The show that makes you feel like the President of MENSA is back, baby. It's audition time, and bitches abound. These include a mail-order bride, a human ink blotter, someone with a repossessed weave, two fatties, a dentist, and at least three of the original cast members of Paris Is Burning. There are a lot of girls at first, then fewer, then thirteen. The majority of them appear to be f'ing nuts. For their first photo shoot, the girls must pose in a politically-themed shoot, and non-controversial entity Nigel Barker does the photography honors. Punky whackjob Jael is sick, until she benefits from the healing power of a hula hoop. Kathleen is just...well, let's just say that the wattage from the light socket she stuck her finger in totally bypassed the brainial area. After the photo shoot, it's on to the Goodwill, where the girls perform in a charity runway show, with proceeds going to the "vocationally challenged." I guess this means Miss J. will get the whopping $286 they raised. Jael wins the challenge, predictably because the audience the production crew wrangled from the methadone clinic next door can relate to her most. Meanwhile, Maui-based mom Renee shows her bitchy side, and braggy Sarah earns the ire of many. At judging, Jaslene (whom you may remember from being batshit crazy and relentlessly jowly from last season's auditions) does surprisingly well. Most of the other photos are so-so. In the end, we come down to the heretofore mentioned remarkably dumb Kathleen (who opines that it's okay to take the fur of animals for coats if they've died of natural causes in the jungle, because animals die of natural causes sometimes, don't they? Yeah, I'll take that chinchilla with the tire tracks on the back) and also relatively dumb Jael, who doesn't enjoy winning challenges because maybe people won't like her then. In the end, Tyra and Co. decide that a two-hour premiere episode will probably provide a sufficient campaign against fetal alcohol syndrome, and so they send Kathleen home. That banging sound you hear? Yeah, she's still trying to find her way out of the judging room.
First, I have to say that, in case you didn't know, you can now buy Top Model on iTunes. Thank you Tyra, thank you Top Model, and thank you iTunes! You have drastically improved the quality of my life! In any case...
She's baaaaaaaaaaaaaack. And yes, by "she" I mean the woman whose fat ass we've all loved to kiss for eight cycles: the irrepressible Miss Tyra Banks. And, as usual, it's all about her. Our premiere starts off with Tyra talking about Tyra. You know, she's been a model forever, blah blah blah. And it's always been her dream to pass the torch of being a top model to girls all over America. Really? I thought her dream was to charm Oprah into her own demise by inviting her over for a night of ribs by the fire, choking her with her weave, and wrestling the top talk show host torch from her cold, dead, greasy, Stedman-loving hands. Now, she tells us, Top Model is seen in over 110 countries. Proof that as the world gets smaller, it gets dumber, too. And also that America will not rest until we have ruined the rest of the world. Tyra gives Heidi Klum props for hosting Germany's Next Top Model, presumably to indicate that she's not seething with jealousy about (a) Project Runway, (b) Seal and (c) the fact that Heidi's still got the hot. You know why Heidi Klum doesn't ask anyone to kiss her fat ass? Because three babies later, her ass isn't fat.
Tyra tells us that the competition is getting bigger and crazier, and to dramatize that, we see some crazy folks auditioning. One woman says that she's spending so much money going to casting that if she doesn't get on the show, she's going to have to start selling her body. "To start." Out of thousands of applicants, thirty-three girls have been selected to be finalists. And seriously...thirty-three? They couldn't pick a round number? We get the stock footage of LAX that has been a mainstay of the "Tyra's doing her talk show and this is really a fortune-making afterthought" years, and we see girls meeting each other for the first time in the airport. Melissa, twenty-one, from the Bronx, says that she's going to impress the judges, because they'll see her drive and her hunger. Well, just don't let them see you eating, sweetie. We then meet Natasha, twenty-one, who is from Dallas but was born in Russia. She looks like Mail-Order Bride Barbie. Oops, spoiler. We then are reintroduced to Jaslene, twenty-one, from Chicago, who tells us all about how she didn't make it last season but is excited to be back. In the time between last season's semi-finals and this year's, Jaslene still has not seen fit to acquire a second x chromosome. Seriously, you could digitally insert her into crowd scenes in Paris Is Burning and no one would blink an eye.