November 23, 2014
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Pageant princess to make international television debut
Kim Kalunian
(submitted photo)
LIGHTS, CAMERA, NAILS: Isabella gets her nails done in preparation for an upcoming pageant, while a crew from the Dr. Phil show films the scene.

One local girl is on the fast track into the spotlight. Isabella Barrett, age 5, of Johnston, isn’t new to show biz, but this weekend she’ll get a taste of what Hollywood and reality television is really like.

On Friday, a film crew from Germany will arrive to document Isabella’s journey from Johnston to the Sheraton in Warwick, where she’ll compete in the New England National Pretty Face Pageant. There she’ll vie with other girls her age to win the title of “Grand Supreme.” She’ll also have the opportunity to win a cash prize and, of course, a glittering crown.

Isabella started in pageants only six months ago. It was at her first pageant in Connecticut that the German production company that will be returning to film her this weekend, Pro 7, first saw her.

According to Isabella’s mother, Susanna Barrett, the production company was captivated by Isabella’s performance at the Connecticut pageant. They were so taken with Isabella’s personality that they called Barrett a few weeks later and asked if they could return for additional footage.

After carefully considering the message of the show, and their daughter’s safety, the Barretts decided to move forward with the filming.

The German company produces “Toddlers and Tiaras International,” the international version of the show of the same name popularized by TLC in the states.

“The [international version] puts a better spin on [pageants] than the U.S. one,” explained Barrett. “There’s an interview process and it sheds a positive light on [the contestants].”

Barrett explained that Isabella loves to sing, dance and act and has appeared in television commercials, on “The Father Albert Show” and will soon be seen on “Dr. Phil.”

“It’s a natural something she loves to do,” said Barrett of Isabella’s performing.

But pageantry was a new endeavor for her. Barrett said her older daughter had a traumatic facial injury, and so she enrolled her in pageants to boost her self-esteem. When Isabella saw her older sister competing, she wanted in on the action, too.

Now, she will be featured overseas on television, and her footage may make it to the screens of viewers in the United States. Barrett said Pro 7 told her they were in negotiations with TLC.

The crew will arrive on Friday and document Isabella preparing for the weekend ahead. They’ll film her all day on Saturday and Sunday, as she competes at the Providence Sheraton.


Comments
2 comments on this item

Nice parenting. This kid will be lucky to ever find happiness. I wish her luck.

Being a RI business owner, childrens book author and childrens charties worker I can assure you Isabella will be just fine .

This is a very small part of her life and there are not any outlets at her age for performing arts schools so we are useing the pageant system for now. Clearly she enjoys it or she wouldnt be at the top of the game its just to bad we dont focus more on the mother that homeschool there kids so they can do competive gymnastics 6 days a week at the ago of 4. but everyone is intitled to there opinion ...

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