Break out your fake eyelashes and flippers, y’all, and join us in the world of the Fancy Faces pageant in Oklahoma…
:01 — Todd James, the pageant emcee, tells us the pageant is about “bringing glitz back to Oklahoma!” Finally! A long-awaited end to Oklahoma’s glitz drought.
:01 – We meet SamiJo, an ol’ pageant pro at the wizened age of 15 months. Her mother Tricia shares just how, um, dedicated she is:
“I decided to put SamiJo in pageants because that’s the whole reason I wanted to have a daughter,” Tricia states matter-of-factly.
Well, why ELSE would you get pregnant? Duh. And Tricia’s winning attitude doesn’t end there:
“When I found out she was a girl, I wanted to name her America. I wanted her name to be Miss America.”
Suddenly, “SamiJo” doesn’t sound so bad.
:03 – Bubbly redhead Jaclynn, 4, looks at the camera. “I love pageants,” she coos with a wink. Then we meet Jaclynn’s family, who has a passion for… yodeling. And… yet more yodeling. And… [PUT TV ON MUTE FOR NEXT MINUTE, THEN:] “We’re a great pageant family,” Jaclynn’s wide-eyed step-mom declares enthusiastically, as we learn Jaclynn’s teenage step-sister Mercedes is a seasoned pageant competitor, as well as Jaclynn’s coach and biggest supporter. Perhaps it’s just all the yodeling clouding my head, but this family actually appears kind of sweet and down-to-earth.
CUT TO: A touching aside with little Jaclynn.
“I love pageants and I want to win money,” Jaclynn exclaims, adding with a conspiratorial whisper: “I’m gonna win a thousand bucks!”
Okay, so they did seem down-to-earth. I swear.
:04 – Introducing 5-year-old Alexis, who has humble aspirations: “When I grow up, I want to be a singer, a star, a movie star, a director and, best of all, an artist.”
:06 – We learn SamiJo’s family runs a turtle farm, with the turtles bought and used for “Indian artifacts and food.” Darn it, I wish they hadn’t mentioned that! Now I have a hankering for turtle casserole.
But no time for turtle delicacies now! Because 15-month-old SamiJo is clearly in this pageant to win, having splashed out money on a PAGEANT COACH. Meanwhile, SamiJo’s clearly stable mom continues her campaign for Mother of the Year:
“I prayed and prayed and prayed that God would give me a Miss America… When I found out I was having a third boy, I became depressed. Having SamiJo was a dream come true. I couldn’t have pre-ordered a better baby.”
:07 – Alexis’ mom coaches her daughter, instructing her to be “sharper on her ‘pretty hands’.” (Fancy pageant term for “wave.”) Alexis takes the criticism well, starts banging her head against the wall.
“Stop it! I don’t want that shit on national television. Thank you,” Alexis’ mom grumbles as she carries a crying Alexis out of the room.
Welcome to my world, Alexis’ dad sighs with his eyes. (Yes! I’m a professional eye reader.)
:13 – We get to witness the coaching expertise of Jaclynn’s stepsister Mercedes and stepmother.
My sentiments exactly, Jaclynn.