Lockharts Make TV Debut
Kelci Lockhart of New Martinsville has been in the newspapers for several years for her participation and crownings at pageants. Only eight years old, Kelci won her first pageant at the age of four at Town and Country Days’ 2006 Princess Pageant. She’s been on a roll ever since, as evident by the many trophies, sashes, and crowns displayed in her room.
Miss Lockhart can be considered a local celebrity. However, she’ll be even more well-known as she appears on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras. The reality show travels to pageants across the country and auditions pageant participants to be filmed for the television show. Kelci auditioned and was chosen to be one of the filmed contestants for the Rodeo Princess pageant in Bridgeport, W.Va.
The crew came to the Lockhart’s home and filmed for two days, March 16 and 17, and also filmed the pageant held March 20. All of the Lockharts were interviewed in their home, at the pageant, and during preparations for the contest. As such, the show shot footage of Fiesta Hair and Tanning and Studio C Creative Images in New Martinsville, as these businesses respectively styled Kelci’s hair and took glamour shots for the pageant.
“It was fun because I got to meet a lot of new people,” says Kelci. “It was a dream of mine to be on the show. I was nervous at first but there were so many interviews that after a while I wasn’t scared anymore.” While Kelci enjoyed her time on camera, her mother Kim felt differently. “It was tiresome; we put in long hours,” said Kim. “But it was a lot of fun, too, and it was a bonding experience for us.” Kim also mentioned how difficult it was to get used to wearing a microphone constantly and having the camera around you while you’re getting very emotional. “I always get so emotional when Kelci’s on stage,” said Kim. “She does so well and looks so beautiful.”
Not only was being on the show a unique and fun experience, the Lockharts also hoped they could help shed a good light on West Virginians. “A lot of pageant moms are so strict,” said Kim. “We wanted to show that we simply like doing the pageants. We have fun and keep it natural. We want to show that you don’t have to have all that glitz to do a good job.”
Kim went on to say doing pageants has always been Kelci’s choice.
“It’s just really fun. I like entertaining and being on the stage,” said Kelci with a bright smile and a dramatic flair. “I get to meet new friends and have fun, and, of course, get crowns!”
Kim added, “We also like when she earns savings bonds. She’s put them into savings for college.”
For the Rodeo Princess pageant, Kelci learned to twirl a lasso. As it turns out, such a skill may come in handy for more than the talent portion of such contests. In addition to wanting to be Miss America and a model, Kelci expressed a big interest in being a veterinarian or a pig farmer. She collects stuffed pigs and hopes to have a pet pig someday, and then a whole farm full of them. “Pigs are cute!” Kelci exclaimed.
And as far as television goes, Kelci says she’d like to be on TV again, but as an actress, not a reality star. Kim agrees whole heartedly. “The people from Los Angeles were very nice and tried their best not to intrude during the process,” said Kim. “This experience really opened our eyes to how TV shows get produced. I don’t know how reality stars do it!”
While the pageant was held in March, you won’t see the Lockharts on Toddlers and Tiaras until the episode airs sometime in August or September. In the meantime there’s no doubt we’ll see Kelci in the papers several times more before her television premiere.