Two episodes in, and it’s already the most cracktastic season, er, cycle, of ANTM to date.
Guys, I have been watching America’s Next Top Model since the very first cycle. (You can say it, go on – I’m old!) And while Tyra Banks has gotten progressively crazier (re: pot ledom, making everything into a word, her skits, her judges panel outfits, the plot of Modeland…) the show had stood on solid ground. I would say the stabilizing force all these years had been the format and the people – mentor Jay Manual, and intelligent judges like Nigel Barker.
For cycle 19, the format is tweaked and those familiar faces are gone. WOE.
The prizes are different, but that’s not a big deal. Winning money for challenges is great. They’re staying in a sorority house (for the college theme*) and challenge winners also get to use a Tyra suite and the closet attached… these are all pretty nifty changes. Kelly Cutrone is back. So, let’s get to the less than groovy changes.
Posh accented Rob Evans has been added to the judges panel, and Bryanboy (I don’t care if Marc Jacobs likes you, so far I am not impressed) is the voice of what fans on social media are saying. The models plead for votes with videos, and fans respond with their own videos that are sometimes played on the show. The fans get a vote. Additionally, the judges now vote with a numbered grade. These changes add up for a discombobulated judges panel, with tweets appearing on screen as a video starts up and it generally caters to the MTV idea that the screen needs to change every five seconds to hold a teenager’s attention. But it’s going to give me a seizure. I don’t think any of these changes make the show more entertaining, just more difficult to process.
*How much do you wanna bet that parents are so flippin’ thrilled that Tyra Banks actively sought out young girls in the bloom of their education to say “hey, why not try modeling instead!”? And it’s not as thought there hasn’t been college girls on the show before. In fact, it was often a point of contention – them sacrificing schooling for the modeling adventure.
And don’t worry – I’ll be back to talk about Mother’s Little Helper aka Victoria Henley, the most interesting contestant this cycle. Sadly, Jessie Rabideau was already eliminated (sometimes the underdog hipsters don’t make it)… I had high hopes of referring to her as Michael Cera or Scott Pilgrim. Dammit.
Do you like this new cycle and its changes, or not? Sound off in the comments because I’m curious as to how others are reacting.
P.S. Tyra Banks has made much ado about how she went to Harvard Business School. She did not.
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Follow TV Critic Jessica Rae on Twitter @ThisJessicaRae.