Tiaras, tantrums and tabloid telly

Friday’s “princess pageant” dress rehearsal in Melbourne turned into something of a farce as a TV-rights war between A Current Affair and Today Tonight threatened to upstage pampered kids and the protestors.

And that’s some feat…

Several media articles today extract some of the gory details that surrounded US child pageant entrant, six year old Eden Wood and the Universal Royal Beauty Pageant held at Northcote Town Hall.

A Current Affair paid $20,000 for the exclusive TV rights to cover the event inside the Town Hall.

But Today Tonight paid pageant mother Mickie Wood and her daughter Eden an unconfirmed fee of up to $70,000.

What ensued on the night was a no-show by Eden Wood, a crowd favourite from Toddlers and Tiaras, as Seven reportedly kept her at bay in a shop across the road. Nor did she show at the main event yesterday.

ACA executive producer Grant Williams says Today Tonight also offered a further $70,000 to the organisers of the pageant.

“Because TT couldn’t get into the pageant, they grabbed a few kids from the show and took them down the road to meet Eden so it looked like they had been there,” he told news.com.au.

Ms. Wood, who said she had been paid “nothing close” to the touted $70k, said she had put her daughter’s welfare first in deciding not to let her attend after threats had been made.

But The Sunday Age was told by  Channel Seven producer Madeleine Kennard that  Eden wouldn’t be attending the pageant because Mickie  Wood’s agent, Heather Ryan,  wasn’t allowed into the venue.

At one stage Ms. Wood and Ms Ryan were chased up and down the street, shielding their faces from the Channel Nine crew.

Meanwhile, the Seven crew  tried to get word inside the pageant that Eden was available for autographs and pictures if they came to the shop.

Ms. Wood told NineMSN, “The whole city is astir about a beauty pageant that there’s nothing wrong with … it’s something that the little girls and their parents chose to bring them to.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the decision by Ms. Wood to withdraw Eden from the event left many of her fans disappointed after they had paid $50 to have their photo taken with the young  starlet. Entrants were reportedly told they could cash in their money for other event  merchandise.

Yesterday, a modest protest gathered at the Fairy Tree at the Fitzroy Gardens to voice their opposition to the pageant.

A few fairies joined in and a couple of fluffy white bunny rabbits sniggered from behind the bushes.


  1. And this article totally sums up the state of Current Affairs shows in Australia. But hey, It’s not Channel 7 or 9’s fault, they only do it because it’s what people want to see! Give me a break. It’s a sad day in Australia when the lowest common denominator in Australian society dictates what the rest of us watch because they have a ratings box. Hope you’re proud of yourself Grant, you’ve got some damn good journalists in your team – Tom, Allison, Elise & Martine and they work on this trash. Show some bloody initiative mate and produce some quality TV. For now,

  2. I will leave my comment up to my 6 year old daughter who saw a story about the pagaent on the news.
    “You would never make me dress up to look silly like that, would you Mum!”

  3. so ACA paid $20k for rights to cover the pageant… big deal?

    Seems like TT are the ones who spoiled the party – along with Eden’s mother.

    Good blog by Amanda Meade on the subject today.

  4. @ lizzelle

    Irresponsible parents (god help the poor kids). A certain TV host commented today that his 8 year old boys want to drive cars and shoot guns….and amazingly he says No. This is one bit of American culture that I am happy to see remain in the States and just observe from a distance.

    A classic stoush between Total Trash & A Crap Attempt, I wonder how long they will bicker with each other this week

  5. I don’t watch either show…simply not worth watching in my opinion. As for these so-called “beauty pageants”, why are they still being run? Child exploitation should not be accepted under any pretences.

  6. The pageants are abhorent. (No 6 year old wants to wear 12 layers of make up and look like a hooker from Vegas…)
    TT and ACA are abhorent. (always have been and should be labelled tabloids rather than current affairs. Where’s the news on Debt ceilings? Oh, you want to pay for sexed up kids? Go for it…)

    Can’t they both get banned?

  7. This war between TT and ACA is just hit a new low, it’s sick.

    As for the pageant (which is the real story) I really don’t care if they have them but maybe they should have an min age limit, 2 months is just sad, I don’t know if I’m more sorry for the baby or the parents?

  8. This tv show should stay on. It’s because the kids like it and i don’t think you should cancel this. All you people who don’t like it are just jealous of those little kids on it. So you can’t cancel it!

  9. yes there should be an inquiery into TT and ACA the inqiery should order theese shows off the air never to return i just cant understand why so many people watch this sh*t when george is a far better alternative and fir those who have pay tv prisoner beats anything that it is on at the same time

    @deedeedragons that is a hard question to answer i think that they are all as bad as each other

  10. And people are worried about the print media over here!?

    Forget having inquiries into News and such – if there’s anything it should happen into, it should be TT & ACA.

    Seriously. Like you said, David – for them to manage to a) upstage the event and b) make the event look sane and normal? That’s not an easy thing to do… nor is it right.

    But did we really expect anything different though, from those guys? They’ll do anything to upstage the other; go to any length to beat their opposition into the ground. Any length. Maybe we should start questioning just how far they do go?

    Then again… we’re so used to it. We’ve just given up, and shake our heads in exasperation when it happens.

    And that’s why they continue to do it – because we let them. Maybe we shouldn’t, any more?

  11. The whole show was a farce, even before Seven and Nine turned up. This is how backward and greedy some Americans are. I feel sorry for the young girls who have to grow up having their innocence destroyed like that. Awful

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