Sweet, merciful, crap! Just when you think it can’t get any worse, they whip out false teeth for kids to get them through those awful Tooth Fairy years! But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s back up.
Yep, that looks about right.
I almost deleted this episode from my DVR because it was about the Universal Royalty Pageant, the very first pageant I recapped. However, this was a different one that must have been filmed the previous year because it didn’t contain the mom-portion of the pageant, and because one of our favorites makes an appearance. I can’t tell you who, but it looks like she’s a little younger and her posing-as-a-hetero-dad seems to have more hair.
Guess who’s coming to Austin!
We begin this Universal Royalty Pageant with someone’s voice-over telling us pageantry is “a sport.” If this ever ends up an Olympic sport…well, Curling did, and how can we defend that?
Let’s meet our freakshow contestants and their nutcase parents. Pageant director tells us there are a bunch of new girls competing but there will also be “professional girls” as well. Hookers at the Universal Royalty Pageant? I guess the recession is hitting everywhere.
“These kids are coming to win a thousand dollars cash. It might be their moment, it might not be, you never know,” pageant director says. Yes, just like it might be my moment to crash my car, it might not. It might be my moment to choke on yet another bag of lime Tostitos while watching Intervention (unemployment keeps me very busy), or it might not be. It’s like she’s a human horoscope.
We begin this week’s train wreck in Merkel, Texas, one week before the pageant. Here at the community center we meet Karlee, 7, who wants to be a cheerleader because, “I like to show my belly and that’s what they do.” I swear to God, I had to run the DVR back, hit closed-captioning because I wasn’t sure if what I heard was right. Yes, young Karlee has lofty goals of being a trampy cheerleader. Well, you’re in Texas, Karlee, so practice up! There’s lots of competition!
“Karlee’s a competitor,” her mother and soon-to-be alibi says. “Everything she’s done she’s won.” You mean like everybody-gets-a-ribbon day? She is practicing with her coach and walking very awkwardly for a human being, but perfect for a pageant doll. Her mother says the day she doesn’t want to do pageants, they’ll stop. I think we’ve heard this song and dance before!
Could someone please pull
the cord on my back again?
Karlee takes us on a tour of her room where she shows us her 23 trophies and her talking baby doll. She says when she grows up she wants her babies to do pageants “because they’re really fun and they get to do what their mama says.” Yeah, cause doing what your mother says is super-fun. Karlee and I are very different people.
Karlee’s mother tells us it’s important to tan right before a pageant since it only lasts a few days. At least she doesn’t shove her into a coffin-esque tanning bed, she has her spray tan instead. Also, Karlee’s mom? Put a seatbelt on your kid when you drive, because tanning only lasts a few days but brain damage from hitting the windshield lasts forever.
Over at the salon, Karlee and her friend Lexi are getting tanned in the booth. Karlee handles it pretty well, but her friend freaks out and cries like a baby, much like I did the first time I spray-tanned. Basically, you are naked (the kids wear bathing suit-like things, don’t panic) in a dark, cold booth, then you hit a button and get hosed with a very loud sprayer, and it’s hard to breathe. Basically, it’s like going through the birth canal except you are very aware. Luckily, no one smacks your ass at the end!
It’s the real world, get used to it!
Over in San Jose, California, we meet Bella (pronounced Bay-uh) we see her mother washing a hairpiece in the sink. Or it’s some kind of animal. Bella is five years old and has been on the pageant circuit for uh, five years.
Bella in the Universal Zygote Pageant.
She is actually going to the Texas beauty pageant which sounds really cost-effective for a five year old. Apparently it started with her brother Luis first, but then he got tired of it and the mother began living vicariously through her daughter instead.
I think Kitty is dead!
Bella is practicing for her grandmother and has copped quite an attitude for a five year old. She also has copped quite a beer gut, and I’m wondering if that is going to affect her chances of winning a beauty pageant. No worries, honey, I took a 2-month “Holiday Hiatus” from working out and I’m paying the price with a pooch myself. I watch the P90X infomercial while downing Yoo-Hoo and eating Doritos. However, the only thing close to a pageant I’ve ever been in is a look-a-like contest with my dog (which I won, by the way). Where was I?
That’s your prettiest face!
Finally, we head to Jackson, Mississippi and meet Aja (pronounced sort of like Asia) age 6 and Brionna age 3. These girls have two mommies! Who are of African American descent! In Mississippi! What’s next, an African American president with a Muslim name? You’ve come a long way, Southern states, especially considering you still call the Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression.”
