Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Toddlers & Tiaras – Sparkle Baby Eyes

I think this one is the rerun from last week, I watched it tonight because I thought Project Runway was on and got all excited, only to remember that it’s on THURSDAY nights. Dammit.

Anyway, as long as we’re here, some highlights and observations from this fine episode, which captures the action of the Rock Star Divas and Dolls pageant in Darien, GA:

Pageant director Chasity (ummm) promises a “showboat of fun,” brought to you from … the local middle school cafetorium.

Featured contestants:

Payton, ginger, age two, has been performing her ‘Pebble’ routine (as in the Flintstones character) for “about two years,” per her mother. Quite a prodigy that one. Too bad she gets shown up by another child with an actual Flintstones car.

Mom applies to this two-year old: false eyelashes (aka “sparkle baby eyes”) and fake nails.

Olivia, 3, of Willacoochie, Georgia. Maybe someday they’ll write a biography about her: A Hoochie From Willacoochie. Perhaps to coincide with her presidential run.

Her mother is special, and together they dye their miniature pony purple and straighten his mane with a flat iron. I wish I could make this stuff up.

According to mom, they had to stop entering the local beauty pageants because the judges were always being swayed by some kid that had cancer or some illness. So their strategy is to enter the regional glitz pageants instead. I guess there’s no room for debilitating diseases in the world of glitz.

Mom also goes on to say, in a nutshell, that being better looking gives you a leg up in life. She makes the statement that “popular kids aren’t ugly.” And that it’s just the way of the world that looks matter. Sure, looks count, I’d be foolish to say they don’t. But Mom is kind of missing the other part of the lesson, which is that looks aren’t everything.

But in this pageant, the beauty category is the one in which a contestant can win the most points, so I guess looks do count. Duh, me.

Her child though is the one who shows true wisdom, shouting at the mother throughout the show to “Go away,” “I don’t like you,” and “Stop talking to me.” Well said, Olivia.

Can’t quite put my finger on it, but with the giant fall of hair they put on Olivia her proportions look more like a little person than a child, or maybe a Bratz doll. Clearly she’s a shoo-in for pageant greatness.

The pageant announcer says at one point, “everyone loves the exciting swimsuit competition.” Well, not everyone. I for one, find it creepy. But I’m sure the pedophiles in the crowd find it exciting. On a side note, someday we’ll discuss how the titles and crowning works, but it’s all terribly complicated and I don’t fully understand it yet. Maybe after I go to grad school I’ll be able to grasp it. Just know this about Rock Star Divas and Dolls: they do NOT double crown. And why are the crowns always too damn big?

Haley, in the 7 to 9 year old category, claims one of her hobbies is “traveling the world.” Really, Haley? And how many girls (or their moms, rather) answered the question of favorite color with: pink? Big shocker there. In a previous episode, one girl’s mother chided her for saying she liked all colors of the rainbow, claiming that was tacky. ?

Haley’s dad is an ‘involved’ pageant dad who has the mom on a walkie talkie so he can go spy on the competition and report back to her on which kids have new outfits.

Haley’s mom says, “Sometimes the pageant world can be a cruel world.” Yes, and sometimes the world can be cruel in the sense of the genetic lottery that decides who your parents are.

Drat, the new episode of Toddlers & Tiaras is on next, back at ya later.

Hailey’s dad, you need a new hobby.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Project Runway Season 9 – First Show

Herewith, my review/stream of consciousness initial impressions on the first show of season nine of the ever-lovin show we know as Project Runway that aired last Wednesday, July 27. Obsess with me …

Regarding the contestants – call me cynical (I’ve been called worse), but … OF COURSE you have to put the testicular cancer survivor on the show. OF COURSE you have to put the former Miss Universe contestant on (even though she can’t sew, more on that below). OF COURSE you have to put on the cute 57 year old man who recently lost his partner to AIDS and is beating an alcohol problem …

But the beauty of the first show is the inherent promise that all the candidates possess. They’re all brand-spanking shiny and new, freshly scrubbed and eyes twinkling. It’s anyone’s game at the beginning. Any one of them could be a star.

Regarding the true stars, Heidi Klum looks fan-freakin-tastic. But I have a complaint: they didn’t show her legs at all in this episode. There should be something in her contract about always showing leg, although I believe she’s an executive producer so that may be moot.

Michael Kors looks slightly less…orange?

Nina Garcia is consistently stylish – props to my Colombiana compatriot.

Guest judge Christina Ricci had some relevant comments but looked a bit too thin for my tastes, in that bobblehead kind of way.

Regarding the first challenge – the 16 contestants are ripped from sleep in their trendy communal lofts at 5 am and ordered to march as is (no showering, not even allowed to put on a bra) through the streets of Manhattan with only a bedsheet to cover themselves. HORROR. That is one of my nightmares that people will see what I look like when I first wake up. Aside from the horror of being awoken at 5 am, which is the middle of the night. After this experience, I would henceforth sleep fully dressed and in full make-up. I may just start doing that in my life anyway just in case.

One of my two favorite quotes from this episode:

“It didn’t really occur to me that I would be that far behind, until I was that far behind.” – uttered by the former Miss Universo contestant from Trinidad. She is lovely and stylish.

On the surface, she’s got that going for her. She’s gorgeous and she was a Miss Universe contestant. Hampering her, however, is her admission that she can’t sew – she only started learning sewing skills four months before the show. Haven’t the producers learned their lesson yet in putting people on the show who can’t sew? I reject that choice. Although lo and behold this contestant did surprisingly well in the first challenge – could it be that the judges know better than I do? Hmmm.

Prior to airing the first show of the new season, Bravo aired a special pre-show to chronicle the audition and casting process, which was interesting. I applaud this addition to the line-up. Of course I only caught the last 15 minutes or so of that show, but I’ll catch up on that when Bravo replays it about 57,000 times.

Other new thing this season, during the first show, they invited 20 contestants to NYC and had them all show their wares on racks like during the casting process, and eliminated 4 of them right off the bat. So 4 of them had to go home before the show even started. Kind of a bummer.

Early on, the runway shows seem so long since there are so many contestants. Then as the season progresses, and there are fewer contestants, you find yourself wishing for more outfits on the catwalk. Early on, I don’t learn names. Early on, I don’t get attached too soon. You never know who is going to be eliminated from the competition and break your heart.

Second favorite quote of the night, from Michael Kors commenting on one of the ensembles, that was, in his estimation, “… instead of being fashion forward, it’s fashion backward.”
Tune in this Wednesday for installment two of this season, and we'll discuss. No?