This week on Toddlers & Tiaras we shift gears (and coasts) to the California Gold Coast Pageant. Pageant Director Kim Colby is a director who FINALLY looks glam like a pageant director should. The pageant was started 35 years ago and just included babies and children, and as we’ll find out this year includes fetuses and teen moms. Okay, they aren’t moms. Yet.
Their real claim to fame? The California Gold Coast pageant was featured in Little Miss Sunshine which was totally awesome and they might consider not bragging about it what with the hoochie dance and all. Oh, sorry. Spoiler alert.
It’s all about the glamour people.
Kim says a lot of the girls in her pageants have gotten agents and moved on to the movies, like Michelle Pfeiffer, Beverly Mitchell, and Mariska Hargitay. Really? I would check on The Wik but I just spent the last half-hour finding out that Toad the Wet Sprocket broke up in 1998 and that Roddy Frame was the only consistent member of Aztec Camera from 1981-1995. Oh, and in case you are wondering, Morrissey is still a celibate douche. Remember when that seemed sexy? Me neither.
In Corona, California, home of everyone’s favorite beer, we meet 7 year old Alicia who is totally going to grow up to be an even quirkier Alanis Morissette. She likes to play with her baby chick, that’s what she said, and it makes me nervous because it’s so little and kids are clumsy. Please put it back in its cage where it is safe until after-church dinner. Ew! She kissed it! Do you know how much lice that thing is probably carrying? Still more sanitary than a hotel bedspread, though, right?
This is so not going to end well.
Alicia’s mom April looks totally and completely normal, and sadly acts that way through the episode. Damn! She shows us a crown she won when she entered a pageant with Alicia and it is MUCH smaller than her daughter’s crown. Sucks to be you, mom! Turns out the family entered her in pageants because she had been diagnosed with a kidney disorder and had stopped growing, and they thought this would help her self-esteem. Oh, son of a bitch, not AGAIN! How am I supposed to make fun of people who have been really sick? And why couldn’t it have been with swine flu to allow a few Pageant-in-the-Dell jokes?
Alicia has only been in about a dozen pageants but she did grand supreme at one and got the biggest crown “I’ve ever wanted in my dreams,” she says. “I got my dream.” Thanks. Thanks TLC for making my job impossible. Could you please focus on Jon & Kate Plus Hate for a few now? I’d recap that show if I didn’t hate them so much, and I only know them from their publicity, not the show. Hate. Them. Both.
Over in San Clemente, California, we meet 4 year old Rylan who is a dead-ringer for Heather Graham. I’m not kidding, I kept thinking, “She looks like some actress whose name I am too old to know,” and then it hit me, it’s Heather Graham. This kid is gorgeous, too….beautiful face, wavy hair…sort of like a mini-Giadi de Laurentiis too. Wish I could be pretty so I didn’t have to learn math.
If she were whining and screaming NOOOO
she’d be Rylan’s long-lost twin!
Her mother Ingrid says that Rylan is really a rookie in the pageant world what with only having completed six pageants. The kicker? She won five of them. If she were a horse in the Derby, I’d have a few bucks on her. The bigger kicker? She has TWENTY crowns. Man, she was cleaning up left and right at these things. It’s not just “everyone gets a crown” day, it’s “everyone gets FOUR crowns” day. I wish I had those at work.
Rylan says, “We don’t say ‘I’m the best,’ we only say ‘I can try it.’ If I don’t win that’s okay and if I do win we’re excited.” What the hell kind of philosophy are they teaching this kid? The kind that she can actually use in life? Did the production company change producers or something? If I wanted goodie-two-shoes, I’d watch The 700 Club and barf in private.
In Oxnard, California, four year old Emily is prancing around in a blue and white bikini and she too is adorable outside the requisite ick factor. TLC, don’t make me beg for a tantrum because I’d throw one first. “My daddy’s my biggest fan,” she says. Ohmygodminetooweshouldbebestfriendsforever! Her dad Alex says, “I’m a pageant dad and I’m proud of it.” You should be, that’s what it says on your shirt. No, it really does!
What a good dad won’t do…
Her mother Ruth interviews that Emily is totally a daddy’s girl (there is NOTHING wrong with that, by the way) and Alex won Father of the Year at one of the pageants. I hope it wasn’t because he was the only dad at the pageant. Haven’t they met Dwayne from West Virginia? He’d give Alex a run for his money!
