This is just lovely: Below is a few minutes of the official premiere of TLC's new tear-jerking series Surprise Homecoming, which airs Monday at 10/9c. In it, Ingrid, a woman coming home from serving overseas, reunites with her mother, Estine. It is a surprise, hence it being featured on a show called Surprise Homecoming. The emotional outpouring that follows is overwhelming...
Tori and Brock
TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras (Wednesdays at 10/9c) is often criticized for exhibiting bad parenting, but this week's episode is garnering the opposite response. We were introduced to Brock Ritter, a now-8-year-old, self-described "diva," who lives in Michigan and pursues his interests in dancing, pageantry and occasionally dressing up like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, despite teasing and what society dictates as gender-normative behavior. (Watch a clip of Brock in action.)
We spoke with Brock's mom, Tori, about letting her son be himself, pageantry criticism and what Brock's father thinks of all this...
No show provokes a gut reaction like Toddlers & Tiaras (Wednesdays, 10/9c, TLC). Those who aren't entranced by the very specific, extremely odd cultural world of child beauty pageants tend to wring their hands and decry the behavior on display as despicable or abusive. Reality TV has a way of bringing out the armchair psychologists, but to tackle the issues the show brings up, we thought we'd talk to an expert on the side of the pageants: Annette Hill runs the circuit Universal Royalty Beauty Pageants that the show frequently profiles. She is outspoken, passionate and more than a little defensive over criticism. Still, she runs her business like an open book, having incorporated TV coverage from the start and keeping her pageants open to the public. (In the interest of providing full disclosure, she also invited me down to their nationals pageant in November. Should the invitation stand come pageant time, I will absolutely take her up on it.)
Below, we hit Hill with just about every critique we could think of: the idea that pageants sexualize children, the toll pageants could take on the competitors' psyches, the unease that seeing a child in full makeup can provoke, the curse of the stage parent. Gamely, she tackles the ire head on...
When we interviewed Freaky Eaters' nutritionist JJ Virgin at the start of the show's second season, she told us, "People tune in for the freak factor." If you want to know what she means, look no further than the video below that TLC put together in advance of Sunday's two-part season finale (airing at 10/9c). It's a corn-starch chewing, maple syrup-dousing, food-regurgitating orgasm of tartar sauce. Or something...
Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo
Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo's upcoming wedding will air as a special on TLC, tentatively titled Nick and Vanessa's Dream Wedding, the network announced Tuesday.
A premiere date has not been announced, but it will air within weeks of the ceremony itself, the date of which the couple is keeping under wraps.
Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo are engaged
"We're lucky to have such passionate and loving ...
"Can you put her on the cover?" Mickie Wood asks me as we finish our conversation about her 6-year-old daughter, Eden Wood, who makes her fifth overall appearance (and third as "a feature") on Wednesday's Season 4 premiere of Toddlers & Tiaras (TLC, 10/9c). When Wood realizes this interview is for a website not a magazine, she's much less pushy than you might expect for someone who fits the profile of "stage mom." She has "somewhat of a smattering" of a pageant history herself and started orchestrating Eden's pageant career when her daughter was just over a year old.
Wood is just as much of a character on the phone as her daughter has to be onstage. She starts the conversation singing Tony Basil's "Mickey" (in reference to her own name), describes her daughter as kicking some "bootay" onstage, exhibits the savvy of a reality-TV vet and expresses befuddlement over Leah Remini describing her daughter as "luscious" after she performed her must-be-heard-to-be-believed song "Cutie Patootie" on The Talk last year.
We talked to Wood about pageant stigma, facials for 6-year-olds and why Eden's beauty queen days may be numbered...
TLC's Freaky Eaters returns Sunday (at 10/9c) focusing on its freakiest eater yet: Nikki Myles, who consumes 3,000 calories' worth of cornstarch a day, going to extremes to hide it from her family (she keeps a spare bag right next to the spare tire in her trunk!). Returning for Season 2, Dr. Mike Dow and nutritionist JJ Virgin attempt to get Nikki off cornstarch for good by giving her a crash course in treatment that includes confronting her with a giant, dumped bag of cornstarch to represent the volume that she's consumed over the course of six months.
While the freak-show factor runs high (check the show's title!) and the shock-treatment stuff is outlandish, what makes Freaky Eaters rewarding is the humanity at its heart...
TLC is broadening its Ink franchise with a move to the Big Apple. NY Ink will debut Thursday, June 2 at 10/9c, and we have an exclusive preview of the show...