It’s time for a brand new season of America’s Next Top Model, marking it’s 16th season on the air.  What’s that you say?  This show has run out of ideas?  It’s stale and forced at this point?  What? How dare you!  This show is completely new and refreshing!  This season’s group of painfully naive, bony 20 year olds are totally different from last seasons painfully naive, bony 20 year olds!



Before this season gets off and running, and we get on to the first judges’ panel, I’d thought I’d help everyone out by providing a handy vocabulary guide to all the modeling terms that Tyra and The Legion of Jays frequently use on this show.  I give you The Top Model Translator:

“Fiercely Real” :  Anyone plus-sized

“Plus-sized”  Anything above a size 4

“Androgynous”:  Short hair

“Edgy”:  Short hair and a tattoo

“Catalouge-look”: Natural Blonde

“Mall-look” Bleach blonde

“All-American-look”  Blonde and doesn’t know who Karl Lagerfeld is.

“Dreckitude”  Hideous, painful to look at

“Smizing” Smiling with your eyes


Reality television’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Miss Jay and Jay Manuel, are waiting at the airport to meet the newest batch of teenage headcases. They meet everyone on the runway and have them walk their walk, which all seems par for the course.  Walk, scrutinize, eliminate, just as the show has done since it first came on the air in the early 1500s, during the reign of Sigismund I.

Right off the bat, the Jays have a problem. There is a big concern about a model named Mikaela being “way too sexy!”  Yes, right after revolution in Egypt and global warming, we’re all shitting our pants about that.

Next up is “Kasia”, a plus size model, who Tyra calls “fiercly real”.  She’s plus-sized because she’s not a size 0.  (Attention Women Everywhere: Upon seeing Kasia and hearing her described as “plus-sized”, my roommate, a red-blooded, all-American male sat up and excalaimed “What? She’s not ‘plus-sized!!!’” You’re welcome)

But what no one knows is that Tyra and Pinky and The Brain have been secretly vetting out their favorites.  At the end of the walk, the girls all got to a roof top party, where they meet Trya.  They get envelopes that hold their fate; the ones with out their pictures have to pack their bags and go home. That includes the girls Team Tyra has chosen for the finals:  Hannah, Molly, Jacyln, Dalya, Monique, Sara, Angelina, Brittanni,  Nicole, Dominique, Alexandria, Ondrei, Kasia and Mikaela.   Those names sound like models.  Or the offspring of Emperor Xerxes. But instead of finding out they are advancing, the girls all think they’ve been cut. Oh no!

Brittani cries that “this was my life! I don’t have a job!”  Because obviously the only thing you can do at all is model or be unemployed.  How dare society deny her of her dreams and force her to work at Forever 21.

“We’re nothing to anybody anymore,” announces one rejected model, as she sees her luggage sadly tossed into the basement to await their exit.   Will Cather could not have described the sheer disposability of youth and beauty more succintly.

But wait, there’s a twist!!

Tyra comes down to say goodbye and spends about an hour and half telling them about her struggle and how agents rejected her and modeling companies rejected her and designers rejected her and magazines rejected her and how space aliens from the planet Glork tried to reject her BUT SHE STOOD UP AND SAID NO, I WILL SURVIVE AND BE STRONG AND BE A MODEL, OK?

Then Tyra proved than she can be more heartless and evil creative than anyone expects her to be, when she reveals that they are not the ones who got cut…they’re the ones who made the cut! Yippee! Except, wait, what about those girls upstairs who were told they made it?  Either some equity actresses got a sweet payday for this or there was a rash of mass suicides that no one told us about.

The girls predictably go insane when they find out they aren’t going home.  (There is so much screeching and screaming and squealing…it needs it’s own word.  “Screalling”?) So now  the rejects become the belles of the ball and we’re off to the first photo shoot.

 

Jay Manual introduces model Erin Watson and proudly says “she’s also a stylist”.  Yes girls, work hard for years and years and someday you’ll get to decide what kind of belt Chloe Sevigny should wear.

