So then: two episodes in, and I think I feel more remote from the girls than is usual at this point in a cycle -- my off-the-cuff feeling is that it's down to the format of the first episode, which dispensed with ANTM's old standby of letting the girls run free during the semifinals, and mostly jumped right into the competition (ignoring of course some logistically tricky considerations, like what happened to the semifinalist girls who thought they made it onto the show, or were they in on the joke ("joke")?). Without an episode devoted to letting girls snipe at each other in a relatively freeform environment, we didn't get to see personalities develop to quite the same degree, so at this point I still have a hard time getting a handle on who all these girls are (especially the influx of blondes this time around).
(I ought to mention that I've usually complained about how bloated the semifinal episodes are and wished that we'd get straight to the competition -- i.e. err, oops.)
So far, the way I have of keeping the girls sorted from each other is to graft onto them the personalities of past contestants they seem to resemble. For instance, because she looks like Analeigh from Cycle 11, Hannah is now some "peace-loving hippie chick." Jaclyn is a mix of Cycle 13's Laura (country twang) and Cycle 14's Raina (heart-shaped baby face). Finally, Dominique is a melange of Cycle 12's Fo (freckles) and Tahlia (round face), and the stank attitude of Dominique (Cycle 10) -- which comes together into this Dominique's take on a dour-faced and perpetually angry Doraemon.
Something odd I noticed about Jaclyn's picture this week, which I noticed because I really dislike when girls don't have any eyebrows:
But during the show, we get a wide shot (as ALT is talking) in which we can see Jaclyn's photo on a screen in the background, and, well...
EYEBROWS. SEXY EYEBROWS.
As much as Jaclyn was trying to hide from Alexandria's random wrath, I am hoping like rilly hard that (and cannot wait for) the two of them to get into a ridiculous fight. Oh please make that happen, Tyra.