SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.
America’s Next Top Model is back for its second season since being cancelled by the CW – and found a new home on VH1 – with Cycle 24. With a brand new season comes the return of a familiar face; Tyra Banks. That’s right, as the episode title says “The Boss Is Back!” She’s reclaimed her throne as host of the show with one important change; there is no longer an age limit.
As with every cycle of ANTM, we start the season with the auditions. Here too things are being done a little differently, with the model hopefuls bringing with them a photo which illustrates their raw talent. Now, when I heard that, I didn’t expect the girls to show off professionally taken photos with make-up, styling and the whole nine yards. I expected photos along the lines of what Shanice had; what looked to be a photo taken with her cellphone. I would have preferred to see photos like Shanice’s. That are really, actually “raw.”
That being said, quite a few of the photos were stunning indeed. Of the ones that we got to see, Ivana’s, Khrystyana’s, Christina’s, Jeana’s and Maggie’s really stood out to me. They were striking, the girls looked like models and they were, as Tyra would say, modelling “H to T.” From those five, Khrystyana, Jeana and Maggie were the best.
Of course, Christina stood out for another reason besides her stunning photo. She started off the competition getting on the wrong side of the judges by having an “attitude.” She did lack a certain degree of humility in how she carried herself and how she spoke about her talent as a model, but I don’t think that she meant to have an attitude or be rude. I think she just didn’t express herself very well. At this point in the show, when we don’t know the contestants well yet, I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
With so many girls we really didn’t get to see how they did on the photo shoot, but judging from what little we were shown and the feedback from Drew and the photographer, with the exception of Ilka, Erin, Sandra and Laminat who struggled, they all did pretty well. And their final photos were really good too. Well, with some exceptions.
Liz’s photo surprised me with how good it was, but I’m not surprised that it was one from after Drew told her to try not to look drunk. Khrystyana looked like an avant garde Blair Waldorf mixed with Maria Antoinette a la Sophia Coppola. Erin’s wasn’t particularly strong but she looked pretty. Maggie’s outfit was a whole lot of everything, but she shined through it and my eye immediately went to her face – which was gorgeous – and she needs to be commended for that. I’m not a huge fan of Rio’s pose but her face really sold the photo.
Sandra’s was bland. Coura wasn’t great but I think that she could do better if given then chance to learn and grow. Allexia…just no…no. Shanice didn’t bring it; she was just kind of standing there but it wasn’t a completely bad photo. I was not loving Liberty’s pose but she gave good face. Laminat’s dress overwhelmed her. I like Rhiyan’s photo but it’s slightly above basic; her face isn’t very strong but I think she has potential. Jeana’s photo I absolutely love; her face really sells it but that has a lot to do with just how her face is naturally – she’s a high fashion girl. Her pose isn’t exaggerated or anything but she really brought energy to it. Ivana’s photo was terrible and surprisingly so considering the photo she presented during auditions. She just looked lost and confused.
Ilka’s was even worse; she looked high and like she was stumbling. Kyla’s was just blah, but I think she’s another contestant who could do well if given the chance and instruction. Chrissy was lost in her dress and I could barely see her face. I liked Brendi K.’s photo; everything just worked. Christina’s was weak; she looked sad and scared.
At this point in the episode, the girls I thought needed to go home were Christina, Chrissy, Ilka and Allexia. They had the worst photos of the bunch. The girls that could go but I wouldn’t be mad if they stayed were Sandra, Coura, Shanice and Ivana. Ivana I really wanted to put in the “need to go” list just because my initial reaction to her photo was so intensely negative. She did not make her outfit shine. In fact, she made it look ugly. In the little it of her shoot we got to see she seemed to be doing well and I loved that she was really moving it around and I expected a lot from her final photo. So I’m just disappointed.
When Ilka and Laminat were sent home I wasn’t displeased.
The Runway Show
The runway show was pretty much just like the photo shoot; we didn’t get to see much but from what we did see the girls did well with a few exceptions. Liz was too much, Erin was too slow, Sandra walked too fast and seemed really awkward and Christina’s walk was trash, just as Law said. Her performance at the runway show, coupled with her photo solidified her as my number one person to go home.
At The House
Of course there was drama at the house because, quite frankly, when is there not? Liz who had up to this point been nothing but fun, bubbly and energetic, did a complete 180 degree turn and was a sobbing, whiny mess, pouring her heart out to Khrystyana who was pretty much not there for it at all. She was being so loud that pretty much every other girl in the house rushed to see what was going on.
I’m not sure what Liz was upset about or what was making her feel “crappy.” She did very well up to that point and hadn’t been given any bad critiques as far as we saw. Her outburst came out of nowhere. I guess the “downside” with Liz is that she feels everything with the same level of intensity we had seen from her earlier. She seems like someone who just has a lot of feelings and they just shoot out of her uncontrollably. And of course she broke down in front of Tyra.
I was not at all happy that Erin was seemingly sent home when Christina, who did far worse performance wise, was staying. Every other girl I thought that should have been sent home was except for her. But Tyra was pulling a fast one on all of us and Erin was chosen as the 15th contestant of the cycle. She joined Shanice, Ivana, Rhiyan, Kyla, Brendi K, Liz, Christina, Jeana, Maggie, Sandra, Liberty, Coura, Rio and Khrystyana. Overall, I’m happy with the girls that were chosen to participate in the season.
At present my front runners are, in no particular order; Khrystyana, Maggie, Rio, Jeana and Brendi K.
- Liberty looks like an Instagram model.
- Liz is just energy.
- Christina looks like a teenager.
- There is nothing “home girl” about Maggie. Maybe she’s “black enough” for the very white community she lives in.
- I actually forgot about Luminat.
America’s Next Top Model airs Tuesdays at 8PM on VH1.