Wednesday, March 17, 2010

America's Next Top Model (Cycle 14) - 14x01 "Be My Friend, Tyra!"

Heading into this cycle, I was inordinately excited, largely because Cycle 13 was so surprisingly awesome. A lot of my love for the previous cycle was due to the fact that the girl whom I wanted to win actually won; I should mention that as Cycle 13 began, I was on the verge of giving up ANTM altogether, pretty much because the winners since Cycle 6 (exclusive) had been so consistenly iffy as to cast a pall over the insipid entertainment of whole cycles, rendering a show that already awarded a meaningless prize to the winner even less relevant.

  1. Caridee - crazy. Also, the entire cast was weak in terms of modeling and reality tv.
  2. Jaslene - affectless voice, tepid cast, but otherwise, decent winner/season.
  3. Saleisha - her "My Life as a Cover Girl" campaign was disastrous -- she had visible bags under her eyes and she couldn't read copy -- on top of her nepotistic connection to Tyra. And Jenah got royally hosed, spoiling this cycle for me.
  4. Whitney - no winner hit the bottom two more often than her. Also, punker Lauren hated her, which is good enough for me.
  5. McKey - has the distinction of being the show's biggest weirdo who also happened to be completely boring. (She is beautiful, though, and was a way better choice to win than co-finalist Sam.)
  6. Teyona - in her appearance in Cycle 13, every time she talked, I had the feeling cue cards were being held up for her just off-camera. Another tepid cast -- no real villain -- with the possible exception of Creepychan.

And then, Nicole! Who almost single-handedly raised Cycle 13 into awesomeness and stoked my interest in this cycle.

So Cycle 14. First, I'm appalled that there exists any criticism for Tyra's cringeworthy themes when she introduces herself, this time involving "social networking" and her site. If this show does anything, it's to debase its contestants, and Tyra is not above holding herself up to ridicule, intentional or not. (Remember Super Smize, the all-time most agonizingly amazing 3 minutes of television?)

Second, early favorites:

  • Naduah, in spite of/because of her weird, indeterminate accent, and her amazing eyes. And for having a shaved head. Bad on Tyra, though, for bleaching her eyebrows. Bleached eyebrows are never a good look.
  • Gabrielle, though I don't know how I feel about her Shakira Ty-over.
  • Ren, AKA Ringer. Kind of miffed that they shaved her pits, to be honest.

Third, Krista deserves some love for not dating white men because their pink penises remind her of raw meat.

Fourth, I'm actually impressed with the overall working knowledge of this cast -- Gabrielle and Naduah both picked non-obvious models to emulate, while the rest of the girls at least managed to evoke their more obvious inspirations, except Alasia, of course, whom I naively expected to miss the final cut. Of course, I saw why she made it to the model house after getting smack dab into the middle of the first pointless fight of the season, even displacing Angelea as the source of tension. Wonderful.

Indie rating: Spiritualized - "Out of Sight"

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