First of all, was one of the rules in the contest that the essay had to be "true to their life"?
Second of all, exactly how is a 6 year old supposed to write an essay? They can barely print their names in kindergarten or grade one. So obviously a parent had to be involved and write the essay on the child's behalf if the kid was too young to do it for themselves.
Third, it's obvious in this case that the parent wrote the essay because of the content and the age of the child. The essay won and the child was presented with the prize.
I don't think it's right to penalize the child based on the mother's stupidity. The mother understands why the prize was taken away. The child on the other hand does not. All she knows is that she is no longer getting to see her idol sing and getting dressed up to look like her.
They should not have taken the prize away from the girl. They could have downsized it to just a make over, or even cut the ticket number in 1/2. But to completely take it away? That's just plain cruel to the little girl.
EDIT: Any bets on how long it's going to be before the Mother makes appearances on the talk show circuit such as Larry King?
EDIT EDIT: Here is another article with a picture of the Mom in it. She really could do with a make over herself!http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...akessay30.html
EDIT EDIT EDIT: Here is yet another article that includes part of the essay and a brief interview with the mother.We Never Said it Was True
The article also states that while the rules didn't specifically say the essay had to be true, the company "expected" that they would be.
So in that light, given the fact that there was no rule against a made up essay, they should not have taken the prize away from the little girl!!