When America’s Next Top Model first started, nobody would have guessed that it would eventually become the center piece of an entire network. OK, let me rephrase that. When ANTM first started, nobody would have guessed that it would eventually become the center piece on an entire network that I was not running. I really can’t pinpoint the time when Tyra went from ex-Sports Illustrated model with a well endowed forehead to the media darling that she has become now, but for those of us that have been on her bandwagon for a long time, we are glad that the rest of you have decided to come along for the ride.
Something tells me that this season of ANTM is going to be really good. Yes, there are new graphics, a new set for the judging panel, and a lot of new hype for being on a new network, but I just have this feeling we’ll be talking about this one for a long time. Then again, I guess we should all meet the potential divas before we get too excited. Thirty three hopefuls came to Los Angeles with a dream to become America’s Next Top Model, and by the end of the two hour episode, twenty-two of them would have their hopes under the cruel Vivian Westwood-esque heel of reality modeling. I can’t wait!As we opened the show, Tyra talked about how being a supermodel has been one of the most amazing experiences of her life. She might have also started it out with saying, “Being a supermodel is an amazing experience, especially when you can’t act or sing”. Oh, I’m just kidding. You know I still love you Tyra. If you watch the WE network, you have probably seen Tyra and Lindsay Lohan star in “Life Size”, perhaps my favorite “girl wants to resurrect her mother but accidentally makes a fashion doll come alive” movie of all time. And I am positive that you all have heard Tyra sing, and maybe even have song along with her, because none other than Miss Bankable herself performs the ANTM theme song.
Anyway, Tyra has decided to pass the modeling torch and help introduce fresh and fashionable faces to the industry. She then goes on to describe how so many of the finalists have gone on to great success, which I guess is sort of true. Kim Stolz, everyone’s favorite Billy Joe Armstrong doppleganger/lesbian model is hosting a show for mtvU, and Eva “The Diva” Pigford actually models and is featured in the best “Is Wayne Brady going to have to choke a bitch?” movie in years, Crossover. Other than that, it has been mixed results. I think a lot of the girls are working, but we just haven’t heard about them. I do know that Michelle, everyone’s second-favorite lesbian model/dermatology nightmare, couldn’t even make it as a model on Janice Dickinson’s third-rate reality show.
What does that mean? I’m not sure, but the ratings never lie, and the ratings say that we love whatever Tyra is doing, so let’s see what she gives us. Per usual, we first meet the girls as they are arriving in Los Angeles. Now I may have forgot a lot of what I learned in college, but being America’s Next Top Model, I wondered why they filmed all of the girls arriving at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. I know it couldn’t be the smell because, well, I don’t want to say disparaging things about people getting off their 15-hour flights from Mumbai, but you can take a guess. I know that I have no problem braving the smell, especially when a Virgin or Singapore Airlines flight is de-boarding and the stewardesses come filing out, and maybe they were thinking the girls would be excited to see the stewardesses as well, or at least one stewardess in particular. Yes, we have our firs Ms Jay sighting of the year, and while I would normally take time to make fun of how unattractive she is, I am more inclined to be happy that she isn’t wearing anything that shows off her package.
We are all used to the girls peeing themselves over the sight of Tyra, but the girls got giddy when they saw Miss J. I guess they all realize that seeing Miss J means that they will be on television, at least for one episode. Miss J tells them that they will be taking pictures right away and they head to the airport parking structure for their first pictures. This is also our first chance to get a look at some of the models. They must have listened to some complaints about the aging of the girls in recent years because it looks like most of the girls are 18, 19, or 20.
First up is Jaeda, who is from Parkersburg, Iowa. She is pretty, and it looks like there was somebody out there who really didn’t want to let her go, because she is sporting what looks to be a sizable hickey on her neck, or maybe she just burned herself with the curling iron. Then we get Becky, who is from Sierra Village, California. She is excited because she is from a small town, and this is an amazing opportunity. Her town is so small, I can’t even find any information about it on Google. We also meet Evita, mother of not one, but two kids. Those two kids also happen to have the flu, and they also happen to be without their father, who is serving a tour in Iraq. But don’t cry for her America, because the truth is she’ll always love you. She kept her promise; so don’t keep your distance. Hopefully there are enough Andrew Lloyd Webber lovers out there who will get that joke.
The producers of the show are big on simulating situations that actual models may experience. At some point in their careers, they may be whisked away by private jet to an exotic location then get pulled off the plane immediately for a special shoot. Sure these girls were flying coach and told to do ten poses in the middle of short-term parking, but really, what’s the difference?
