Saturday, September 6, 2008

And so it begins... ANTM Cycle 11

I have been a Reality TV whore since it's inception and religiously follow some of the oldies but goodies such as Survivor and America's Next Top Model. I wish I could say that I followed American Idol but, as a former music major, I find it painful and can't help but wonder at the psychological damage inflicted on these kids. Or maybe they don't care. Anyway, having never been a "survivor" or a model I revel in their woes, laugh at their pain and blog about the outcomes.

Cycle 11 of ANTM started off with a shock - or should I say and interstellar Big Bang? I suppose I shouldn't have been too surprised by the overloaded campy-ness of the Top Model Institute of Technology. Seeing the two Jays dressed as space androids was amusing, but more amusing was the thought of the stage direction required to get the girls to squeal at the "special effects" like Tyra beaming up Scotty-style. All of the added special effects were so low-budget they reminded me of Doctor Who circa 1980 - and that's not a compliment, producer people!

The interviews were an interesting mix of silliness, sexiness, awkwardness, buffoonery and of course lectures from Tyra. Right off the bat I take an immediate dislike to Clark and a shine to Sheena. Analeigh vaguely reminds me Denise Richards, Brittany S. (McKey) has a bizarre low-lip thing going on when she talks, Marjorie reminds me of a white-blonde Audrey Tautou (from the movie Amelie), and Isis is a she-male without an agenda. Hannah is from Alaska (and I can already tell I'm going to get tired of hearing about THAT), Joslyn and her squeaky high voice are endearing in a goof-ball way and Elina is not gender-specific when it comes to love (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

And OMG it's Whitney's "My Life As A Covergirl" commercial! It's terrible, but not nearly as bad as Jaslene - anyone remember that? Holy cow, if ever subtitles were needed it was for Jaslene's commercials. Still, Whitney seems to have embraced her plus-size and resisted the temptation to conform. Way to go big girl!

Ok, enough of the first hour - out of the 35 girls only 14 were chosen and the rest left in tears. Lots of different ethnicities, nationalities and a she-male, but no plus sized girls this go around. Let's get on with the next hour!

After the obligatory race through the house while screaming, the girls finally settle down and begin to diss on Isis. Frankly, I like Isis - she handles the bitchy-ness with self possession and confidence. Marjorie kinda freaks out. Alot. And her nervous energy comes out in arm spasms and stutters. I fear for her down the road - she's pretty, but her lack of confidence could end up hurting her at panel.

Next up is a trip to the Magic Castle where they are once again given an opportunity to run while squealing. Apparently the point of this exercise was to give the models a chance to meet the judges face-to-face. ShaRaun told all of the judges that she IS America's Next Top Model and it didn't go over well with any of them. Joslyn charmed the pants off of Ms. Jay and Isis impressed Nigel with her light-knowledge. Some of the girls were clueless and others asked for advice. Then it's back to the house for SWAG! Nothing like free shoes, dresses and hand bags to make a girl feel pretty!

The theme of the photo shoot was political issues. Natch. Tyra does like to start off the girls with something designed to make them think. Remember Cycle 8 where Kathleen didn't know how she felt about fur? This time around Clark was confused about bureaucracy. Poor silly little girls, is it not enough that they're expected to know the ins and outs of fashion? Must they study current events as well?

Over all I think that Marjorie, Isis and Elina rocked the shoot. Clark, Hannah, ShaRaun seemed a little lost. Sheena (with blue lipstick) had to be counseled on hootch, Joslyn was "Tyra Banks Hot," and McKey used her background in boxing to fight for the environment!

What did the judges think? The first critique was actually pretty gentle! Maybe they like to break-in the girls a little before ripping them an new one. There were a few jabs at the girl's choice of attire and a few pokes at poses but (surprisingly) they slathered compliments on most of the pictures!

They picked Marjorie first - let's hope that boosts her confidence level! Isis, McKey, Joslyn and Elina were also ranked high. Nikeysha, and ShaRaun were in the bottom two and Tyra had to decide who to keep: the girl that can't take a critique or the overly cocky girl who rubbed everyone the wrong way. In the end, ShaRaun's cocky attitude annoyed the judges so much they didn't want to give her another chance. Yet more proof that what the judges seek in a model is the ability to take great pictures combined with a healthy sprinkling of ass-kissing. Take Note!

Next time on ANTM: Racism! Looks like Hannah from Alaska could be in trouble! Stay Tuned!

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