World's Smartest Kids
Ethan started playing at age 3 and was already composing his own pieces by age 5. Since then, he's shared the stage with music greats like Nelly Furtado, Gloria Gaynor and Patti LaBelle. He says he only needs to listen to a song once in order to memorize it. "Then I wait. I go, like, 'Oh, this is this,' and then I play it."
Ethan even has an unusual way of reading music. "One day, I was at a lesson with my teacher, and my teacher accidentally put the music upside down," he says. "So I was reading the music upside down."
Although he has a great talent, Ethan's not letting it go to his head. "We still have to stay humble," he says.
After finishing his homework, this Beatles fan gets to work on his own music. His first original song is called, "Sing, Dance, Clap Your Hands."
Thanks to his talent, Quinn's is already going where few third graders have ever gone—onstage with blues legend Buddy Guy! "Buddy was a thrill. The first time I met him he's, like, 'You want to play riffs? You want to play a riff for me?' And I [said] yes," Quinn says. "He said, 'You want to come up on stage?' And from then on, I think he just wants me to play every time."
This talented twosome has only been dancing for three years. Erik says he was inspired to put on his dancing shoes after seeing his parents take lessons. "They started first, so I thought it would be kind of fun, so I tried a few classes," he says. "Then I got really into it, and then it became superfun to me."
Rickie says she never has trouble picking out a pretty outfit to wear—she likes the actual performances more than the fashion. She's also a fan of Dancing with the Stars. Does she think there should be a version for kids? "Yeah!" Rickie says.
Lisa says she's not surprised that Julian started playing the drums before he was potty-trained. "It started in the womb with him. He was very active. I always had music on my belly, and he kicked very regularly from the start," she says. "He must have been feeling the groove."
Lisa says she's thrilled by her son's accomplishments. "He sat in front of the drum seat at 6 months old in the high chair. He started doing drum rolls. He started playing beats at 9 months," she says. "He had some professional musicians really help him along the way and acknowledge his talent as well."
Kishan started acting at age 4 and has appeared in more than 24 films. At age 10, Kishan directed his first feature film and became a top player among the Bollywood elite.
When this 12-year-old isn't acting, writing or directing movies, he goes to school and dreams of winning an Oscar® like his idol, Steven Spielberg.
After a stranger posted one of her jaw-dropping TV performances on YouTube, Charice became an Internet singing sensation. Her videos have been viewed more than 13 million times online! Charice then landed a Swedish recording contract. In November 2007, she was invited to sing on Star King, one of Korea's most popular television shows, where she brought down the house!
Oprah says it sounds like Charice is pulling her voice from somewhere deep in her body. "What a blow-away moment!"
Oprah says she first heard about Charice from producer/songwriter David Foster. "He says you're a force to be reckoned with."
For Charice, singing on Oprah's stage is a dream come true. "I can't believe I'm here standing with you," she says. "I can't believe I'm hugging you!"
Shown during some of television's highest rated events—the Oscars®, the Grammys® and the Superbowl—more than 200 million viewers around the world have watched this 9-year-old strut his stuff.
Quincy says he's been dancing as long as he can remember. "When I start dancing, I usually can't stop," he says. His smooth moves even earned him the nickname "Happy Feet."
Sheryl, Quincy's mom, says her son has been moving to the groove since he was just a few months old. "When he was little, he'd always jerk around in his high chair," she says. "But when he was about 6 months old, and he started doing this thing with his neck. We just thought, 'Okay, oh, wait a second. I don't think you're supposed to be able to do this at 6 months old.'"
When he auditioned for the McDonald's commercial, Quincy's unique style stood out. He got the part and introduced America to the "Cha-Cha Slide," a dance created by Chicago's own DJ Casper. The rest is TV history!
Texas viewers also join the dance party via satellite. Deborah Duncan, host of a morning news show in Houston, says the "Cha-Cha Slide" gets her viewers on their feet. "Dancing is really big down here with all the diversity here in Houston," she says. "We have everything from the two-step, and with the New Orleans influence, we've got zydeco."
Quincy leads Oprah and her audience through the moves. "When he says [get] funky, you get to freestyle," he says. "Do any cool moves you like to do."
After a few claps and foot stomps, Oprah gets the hang of it. "That is fun," she says. "Thank you, Quincy."
Lilly's parents, James and Nikki, say they discovered her map skills by accident when she was just 16 months old. "Her uncle Brady went away to Taiwan for two years, and she was very close to Brady, so she wanted to know where he went," James says. "We pointed to Taiwan [on a map], and the next time she saw the map, she pointed to Taiwan."
Thinking it was merely a coincidence, James tested Lilly's memory by pointing out Japan and Malaysia. "The next time she saw the map, she pointed to Japan and Malaysia and Taiwan," he says. "Grandpa thought that was pretty cool, so for kicks and giggles, he pointed to a bunch of weird countries like Djibouti."
After a few lessons, Lilly was able to locate countries around the world—from Madagascar to Mexico!
Oprah pulls out a map of the world to quiz Lilly in front of a live audience. Without missing a beat, she identifies Chad, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Norway and many more.
"Wow. You're good," Oprah says. "I mean, she can barely talk. It's not like she knows the words and knows how to spell them and can go to them on the map."
In Kit Kittredge: An American Girl—produced by Oscar® winner Julia Roberts—Abigail stars as Kit, a precocious young girl growing up during the Great Depression who dreams of becoming a newspaper reporter.
She's not the only famous face in the film. Willow Smith, the 7-year-old daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, plays Countee, Kit's lovable sidekick.
Even before Abigail landed the role of Kit, she says she was a fan of American Girl dolls. "I had Addy, Samantha, Kit, Josefina…all of them before I started making the movie," she says.
Though she owned many dolls, Abigail says Kit was always one of her favorites because of her backstory. "My grandma grew up in the Great Depression like Kit did," she says. "When I got to do the movie, we got to talk about that a little bit, so it was really cool."
As a relative newcomer to the movie business, Willow tests her acting chops in this film. "Acting is fun," she says. "You get to be in the scenes—not actually in the background. So you get to be walking and talking, and it's really fun."
Six years later, Nancy wasn't just a straight A student. At age 13, she became the youngest best-selling author in Harper Collins history.
Nancy began writing her first fantasy novel, Swordbird, when she was 11 years old. "I love to read," she says. "Books were the fuel for me to start writing."
In search of writing advice, Nancy e-mailed her manuscript to publishers she found online. A few weeks later, she says she received a surprising response—her book was accepted for publication. After hitting bookstore shelves, Swordbird flew to the top of the New York Times best-seller list. It's currently sold all over the world.
"For all the other kids out there who want to pursue their dreams, follow your dreams," Nancy says. "Truly nothing is impossible."
When he was 3 years old, Guyland says his great-grandfather Delton Broussard, a famous accordion player, appeared in his dream and showed him how to play. "He came up in my dreams and gave me his accordion," he says. "I just started playing."
Since that night, Guyland's fast-moving fingers have wowed audiences throughout the Gulf Coast. He's even featured in the HBO special The Music in Me, currently airing on HBO Family.
Oprah says she's been blown away by every one of her young guests. "You've all achieved way beyond your years already," she says. "I cannot wait to see what the future holds for everybody."