We next meet AJ, who has a funky asymmetric hair cut and Christian, who gives off a strong Naima Mora vibe at certain angles, and you know how much I loved Naima. And let’s not forget Melrose. I don’t know what it is about Melrose, but I can’t stand her already, perhaps because she is so delusional. To me Melrose looks like a young Patti LuPone with longer hair. Her best chance at success in the industry would be to wait twenty years, add fifteen pounds, and hope that somebody is doing a Liza Minelli biopic in 2026. After Melrose is Jaslene, who I think has no chance at winning the competition, but will be hard to beat for the “most mannish ANTM contestant ever” prize if they ever decide to make one.
Potential contestant Caridee tells us that she is really free-spirited, doesn’t care what people think, and usually do a lot of things that people normally wouldn’t do, which probably means she is one of the top attractions at the topless bars in Fargo. Next we see Anchal, here to represent all of the hotties from the sub-continent. I normally would wait take some space to write a curry joke here, but I have not yet made it five minutes and I am already at 1000 words. Still, Anchal is gorgeous and although I am sure her eyebrows will be about half the size they are now after the makeover, I think she can go far.
Next the girls get whisked away to their hotel, he Bel Age in Los Angeles, which is so close to the TVgasm offices that I am actually going to call it painful. I mean, what the hell? People know I love Top Model, they know I love Tyra. Why don’t they tell me that they would all be within stalking driving distance?
In the hotel, we meet Amanda and Michelle, or as I like to call them, The Grudge twins. Now I have defended the producers on their choice of girls, saying that sometimes you need to cast people based on making good television and not necessarily on how great they will be for the fashion industry, but come on! Amanda and Michelle? Is one of the prizes a chance to play Gollum’s love interest when Peter Jackson remakes The Hobbit? Did they decide they need a set of twins to play zombies in Resident Evil 3? Michelle justifies their existence by saying “there aren’t a lot of tall, thin, six feet models”. Just what the world needed! Taller, uglier, less famous versions of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
But let’s not get caught up in anything right now, there is still plenty of show left and assuredly many more dumb things that will piss us off even more. The girls are just sitting down for a little bit of breakfast when out of nowhere come Ron and Richard Harris, better known to you and me as “The Aswirl Twins”. They were slightly funny last year, but their encore was, how do you call it, oh yes, stupid. Luckily they were only there to distract the girls from the main attraction, as out walked Tyra Banks! Tyra, looking a little bit more rubenesque, but no less lovely than before, did a little swirl on the stage. I guess I should be used to all of the shrieking these girls do whenever Tyra’s name is even mentioned, but they were screaming louder than somebody who had just paid $15 to see Hollywoodland. I counted at least three people crying.
Now that we have that over with, we can start with the interviews. First for the dissection was Christian, the taller, lankier, Naima Mora. Unlike Naima, she’s from the south, and she sported a nice little twang whenever she spoke. Christian threw down the gauntlet by saying that she is ready to take over Tyra’s spot in modeling, and to prove it; she displayed a wide variety of Tyra-esque poses that left the judges very impressed. I think that Christian had a good body and great eyes and she should do well in the competition.
Next came Caridee. Some of you may have questioned why I called her a stripper and as she walked before the judges, I had a little more evidence. Hey, I know that girls everywhere are learning to dislike tan lines, but you can tell Caridee spends a lot of time in the tanning bed because she also spends a lot of time taking her clothes off. Then there was the back tattoo, or as we like to call it in LA, the tramp stamp. Like they said in Wedding Crashers, it might as well be a bullseye. Oh, and she walked in wearing a garter belt, which I guess is kind of hot, but really, between Miss J, Tyra and Jay Manuel, who did she think she was going to knock out with her sex appeal? After Miss J took off her garter belt with his teeth (ewwww), Tyra told Caridee she sees a lot of Rebecca Romijn in her, which is a good thing because the former Mrs. John Stamos is quite the delish dish. I would say that Caridee is more Rebecca Romijn crossed Jenny McCarthy’s teeth, but Caridee also has the slamming body to match.
After Caridee came Anchal. She was so nervous she could barely say her name. Right away Jay asked her why she chose blue contacts and Anchal said that she always wanted different colored eyes. This quickly followed by Anchal breaking down and saying that in India people with lighter skin are considered more beautiful and she just wants to be happy saying she has dark eyes and dark skin and she is still hot. Tyra goes on to say that she knows that she is a slave with that weave on her head (a weave that can barely hold up under it’s own weight these days), but someday she’ll be rocking the fro. Since Tyra always loves a person who wants to cry, you know that Anchal is going to make it into the finals. She has a great rack and a nice butt, but will probably have to tone herself up a little bit if she’s going to win.
