Little 'hot-shot': ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ follows Tupelo family

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – TLC’s “Toddlers amp& Tiaras” is filming in Tupelo this week.
The crew is following around 22-month-old Oliviana “Ollie” Steele and her family as they prepare to compete in a pageant this weekend in Atlanta.
Tuesday, Ollie, her mom, Delia, her dad, Rob, and her 7-year-old brother, Dominick, visited Little Divas to get a French manicure and pedicure for the beauty queen. It was her first professional nail experience.
Residents can find out how she did when the show airs this fall.
“Toddlers & Tiaras” is a reality TV series that debuted in 2009. It follows contestants in child beauty pageants.
Ollie has been in 40 pageants, according to her parents. She started when she was 3 months old. One of her titles is the grand supreme in the Bieber Fever pageant.
“She does really well or else we wouldn’t put the money into it that we do,” said Delia, who works at Franklin Collection Service.
Rob is Ollie’s coach and her so-called pageant dad. He works at Mail Managers in Tupelo. He wore a golf shirt Tuesday in Ollie’s signature color – pink.
Ollie showed up with a feather hairclip, pants with yellow ruffles and white shoes with built-in squeakers when she walked. She couldn’t quite manage to say “superstar” at her dad’s request, but she knew “hotshot.”
This weekend they’ll head to Atlanta for the “Beauties Under The Big Top” pageant. They’ll participate in the natural competition and in the glitz version. Rob also said Ollie will be in a modeling show Sunday.
Tuesday’s outing was part of prep work for the show. Little Divas owner Tiffany Cash normally hosts dress-up parties for little girls but was happy to host a pageant queen Tuesday. Cash and her family spruced up the business by painting polka dots on the shutters and on the mailbox.
They also had the hot pink “diva” chair ready to accommodate pedicures.
“It’s really gotten so popular in the past few years – glitzy pageants,” Cash said. “There’s a lot of local girls doing it.”
Delia said the TV experience was going smoothly, especially for Ollie.
“She loves the people,” her mom said. “She enjoys it. It’s been fun. I was nervous but it’s been great. … We just talk. We’re just being ourselves and having fun.”
carlie.kollath@journalinc.com