Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
In the words of my hero Stewie Griffith, dammit to the bowels of bottomless hell! I don’t like recapping pageants that happen in West Virginia. Those people are usually really nice and not crazy at all, which makes it harder to make fun of them. Not impossible, just harder.
Let’s start with the Pageant Director Betty Burns, who we’ve seen before at a previous West Virginia pageant. Sounds like the Marlboro Man has taken up residence in Betty’s throat or at least died there! She explains that the West Virginia “Walk of Fame” (A “Reel” Experience) is one of the most competitive in-state pageants with 68 contestants from four states.
“All of the contestants have been preparing for months,” she says. How does she know that? Some of them act like they just happened to be staying at the hotel for the weekend and needed something to do while they cleaned the Clark bar out of the pool filter if you know what I mean.
In Bentree, West Virginia, we meet six year old Jayla who is adorable and has the speech capabilities of a two year old. (See? I feel terrible that the West Virginia schools have let her down and I have to point it out). Seriously, TLC had to provide translations of everything she said because she can’t seem to form words or sentences correctly.
Jayla’s dad, Dwayne, is her go-to guy when it comes to all things pageant, and I don’t want to stereotype, but he and David from the first season would make a faaaabulous couple! “I’m a pageant dad,” he says. He teaches Jayla her routines and is quite graceful in his own way, you know, for a dad. He started Jayla in pageants when she was only one year old and they compete in about 9 a year. “You’re not swooshing!” he tells Jayla during practice. He would know.
“My husband comes up with her routines,” Melissa, Jayla’s mother and Dwyane’s beard says with the emotion of a carrot. A carrot that is never going to have sex again unless she strays outside the marital boundaries. “It’s just a daughter and dad thing,” she tries to convince herself. No, Melissa, me and my dad changing my upstairs toilet for a low-flow energy efficient one is a daughter-dad thing (P.S. Dad – looks like the third installation was the charm, stupid wax ring).
Again, going back to the nice people thing, it is totally cool to see this dad so involved with his daughter. He says it’s brought them closer together and she enjoys the fact that her dad is one of the only dads involved in this. Score one for Dwayne for being an involved dad, no question about it.
Now in Rainelle, West Virginia, six year old Riley is in a punching match with her older brother and she wins. Clearly Riley goes to the same school as Jayla because she talks the same way. Is their first grade teacher Nell? Because somewhere along the line someone stroked out for that accent.
Riley’s dad Jason says she really enjoys the pageants, especially the part where she goes onstage and tells people she likes to wrestle. Then they cut to footage of her wrestling another girl, and I have to say way to go West Virginia to break down the barriers of male-dominated sports and let girls kick some ass while wearing too-tight leotards! Just like aerobics. “It builds up her confidence,” he says, and you know what? I believe him!
Riley’s mom Monica says it was Riley’s idea to try out pageants. “One moment she can be the tomboy and the other she’s prim and proper,” Monica says, telling us she was surprised that Riley got involved with pageants. Dammit! I believe her too! Give me something to work with people!
In Lizemores, West Virginia, we meet Hannah who is seven. She is competing for the first time in two years, apparently she’s on the Cher faux retirement plan. Her mother Ashley has that unfortunate zebra-striped hair that screams “I barely graduated from high school” and says Hannah can’t wait to get back on the stage. They took her out of pageants when Ashley became pregnant “with her twin brothers and sisters.” Or, you could try birth control, just an idea that popped into my head.
Hannah is practicing her Austin Powers routine as her mother explains that before they took her out of pageants, “Hannah was grand supreming everywhere.” Pepto should help with that. Ashley says she enjoys the pageants because it’s just the two of them. “Me and her time,” she says. That’s sweet but again, you could have had that simply by popping a few Yaz.
Back in Bentree, Dwayne says, “Jayla is Jayla.” Profound. Truer words were never spoken, Dwyane. “We make it about her,” he finishes. He says that two out of three pageants she does pretty well, then she has her off days (don’t we all? Mine are Monday through Friday). They don’t take the pageants seriously, they just make it fun for her. Dammit. Know what’s fun for dad? Probably the hamster Jayla’s holding, boo-ya!
At Riley’s house, her mother is giving us that bullshit about how it’s all about Riley’s personality. Her mother tells us that Riley loves animals and Riley tells us she can speak animal. “I speak cat…meow. Meow, meow.” Well, she’s got us there. But can she speak cat in French? I can! “Reour. Reour, reour.” See?
