TV Talk: America’s Next Top Model
Starring: Tyra Banks, J. Alexander, Jay Manuel, Nigel Barker, Twiggy, 13 wannabe model bitches
Series Creators: Tyra Banks
That’s right, I watch America’s Next Top Model. See? I’m not just a horrible snob! Sure, it’s probably another show that I only watch because my wife wants to watch and were I not with her, I probably wouldn’t. But I do watch, and do get into it.
Before I go any further, I’ll state for the record: no, it’s not a good show. It’s a dumb, dumb show featuring young, dumb girls jumping through hoops and clawing at each other’s throats for a shot at a career in a field that will shun and ridicule them for having been on this show. It features ridiculous set ups that probably don’t resemble anything in the modelling industry. Oh, and did I mention that the contestants are almost always unforgivably vain and stupid?
But, it’s all good fun. Well… it can be. This past season? Cycle seven? Notsomuch. Ultimately, I guess I’m fairly satisfied with how it turned out. If I was pulling for anybody in this thing, it was either Michelle or CariDee, so yay CariDee! She gives me hope that one day I too can conquer my psoriasis and become a top model. Unfortunately, she really wasn’t as good a model as the runner-up, the hateful Melrose, but hey, when has this show ever been a meritocracy?
Of course… it SHOULD be a meritocracy, as it purports to be a contest about finding the best model of the bunch. But this is rarely the case. Instead, it becomes about “who WANTS it more?”, who sucks up to Tyra more, who shows the most improvement, who has the more inspiring story, and, oh yeah, who took a decent picture now and then. This is how it has always been, but this season, it got to be a little much at times.
Cause this season (er… “cycle”), the absolute worst element of the show became unbearable: Tyra Banks. GAWD she’s annoying. As the creator, host, and executive producer of the show, TyraNT ensures that every episode is filled to the brim with her and her perceived awesomeness (of course, it’s less hard for her to FILL an episode now than it used to be, if you catch my drift). Her ego is horribly out of whack, leaving no element in the show without a description of how great she is at this, or how she used to do that. Worse, she wears her biases on her sleeves (when she wears sleeves. And Tyra? Probably time to start wearing more sleeves), keeping undeserving girls in the show longer if they show her the proper amount of genuflecting and awe, or if they’re fall into her personal pet project of getting more big girls into fashion (nevermind that no plus sized model is ever competing with 110 pound models in the same photoshoots and runway shows. It’s patently ridiculous, because they should be judged using different criteria, yet are forced to do the same shoots in similar clothes. Every season a girl with just a little more weight than the other girls has her spirits crushed by having to do the bikini shoots with skinny chicks).
Tyra sucks so much and it’s ruining the show. Sometimes it’s amusing to see her bitch out girls that she doesn’t like for some reason, then try to disguise her hostility by pretending to be giving “constructive criticism”. This season, she hated Jaeda for calling herself “the cutest girl at school”, so she made this already mannish girl look like a boy, then taunted her at every panel about how Jaeda thought she was “the cutest girl at school”. Okay, that was actually kind of fun, since Jaeda sucked so hard and wouldn’t fucking shut up about her haircut, but it didn’t mean that the judges needed to keep her around so much just so Tyra could break her more.
Second to Tyra, the next most annoying part of the show Miss J. Alexander. Would somebody shut his tired ass up already? (S)he used to be a fun element of the show back when Miss J was just the runway coach, but as a judge, (s)he is fucking awful. A gimmick constantly looking for a gimmick, always trying to steal a scene with some retarded, pre-arranged quip that isn’t funny and often makes no sense. Then, to make things extra special, (s)he’s Tyra’s biggest lap dog, and the two of them do stupid shit together that they think is funny, but just bogs down the show away from the drama that should be seeing young girls have their hopes and dreams crushed. The show needs to take him off the panel now.
My favourite part of the show is when they have a guest judge come in, and she or he says what’s plainly obvious to anyone watching the show, like “I don’t see anything in her”, or “she’s a natural, all the best models just have it without knowing they have it”, then TyraNT and the panel ignores them and votes off the natural to keep the loser.
I noticed this season that there seemed to be many instances where Tyra would be addressing a girl at panel (often after they’ve been eliminated, or are about to be eliminated), and the shot wouldn’t show her saying what the disembodied voice is saying. CLASSIC. So what happened there is either A) Tyra said something that made her look stupid, B) Tyra said something that made her look like a bitch, or C) (and most likely) both. Once she had a look at the dailies, she re-recorded something better and they shoe-horned it in, so the almighty Oprah-lite wouldn’t look bad.
One thing I did like about this season is that they got the nudity shoot over with quickly, in the first episode before the 13 contestants were named. It’s always the most tiresome part of any season when some chick refuses to pose nude (or semi-nude). They’ve done six times now, did they really think they were going to get a nudity bye?
Anyway, a show that was never a fine example of quality turned in another bad season, following one that wasn’t so hot either. Could it be that girls with real promise have clued into the fact that none of the former so-called “Top Models” have amounted to shit? Not that it matters much to me, other than the fact that it makes Tyra and company’s self-important shtick look even dumber when the only winner to have gone on to do anything (Cycle one’s Adrienne), went on to become a reality freakshow on The Surreal Life, My Fair Brady, and Playboy. Oh, and the show disavows any knowledge of her existence cause she punked out Tyra in interviews.
Rants? Raves? Disappointment with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts.