And suddenly, my life is full again. Full of shit, that is. To explain, I'm skipping right to the...
"[An actor playing the voice of reason] is crazy to say that there is not room for short girls in the industry! That's straight fou. 'Fou' is 'crazy' in France. This world, the world that we live in, they try to say beauty is in a little box...
...Oui? But we are breaking out the box! We are kicking the box!"
Look, I know it's a show, and I appreciate that this is the freakiest cycle of freaks we've had yet (given industry standards), but I don't think I can recall a more disingenuous moment from Tyra than this. How grossly wrong-headed is it to congratulate yourself repeatedly ("We are making history!" "You guys are like the pioneers!") in a faux (and fou) French accent because you've lifted a restriction? And it only took you six years to revoke? I don't remember her self-flagellatiing over putting beauty in a 5'7"-and-up box in any of the past 12 cycles and you better believe that I'd have the gifs to go along with such memories. I think we've reached a new level of excruciating from Tyra. Talk about a pioneer.
And then, of course, if we actually examine her intentions straightforwardly and without simultaneously laughing and vomiting in her face (/at our TV screens), what kind of a misguided power trip is this shit? Because America's Next Top Model has been so successful turning out girls living up to the show's name that it's time for a real challenge? Yes, ANTM, the fashion industry is just waiting to see how you'll redefine it! This is like Kevin Federline deciding that it's time for an album of duets the Pavarotti. It's like Crystal Pepsi One. It's Bernie Madoff collecting money in jail to invest in Egyptian real estate so that instead of just constructing them via schemes, he can make actual pyramids. Y'know, not everyone is entitled to multiple failures. You should have to work to earn your Glitter.
And so, Tyra isn't drunk off power; she's drunk off fumes. That said, I look forward to watching her stumble around. A new level of absurdity has been reached and I am truly proud of ANTM for that. (And, like my friend Max was saying to me the other night, at least opening the competition up to a new segment of the population means that we can get some pretty faces up in here. Whereas before, the tall girls had any number of reasons why they were models -- age, skin diseases, lopsided faces, hideousness, the fact that they were Tahlia -- many of them this time seem to have only height as their primary set-back. So at least we won't be throwing up too much when Tyra isn't on the screen. That should save our TVs from dissolving at least for the cycle's run.)
Oh, and let me get this out of my system now: short shortshortshort they're short shortshortshortshortshort "Tyra is wonderful, she believes in short girls" shortshortshortshortshort face modeling shortshortshortshortshort "Real people are, like, short" shortshortshort SO MUCH SPACE ABOVE THIS GIRL'S HEAD IN HER INTERVIEWS TO SIGNAL THAT SHE'S...
...shortshortshortshortshortshort. Here, too:
How y'all feeling? Ready to laugh at some crying girls? (I don't care either way. I was just trying to be polite.)
Jesus (girl) wept. Yeah, he wants her to help the world. And so it came to pass: progress through mockery! Thank you for your help in making me laugh, Amber.
"I got me back," said Bianca with Sailor Moon-style gleaming tears in her eyes, in reference to her head-shaving, which happened in the wake of an abusive boyfriend. Good for her. I can't quite relate to that, but I certainly the understand the joy of having a shaved head. The time it takes you to get ready to go out is greatly reduced, and the urge to chew on your hair disappears entirely. It's win-win.
“If I became Americas Next Top Model, I can’t describe how proud of myself I would be," she says. Given that this show is a snapshot of self-satisfaction in our culture, I think we get the picture.
“I used to be a crazy girl, and that didn’t bring me happiness. It’s just like more and more I read my Bible and more and more I fall in love with Him," she says. She's, of course, referring to Jesus, but I'm not at all convinced that she "used to be" a crazy girl. I'm thinking that she still is. Call it a hunch.
Call it possessing basic observational skills. Call it whatever the hell you want.
5. This blonde girl
A short stint for a short girl. Though it may hurt, I don't even think this nameless person that I'll never see again could deny the beauty in the symmetry.
OK, so I usually just laugh at these people indiscriminately for caring so much about something so stupid, but when this little ringer for Emmanuel Lewis opened her garment bag to find nothing to change into for the next challenge and she did her little shrug...
...for some reason, it really got to be and I genuinely felt bad for her. She was just so sweet and graceful while obviously being heartbroken. Ugh, feelings! Get out of me! Excuse me while I use the toilet.
In another location, Raven told us, "I’m just gonna go home and continue what I was doing before, which is nothing." And now I'm laughing again. See? The pain is only temporary. Good job getting through that, me!
