Which ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilt has the moxie
The ongoing noontime rivalry between ABS-CBN’s “It’s Showtime” and GMA 7’s “Eat Bulaga” heats up even more with the two shows’ newest regular tilts, which are strikingly similar: “Eat” has revived its “Little Miss Philippines” kiddie contest—with a new twist to it: The mothers of the little girls participating in the competition are included, so the girls are made to come across as “Mini-Me’s” of their moms!
For its part, “Showtime” has just launched its own tilt, and it’s forthrightly also titled “Mini-Me,” because it’s looking for kids who “look” and perform like adult celebrities.
On its first day, for instance, a competing group of tykes danced like “Showtime” cohosts Vhong Navarro, Billy Crawford and Jhong Hilario, to the studio audience’s delight.
Also competing that day was a versatile little girl, “JC,” who rapped, cried on cue and pretended to “go crazy”—and the crowd went even wilder over that!
Completing the list of contestants that day was a cute boy who did a dance number. What do you know? The tilt’s judges, who apparently were very easy to impress, declared a triple tie! Uh, okay, if you say so …
For its part, “Eat’s” new “Little Miss Philippines (+ Mom’s Mini-Me)” tilt similarly clicked with viewers. One of the standouts was a really tiny girl whose talent was—pole dancing! That’s right, she performed and “projected” with panache high up in the air, prompting us to worry about her safety. In the future, the tilt for kids really has to avoid such impressive but potentially risky displays of “extreme” talent.
We don’t know which of the two noontime shows was the first to come up with “Mini-Me” competition concept, but it is striking and indicative of how intense their rivalry is that both of the programs would launch similar contests at about the same time. Go figure, but the coincidence is both quirky and curious.
On point of effectiveness, “Showtime’s” version appears to be more limited, since it’s hard for little boys and girls to “look like” adult celebrities, and they have to be costumed and styled to come across like stars’ Mini-Me’s.
Still, we should note that the versatile little girl who competed during the premiere did bowl the studio audience over, so the tilt could prove itself to be productive as a discoverer of new child talents. It is rather ironic that talented little “JC” chose to compete in this kiddie tilt rather than in “Little Miss Philippines,” which is “traditionally” the TV launching showcase for precociously perky little girls (think Aiza Seguerra and Ryzza Mae Dizon)—but, that’s how the competitive situation has quirkily turned out!
A final, cautionary note: As we keep watching these new TV tilts for kids from day to day, we worry that their penchant for making their very young contestants look, behave and perform like pint-sized adults could exacerbate our already questionable predilection in this regard. Some adult Filipinos, including parents and teachers, think it’s “cute” and “siga” for kids to pretend to be grown-ups, not realizing that children need to be children to develop their all-important sense of wonder—and precociously getting crushes and “making ligaw” are definitely not the enlightened way to go!
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