So it’s a new season of Toddlers and Tiaras, and the first episode is a match-up between “famous” pageant star Eden Wood and infamous Makenzie etc. It doesn’t seem fair, considering Eden wins big and wins a lot while Makenzie has never won much. However, Eden (or at least Eden’s mother, Mickie) gets the bad edit this week, so maybe it’s something of a draw.
Anyway, intros: Makenzie is the over-the-top, out of control five-year-old from Louisiana with the mannerisms and pack-a-day voice of a fifty-year-old truck stop waitress. She has a pepto-pink room, and mugs entertainingly for the camera. There’s footage of her acting out, and her mother simpering about how she’s a “diva.”
Meanwhile, in Arkansas, Mickie talks about how Eden is the star of the pageant circuit, and also has recorded an album and gone on a tour of shopping malls, “just like Tiffany.” Eden signs photos, and goes for a facial, and TLC records it’s cameras filming her as though she’s an actual star.
Notice how during Makenzie’s segments feature Makenzie, and Eden’s segments feature Mickie? This is how the entire show is edited. In fact, can anyone remember hearing Eden talk for more than a sentence or two at a time?
Anyway, this time around Makenzie is going to have a flipper, because her bottom teeth have fallen out and her top teeth have a gap. Her dentist blames her apparently unacceptable teeth on Ni-Ni, her pacifier, which “hard working lady” has “retired.” This is bad news for viewers, since it means no more scenes of interpretive dance about how much Makenzie loved Ni-Ni, which is a shame. But it’s worse news for Makenzie, who has to wear the flipper: it’s way, way too big and it looks like she stole her grandpa’s dentures. She cries, and says it makes her look like a bunny. Too bad she’s not going to get out of wearing it.
Before the pageant, both Makenzie and Eden are flown out to Hollywood to do a segment for Entertainment Tonight. Makenzie’s “agent” has requested a session with an acting coach, and Makenzie looks like she might have an actual talent for acting. Eden, though, is performing two “songs” on the Walk of Fame in front of a crowd that looks as bewildered and distressed as Sharon Osborne did in a similar circumstance, but they applaud politely because she’s a little kid. Then Makenzie shows up, and they take pictures and have a little interview, after which Makenzie is ready to have some fun. Eden seems amenable to this plan. Too bad they have to jet of to the Universal Royalty pageant in Texas instead.
The pageant itself is fairly boring, maybe because it’s just an (uneven) rivalry between the two girls. Plus, it’s an 80s theme but there are no inappropriate cone boob issues. Both of the girls cry and have issues and throw fits; both mothers call their little girls “brats.” Eden drinks Red Bull and then sucks on a buckteeth novelty pacifier, because Mickie is super classy about teaching her apparently sweet little girl to take cheap shots at other little kids. There’s an attempt to insert drama by having Mickie fret about whether Eden’s outfits will show up, and a bit where it seems like Makenzie is late because she’s throwing a fit and therefore gets docked points, but it’s so very fake that it’s no surprise that people are posting online to say that they were at the pageant and Makenzie was never late.
The result? Makenzie wins nothing at all, and cries genuine tears because she just wanted a crown; since she’s been such a good sport in the past about not winning big, this is hard to watch. Her mother looks like she’s realizing that she just allowed a TV show to set her little girl up for this kind of disappointment; hopefully she’ll look into something wholesome like community theater instead.
Meanwhile, Eden cleans up in her division, and has high hopes for winning the grand prize, which is a canopied princess bed (which literally falls apart while it’s being filmed). She actually sobs hysterically, pleading with God to give her the bed, and while it might have been nice to hear more from her, this is way too much. Anyway, she only gets runner up and breaks down. Mickie tries to shame her for crying on camera, and later announces that she’s done with pageanting and will be waiting for Hollywood to call with a multi-million dollar contract that will allow her to quit her job. She should hold her breath, yeah?
The season premiere ends with both little girls in tears.