The divine Miss M: 8-year-old charms TLC audience

Published 12:01 am Friday, November 13, 2015


Eight-year-old Andalusia resident Mia Baumgartner might or might not have become a television star Wednesday night; she’s not sure.

“It was kinda past my bedtime,” she said of the TLC episode of Coach Charming in which she made her debut this week.

Coach Charming is the reality television show centered around the life of Andalusia attorney Bill Alverson filmed here last summer. To Mia, the attorney and pageant coach is “Uncle Bill,” one of her mom’s best friends.

Mia is the daughter of Kim and Kyle Baumgartner.

In Wednesday’s episode, “Breaking Rules with Uncle Bill,” Alverson babysits Mia. And even though Mrs. Baumgartner instructs the pair that there should be no sugar, they soon set off in search of ice cream. Alverson also coaches her through make-up, and practices acrobatics with her in the back yard.

While Mia, a second-grader, didn’t get to stay awake for the 9 p.m. show, she did get to review a preliminary version of the episode.

“It was pretty good,” she said. “I was surprised at how it turned out.”

At school on Thursday, she learned that her friends either have later bedtimes, or got to stay up late to see the show.

“They all said, ‘You did a good job, Mia,’ or ‘I saw you on TV, Mia.’ ”

Mia, who’s been on stage as a dancer practically her entire life, said it took a while during filming to stop paying attention to the cameras.

“It was really, really hard,” she said. “Usually it’s just like you’re having a conversation with Bill, and the camera is not even there. Like they’re invisible. I kinda got used to it.”

Mia is in Mrs. Monica King’s class at Andalusia Elementary, and said her favorite subject is art. She also studies acro, tap, jazz and ballet at Andalusia Ballet, and said acro, “which is kinda like tumbling” is her favorite.

“I get to work with Miss Addy (Gantt),” she said. “It’s very fun.”

Mia said she’s not sure if she’ll be in later episodes of Coach Charming – there was more filming, but no one who participated is quite sure what will be used. Meanwhile, she’s busy preparing for the Andalusia Ballet’s Nutcracker performance, in which she will appear in the party scene.

Mia is the granddaughter of Fran Davidson of Andalusia and Gordon and Catherine Hallmark of Birmingham.

Coach Charming airs on TLC at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.