Season 14 of Top Model kicks off with a supersized 90-minute episode that sees 32 semi-finalists vying to complete their "MyFierce" pages and become part of Tyra's social network. I mean, she couldn't even go with "FierceBook"? They shoot profile pictures and "net-walk" on the runway, and of course have their revues in front of a panel of Tyra and the Jays. We thus get to learn more about our little crew of freaks. Angelea of "I cain't go back to Buffalo, I cain't" fame is back, and apparently had some anger management classes after failing the psych test last season. She got rid of her grotesque nails but can't say "Givenchy." Points for trying. There's also Hallie, a spoiled brat whose godmother is Cybill Shepherd; Simone, who is a less snooty version of season three's Kelle; Jessica, who got pregnant the first time she had sex; Brenda who also got pregnant the first time she had sex (these cautionary tales are brought to you by Bankable Productions); Raina with the giant eyebrows; Alasia, who is a crazy reborn Christian leather daddy; Krista who is scared of white guys' penises because she thinks they look like raw meat; Aimee, the Carol Kane lookalike who sings opera; volunteer mortician Tatianna; plus-size drag queen Jeanna ,who lives on the planet Glamazonia (which she made up); Nadua, who is bald, vaguely European, and was born into a molesty cult; Texas Pakistani Nida; biracial Gabrielle; plus-sized and annoying Alexandra; pretty, boring Anslee; and Danielle of the multiple piercings and tattoos.
The first cut comes quickly, and 12 girls are eliminated. Nida is one, which is sad, because she's quite pretty. Pierced Danielle also gets the cut and curls up into a fetal position on the floor, because she's all about going out with dignity. After those two and ten other losers we never meet are out of the building, the remaining 20 girls partake in a rather ridiculous shoot with the theme of, "What supermodel are you?" It does serve one purpose, which is to show who actually reads magazines. Poor Tatianna fails the test and thinks that Megan Fox is a supermodel, while Alexandra draws a basketball-sized mole on her face to portray Cindy Crawford.
In all, 12 girls are chosen as finalists: Naduah, Jessica, Simone, Raina, Tatianna, Alexandra, Krista, Brenda, Alasia (who actually pounds the floor when her name is called), Anslee, Gabrielle and Angelea. These skinny bitches hit New York City like a bad case of crabs. They get very excited at seeing a wax figure of Johnny Depp outside of Madam Tussaud's, and less excited about seeing the flesh-and-bones version of Perez Hilton. He gives them a tour of the museum, and eventually the real Tyra emerges from amongst the wax. Apparently she made a deal with Perez that if he stopped talking about celebrity kids for six months he could be on Top Model. Always working for the cause, that one. Tyra also introduces the random mysterious 13th contestant, "edgy" Ren from Dallas. I can't believe they cut Stimpy!
Speaking of cuts, the girls head straight to Ty-overs with celebrity stylist Sally Hershberger. There are a few surprises and a little drama. Edgy Ren gets a style mullet that basically looks just like Sally Hershberger's hair. Sally also trims Ren's armpit hair, which is a Top Model first. There is some speculation that she has a giant bush as well. The tears of the episode come from Brenda, whose gorgeous red locks are trimmed into a Halle Berry-inspired cut that does not please her. With Ty-overs complete, the girls move into their fierce New York loft. There's an instant clash over closet space that proves that Angelea's stank is alive and well, and often expresses itself with a patented "Bitch, please" look. Krista also has a healthy serving of stank on her plate. It's particularly targeted at Alasia who, in all fairness, is nuts.
The episode ends with the beginning of the first photo shoot, as the girls learn that they'll get to pick one article of clothing from designer Custo Barcelona and otherwise be naked. That's one way to get us to tune in next week!
Oh boy, you guys. It's happening. Top Model is back for Cycle 14. Like an ungainly adolescent bursting forth with hormones and a bad attitude, it is designed to simultaneously torture and amuse you. To wit, our season opens with Tyra, replete in a black catsuit like she's about to try to steal the Baseball Diamond with Carla, Marla and Darla, comes strutting out of a limo, cameltoe trailing. She voices over, "When I dreamed up America's Net Top Model, all those years ago when Mr. Jay still had black hair, I did not imagine that it would become a worldwide phenomenon, seen in almost 150 countries." And really all this means is that we can cry for the state of the world, rather than just the U.S. The polar ice caps are melting and Top Model is being shown in Thailand. It's really all you need to know to make an assessment. Tyra continues, "Over 17 countries have created their own version of America's Next Top Model," with such hosting luminaries as Elle MacPherson, Vendela, and Heidi Klum. Poor Canada gets Jay Manuel, though maybe that's fitting since the entire country smells like cupcakes. We're now in Cycle 14, and Tyra assures us that the show has plenty of tricks up its couture sleeves. Who will cry at the makeovers? Which girl will have the fiercest walk? What photo shoot will push the girls to their breaking points? They're universal questions on par with, "Is there a God?" and "Where do we go when we die?" But also Tyra reminds us that Andre Leon Talley has joined the judging panel, proving that you really can't ever count this show out. I fully expect him to emerge, pretend he's having some sort of attack, and faint into a resplendent somersault like Gene Wilder in the original Willy Wonka movie.
Thirty-two "beauties" have come to Los Angeles to begin this competition. The first one we meet is Naduah, 22, from San Diego. Her bald head and vaguely European accent call to mind a more alienesque version of Sinead O'Connor in her ripping-up-pictures-of-the-pope years. We will soon learn a whole bunch more about Naduah, and I think can expect her to be around for the long haul. The girls land at the Universal Sheraton in a cloud of excitement, and we get brief glimpses of several of them. One of the more memorable is Alasia, 18 from Marietta, Georgia, who tells us that she's ready to whip these bitches apart because she's mean competition. Emphasis on "mean."
The girls collect in a room where they see, projected on the wall, Tyra's "MyFierce" page. (Incidentally, if you try to go to myfiercepage.com, you're automatically redirected to the CW website. I do these things so you don't have to.) Yes, social networking is apparently something of a theme this season. The fact that Tyra had the opportunity to go with "FierceBook" and didn't says something both about her overall relevance and general command of the language, I think. But hey, that's one bangin' profile picture. And then, Tyra's profile picture comes to life via "TyChat." She says she has 32 model friend requests, and has to narrow them down. To help her, she has enlisted the Jays, who pop up in their own individual TyChat windows. I bet the short conversation they have at this moment is, in fact, indicative of an actual conversation between the three of them -- full of inane chatter about their respective hairdos and words like "fantasticals" and "are we ready to get this party started." Please, Andre Leon Talley, come quick and save us!