Honey Boo Boo looks totally different now as she appears on 'Dancing with the Stars: Juniors'

Honey Boo Boo looks totally different now as she appears on 'Dancing with the Stars: Juniors'

Seven years ago, our television screens were graced with perhaps the most tragi-comic reality show of all time: Toddlers in Tiaras. As part of a look-in on child beauty pageants, the show featured various families whose children took part in the highly controversial contests - one of whom was the Thompsons - but you might know them better as the family of Honey Boo Boo.

Just six years old at the time, Alana Thompson (Honey Boo Boo) shot to fame due to her extreme confidence and sass, and later went on to star in her own show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Then, for a brief period, it was her mother - Mama June - who took over as the main star of the family, with her reality TV show, Mama June: From Hot to Not, scoring some pretty decent ratings.

But now, Alana has come back into the spotlight - and many people have been surprised to see how much she's changed.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: Alana 'Honey Boo Boo Child' Holler visits 'Extra' at The Grove on January 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Extra) Credit: Getty

In a new series of Dancing With The Stars Juniors, Alana - now a teenager - is appearing alongside her dance partner, Tristan Ianiero, with hopes of claiming the crown.

And look how far she's come since her Toddlers in Tiaras days:

Speaking about her new role in the spotlight, the 13-year-old told Good Housekeeping that DWTS Juniors is "one of the harder things" she's ever had to do in her TV career.

"It was a little hard to get down the steps, and get the numbers and the counts down," she said. "It took me a whole entire day to learn the counts because it was so hard. [At first,] I didn't get that you had to count to the music."

What's more, Alana said that the further along she got in her training, the harder it got.

"It didn't get any easier, it actually got a lot harder," she said.

Nevertheless, she pulled through enough to make it through the first of the live shows, getting some very positive criticism in the process.

"Honey Boo Boo who? I’m talking about Alana right now, a beautiful young lady out there," said Mandy Moore, one of the judges on the panel.

Meanwhile, Alana's mentor, Artem Chigvintsev, expressed relief that she made it through the first round. "I feel like a proud parent, but most of all I feel really nauseous, I’m so glad it’s over," he joked.

And the former child pageant star feels like she's gained a new friend in her dance partner, too.

"I didn't think our chemistry was going to be super amazing, but then we actually started dancing and practising, and our chemistry was amazing," she said. "We're now best friends."

So far, then, the child star has made a promising start in her latest reality TV project - and it seems that she's feeling positive and excited about where she's at in life. Beneath it all, though, there's still that glimmer of sass we saw in her as a kid, and that's what makes her so appealing all these years later.