She tweets at some birds but they don’t respond. She says it takes a while for them to think because they have little heads. I’m pretty sure they’re in management. “They like for me to be in pageants,” she says, but I’m not so sure – if feathers show up on her dress, they probably don’t.
FLIPPER TIME! Finally! Monica says they decided to get a flipper to make Hannah look like a complete and total freakshow. That, and her new teeth aren’t in yet. She’s totally Tom-Cruising in the kitchen and her mother says it will help her with her scores. Well, cheating usually does.
Ashley tells us that since they’ve been out of pageants so long, they had to purchase a lot of new things, including a new dress that is yellow, sequined, with flowers that look like poinsettias and are very tacky and I totally love this dress and would have as a kid. It is so over the top and fluffy like a big lemon cake and I must have it. The dress was $2400…ah, I love it when money is well-spent. I’ll give you $20 for it when she’s done with it.
Jayla and her dad are visiting their seamstress as Dwayne says, “We design all of Jayla’s dresses with Kathy.” Where is Jayla’s mom? Probably watching Guiding Light. Kathy tells us she’s been sewing for Jayla for five years and I will admit a good tailor is worth her weight in gold. “We draw the pictures and Kathy makes it happen,” Dwayne says. Again, my dad-daughter time is very different than Jayla’s and is usually spent discouraging my dad from getting a bobcat bulldozer to “straighten up” the overgrowth behind the garage, and my dad rarely draws pictures of dresses.
Jayla looks adorable in her dress and she is a very pretty girl. Kathy says a dress like this would run $400-600 in a store (so I wonder what she charges?). Dwayne says he looks at pageants as an investment because there could be a modeling agency at one of them. I think he’s missing the real point which is having your dad involved in your life and the kind of confidence that is going to give Jayla in the long run. She’ll be successful because of that, not necessarily because of the pageants.
Dammit, why don’t these kids act like brats or throw a fit already?!?!?!
Back at Riley’s, Monica interviews that they’ve never spent more than $100 on an outfit or dress for a pageant. Oh, and I bet you don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth and you turn the lights off when you leave a room. Poseurs!
“Most of her dresses came off eBay or my mother or myself have made them…the all have tags that say, ‘Made with Love by Grandma.’ ” Son of a bitch, who can make fun of Grandma? Damn you to hell TLC, you’d better move the next episode to bat-shit crazy Texas so I can get my fix. Monica says they don’t do a lot of glitz pageants and they don’t tan their kid. How serious are these people? If you want to win, whore-up the kid and paint her brown!
Tanning is the word of the day at Jayla’s house. Dad gets out the power-washer (well, my dad would) and he Coppertones up Jayla. “It makes them look leaner and healthier and brings out their dress,” he says. I agree which is why I lotion-fake-tan too. Well, that and my burn/peel/freckle strategy didn’t work out so well growing up. Jayla hugs her dad and they laugh. Bloody hell!
Now Riley is practicing her routine in front of her stuffed animal judges. Monica reiterates that really the pageants are about having fun, not whether Riley wins or loses. What the hell kind of attitude is that, and can you bottle it and send it to Jamie Sterling?
Hannah is over at the salon for hair, nails, and tanning. “She wants the real nails like mommy’s,” Ashley said, as the camera clearly shows us her fake nails. Riley sucks down a coffee as her mother tells us how much Hannah loves to drink it. She’s probably like me where the coffee is merely a vehicle for cream and sugar. Hannah slurps down the last of her coffee, holds up her mug, and without looking at her mother behind her, says, “Go get me more.” Brat! YAY!
Pageant day! We’re at the Resort at Glad Springs which sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? Until you realize it’s full of free-ranged kids. Pageant director Betty/Marlboro Marion is back growling that they developed the pageant to provide a “national [pageant] at a state level price” so more people could compete…meaning they wanted to make as much money as possible from people who could probably least afford it. It’s like they are Republicans or something.
The highlight of the pageant is the “Red Carpet Wear” category where girls show what they would wear on the red carpet to their own movie premiere. I would either wear Armani or Clooney, hard to say at this point. Once again, looks like everyone gets a trophy. Betty tells us that there are no novices in this pageant. The gauntlet is thrown down!
Dwayne is a little thrown because more dads are at the pageant than he’s ever seen before. We then get to meet Sid Vicious-like dad from England who says they don’t have pageants like this in England. Sir, I could take you more seriously if you weren’t sporting a mohawk and a tie with a purple suit. “I wasn’t too keen on them when I first came over,” he says. Then get the hell back to Russia you commie!
