This Week in Stage Mothers on Reality TV

Stage moms are taking over the airwaves-- from Fox to TLC to E!. Should we be validating this type of (mis)behavior?

1. The American Idol Moms: If Toddlers & Tiaras was a reality show about 15-16-year-old (very talented) African-American singers

I hope they make it far, as the moms are just so entertaining to watch. Wouldn't want to see those women turn on one another though (especially the mom who was exhaling smoke as she critiqued the group's practice). Then again, if this was "The Real Housewives of American Idol," that would make great TV. Calling Andy Cohen!

2. Speaking of Toddlers & Tiaras... This week's life lesson:

You should watch the whole episode (either on TLC or on iTunes) to see Ashley-Noelle learn to "shake her booty" from her dad and have potty training undone by her mother (in her cupcake dress, she just has to use her pull-up). All of this clearly will help her build confidence so that someday, as her mother hopes, Ashley-Noelle will "just be able to walk up to a stranger and to just be able to tell them about Christ." There is also the requisite pixie stick breakfast with little Lily, along with a new first-- Coke with a sugar packet added!

Also, if you live in Des Moines, Iowa you seriously missed out today. Your daughter could have been in Eden Wood's "Cutie Patootie" video!  As a reminder, click here to see Eden perform on The Talk.

3. My Kid is Gonna be Famous- Starbound Dance Competition (NJ)

Actually, this particular show, and the mothers on it, were so terrible, the Internet refused to keep any clips online.  Unlike T&T, the editors don't have much fun, making the show less interesting to watch.

But E! is re-airing the dance competition episode tomorrow morning at 10 am. A great way to celebrate your day off of work.  You will be shocked, confused, and maybe even horrified at the talent, or lack thereof, at the Starbound competition.  The winners are especially confusing, even for this competition afficionado.

If you can't catch the replay, you can read some of the transcripts here.

Git it, gurl!

If you have ever attended a child beauty pageant, or watched TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras (aka T&T), you will know this expression. Or, "Yes, MA'AM!" And you definitely will have heard my favorite grammatically incorrect phrase, "You did so goooood!"

Last night's installment of T&T, featuring Texas' Groovy Girls pageants, did not disappoint linguistically, or stylistically (although, I must say getting a glimpse of the infamous Makenzie, but not seeing that "hard working lady NiNi," was a definite disappointment).  We had the usual spray tanning, flippers, etc., and we saw a six-year-old getting acrylic nails.

As someone who has studied child beauty pageants, and who is currently studying the health effects of age cutoffs in organized activities (along with Rebecca Casciano), the most interesting part of this episode was the discussion of "fallbacks" in pageants.  I have long been fascinated by this practice, but never seen it discussed in the popular media.  Basically one of the contestants, Taralynn, was six-years-old the day of the competition. However, she was allowed to compete as a five-year-old, because on January 1, she was still five. So five was her "fallback" age and this gave her a big advantage over the younger girls she competed against.  Fallbacks really matter when you are four and competing in the 0-3 "Grand Supreme" category. Taralynn ended up winning "Ultimate Grand Supreme" of the pageant.

I've studied a lot of children's competitive activities and while many deal with biological age in different ways (i.e. dance competitions average the age of the participants in a routine, or soccer teams use a birth year as a determining factor), I have only ever seen "fallbacks" in child beauty pageants.  Have any of you experienced fallbacks in other activities? Please tell me about your experiences!

[PS. If you've never watched T&T, tune in next Wednesday at 10 to see the return of "pageant supserstar" Eden Wood. Oh yes, the CUTIE PATOOTIE, Eden Wood.]