First off, fellow ANTM endurers, allow me to apologize. I was apparently so traumatized by Cycle 9 and/or so immersed in Project Runway and things that aren't television (a few exist), that I completely missed the season, cough, CYCLE 10 premiere. I'm sorry. Allow me to recap that episode for you very briefly right now in 50 words or less: Top Model Prep looks a lot like that Tatu performance from the VMAs a few years ago. Worst "Got Milk?" ad ever. Female genital mutilation is this cycle's Asperger's. I can't wait till Tyra casts an aspiring model in a wheelchair.
Now, on to episode 2. Again, please excuse my tardiness. Bankable Productions is probably working on Cycles 15 and 16 right now, that's how fast they come off the assembly line. But better late than never, right?
First off, this episode was, in a word, stupidtastic! (Incidentally, that's the highest accolade ANTM has hope of earning.) Twiggy has been replaced by Paulina Poriskova–and Paulina is as great as Twiggy was sleepy ("You remind me of Robin Wright Penn. But a transvestite.") The show is in New York now (and, according to the opening, Tyra thinks nothing is more New York than dressing up like players in a regional production of Chicago). Mr. Jay has a long leather Matrix-y coat. The girls are staying in a loft that is even more of a Tyra museum than usual. And a girl named Kim (it's pronounced "Mushface") quit already cause she doesn't like fashion. Or modeling. (She should have stayed! ANTM has absolutely nothing to do with either of those things.)
Also, this episode we got to know the contestants a little better, and guess what? They all look like someone else: Fatima resembles Iman, Marvita looks like Grace Jones, Lauren looks a little like Shirley Manson from Garbage, Anya looks like a person wearing a fake putty nose, and Dominique has the face of a very butch Cowardly Lion. The rest of the contestants are kind of a blur right now, but I'm sure we'll learn more about them--their hopes, dreams, bad childhoods, etc.--in the minutes before their names are ripped off of Ms. Jay's drum majorette jacket.
But the most stupidtastic part of this episode was the Glamour Of Homelessness photoshoot–a shoot that only took place so that Tyra could once again plug her "I Was A Temporary Hobo" episode of Tyra. (I can't wait for the models to don high-fashion fat suits so Tyra can bring up the "Obese For A Day" episode of Tyra). In Tyra's mind, the best way to show the seriousness of an issue is to make it look as chic as possible (while plugging her talk show). Also, "Will Pose For Change"? I would be offended, but if I was offended by every shallow swipe Tyra takes at "lessons" or "issues," it would be impossible to watch this show without a blood pressure monitor. In their struggle to both look homeless and sell their chic homeless garments, most of the girls just ended up looking like Les Miserables stock players and/or Mary-Kate Olsen.
In the end, even though Kimushface quit, Tyra exerted her authority and eliminated Atalya because she was kind of boring, and she couldn't embody both "destitute" and "fierce" simultaneously. Atalya should consider that a compliment.
--That Tyra Mail LED ticker? Cruel. It's painful to listen to the models sound out the words as they slowly flash across the screen.
--Early favorites: Marvita ("It ain't hard, girl."), Lauren (because she obviously doesn't belong there), and Whitney (because she's so confident, I'm sure Tyra is just aching to cut her down, and then build her back up again).
--Early hatreds: Stacy Ann and her signature sing-song whine.
--Badgely Mischka? Are you two not above an ANTM Times Square fashion show? Guess not.
--The Fab Cab: Guess it's not the Green Cycle anymore. How quickly Tyra forgets. Next Cycle, the girls will probably do a Bumfights photoshoot.