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And you wonder why she’s crying?
Co-Director and pageant emcee Betty Burns introduces us to this week’s Toddlers & Tiaras season finale, the Rodeo Princess pageant in Bridgeport, West Virginia! Yee-ha! Poor Betty does not have any friends because if she did they would have warned her not to wear something that had spaghetti straps and was clearly cut for an 18 year old. Betty hasn’t seen 18 in a long time. Oh, Betty, it just makes you look older…you can’t out-kitten the kittens!
She was just found in the back of Studio 54.
Once again we have another semi-glitz pageant, which, pageant directors, make up your minds. I can see why it would be hard for pageant moms to understand at what level you want glitz vs. natural. Betty tries to clarify by saying you can wear all the glitz and rhinestoned clothes you want, but keep the hair and makeup age-appropriate. Well, little kids shouldn’t be wearing makeup so once again, confusion reigns.
Competition includes beauty, “talent” and “princess western wear” which is something that doesn’t actually exist in the wild. And why, why, why must everyone suffer through talent yet again?
We being our journey in the lovely Charleston, West Virginia, which you all know I adore because their capital building is domed in real gold. REAL GOLD! Paid for in coal! We also had a couple of family reunions there when we were little kids, when we actually liked being around family, and it is a beautiful state.
We meet Karmen in March of 2009, in the Retirement of a Semi-Legend recap, and apparently she’s still a huge brat. The first shot we see of her is her pinging her mother in the chest with a pinecone. Look, we’ve all been there, but she doesn’t even apologize.
Mom Heather tells us Karmen, “Brings the glitz to every pageant stage.” Well, she’d better not this time. She tells us that since the Southern Celebrity Winter Wonderland pageant, “Karmen has really grown as a person.” And as a brat.
“Karmen’s personality has many layers,” Heather tells us, which we all know is code for “Peel back the Bloomin’ Onion layers and you’ll find rot!” She says Karmen is “extraordinarily intelligent” (smart mouth), she loves to read and meet new people (footage of her hiding under her desk), she just has “a lot of levels.” So does Hell.
Leave me alone, dammit! I prefer to smell the carpet when I’m alone.
In Clarksburg, West Virginia, our double-wide dweller is seven year old Lynsie and mom Jamie. Lynsie calls herself a “redneck beauty queen.” Sigh. “A redneck is a hillbilly girl,” she says, totally proud. Sigh squared.
Watch out behind you! Bears!
Dad Jimmy pulls up in a totally tricked-out truck with the tall tires that makes you need a ladder to get into the vehicle. I always worry about what if a guy picked me up for a date in one of those, what would I do? Then I remember my dating life and it’s kind of a moot point.
Lynsie’s dad calls the vehicle a “mud bogger” and says his daughters like to go “mud bogging” on the weekends and in the summer. I know people who do this and it really seems to be some kind of primordial guy thing. Anything that requires me to use a winch to get my car out of mud after I’ve put it there on purpose is really not my thing. Also, another hilarious move on TLC’s part is to SUBTITLE Jimmy. It’s English and yet not so much.
The mud bogger is called the Green Goblin and I’m horrified to see that both of his little daughters get into the passenger seat and do not put on any kind of seatbelt. The car bounces them back and forth and I immediately put my hand to MY mouth to protect my teeth. Nothing like having daughters who grow up looking like the Detroit Red Wings. At least it will cut down on orthodontia costs!
Jamie says, “She’s a redneck. You don’t have to have no teeth to be a redneck or live in the backwoods, it’s a state of mind.” It’s also your physical state, Jamie, as your kids will have no teeth left and, well, you seem to live in a bog.
My mother was hilljack and my father was white trash, so being hillbilly is marrying up!
Lynsie has only done 7 pageants so it’s amateur hour, but she won a supreme title over the summer and mom says it’s like being bitten by a bug. Yeah, they are probably flying up from the bog!
In New Martinsville, West Virginia, we meet our final contestant and our Isabelle 2.0 pageant girl, eight year old Kelci (tragically spelled name, but great kid!). She’s practicing lassoing in the kitchen and although there’s really not enough room for that nonsense, she’s pretty good.
Practicing the wave for the royal wedding next month.
Mom Kim tells us Kelci has been competing in natural pageants only. Oh man, this won’t be good. Kelci says if this pageant is glitz, she won’t be in it. She prefers to be in natural pageants to show what she actually looks like. Damn, this kid is like the Confucius of the pageant world. Showing what you actually look like? Blows the mind.
