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Pageant Queen
Season 9 E 16 • 08/10/2008
High school junior Shelby has never been comfortable in her own skin. Feeling like she can't be her true self around others, the Minnesota teen finds refuge by dressing up as her favorite anime characters. Donning a crazy costume and taking on another persona is the only thing that breaks Shelby out of her shell. However, she's tired of pretending to be someone else and being defined by her love of anime. Shelby thinks it's time to try on a tiara and be MADE into a hand-waving, bouquet-bearing beauty queen! Shelby is confident that she can make her inner beauty shine through, and the other members of the anime club are behind her 100%. They all believe in her, especially Lucas, who Shelby feels has always "gotten" her. Shelby's parents, on the other hand, are far from supportive -- they think she must be joking! During anime club one day, a fully geared up Shelby gets a surprise visit from Tiffany Ogle, former Miss Minnesota and now Shelby's MADE coach. Though Tiffany is initially impressed with Shelby's confidence, she realizes that it's probably the costume doing the talking. Regardless, Tiffany reveals that in six short weeks, Shelby will be competing in a local beauty pageant. But before Shelby can compete, she has to ditch the weirdo duds for a gown, uncover her hidden talent and score a handsome escort! It won't be easy, especially given that Shelby will be in Japan on a school trip for two whole weeks. Wasting no time, MADE coach Tiffany Ogle checks out Shelby's wardrobe. Of course, she's shocked to discover that Shelby's room would make any 14-year-old boy jealous -- there's nothing but wall-to-wall anime! To top it all off, Shelby doesn't even own a dress that's not an anime costume. Concerned but not discouraged, Tiffany takes Shelby gown shopping. Unfortunately, Shelby can't fit into any of the elegant dresses. It looks like she has to slim down a little if she wants to work the beauty pageant runway. Realizing that a diet is imminent, Shelby tries to get in one last snack in her school's cafeteria. But she is interrupted by her personal trainer, Anthony, who has brought her a delicious lunch ... well, a healthy lunch. In order to help Shelby with her poise, MADE coach Tiffany Ogle sends her protégé to a modeling class. First, she gives Shelby a pair of high heels that she expects her to wear everyday until the beauty pageant. Ouch! Even while wearing heels, Shelby doesn't feel like she fits in with the other girls in the modeling class. So she quietly doodles away the afternoon, learning nothing and meeting no one. After a torturous workout with Anthony, an exhausted Shelby meets with Tiffany, who heard about Shelby's lackluster performance during the modeling class and has decided to call for backup. Tiffany introduces Jessica, another former Miss Minnesota who's now a stylist/event planner. Jessica has planned an art show of Shelby's work so the aspiring beauty queen can practice working a crowd and displaying her talents. There's a catch though, Shelby will have to ask a boy to be her date to the show -- and not an anime club member! When Shelby hands out her art show invitations at school, she's surprised by the positive response. Feeling confident, she decides to ask Adam, who will be joining her in Japan, to be her date. While searching for Adam, Shelby runs into Lucas and admits to him that if she could have asked an anime clubber, he would have been her pick. Lucas blushes and Shelby runs off before he gets a chance to reveal his crush on her. When she finally tracks down Adam, he happily agrees to be her date. Score! Looking to build on Shelby's early success, MADE coach Tiffany Ogle decides that it's time to de-anime Shelby's room. Shelby dejectedly cleans through the night and then heads off for a workout with Anthony in the morning. The especially grueling workout eventually leads to a breakdown, as Shelby is both mentally and physically exhausted. Shelby is truly upset about getting rid of all her anime stuff. She still wants to be MADE, but not if it means betraying who she is inside. Thankfully, Tiffany has devised a way around the predicament. Remembering that Shelby makes all her own costumes, Tiffany decides that costume design would be the perfect talent for Shelby to showcase at the pageant. Brilliant! On the day of the art show, Shelby finds Adam to be a real gentleman. Happy with the way her date is going, she has no problem mingling with the crowd at the reception. Her only disappointment is that Lucas couldn't make it. When Lucas unexpectedly shows up, flowers in hand, Shelby is shocked. He takes her aside and admits he's always had a huge crush on her. Shelby doesn't know what to say; who would have thought that two boys would be after her? But there's no time for love triangles, as Shelby is off to Japan. She has a blast in the country with Adam, but all the fun is getting in the way of her training, and her coaches aren't happy about it. After a pep talk from MADE coach Tiffany Ogle, Shelby redoubles her efforts. On her last night in Japan, she calls Lucas, which leaves her even more torn between him and Adam. Back in Minnesota, Shelby returns to the gown shop for round two. This time, however, she finds a perfect fit! Revitalized, Shelby takes to her training with unprecedented tenacity. She also works hard in her modeling class and practices showing off her costumes. While the beauty pageant preparations are going great, Shelby still needs to pick an escort. MADE coach Tiffany Ogle sets her up on back-to-back dates with Adam and Lucas, but afterwards Shelby is more confused than ever. She eventually decides on Adam, reasoning that he has more of an escort vibe. Shelby heads to the salon to put the finishing touches on her new look. Feeling fabulous, she braces herself for the beauty pageant. On the big night, the pageant interview goes smoothly and her unique talent wows the crowd. Then, her confidence at an all-time high, Shelby takes the stage with Adam and struts her stuff in her gorgeous gown. When the dust settles, Shelby wins! It was a long and difficult road, but Shelby acknowledges that the hardships only made her success that much sweeter. The cherry on top is that Lucas asks her on a real date. Shelby really has been MADE into a beauty queen!