Tonight we finally kick off season one of a show that has been long-anticipated by no one! Co-hosted by formerly-fantastic-but-currently-resembling-Terri-Garr-and-not-even-hot-young-Mr.-Mom-era-Terri-Garr Niki Taylor and also-formerly-fantastic-but-still-totally-doable Tyson Beckford, Make Me a Supermodel is sure to be a wild ride of mediocrity! Join me, won’t you?
I can’t tell the difference anymore.
The casting special kicks off by stating the show’s goal: to find 14 models to share a house in New York to compete for $100,000 and a contract with NY Model Management, with a chance to become a supermodel. I kind of get the feeling you’re on your own on that last one, but I’ll play along. Wait! There’s a twist! “America” will be voting on which models continue in the competition, and which are sent back home to their careers as busboys and strippers.
The show opens with cast screenings in several cities around the country, and Niki announces that they will be bringing 35 hopefuls to a semifinalist competition in New York, where they’ll narrow the group down to seven guys and seven girls. Tyson and Niki say in unison, not at all awkwardly, hesitantly, and stiltedly, “It’s all happening right now on Make Me a Supermodel: Meet the Models!”
Niki mentions that “when you put an open call out, you pretty much get a whole bunch of different people.” Sage words, Niki. I never thought of it like that. They do Dallas first. Amongst the beautiful people of Texas (where the big hair is suspiciously absent), we get our first standout character. Ah yes, every casting special needs its William Hung. He says he doesn’t like the models on TV shows because they all look the same. Isn’t that kind of the point? To be a blank canvas for the designer? He tells the camera guy that he’s “probably going to get a call back because I’m better than all you bitches.”
She bangs! She bangs!
Isabelle is the first hopeful who gets her name announced. That has to be a good sign. She says she’s been modeling for two months with an agency, and then clarifies, “legitimate modeling.” I can understand her need to differentiate the last two months from all the porn she’s done before that. She knows she’ll be famous someday, and this show will just be the kickstart. Ooooh, if Tyra heard her talking like that, we’d get to see her patented “you don’t appreciate this opportunity! I came from nothing!” speech! Please try out for ANTM, Izzy! Please, please, please!
Niki announces that next up is Chicago, the City of Big Shoulders, which attracted some big shoulders. WTF, Niki? I hope for her sake the writer’s strike is over soon.
We meet Igor (who incidentally, has medium-sized shoulders), who claims to do everything. “Everything” includes soccer, guitar, art, running around, school, and work; there aren’t enough hours in the day for Igor. Not even enough hours to hang up his “awesome posters,” Unfortch, Bravo blurred out the awesome poster he’s trying to display, so we’ll never know if it’s of all of Fall Out Boy or just Pete Wentz by himself. Igor says sits in his room and headbangs with his posters and just watches TV all day long. How do you headbang with a poster? Headbang in front of it? Or do you hold it in your hands while you headbang? Or maybe, just maybe, Igor tapes Pete’s face to one of those inflatable punching bags that we all had in the 80s and they mosh together:
It works on so many levels…
Josiah is next, from Nashville Tennessee. Despite the Nehru collar he’s rocking, he’s totally adorable. He describes himself as a determined, passionate perfectionist. Then he shows us his wife’s closet, and tells us he picks out every single item of clothing that she wears. Great. My dream man is either an ubercontrolling psycho or gay. I guess the cute ones always are.
Nicholas from Minnesota is next. He smiles with only one side of his mouth.
“Hi guys. I’m still recovering from that stroke.”
He says not like the other guys you’re going to see today. You know, the ones who can move both sides of their face. Nicholas tells us that every time he sees his reflection, he’s thinking of poses. That’s so weird, because every time I see his reflection, I’m thinking of poseurs.
Next we have Ashley, who was called Yao Ming in high school. Funny, I don’t see it.
Ronnie is up. Dear, sweet Ronnie. He wants to get into modeling because he loves people and he loves traveling. You know, Ronnie honey, you can do all those things as a flight attendant. You don’t have to try out for a reality show on Bravo. I’m just sayin’.
