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Parent Accused Of ‘Rigging’ Small Town’s Talent Show For Kids By Entering Their ‘Pro’ Daughter

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Competition can compel people to do strange things. And competitive parents can be some of the worst offenders.

A mom is dealing with backlash over a year later over a children’s talent show. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Redditor fajer40413 asked:

“AITA for ‘rigging’ a kids talent show?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“This happened during spring break in March 2019, yet there’s still some people calling me out for it. Let me explain.”

“I grew up in a small, country/rural town with almost nothing to do, which I fled right after high school, and moved to a larger city. I took my then 8-year-old over there for spring break last year, to go see family.”

“We heard that one of the local elementary schools was hosting a kids talent show in a week, where anyone aged 4 to 17 could sign up to perform.”

“My daughter really loves to sing and dance. She has been training in ribbon dancing and ballet since she was 4, and has performed 6 different recitals.”

“So when she heard about this, she was all too eager to sign up. So she spent a week training and relearning her latest recital performance to use in the talent show.”

“While she was getting ready, some relatives and friends tried to convince me to pull her out, because she had an ‘unfair advantage’. I didn’t know having skills and training was an unfair advantage, and I figured they were just jealous, so I ignored them.”

“After all, shouldn’t the one who does best win?”

“Anyway, she swept the talent show in her age category (8-11), getting a 9, 10, and another 10 from the judges. She ended taking home a cash prize of $500 and the applause was roaring.”

“Then the next day people started getting at me for ‘rigging’ the talent show by putting in a skilled and trained ‘pro’ against these kids. I’m guessing the friends and relatives from earlier might’ve had something to do with that.”

“I made sure my daughter followed all of the talent show’s rules and her performance just happened to be the most impressive. I don’t call that unfair, I call that earning the top spot.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors were split in their judgments.

“I don’t know I’m torn, I’m happy your daughter won. I’m happy all the kids were able to show their talents.”

“But I grew up in a small town too and whenever I had to compete in the county level, it was difficult to even get placed. All extracurricular activities were done after school in elementary and middle school, so band/music at my school district was also after school.”

“We only had one school district in the town, it was that small. The larger city actually had class periods for their kids to pick an elective.”

“But I will brag to y’all that I got first chair in my 8th grade year for county honor band. And I was always so proud of that bc I didn’t get the same opportunity the other kids got yet I still beat em lol.”

“No way would I have been able to get lessons of any kind unless it was school driven. And we had a no pass no play policy so not everyone could do an extracurricular if their grades were not good enough.”

“I think parents are upset bc of the money. And honestly I would be too.”

“That’s the town’s money, and it was not given back to the town. It was given to an out of towner.”

“If there wasn’t money involved, I’d be inclined to say N T A but $500 is a lot to start a kid’s college tuition. So bc there was a cash prize in the talent show YTA.” ~ WestPeltas0n

“YTA. It was super tacky to enter your daughter into the talent show to begin with. They had the rule that anyone could enter to accommodate local homeschooling kids, I’m sure.”

“Not so some rando from the big city could come and sweep the contest.”

“Read the room.” ~ FluidSuccotash8679

“YTA a bit.”

“Who goes to a school their kid isn’t enrolled in to participate in their community talent show without being part of the community?”

“Especially since this is a rural area.”

“My hometown had after school programs that picked kids up and then trained them for 2 to 3 hours in things like gymnastics while teaching them in Chinese. There was also a school that taught professional child actors and olympic gymnastics around their production and competition schedules.”

“That’s not even remotely a possibility in a rural area. Any one of those kids would have been embarrassed to enter an elementary school talent show in someone else’s community.”

“People telling you in advance that participating was inappropriate really is a clue that it was inappropriate.” ~ TragedyPornFamilyVid

“NTA. Not even slightly. What were the other talents?”

“If anyone was playing an instrument, how did they learn it? Osmosis? No, they were taught just like everyone else.”

“Rigging it would be ensuring the judge voted your child best and everyone else worse. Your child won fair and square, they are just jealous that their children don’t have decent talents because they haven’t invested the time and energy in teaching their child.” ~ PasterofMuppets95

“Do…do you not know the definition of ‘contest’?”

“The whole point is to have a winner.”

“And checking the rules beforehand just means she’s doing her due diligence. Not plotting something nefarious.”

“Mom is NTA for sure.” ~ kindlefan12

“NTA. There are two ways to actually rig a kids talent show: be one of the judges when your kid is a contestant, or pretend Benjamin freaking Button is your kid.”

“These people are ridiculous and jealous.” ~ throwaway798319

In the end, the majority of Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.