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Category Archives: America’s Next Top Model

In the two hour premiere of America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 11, we got to see the judges narrow down their initial semi-final group of 30 down to just 14 finalists.  I would take the time to mention the 16 girls who went home in the first hour, but why bother?  Unless one of them pulls a Jaslene and ends up winning next year’s show, we’ll probably never see them again.  And let me say, Kacey is the main one I wouldn’t want to see again!  Have you ever seen a more rude and judgmental contestant on this show?  She was awful, and I was cheering when she cried at the end of the first hour saying, “I’m so confused!”

After the semi-final eliminations, the episode got down to business, with the 14 girls moving to their new house in LA.  Of course, they all screamed and bonded over how fabulous they all are.  Then, they mostly ganged up on Isis, the show’s first transgender contestant.  After a million questions, they finally broke off into groups.  Clark and Hanna immediately made me dislike them as they huddled in a corner and talked about how “Isis has no business on this show.”  I wanted to scream at the TV… how could you possibly say that you are a better judge of that than Tyra is?  McKey, however, made a friend in me when she befriended Isis in the pool.  I’m sure that Isis has lived a life of confusion and prejudice for a long time, and for her to appear in front of the whole reality TV watching world and be confident and go after her dreams, is something that is truly inspiring.

The rest of the episode consisted of what we’ve come to expect from top model… an interesting fashion shoot.  Oh, and for the first time, each model got a face to face with each of the panel judges.  You would think they would have put their best foot forward and make the most of that rare opportunity.  Right away, Sharaun earmarked herself for disaster by boldly and snobbily declaring to each judge, “Hi, I’m Sharaun, and I am America’s Next Top Model.”  I could practically see a bubble over Paulina’s head saying, “I’ll be the judge of that.”

Now, getting back to the photo-shoot.  This year’s first shoot was about voting, which is a very appropriate topic what with the recent nomination of our first African American candidate on a major party ticket and the first female VP candidate for Republicans.  The 2008 election is a historic event in our country, and Tyra feels passionately that it is our responsibility to vote.  Here! Here!

Each girl got to portray a different reason to vote:  Health Care, Military, Education, Beaurocracy (which, by the way, Clark who was given this topic had no clue what it meant.  The red tape behind her in the shoot gave her a hint, but she still looked totally lost on her film.  Is anyone else already voting for her to head home soon?  Me!!)  Some of the best ones in front of the camera were Joslyn, whom Jay declared “Tyra hot” and Marjorie, who somehow overcame her nerves to bring out a fierce shot, as well as Brittany, the half black, half Native American beauty, and Isis, who was bravely able to tune out the assholes behind her saying all kinds of ugly and derogatory things and pull off an amazing shot.  The worst of the bunch this week were Clark and Sharaun.  The only thing that saved Clark from the final two was the fact that Nikeysha couldn’t keep her trap shut in front of the judges and kept interrupting to give excuses for why her shot wasn’t fantastic.  And we all know how this panel reacts to excuses… you end up in the bottom 2.  Everyone else, just kind of skated by and didn’t make too much of an impression on me.  Oh wait!  I forgot to mention hoochy Harlem girl, Sheena.  She is Asian, talks black, and is Sexy with a capital S.  I think we’ll see better things from her in the future.  Elina was also beautiful in her picture, but I think she can do better.

In the end, Sharaun was sent packing.  She fell to the floor sobbing, but Tyra just told her that she wasn’t real, and a model has to be real.  I’m not sure where last year’s winner Whitney fits in there, because she was consistently pretty fake in panel and on camera, but I won’t go there.  Whitney has a beauty that Sharaun just doesn’t have.  I wonder if Sharaun was watching tonight and saying, “Oh god, why did I have to say I was gonna win so many times?”

I am definitely looking forward to this season, because I think there are a lot of girls this year who take amazing photographs.  There are some unique and beautiful faces, and I can’t wait to see what craziness Tyra comes up with for their photo shoots.  Hey, nothing can be as bad as the water baby fiasco from Cycle 10!  Be sure to check back here for commentary.  Also, there is a great blog over at www.antmrecaps.blogspot.com with all the fine details of the episode and all the dirt on the girls as we go through the season.