Ronnie tells us that three years into one relationship, he found out his partner was a porn star AND an escort on the side. So your partner was a go-getter. What’s the problem? The crew next travels to Miami, where in quick succession, they meet a professional wrestler, a bank teller, and a performer at Walt Disney world. That sounds like the start of a bad joke… “So, a bank teller, a professional wrestler, and a Snow White impersonator walk into a bar…”
Then we get a stripper. I KNEW IT WAS COMING! And I bet there are tons more. We can find out who by just asking Ronnie which models he’d most like to date. We meet Holly, who has the exact same haircut I had when I was five. She describes herself as odd because she likes vintage clothes. That’s extremely original of you, sweetheart. You’re blowing me away with how different you are.
“The rest of the world just doesn’t GET me.”
We next meet a very Cold-War-era Soviet-looking fella named Casey. He says, “I’m a Buddhist, so I think the whole love and compassion thing is really awesome.” I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how the Buddha put it.
Frankie is up next, wearing a suit vest with nothing underneath. Frankie has long, flowing, highlighted locks, and an unidentifiable accent. What makes Frankie a supermodel? Personality, looks, rock hard abs. He loves the beach. What he loves about it is “beautiful sand, beautiful ocean, beautiful Frankie.” People also drown there. Try it sometime, Frankie. I’m sure you’d do it beautifully.
Next the team goes to Hollywood, where they meet Dominic, a professional skin boarder. I don’t know what that means, but he can board my skin anytime! Actually, I don’t know what that would mean either, but I’d still let him.
Dominic’s favorite things in life are the ocean, the beach, friends, waves, and good times. Something tells me that he and Beautiful Frankie are going to become BFF. He says he knows he’s talented because he speaks fluent Spanish. Cause it’s not like 20% of the American public can do that or anything. Aww, chin up, Dominic! You’re still adorable.
We go back to New York, where we meet Sex 21+. He calls himself that “because [he's] sexy and awesome looking.” My thoughts exactly.
Niki segues away from Sex21+ by telling us she’s discovered that beauty and brains do go together. Then we cut to a girl saying, “I have like, morals and values, and like, I think I can be a feminist and be on a, you know, model show, you know, and like, still, like, maintain those values.” You bet she can.
FINALLY, we’re done with the casting calls, and the 35 semifinalists congregate in New York for a more formal audition. We get some footage of the models arriving, and one hopeful mentions that they rode in on Southwest in front of a giant Southwest logo. We haven’t seen this guy yet and I doubt we will again. He’s served his product-placement purpose.
We see the different models all spouting the traditional reality TV rhetoric – “this is a competition,” “I want it more than anyone else,” “hopefully this will finally get me a date with Chad Michael Murray.” You know, the usual.
Tyson tells us that the toughest thing for us will be to pick the right person overall. Tyson, I want to like you. I really do. You and Niki are just going to have to start saying some things that aren’t principles 100% inherent to a competition.
Then Niki says the cool thing about this show is that there’s guys and there’s girls. I know people stopped calling each other Captain Obvious in like 1998, but seriously, for these two, I might need to bring it back.
The models assemble in a room. Niki comes in and the guys scream. Tyson comes in and the girls scream. Niki announces that not everyone will be making it through the day. No one screams. Also on hand to help with judging are three staff members of NY Model Management. If this is MMAS’s version of Twiggy, Miss J, and noted fashion photographer Niles Barker, I’m horribly disappointed.
We do general introductions, and get to meet a few folks for the first time. We have an veteran of the Iraq war who “got blown up once,” we have a guy who used to weigh 250 pounds, we have some stuttering and stammering and someone who thinks that butts are the funniest body part. Our resident Buddhist has lived in an alley for a while. Sweet little Ronnie hit up the Mystic Tan once or twice or ten times before showing up today.
