mom declares.
:25 – The usually confident Tiffany is nervous. “I think all the other girls so far look pretty today,” she observes, adding: “It is a lot of pressure because my mom does think I’m gonna win.”
:26 – Mercedes’ mom is also freaking out now (seriously, doc, STEP UP THE MEDS!) because the age categories have changed. Meaning: They may be competing directly against — you guessed it — EDEN WOOD! *GULP*
:31 – PHEW! False alert. Eden is not competing in Mercedes’ age group. Having returned to her usual calm, medicated self, Mercedes’ mom reminds Mercedes to smile on stage.
Um, “not scary,” her mom hastens to add. “Not Chucky.”
:31 – “I want to pop an extra pill sometimes because I’m not sure exactly what she’s going to do,” Mercedes’ mom admits, wearing her own Chucky-like smile.
:33 – Isabella and her mom reveal their secret weapon: THE FART MACHINE.
“The fart machine has six different farts,” Isabella explains, confusing us even further until we see Isabella’s mom “fart” in her ear to make her laugh before going on-stage. I could be wrong, but something tells me Eden Wood does not use a pre-performance fart machine. Gwyneth Paltrow’s spiritual adviser, maybe. A fart machine, no.
Fart machines may make an elegant warm-up device, but promoting your child via a Hanes undershirt will seal the deal.
As will wearing more feathers than the sum of all the contestants in RuPaul’s Drag Race. (Also: OMG, IT’S EDEN WOOD!)
:57 — After Mercedes consistently rocks the stage, Tiffany develops a devastating case of “butter fingers” and drops her baton over and over again, and Isabella displays mad hula-hoop skills, the judges announce the winners…
OMG, EDEN WOOD IS CALLED TO THE STAGE! But wait… Eden only — *GASP* — wins Talent Supreme, rendering her ineligible for a higher title. A shocking upset, leaving the door open for…
Three-year-old Mercedes to win Grand Supreme! Mercedes’ poignant rendition of “Yankee Doodle,” complete with a show-stopping macaroni toss, gave her the edge, no doubt. The modest three-year-old winner blows kisses at the camera.
Meanwhile, in less exuberant contestant reactions…
“I’m a little bit sad that I didn’t get an overall,” Isabella frowns, tugging at our hearts.
“When your name’s not called, you might be sad with yourself,” confides Tiffany, who was crowned queen in her age division but is not exactly thrilled with the honor. “Second lowest title,” she pouts. The disappointment is so unbearable, Tiffany won’t even put on her crown. (Seriously? I’ve never met a crown I didn’t want to wear.) “My mommy is proud of me, but I’m not proud of myself.” She cries in her mom’s arms. Awwww. Cheer up, sweetie! Silver lining: At least you’re not THIS girl:
“Why couldn’t my mom just let me join Girl Scouts?” the Cupcake is wondering right about now.