Show Tracker

What you're watching

« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

'America's Next Top Model' preview: Short stature. Hi, drama!

September 9, 2009 |  8:52 am


"America's Next Top Model" is back tonight for Cycle 13 -- what I've dubbed "ANTM: The Shortie Edition."

The premise: Every girl must be 5 feet 7 or below. I have to admit that I originally thought the idea marked a sad milestone. "ANTM" is finally "jumping the shark." But turns out I could be wrong, because what these gals lack in height they make up for in attitude. The "Thumbelina Complex" is out of control. These girls have been told their entire lives that they could be models if only they were taller. And now, suddenly, they really do have a shot. And let me tell you, they aren't taking it for granted.

It makes sense that Tyra Banks, who claims to have experienced racial and body discrimination herself, would find it her duty to expand the idea of what's beautiful. The show has already had plus-sized models, a transsexual and women of different ethnic backgrounds compete for the title of Top Model. Why not give more petite girls a crack at it too? Tyra told that it took two years for her to convince the producers that they should do a "Shortie Edition" of the show. If I were to judge by looks alone (I get the irony), Tyra seems reinvigorated this cycle. She's looking healthy and the orange-hued locks have given way to a more natural-looking dark brown. She is either feeling great about breaking boundaries once again or she realized during the taping that these girls are ratings gold!

But enough with the tall chicks (so last cycle). I've seen the premiere, so let's get to the shorties, um, petite gals, I think you should keep an eye on tonight:

Nicole, 18, of Louisville, Colo.: Nicole seems stuck in a Prozac-ian daze. Picture Mia Farrow in "Rosemary's Baby" and you've almost got Nicole. I seriously couldn't believe that this girl says her nickname growing up was Bloody Eyeball, because she was born with, well, one bloody eyeball (don't worry, it's cleared up) was able to make it to set, but when the camera is on her, the lights upstairs are suddenly on.

, 18, of Bakersfield: Sundai showed up with layers upon layers of weave. Tyra will take care of that one -- please believe. Sundai seems amazingly even-keeled, even though she survived an abusive childhood and some time in the foster care system. Something tells me she'll shed more than her weave this cycle.

Amber, 18, of Oceanside: Amber is a Bible-thumping energizer bunny on speed. She says she used to be a crazy girl ... used to? She preaches quite a bit. Among the precious nuggets according to Amber: Instead of sex, one should feel the same burning for God. Amber intends to model for God. She and I probably agree on one thing: God hearts Gucci.

Bianca, 21, of Columbia, S.C.: Bianca is bald and bold. She survived an abusive relationship -- the bald head symbolizes her freedom from all that. But while she has very little hair on her head, she has a huge chip on her shoulder. Is there room for another queen bee? I'm not sure the J's will allow that.

Check out tonight’s premiere and we’ll compare notes later.

— Jethro Nededog

Photo credit: CW