Its a new cycle of America’s Next Top Model, and things have changed. Sort of.
Tyra would like us to believe that Top Model is going to be different because the prizes are more high fashion and the judges are more influential.. but I still see the same typical Tyra drama crap that has infected the show for a long time. The highly unlikely scenarios (like a runway show 4 stories up or a photo shoot that is about the model) seem to serve only to show just how much they are trying to manipulate the contestants and the audience. Most new models are going to find themselves walking for unknown or emerging designers in fairly ordinary fashion shows, modelling for catalogues or Zellers. Even if they break into modelling for high end designers…the shoots are generally much more straightforward and ALWAYS about the clothes, not the model. Maybe I am just getting tired of Tyra doing stuff on the show that seems like she HOPES one of the models will fall off the runway, or have an emotional breakdown at the photo shoot… because its better TV. SIGH. I have always enjoyed the shoots more when they are truly creative and exciting (and yes, probably something a new model would never get to do) in an artistic way, offering a creative challenge. The drama in the model house always makes better TV when it is naturally occurring rather than forced by the show. (ie. Shandi cheating on her boyfriend vs. there not being enough beds in the house for all the models (rude much?))
Anywho.. my favorite model this cycle so far is ANN, with Rhianna and Kayla as runners up. How obvious was it that Annamaria would be the first one eliminated? Haven’t we learned by now that the girls who think they are so much better than everyone else never make it very far…?
My favorite grrrls from previous seasons… not many from recent cycles that I connected to unfortunately.
Her ‘geek to chic’ transformation was one of the most powerful in the entire series so far. Her story of how she was the black sheep of her family touched me a lot, and the infidelity she committed on reality TV was so shocking that she may always have a special place in my heart.
Mollie Sue is second only to Elyse as being the most successful ANTM Alumni. She had an awesome makeover too. I always think about her exit interview when she said, “Me going home before Jade is just…!? You just kicked off your winner right here!” She sure showed them!
Elyse is the most successful ANTM Alum in the history of the show. On top of that, she is an interesting, intelligent and fiery personality on the show. In the early days of reality TV her confessional was one of the most memorable. She also has an interesting story, having tried out as a joke while waiting for med school to start.
Danielle had that awesome attitude and I loved that she wanted to keep her gap. I have a gap in my front teeth too and I think she is a great role model (without being forced) for girls to embrace their flaw and love how it makes them unique. I wish Tyra hadn’t made her ‘fix’ it. She has an awesome walk too.
I wish Kahlen had won this Cycle. Although I really like Naima too, partly because she is so alternative as a beauty role model, Kahlen had a really interesting edge. She looked totally girl-next-door but gave some amazing fierceness in her photos AND in her runway walk. She was so devastated when she lost.. and I don’t think she has modeled since.
I was happy Adrianne won this cycle. She had a great story and a good attitude about modeling. What she’s done since the show hasn’t been so great – she’s been called a reality TV whore and posed for playboy… but for the first cycle, she was a definite standout.
I loved Yoanna’s story. Her transformation from chubby babysitter to high fashion beauty model was amazing and it was really inspiring to see someone go after what they want with so much determination. She was sometimes a little flat in personality but undeniably gorgeous.
One of my few favorites from the later cycles when things got progressively weirder on the show. Her Asperger’s syndrome was made out to be a bigger obstacle than it really was but her photos are memorable and surprising and she really was thinking about it as a form of art, which I appreciated. Sometimes its nice to have a humble girl do well on this show instead of just the ones who are obviously gorgeous and popular.
Kim was the ‘boy-girl’ and had a very cool sense of style but a hard time being feminine in her shoots. She improved a lot over the cycle and always had memorable things to say. Who can forget her mini lesbian love affair with Sarah?
Who didn’t love Mercedes? She was the perfect bubbly girl, made all the more special by the fact that she is battling a serious chronic illness. Her final shot was so mesmerizing, I don’t know how they decided between her and Yoanna.
Yes, I do have all four of the final four girls from Cycle 2 on this list. That season was just chock full of really interesting girls. They seemed really real and relatable unlike some of the later seasons. April was so devastated after losing and I felt so bad for her. She had some amazing photos and so much drive. As an ANTM winner, I think she would have gone far.
