Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tonight Top Model kicked off a new Cycle, promising to be full of drama and possibly a few catfights. The evening started off with the Top 30 Semi-finalists going to the "Top Model Institute of Technology." I thought the futuristic theme was pretty creative, but what was up with Mr Jay's dyed silver hair? I like Ms. Jay's silver wig much better! The highlight of the technology theme, though, was when the Glaminator 11.0 started to freak out and overload... and then out comes Tyra bot. No one could possibly say that she doesn't have a sense of humor... and a bit of a freak inside of her.
At the Top Model Institute, we got to watch each girl walk down the runway. The ones that stood out the most to me were Sheena and Joslyn. Sheena because she unzipped her outfit a little at the top which was so funny to me, and then Joslyn because Jay and Jay just KNEW she was gonna twirl... and twirl she did.
Of course, we also got introduced to the contestants when they went in for an interview with the Jay's and Tyrabot. First off, let me say that there are three Brittany's this cycle. Brittney B. (later to become Sharaun) was first up, and she made a bad first impression because she couldn't even name a single fashion designer. Ignorance of the industry never made anyone popular with Tyra. We learned some interesting facts about other contestants, like the fact that Lauren's dad is a cop, Analeigh was almost sold to a Saudi Arabian man, and Kacey, my very least favorite of the semi-finalists, used to have white friends. Why doesn't she have them anymore? The judges asked her the same thing. Her response was that her white friends didn't understand why she couldn't swim with them. Kacey was constantly making dumbass comments like that throughout the first hour. ("I'm not ghetto. Ghetto to me is like Kineesha, Shineesha.")
On a side note, is anyone else tired of the way some girls walk into their interview screaming? I'm so over that already. Ahhh! It's Tyra!!! Yeah... and you knew you were about to meet her... and you look like an idiot on your first impression. And I have to mention Hanna's interview because it was classic Tyra. Hanna talked about how in Alaska, she had once been chased by a moose. Tyra told her to reenact this event with Tyra as the moose and Hanna running away "fierce". She was terrible, so Tyra switched the roles and turned on her charm. It looks like Tyra has maybe gained some weight this season, but she's still gorgeous. The only other interview I think worth mentioning is Susan, the recent Harvard graduate who studied English and American Literature, and yet could not name a single heroine from a novel. WTF?
Okay, with that off my chest, I will move on to the most press-worthy contestant this season, Isis. As everyone has known for weeks, Isis is ANTM's first transgender contestant. What I didn't know before was that she was one of the models in the homeless shoot from last cycle. Looking back on those pictures, it was obvious that the girl can take some great photos. She was also very upfront and open about who she is and she clearly is not on the show to make a social comment, she's just truly wanting to be a top model and is going to do her best like everyone else.
Of course, when the other girls found out that Isis was born male, most of them freaked out and immediately became defensive and judgmental. They bombarded her with questions about it throughout the episode, but I thought Isis was very down to earth and not uncomfortable with her situation at all. The best quote this week is when someone asked her, How do you hide it? She responded, "The magic of tape." That had me laughing. Isis confessed that she was eager to have the surgery to make her transformation complete, but had so far been unable to do it. Wouldn't that be crazy if the show had it done for her? Like the way they fixed Joanie's teeth way back when? I wonder how long it takes to recover from a major surgery like that though.
Anyway, the judges made one cut from 30 down to 20, and it was brutal. Last year I think they just had them find a bag and open it all together to see if their picture was in it or not. This year, they made each girl walk up to a scanner in front of everyone else and when they placed their hand on it, Tyra Bot's voice said either "Access Granted" or "Access Denied". Right away, all 30 girls were smiling and confident. However, after the first girl heard the dreaded words, everyone who had not gone yet suddenly started fidgeting and swallowing hard, some trying to hang on to a small fake smile, but showing their nerves through it anyway. After the cuts were made, the 20 girls remaining had to do a photoshoot where they only had five minutes to change into a blue metallic catsuit and put on their own makeup. There were balls on the set, and wanting to be different, some of the girls just did the dumbest things with the balls. They held them over their head, they sat on them, they laid down on them, they bounced on them... it was awful. The best pictures ended up being the girls that focused on the silver backdrop and made the picture more about them than a ball.
In the end, Alpha Jay, Beta Jay, and Tyra bot looked over all of the pictures and chose their final 14 contestants. With a fierce look and a smile in her eyes, Tyra declared, "Let us beam fiercely" and they were immediately beamed away to the final cut of the semi-final round. Once again, the girls were happy and smiling, until they saw that they were not called first. Then, the hard swallowing and nervous smiles started coming onto the scene. By the time Tyra called Isis' name and then said, "Only two girls left," some of the remaining models just broke down and started crying. Kacey, who had nothing but awful comments about everything when she opened her mouth, looked positively offended that Isis made the final cut, and she was already crying when Tyra got to the final two. Clark and Joslyn were the last two called, and that brought us to the 14 that will compete this year for the title of America's Next Top Model.
It was almost joyful for me to watch Kacey break down and start sobbing, "I'm so confused!" Really? Maybe next time try not being a completely bigotted bitch and actual develop some good characteristics in your personality. Heeeeyy!
