PITTSTON TWP. — A township family is heading on a trip to Fiji after their baby girl with big blue eyes won a national cuteness contest.
Ten-month-old Ophelia Love Mecadon won the “Live! with Kelly and Ryan’s” Oh Baby Contest on Friday.
“People have always told me that Ophelia should be a model,” said Ophelia’s mother, Simone Mecadon. “We watch the show every day. When we heard about the contest, my husband and I figured why not, let’s see what happens.”
The contest began in May, and it was announced Ophelia won on Friday the 13.
“Honestly, we forgot about the contest,” said Ophelia’s father, Francis Mecadon. “My wife didn’t know if she submitted the photos and information correctly.”
The Mecadons did in fact submit everything the contest requited correctly.
The week of June 29, the show featured 100 cute babies and showcased 20 of them each day. Ophelia, the blue-eyed baby made her national television debut on June 29 and earned her place in America’s heart.
The nation had the opportunity to vote for the top 10.
“When we saw Ophelia made the top 10, that was like winning to me,” Simone said. “Then the staff picked the top five.”
The Mecadon family watched the Oh Baby Contest at the Keystone Dental Center in Scranton where Ophelia’s father is a dentist.
“We actually couldn’t watch “Live! with Kelly and Ryan” right away,” Francis Mecadon mentioned. “President Trump was giving an out-of-the-blue press conference.”
Mecadon continued: “Lucky for us, the press conference ended, and we saw them announce Ophelia as the winner.”
“The entire roof almost blew off from excitement between the Mecadons, patients and workers at the dental practice,” Simone said.
Simone mentioned that in the midst of all the commotion, Ophelia was startled and began to cry.
“One of the coolest parts of the experience was how host Ryan Seacrest revealed Ophelia as the winner of the Oh Baby Contest to America,” Simone continued.
Seacrest announced Ophelia’s name as if she had won “American Idol.”
“It’s honestly so surreal that this beautiful baby from Pittston won a national contest,” Francis added.
After Ophelia won, host Kelly Ripa said, “Congrats Ophelia, you just won a trip to Fiji that you won’t remember.”
With the victory, the Mecadons earned themselves a paid vacation to the Jean Cousteau Resort in Fiji. The trip includes eight days and seven nights at the resort and airfare courtesy of Fiji Airlines.
According to the television show’s rules on their website, the grand prize was valued at $13,885.
“We have a year to go to Fiji,” Francis said. “We will wait till Ophelia is a little bigger, so she can make the 16-hour flight.
“We certainly didn’t do this for attention or the prize. We just wanted to share our beautiful baby girl with the world.”
The Mecadons couldn’t stop praising the people who helped Ophelia win. They both thanked everyone in Pittston, Northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond.
What’s next for Ophelia?
“I can tell you she is not going to be in ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ or any of the pageants,” Simone said. “We are going to enjoy every second of our daughter.”
Reach Dan Stokes at 570-991-6389 or on Twitter @ByDanStokes