Alex tells us that Emily has about 165 trophies which is 164 more than me, but I did get mine for my talent, “Most Witty 1987,” so there. But still…165 trophies for a 4 year old? That’s almost four trophies a month since she was born. Oh yeah, I did the math. On my calculator. It’s solar.
Back at Baby Chick Death Watch Central, Alicia is practicing in front of her family, including her dad who, by the way, is a hottie, and her two older brothers. When she’s practicing, she dips down she’s doing a curtsey but not quite and April says Alicia’s dad Felipe doesn’t like the dip-down, “I don’t know why,” she says. Maybe it’s because it’s a submissive move and he wants his daughter to have more confidence than that? Her brothers are being good sports about this, that’s for damn sure.
Alex and Ruth are practicing with Emily, whose favorite routine is swimsuit. Rut-roh, that has some long-term implications. Alex is pretty heavily involved with her practice, so I probably should take that second sentence back. She’s got some good male involvement in her life. Dammit TLC! Give me something to work with! TLC, please get us back to Texas for the whack-a-doodles, thanks.
Ingrid says that Rylan can practice for 15-20 minutes at a time, which is pretty much all I can do at work before I need a coffee and gossip break. Apparently Rylan doesn’t like her beauty walk because it has to be slower than the swimsuit walk, and Rylan no-likey the slow walk. Every time Ingrid says, “Let’s try our beauty walk,” Rylan screams “NO!” and FINALLY we are getting somewhere. Clearly Ingrid is embarrassed that her daughter is acting this way on TV and even more so when her daughter rolls herself up in a carpet. My thought? Duct tape it shut and toss out! But that’s usually my answer to all things kid-related.
Works like a charm every time.
Steve, Rylan’s dad, says they have a great relationship because she’s a daddy’s girl too. He tries to get her to practice and she says, “I don’t like pageants anymore,” then she calls her mother a “fool.” Ah, yes, let the ass-whipping begin. Instead, Ingrid wisely says that Rylan is tired. “Goodnight!” she says, even though it’s clearly high noon judging by the sunlight outside their windows. “NOOOOOOOO!” Rylan screams. We may have this week’s bratacular winner. Score!
Back with Alicia, she says she works at a farm every Saturday and Sunday. Turns out she wants to be a vet and she really does have a way with the animals, it’s very cute. She’s holding a fancy chicken and people, you know how Crabby loves her fancy chickens! Turns out Alicia has dogs and lizards (it died) and a tarantula (it died…double homosexual suicide pact with the lizard?), a cat, and a goldfish. The cat “went somewhere else,” she says. Kitty heaven? I’m going to need a little more qualifying on that statement.
Oh, sweet Jesus, Emily’s parents are taking her to the spa for a day full of treatments that I cannot afford. She gets a facial, mani-pedi, haircut, scrub, and a massage. This kid is leading the kind of life I WANT to lead. How fair is this? All she’s done is be pretty! However, I could hardly relax if my parents joined me at the spa and talked through all my treatments…my shoulders would be up by my ears by the time I left while I screamed, “FINE! I will bring a side dish to the picnic and turn the thermostat down 2 degrees, now leave me ALONE!”
Rylan is working the other angle at the dress maker’s studio. Steve, Ingrid, and Rylan have all stopped by Miss Muffet’s tuffet to get fitted for some dresses. Also, Miss Muffet (not her real name I’m guessing…if so…how unfortunate) has two play areas and houses for girls when they come to visit. Oh, man, you just know if I lived in California this whack-job would be moving in next to me and kids would be screaming and dressing in sequins all damn day long.
Lynda is Miss Muffet’s real name. Phew! Ingrid says she’s looking for something new and fresh for the upcoming pageant, and Lynda says she likes to meet with the parents and the kids to see what their personalities are like, their hair color, eyes, and personality are like. Was she testing us, or is she just that forgetful mid-sentence? Ingrid says they want to buy two dresses, a halter and off-the-shoulder, and Steve says he’d prefer not to know the financials. Dresses start at $600. People, how many adults have that let alone kids who will outgrow them in about 6 weeks?