The twins were next, and I am already sick of seeing them. If Ichabod Crane had a love child with Robin Tunney and the love child had a twin, it would be Amanda and Melissa. By the way, I know the love child jokes get old after the tenth one or so, so bear with me. I don’t usually think that Miss J has too much interesting to say, but she summed up the twins the perfect way saying the closest they need to be to fashion is sitting in the back row watching. This, of course, means that they will probably make it to the finals.
I know it’s only rock and roll, but I like it.
Our early award for most annoying contestant goes to Megg, who is like totally ROCK AND ROLL. You can tell because any time somebody is loud and intense and says they love ROCK AND ROLL means that they are really, like, totally, ROCK AND ROLL. Megg listens to music that is “intense and deep”, so I guess that means she likes to listen to Coldplay when she turns out the lights.
Jaeda might have been the sweet girl from Iowa when we first saw her, but she calls herself the hot girl in school, and says that guys give her compliments. She says “the entire football team” and then they cut her off, perhaps because she was about to make a Jennifer Vasquez-esque revelation about why the football team was so happy, but she did admit to being “caught in the huddle” a couple of times. Overall, Jaeda is sweet and also has a great body. If Halle Berry had stayed married to David Justice and they had a love child, it would be Jaeda.
As always, ANTM has its share of sob stories among the contestants. We start out small with people like Becky, who were always told that they could never model and instead should raise pigs. Then there are people like Monique, who started crying because she was called “Blacula”, not by the mean white kids in her racist school, but by her own siblings, who were born with lighter skin than she was. OK, I know it’s hard to be picked on by your older siblings, but unless her parents made her drink from a different water fountain or something, I sort of have to laugh at her trauma. Besides Blacula is one of the best blaxploitation/horror films this side of Blackenstein. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
I may seem like I am being insensitive but lets not forget that Evita has a husband who is serving in the military, and LeAngela, while still able to become the first ever African American homecoming queen in her town, grew up in foster care. Oh, and we are just getting started. AJ, who I like from some angles, and not from others, had cervical cancer. And where there is cervical cancer, you know there was HPV, i.e. genital warts.
None of these girls could top Megan’s story. Megan is 23, but looks much younger. Some people are going to compare her to Kim, but I think she has a much better body and an edgier look. I am rooting for her just because Mollie Sue left too early last year, and I am sure that Tyra is going to try her Rosemary’s Baby haircut yet again with her. As for Megan’s story, she was in a plane crash when she was nine. The plane crashed in an open field and her mother died of hypothermia before the rescue could come. Megan only survived because her mother had covered her with her own body, supplying the necessary body heat to make sure she didn’t freeze to death.
Our long list interviews on this first day included tap dancing Brittany and pole dancing Cyndel. Cyndel is a stripper, but she calls herself an entertainer. The judges were sort of amused by that, but when Cyndel said that entertaining and modeling are a lot alike, you could tell she wasn’t going to get very far. Then again, any stripper from Wichita, KS would be proud to say they got a free trip to Los Angeles and didn’t have to risk getting cervical cancer to do it.
Let’s not forget about Ginger, who was so very proud that she was on the staff of a Republican in the House of Representatives. I guess your life is not complete until you’ve spent a summer spurning the advances of men three times your age. You may remember the girl last year who said that she can’t stand homosexuals but somehow thought that wouldn’t hinder her at all in the modeling world. Tyra wanted to make sure Ginger wasn’t a repeat of that sort of thinking, but Ginger said that she isn’t afraid to see what’s different. I say that she looks like Lily Kane, aka Amanda Seyfried.
And I don’t want to leave the interviews without saying a few words about Jaslene. If Jamie Gertz and John Leguizamo had a love child and didn’t feed until it was like twenty years old, it would be Jaslene. Miss J. wouldn’t go out and say that Jaslene looked like a drag queen, which is fine because everybody else is thinking that way, but he did say that Jaslene has a drag personality, which I guess means she likes to hide plums in her pants or something.
The first round of cuts followed Jaslene, and I think you can probably guess that Cyndel didn’t make it, but every other girl interviewed did get a chance to show their stuff. Miss J and Mr. J came back to tell the girls that their next photo shoot would be taking place right away. They were given makeup kits and hair extensions and told to bring together their own looks, which is always an interesting proposition. Whenever you give these girls a chance to do their own makeup, it’s always interesting to see what they think is considered high fashion.
When the girls reached the location of the shoot, which happened to be the roof of the hotel, I am sure that all of their worries about how professional their hair or makeup became miniscule after they learned what is required of their next shoot. Does your hair or makeup matter when you are going to be shot in the nude? Oh yes! Now there will always be some people who complain about nudity, but at this point, I figure that it is one of the things that you should expect when you are on ANTM.
