Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' Premiere - 'Be My Friend, Tyra!'
Oh mah gawd. GURL. I feel so fierce. And we haven’t even met new judge Andre Leon Talley yet! Could this possibly be the most ferocious cycle of "America’s Next Top Model" yet? I do think so. And welcome to it.
Technically, this is supposed to be Cycle 14. But that’s just the official name. We here at Hitfix hereby declare this season to be Cycle Spell-Your-Name. Alasia, Naduah, Raina, Anslee ... sigh. So much for girls with gentle names like Britney and Hope. Thanks in advance, Tyra. Thanks A LOT.
[Full recap of Wednesday's (March 10) premiere of "America's Next Top Model: Spell-Your-Name" after the break...]
The first episode opens with some sort of mock Web site theme. There’s a fake Web site called MyFiercePage.com, with Mr. Jay, Miss J and Tyra talking to each other on a screen. It’s embarrassing; when you’re Tyra Banks, the only theme you need is Tyra Banks. Soon, Tyra appears on person. The contestants lose it, of course, because that’s what a contestant needs to do to get some camera time. It’s ANTM. You need to scream or get the heck up and out.
First thoughts first: Tyra has lost weight. Fans know this already. The rest of us didn’t. She looks quite righteous, like a giant praying mantis of fashion. Then again, the crop of girls hoping for a shot this season also appear to be particularly attractive. Some examples? Sure!
Krista is African-American, long and lean. She goes on forever and ever. Jeanna and Alexandra are both full figured and, as John Mayer might say, sexual napalm. Angelea got sent back to Buffalo during Cycle 12, but now she’s back for another try. She also looks like Octomom. She’s gotten rid of the plastic nails, but she scares everybody. Let’s not talk about her anymore.
Brittany has a Lara Stone-style Gap tooth, which is almost as awesome as Naduah’s shaved head. Danielle has piercings, and that’s nice, I guess. Alasia has the potential to be the crazy bully; too bad, like the rest of this crowd, she’s amazing looking. If she’d just keep the claws to herself, we might actually like her.
Brenda is a Julianne Moore-type redhead and the adoptee. The obligatory boyish- looking girl this season is a rich Tennessee trust fund baby named Hallie. And Gabrielle is this season’s angry biracial girl. Which begs the question: Gabrielle with a mace, vs. Angelea with a crossbow. Who wins? It’s a fair question; it seems that even Tyra sees the two of them as each other’s competition.
A girl named Simone looks like she’s going to be the resident I-don’t-fit-in-African-
Jessica, from Arkansas, is an 18-year-old mother whose church will have none of it. Brenda, the red-head, has the same story. Both got pregnant the very first time they had sex. Is Tyra trying to tell us something?
When Krista comes into panel, Tyra asks her a very personal question: Why is she not so open to dating white guys? Krista then offers us a very graphic description of her impression of a white guy’s penis. Let’s just put it into two words: Raw meat. We move on.
Whoa, here comes a man-woman named Tatianna; she seems to like lab work more than modeling, which is a shame, because she looks like the glamazons from the 80s.
Oh, no. Terrible revelation about shave-headed Naduah: Her family was a member of a cult, and it’s strongly suggested that she was sexually molested as a child. Nida, meanwhile, is Pakistani. I’m not drawing any similarities between her and Naduah; she just came next. That’s it. Again, let’s move on.
It’s amazing how many women on this show are under 24 and who have children; here’s another one, named Anslee. Tyra is, apparently, eager to show us a ton of young mom contestants so that they’ll cry when they start to miss their babies.
Here comes our first elimination. Twelve contestants will be eliminated now, via the cutesy theme of the fierce Web site thingy.
Nadua and Alasia are in; Jeanna the Diana Ross girl is in. Nida the Pakistani girl got declined, as did Danielle of the pierced everything. Almost all of the other girls mentioned above are also in; thank you, Tyra, for editing your show in such a way that is convenient for recappers.
But the eliminations aren’t over. The girls must now do their own makeup and channel a known supermodel -- someone Mr. Jay can recognize. Only 14 girls will remain after this challenge.
Tatianna tries to embody Megan Fox; too bad Fox is not a supermodel. Alasia makes the rookie mistake of trying to channel Naomi Campbell without knowing a single major Campbell fashion campaign. It’s ugly. Come on, there’s always the 2009 YSL campaign, fool! However, most of the girls really do know their models. Mr. Jay is impressed.
So who makes the final 14? Oh, wow, not 14. The judges could only agree on 12! Ouch! So here they are:
Jessica, the churchy mom
Brenda the Julianna Moore lookalike
Angelea aka, Octomom
But there’s another twist. Another twist! There’s going to be a mystery girl, a 13th girl. WTF? Why?
So here comes our second half. The girls are walking down the street near Madame Tussaud’s, the New York wax museum, when Perez Hilton intercepts them. He brings them into the museum to give them a “tour,” which is, of course, just a reason for Tyra to interrupt everything and make a speech from a balcony. This speech is about that new girl the judges dug up. Her name is Ren. She doesn’t shave her armpits. I’ll let you guess which girl is going to be Stimpy.
Looks like we’re going to do makeovers already! The girls pile into a limo to head to the chopping and the dying and the crying. What are they going to do with Naduah, make her balder?
Speaking of balder, the salon goes to work on Ren’s armpits. The stylists also give her a shag. Gabrielle goes angelic blond. Krista, the 24-year-old who goes on forever with her amazing cheekbones, is given a slicked-back look that she hates. Alexandra gets some boring softness and highlights. Simone the sorority girl gets the sides of her head shaved, which is all kinds of great.
Brenda is apparently too Julianne Moore for Tyra; they give her a Halle Berry/Mia Farrow. She cries, ending the mystery about who will cry during makeover. So Brenda is now no longer Julianne Moore. That’s the bad news. The good news: She is now Molly Ringwald circa 1984.
Naduah just gets her eyebrows bleached; the result is very Alexander McQueen Spring 2010 collection. Angelea is given a weave so massive she looks more Octomom than ever. Raina goes very Liv Tyler dark, as does church mom Jessica. Alasia gets to keep the hair she was trying to hide under a wig.
Oh no way. Two girls crying in one makeover? Anslee, Anslee, Anslee, you have such great bones! Enjoy your short blond cut! Tatianna also goes blond.
The transitions continue! The limo appears again, this time to take the girls to their new home, a loft in NYC. The neighbors just love all the screeching, I’m sure.
Anslee and Angelea reveal themselves as the two people who are so alike they won’t get along. No one likes her negative vibe. Angelea, seriously, we cannot say this enough: You look like Octomom. Doesn’t matter what the argument is; the other girl always wins with us. Speaking of negative, Alasia and Krista get into a verbal smackdown almost instantly as well. Apparently, according to Krista, it has something to do with the two girls’ chocolateness. Our bad; we thought it was their bitchiness.
Next up: The first “official” photo shoot, which involves clothing from designer Custo Barcelona. And not much else.
What'd you think of the new crop of "America's Next Top Model" ladies? Who's fierce?