When did Jay Leno get here?
OMG, this family combines my two loves – dogs and tiaras! They put a tiara on their dog Roxy. LOVE! Kim says that out of the 15-20 pageants Kelci has competed in, she’s won over 50% of them. That’s a lot of math and to be honest, I’m surprised she doesn’t win more, she’s adorable. Also, what about a crossover show – Terriers & Tiaras?
Give her the crown and let’s go out for pancakes.
“When Kelci’s onstage, she becomes someone else,” Kim tells us. Wait, I thought she wanted to be herself? Offstage, mom tells us she’s funny, smart and very bubbly. Seriously, she and Isabella should totally become buddies, they would totally cure cancer or something.
Then the story takes a turn for the odd. Kelci has a pet hedgehog and it seems like it’s kind of vicious despite her “Daisy” moniker. Kelci says Daisy is albino and she’s “not really sure why she’s white.” Hahahahahahahaha, good one. She can’t be held because she’ll prick Kelci, and even Roxy knows to stay back. You couldn’t get a hamster like everyone else, huh?
Really gives me the warm fuzzies.
Back in Charleston OMG there’s the gold dome! Shiny, like a tiara!
It’s GOLD! So shiny!
Karmen is having her nails put on but she doesn’t like the glue. So she does that irritating kid thing where she makes noise. First, popping her lips…and mom tells her to stop…then she moves over to clicking her tongue…then she pops her lips again and mom gives her the look and says, “Please stop.” Fine!
Now I can claw the competition’s eyes out!
Heather says pageant girls have to wear fake nails to “enhance their beauty.” I’m not really following that logic unless there is a hand-modeling category. “Beauty is a major part of pageants,” she says. She’s just f#cking with us, right?
Then we get to the finances, always my favorite part. Heather says she’s very serious about pageants and has all of Karmen’s dresses custom made. Now, she says she doesn’t like to brag about the cost of Karmen’s clothes BUT Karmen’s dresses cost $1,800 to $3,000. Money. Well. Spent.
She zips Karmen into one of those expensive dresses and it’s too small. Hope she can sell it on eBay and recoup some of those costs! To add insult to injury, the dress makes some of Karmen’s flesh spill out over the dress by her arm and her mother pushes down on it, saying, “Look…look at that!” Now I know she means the dress is just too small, but that’s gotta hurt. Self esteem, we hardly knew ye.
Back with our rednecks, Jamie tells us that with this pageant, they aren’t allowed to have spray tans, flippers or big “falls” (hairpieces). What is this, an Amish pageant? However, they have decided to “push the limit.” Oh here we go.
Lynsie walks out in her rock and roll outfit and she looks like a total whore. The dress is really slutty, with a skull and cross bones on the front, midriff bared, mini skirt filled with tulle, netted gloves like Madonna in 1985 and knee-high boots. Jamie says it’s like have your own little Barbie doll to play with. If Barbie were a working the streets.
I got this at American Girl, I swear!
“And to see her, how she’s probably going to look around 16…” Jamie doesn’t finish, but is clearly proud. Yeah, she’ll probably be wearing this SAME outfit, the only difference will be the baby on her hip.
Get me outta here!
Jamie says they really want Lynsie to grow up to be a doctor, something where she can “take care of mom and dad when we get old,” but it turns out Lynsie has some plans of her own. “She wants to go to Vegas and dance,” Jamie tells us. Don’t worry, she will. And the fact a seven year old knows of that as a career option? Doesn’t really seem to upset Jamie the way it would most moms. And dads. And grandparents. And most right-thinking people in the world. Meaning TVgasm readers.
Heather is trying to get Karmen to get off the trampoline and practice. She tells us that with Karmen’s personality, she just tries to go with what is going on. Meaning she’s a doormat and doesn’t like to discipline Karmen. That’ll be even more fun in a few years.
Karmen says she doesn’t like practicing because it’s frustrating. I don’t know what cutesy name we have for Karmen’s generation, but it should be Gen- LAZY. Karmen continues to jump on the trampoline and not listen to her mother.
Heather says the only thing that will prevent Karmen from winning this pageant is not practicing enough. I think it will be when the judges see her colorful “personality.”
