London, February 15 (ANI): Julia Lira, the seven-year-old girl hailed as the youngest drum corps queen, was reduced to tears in front of flashing cameras and television crew during her much-awaited performance at Rio de Janeiro's lavish bash.
The little performer, wrapped in a sequined halter top and a miniskirt made of purple feathers, was said to have stopped dancing and broken down just minutes into the Viradouro samba group's parade.
She was immediately taken away by the group's spokeswoman Joice Hurtado before returning in front of the group's massive drum line from a five-minute cool down, reports The Telegraph.
Spectators argued too much was being expected from little Julia and that she was not prepared to face such pressure.
Marister Deniz, 60, who was watching from the stands, said: "She is too young to be a drum corps queen. A girl that size shouldn't be thrust in such a role."
The decision to cast Julia in the Carnival role raised objections from child welfare advocates who debated against a child taking the spot traditionally filled by sultry models and actresses.
Carlos Nicodemos, director of the Rio de Janeiro state Council for the Defense of Children and Adolescents, said "what we can't allow is putting a seven-year-old girl in a role that traditionally for Carnival has a very sexual focus." (ANI)