In the wacky world of children’s pageants, Wednesday’s episode of “Toddlers & Tiaras” introduced a contestant who truly stood out.
Not only was Brock, a seven year old from Bay City, Mich., the only boy competing in the Southern Celebrity Mini-National in Chicago, he might have been the most comfortable in the world of full glitz. Supported by his encouraging mother, Brock jazz-handed his way through the episode, embracing the limelight with an exuberance that sometimes seems missing in the world of spray tans, make-up and stage moms.
“I would describe myself as more of a diva,” said Brock, who has dressed up as Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” for several Halloweens.
His mom Tori said that Brock hasn’t let teasing from classmates keep him from doing what he loves. “Dancing makes me really happy,” said Brock, who has plans for Broadway.
Brock was competing against the girls, including Savannah, from Homer, Ill., who was making her return to pageants after two years off. With her blonde hair and blue eyes, she has more than $50,000 in savings bonds from wins.
Her mom Shanna refused to let her wear a flipper to cover up her missing front teeth, but attacked her seven-year-old daughter’s black eyebrow hairs with vigorous tweezing.
Savannah’s trip to the stage provided the episode’s biggest moments of suspense, as she fought back tears and an uncomfortable hair piece. Shanna struggled to explain to her daughter that they didn’t have time to redo the required fake ‘do, getting in her face and demanding: “Can you put up with it and compete or do you want to be done?”
After the “suck it up” approach didn’t work, Shanna rooted around in the extension, found that it actually was tugging on her daughter’s scalp, and fixed it. They left the room, only for Shanna to realize she was missing her daughter’s number and freak out on the hotel staff trying to get back into her room. The manager got the number for her, but in Shanna’s version she had to let a “total stranger” go into her room alone.
Sydney, from Valparaiso, Ind., was competing in her first glitz pageant. She explained that “everybody looks at me because I’m pretty and I’m cute.”
Her mom Kim was so overcome at the sight of her daughter all dolled up that she started crying, saying that her six year old looked just like a 16 year old – and she meant that in a good way.
“It makes me happy when mommy cries,” Sydney said.
Tori also fought back tears after Brock boogied and strutted during his routine. “I’m proud of him for getting up and doing it and for doing what he loves,” Tori said.
Sydney had to settle for the “Natural Photogenic” title and Savannah won both “Outfit of Choice” and “Mini-National Celebrity Division Queen.” Shanna took the blame for Savannah not placing higher.
“I think the one thing that hurt Savannah was the (lack of a) flipper, so my bad. But we have to put our foot down somewhere and we don’t like them,” Shanna said.
After winning all the boys titles, Brock also won “Overall Best Personality” against the girls. He had his pick of the boys or girls crown and went with the more sparkly girls’ one.
“I won a crown for my diva side and my boy side,” he said.