Kelci is practicing a cheer and baton routine for talent. Kim tells us that she was twirling and doing pom-poms when she was little so she felt she was the expert in teaching Kelci. I’m going to recommend a twirling coach, just a thought. Then she practices her lassoing and this time she’s not great. Rut-roh.
Heather is now trying to get Karmen to come in for a spray tan. Which we all remember Jamie told us they were not supposed to do. We see footage from the 2009 episode where Karmen thought she was being hosed with gasoline and she freaked out and cried like a little girl.
So, she doesn’t want to practice and she doesn’t want to tan. Perhaps she doesn’t want to do pageants. In fact, in her last episode, actually asked her mother if she could stop doing them. And look where that got her – on ANOTHER episode! Geez, whose life is this anyway?
Lynsie is going to the salon to have her brows waxed because as Jamie says, “My family has very strong, hairy genes.” In fact, Lynsie’s so hairy, she has her brows waxed every month even if they aren’t going to a pageant. You know, this hurts like hell as an adult, I can see how a kid would sort of freak with this. Other than holding her mother’s hand, Lynsie does a hell of a job keeping calm. Good for you, kid!
Studio or funeral home for old ladies?
Kelci is at the photographer getting fresh shots done for this pageant – something they do for every pageant. Kelci said she’d love to be a model but thinks it would be hard work and that “your legs would get tired.” But she seems like she understands and is okay with that. I love this kid!
Kim says she thinks pageants are a “stepping stool” for modeling. Or a stepping stone, but stools do get you higher so I will to not disqualify you. Kelci is beautiful and her pictures really show off her beauty. Seriously, call Isabella and play Scrabble.
Karmen won’t get out of bed and whines she doesn’t want to go as Heather tells us about all the places they’ve traveled and all the friends Karmen has made. God, this would be exhausting. Clearly Karmen does not want to do pageants and mom continues to push her. But how fun can this possibly be for Heather? You’d think one weekend without a pageant she’d be like, “Wow, this relaxing and not fighting with that brat is NICE.”
Heather says she’s leaving and Karmen says oh no you’re not going anywhere in the truck! Heather leaves the room and Karmen starts whining and crying. Dad Thomas tells us what a “wonderful personality” Karmen has. “I guess she gets a little moody at times.” Is that what you call it? Because I think the rest of us would call it something else. And we wouldn’t mince words.
Karmen finally emerges with big sunglasses on, but refuses to carry any of her crap to the car. God, it is like she’s Madonna.
I only want the BLUE M&Ms. Get it right or everyone is FIRED.
Pageant day in Bridgeport, West Virginia! Pageant co-director Betty tells us the Rodeo Princess Pageant is a “county pageant.” Wait, what? Snore! No – wait, it’s two counties, Harrison and Marion. Double-snore! Way to think small.
Yeah…this is SO not glitz. Can I get some cucumber slices over here?
Kim tells us she’s nervous and Kelci says her mom is really nervous because she’s competing against a lot of high-glitz girls. This seems like a lot of pressure to put this kid under. Her main concern: Karmen.
Love the Princess Leia look, by the way.
Speaking of which, Karmen yells at her mother for poking her in the eye and yells about all the makeup going on her face as Heather interviews that “things are going very well for us right now.” What reality show is she on? “Karmen is cooperating and having a good time.” Oh, some OTHER show.
I think you meant “usually.”
Heather interviews it was difficult for them to “dial back” on the hair and makeup for this show, which begs the question, why bother to participate if you are more comfortable with high glitz?
Lynsie is getting her makeup done and the makeup artist freaks because the foundation made the self-tanner rub off her cheek, so now she has a white spot on her face. They spray-tan her face with body tanner and hope for the best.
They make a cute couple!
And we’re off! Wow, pageant co-director Betty is in full Western wear – is she competing? And that shirt is tight. Wow, non-glitz is really boring. Some of these kids look like they just woke up. Get some undereye cream, quick!
Natural pageants take a turn for the worse.
Seven and eight year old candidates are up and per usual, “it’s the toughest division and everyone should bring their A-game.” Yeah, everyone should also consider some new clichés, too. This group includes all of our girls and Heather says she thinks being a glitz girl will help Karmen win the pageant. Did you not read the fine print?
You don’t mind if I cut in, do you?