Which one plays the man, do you think?
Aja and Brionna are the rookies going to their first pageant. Hands-on mom says she thinks little girls should live a glamorous life and I completely agree as do my Barbies. Aja says they practice all day, every day, until it’s night, and I wonder if they are going to a pageant or medical school. Aja is the pleaser, Brionna is just along for the ride and manages to frustrate her mother throughout the show.
“Aja’s like, whatever makes my momma happy, I’m going to do,” Hands-on mom says. Lord! Then Aja does a crazy imitation of her mother and it’s not really a flattering one, she should probably pay more attention to what her daughter is really saying.
Looks like the Time-Life operator has finally lost it!
P.J. is a friend of the family and someone I would totally hook up with Imitation Hetero Dad from episode one. P.J. is their stylist and helps design and make their dresses. He is hilarious. During the discussion of dresses, he says he wants to make the dresses pretty, but not so they overshadow the girl. “You can have an ugly dress, but if you have an ugly girl, they’re going to be like, ‘She ugly.’ ” Ha! Truer words were never spoken.
Back in San Jose, Bella’s mother wants her to try something on. Hope it’s a hotdog costume. Bella says, “Fine, then I’m going to bed.” Calm down, Kimora, Life in the Phat Lane, geez. Her mother says Bella’s newest dress ran them $2000. Are you effing kidding me? Do you know how many shoes you can get at DSW for two grand? And they sure as hell won’t get early childhood diabetes, either.
At the fabric/craft store, P.J. and the two mommies and kids are picking out fabric, rhinestones, and all sorts of bedazzling equipment that comes to about $600. Hands-on mommy says she doesn’t care the cost because she wants her babies to look glamorous. P.J. asks the cashier if they can get a free meal or some free Eclipse gum for their purchases. Why, dirty mouth? Oh, wrong gum!
Back in Merkel, Karlee tells us her older sister plays softball and isn’t a girly-girl. Yeah, it’s pretty clear she’s the boy in the family judging by the way she barely dodged that Y chromosome. Karlee’s dad says that you practice in sports and you practice in pageantry, however in sports you can look like ass if you still get the job done.
Karlee’s dad says he doesn’t like her wearing makeup, but it’s a competitive edge in the Glitz Pageants. No man should ever use the phrase “glitz pageant.” Karlee’s sister says she doesn’t look real but more like a doll. No shit. But it gets worse.
You are going to make some quarterback very, very happy.
Karlee has recently lost a tooth and God forbid she show up to the pageant looking like, you know, a seven year old. What they have to do is create what is called a flipper, which is a set of teeth that look like Tom Cruise’s, but for kids. Karlee’s mom has to fill a tooth tray full of blue goo to make an impression to send into the company that makes, and clearly should be fined for child abuse. Kudos to Karlee, however, for not gagging on this tray. I just got some dental work done and thought I would barf up a lung when they had to get an impression of my tooth. (Insert gag-reflex joke here, my dentist does).
Bella’s mom interviews that pageants definitely take a financial toll, which leads me to ask then why the hell do you do them? Why not stick all that money into a college fund? Oh, I know. Because of the scholarships. I barf, the end. She says winning this pageant will help them replace the entry fee. The entry fee is $900 and the cash prize is $1000. Even if you hocked the trophy, you don’t make enough to cover that $2000 dress and travel expenses to Texas. Pageants must be a sport for people bad at math. Like gambling.
Bella is headed over to her coach’s studio. “I coach modeling, swimwear, dance, and turning,” says Coach K.T. Geez, I could teach turning! Look that way, now keep looking that way, keep looking – there you go! I wonder how much this girl makes, she looks like she’s about 15. What a racket! Work it, Bella. She walks awkwardly and flails/dances around.
Yes, but can she be coached to sit up?
Kaylee and her family are about to have dinner and Kaylee prays to her savior to help her win the pageant and for her sister to win the softball game. I don’t think God works that way, Kaylee, he’s too busy overseeing famine and wars and real problems. He’s not Santa.
Back in Jackson, Aja and Brionna are packing up with the moms and pseudo-dad to head towards Austin. I’m sorry, do these states not have seat-belt laws? Put those little ones in seatbelts and/or car seats. Brionna is four, don’t you have to have your kid in a car seat until they’re like 12 or something now? I mean, I know I’m a seatbelt Nazi, but don’t you want to protect your kid?
SEATBELTS! CAR SEATS! Bitches, please!
