The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 28, 2009

Milton sisters to appear on ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’

Specialty pageant ‘too much’ for family

By Wayne Laepple

MILTON — Three Milton sisters will appear tonight on a national cable television show about glitz pageants, although their parents are having second thoughts about continuing the girls’ exposure to such events.

The Ayala siblings — Angela, 7, Addison, 4 and Aliana, 3— will appear at 6 p.m. on The Learning Channel’s “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

Christina Ayala, their mother, said Friday that the one-hour show was filmed at their home on Sycamore Lane Dec. 18-19 and at the pageant in Pittsburgh Dec. 20.

Her daughters, she said, have previously participated in several “natural” pageants, but this was their first try at a glitz pageant. The difference, Ayala said, is that natural events don’t involve elaborate makeup, hair, nails and dresses associated with the glitz pageants.

“It was too much for us,” said Ayala, who with her husband, Juan, thought the whole thing was over the top.

Mom puts foot down

“When they wanted to wax my 3-year-old’s eyebrows, I said absolutely not!” Ayala said.

Pageant dresses can cost more than $1,000, she said, so they rented dresses for $50 each. They had to pay a makeup artist $125 for each girl’s makeup and hairstyle.

A director at a natural pageant in which the girls participated last year recommended the Ayala sisters for the glitz event. The girls’ mother said she was leery even then about involving her daughters, and decided to do it just five days before the deadline.

The TLC camera crew filmed the girls at their home for a day and a half.

However, when they got to the pageant in Pittsburgh, Ayala said it was very hectic, with talent coaches, clothing vendors, makeup artists and hairstylists vying for their attention.

Each contestant had to perform on stage.

Angela sang “God Bless the USA” to her father, who was wearing his Army uniform. He had returned 10 days earlier from a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan.

Addison, the shy one, competed in the swimwear category.

Little Aliana brought down the house to win the talent portion of the pageant with her rendition of “The ABC Song.”

Unfortunately, Ayala said, the talent portion was cut from the television production.

Despite it all, the family enjoyed the experience, and the girls will be back on stage next month for another pageant.

A natural one.

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