I am sure part of the reason why they did this shoot was because they wanted to see how badly the girls wanted to be on the show. Suddenly Ginger was not so sure that she could do it, saying that it was against her morals to “expose your private parts for people to see”. Although I hadn’t seen the results yet, I was pretty sure that the photographer was not going to ask anybody to expose their private parts; this wasn’t Penthouse. Besides, nude doesn’t mean that you aren’t covered up. Use one arm to cover your boobs and the other to keep the cooter hidden. Or take a picture with your back to the camera, or take a picture with your knees covering your breasts, or use some of that fake hair to keep things hidden. As Jay said, nudity can be shot in a classic style and just because they want to look classy and sexy doesn’t mean they are going to look sleazy and trashy.
Most of the girls got naked with no problem. Brooke got up there first, saying that there was a ferocity in her eyes. As we all know, it’s so much better to have fierce eyes than ferocicrotch. The girls who followed were much like Brooke because they were scared at first, but felt almost exhilarated afterwards. I really couldn’t understand why so many of the girls decided to eat right before they got their pictures taken. If there was any time to starve yourself and do some coke to keep your energy up, this was it.
Other than Ginger, Becky was the girl that had the most trouble with taking her clothes off. She was complaining a lot, but eventually decided to go ahead and do it. At this point I was thinking to myself how funny it would be if Ginger and Becky got naked because they wanted to be on Top Model and then neither of them made it. How fucking cruel would that be? Becky literally worried that she might not have a place to go home to if she got naked. Hey Becky, I know at least one place in Los Angeles where you can crash, although I’m sorry I don’t have a walk-in closet. Becky got over her fear and got up there and after she was finished the girls cheered her on, which was good to see. It’s nice to know that these girls support each other, especially when it’s in support of taking off their clothes.
Quite tasteful if I do say so myself
Perhaps the most disturbing mental image came when Amanda got up on the platform. While it was pretty disturbing seeing her naked up there, I was really grossed out when she said, “it’s really slippery up there”. I mean, I was pretty sure that it was slippery because a lot of the girls were putting on lotion, because if it was anything else than you have a real problem on your hands, but if it was slippery, that would mean that there was either nobody assigned to wiping down the platform in between each set of pictures or the person assigned to wiping down the platform between each set of pictures wasn’t doing a very good job. Either way, this is quite upsetting. Think about it. Do you use a treadmill if it hasn’t been wiped down? And even if you were careful that your va-jay-jay didn’t hit the ground, isn’t it gross to think that a couple dozen sets of bare feet have polluted the platform before your tootsies got up there? Does this not bother anybody else or I have I just officially become OCD?
When it was finally Ginger’s time to go up, she still said that she couldn’t do it. She was waiting on the side with a towel, but not even the photographer could convince her to go up and give it a shot. Then again, it’s not like the photographer had this face that anybody could trust. Take a look at this guy, would you let him take your picture naked?
After some more encouragement, Ginger finally gut up there. She only got in two shots, and Jaeda had to go up there to help her cover up quickly, but she did get through it. Then again, the photographer talked about how this shoot was all about confidence and attitude and Ginger (along with Becky for that matter) didn’t show much of either.
With the first shoot over, it is now time for the judges to deliberate on which of these semifinalists will make it to the finals. Megg appeared to annoy the judges just as much as she annoyed all of us, but the judges liked her close up a lot. They also generally liked Megan, but Jay said he was a little nervous about her proportions, meaning that he thought she was a little too short. Miss J loved how Caridee seemed willing to go 199% to succeed in this business, although I think they were wondering about her Darryl Hannah Kill Bill vol. 2 Fight Scene Hair choice that she made. Miss J went on to say that Eugenia was Eugenius in her close-up, but at certain other angles she looked just average. I liked Eugena but she didn’t really blow me away.
When the judges got to Melrose, Jay Manuel said he reminds her a lot of the models of the late eighties, which makes sense because I am pretty sure that is when Melrose first started modeling. Tyra was just happy to hear that the 80s were coming back because she already had the big hair to go with it. I’m fine with the 80s revival because I would really like to see if girls would once again wear huge shoulder pads and if all the kids would be running around with acid wash jeans and Michael Jackson red pleather jackets, not that I knew anybody who did that sort of thing….
Christian got props for knowing all of Tyra’s poses and they seemed genuinely excited about AJ, calling her a great canvas, although they weren’t so sure of the face. Once again Tyra said that Anchal is so pretty it’s scary, but Jay thought in more of a Miss World pageant sort of way. I think that is code for saying that Anchal’s boobs are too big and that her hips may look good on television, but not in Vogue. Monique got a very interesting compliment as Jay said that she could book cosmetic ads, high fashion editorials, or even liquor ads. I’m sure that’s just what she wanted to hear. Who knows, maybe she’ll star with Black Jason in a new Bailey’s commercial.
