What, this crap is still on? America’s Next Top Model Cycle 18

I guess I wasn’t the only person who was a bit surprised how quickly Tyra threw another ANTM cycle our ways this time. But BAM! out of the blue: America’s Next Top Model – British Invasion. Did you think that the last All-Star-Cycle was a step back and a little crappy? You haven’t seen nothing yet, honey, cause this time they lowered the bar even further. Oh, but let us get to it in an orderly fashion.

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Ok, legitimately you are all like “why in the world would anyone watch this nonsense?” but then again, addiction is addiction is addiction and even though reality TV is really trashy most of the time always it is still a lot of fun. Both emotionally and intellectually, and I really wish it would be more of the latter and less of the former but, oh. And: why am I even defending myself? It’s freaking America’s Next Top Model, that’s like the Jurassic Park of television. Not only because Tyra = Tyrannosaurus, but also because just like said movie it spawned sequel after sequel and a whole craze for suddenly wanting to become a model through a casting show (instead of, ermh, wanting to clone dinosaur DNA…you get the point, right?).

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So apparently Tyra was all over the usual cycle-crap and wants to put each new one under a lame theme, therefore: British Invasion. And yes, it turned out to be the nationalistic crapfest that it promised to be. Not that there was any critical thinking about the respective cultures, their interrelations and their differences. It was all: Ha, those Brits, they sure talk funny!
And acting like winning a modeling competition on TV with a minimal viewership is like defending the honor of your home country. And as if defending the honor of your home country would be anything positive in the first place. Urgh. Yep, there is so much wrong with this concept from the get-go it is only a small wonder that the cycle turned out to be as shitty as it was.
Having complained all along I do have to admit though that I still kinda enjoyed it in a “what fuckery are they up to now?” kind of way. And yes, I do feel a little guilty about it. But then again, I feel guilty about ANTM anyways, so that wasn’t really a change.

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Can we address the obvious first? AzMarie should have won this, and we all know it. Looked like girl had it in the bag, but then again she didn’t bring the TV nonsense that producers wanted to see and enraged Tyra by refusing the booty-tooch-pads. Which, yeah, the hell, of course she should. But on the other hand, if you’re trying to fight sexism and the objectification of women you probably shouldn’t sign up for a reality TV show searching for fashion models anyways. Seems a little half-assed (hehe, funny, because ass, you know, and booty tooch…ok, I’ll stop). So AzMarie was stellar, but thrown out, and so goes another lesbian that I desperately wanted to win (Hi Kayla, thinking of you!).

via homorazzi.com

Can I just say that I was really surprised by how unlikeable the US-American contestants seemed? This whole Brits vs. Yanks theme sucked, but boy, they all seemed like terrible personalities while I was all super-yay for the British girls. Seriously, apart from AzMarie I wanted all American contestants to leave in week one. And on the other hand, I really enjoyed all the British contestants. Maybe they just knew how to present themselves better due to having been on Britain’s and Ireland’s Next Top Model before. Mmmh, we’ll never know.
I’m mostly reconciled with this cycle, because ultimately Sophie won. Besides AzMarie and Anneliese she was my favorite and I wanted her to win, and she did. Which came as sort of a surprise, because I didn’t think Tyra would have it in her to give the title to a Brit. But yeah, she did, so kudos Tyra for for once not fucking up a thing on your show.

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So what’s all my blabbering about how this cycle sucked? Well, back in the day, America’s Next Top Model really brought the big shoots. Outdoors or indoors they had elaborate sets and scenery, interesting styling and good concepts. This time they mostly shot in the same lame-ass studio complex we’ve seen last cycle (I believe…?) and most of those shoots were just plain boring. I really can’t get over the shoot with the silk-worms. WTF? What was the point even? You cannot really see them in the pictures, there is no connection between model and worms besides the worm hanging on the model and it didn’t do anything but look weird on the photos. Super-strange. Or the shooting on Macau-Tower? Granted, the weather was bad, but why go through all the hassle when the final shots all look like they were taken in front of a grey wall in a studio? I shouldn’t even bitch about the mini-challenges, because they have always been on the rather sucky side. Although, the fortune-teller crap with the “change your aura with a scarf”? Please. I can’t. Even.

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I will say though, I am a little surprised by how high the standards of the prizes still are. After they introduced the high fashion cycle in cycle 15 Italian Vogue surprisingly remained on board with the whole endeavor. I also liked that this time there was a lot more go sees and castings, which seemed more real and felt more like it was telling us about the strengths of the contestants as models. My guess is, that this is all thanks to Kelly Cutrone and her connections. And I must admit, I like her as a judge, probably because I love to hate her, sorta. Girl is bitchy, and her fight with Louise – priceless. I lost all respect I probably had for her, when I saw her youtube video response to that (HERE is the link), which is so immature and embarrassing, it kinda hurts. But for TV fun, it’s gold and I enjoyed hearing her honest opinions on panel.

via khairierahman.wordpress.com

So, YAY!, Sophie, you go!
Next season there are big changes awaiting us. Apart from being the college edition (and does that sound like … fun?) Nigel Barker and the Jays won’t be there anymore. I cannot really mourn the loss of Nigel Barker, cause girl was boring and brought exactly nothing to the panel, but the Jays? Tyra, are you crazy? I feel like the Jays are even so much more part of this show than Tyra herself. Well, let’s wait and see how things turn out. I only have one photo left in my hands.

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