Riley is getting her hair and makeup done and she’s throwing a fit about not wearing eyeliner. Oh, Riley, how far you need to go to get to the crazy. Although the way the rollers are placed willy-nilly all over her head, she’s headed to Crazyville. Riley then brats-out completely and the makeup artist tells her there are a lot of other girls to do so she needs to get with the program. Which she does by covering her face. I would toss this kid out of the chair so fast she wouldn’t know what threw her. It was me! I threw you!
Finally, she’s done with hair and makeup and begins hopping around the auditorium like a frog. This is the kind of stuff that irks the crap out of me with kids. Well, this and those damn car-style grocery carts that parents don’t know how to maneuver. Riley’s playing chipmunk. Super-fun! Super-annoying!
Hannah is in the house! She’s getting her hair and makeup done and she’s becoming the total glitz package with her flipper and poinsettia dress. Ashley isn’t sure how things will go this year since they’ve been out of the pageant circuit for a couple of years. She thinks either she’ll do well or she won’t. Wow, is she also the local meteorologist? It’s going to rain or it won’t! Fifty percent chance of either!
Dwayne and his beard are putting Jayla together – that’s one thing about this pageant – no coaches and minimal outside help. Way to be self-sufficient, West Virginians! Jayla freaks out because she had a hair in her eye from mascara and then they re-do her eye makeup and crisis is averted. Jayla has awesomely big hair (I can’t lie, I love big hair but I will never wear it…again) and a pretty blue dress that really works for her.
Pageant Director Marlboro Marion scares the crap out of everyone being the announcer. “Her favorite toy is a pacifier,” she tobaccos during the baby category. Yeah, I work with a few people who could use one of those. There are quite a few boys in this competition and I say rock on.
“People say beauty pageants are all about beauty and they’re not,” says Judge Kelly. “You have to have the clothes, the hair and makeup, the photos, the personality, the total package.” So, it’s about the clothes, hair, makeup and photos of you in those clothes, hair and makeup, and I’m guessing fuglies don’t win. And please spare me the crap about personalities – we’ve seen who wins and it’s the kid who can fake it the most onstage and act like a total badass bratacular snot offstage, so shove that in your whole package and smoke it. Betty has the smokes.
See what happens when pent-up frustration over not being able to make fun of these people explodes?
Ashley says she thinks today the judges are looking for someone who is “total glitz.” As opposed to tomorrow when they are looking for the nearest slack-jawed hilljack! But what do they say they looking for? Say it with me: THE TOTAL PACKAGE. Jesus. Then I hear Marlboro Marion say, “Thank you, Pepper McCormick.” Did her parents get her name from the grocery store spice rack? Idiots.
Jayla looks really pretty and she does have such a beautiful face. She’s starting to throw a little fit about walking slow on stage and then she faces the wall. Good dog! Dwayne has to grab her and slow her down a couple of times and he’s panicked about her sucking.
Riley has some steep competition and she faces it by sticking out her tongue and saying, “That’s a lizard.” There’s your total package – girl and reptile. Her curlers are going every which way and she looks nuts. Total package plus!
In the Beauty Wear Category, Riley gets on stage and works it like a dainty little girl. She looks really pretty in yellow but scared to death onstage, then Marlboro Marion announces that Riley’s favorite toy is balloons. Is that a toy? That seems odd to me to think of balloons as being a fun toy. She blows kisses but her heart wasn’t in it, I could tell.
Jayla is up next and she is adorable! She is so pretty – did anyone else notice her eyes? She reminds me of some actress…Meg Foster. Dwayne says that even though she was throwing a fit before she went onstage, he knew she knew what she was doing and she’d be fine. Well, at least someone had faith in a kid.
Hannah is ready to go in her ka-jillion dollar dress but her brothers are throwing temper tantrums offstage. Brats. Hannah gets onstage and works it like a Texan. Marlboro Marion says Hannah’s favorite hobby is singing songs in church – oh, please, she’s just working the religious right on that one (and good move in West Virginny). She smiles big, prances, and bats her eyelashes. Wow, way to pick up on the flirting ritual of barflies. Enjoy your deep dish supreme, kiddo, you earned it.
Red Carpet Wear is basically outfit of choice. What will these kids choose? I see someone dressed like a Jetson and I can assure you she’s going to show up on someone’s worst dressed list. What the hell are these kids thinking?
Hannah is dressed like someone from Austin Powers in hot shorts and jacket to match, then she admits she doesn’t know who Austin Powers is. Riley on the other hand has gone Rainman crazy and is running all over the auditorium, dressing room, hallway, and after she pretends to bite us she says she likes to run around like a baby bunny. Calm the hell down! Thank God she’s not drinking coffee, we’d never get her to climb down off the caffeine high. I’m not sure ponytails are a good bet, either.