She's a modeling teacher, which Tyra and the J's laughed at (as if anyone could teach girls to fail as well as they could!). At least now, her students can learn disappointment by example!
As Tyra related several times, Ashley was just sitting in somebody’s audience and somebody’s hairdresser spotted her. It is by now a legendary tale. And by "legendary," I mean overemphasized and so fucking boring.
New rule: smile with your eyes, but cry with your lips. (Or at least put enough gloss on them that your grandmother probably whipped up in her kitchen using pig afterbirth and honeycombs, to create the illusion of lip-crying.)
Sundai, please. You're as cute as a button and as sweet as your namesake. There was no way you weren't getting through.
It happens a lot, but when Tyra calls out a girl's name and she hears, "Thank you, Jesus Christ!" in response, I bet it's still a massive thrill for her.
I love when crying is so animated that it makes for a gif. Whether she cares or not, Laura really knows how to get on my good side.
Her name is Ciara and...that's really all we're gonna get to know about her.
See? She made it like a Dairy Queen worker makes a sundae. And now we get to eat her.
16. The girl in the black
With that kind of designation, it makes sense that she remain a mystery.
After officially getting the boot, she said, "I know Tyra has confidence in us!" Uh, you sure about that, semi-finalist?
On being selected, she said, "I've never experienced a high like this ever." Wait till she tries oregano. It will blow her mind.
As I always do with the first-episode recaps, I'm just going to run down the girls that made lasting impressions. Me love them short time.
I hate that a person who answered the subtitled question above with, "It's nice!" only lasted one episode. Even though this development didn't present itself until the second half of the two-hour premiere, I just have to mourn this girl and her "personal reasons" departure. And what were those reasons, anyway? ANTM Livejournal peeps seem to mostly agree that Amber was just playing a role (she is, after all, an actress) that she couldn't or wouldn't keep up throughout her run (she's interestingly listed as being 5'8" in that Explore Talent profile, which we all know is a major, major sin). She did, after all, take Bloody Eyeball to task for not talking enough and being in elimination jeopardy as a result (which was such a reality-TV savvy thing to say that I was surprised it made it to the episode at all -- it was just a glimpse away from staring dead into the camera). I like to think that she's somewhere masturbating to Jesus right now. After all, "You know that you're supposed to have that burning sensation for your lord Jesus, instead of another man." I really had no idea that Jesus could give you herpes, but it just goes to show his reach and potency!
Oh man, I loved her Christ love, this exchange in particular:
Jay: So why do you want to be a model again?
Amber: For Jesus.
Jesus needs underfed girls to look at just like anyone. After all, he's only human (.../divine)! I also loved that Amber thought she could change the world...somehow via this. I think Tyra probably was flattered that there was someone following in her half-baked-but-firm dominion. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change (by smiling with your eyes instead of your mouth and in front of a reality TV audience).
I think Amber's Christophilia came through even in her walk:
In a modely, over-it kinda way, that pose is like, gag me with a spoon/hang me on a cross...
...but make it fashion.
No matter where Amber is now, I'm sure it's something like heaven, even if it's all in her head and rendered by psychotropic substances.
First of all, I find her adorable. But more importantly, she may have forged a new frontier in self-exploitation. In her fucking audition video, way before Tyra could twist her arm and smile eerily in her face, Sundai revealed a troubled home life in terms that were heartbreakingly childish...
This made me sadder than Webster's shoulder shrug did.
Sundai -> :(
:\'-( <- Me
Of course, Tyra went over all this in person.
"OK, growing up, can't lie, I had a pretty hard life. It wasn't exactly the easiest life I ever lived." That time she was a cat was much easier, I guess. Wait, what?
I do love that on the subject of this entire charade, Sundai said...
..."This is more important to me than living." It's reassuring that she differentiates between doing reality TV and living. Savvy strikes again!
I love that this girl showed up on crutches...
...and then proceeded to do everything in them, including runway walk...
...and then was cheered on for her dedication. Yeah, dedication to making a fun-to-watch freak show! (Even though hardcore tumbling is about the least hardcore way to break your foot. The only thing that I can think up that's less hardcore is taking the Pointer Sisters way too seriously, jumping for their love and missing.)
Also, I like her small boobs, almost like a little boy.
Just kidding. I'm indifferent. But I like that Tyra likes them. Someone's in the market for a boyfriend with a vag!