I think it’s not hard to see why they say that Jaeda has some masculine features. While I don’t think that they are as dramatic as Corinne from Cycle 5, I can agree with Tyra that it means her face has good bone structure. For some reason, Jay Manuel thought it would be a bad thing to say that Jaeda has more masculine features than he does, but let’s be honest, a Liberace pool party would be more masculine than Jay Manuel, so I don’t think Jaeda should worry all that much about it. Besides, I am not sure how they can call Jaeda masculine while only calling Jaslene “a little too hard”.
Last but not least (actually, they are the least, if we judge by their weight), we got to the twins. The judges keep on saying that these girls could get a lot of work, so I guess Auschwitz-chic is in for the fall or something. I have decided that they have great eyes, but everything else is completely unappealing. Tyra loved Amanda’s “energy and sex appeal”, and I am going to withhold final judgment until after the makeovers, but the only way I would call these girls a catch is if you were spending your time looking for rats. The judges can’t really say anything other than “they’ll be comfortable to work with”, and Jay said he liked one of them, but didn’t know which one. I hope they don’t decide to take both and sort it out later.
Finally, it’s time to pick our finalists. The girls lined up as Tyra began pulling out pictures for the first time this year. First up was Melrose, which was sort of a surprise, but I guess they liked how much she knew about the industry. Next Tyra called Jaeda, and my hopes of a no-twin final were dashed when Michelle’s name was called. Eugena, Brooke, Anchal, AJ, and Christian had their names read, and I don’t really think they were any big surprises. However, with only six names left, you started to wonder which of your favorites might go home. I was sort of happy to see Megg’s name called because her bubbly excitement is surely going to cause one of the girls to go off on her, and then came my early favorite, Megan. Caridee’s name was called and my hopes of forcing Michelle to live without Amanda were dashed when Amanda’s name was called.
The remaining girls looked on as Monique’s name was the last to be called. That has to feel really bad. I sort of liked Evita and Becky, and would have much rather had either of them over the twins, but I think they made good choices. If I were Becky or Ginger, I would have been more than a little upset that I had dropped trou on the roof of a hotel and had my vagina on display for all of West Hollywood (not that there are all that many people in West Hollywood who care about vaginas) and didn’t get picked. Luckily for them, the only other people to see them naked will probably be some lonely guy in the tape room at Bankable Productions.
So this is our first look at our final thirteen. What do you think?
I thought that the girls would go to their house first, but instead we had our first official challenge. Melrose said that it was like they were all on a mission and they were all walking towards it. Yes Melrose, maybe because that mission is to get to a place called “Hollywood and Highland” and you girls are literally walking towards it.
When they got to their studio, it reminded me a lot of one of the places that they used in The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. What’s even more interesting is that they met the designers from Elmer Ave, also featured prominently in an episode of Janice Dickinson. Elmer Ave is a men’s fashion line, so I was kind of wondering why they would be involved. They did trot out a bunch of male models, so it was not hard to figure out that they must be involved in some way.
Jay told the girls that they were to pick out their favorite male models, take their clothes, and give it their own feminine style. It seems that any time a male model is on the set, the girls get all giddy. The girls weren’t actually posing with the guys, so there was no repeat of the Nnenna incident last year when she kissed that model and made her K-Fed impersonator boyfriend cry. There was an ANTM reunion on the Tyra show this week, and yes, Nnenna was still going out with that douchebag, and yes, it still looks like he shaves with a butter knife and no, it doesn’t appear that he has fixed his teeth.
Monique – not bashful.
The Elmer Ave challenge also gave the girls their first shot to show their stuff on the runway. As walkers go, these girls are much better than the last two or three groups. Some girls, I dare say, even worked. It. out. The only person who really fucked up was Michelle, who made a misstep, but didn’t fall.
This challenge should have been perfect for AJ, because her hair already said rocker more than anybody else, but she did what most of the girls did, which was where the jacket as a dress and use a tie as a belt. The only people more mundane were Amanda and Anchal, who wore pants and a jacket opened to reveal their bras. I really liked the way Brooke used her jacket and shirt as a sort of wrap, but thought she needed something more than a tube top above the waist.
The person who called herself the most ROCK AND ROLL, Megg, looked average, but just in case you forgot that she was very ROCK AND ROLL, she got up and did a head roll/hair twirl like she was trying out for a Poison video. I gave Melrose lots of shit earlier, but when she got on the runway, she did a good job. As far as sex appeal, I think she and Jaeda had the top looks. However, Jaeda said she picked her model based on how hot he was, and Melrose picked her model based on how she thought the clothes would fit, and it seemed to make a difference. Melrose took home the win for this first challenge, but they didn’t tell her what she actually won.
With the challenge over, it was time to introduce the girls to their ride for their time in Los Angeles. The ANTM mobile is a stretch Escalade limo, all decked out like you would expect. The limo took the girls to their new house in beautiful Brentwood, Los Angeles. And if you decide to visit Brentwood, you can bump into all sorts of celebrities from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Cloris Leechman and formerly, OJ Simpson. I thought they would stick closer to Hollywood, but perhaps they have some stuff planned on the West Side of Los Angeles and thought Brentwood was better.
The theme of their new house was Tyra, the magazine. Now although Tyra magazine is not a real magazine, I don’t think it would surprise anybody if it were in the works. I mean, if Rosie was able to rock her own magazine, why not Tyra? Anyway, when the girls walked into the front door, they all started screaming. I’m not sure if the producers just told them to scream a lot of if these girls simply have healthy lungs. Personally, I don’t mind screamers in certain situations, but there has to be all loud all the time does get annoying, no matter how hot the girl may be.
Normally, I don’t like to spend too much time talking about their houses because by now these reality houses begin to look the same. Then something strange happened. Brooke got in the diary room and started doing the Mike Boogie/Dr. Will telephone joke. She calls herself, answers the phone, and says, “I get to live my dreams?”. The only thing missing was her looking at the camera and laughing hysterically as she falls over.
Still, that was only amusing. The more interesting news was that there were only 11 beds, but there was of course 13 girls. Two girls were going to have to make do with the beanbags, but when you think about it, it doesn’t suck that much. For starters the other girl’s beds were not exactly something to write home about. In fact, it sort of reminded me of my dorm room bed my freshman year of college, except my sheets were less West Hollywood, and I only had Species poster above my head, and not a fake magazine with Tyra on the front. Luckily, my roommate freshman year, let’s call him KS, was hella cool and nothing like Monique. Monique decided that there was no way that she was going to sleep on a bean bag, and decided to pour water on Eugena’s bed and tell her that it was wet because she had peed on it.
There was no Flavor of Love style catfight, but Monique has established herself as the biggest bitch in the house. To tell you the truth, I sort of have to give Monique props for the novel way she went about getting her own bed. Although Eugena isn’t happy, nobody was hurt and more importantly, no makeup, fingernails, or weaves were damaged in the process.
It also didn’t take long for the first complaints to come out about how messy everybody else was. Melrose decided to cook everybody a big dinner, which is nice, except nobody wanted to clean up after Melrose made a mess. Actually, nobody wanted to clean up after anybody made a mess, and there was so much garbage lying around by the second day that Melrose decided that she was going to have a meeting about to the two most important things in a house full of girls, the kitchen and the bathrooms.
Everybody sort of agreed to clean up after themselves, but when the discussion switched to cutting back on shower time, things got a little testy once again. This time, Monique said that there was no way that she wasn’t going to take all the time she needed in the shower, even though other girls decided that they would try to limit themselves to twenty minutes, causing Anchal to call Monique koo-koo. Of course, nobody discussed what would be the perfect solution for all of them: put two or three girls in the shower at the same time! It worked for Grey’s Anatomy, so why can’t it work for ANTM? Of course the cameramen might have problems keeping the cameras, uhhhh, upright, but you could package all of the extra footage for Cinemax late night. I’m not sure about you, but I would Tivo Raunchy Runway Roommates. Doesn’t that just sound like a winner?
Although the house might have become a toxic nightmare, there is something that makes all of those problems melt away. I am, of course, talking about Tyra Mail. The first Tyra Mail said, “People think that models are stupid, anorexic, drug addicted bitches. Are YOU???”, which is funny enough in itself, but right after Melrose read that out, the camera switched to a shot of She-Gollum One and Two (i.e. Amanda and Michelle), looking their strung out best, completely unaware of the irony of that statement.
Actually, a lot of the girls were confused, until Mommy Melrose said “I think we are doing a shoot tomorrow”, and of course she was right. The girls gathered around some home in Beverly Hills and they watched as Tyra strutted down and put on her best Diva impersonation. I am not sure what was more hilarious. Was it the fact that the girls took so long to figure out that Tyra was just putting on an act? Was it Tyra falling over in what I think was supposed to be an act and screaming like Janice Dickinson on cocaine? Or was it the fake accent Tyra was trying to pull off, which switched from French to German to Italian, and everything in between. It really pains me to say this, but Tyra was looking mostly Transylvanian herself, but I didn’t notice much because I was staring at her boobs.
Finally, Jay came down to say that Tyra wasn’t like that on set, but let’s be honest, it’s not like he would have a job if he said anything else. No, Tyra was portraying a model stereotype, and that was the basis of what Jay said would be the most controversial shoot EVER in the history of America’s Next Top Model! So, what was controversial? To me, not all that much. I guess were supposed to be shocked because we were going to get people portraying anorexia or bulimia or drug addiction, but what is so controversial about the dumb blonde stereotype or the girl with the lap dog?
The assignments were: AJ – casting couch, Amanda – anorexia, Caridee – dumb blonde, Brooke – backstabbing bitch, Christian – model turned actress, Eugena – the black girl the industry wants to turn white, Megan – the girl with the lap dog, Michelle – bulimia, Jaeda – plastic surgery, Megg – drug addict, Anchal – narcissist, Monique – throwing your cell phone at your assistant, and Melrose – the model who won’t get out of bed for less than $10K a day. Amusing? Definitely. Controversial? Only if you think the world revolves around modeling.
People liked when talked about each girl last year, so although it adds yet more length to the recaps, I’ll be doing the same this year.
First up was Monique, the cell phone thrower. She didn’t have an actual cell phone, but was told that she should pretend she was throwing it and they would add it later. I’m not sure what it was, but Monique could only do one pose and one motion. Strangely enough, she was having trouble building up enough emotion, until Jay told her she sucked. I don’t know, but if I were her, I would do something like pretend somebody peed on my bed and I wasn’t able to sleep there anymore.
Caridee as the dumb blonde was not that much of a stretch. And to tell you the truth, they picked scenes that should have been easy for most of these girls. She did ham it up a little bit, but she pulled off a wide range of poses.
I’m not sure what sort of drugs Megg has done, and I still think she is annoying, but in terms of transforming herself for the photograph, Megg did the best job.
Eugena had to portray the black girl who wants to be white and said that they “really should portray African-Americans the way they are in every day life, and they never do” and now that there is no UPN and the Moesha’s of the small screen have for the most part been replaced by Gilmore Girls, she kind of has a point. Then again, I am personally offended that any time a normal black guy is on TV, he is not considered normal unless he looks like a rapper, not that there is anything that is wrong with looking like a rapper, but you know what I mean. Of course, if I ever get enough money to roll around in a Bentley, please disregard the previous few sentences.
Megan got a chance to pose with Tyra Banks, and for a moment, I thought they were going to bring out that drag queen from Cycle 4. Actually, it was only a dog named Tyra Banks, but I’m not sure if that was even less flattering than the drag queen. I’m not sure what Megan’s background is, but her poses seem fluid and natural, and they did a great job with the hair.
Anchal, the girl Tyra called so pretty it is scary, got the role of the narcissist. I don’t know, but if I were her, I would look at myself all day as well.
As we saw in the first hour, Christian was great doing the Tyra Banks poses, but how would she fare doing the Christian poses? Well, not so well. Jay called her a broke down Tyra Banks, but honestly I don’t see why it is so bad to emulate Tyra’s look. If she had her own look, she wouldn’t be on ANTM trying to become a model. Let the judges decide whether Christian looks too much like Tyra!
Brooke did an average job at the backstabbing bitch. She said it was her polar opposite. I didn’t think it was that great, but at least she didn’t play it safe.
AJ did a great job as an actress getting on the casting couch. First of all, the dirty old man they got to play the director was awesome. I think I could actually smell the Hai Karate coming off of his chest through my television. More importantly, AJ went at it like she was actually going at it, making it seem even more realistic.
I am saying that Jaeda is the prettiest of the models at the moment, but when it comes to actual modeling talent, she didn’t display very much in this first shoot.
The twins were next to go, and I am going to admit that they photograph better than they look in person, but talk about catching an easy assignment. Michelle got bulimia! How hard is it for her to pretend like she was going to throw up any of the food from her mouth when she probably has great practice at it? And really, they put her in a bathroom, but shouldn’t her head be in the toilet seat?
Then there was Amanda, who got anorexia. Again, she had to “pretend” that she cared a lot about how much she weighed and that gaining weight would be the end of the world, how hard can that be?
Finally, there was Melrose. Since she won the challenge, she got to be Diva for a day, which meant she had her own personal assistant and got to have a massage. They tried to play this all off like the special treatment went to her head. After her massage, she went to get her makeup retouched, and admittedly, she was being a little psycho about how perfect her lips were supposed to be. She was a few minutes late to the shoot, and Jay reprimanded her. Melrose tried to explain about the makeup, but Jay wouldn’t hear any of it.
