EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 26, 2013

Sharing the spotlight

Local twins making their TV debut on 'Nick News'

By Bill Kirk
bkirk@eagletribune.com

---- — ANDOVER — Allison and Valerie Teichert don’t like being twins.

But the 11-year-old girls do like being on TV.

And scoring that TV time next week had everything to do with the fact they’re twin sisters.

“It’s cool,” Allison said.

“Our friends said they wanted to be on the show,” Valerie added.

Tuesday night at 8, the Teichert twins, who are going into the sixth grade this year, will be featured in “Twinsanity!” on “Nick News” with Linda Ellerbee. The half-hour show airs on the Nickelodeon network.

According to a press release publicizing the program, the Teichert twins “have a tendency to finish each other’s sentences.”

Take this outtake from the show: “Val: ‘People ask us...’ Ally: ‘...do you like being a twin?’ Val: ‘And we say...’ Ally: ‘No!’ Val: ‘Too many people get us mixed up...’ Ally: ‘...and we don’t like sharing!’”

It’s clear they have grown tired of being asked about being twins.

During an interview with The Eagle-Tribune, they were asked if they shared each others’ clothes.

“No!” they replied in unison.

When asked if their father, former Andover selectman Ted Teichert, 52, ever gets them mixed up, they both said, “Yes!”

For older sister Julianne, 14, a budding thespian who has performed in a number of plays locally, watching her younger siblings on TV has been an interesting experience.

“I think it’s neat,” she said. “It’s something different for a TV show.”

Allison and Valerie were asked to be on the show after their mother, Jeanne, responded to an ad on a website devoted to the mothers of twins.

She sent in an application, with photos, which was followed up by a phone interview with the two girls.

“I never thought after the phone interview they’d pick them,” Jeanne Teichert said. “I figured they must have had hundreds of people interviewing. The twins are kind of shy on the phone.”

But, she said, they were probably chosen because “they don’t like being twins and they aren’t afraid to tell people that. They’re identical and people confuse them all the time. They like to be in separate classes. They do whatever they can to be separate.”

One day in May, a TV film crew showed up at the Teichert home at about 9:30 a.m. and spent the day following the girls around, including filming them at soccer practice. The crew interviewed the girls both together and separately, while also interviewing Julianne about what it’s like to be the sibling of twins.

The purpose of the show, according to the press release, is to get kids from around the country to discuss the assumptions, misconceptions and truths about being a twin.

Other twins are also featured in the program.

Jeremy, 15, from New Jersey says, “One of the major disadvantages to being a twin is having to share everything. We share a room, which we always have — since the day we were born. Well, probably since before we were born, technically.”

“Ugghhh,” says his twin brother Ethan.

Kavita, 14, from New Jersey says, “You think of yourself as two different people, yet you find yourselves doing the exact same things. Says her twin sister, Divya, “That’s so disturbing.”

“Sometimes people ask if we’re identical,” says Taylor, 14, from Texas, speaking about herself and twin brother, Torrance. “And I just feel as if they need to be slapped.”

“Being alike is not the same as being the same,” says host Ellerbee, a veteran TV journalist. “You may be a twin, but you’re still you. Sometimes I wish I were a twin. Maybe a twin for a day ...”

“Nick News,” produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is now in its 22nd year and is the longest-running kids’ news show in television history. It has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to kids about the important issues of the day. Over the years, “Nick News” has received more than 21 Emmy nominations and recently won its ninth Emmy Award for “Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics” in the category of Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction Program.

TUNE IN

What: “Twinsanity,” a show about kids who are twins

Who: Valerie and Alison Teichert, 11, of Andover, will be featured on the show

When: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 8 p.m.

Where: “Nick News” on the Nickelodeon channel