Having said that, however, I’ve been a loyal watcher of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL since the first season… excuse me, CYCLE. While catching a VH1 marathon rerun of the first round, I was amused by how much the show has changed over the years since before Tyra’s ego and self-proclaimed fat ass have inflated to zeppelin-proportions. Early on, the show actually seemed to be about learning to model more than creating FEAR FACTOR-esque stunt shoots for the girls, loading every segment with product placement and most of all, pumping up Miss Banks’ outta wack sense of self.
That first season featured three Christian girls (the worst being Robin, the huge-hipped proselytizer who didn’t like gay people and refused to pose naked), the brainy, but cynical Elyse, and of course, the future Mrs. Peter Brady, tomboy rocker Adrianne, who was my favorite from the get-go. Over the years, I was able to pick the winner from the first episode a handful of times. I pegged Yoanna (Cycle 2), Eva (3), Nicole (5) and CariDee (7).
I made my prediction for this cycle in the first episode, and six eliminations (plus one resignation) in, I still stand by my choice.
I think that this cycle, Tyra, champion of the chunky, is finally going to get her winning plus sized model in the person of Whitney.
Because unlike other seasons, the token Size 10 is actually a legitimate plus size girl, with proper proportions and an overall healthy look. Previous seasons, the purported “plus size” models were almost all simply (forgive me) fat chicks. The fact that Whitney seems to be fairly intelligent and eloquent can’t hurt.
Last cycle, my pick was Heather, the girl with Asperger’s Syndrome… until the episode came where she had to do some acting. America’s Next Top Model needs to at least semi-convincingly (the best most of them have mustered) read some Cover Girl copy in front of a camera.
Still, it is kinda funny that not one of the nine previous America’s Next Top Models have actually become an American Top Model. Aside from their year’s worth of Cover Girl ads and the promised magazine spreads and resultant initial publicity, most of the girls seem to remain struggling models. Of course, the most famous winner was Adrianne, but her post-ANTM success revolved around boning and then marrying Peter Brady after appearing on another reality show, THE SURREAL LIFE, which, ironically, is about tossing a bunch of has-beens and never-wases into a house together.
But delusion is the fuel of reality TV, and despite the fact that ANTM has never yielded a genuine TM, I’ve no doubt it will continue to provide seasons… dammit, CYCLES of hilarious and pitiable narcissism; Vanity masquerading as awkwardness, young model mothers proclaiming their moral superiority, hypocritical Christian proselytizers, wide-eyed waifs who can’t believe they’re in (insert foreign land here) and delusional egotists who refer to themselves in the third person, all screaming sycophantically at the Fierce Queen of Narcissism and Useless Advice herself, the great and powerful Tyra!!!
Oh, and I hate Dominique.