Edited to add:
Ann was one of those rare birds who was successful from the very beginning and throughout the show.. and yet still never ever got cocky about her position. Refreshing.
Possibly my favorite contestant ever (maybe even overshadowing Shandie!) is Marjorie.
I am currently enjoying a New Zealand brand of chocolate called “Whittakers” as I compile this list of my Top Ten ANTM photos (so far.)
Please note: I have edited this post since its original publish date to include images from the most recent cycle.
10. Cycle 2. Shandi is possibly my favorite contestant EVER on ANTM. Her transformation was so incredible and this picture is her at her peak, before she cheated on her boyfriend and knocked herself out of the competition (mentally and emotionally.
9. Cycle 6 had so many strong contenders for the title. I often think Sara was overlooked in this shoot. The controversy surrounding her ‘copying’ Joanie’s poses overshadowed the fact that her photo is exquisite and in my opinion, outstrips both Joanie and Danielle’s photos by a long shot.8. Cycle 1 Tie. I loved the extreme makeup and the snakes to give this beauty shoot an edge without becoming overly elaborate as in later Cycles. I loved all three of these photos and couldn’t choose one.
7. Cycle 9. Jenah was not one of my favorite contestants, however there is no denying she was the star of this shoot. Her photos stood out as the most unique of the bunch in this shoot which had endless possibilities.
6. Cycle 4. Simply beautiful.5. Cycle 13. This shoot, despite having one of Tyra’s typically unnecessarily elaborate twists was AMAZING. Nearly all of the photos from this shoot were stellar and I had a hard time choosing. The styling is spot on for each of the girls (except Sundai) and I almost hate admitting it, but Tyra is a damn good photographer. 4. Cycle 13. I’ve already gushed about this shoot so I will just say Nicole was my favorite to win this cycle and the first time my favorite to win actually WON since way back in Cycle 1. 3. The shadows shoot in Cycle 14 was by far my favorite of the season. Alex lucked out with the beauty of the particular shadow she got to rock, but she also killed it.
2. Cycle 7. Ok so I know the Hair Wars thing was really out there. And to be honest, I pretty much hate all the other photos from this shoot. But there is just something about this one that is eye-catching in the right way and I think Michelle is totally killing it without even realizing it.1. And my Absolute Favorite Photo Ever In The History Of ANTM is….
Cycle 8, Renee. Now I know that Renee wasn’t everybody’s favorite. Hell, she wasn’t mine either but I must express my opinion on this matter loud and clear. Renee was utterly and completely ROBBED of her chance to compete for the title. I didn’t dislike Natasha or Jaslene, nor do I contest that Jaslene may have still ended up winning even if she was pitted against Renee directly in the Final Two. But seriously, go and re-watch the last 2 episodes with Renee in them. Natasha literally GAVE UP in the Aboriginal photo shoot. I totally understand why Dion was sent home that week, but you’d think the Judges have amnesia or something from week to week. How could they forget so quickly that Natasha essentially SHUT OFF during that week’s photo shoot? Her performance the following week was simply NOT ENOUGH to make up for it. My personal opinion is that by this point in the competition (if not earlier) Tyra knew who she wanted to crown and she didnt want to take any chances pitting Jaslene against Renee directly on the Final Runway Challenge. If you look at the two girl’s porfolios they are neck and neck, possibly with Renee edging out just ahead because her photos were improving vastly each week while Jaslene was getting stuck in one, albeit strong, facial expression. The absolute BULLSHIT excuse that was pulled out of Nigel’s ass that Renee looked OLD was as transparent as glass. Renee.. you should have been allowed to at least compete for the title in the final round and for that I rant. RANT.
I have some honorable mentions for photos that I love but didn’t make my top 10.
GFY: My inspiration for starting this blog. Reverence must be paid. Go and enjoy the snarky brilliance.
All ANTM: For your complete ANTM fix, including what-the-hell-all-your-favorite-girls-that-were-unjustly-eliminated-are-doing-now…
NY Mag: for serious fashionistas/ers…
And for the shoppers…you know who you are: Etsy, BC Footwear, Seychelles
(and if you’re in Vancouver – holla!) Portobello West , Gravity Pope, Eugene Choo