'America's Next Top Model' premiere: Know your inner supermodel
The premiere begins with 32 girls and you know how each cycle gets a theme? Well, this cycle spoofs social networking sites. Tyra has a “MyFierce” page and she basically has to decide which of the 32 invites she’ll accept. Let the games begin.
The premise is for the girls to set up their own MyFierce page with a photo, a “netwalk” aka runway walk video. Right off the bat, Tyra greets the girls and one of them, Alasia, is raw, people. She is literally on the floor screaming. The best part is she’s wearing this crazy short wig when she has some great natural hair sitting underneath it! I love when Tyra calls her out on it. I could almost see the thought bubble over her head, “I know I didn’t pick a girl with hair like that.”
What's your story?
There are too many girls to describe these gals with any kind of detail. I can focus on some themes. First, there are a lot of young mothers in this crowd. Two of the girls got pregnant the first time they had sex! That’s their story, anyway. Also, lots of what I (and LL Cool J) call “around the way girls.” They’re like the girls on the block and they keep it real. Sometimes, too real. Oh, and at one point, Tyra orders Mr. Jay onto the floor and straddles him. She’s acting out some kind of weird Amazon Island ritual that Jeana, who styles herself after drag queens, thought up. Why does Tyra put Mr. Jay through all of that? Because she can.
It’s interesting how the girls have already started to split up into rivalries along the lines of how they look. They’ve picked the girl who looks most similar to them and decided they’re the enemy. Gabrielle has singled out the other biracial girl, Angelea. Krista and Alasia have realized that they are the “chocolate” girls in the competition.
After the panel, the girls are set free in a room of monitors with their pictures on them. When they touched the panel, they found out whether they were eliminated or moving on to the next phase of competition. Of the girls who were eliminated, I was surprised to see the following go: Nida, a very pretty Pakistani girl, who was there hoping to show a new side of Pakistani women. Also, there was tattooed and pierced Danielle. While I didn’t really expect she was going to make it, she got a lot of camera time and I thought she would be hanging around a bit longer.
Know your inner supermodel
The remaining ladies are asked to style themselves after a famous model. I liked this photo competition, because it not only tests whether a girl can pose, but also if she has studied up on the industry. One measures talent, the other measures passion. Alasia cracked me up when she picked Naomi Campbell and Jay told her Naomi Campbell would never pose that way. He then asked her what campaigns Naomi has been in and she couldn’t name any. Fail! The best part was when in her interview (and just keep in mind Naomi was just accused of assault recently), Alasia pleaded to Naomi “not to come after” her. Totally made me laugh.
In the elimination, Tyra announces that the Jays and her couldn’t agree on which 14 girls to keep, so they only picked 12. That has got to sting for the girls who didn’t make it. I pretty much agree with everyone that they cut. Of the girls they kept, my least favorites are Jessica, who bores me; Alexandra, who doesn’t register as a model to me; and Krista, who I think is too skinny. On top of that, Tyra announces that a 13th girl will be joining them in New York City.
In New York City, the girls are joined by an annoying gossip columnist whom I refer to as “he who should not be named.” In exchange for an appearance on “Top Model,” the gossip columnist agreed not to write about celebrity children for six months. I’m shocked he actually did it. Now, he can go away. We meet the 13th girl, Ren, a tattooed “edgy” girl, and then Tyra announces the best part of the show….
Some highlights (hah, pun) and lowlights: The newest contestant, Ren, doesn’t shave under her arms! Ren is a “free spirit who can't be caged,” but she will get her arm pits shaved. Miss Jay had to mow that down. I loved Gabrielle’s new shorter, curly blond! Poor Krista. Tyra just slicked back her hair and gave her a detachable ponytail. That is one recession makeover. The first person to cry was Brenda. Tyra cut off her long red hair and gave her a Hillary Clinton. It was wrong! Then, again, it’s just hair. Angelea lucked out with a blond version of Naomi Campbell’s weave.
After the Ty-overs, the gals move into the model lofts. Angelea quickly begins rubbing the girls wrong. I honestly believe that Angelea has an unfortunate “default” face. That’s the face we have when we’re just being casual. Angelea’s default face looks angry. I think the girls misread her and that’s a problem. She’s extremely easy to set off. Imagine if your default face was angry-looking? You’d be easily annoyed, too.
My top three currently: Naduah, Gabrielle and Ren.
Who are your favorites so far?
-- Jethro Nededog (follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)
Top photo: The top 13 “America’s Next Top Model” contestants. Credit: Jonathan Mannion / Pottle Productions. Bottom photo: Krista, surrounded by J. Alexander, left, and Jay Manuel. Credit: Barbara Nitke / The CW