Back at It’s-all-about-me day, Emily is on like hour 4 of her spa marathon, and her parents are still hovering and feeding her strawberries and a fruit drink. Alex admits that to show his love he buys her things and since she’s an only child, she could be considered spoiled. Well, Alex, eventually you have to throw out spoiled food so you might scale that back a bit. Chances are good no man will ever satisfy her if you continue to give, give, give. On the other hand, your personal involvement means that the man that doesn’t satisfy her will probably still be a good guy.
Alicia is stopping by the salon with her baby chick (sanitary!) and her mother says, “She needs her nails and toenails clipped,” which I think is so funny because it makes her sound like a horse that needs its hooves trimmed. Then she says, “She needs a manicure and pedicure,” which would have covered the whole hoof situation, right? She’s allowed to have a flower with a crystal on her toes but for the love of God, not on her fingers. Little kid finger- and toenails are usually totally gross so give this woman a BIG tip.
Emily is at spa day 10 and tells us she got a massage “because I’m a princess.” I usually get one because if I don’t, they will see a Crabby-shaped hole in my office window. Alex says it’s hard to tell if the massage helps but they “go with it.” She’s four! She doesn’t have to work, pay taxes, or dare friends to join Match.com to see what kind of freaks they find. I would say she doesn’t need a massage.
Rylan is at dance class and her teacher Michelle says Rylan is a very good dancer, then says, “She keeps the class lively,” which is code for “this kid totally acts up but I need the money for tap-shoe habit so I lie about how good she is.” Michelle interviews that Rylan is the only pageant kid she works. Michelle really ought to reconsider that boxy shirt and jacket, they make her look like a big square. This is on the same network as What Not to Wear and she’s clearly a before. Tapered jacket! Tapered!
Steve begins jumping around with Rylan and Ingrid interviews that she has a great relationship with her daughter, but Rylan is definitely “daddy’s little girl.” Rylan high-fives her dad but not her mom. Nice. “They are inseparable,” she continues, “they are like two little kids.” Which, as you know, normally lands couples on the Dr. Phil couch.
Day 30 of the spa siege and Emily is coming down the finish line strong. I like my metaphors like I like my drinks…mixed. Sort of. Anyhoo, she’s having her hair curled and she is done. Real timeline? Five hours. I get twitchy just thinking of hanging around a salon that long. I mean, after a while, enough is enough.
Pageant day! Ontario, California is where California Gold Coast pageant is being held. “Pageants are a big business,” Pageant Director Kim Colby finally fesses up. She comments on each of our girls and I provide the translation: “Alicia – you never know what she’s going to do, she’s very quirky.” Translation: That girl is an effing fruitcake and totally irritating. “Rylan is a newcomer and one to watch.” Translation: I still don’t know how big a pain in the ass she is. “Emily is a terrific model and the girls always worry when they see her coming.” Translation: We aren’t sure if she’s an illegal alien or not and we’re scared.
Six a.m. on pageant day and Alex says that they “always get Emily professionally groomed.” I have four dogs and I don’t get them professionally groomed. Of course, that’s usually why they look like Dr. Suess characters after I trim them, but I do save a lot of money. They are using Emily’s real hair. Good for you!
Ingrid tries to keep it a more natural glitz for Rylan – no hairpieces, no flippers, no heavy makeup, no fake eyelashes. They don’t have to, this kid is absolutely beautiful, she really is. They have her hair and light makeup done, but her natural look “is her glitz.” I’m actually going to have to agree her, kid is stunning. Until she opens her mouth and boy, does she. You dial 9-1, then I’ll dial the 1 when it’s time for the wahhhmbulance.
Alicia, on the other hand, is adorable but a squirmy little mess of a kid. She is having her makeup done and is moving all over the place like she needs to be restrained or something. She does use fake eyelashes and whines when they are put on. No flippers because mom April was smart enough to know those looks freakish.
Ah, here we go! Temper-tantrum central! Rylan is being a total brat and screaming NOOOO! Her mother says that being a group that big with all the girls and the large number of people at the pageant was a little overwhelming. So is missing a nappy-nap. Whine, cry, waaaahhhhhh. Turns out her dad went to snap the side of her dress (?) and instead ended up pinching her so she went bat-shit crazy. They finally calm her down and Ingrid says, “She is a trouper.” Sure, let’s go with that and see where it gets us.