Then we have Shannon. She has that pale, ethereal look going on. “One of the most interesting facts about me is that despite my extremely feminine physical appearance…
(I wouldn’t go that far…)
…I am actually a man.” Wait, so does she count towards the seven guys or seven girls? I think they need a female counterpart to Shannon to make it fair for everyone. Or would that be a male counterpart? Whatever.
The models walk for the judges in pairs. There are some good walkers, and some not-so-good walkers. Our Iraq veteran and his partner are particularly stiff, so Tyson offers some pointers. He tells them to pretend like there’s a beautiful woman at the end of the runway and they’re walking toward her. Uh, Tyson? Niki is at the end of the runway right now. If you’re telling them they have to pretend…ouch.
On the catwalk, Beautiful Frankie whips off his signature vest that he is STILL wearing, and hits some one with it. He doesn’t care. Nothing comes between Beautiful Frankie, the ocean, and his rock hard abs. Or something like that. Tyson says there’s only one really good walker. And that’s Jackie. Niki agrees. They announce that they’ll be making some cuts and the trepidation is palatable.
Tyson, Niki, and the NYMM crew go to a back room and make some cuts. They say Nicholas could be a good runway walker if he were a girl. LOL! Looks like we have someone to match up against Shannon! They cut Rosalyn, Jared, Isabelle, Yanier, Eden, and Nicholas. No surprises there, as we’ve barely seen some of them.
“What do you mean, I don’t have the face for modeling?”
After they kick out the losers, it’s swimsuit time! “To really be a supermodel, your body gotta be right.” Well said, Tyson. “Gotta be in tiptop shape at the drop of a dime.” And you also have to be able to stop on a hat.
They line up the models so the stooges from NY Model Management can go up and down the line, sorority-hazing style. They make everyone turn around and then they point out where people need to tone up. After Pledge Week is over and they all get their pins, or whatever sorority girls give you when they’re done hazing you, we move to a mock photo shoot that they do in pairs.
They pose on an armchair together, still in their swimsuits. I have one thing on my mind right now. And that’s what Shannon is going to do with her, um, equipment in a bikini, and why there haven’t been any shots of her in her swimsuit yet.
Holly and Frankie’s shot is kind of interesting, because she looks about twice the size of him. It’s like a modern day version of that statue where Mary is way too big for Jesus.
Michelangelo for the new millennium.
We conclude the mock photo shoot with nothing from Shannon! We’ve all been robbed.
The judges go back to their corkboard of Polaroids to make the final round of cuts. Devin, who is adorable in his newsboy cap, Lauren who is too skinny, Drew who is boring, Heeda who is too jowly, and Derick our veteran (support our troops indeed, Tyson), are all out. Tears, speeches, yada yada yada.
Niki announces that there are 24 models left, but only 14 spaces in the house, so there will be one more round of cuts. They meet a few days later, and the judges need to pick definite six guys and six girls, and three of each for an online vote.
They say Sarah is very commercial, Jackie’s a great walker, Leigh is cute, but needs a makeover, Beautiful Frankie has a great personality (huh?). Niki doesn’t like Ronnie’s Mystic Tan, and I am so glad someone else noticed. They say Katie came alive in the photo shoot, Jay is boyfriend cute but possibly not model cute. Josiah needs makeover. Igor has potential, Carl has a great profile but is uggo from the front, Holly has a good walk. And our final twelve are:
Casey, Frankie, Perry, Dominic, Shannon, Jackie, Sarah, Jay, Holly, Ronnie, Aryn, and a blonde girl I can’t identify, who I think may have been the feminist who says “like” a lot from earlier!
The six who are subject to the online vote were Igor, Josiah and Ben, and Angelica, Katie, and Ashley. In totally anti-climactic fashion, they reveal that America has chosen Ben and Katie to move into the house with the other twelve, and the episode ends.
What do you guys think? Early favorites? I’m going to keep my eye on Jackie, Dominic, and Perry, with Holly as a possible dark horse.
As this is my very first recap ever, I’d appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks!
Don’t worry kid. Someone out there thinks you’re handsome enough. Just no one here.