Michael, the coordinator and host of the Little Miss Perfect child pageant which aired for two seasons on WeTV, is no-nonsense when it comes to pageants, which, of course, is an oxymoron.
Michael is a graduate of Providence College, Providence, RI and has worked with the princesses at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! Michael performed as a face character in parades and shows throughout the park. He has also worked as a model throughout the world with Pro Model Management in Athens, Greece.
No stranger to beauty, Michael served as a state director for Miss Vermont USA/Teen USA, NBC/Donald Trump Productions. He founded and still serves as the National Director for Little Miss, Mister, Teen, and Miss Citrus Pageant. Michael is currently a state director with American Co-Ed Pageants and also serves as the state director for Mrs. Florida International, an official state preliminary to Mrs. International.
Michael also appeared in MTV’s Making the Band 4 with P. Diddy and Danity Kane. So without any further ado, let’s have a chat with the beyond FABULOUS Michael Galanes!
Ed: Hey Everybody, we’re talking today with Michael Galanes of Little Miss Perfect Fame. Hi Michael, how are you doing?
Michael: I’m doing well, I’m so proud to be a part of Little Miss Perfect and I’m excited to speak to you today about the show.
Ed: So, We’ve had some questions by some of our followers on Twitter and people who follow the site and we have a couple of pageantry questions for you and one parent asked, should a child wear a flipper?
Michael: I think that if a child or a parent actually, chooses to wear the flipper on his or her child, what is crucial, what is most important, is that the judges and other family cannot tell and notice that it is a flipper. That it is false teeth in your child’s mouth. I think that if the child goes onstage and the first thing you see is a flipper? News Alert: Take it out. As a judge, as a national judge, as a director, as a coach, as a mentor as a friend, 99.9% of the time, I would suggest not wearing the flipper. But if you choose to wear one, just make sure it’s really really natural because I think these children’s pageants are all about the child’s onstage beauty, inside and outside. I think when he or she smiles that pretty much is it. That pretty much is the entire score. And I think if you play too much with it or you put something in her mouth that’s not natural, the smile is not coming from her heart, it will dictate a lower score.
Ed: Interesting. So you guys can see from the distance of a judging table, you guys notice something like that?
Michael: You can see the bad ones, maybe the ones done at home, or by someone who is not a dentist or by someone who does not have any medical background, the size is not right and it does not fit right into her mouth. A flipper is designed to replace a tooth that is missing or sometimes it is designed to go over all the teeth because the teeth are crooked and not coming in straight. My point is, it really must be a very very thin film. It’s maybe the difference between a veneer and a lumineer. The new lumineers now are so paper-thin that if you could do these flipper in material and wax that is less bulky and the smile looked more natural? I think that is the winning equation.
Ed: Cool. In your opinion, what does it take to win and I guess that would come into what is the best way a contestant can connect with the judges in order to win?
Michael: I think that the common denominator is his or her likability factor. We hire judges, whether it be 5 or 7 judges, at a local, state or national pageant. We certainly give these 5 or 7 individuals what we are looking for. But I think the common denominator whether it be a natural pageant, a light glitz, a full glitz pageant is the child’s likability factor onstage. She must be honest, she must be real and I think a huge part of this is her smile. Is her smile connected to her heart? Secondly, it’s important that they wardrobe properly. You know, sometimes wardrobing for one pageant is not the same wardrobe for another pageant so it is important that the parents prepare and that they are following all of the rules, following the trend line for that particular pageant. Practice is key. Sometimes, we practice at home and maybe the stage formation is different or variables pop up when they get to the event so practice makes perfect and I think that children at this very young age are learning by rote memorization so if you practice every night before bedtime prayers or every morning before school. I mean the practices do not have to be an hour or two hours, it can be a five or ten minute practice, where she’s practicing her four X’s on the stage and upon doing this every single day she’ll have it down, so by the time nerves and excitement set in on for actual pageant day, she’ll have it down because she’ll have done it so many times that she feels comfortable, confident and ready to perform to the judges.
Ed: Why do you think Little Miss Perfect did, I mean in my opinion, based on what we see today on TV, you had Toddlers and Tiaras and Honey Boo Boo beat hands down, a million times over?
Michael: Well, that’s kind of you. I really thank you for that and we had the blessing of being on for two full seasons. I can remember when We TV called initially and I was booked for the season, I really thought and still think to this day that is a huge pinnacle in my life and a true depiction of children’s pageants. We did complete filming of two complete seasons of Little Miss Perfect on We TV and I don’t think it was anything personal and there is no business like show business. I was blessed to have two full seasons. I don’t know the reason it was cancelled. Toni Braxton and her amazingly talented family took over our time slot and I think the network on a whole was going for a different demographic and we were not picked up by any other networks. But it was a blast, exciting, fun and certainly memorable two years for me. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings so maybe there will be a time and place for us as well. We are still always talking to other networks, one network is coming out to my national pageant in February so there is hopes that Little Miss Perfect will be able to sparkle on stage soon.
Ed: I found it quite interesting, because if I remember my ratings correctly, you actually doubled ratings from Season 1 to Season 2. Usually, when you see that kind of jump…
Michael: We did! How thoughtful of you to check that. Ratings completely doubled. At the time I think it was the one or the first or second show, highest ratings within the whole network. So we definitely rang true, in homes of millions of Americans throughout the United States. I think they got us. I think we were relevant. I think we were honest. I think we were real. I think it was a true depiction of kid’s pageants, nothing was fabricated and you actually got to meet the families and see the preparation and see their home life and see their extra curricular activities and see what the children did outside of pageants. It was refreshing to see all of these components. We had a very professional, honest and opinionated panel of judges and I was at the helm as the MC. We really had it down. It was really really fun. So, we were grateful for the opportunity and still look in the future for our show to be picked up, again.