YAY! Pageant time! And once again, there are trophies for everyone! Oh, the low expectations we set for ourselves. Seriously, there are 80 contestants and like 200 trophies. The pageant director shows a picture of a baby and someone off camera says, “How old is she?” and the pageant director answers, “She’s a baby.” Yes, thank you, I couldn’t tell from the fact that her picture clearly shows she’s a baby! This woman would have to study for a urine test.
A baby? How can you tell?
What keen eyes you have!
Guess what’s at the hotel reception desk? Really creepy teeth for Karlee! Her flipper arrived and when she puts it in it sends chills down my spine. That is just wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s a retainer with teeth that look like it’s for adults or baby dolls. It is freaky!
No, really, they look natural.
Bella is getting spray-tanned 45 minutes before the show and she’s getting fake eyebrows painted on, but they are going with her real eyelashes. Way to hold onto the au natural, Bella! What they should consider is investing in some Spanx, Junior. Girlfriend is going to need it!
I just did this to my garage walls!
Brionna is practicing for the talent portion and her mother is getting ticked because Brionna is four and she’s not taking it seriously. Aja says if she wins she’s getting a phone. “Everybody wants a phone,” she says. Really? I still have my cell phone from 2003 and it spends most of its time in the “battery low” position.
Kaylee interviews that she wants to win the $1000 because she wants to buy a cow.
A cow. Okay, suddenly this kid has gone up 100% in my book. Any little girl that wants a cow is hilarious and I like that in a person. Farm animals crack me up, especially fancy chickens. They’re so fancy!
Seriously, how can you not laugh at these? Heh.
AAACK! Holy crap, we just cut over to a woman who is a hot mess and who interviews that she actually went out and got a job just so she could pay for pageants for her daughter. Wow. Well, a hobby is a hobby, and you might consider combing your daughter’s hair. Conditioner wouldn’t kill you either. “We came with four dresses and shoes and diamonds out the butt.” Uh, how do I hook into those diamonds out the butt? You must be eating quite the high-fiber diet!
First up – Talent Competition! Oh look, creepy judge with the Nixon glance is back! YAY! Wait, why is that girl dressed like a Dalmation? What kind of talent is that? Aja and Brionna look scared; Bella looks LARGE.
It’s only talent when you do that at Hooters.
The talent competition seems to involve a lot jumping up and down, tap dancing, twirling, running around like hair is on fire, and bowing. That IS talent and will come in especially handy if any of the girls escape to become lawyers as adults.
Creepy judge Michael Flores from the first episode interviews that he was at an office supply store, dressed up in a suit, when the pageant director approached him to see if he wanted to judge the pageant. “I guess because I looked professional to her,” he says. Are you kidding me? She just picked some guy at an office supply store to judge a bunch of little girls in a pageant? Way to vet the judges! Hope she at least looked to see if he was on the sexual predator site at least.
Did I remember to pick up paperclips?
“Beauty is an advantage,” the pageant director says. Thanks, Carnac, maybe that’s why it isn’t called a Fugly Pageant. “Society has made it that way.” Yeah, so have pageants, but thanks for blaming the rest of us.
Brionna’s mom is telling her to smile and it looks like she just wants to curl up and die. But our little cowgirl gets out there and works it. Her moms and pseudo-dad go crazy! She’s pretty cute despite the raging fear she was showing.
No one needs to see that, Rhinestone Cowgirl!
Here comes Bella. Hope the stage holds. She’s doing the smell-the-fart dancing because it looks like she smelled something awful. You know the rules, Bella…whoever smelt it, dealt it!
She who detected it, ejected it!
And Karlee is up next but without her flipper – they were afraid she’d swallow it during all the turns and flips. Can you imagine that x-ray at the hospital? “Ma’am, your daughter has swallowed…an Osmond!” She bounces all over the stage, flipping, twirling, and splitting all over.
We see clips of girls cheerleading, tapping, and…doing the final scene from Madam Butterfly? That probably was lost on the little ones. Aja is up to dance her heart out like a little Janet Jackson. She’s cute but then the CD skips. They say they’ll come back to her but then we see the sound guy saying there is a big scratch in the CD. However, the judges say they saw enough to judge but I don’t know. I’d be ticked, but I probably wouldn’t have thought to bring a copy of the CD either. Bummer!
This can’t end well.
