Angelo Sgambati/Pottle Productions Inc/CW
Angelo Sgambati/Pottle Productions Inc/CW
Did you stay home on a Friday night to watch the America's Next Top Model season premiere? Well, we did. The question is, will anyone else want to as the weeks go on?
The Friday slot is one of the first signs that Top Model may be in the bottom two itself. Stakes are high this season, as it's clear the producers have been lighting a fire under Tyra Banks' booty tooch to make the show relevant again.
Gone is the relationship to Vogue Italia, replaced with the promise of a photo shoot in Nylon magazine. Tyra seems to be slowly understanding that she is not sending the fashion world its next Kate Moss but instead entertaining a bunch of 15-year-old girls who looove draaaama with a parade of gap-toothed, knock-kneed, offbeat beauties who say all kinds of off-color things. The rest of us figured that out a long time ago.
This season's premiere marks the very first ever college edition of Top Model, with Tyra promising a "H2T [head to toe] makeover" for the whole shebang. Let's see how many times she pushes people to try to make the phrase H2T a thing. Oh, Pot Ledom, you backward show you.
One of the first dramatic changes was the scrapping of the panel of judges we've all turned to for sacred opinions for all these years. Jay Manuel, J. Alexander and Nigel Barker, it's been real. Now we get Johnny Wujek, the stylist who puts candy on Katy Perry's lady parts, and Rob Evans, a male model with a British accent who more than replaces the straight, leery-man sex appeal we used to get from Barker.
"I'm pretty much the same age as these girls, so I can vibe with them on a different level," Evans tells the camera. We know what vibe is a secret code for, right?
The show kept Kelly Cutrone, much to these coed lovelies' dismay. One contestant even calls her "Cutthroat Cutrone."
The show starts with a walk-off as we get to meet the grab-bag of ladies Tyra has scoured the whole country/Internet to find. Rob drools a lot, butts get blurred in skimpy bikinis and walks get criticized. It all feels very familiar.
WHO WE MEET
Destiny is a clear favorite. Coming from a group home, Destiny reports that friends "bought me clothes to get here. I have nothing." Her background is rough, but luckily for her she has strong brows, a Disney Princess face and a story that is perfect for reality TV. We're rooting for you, Destiny.
Speaking of Disney Princesses, we also get to meet a lady named Jasmine. Jasmine's nickname is Kitty, and she literally speaks mostly in meows.
Then there's Leila, who the judges think looks like a gap-toothed Kristen Stewart. Enough said.
Another frontrunner is Kiara, a musclebound basketball player with a true phoenix-from-the-ashes story. After running away from her abusive childhood home, she managed to win a scholarship and get her life on the track she knew she deserved. She makes The Spice Girls' version of girl power seem feeble.
Yvonne is representing for the plus-size ladies of the world, and Rob Evans is clearly very down.
Finally, there's Victoria, a sort of poor man's, Keira Knightley, who is proud of her home-schooled upbringing—always a sign of creepiness behind closed doors. Tyra asks her to respond to people on Facebook who called her face "boring," and she retorts that because she is part Jewish and part Native American, "Our people were led off on the Trail of Tears and the Holocaust, so if you have a problem with my face, you're racist." You can see Tyra wince.
Then there's Kristin, a cookie-cutter hot blonde whose picture got the most likes on Facebook. She believes the world revolves around her and "you can just be pretty" without bringing anything else to the table. Good luck, we guess.
Our last notable pick is Jessie, a short-haired, pixie-ish nerd who mumbles that some guy at Trader Joe's asked her to model once so…fate, huh?
WHO MAKES IT?
All the girls that we mentioned made it (of course), except for Jasmine, who responds to her rejection with a bunch of sweet meows that further hint she has lost a certain connection with reality. Jasmine, we'll miss your whole new world of crazy.
The top 13 rush into their "sorority house" and learn about their room assignments. They've been divided into a geek room, a sports room and a pink room. Oh, the archetypes the modern woman must fit into. All the rooms look like they were designed by someone who got fired by Target's dorm team, but the girls seem not to mind as they cry, booty tooch and sing together.
If Top Model is a sinking ship, these girls are as good a crew as any to go down with.
"I used to be a mean girl…I wouldn't say I'm always a mean girl but I wouldn't have a problem putting someone in their place." -—Kristin
"You look a little like a publicist to me." —Wujek tells contestant Laura, which makes Kelly Cutrone giggle and Tyra attempt to fix her look by literally pouring water on her head and dragging her shirt sleeves off her shoulders.
"You're the evil queen, honey. You're not a princess." —Tyra
"I like that she…doesn't know how she's going to eat" —Tyra
"No, I'm the boss." —Kelly to a contestant with a "Boss" tattoo on the inside of her lip
"My name is Jasmine, also known as Kitty. I like to meow. Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow."
"You have a booty that doesn't need to tooch because it's already tooching itself." —Tyra to Yvonne