Last year, enough people buzzed about America’s Next Top Model that I figured I’d check out the show this season, but unfortunately limitations on Tivo capacity and, you know, my desire to actually have a life beyond watching TV sort of killed that plan. TV trends don’t pass me lightly though, so I finally buckled down and watched an episode. To my surprise, I thought it was really great. How could you not love the fascinating challenges, the interesting personalities, and the intense elimination process? Oh wait, I’m talking about The Apprentice. Sorry. No, despite all the talk, America’s Next Top Model lacks a certain charm or intrinsic value that other reality franchises seem to have, but for what it’s worth, the show was passable entertainment and certainly not out of range for some good old TVgasm snark.I guess I knew I was in trouble when I was rudely introduced to “Tyra Mail”. Not nearly as cool as Survivor’s “Tree Mail”, Tyra Mail arrived in a garish pink envelope that made me wonder if this alternate postal service was headquartered in South Beach. Anyway, the Tyra Mail alerted the beehive of intellectually challenged models that they had to put on their Tyra Clothes, leave the Tyra Apartment, take a Tyra Cab, and go to the Tyra YWCA. I wonder – when Tyra Banks gets Tyra Mail, does she just call it… mail? Or maybe “Me Mail”?
At the YWCA, the gals met Jay Alexander, a cross-dressing runway maven who’s sort of like the Phil Jackson of catwalks, except, whereas Phil Jackson has a legacy, Jay Alexander has, uh, makeup. As Jay pranced around and introduced last year’s winner of the competition, wide-eyed Kirsti wondered why he was wearing dresses and stuff. “Why doesn’t someone explain Jay?” she asked. This was followed with a Very Special Episode of America’s Top Model called “Kirsti meets her first gay person.”
While Kirsti marveled at the cultural oddity that was Jay, reigning Top Model (that most of America has never heard of, despite being “Top”) Yoanna imparted her wise knowledge to the group. Focus on yourselves, she said, adding “You’re so young.” Yes, I remember when Yoanna was just a young pup in the world of modeling. My how the time has flown – since May.
After some more lame pep talk, Jay had the girls walk around with books on their heads. For his part, he changed into a strange black dress that left him looking less haute couture and more ho’ couture. Seriously, he looked like one of those crackwhore bit players that populate The Sopranos from time to time. After the book balancing grew tiresome, Jay upped the stakes and had the ladies don massive headdresses which made me wonder if these women were training to be models or featured performers in the Las Vegas Showgirl Rodeo. Apparently the task was arduous, leading Jennipher to complain that the headdresses were the “most awfullest things to wear.” Poor Jennipher. She was hoping that day would be funner, but it was the most baddest day ever. Actually, the most awfullest thing ever will be when she finds out that for all her life she’s been misspelling her name.
In time the girls were finally rewarded for all their hard work. Jay took them out for a night out on the town, but at the first club they went to, a line outside caused Jennipher to raise her misspelled eyebrows. She knew something was up, she reasoned, because there was a line. Are club lines a new phenomenon? Last time I checked, they’re pretty common. Anyway, Jennipher’s intuition actually served her well since in the club the ladies were surprised by the designers of “Heatherette” which is evidently a fashion line devoted to making women look like drag queens. Norelle (not to be confused with the Norelco Spectra Electric Shaver) nearly made ka ka in her pants upon meeting the Heatherette guys (word is still out if the two men are referred to as Heatherette as a whole, but this just in: no one cares). You see, Paris Hilton always wears Heatherette, and if there’s one person in life that Norelle would like to be/emulate/have night-vision fun with, it’s Paris Hilton. Some might say that idolizing Paris Hilton is sad, pathetic, lame, a tragic moment for American culture, but Norelle doesn’t care because she is a strong, independent woman. And she’s also an idiot.
Anyway, the prospective models soon found out that their night on the town was actually just another event in which they’d be judged. They were to sashay down the catwalk as part of the Heatherette fall fashion show. It only like the hottest ticket in town! Well, it’s the hottest ticket on the really lame ticket circuit at least. Without a second to spare, the Heatherette team put the women to work as they tried their hardest to make these beautiful women look like the latest reincarnation of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. There was mild drama as Amanda wasn’t allowed to see the runway. It was a mild problem since apparently she’s BLIND. Well I’m sure she’ll be able to manage, right? Uh, think again. The cameras cut to the runway which was conveniently zig-zagged with a raised, circular cul-de-sac type area at the end. Could this BE any trickier of a runway? Just about the only thing more elaborate was Christina Applegate’s backyard fashion show in “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.”
As I salivated at the promise of slapstick, the girls all headed out to the cheering fans. Most of them managed to decently prance around. Kristi trucked down the runway like a principal in search of a delinquent student. Amanda, for all the blind talk, managed to navigate down the catwalk – and shake her bootay too. Truthfully, the only interesting part about this was when Norelco Razor – I mean Norelle – took this opportunity to embarrass herself during her dream moment of modeling for Heatherette. Dressed like the unholy lovechild of Cruella Deville and a wayward cotton ball, Norelle swaggered down the stage and promptly fell down in an oh-so-fantastic spill that will hopefully haunt her forever. I guess it was her attempt to mimic Paris Hilton falling off a horse on The Simple Life.
After the apartment, the action shifted onto more important things – like the women bickering. Amanda claimed that her laundry and $100 were missing and immediately blamed the vertically challenged Eva. Amanda was convinced, CONVINCED that Eva had stolen her belongings, so she and her ally Nicole decided to set up a trap. They’d leave some crystals and ten dollars out for Eva to steal. This was all done to Amanda stirring rendition of her favorite song “Someone’s a bitch. A bitch, bitch, bitch.” Or something like that. Nicole tried to act all innocent in the scheme by saying “I’m not up for setting the trap, but I said ‘it’s just a good idea.’” Yeah, just because she encouraged the idea didn’t mean she actually liked the idea. Nicole then went back to reading about the Nazis rise to power.
As for Eva, she spent a good amount of this episode talking about how she always acts like the tallest woman in the group, even though she constantly brings everything back to how short she is. Nevertheless, Jay Alexander said she sashayed the best at the Heatherette show and granted her a day on a yacht with two people of her choosing. In a gracious gesture of gratitude, Eva stood up and shook her butt, dutifully noting how she had won over all the “tall bitches”. If that doesn’t say class, I don’t know what does.
In the aftermath of this event, Amanda discovered that her crystals were missing. Stolen! This tipped off one of the more retarded reality spats in recent memory (or at least since that episode of Real World San Diego when they went to Greece). First Amanda tried to walk by Eva, but when Eva’s elbow accidentally brushed Amanda’s boob, Eva commented “You just bumped me.” To which I responded “Eva, you just brought your suck into pop culture.” Well, Amanda wouldn’t apologize for the bump and then Eva accused her of being fake because her personality is all sweet and nice but in reality she’s just a bump-and-walk person. For no good reason at all, Jennipher jumped into the fray by calling Eva a bitch in the next room and this for some reason prompted Anne to weigh in. Honestly, I had no idea what they were arguing about. All I knew was that there were four attractive, inarticulate, dumb, and loud women yelling in a very narrow hallway. Somehow it turned into the Jennipher/Anne showdown with Jennipher ultimately bumping Anne out of the way. Apparently the bump is the model equivalent of a guy flicking his finger and grabbing his balls. Ultimately, Eva declared the fight to be “Extra” because it was like “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” I would read all about it, but I don’t subscribe to Stupid Shrews Weekly.
Amanda meanwhile was crying about her crystals. She couldn’t believe Eva took the crystals… that she left out for her to take! Actually, that wasn’t really the case. After Eva came back from her Yacht trip, Amanda admitted that she had just misplaced the crystals. Dumbass. Well, this led to a big group apology whose insincerity was sealed when all the girls said “Yay!” in unison.
Anyway, the girls finally made their way to Tyra Banks and her panel of fashion experts (but not before shooting some topless photos for Lee Jeans in another utterly useless segment). For the first time, I finally got to see this Janice Dickinson woman that everyone always talks about. Am I to believe this woman was ever a supermodel? I suppose she might appeal to that coveted Banged In The Face By A Hot Frying Pan demographic, but other than that, I don’t get it. Nevertheless, the models were all put in hideous pink tubetops and tiny shoes and told to strut.
Kelle was the first woman to receive negative reviews, mostly due to an unflattering shot from the Lee Jeans ad. Janice mocked Kelle for her weird mouth. Clearly a supermodel needs to have enough collagen in her lips to make her mouth look like two blimps flying in tandem.
Others faced equally harsh judgment. When Norelle stumbled a bit, she explained that she had never worn heels before. “I walked in heels when I was seven,” stated Janice, who then explained that her first boob job was at age eight, followed by her first cocaine habit at ten. When Kristi sashayed for the panel, Janice commented: “I get a sense of Carol Burnett with the jaw.” It’s funny, when I look at Janice, I get a sense of a horse’s rectum with the face.
Making things interesting – or at least slutty and stupid – was Jennipher who decided to flash the judges her buttocks on which she had written “ANTM”. Oh, classy! I love when Claudia Schiffer does that. Wait, I’m thinking of the trashy drunk chick on “GIrls Gone Wild 17.” Yeah, the Sharpee on the butt thing isn’t so popular in Paris and Milan.
Anyway, Tyra Banks and her forehead MCed the whole elimination ceremony and while she made Jennipher feel like shit for her little stunt, in the end, Kirsti was sent packing. And in case we didn’t get it, we saw her fade out of the cast picture at the end, sort of like Marty McFly’s family in “Back To The Future.”
I can’t say that this was the most compelling reality show I’ve seen, but if I’m feeling bored, I might check it out time to time. Keep an eye on TVgasm for my occasional ramblings about this vacuous show.