Brionna, Aja, mommies, pseudo-dad, and the baby head back to the hotel room exhausted. This is a really cute family and you can tell there is a ton of love going around. Despite the fact that they are involved with pageants, I do like this family. Uh-oh, Brionna’s gotta go and barely makes it to the bathroom. Kids and their leakage.
Day two! Evening Gowns/Beauty is first. Oh look who it is! David Perez from episode one is here with Ava and that other woman – oh yeah, his wife! He says, “Her mother does her training…smiling. She knows how to blow kisses…those are skills not just useful in pageants but in general.” Yes, I know blowing kisses has been a useful skill during meetings where I’m not getting my way, or while I’m stuck in traffic. Works like a charm.
The pageant director introduces a little baby who can barely stand. “And her ambition is to be just like her mommy,” she says. Really? An overweight, dumpy housewife who couldn’t get herself together this morning? What a goal!
Different this time? Boys in the pageant. “Boys are so laid back,” someone voices over. Amen to that. One kid, Nick, has a very involved pageant dad who loves to dress him to make sure he looks good. He predicts his son will be the next Brad Pitt. An adulterer with a recent penchant for looking greasy and breeding like a fly? Quite an ambition.
That lack of pretense will never work at a pageant!
Another boy, Cameron, is adorable in his hat and colorful vest. His mother was big into pageants and now she’s not letting the fact she had a boy get in the way of her vicarious pageant-chasing. Cameron is working it onstage, too. I just get the feeling the boys enjoy it but don’t take it too seriously. And there’s less makeup. I’m hoping. His talent? The chicken dance. He wears a costume that looks like he’s sitting on a chicken and he dances around, making people laugh. He’s a total comedian. Wonder if he wants a cow?
Uh oh! Breakdown in Brionna land! She starts crying and freaking out and her mother escorts her into the lobby. She does the reverse psychology-thing: “We can just take off our pretty dress, take off our makeup, I can take your earrings back, cause we don’t need them, right?” The kid is four, let her have her breakdown if for no other reason than she’s catatonic. Wait – she’s going to compete. Glad she could make that decision on her own. Ahem.
And I will just take my love for you,
box it up, and return it to the store from whence it came.
Brionna gets up on stage…and…walks…very…slowly…to…the…middle. The pageant director asks her to smile and she looks completely afraid. Her mother says, “She just got up there like it was nothing, like she didn’t even care.” SHE DIDN’T! Do we need to show you the tape? The kid flipper-ed out! They finally have to ask her to get off the stage and…she…does…very…slowly. I would have called security to help her move some ass. Brionna? Out of the competition. Fear will do that to you. Now she’s going to be a bed-wetter, you can just tell.
If there is a God, I will implode right NOW.
Here comes Bella. Yes, that is a $2000 dress and I’m going to need one for my next cruise. It’s totally sparkly and dreamy and I’m totally jealous. TOTALLY. The pageant director says, “Her favorite food is chicken nuggets.” You don’t say. Does she supersize them because I’m betting yes.
Her mother interviews that she’s not concerned about the weight factor at this point because Bella is so young. However, mom should take a good look at herself and her own mother because they are both tanks. My guess is that Bella’s weight is going to become a factor and won’t just affect her diabetically, but also in the pageants. I’m not sure which one her mom would be worried about more, to be honest.
I can see why you aren’t worried about Bella’s weight,
what with the two extra boobs you’ve seem to have grown.
Pageant director says that weight does play an issue. She admits that if the judges have to choose between an eating disorder and a fatty, the fatty will lose. She may have worded it differently.
Over in Brionna and Aja’s room, P.J. says Brionna just had a bad morning. I’ll say! “I was up all night practicing with her in the hallway,” Hands-on mom says, “and you can’t even walk like you’re supposed to?” Maybe because she’s exhausted from being up all night? Hand her an espresso sippy cup next time.
Only real friends will sew you into your clothes.
Aja is next onstage for the evening gown/beauty competition, and I ADORE her dress. It’s this flowy shimmery mix of blue and sea green and just really cool. P.J. did a great job and I must book him for my next look-a-like competition. Aja looks really beautiful and works the stage coolly. P.J. says he’s very pleased. He should be, he rocked her out!
Seriously, get her designer on Project Runway!
Karlee gets onstage and she totally freaks me out with those teeth. I don’t see the hair piece, the eyelashes, the fake tan, the dress that looks like she’s wrapped like a present, all I see are teeth, teeth, teeth, and once again, teeth. Freakish! She’s also very stiff, that dress must have steel rods in that dress to keep her so, well, stiff!
Tom Cruise called and he wants his teeth back.