Kelci interviews that she hasn’t been up against “these many girls and Karmen,” like Karmen is the Eden Wood of West Virginia or something. It makes me sad that Kelci is measuring her self-worth against Karmen, because Karmen is a little brat and a trained poodle. Clearly Kelci has way more going for her in the manners and smarts department.
Karmen says, “I’m not nervous, ‘cause the babies can’t beat me.” Yeah, you’re not really up against just babies, though, are ya? Brat.
Move it along, bitch!
It is pretty clear this pageant is for newcomers or girls who are not polished – I’m not complaining, in fact that is kind of a compliment to the contestants. These girls look nervous, pretty but not overly done, and basically like complete amateurs. Good for you, girls!
She’s gone so natural, she’s a blur!
From our group, first up is Karmen, who is very polished, poised and sporting a cute fake smile. One of the judges bitches that she can tell Karmen has been spray-tanned because her hands give it away – they are not well-blended. Dammit! Fake tanning has not outsmarted a pageant judge!
YAY! Kelci is up next and I have to tell you J’ADORE her dress! It is totally long, fluffy and pink and she just looks beautiful. Dad is videotaping, mom is taking pictures, and you can tell this kid is loved, not pushed into this, and adorable. She’s going to do well in life.
Kim gives Kelci a big hug and she’s crying, grandma’s crying, then Kelci begins to cry because she made them cry. “Mom started crying because she was really proud of me,” Kelci says. Okay, I officially love this family. Dammit!
Lynsie is up and she interviews her new dress is pink with lots of sparkles. And when she interviews, you can see how really pretty she is – she gives off sort of a Jennifer Aniston-at-Sundance vibe in her shirt and with her perfectly wavy hair. This kid is really pretty.
See what I mean?
And speaking of pretty, I LOVE this dress too! It’s hot pink like Kelci’s – less fluff but more rhinestones, and I must have them both in adult sizes! She does a great job onstage, too. Good for you, kid! Please don’t dance in Vegas!
What a beauty and a nice mom to boot. Please avoid Vegas!
Jamie says she thought Lynsie looked great and that “all the other girls looked great too.” Hey, pageant mom, dial down the good manners, that’s not how this works. You’re supposed to despise the other kids and assume if they win, it’s because they knew the judges, right?
Right, bitch? Must be favoritism and not the fact that your kids suuuuuucks.
Karmen is getting her Western wear costume on and you know how I love the coral colored outfits. Kelci is wearing an outfit her mother made and it looks like cow hide and that she’s Annie Oakley. Lynsie is wearing something that looked like Daisy Duke, a worry confirmed when she actually says, “I’m wearing my Daisy Duke outfit.” Yeah, she’ll be a pregnant high-school dropout, count on it.
Kelci’s dad says pageants are good…”they can be good…a good confidence booster,” he says, but you get the feeling that perhaps he doesn’t believe it. Kelci goes up to her dad in the audience and he puts his arm around her and tells her she looks good in her Western wear. He calls her beautiful and gives her a kiss. See, that’s her REAL confidence booster, a dad that loves and supports her. She will NOT end up a pregnant high-school drop out, you can count on THAT.
Karmen looks gorgeous in the coral sparkly Western outfit and yes, I’m going to need to order one of these. Her dance is a little adult for her and if they ever do a kid sequel to Coyote Ugly, she’s in. Heather says it was the best routine Karmen’s ever done.
Dradel! Dradel! Dradel!
Kelci looks adorable onstage and she does a cute little dance. Kim is worried because they practiced with more Xs at home than they had here, but Kelci doesn’t miss a beat and does a great job with the lasso. One of the judges says Kelci didn’t move as much as the other girls but that she still did a great job. Well….food for thought, I guess.
I’m gonna lasso me a tiara!
Lynsie is going to be a dancer, you can tell. She has a ton of enthusiasm and does a great job dancing all over the stage. I still have some issues with how sexy she looks and I’d probably keep her away from dad’s friends from now on, but she was good.
Heather says Karmen usually decides the night before what talent she wants to do, so that is somewhat nerve-wracking. Today, Karmen decides to say the books of the Bible. Oh, crap. Well, here we go again. Get your comments ready.
First of all, is this really talent? It’s like naming off capital cities or the presidents…interesting, but not really a talent. Second, I think listing off the books of the Bible is kind of playing into the hands of the judges, isn’t it? I mean, they are probably all God-fearing people, so they probably give more points to her because it’s the BIBLE than if she was listing presidents. You have to give more points to God, he’s omnivorous. AND omnipotent.