Ed: I think part of it was your shining personality and the way that you encourage these kids compared to these stage moms who are really monsters. So, who is your most famous Little Miss Perfect?
Michael: I think one of my most famous Little Miss Perfects is one of the girls, she did not win on the National TV Show but she certainly rang true to Americans and they brought her back on during Season 2 as well, as a repeat performance. Her name is Jane Dolinskiy. Jane was this little girl. I swear she had this adult body trapped in this five-year old frame and she is destined for big things. It was such a joy to work with her. She seemingly got it. She got it before she started. She always knew and she would tell me this, regularly, she was always so grateful and always so appreciative. I worked with her and she was thanking me from the bottom of her heart. It wasn’t like, a parent telling her to say thank you. She’d say things like, it really doesn’t matter if I win, Michael. I’m doing something that I love to do and I get to meet so many girls and she would come out with these profound, kind, and honest thoughts. I remember just looking at her, thinking, is this little girl for real? The more that I got to know her, she is for real. She is an angel. She is an angel disguised as a little girl on this earth. I still keep in touch with her and her mom. Her mom is an attorney in Orlando and they keep in touch and visit me as we’ve opened up a Child’s Agency here in Miami. I’m still in touch with her and she definitely is still one of the most popular Little Miss Perfects.
Ed: Cool. Is it safe to say without Michael, you, that we wouldn’t have Honey Boo and Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC and other stations?
Michael: Yeah, I think that pageantry certainly existed before I was born and it will certainly continue moving, hopefully in a positive direction, when I am not involved in pageants anymore. I’m a big believer in kid’s pageants.
Ed: You are national director of America’s Perfect Pageant and Citrus National Pageant. I think you were the trailblazer that brought pageants to prime-time TV. I personally think, in my personal opinion, you do such a wonderful job and you don’t come across as a negative manager like some of these other shows where they’re basically brow beating these kids to perform. You just come across as loving bright energy to these children and really encourage them. Again, I think you were the trailblazer that put pageants on prime time TV.
Michael: I appreciate you thinking that highly of me. I’ve been doing these pageants for 17 years, I remember I was a cast member at Walt Disney World and I was sitting in the waiting room, waiting to go on set and I had always been attracted to pageants and thought, gosh, I’m at a great place right now and I’m living in the land of princesses, why don’t I start a pageant here in Orlando? So, 17 years ago, I started a pageant and we called it Little Miss Citrus. We partnered with the Citrus Bowl Parade on NBC and a lot of local businesses in central Florida that revolve around the citrus industry. I thought it would warrant a lot of great appearances and parade opportunities and that sort of things, so that after the girls won the pageant, they would be able to participate in events throughout the year. Things they couldn’t experience at home or in the class room. So 17 years later, I’m still at the game of loving life and happy that pageants have taken me here. They really are my life and every weekend of my life, I have an event and every one I try to make better than the event before.
Ed: So, I hear rumor that you are actually doing another show…
Michael: I wish that were something I could tell you on the phone right now, through our interview packed portion but nothing has been confirmed. We have several opportunities that have come, that we are blessed to look further into. I’m the National Director for America’s Perfect Woman, for America’s Perfect Teen, I run Little Miss Citrus, I’m still running Little Miss Perfect. Maybe there is a different take or a different approach, that one of the networks will deem worthy to air on their network in the upcoming seasons.
Ed: I’ve heard you are working on something over in Sweden.
Michael: I do. I have Little Miss Perfect, it’s actually in Sweden now. It is airing now. It’s basically Sweden’s approach to the Little Miss Perfect Pageant. The children are all very new. There is a certain naivety. The parents are not knowing what to do because they have never been in a pageant before so it isn’t the season experienced pros, it’s more little girls wanting to be on stage.
Ed: You kind of answered my next question.
Michael: Here it’s all about the glitz and glamor. In Sweden, they’ve never been on stage, they’ve never been in a pageant and I am so happy to be the facilitator for pageants not only in the country but in the world!
Ed: You’ve certainly come a long way! I was going to ask what we could expect to see from you in the future but it sounds like you have several fabulous opportunities coming up.
Michael: It’s a full pageant place of tons and tons of rhinestones and I’m excited! I’m most excited at a new event called America’s Perfect Woman. It’s for women 30 years young and older. The Pageant Motto is, How old would you be if you really didn’t know how old you are? What we are doing is bringing these women up on the stage and runway and very victorious secret style allowing them to relive a very glorious part of their past or experience a part they weren’t able to experience their first time around. It’s called America’s Perfect Woman and it is giving me a lot of joy. We are actually preparing for our third season, this coming August.
Ed: That sounds, actually, I’m kind of blown away because as we get older, we feel like we lose some of that oomph and the sexiness. It’s a positive thing.
Ed: I’m a firm believer in you can do anything you want at any age and you are never too old.
Michael: And that’s exactly the motto we founded America’s Perfect Woman on. I’ll be looking forward to chatting with you down the road when we get a little bit closer to the event.
Ed: Absolutely! I’d like to thank you for joining us today on TVFishBowl We look forward to chatting with you in the future.
Michael: Agreed. It would be nice to have a weekly or monthly chat.
Well, there you have it Michael is fantastic and easy to speak with and it sounds as if he’ll be joining us all in our living rooms again in the near the future. Follow Michael on Twitter @ThePERFECTweets to keep up with what he’s doing.
Follow @tvfishbowl for your Television, Movie, Celebrity, Pop Culture, and Gossip scoop— TVFishBowl (@TVFishBowl) April 9, 2013