Mermaids & MasterChef Junior Casting

MasterChef Junior auditions kids in Philadelphia and the Weeki Wachee Mermaids swim to the Adventure Aquarium

Today's blog post is brought to you by the letter M.

MasterChef Junior Philadelphia Casting Call

The charming MasterChef Junior — featuring preternaturally talented kid cooks interacting like pros with the softer sides of normally hard-boiled judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot — was appointment family viewing in my house last season (my sons say: Jack was robbed). So much so, we've got the DVR queued up for the season 2 premiere tonight (Fox, 8pm) and plan to watch as soon as we're home from guitar/drum lessons.

If your young chef (ages 8-13) has mad kitchen skills and watches MasterChef Junior thinking "I can do that, too," save this date: Sat., Nov. 15. That's when the show is conducting an open casting call right here in Philly, at the Holiday Inn Stadium Philadelphia on Packer Ave. from 9am-5pm.

To be seen, you'll need to register: Click here to do that, as well as to download the extensive application (covering everything from your child's cooking styles and goals in the culinary arts to whether he's ever been on another reality TV show). Can't make the audition personally? There's also a video audition process you can check out. If it seems like a lot of work, well, the caliber of the kid contestants and the prospect of a $100,000 grand prize may just be worth it. Get a glimpse of the season 2 casting process in the video below — and let us know if you go to the audition. We'd love to see a Philly kid in season 3.  

NEXT PAGE: Mermaids, ahoy


The Weeki Wachee Mermaids

Elsa and Anna get all the press these days, but the arrival of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids at the Adventure Aquarium this week brings to mind another beloved Disney princess. Ariel's story arc is the reverse of that of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids, who eschew dry land to swim among the stingrays, sea turtles, even a hammerhead shark in the aquarium's massive Ocean Realm Theater. 

Performing synchronized swim shows and interacting in meet-and-greets with aquarium guests through Nov. 9, the Florida-based mermaids are making their first East Coast appearance ever. I caught a dress rehearsal of their act last Friday and found their presence strangely soothing. The mermaids, clad in colorful iridescent bikini tops and elaborate fin tails, swim, dive and shimmy underwater, taking breaths through thin tube-like pipes attached to a hidden air tank, so they're unencumbered by traditional scuba tanks yet are able to stay underwater for prolonged periods of time. 

As you can see from the pics here, it's quite the scene — one that a visiting elementary-school class couldn't resist. The second a passing kid caught a glimpse of the two mermaids, the entire group rushed toward the tank, noses pressed against the glass as the mermaids waved to them, blew kisses and drew heart-shaped bubbles with their arms (check out the vid below). I'm sure the Jersey Week visitors and guests at the aquarium's Mermaid and Pirate Ball will be equally entranced; the mermaids will be swimming in half-hour shifts, so no matter when you go through the end of the week, you should be able to catch them. Click here for the detes on visiting the Weeki Wachee Mermaids before they swim back down south. 

Categories: MK Memo