There were no tears or tantrums from the young girls who did not make the final cut in the Caroline Bay Carnival pageants because they got free tickets to ride and were more than happy.
All the contestants bravely shivered in the cold wind as their proud parents urged them to keep smiling and judges asked them questions, on Wednesday morning.
Lined up wearing their pretty taffeta and silk marieprom dresses the dozen five, six and seven year-olds answered the questions in the Junior Miss Cutie contest over a few minutes then the three finalists were announced. The non chosen contestants took their free carnival ride tickets and fled.
The winner was Emerald Woodall, 6, of Timaru received a sash, a trophy and the title of Junior Miss Cutie Caroline Bay; second was Charlotte Tauwhare, 5, of Brisbane; and third Jennica Ewen, 6, of Timaru.
Emerald's mother Shelley More said it was her daughter's choice to enter. Last year they had won the mother and daughter contest at the carnival.
"It's her decision, she's quite girly and likes dancing but she can be quite tomboyish. It's good for their confidence," Shelley said.
To match the Junior Miss Cutie's blue Frozen film themed dress Shelley had helped her daughter with some blue eye make up and a little lip gloss.
Shelley did not care that other people may criticise her for putting make up on her six-year-old.
"Everyone has their own opinion," Shelley said.
Third place getter Jennica's dad Wade was not fussed whether his daughter was in pageants or not. Her mum Belinda thought as long as the child wanted to be in the competition it was not exploitative though she would draw the line at her daughter being judged wearing bikinis.
"I prefer them in clothes."
In the Miss Cutie contest for eight and nine year-olds the winner was Faith Coffin, 8, of Timaru; second was Dana Kerry, 8, Christchurch; and third was Ella Toshach, 9, of Orari.
Faith who wore no make up said it was her choice to enter after pausing and waiting for a response from her mother when asked.
"I like dresses and I like dressing up," Faith said.
Her mother Michelle said she would never force her daughter to enter.
"It's not just about looks but how they talk to the judges," Michelle said.
Judges Raewyn Jamieson and Lesley Walker thought all the contestants were beautiful and found it hard to pick the winners though some stood out more than others.
Lesley said it was nice for the girls to have an occasion to dress up.
"New Zealanders as a whole we dress quite trashy, we don't dress up any more," she said.