This is one of the biggest pageants we’ve seen with 150 contestants. The youngest contestant is I SWEAR TO GOD only THREE DAYS OLD. I know some of you mentioned this in your comments last week but I had to see it to believe it. This is ridiculous. First of all, kids have germs and that’s the one thing they love to share. Second, why would you subject your baby’s new, fresh eyes to all those lights? And third, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING? Did you really have nothing better to do two days after your kid is born than to sit all day for a pageant? Did mommy’s va-jay-jay heal that quickly that she said, “Yes, yes, with my hormones raging and my uterus snapping back into place and my hootie all episiotomied-up, yes, yes, OH MY GOD YES, please let me sit on a metal folding chair for hours while breast milk drips down to my knees.” People are such morons. But thank you for that, TLC, that’s the release I was looking for and it was so good I may need a cigarette and I don’t even smoke.
Rylan continues to freak and whine, so let’s get to the beauty wear competition. We meet Judge Christy who either has a great moisturizer or a great surgeon, and she says in her years of judging competitions, “It’s just when they get onstage…they…emanating…you know…that kind of confidence…radiance, and personality. And that’s what I’m looking for.” Thank God she’s not looking for complete sentences.
Rylan says she thinks she’s going to win, then she goes onstage and looks a wee bit stiff with her arms out like tent walls. She’s competing against 21 other girls including Emily, and Emily’s mom says they didn’t expect such a big crowd. Emily, unlike Rylan, is very natural onstage and doesn’t look like she’s going to freak out and run.
“Beauty to me is inner,” says Alex after having paid hundreds of dollars for his daughter’s outside beauty to shine. He says he likes his daughter’s confidence because it shows. Maybe it’s because dad shows up to support her in her interests? Trust me, dad trumps spa any day. Unless it’s Mike Brady, then he probably is AT the spa.
Now it’s Alicia’s turn. Felipe interviews that he doesn’t like the “flappers,” as he calls them. He likes the fact that little girls show they are missing teeth because “they are growing up.” Me? I like the Tom-Cruise toothy look on a small child. It’s like they are horses, but not really. Alicia looks so cute in her dress and her hair is gorgeous and shiny. Is she using caviar or placenta? She probably scraped it off the three-day old baby.
Dad would prefer if Alicia did not put these in her mouth for the pageant.
Swimsuit. One word per usual: Ick. Rylan has to change and she’s about to go ballistic. You can feel it coming. She needs to put her number on the front of her swimsuit and she throws a fit. She prances around like the time bomb that she is. What the hell is that Asian girl doing there, shouldn’t she be reciting the periodic tables instead of being pretty? Oh, California, is there no stereotype you won’t spurn?
Rylan tosses off her flip-flops. Yes, that will make the difference. She goes on stage barefoot but not pregnant (yet) and prances around. Yep, she definitely does better in swimsuit which does not bode well for her future career. Her mother asks her for a high-five and she’s spurned as Rylan heads straight to her dad.
Emily is running late! That hotel is huge and they are about fifteen miles away from the pageant room. They get there just in time to throw her on the stage for her to perform. She knows how to work it and she gets a look of death from Rylan. Way to perfect that before school begins for you!
Prior to Alicia getting onstage, a judge interviews that “the more simple, the better.” Are you unfamiliar with the glitz pageant system? It’s all about the ANTI-simple. Please pay attention, there will be a quiz at the end.
Alicia is up and her whole family is there to support her, including big brother’s “friend,” I’m guessing. Once again Alicia’s hair is shiny and curly and she really did a nice job during this category. Something tells me she’s going to be a pretty well-adjusted and productive human being when she grows up and as a result, I have lost all interest in her. Give me horrifying brats who will end up in a Girls Gone Wild video.
Time for crowning! I’m guessing the three-day old has that down pat. Tiny Miss division, 4-5 year old girls, pits Emily against Rylan. “It’s coming down to personality,” says one judge. Whatever helps you sleep at night. Most Beautiful Face? Rylan! (see, if they had been doing it by personality, she’d be on her way home now). Personality winner, Emily! Except she’s…where is she? M.I.A.! Oh, goodie, she’s back in the room still getting ready. Tick…tick…tick…oh well, move it along. They skip over her. Isn’t the whole point of this to be there for the awards? I’m giving Emily an old-fashioned doyeeee on this one.