“Flippers,” the pageant director says, “there are some that look real but if they don’t look real, don’t waste your money buying them.” Except you don’t know what they look like until they are done, so that won’t work.
Case in point.
Swimsuit icky competition! Someone voices over that the swimsuit competition is where the girls can show their personalities. Or their butt-cheeks, whatever works. “The oohs and the ahhs and the shaking of the hips…they just love that.” So do pedophiles.
In Karlee’s room, she stares into the mirror with the head of Kathleen Quinlan from Apollo 13 and the body of a 7 year old. Creepy. “I look gooood,” she says. Ick. She asks her mother if she can still do “this,” then she proceeds to bounce up and down. Her mother passive-aggressives that she can, “but they’ll take off points.” Because why now? Apparently they want her age level not to do the cutesy walk, they want the standard, polished, beauty walk. Because one thing pageants are: mature.
Kaylee with her husband, Forest Gump.
Brionna is working the swimsuit competition to obtain her mother’s love and calm the beast. She looks cute in her hot pink. Karlee gets up and oh no! Cutesy walk! Points off! She’s going down, downtown. Girl has a weird walk. Her mom tells her they’ll probably take points off for her “prissy walk” once she got off the stage. Or, you could just say, “Good job,” just a thought.
Carpal tunnel is a bitch!
Crowning time! But first, the dad competition. What a dad won’t do for his daughter, huh? One guy admits that last year he showed his chest, then he details, “My nipple.” No one needs to see nip at a beauty pageant unless is starts some major scandal that takes down the nearest politician!
See, here is your problem.
So – winners in every age group, a King and a Queen, and a Grand Supreme Champion which makes me think of pizza. On top of that, everyone gets a ribbon for showing up, competing, and probably breathing. Let’s crown!
She must be watching this show too.
In the baby group, what do you know, Ava from the first episode is crowned Universal Royalty Queen but sleeps through the crowning, what a bummer. In the 4 to 5 age group, third runner up is Brionna. Really? I guess fear can get you a trophy after all! Not bad for a rookie. Universal Royalty Queen is Rebecca Alley from episode one as well (her mother competed with baton twirling and a tragic “one piece” body suit). Bella doesn’t win anything meaning she moves ahead to win the Ultimate Super-Supreme Title with extra pepperoni and sausage.
Unless there is sticky fly paper in there, shut your mouth.
In 3-to-6 boys, Cameron sweeps the competition (there were like 4 boys competing). He’s totally the boy toy of the pageant!
Nice attitude, babe.
Now for the 6-to-7 crowning, Aja wins third runner up, which I think is a travesty, and she agrees, “I can’t believe I lost!” The Universal Royalty Queen is Karlee Hunt, which means she doesn’t move ahead to the big Ultimate Deep Dish Supreme, but she does get the $1000 and you know what that means: BEEF! She gets her cow. Enjoy milking every few hours, you are going to love that! Be sure to wear that crown.
Take Bella home with you! I hear cows from California are happy!
The Supreme winners are about to be announced…who will be the Diana Ross? It’s Miss Bella! She’s been crowned Novice Supreme, which is the second highest title in the pageant. I bet the Texans are pissed an outsider won. They’ll probably just declare her mentally incapacitated and execute her, no worries. Bella begins to cry and begs for her daddy, much like I do at the end of all these shows. Actually, I just call to see if he’ll bring me a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and trim the dogs’ nails, which he always does.
Well I’ll be damned. But I’ll save you all a seat in Hell.
The overall winner was some other girl the show didn’t follow, and it ends with all the girls who won onstage with their flowers, crowns, and glittery gowns. As a girl who loved dress-up, I totally love these gowns and once again, I must look into purchasing a tiara. They really are the forgotten accessory!
Hands-on mom interviews that she’s spent so much money on getting Aja and Brionna started in pageants, they’ll probably be doing them when they are using canes. Now that would be a pageant to see, especially the talent competition…”Miss Brionna, age 80, is going to remember all of her grandkids’ names!”
Brionna and Aja are headed home with their family. Bella is walking through the lobby and her mother is holding flowers and balloons and one big-ass trophy and I want to know how they are going to be flying home with that. There is no way they’d be allowed to bring it on the plane, they’d have to check it, right? I’m sure TSA will put the smackdown on them later.
Kaylee is leaving with her friend as they compare how heavy their trophies are. Nothin’ like a little competition after the competition! Fight! Fight!
Mine is bigger than yours!