So, with the finalists chosen, the second hour of the premiere included all of the fun first episode traditions. The girls got to see their house, screaming all the while. (They are starting in LA this year.) It turned out that all 3 Brittany's ended up in the finals, so Brittany B started calling herself Sharaun, and Brittany S. became McKey. Brittany R just got to stay Brittany. I will say this... anything is better than last year when Aimee became Amis. I still don't know what the hell she was thinking there.
I know I already picked my favorite quote this week, but since it was two hours long, I have to include another one... Mr. Jay greeted the finalists with this insightful statement: Alright, we've got 14 lucky bitches here in LA.
Well said Mr. Jay. Of course, after moving into the house, there was more drama about Isis being born a man. To me, honestly, Marjorie is more boy than the boy. Sharaun really did not impress me with her ugly comment that "A drag queen is not going to win Top Model" Hasn't she ever seen To Wong Fu, With Love, Julie Newmar?? Isis is not a drag queen. Clark and Hanna also had their private moment of judgmental attitudes when they confessed to each other that "Isis has no place in this competition" and "We're not being close-minded, we're just traditional." Haha, very funny Clark. The sad thing is that Clark was one of my number one picks from the website before the show aired, but now, I want her gone. She's a real b-i-t-c-h.
In the next scene, the models went to the Magic castle, where they were faced with yet another cheesy, gimmicky intro to a day in ANTM. For the first time, each model got a one on one with each of the judges (minus Tyra), which is a HUGE chance to make your best impression. Who managed to make the worst impression? Sharaun. She walked in to every judge and said, "I'm Sharaun, and I AM America's Next Top Model." Most of them just looked at her like, who the hell are you? Nigel was most impressed with Isis, although he did say, "There seems to be something unusual about her though." He's so perceptive.
Samantha made a super good impression on Paulina, which isn't easy to do. And I think Joslyn and Ms. Jay bonded at their one on one. It's good to see some of the girls made the most of the experience. When they returned home, they were each given gifts of new shoes and new clothes, which was really cool. They were also greeted by Tyra mail saying "Fashion isn't the only agenda."
What other agenda were they going to find out about? Voting. Tyra is very passionate about the voting issue and the race for President this year, so she had past favorite photographer, Mike Rosenthal do a shoot about making voting sexy. Some girls, like Joslyn and Samantha really nailed it. (Jay even said to Joslyn, "That was almost Tyra Banks hot.") Others totally blew it... like Clark for example. First of all, each girl was given a different reason why people should vote. Clark landed with beaurocracy, and she had no idea what it meant. It was hilarious when she asked McKey what it was, and McKey laughed and said, "I'm not going to tell you." Then, of course, Clark made fun of McKey's photo shoot, which is ironic because at panel, the judges LOVED McKey and hated Clark's photo.
The worst part of the whole shoot though was Isis' shoot. Not because of Isis, who was fierce, but because of the girls who were "extras" in the shot, who were standing behind her saying things like "You need to shave, you're all sweaty." and other ugly insinuations about her being a man at one time. I totally fell in love with Isis at that moment because instead of being a diva and tattling on them or letting them interupt her shoot, she just turned around and said, "I wouldn't do that. Please don't." and kept right on posing. When she got to panel, she really showed the others by producing one of the best shots of the week. (Called second!)
At panel, one of the most exciting announcements was that the girl who gets called first each week is going to have her picture displayed digitally in the house for everyone to see all week. This week, Marjorie was called first, which was actually a surprise. Most of the judges LOVE her, adore her, etc... but Nigel sees a ball of nerves, which is what I see. She's very neurotic and insecure. She definitely needs to find some confidence after being called first this week. Isis was called second, which made me cheer.
As for the bottom two, Tyra called Nikeysha and Sharaun to the front. Of course, Sharaun was floored and crying because she expected to be number one. To be honest, though, her picture was terrible. She did not look at all like a model. She looked like a bad stripper. Nikeysha's picture wasn't so terrible, but the reason she was in the bottom two was because she interrupted every single criticism the judges had with some excuse as to why she didn't do it right. One thing I love about ANTM is they just don't put up with excuses. The only one who even had an excuse this week would have been Isis, but she never faltered or lost her concentration. I was really proud of her.
Sharaun, the girl who was so cocky by telling each judge that she was already the winner, they just didn't know it yet, realized that she made herself look like a fool. Tyra called Nikeysha's name, making Sharaun the first one eliminated. She immediately fell to the floor sobbing, but Tyra had no tears for Brittany/Sharaun. She hugged her and told her flat out... "This is not just about wanting it, it's about being real."
I am already looking forward to next week when beautiful and bi-sexual Elina ends up kissing Clark in the hot tub. It should be hot! And, one of the things I have said leading up to this premiere is that I hope people don't make this season all about the transgender contestant, cause that will get real old. However, I loved Isis and will be cheering her on from now on. Who do I predict as the final winner of this cycle? I think Samantha might have a really good shot. Joslyn also would be my second choice, with Isis close behind.
Who do you like best? Are you charmed by Marjorie's quirks? Or just annoyed? What did you think of Clark's attitude? Did you think Sharaun deserved to go home? Talk it up all week here and on the cwtv.com.