Another Princess Leia look? “C3PO…R2D2…Han Solo…Luke Skywalker…Queen Amadala!”
We hear a church/baseball stadium organ start up as she begins, “Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st Samuel, 2nd Samuel…” okay, now she’s just making shit up. “1st Kings, 2nd Kings, 1st Chronicles, 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah…” and then she skips a WHOLE mess of stuff that was listed on Wikipedia and goes to Lamentations…which ironically is what I’m doing right now with her “talent.” Of course, I should be most worried about Exodus 35:2 because I’m working on a Sunday and according to the Bible, that means I should be put to death. I’m sure those two eggs I just ate for breakfast are working on it.
Kelci is about to go onstage and Kim is freaking about one of the baton throws. I would be too if I were in the audience. Kelci shakes the pom-poms (no, literally) and tosses the baton and catches it. YAY! Great job.
GOOOO TEAM! So wholesome.
Lynsie is in her whore outfit and I just feel sad. She’s really pretty and probably has a good head on her shoulders, but this whole sexualization of a kid is so awful. She really is shaking it like maybe she’s seen too many of those late night shows on Blowtime or Skinemax. Dad says that she does look a little older, but (subtitles) “It is what it is.” Yes, and “what it is” is you making your seven year old pedophile bait.
The kid auction begins now…who’s my highest bidder?
“It’s like for any other sport,” he says, “You’ve got to wear protective gear…or dress up, I guess.” Truer words were never spoken, and fingers crossed when her age does catch up to how she’s dressing, she will use protection. Excuse me while I don’t hold my breath.
Lynsie says she did a good job and so did all of her friends, and she and Kelci hug. Okay, that was cute and good sportsmanship. I still think I know which one is going to be Juno and which one is going to be the leggy blonde friend.
Made in China and FULL of lead paint. YAY!
CROWNING! They do age divisions and of course, have optionals which are things you pay for to help your kid win more crap. The highest point winners are crowned for each county and there are no cash prizes – instead, you get tiaras, trophies and pink cowboy boots full of goodies. Karmen says she’d like to win the horsey crown. Well duh.
Kelci says she’d be okay with first runner up but she really wants to win. Again, I hate that her self-worth seems a little tied up with this pageant…hopefully they’ll get away from that as a family.
Prettiest Smile…Lynsie! Best Dressed…Karmen (well duh, she spent the most). Cover Girl Photogenic…Kelci! Damn straight! Royal Rodeo Princess Court…two girls are called then…Kelci! Aww. I was hoping she’d get higher and so did she, but still, she did a great job. Kim wasn’t happy but she knew the competition would be fierce.
Young Miss Princess…Karmen! Oh, BURN! That means she didn’t win the ultimate super supreme pizza with everything, she’s first loser. Well, that’ll teach you to not blend your hand tan!
So…who is going to win the Harrison County Young Miss Princess? LYNSIE! YAY! Well, she did look adorable outside of the whole whore situation. The Marion County Young Miss Princess…Karmen! Wait, what? I thought she was Young Miss Princess but she also qualified for the county? I’m so confused. Per usual.
When I do this I can actually scratch Mommy’s brain!
Kelci says she and her mother will probably continue to do natural pageants instead of glitz, and good for you! Save your money for cool things like college and school trips to Washington, D.C.
Lynsie confirms our worst fears, “The judges must have wanted a redneck beauty queen.” Or they were just thrilled you still had all of your teeth despite the mud bogging.
Okay, judges, good choice!
Heather says semi-glitz is difficult and at this pageant, the judges didn’t like Karmen’s tan and they thought her makeup was a little dark. Still, she won pretty big so what the hell? “We do come from a glitz world and that’s what it’s all about,” she says. No worries, Heather. According to Bible book Exodus 21:7, you can always sell her into slavery. Wow, I stand corrected. The Bible is FULL of great information.
That’s it for this season – thanks for all the comments, both challenging and supportive – that’s what makes this so much fun. I’m recapping the 2/24 episode of American Idol this week (basically it’s going to be six pages of J-Lo saying, “We are sorry to tell you…YOU’RE ONE OF THE FINAL 24!”) and in a couple weeks I’m starting Celebrity Apprentice. I loves me some trainwrecks! See you then!