What’s the problem? Well, there is none, except that the biggest backstabbing bitch is Jay Manuel. If a model gets on his bad side, he is a little too obvious in his attempts to sabotage. And if he doesn’t like, any little thing you do will get back to the judges. Hmm, I wish they could have left room for another stereotype, the art director who thinks that his presence on set is more important than the models. Usually Jay waits until somebody is a real bitch to go off, but he must be getting over a bad breakup, because it’s clear he was the biggest diva of them all on the set today. It got so bad, Melrose ran off to the bathroom to cry.
As for the picture, Melrose did only OK. She photographed much older than what she looked on the runway, and is not exactly what I would call a fresh cover girl face right now.
Well, now it was time for the judging. As you may have noticed, there was a new set, and to go along with that new set was a new set of prizes. The winner would be getting a contract with Elite models (not Ford models as previous winners) and would be on the cover of seventeen (instead of Elle Girl) along with a six-page editorial. There was still the contract with Cover Girl, but what was that? There was no photo shoot with Gilles Bensimon? How could they? Just because GIlles is tight with Elle doesn’t mean he can’t put himself out on loan every now and then does it?
Megan’s name was called first, and as I said before, it was a great photo, although they didn’t like the close-up. Nigel liked how she owned the photograph, which I take to meant that despite all of the other bodies in the photo, you could tell she was supposed to be the focus. This was in contrast with Monique, who was in the background and didn’t stand out at all. Caridee was praised for how well she was able to give many variations on dumb.
When we got to Anchal, Tyra noticed right away that she had taken out her blue contacts. Anchal said that in a way she was hiding behind them and she can look at her photo and look pretty. Hopefully being called gorgeous all the time is going to turn Anchal into a huge bitch, because it does seem like she is gaining lots of confidence. One things she didn’t need was for Nigel (who is part Indian) to talk about saying “we are all unique in our own ways”. I am sure it was supposed to make her feel better because it is coming from an Indian (actually Sri Lankan), but Nigel is of the light skinned persuasion as well, so it seemed sort of odd to hear him say that. If anybody could help her get by, it is Monique. Forget about the caste system, her only family made fun oh her and her dark skin.
The biggest problem the judges had with Meg was her frumpy dress. Tyra decided to help her fix it, and hiked it up so far in the back that the censors had to come to the rescue. They liked Megg’s picture, but said she has to be careful with her eyes.
After Megg came the twins. I am running out of ways to talk about my displeasure with them. Yes, they did photograph well, but I can’t believe how much the judges fawned all over them. Twiggy nearly peed herself talking about them. I think Twiggy is OK as a judge, and I don’t think she needs to be as entertaining as Janice was, but for once I would like to see her go crazy for a model that isn’t the modern version of herself. No, Twiggy is not six feet tall, but she made lack of hips popular way before either twin did. They said the pictures were so good, it’s scary. To me, Michelle’s bulimia pic looked like she had been caught backstage of a Fiona Apple video, not that she had just purged herself of dinner.
As expected, Jay narc’d on Melrose, and the judges gave her shit about it. However, she did look really old. Then again, the only thing she had to work with is an oversized check. She’s not going to be working for PowerBall, so I am not sure how she was supposed to express that emotion. The judges liked Brooke’s photo, but thought she lost it in the film. Eugena had similar feedback as the judges said she had a strong face, but didn’t do anything with it.
Who knew Nigel would marry a model that was better looking than him?
Overall, the judges liked how much emotion was coming from AJ’s picture, but didn’t like that you couldn’t see her neck, apparently unaware that sometimes that happens when a huge collar is in the way. For a girl that showed up with so many poses, they really didn’t like how little variety she showed in her shots, and they were very surprised how much more model-y she was in person than in the photograph. Jaeda’s photo might have been the worst of the bunch, but I think she is just too hot to let go at this time.
So, who was the first to go? Tyra called Michelle’s name first, then Caridee, AJ, Megan, Anchal, Megg, Monique, Amanda, Jaeda, Eugena, and Brooke. That meant that it was down to Melrose vs. Christian. I think Melrose’s picture was bad, but I think the judges knocked her down a few notches because of what Jay said. I thought Christian was only average, but the only photograph as bad as hers was Jaeda, and like I said, she is just too hot to go. Personally, I thought that the judges would get rid of old-looking Melrose, but I was wrong. Christian, the Naima-ish girl from South Carolina was the first to go. I don’t like to get too caught up in the eliminations before the makeovers, but I will say that it seemed fair to me.
After the end of the first episode, I think that this should be a good season. What did you think of the first episode? Did Christian deserve to go home? Was Jay fair to Melrose? Do the twins give you nightmares as well? Who is your favorite wannabe diva?