The world still loves young Ainsley Turner, who gained internet fame last year for dressing as a hot dog at her dance studio’s “princess night.”
Ainsley, 7, will appear on NBC’s “Little Big Shots” at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 26. She will chat with host Steve Harvey and, of course, don the hot dog outfit.
“Little Big Shots,” an hour-long variety program that features children’s talents, is the only show Ainsley’s parents have agreed for her to appear on – although they did accept a visit from the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile last June.
Ainsley and her father, Brandon Turner, traveled from Apex to Los Angeles in July to film the show. They were there two weeks as crews helped them prepare.
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“They work hard to find out what questions get the kids talking,” Turner said. “With Ainsley, they had her try on the costume and see how easy it was to sit on.”
Last May, an instructor at Holly Springs School of Dance posted a picture on Twitter of Ainsley dressed as a hot dog alongside several other students dressed as princesses.
“It was princess day at dance and one little girl came as a hot dog,” Grayson LaMontagne tweeted. “I have never admired someone more.”
The tweet went viral, and the internet celebrated Ainsley as a symbol of independence and casual resistance to the expectations young girls often face.
Turner said his daughter is excited her “Little Big Shots” episode will air, and she has enjoyed the attention at school from classmates and teachers who have seen previews for the show.
But her father acknowledges that Ainsley may soon reach an age when she becomes more self-conscious about wearing a hot dog costume on national television.
“We’ll cross that bridge of regret when we come to it,” Turner said. “Her mom and I talk about how this is something that goes on the college application. She might roll her eyes for a while, but when she’s older, she’ll probably think it’s pretty cool.”
Gargan: 919-829-4807; @hgargan