'Toddlers & Tiaras' Recap: Money Brings Out the Worst In Dianely, 7, Hailey, 7, & Lola, 4

In tonight's episode of Toddlers & Tiaras, the little ladies competed for $10,000 cash, the highest cash prize in pageant history. However, I couldn't help but notice how negatively the large prize affected the contestants and their families. I should have known we were in trouble when Samantha introduced herself by saying, "I'm Samantha. I'm her coach. Well, I'm her sister and her coach." Samantha is contestant Hailey's older sister who was doubling as her pageant coach. Tonight's episode of Toddlers & Tiaras showed the ugly side of pageants, what happens when a large cash prize is dangled in front of the contestants and their parents. And the result was not pretty.

Is it just me or was tonight’s episode of Toddlers & Tiaras very different from any other we’ve seen? Tensions were high, emotions were flaring, and tempers were hot. Tonight’s episode wasn’t fun and wasn’t cute but was shocking, and not in the way we’re used to on T&T. Don’t get me wrong, there was still eyebrow waxing and spray tans, but compared to the way Fransoly treated her daughter, Dianely, 7, these things seemed tame.

When we spoke to her earlier, Lynn told us that she didn’t mind when Lola, 3, asked for MaLee over her own mother, but there had to be a slight sense of resentment when Lola wouldn’t start her performance without MaLee onstage. It’s hard to imagine that these pageants aren’t tearing families apart. Hailey’s mother and older sisters couldn’t keep their snide remarks to themselves as the other contestants took the stage and Dianely’s mother acted like a bulldozer, knocking down anything in between her and the $10,000.

I much prefer contestants like Brock — children that you can tell want to be in pageants because they genuinely enjoy doing it, not just for the prizes. Tonight’s episode showed us what happens when parents‘ eyes get bigger than their hearts and how easy it is for a child’s feelings to be trampled in the pursuit of money. It’s a side of pageants I hope we never see again on Toddlers & Tiaras.

What do you think HollyMoms? Was this episode more negative than ones we’ve seen or was it just business as usual?

Tune into TLC every Wednesday at 10pm ET for all-new episodes!

–Scott Galina

More From Our Partners