Most photogenic? Rylan. Some kind of centerfold award (oh, ick!)? Rylan! Miss Personality? Emily! Still not in the room. You must be present to win! Sweetheart Queen? Rylan! Because they didn’t see her throwing a fit! Main beauty winners? Third runner up…Rylan! She’s third, so she doesn’t win and doesn’t lose, she’s average! Super not-so-awesome. April interviews that they are very proud of Rylan especially since the competition was so tough. Little Miss Goldcoast Queen? Emily! And she’s finally here, gracing us with her presence! They announce her other titles since she missed her other awards. Alex wipes away a tear. So cute.
Rylan is talking with her dad and asks, “Why is Emily better than me?” Uh, because she didn’t throw a whiney tantrum all damn day? Or maybe she’s more relaxed because SHE got a massage and you didn’t? No – I’m going with the first reason. “She just had a better day,” her dad says. “Why?” Rylan asks. “Because she’s prettier,” dad says. No, just kidding. “But I wanted it!” Rylan says. She won’t give her dad a high five and he says, “That’s not the right attitude.” No shit, but this is going to be the least of your worries over the next couple of decades.
In their infinite wisdom, Rylan and family decide to pack up and leave since there’s no chance in hell she’s winning the supreme crown. I would normally say they should stay for the whole thing, but Rylan is cranky and I can’t blame them for wanting to get that home….or can I? She whines NOOOO! while they are packing up the car. “I don’t wanna go!” Don’t let the car door hit you on the ass on your way out of town.
Now for the elderly division of 7 years plus…Prettiest Hair? Alicia! I know she used placenta! We really need to reconsider our stance on stem cell research…so worth it for shiny hair. Miss Personality? Alicia! Character Centerfold? Tie between Alicia and some no-name! Gold Coast Charmer? Alicia! Bathing Beauty? Alicia! Will this be a sweep?
And you thought I was joking.
Main Beauty Winners…New Little Miss 2009 Inland Empire Gold Coast Queen….Alicia! YEAH! Shove that back into the faces of people who made fun of you when you were smaller. In their faces! Her whole family is thrilled.
Highpoint Winner is up next and guess how the competitors win? They are the one with the…wait for it…highest…points. Pure genius. Alex says there is a lot of competition today and he’ll be surprised if Emily wins it. Where the hell did his support go? Hispanic Indian-giver!
Emily is called onstage for Highpoint crowning. Then Alicia is called. There is also a lot of flotsam onstage but we only care about these two. The 2009 Highpoint winner is…is…is…is…is…is…is…someone we weren’t following. Poor Alicia, she’s pretty bummed. Emily just wants to get back to the spa. I need a pharmacy myself.
A voice says, “We have lots of happy winners and some not so happy winners.” Vince Lombardi is spinning in his grave right now. Oh, it’s pageant director Kim. “It’s been a great day but a long day.” Her makeup looks fab, did she just get it done or is it a mask that never changes?
Emily interviews that she had fun at the pageant and she wants to do more. Her parents are super-proud of her. Aw, her trophies are too big for her bag. I bet her gold shoes are too tight, too.
Alicia on the other hand can only see her loss. “We’re proud of you,” her mother says. “You can’t win everything, can you?” she asks and Alicia nods. “No, you can’t,” her mother taunts. She nods again. “No, because somebody else has to win too.” Alicia shakes her head. Is it opposite day or just dumbass Ritalin day?
“The saddest moment of the day today was when I didn’t win the $500,” Alicia says. Really? I would have thought it was the starving African kid who was forced into his country’s army at the age of nine that would have been the saddest moment of the day, but work with what you’ve got. Which is everything.
“For a seven year old, it’s a little tough,” Felipe says. Yeah, cry me a river, she gets to play with Barbies all day, but when I do that my boss is all up in my business. All of a sudden bi-polar Alicia says, “My chickens!” and is all excited to go home and see her pets. It’s like she Alberto Gonzales the way she forgets things. She blows kisses to the camera and I know all is right with the world.