The Mickey Mouse Club of the 1990's spawned some insanely successful entertainment careers: Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears, for example. But what of the kids who never made it?
Well, America, we're about to find out, thanks to that "never gonna go away, no matter how hard you wish for it" brother-sister team, Donny and Marie Osmond, and their new show, Rediscovered, which takes the casting tapes of 5 wannabe child stars that were sent to MMC casting director, Matt Casella, in the 90's, and gives the stars of those tapes, now adults, a second shot at the stardom they never attained.
The show, which airs Tuesday night, " is about making childhood dreams come true," exec producer Dave Broome says. "What makes this show so different is that, unlike other competition shows, none of our contestants applied. We tracked them down, surprised them, and plucked them from their daily lives for this once in a lifetime chance."
Apparently, the 5 individuals all agreed to take part, or there wouldn't be much of a show, but isn't there something a little weird about this whole thing? "We didn't think you were good enough as children, but we're ready to use you for ratings now!" isn't really the "once in a lifetime chance" most of us would want, is it? Or perhaps after seeing the success of Justin and Ryan (and to a certain extent, Britney), the contestants have lived in a state of "That could have been me," for 20 or so years, and have been dying for such a thing. Either way, it seems a bit strange, and perhaps even a bit unhealthy, as living in a world of "could've's and almost's" doesn't seem like a happy existence. Or maybe the show is just a goofy way of closing a childhood wound and snagging a $50,000 grand prize, something that most of us would have a hard time turning down at this point, no?
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When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to be on MMC. I loved that horrible show. I couldn't dance and could barely sing, but I wanted to do the comedy skits and yell my name in the opening credits. I even begged my parents to help me make an audition tape, to which they flatly replied "No way." And after seeing the lives of child stars deteriorate and implode, I think it's safe to say that the fact that my impossible dreams of child stardom were stamped out by my realistic parents was actually a blessing in disguise. (Not to mention the fact that my audition tape, which, I had decided, would have consisted of me singing Vanessa Williams' "Save the Best For Last" through my coke bottle lenses and hardcore brace face would have ended up in the trash very quickly.)
But for some people, I suppose, that dream never died, and this is their chance to relive it. As an added bonus, the show promises audition tapes from the breakout stars of MMC, including this clip from Miss American Dream herself:
Though the point of the show is to drum up sympathy for those who lost their "childhood dreams" by missing out on MMC, all I can think when I see a 9-year old Britney Spears is this: Don't you wonder how her life would have turned out if the casting director had turned her down?