Marlboro Marion complains that it’s usually not the kids choosing the clothes for Red Carpet Wear, it’s the moms. “They go out to Wal-Mart and buy an outfit, and that’s not exactly what [the judges] are looking for,” she says in a very snotty way for someone with bleached hair and smoky skin.
Riley gets onstage and does a reasonably lame routine and forgets to smile. I actually think she has fun, but she should probably keep the competing to the tri-state area where personality is a plus. “Riley needs to become the total package,” Judge Kelly tells us. “She needs to glitz it up with her clothes and she needs different hair and makeup, but she has the personality.” Translation: She ain’t winning.
Jayla gets onstage and follows her dad as he does the routine with her. Talk about working it, give him a trophy! He swooshes and says, “If a girl is confident in theirself [sic], that’s the most important thing.” Well, that and the unconditional love of her parents, right Jaime “Satan” Sterling? Her dad hugs her when she finishes.
Where the hell is Hannah? Oh, here she is…I must have her hairpiece, it looks totally glam, and if she were not jailbait the outfit would be totally hot and rocking. But seeing how she is SIX, I think she should consider more Shirley Temple and not Skanky Elizabeth Hurley. Just a thought.
Time for crowning! Thank God, it’s taking forever to get through this episode. Riley de-stresses by shoving a stuffed toy rabbit into the camera lens then uses it to hit herself in the head. Has she been tested by authorities lately? I’d probably make that job one when she starts back at school.
Jayla breaks down and starts crying for whatever reason but Dwayne is in control. Jayla says something incomprehensible per usual. Marlboro Marion tells us that the West Virginia Walk of Fame is “not a money pageant.” Are any of them? Most of them are money pits. “It’s not a royalty pageant where everybody gets the same thing,” she continues, then confusingly says, “They all get the big trophy, they all get a good size crown, and then the crown size goes up as the titles that you win.” So it IS like a royalty pageant. Seriously, Marlboro Marion, think before speaking.
Top Model Photogenic? Not our girls. Covergirl Photogenic? Not our girls. Your Stage Star Personality? Not our girls. Our girls suck! Red Carpet Winner? Not our girls. Best dressed? Not our girls. Our girls suck donkey wong! Prettiest eyes? Not our girls – oh that is bullshit. Prettiest smile? Riley! Which is weird! Because she never smiled! Most beautiful? Jayla! Finally! The Walk of Fame State Beauty? Not our girls, not our girls, not our girls, Riley (seriously?), and Jayla!
Little Miss Queen? Not our girls…wow, TLC picked the wrong horses to follow this week, didn’t they?
Deep dish supreme? Not our girls. Suckfest! “Remember,” Marlboro Marion says, “Everyone should have a crown, a trophy, and a star!” Way to be selective unlike the royalty pageants and by that I mean exactly like them!
Dwayne kisses Jayla and says he’s proud of her. Damn straight! Or in this case, Damn gay! He’s an excellent dad and is making a difference in Jayla’s life the way no pageant ever will. They’re both pretty lucky. Jesus, I’m making myself sick. Where is my insulin shot?
Riley’s mom is proud of her for the trophy and crown, both of which are bigger than Riley is. Now she can play without worrying about messing up her hair.
Ashley says that she doesn’t see an obvious winner, not even in her own kid – wait, did her kid make it to Supreme Pizza status? I ran it back to see and I didn’t see that happen – I thought someone else got picked to move on. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Oh, it’s a different age group. Editors, please!
And they’re off…Prettiest Eyes…not Hannah. Best Dressed…not Hannah (ouch! $2400 down the drain!). Most Beautiful…Hannah! Queen…Not Hannah. Who is going back up for Supreme? Hannah!
You don’t win, so you win!
And now…Little Miss Novice Supreme. Wait, didn’t Marlboro Marion say there weren’t any newbies? Liar! Mini Supreme…not Hannah. Little Miss West Virginia Walk of Fame Grand Supreme Hawaiian style with bacon and pineapple…HANNAH! In your face, bitches! The retiree has become the Diana Ross Supreme! I guess the dress DID pay off. Ashley says they will be heading to nationals and they are very proud of her.
Next week? I think the crazy is back, my DVD cut off. Keep the comments coming, it’s great to see so much enthusiasm for the show (both good and bad). You have to admit, this episode was the cool-off we needed after the Jamie Sterling fiasco and I have to say it is good to see parents who really loving their kids versus show them like they are AKC bitches. Ahem.
See you next week, Gasmii!