America’s Next Top Model: Cycle 8

Well here we go again with Cycle 8 of ANTM. Thirty two new whining, drama queens are inducted into the Tyra Banks house of worship. If you’re reading this, you are already a fan of the show so there’s no need for me to recap. What I will do is offer my observations and opinions. No less than 7 minutes into the program, the over-the-top Tyra worship begins. Tyra makes her entrance probably preceded by a large group of stagehands holding huge signs instructing the contestants to scream as if they had seen the second coming of Christ. Does Tyra’s ego need stroking so much that we need to see this pathetic display season after season. Even Oprah doesn’t get this kind of welcome in Africa. In a surprising departure from past seasons, the model’s house is decorated with pictures of past ANTM winners instead of being decked out as the Tyra shrine.

The models:

First up is Kathleen (20) who screamed to Tyra “You’re so pretty” no less than three times. She must of thought they measured hair when it come to height because she showed up with a monstrosity on her head that was no less than a foot tall. Great body but her nose is a bit wide for her jawline. I actually liked her photo better than some of the others but the judges didn’t agree and booted her.

From a physical point of view, Sarah (20) jumps out from the rest. She has a fashion model’s body, very symmetrical features, and a very high fashion look to her face. Her experience in the fashion industry gives her a definite advantage over the other girls but it looks like they are already making her out to be the “Miss know it all”. I was disappointed with Sarah’s photo. Both the pose and face were very awkward. One would think she would have done a better job considering she has photographed models before.

Cassandra (24) seems to have stumbled onto the set of ANTM from another show called “What not to wear” complete with a sewed on wig. She has a pretty face and a nice body but is otherwise quite forgettable.

Brittany (21) has a very pretty face and her body certainly fits the bill but her walk is a bit clunky. I like her hair color so I hope they don’t change it. She took one of the stronger photos as a dame decked out in fur.

I’m not going out on a limb much here by officially declaring Natasha (21), as cycle 8’s new bitch #1 aka opportunist. That’s not necessarily my opinion of her but it will be the title the show producers will inevitably place on her. She married a man more than twice her age as a ticket out of Russia. Hey, more power to her. I’m sure her husband knew what he was getting when he married her so it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. Her walk really sucks. Way over the top and borders on being slutty. No doubt she will be a male fan favorite due to her glamor girl face and big hair. She’s more Maxim than Vogue but maybe a makeover will change that. Oh, she has great lips. She took a really weak photo. Very forgettable.

Micheline (22) didn’t make the cut but is worth mentioning. With a quarter of her body covered in tattoos, she has no chance of becoming a mainstream model. I think they just put her on for the shock value. She’s one that pronounced Haute Couture as Hot Couture. And for those who don’t know, it’s pronounced ōt-kˈtr.

Samantha (19) is from Alabama. Why is it that every time a reality show puts on someone from the South, they find the ones with the jacked up teeth. There must be someone from the South with good teeth. She is one of the skinniest of the bunch and walks like a stick. No doubt they’ll be doing some work on her brows in the makeover episode. She took a pretty good photo and has one of the best profiles.

We learned more about Dionne (20) aka “1B30” in the first five minutes than we’ll learn about any of the other girls this entire season. Nothing really stands out about her except that she’s a motor mouth.

Jaslene (20) returns after being booted in Cycle 7 strutting her size 0 frame “all day, every day”. She’s kind of a wild card. They clearly like her personality but we’ll see how far her looks get her. Great photo but what the hell is a ball and chain doing in a photo representing the death penalty. I want to know what State or Country carries out the death penalty by beating the convict to death with an iron ball. Wouldn’t an electric chair be more meaningful? Even a guillotine would have made more sense.

Renee (20) from Maui has one of the best bodies and a very pretty face to match. I’m officially declaring her bitch #2. Anytime someone says they are not a bitch, you can be sure they will be made to look like a bitch. It’s not clear if she will hold on to that title or give it up and take the title of the whiner/crybaby instead. She’s already playing her trump card, her baby. I predict a showdown between her and one of the other models over the use of the phone when she just want to spend more time talking to her baby. I think she may go far in the competition. Her face kind of reminds me of Cameron Diaz and she has good muscle definition on her upper arms. She took a really awful first photo.

Next we have Whitney (20), one of two plus size models this season. Her goal is to revamp the industry so that plus size models can do high fashion. I recall hearing that from the last plus size model who was booted out. Unless ANTM changes sponsors from Covergirl to Trimspa, she’s not going to the finals. It’s nothing against her but she won’t be modeling for Calvin Klein in this lifetime. Is it fair? No. But then again, it’s not fair that I can’t play in the NBA and ugly people can be on covers of fashion magazines. Whitney does have a gorgeous face and I love her smile so she’ll make it a few more episodes. Her photo was kind of weak.

Jael (22), the cry baby. She’s a bit of a drama queen and will no doubt hog a lot of camera time. I like her face the least of all the girls. When she talks, her eyes rolls around and she sounds like she’s high on something. Her hair is also a mess. She took a pretty weak photo.

Diana (21) is the second plus size model. And guess what her goal is? To be the first plus size model to become ANTM. Unlike Whitney who actually looks fat, Diana actually has a really nice body with great proportions and a very pretty face. I think she can hold her own against the other models even without the plus size label. She took a really bland photo.

Felicia (19) aka “baby Tyra” does have a strong resemblance to Tyra. Same skin tone, hair color, and forehead. I like her personality too. I really liked her final photo.

If anyone is keeping track, fight #1 was between Natasha and Sarah over the name of the designer for shoes Sarah wore. Fight #2 was between Natasha and Renee over burping. Fight #3 was between Renee and Sarah over Sarah commitment to being a model. Looks like we have a real three ring circus with these three girls. Fight #4 was between Jael and Renee because Renee was upset with Jael for “acting like everything is OK all the time”.

Rest assured that every time a model wins a competition, a losing model will offer a reason why the winning model didn’t win legitimately. When Sarah won the boot came challenge, it was because she’s a photographer and knew who Richard Avedon was. (Tidbit: Both Jay and Sarah mistakenly referred to Richard Avedon in the present tense. Richard Avedon passed away on October 1st, 2004) When Jael won the Goodwill challenge, it was because she shops at thrift stores.

Did anyone else notice that the Goodwill auction only netted $286.50. That’s $22 per outfit. You would think that Goodwill could have sold these outfits off the rack for the same price without the models. Where did they find these bidders? Did they just walk out to the Goodwill parking lot and grabbed the first 40 people who came of the Smart & Final?

Finally, what’s with all the Photoshop work on the final photos? Someone is getting a little carried away with the motion blur filter. It’s way overdone and absolutely unnecessary.