Unslimed: Maggie Wins Big on Nick Gameshow
By Kirsten Ballard
Nine-year-old Maggie Batson has been keeping a secret since April from her closest friends and family. On Thursday, they finally figured it out.
The budding junior entrepreneur from Whispering Pines appeared as a child star on Nickelodeon's "Figure It Out" game show about talented kids.
The show is a remake of the 1990s' "Figure It Out," where a panel of four celebrities from the cable channel tries to guess the predetermined phrase that describes the contestant's talent. Prizes are amassed at the end of each round. The celebrities attempt to uncover the secret words, while avoiding being drenched in the green goopy slime for which the youth-focused channel has become famous.
Friends and family gathered at Ledo Pizza to watch the 7 p.m. airing of the show, many wearing Maggie's signature jewelry.
It was Maggie's philanthropic business of making jewelry which landed her a slot on the show. Her company "Twice Loved by Maggie B." makes necklaces from recycled materials and donates a portion of her profits to the Humane Society.
Maggie's turn on Nickelodeon is the latest bit of TV exposure for her budding business. She's also appeared on the PBS show "Biz Kid$," which promotes young entrepreneurs.
Nickelodeon approached the Batson family last February and requested an audition tape regarding Maggie's work and charity outreach.
Batson and her mother, Rachel, flew out to L.A. for the filming of the show this past spring.
"I thought it would be fun," said Rachel Batson.
And it lived up to the expectation. Maggie and her mother spent five days in California, visiting family after the two days of filming.
The challenge, however, was keeping quiet about the whole experience. They couldn't let on anything about the appearance or whether Maggie won or not.
"It was so hard, like OMG, I wanted to tell people," she exclaimed.
As the time of the show neared, the moment seemed almost surreal to the 9-year-old.
"Is that really me up there?" Maggie asked after seeing the video promos of the show.
During her appearance, Maggie stumped the judges with her secret riddle of "Recycles pantyhose to make necklaces." She avoided being doused in slime and won two puzzle prizes and the grand prize of a trip to Jamaica.
At the viewing party, Maggie talked about her experience with the judges - favorites being a tie between Victorious' Andre Harris and Liz Gillies.
"I high-fived and fist-bumped them," she said.
Now the Batson family will be going to Jamaica next summer. "It was so cool," she said as she celebrated her victory all over again.
Contact Kirsten Ballard at Kirsten@thepilot.com.
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