At age 11, Max Cosgrove from the tiny rural township of Mount Larcom (population 278) is a self-starter entrepreneur with two businesses, merchandise and regular customers.
In 2015, the Queensland schoolboy hatched plans for an egg business and now sells 10 different breeds of chickens at local markets and on social media.
He also has a handy sideline selling $5 ‘Cheanies’ – chook beanies knitted by his aunt and great aunt – and last year diversified into organic mango production using fertiliser he calls Max’s Chook Poo Brew.
His planting process? “You eat your mango then you’ll chuck the seed out onto the grass.”
The money-making chook whisperer is one of a slew of Australian kids demonstrating their talents on the 2018 season of Seven’s Little Big Shots (Sundays, 7pm).
A surprise hit in 2017, the show’s premiere season two episode on August 5 was one of the highest-rating shows this week, drawing a peak of 1.76 million viewers.
Co-created by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and comedian Steve Harvey, the pint-sized talent showcase has no judges or prizes other than the chance for children to wow audiences.
Some of the kids – dancers, martial arts masters, athletes – have racked up extraordinary exposure and millions of views on YouTube and Facebook.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of Little Big Shots’ season two breakout stars:
Mikki Strickling, 11
With dreams of becoming a marine biologist, NSW schoolgirl Mikki meshes her observational skills and love of science with her creative streak by inventing things.
Among her inventions: An alarm that stops you rocking on a chair and a helmet to stop thumb sucking.
A video of a power drill-armed Mikki building an amphibious car that she drives on a lake – built from a toy car her dad found at the tip – has been watched more than 1.2 million times on social media.
Titus Ashby, 7
After an online video of him pulling off basketball trick shooter at the age of just two drew 17 million views, ‘Trick Shot Titus’ has showcased his skills internationally. At three, he beat Hollywood stars Channing Tatum and Bradley Cooper shooting hoops while filming a TV show in Spain.
His YouTube channel, which had 24 million views with one video, also shows him doing extreme dice stacking, shooting a fidget spinner out of the air and putting out a candle with a nerf gun. He slayed it on 2016 on the US version of Little Big Shots.
Lil’ Mushroom, 7
As talk show host DeGeneres shared to Instagram on October 2017 in a post that was viewed nearly three million times: “Lil’ Mushroom is about to make you say holy shiitake.”
The tiny Chinese pop’n’locker, real name Ziqi La, appears regularly on Ellen and has a massive following on Ellentube and YouTube.
She was told she was “more perfect that I could have imagined” by actor Kristen Bell when they appeared on a talk show together and Lil’ Mushroom revealed her favourite food: “Croutons.”
A post shared by Ellen (@theellenshow) on
Tavaris Jones, 5
Performing at halftime at an NBA finals game in the US this January, Tavaris had the crowd going nuts when he busted moves to Rolex by Ayo & Teo.
And yes, he was wearing a Rolex (and Adidas tracksuit and hardcore bling) and had his own back-up dancers.
The way he throws moves has since earned him over 100 million views on social media, and he’s said he charged kids a $5 cover charge to come to his party.
The TNT Boys
The Filipino trio – Francis Concepcion, 11, Kiefer Sanchez, 13, and Mackie Empuerto, 12 – have over 50 million online views and over 50,000 Facebook followers.
They met singing as solo artists on talent show It’s Showtime and formed a band after a local TV presenter heard them sing Beyonce’s Listen.
They launched as the TNT Boys and a video of them singing went viral after being picked up by CNN Philippines. Harvey got on board, picking them up for the US version of Little Big Shots.