If so, then I think tonight’s season premiere of America’s Next Top Model may be a prime example, as the episode went by extremely fast and at the end, I was left feeling like not much had transpired. Of course, it’s always lovely to have this traveling circus of crazy back on my TV for a few months each year, but “Nicki Minaj” felt like a two-hour premiere dressed up as a one-hour episode. Let me explain.
For starters, the fact that Brittany was sent home for rather arbitrary reasons is a little bit bogus, especially when the “challenge” wasn’t even acknowledged as a challenge until after it was completed. Had the show been longer, there could have been an official challenge to go along with the surprise panel challenge to give the judge’s another metric to look at when deciding who goes home, but instead, each girl got a second in front of panel, one very quick backyard photo shoot, and that was that. It felt like a total cop out by the judges; if we’re going to make Top Model a popularity contest, why not go ahead and open it up to live phone voting? How are they really supposed to decide who goes home with that little information?
Aside from the fact that there was too much to do and too little time to do it, the live judging panel was a bit of a bust. In theory, it’s fabulous, as having a lively crowd can enhance even the dullest of affairs. However, with the too-lengthy introductions of each girl (that rehashed some of the “previously on Top Model” video we saw earlier), having all 14 girls stop to slap hands and play to the crowd, and the poor sound, it felt like a lot of time was eaten up on things that were superfluous. The crowd’s energy was generally pretty nice, but all the cheering and histrionics of the panel made each critique very brief and unsubstantial. The best judge on panel tonight? Easily Nicki Minaj, which is a surprise considering she was giving me Yetta from The Nanny on top and Christmas wrapping paper on the bottom; she may have been a little too negative, but I saw what she was saying and she knew how to critique a photo quite well.
Despite the wonky pacing and poor judging, it was just good to see these girls again and there wasn’t really any interpersonal drama to speak of, though Bianca, Shannon, and Alexandria didn’t come off the best. The judges seem to be taken with sour puss Bianca and delusional as ever Alexandria, so I doubt that the polarizing models will be going anywhere anytime soon. Both may be talented, but are they talented enough to overlook some serious attitude problems that haven’t went away since their respective seasons? Shannon, though, may have a larger issue than simply being mean one episode, as her stance against nudity has expanded to not wanting to wear a pair of underwear bottoms. Not because they show too much, but because only her husband sees her in underwear.
Setting aside the obvious confusing morality of this decision (the bathing suit bottom covered much less and it’s not like they were asking her to pose in her underwear), I can’t seem to shake the feeling that this will come to bite her in the butt. (Irony thy name is TyTy Baby.) The judges won’t take kindly to that type of insubordination again, so Shannon may be going back to her agents in Chicago sooner than we might have expected.
While tonight’s premiere of Top Model may not go down in the record books as an all-time great show, it was serviceable enough to set the tone for this season. Past seasons of the show have wavered between focusing on personality, modeling ability, and versatility, but America’s Next Top Model: All-Stars seems like it’ll be rewarding the hustlers with a clearly defined identity. The name of the game is star power, baby, and all the sharp angled poses, trendy jump suits, and boundless energy won’t change the fact that Top Model isn’t just looking for someone that wants to be on top. It’s looking for someone that will be on top.
Thoughts, Quotes, & Observations:
- “Is Obama coming or something?”
- Challenges this season will include “make your own song and a music video for that song” and an acting exercise with a role on CSI as a prize.
- Before callout, I thought that Lisa and Shannon would be bottom two. Shows how much I know. Kudos to the Top Model editors for not completely giving the outcome away.
- For those of you looking to expand your vocabulary, this cycle will be the introduce on Pot Ledom and the formalized stamp of approval for Booty Tooch. For the latter, there is a song. No, really.
- Is this the first house without photos of Tyra plastered all over? I was a little taken aback by the house decor, but I like the photos chosen and the house has a gorgeous backyard.
- “Twinkle, twinkle, I’m a star”.
- “You are the mermaid, darling!” Hello, new daily affirmation.
- If you want to read what a Top Model-meets-Harry Potter type of book would be like, check out Tyra’s Modelland that was recently released.
- After one episode, the favorites look to be Allison, Isis, and Angelea, though panel found something positive to say about pretty much everybody.
- The live judging panel format would have worked better during a final 2/final 3 situation. No?
- Nigel! With hair! (Swoon.)
- Bre! With short hair! Uh-dorable.
- Dominique! Who is 95% weave! (And looks great for having a baby two months ago.)
- Isis’s shoes at the live panel were ferocious. Love.