Girrrrl, Top Model is back, and looking more like a cable access show than ever! We are told that we're back in L.A. this season, but really we are apparently in … the fuuuuuuuuture! Rather, we are in the future via '80s sci-fi movies as the gaggle of semi-finalists makes its way to the Top Model Institute of Technology. Jay Manuel has spray-on gray hair and looks like an aged version of Earring Magic Ken, while Miss J., as will come as no surprise to regular viewers, has stolen Carol Channing's wig. The girls have a "body scan," which sadly does not seem to detect infectious diseases, and a big ass '80s computer analyzes their runway posture. Just when you think it couldn't get any more high-tech, the Glaminator (don't ask) malfunctions and out comes Tyrabot. She has apparently been given truth serum, and acknowledges that all she wants to do is make a dollar off of these bitches. You can't hate on her for that. But you CAN hate on her for many more things, as I'm sure we'll see as the season progresses.
The semi-finalists are culled into the final 20, who are then shaved down to the fierce final fourteen. And they are: Elina, the bisexual vegan animal liberation activist; Sheena the awesome, who is both my early favorite and my pick for the winner; Brittany 1, whose lucky underwear seemed to have worked; Brittany 2 who is from Vegas and maybe a little tacky; Brittany 3 who is a cage fighter; Analeigh, the former figure skater who was briefly sold into slavery by the Saudis; Clark the beeyotch; Marjorie, the big weirdo from France; Isis, the standout Cycle 10 extra with a little something extra; Hannah from Alaska who is not Sarah Palin's knocked up daughter; Nikeysha who likes to flash her chicken cutlets; Samantha and Lauren who I don't remember at all; and Joslyn, who has auditioned for ANTM over 30 times! Losers include Veronique the Mormon, Kacey, who could not befriend Michael Phelps because he wouldn't understand her hair; and Susan, who apparently got through four years of Harvard without reading a book. It's on, bitches!
Hello ladies! And gentlemen! And flamboyant gentlemen! If you can believe it, we've been through 10 cycles of Top Model in our lifetime. Tyra calls this a decade, even though it all happened in five years, which confirms for us that she has her own special relationship with the time-space continuum. To celebrate the commencement of "decade" two, we're going back to L.A. Tyra tries, as she does at the beginning of every L.A. season, to convince us that L.A. is the epicenter of the fashion world, because it is where she sprung fully formed from her own giant forehead. In the beginning was the forehead.
So, per usual, there are 33 semi-finalists, all of whom are on a bus. We are first introduced to Hannah, 18, from Fairbanks, Alaska. She tells us that Alaska is sooooo different from L.A., because they don't have freeways and they don't have people. Hannah will only become interesting if it turns out she is Bristol Palin in disguise. I bet you didn't know the McCain campaign was pro-fierce, did you? Oh, dear, and then one semi-finalist says to another, "You have a great advantage 'cause you're the only Oriental girl here." I'm going to have to find that girl and give her the same speech I always give my mom. In any case, the girl with the advantage in question is Sheena, 21, from Harlem, who says that she's not your typical Asian-American female. Basically, Sheena is a bad-ass sistah in Kimora Lee Simmons' body. Or, I should say, a badder-assed sistah.
A screen caption tells us that we are somewhere in the San Fernando Valley, present day. And then a random neon green lightning bolt runs down the corner of a warehouse-looking building. How... futuristic, in a very cable-access way. The girls line up outside of the building, and then a door opens to reveal the two Jays...from THE FUTURE! Apparently in the future all gay men will be required to wear white pants, silver lamé sweatshirts, and gray or white wigs. Do you ever see those tiny little dogs dressed up in ridiculous outfits and wonder if they have the consciousness to feel embarrassment? Yeah. I will give Jay Manuel that the white/silver combination really makes his tangerine skin pop. I mentioned in the recaplet that Miss J. looks like he stole Carol Channing's wig, which led me to dream that Carol Channing herself wrote me fan mail to say she appreciated the mention. Because you know Carol Channing's out there reading TWoP in her chaise longue or crypt or whatever. Veronique, 19, from Riverside, California, tells us that it is every girl's dream -- and, probably, every guy's dream -- to stand in front of the Jays. Or behind the Jays.