Jay tells the girls that “Russel James” is going to shoot them and they freak out like Justin Bieber walked in the room.  I sincerely doubt a bunch of 18 year old girls have a clue who legendary fashion photog James is. If they could correctly discern Harry Potter from the Queen of England, I would consider that a major victory.

Before their first runway show, James sets out to do a backstage photo-shoot, wanting to capture the girls in their spontaneous, natural environment. Please. If he really wanted to see that, he should photograph them in their Target pajamas, eating cheetos on their bed while watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”

During the shoot, contestant Alexandria brags that she has “Natural swag”, which she apparently doesn’t know that “Swag” means “shit we all get”.

For their first runway walk, the producers have them walk on a 12”inch wide runway, in a swimming pool, while walking in a giant plastic ball.  If you have ever wondered what a hamster wearing an ill-fitting ballgown would look like running for it’s life in it’s ball in the bathtub, this show is for you.

Poor Ondrei is the first to fall in the giant hamster ball.  I am of the school of thought that “Falling Is Always Funny” because I am secretly a 12-yr old boy. But no, this is actually just sad and awful to watch.

 

 

Jay bitches and nitpicks about the girls’ walks. “When did hands on the hips become in fashion?”, he gripes, and immediatly my mind races to the 600,000 photos of Tyra Banks on the runway with her hands on her hips:


Yes, don’t ever put your hands on your hips, girls. It will just kill your career.

Seriously, this guy will nitpick anything. There is not a minor flaw or physical imperfection that he will not obsess over.  “You stick your bottom lip out.” “You have too much neck.”  “You’re chin is too pointy”.    “OMG, one of your eyebrow hairs is SLIGHTLY LONGER THAN THE OTHER.  YOU ARE A FREAK OF NATURE.  PLEASE GO KILL YOURSELF SO NO ONE EVER HAS TO LOOK AT YOU AGAIN.”

Back at their apartment, the girls run around and decide who they are going to hate for the next 12 weeks.  I couldn’t pay attention to any of this, because the sound of teenage girls makes nails on a chalkboard seem like a Mozart concerto.  They make the women of the Bachelor look like the Seneca Falls Convention

After the show, it’s on to panel, Tyra appears, looking  like the love child of Chrissie Hynde and Flava Flav.  This is going to be an awesome season.

Erin Wasson is introduced as a “designer” yet again.  That makes me a “Nobel Prize Winning Poet” for this blog.   (I think you have to bow and address me as “madam” from now on, fyi)

Just a word about Andre Leon Talley.  I am sure I will discuss this more in-depthly as the show progresses, but he is probably one of the greatest human beings on the planet.  When I die, I would like to come back as a giant 6’7” black man, who wears capes and robes and is best friends with Anna Wintour.

The panel nitpicks and dissects a series of insanely gorgeous black and white shots that James took backstage during hair and make-up. Their critiques are basically insane, because James could take a picture of your Great Aunt Gladys in her Sunday bathrobe, hair in curlers wearing fuzzy pink slippers and it would probably look sexy.  The panel dissects all the girls, who they observe either need “an injection of energy or “don’t know their angles”.

Everytime Erin Wasson likes a picture, she calls it “raw”.

Talley is wearing a bowler hat with a giant white horsetail stuck to the back of it.  This is amazing, obviously.

Tyra cringes at Androgynous Sara’s long tail in the back of her hair and desperately bemoans how the girl needs a makeover. Yes, Tyra. If she wants nice hair she should put 85 pounds of fake horse hair on her head and dye it bright orange.

Angelina Jolie-lookalike Mikayla is an early front runner, based on the way she handled bouncing around on the Hamster Catwalk of Death and her captivating photos . “Your eyebrows are amazing” says Nigel.  He could compliment  your foot odor and it would be totally sexy.

Andre shames a woman for having a feathered hair clip that’s too horrific for him to look at while the horsetail on the back of his head swats flies away.

Molly wins for best photo of the episode, with Brittany winning runner up.  Next week the girls get a bunch of bees stuck to them, and it looks like someone teases at making an early exit.  See you all next week!

Do you have suggestions for the Top Model Translator?  Email them to me at rebeccarosewriter@gmail.com or leave them here in the comments.