It's been years since I have scheduled my life around watching television. I was bored with Friends years ago and there is really nothing "must see" about any network tv. That is until I got inadvertantly hooked on America's Next Top Model at the end of it's first season. My friend Elyce, who is an intelligent woman had gotten addicted and she was telling me all about Robin, the bible thumping, plus sized model from Memphis. Elyce is from Memphis and she was embarassed by Robin. So I tuned in just to see what was up and I immediately got sucked into that vortex of bad chick mojo that just seems to happen when you put a bunch of women in a room together.
When you make it a bunch of young, insecure, pretty women who are competing, pretty much on the basis of what their faces and bodies look like, you get psycho melodrama! It's like a train wreck and I just couldn't pull my eyes away. I must have tuned in when there were about 5 women left that first season, but last season I didn't miss an episode. I was there every minute of Camille's disconnection with reality. Camille was the "crazy bitch" from last season. Shandi, the Walgreen's clerk with a body like a preying mantis took over the uncomfortably thin girl role that had been played by Elyce in season one. They did introduce the new "girl with malady" the lovely and sweet Mercedes who has lupus, but there really was no hardcore "street tough" like Adrienne who won season one. Season two was won by the babysitter with a few extra pounds, Yoanna House.
Haven't really seen much of Adrienne or Yoanna since their big wins, but that's kind of to be expected. While both very pretty, neither one of these girls are really cut out to be a "Top Model" akin to Cindy Crawford or Naomi Campbell or even Miss Tyra Banks. Those days are over don'tcha know? Well, if you live in Oscala, FL and you're 19 - no, you really don't know that. And if you do you don't want to admit it and have to give up the pursuit of your dream. Plus, if we all just acknowledged that the day of the supermodel is done there would be no more America's Next Top Model and I would miss it.
You know great "reality" is in the editing and whoever edited last night's season premiere really milked every single bit of drama out of all that footage. I swear, an hour has never gone by so slowly there was just so much going on. And can I just say that I do not change the channel during commercials because God forbid I should miss a single minute. Last night we got to see a whole bunch of semi-finalists gather in L.A. before the cut to 20, before the cut to 14. Just in case you didn't get to see enough emotionally devastated crying girls.
I was fascinated with the broad mix of girls that they brought in for this episode. Damn, Miss TyTy knows what she's doing. There was Tiffany who was straight out of the 'hood and got into a bar brawl when some local chick at the bar they were all boogying down in told Tiffany to "take her skank ass outside" and then threw her drink on her weave. Tiffany went OFF on her ass! Drinks were flying through the air, glass was breaking, one of the girls got cut. In the van on the way home Tiffany cried and said, "what was I sposed to do? she threw her drink on my weave? Then she started telling sad stories about how she comes from the streets and she's trying to do something better. It's sad, but still girl, ladies don't fight!
There's Amanda, the 25 year old mother of a two year old with stunning blue eyes, and Retinitis Pigmentosa or RP. She's legally blind and this degenerative disease will leave her completely blind by the time she's 30. She reveals this fact at the top of the fourth act right after the first cut down to twenty and all the girls start crying because they feel sorry for her. When she says, "I can still see all of your faces," I get a little teary too, because Amanda seems like a really sweet girl. She just wanted them to know so that the playing field would be even. Hmmmm. I'm not sure if the playing field will be even - and maybe it will be, but I'm already more than a little concerned about the runway and Miss Amanda who makes it into the final fourteen so she's a contender.
And then there's Eve who's a very pretty girl and a total and complete bitch! She is so mean to Amy the horribly anorexic girl from Florida who claims that she just has a really fast metabolism, but looks like a walking skeleton so what she more likely has, if in fact, she's not vomiting after every meal, is a metabolic disorder and she needs to go to the doctor. But Eve does NOT need to sit there and say right to her face, "I don't believe a word you're saying and it makes me sick to look at you." It's so cruel, it's so harsh and I am hating Eve and thinking to myself, "why do they always have to pick a black woman to be the crazy hateful bitch?" And then we cut to her interview with TyTy who calls her on the carpet for being a nasty bitch. Eve starts to go into the headbobbing denial about how she doesn't mean it and she's sorry if anyone takes her that way, but she's just bein' who she is and they're just over sensitive. She doesn't have anyone to run to when life is hard and she's been on her own for a long time so she doesn't feel sorry for those big babies. TyTy isn't buying it and asks her "who in your life told you that you were worthless? Who was mean to you?" Eve's eyes well up and so do mine. TyTy tells her, "When you open your mouth to say hateful things to people think about it, do you want to hurt someone like your Daddy hurt you?" The tears pour onto her beautiful cheeks and she shakes her head. Tyra tells her that she's already had two girls who seemed completely normal turn into bitches in the last two seasons and she'll be damned if she's going to cast another bitchy black girl for this season. What a relief. Eve is the last name called in the final cut for the show. And even though she apologized for being so mean. She is a mean girl so she's going to have her work cut out for her.
The other two standouts are the stripper who has a shitty dad and wants to model so she can make something of her life, and personally I'm pulling for her although she's kind of too sexy to be modely. But she's such the under dog and she was real open about being a stripper. But I don't remember her name. Or the young Republican. Who wore a prom dress made from an American flag and modeled it for the judges - which reminds me, where was Janice?
At any rate it'll be me and UPN on Wednesdays at 8pm and it's going to take a while for me to figure out who the rest of the girls are because they're a lot the same. Except for the exceptionals that I mentioned above who have interesting back stories. That's what I like - those backstories all getting together in one house.
More to come.