I know people love her, but she really doesn't do it for me. I'm prepared to change my mind, and I love surprising myself, but for now, she's seriously a pad, a visible bra strap and a few cold sores away from being a greasier waitress at a greasy spoon.
I used to think Allison Harvard had the biggest eyes in the world, and then I was introduced to this forest creature's big 'uns.
Not even. More like:
Tyra said he had a "special face," and I think a great name for her would be like SpecialFace. You know, like Babyface. I just can't wait till SpecialFace cuts the photo-shoot equivalent to the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. It promises to be a masterwork.
I loved this girl from the start, and after the first photo shoot, I love her even more. I think she's a lock to win, not just because she's flawless, but because she seems incredibly manicured already. On relating her tale of woe that included a gas-station abduction, rape and then (horror of horrors) being delivered to another gas station, Rae explained: "It happened to me, and it's just...it's part of who I am and I've dealt with it. I'm ready to not only move on from it -- I don't want to put it behind me because it is part of who I am -- but I want it to serve some sort of purpose." That is the perfect justification for the emotional diarrhea that tends to clog up the toilet bowl of ANTM's cycle premieres. I swear, Tyra either put her up to it, or realized that this is her spiritual child when Rae produced this on her own. Either way: win.
She shits at McDonalds because she doesn't have a toilet. Now that is hardcore. I hope she breaks her foot in the bathroom, just to show up Courtney.
Hey y'all, you know how you make something high-fashion in the South?
This is actually closer to being that than what Laura ended up with after having some help from Miss J:
I have to say that I find Laura's Southern-fried goofiness infectious, and the fact that she's an Umalike only adds points. I'd reiterate how she castrates cows, but honestly, it made me uncomfortable that this was the second castration reference on the episode, and the actual description made me woozy. Like, Haunted-level woozy. I'll just have you know that it ends like this:
Oh, one more thing from Webster...
On Mr. and Miss J, she said...
"They’re so pretty. Men should not be pretty like that."
That's because men should not wear makeup like that...
...if they're trying to pass themselves off as men. It's nothing amazing, babe, just cosmetic.
And finally, there is:
I know her name is Nicole, but in a clear bid for attention, she said that she was once known as "Bloody Eyeball" because she was born with a bloody eyeball. See how that works? Very, very clever. I'll give you a second to take it in.
Even though she seemed unsure which eyeball it was, I'm calling her that because she clearly wants everyone to in her weirdly avoidant bid for attention. Other highlights of said bid include, her doing this when J told her she seemed like she just took five downers:
Because she's shy, see?
Also, she claims, "I bring a large, rusty wheelbarrow to school, instead of a backpack. Um, people think I'm weird for that." Gee, I can't imagine why. Could it be because the way she goes about bringing it is like this?
And really, does she even know what a rusty wheelbarrow really is? I mean, maybe. If I brought that to school, I'd brag about it to and then be totally puzzled when people weren't down with it. Rusty wheelbarrows are the best.
But the real best is how aloof she is to the craziness swirling around her since she just wants to model "and skip the socializing."
In other words, she isn't here to make friends, of course.
I mean, nothing fazes this girl. Watch:
Hey Bloody Eyeball, Amber is only getting stronger in the Lord and, like, loving-er. Your retort?
Hey Bloody Eyeball, this one hangs out in a clock:
Hey Bloody Eyeball, Amanda doesn't have running water so she shits on herself and covers it up with rouge.
Hey Bloody Eyeball, "Le."
Hey Bloody Eyeball...uh, this:
Hey Bloody Eyeball, Sundai is a critter.
And I mean that as in Critters. Accurate and pop-cultural, right? Your retort?
Hey Bloody Eyeball, Laura curls her hair with...
Impossible, you say? Well, actually, what do you say?
Hey, Bloody Eyeball, J is totally channeling Whitney at her I'm Your Baby Tonightest with this hair:
You gotta you gotta way that you're makin' me feel I can feel I can do any do any...what?
Hey Bloody Eyeball, Bianca could have a conversation with Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton.
Who could you have a conversation with?
Hey Bloody Eyeball, I made this gif of various faces Tyra made as she announced her Top 14 just for you:
Aren't you filled with the holiday spirit, thanks to my gif-giving?
Hey, Bloody Eyeball, you yourself said, "I like eyeballs." Anything to add?
Yeah, I didn't think so. It wasn't that impressive as bids for attention go, anyway.
(Part 2 tomorrow! Sorry I'm stretching it out, but you can't possibly have expected me to cover both premiere festivities and makeover Tyover madness in one post, right?)