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I’m Torn: America’s Next Top Model

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I used to love ANTM. Ever since 2003, thanks to the CW, and the countless marathons on VH1 and MTV, I’ve been obsessed with all things Top Model. I remember Shandi’s “Shanthrax” t-shirts, drunk Brittany, Nicole being a crybaby, crazy-ass Jade… and literally screaming at my TV when Whitney was crowned Top Model of cycle 10. Now, however, on Cycle 12 it feels as if my love for ANTM may have run its course. Is it worth my Wednesdays? I’m torn.

Love It:

Why do we love any reality show? Not for the photo sessions; it’s obviously about the drama. The issues that come from 13 girls competing for the title of “prettiest” living together in a house is undeniable, and makes for many memorable moments. Remember when Shandi cheated on her boyfriend with the male model? Or when Joanie had her teeth pulled? How about Camille and her “signature walk” that was supposed to “make her famous?” And then there was Melrose always tried to give “advice” to everyone…

Bottom line: the “drama” in the show is funny! I’m sure it was a huge deal to Cycle 7’s Jaeda to get her hair cut short, but watching her melt down and cry because of it was hilarious for me!

If the contestants aren’t ridiculous enough, Tyra Banks is the creator and top-judge of the program. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tyra as a model and her talk show is a guilty pleasure on sick-days, but on ANTM she is just plain crazy. That being said, I will never get sick of  her wacky outfits and hairstyles, her bizarre criticism of the girls, her desire to be a photographer or her constant reminders to “smile with your eyes!” Plus she sings the show’s theme song! Girl does it all.

Finally, ANTM rocks because of one man: Nigel Barker. The multiracial “noted fashion photographer” and former model is so tasty. As if his face (and body!) weren’t enough, he also has that sexy British accent. Oh, and a wife. And two kids. But do you see any of them on the show? No. So for an hour each week we can dream.

Loathe It:

The show is getting boring. The same challenges are used yearly (we’ve seen the go-see challenge and ‘risque’ photo shoots practically every cycle) and it’s fairly easy to tell who’s going home on each episode because it’s generally the girl who gets the most interview time. Nothing is really unexpected at this point, the only thing that changes is what the girls fight about (granola bars?) and who wins.

I don’t know if this bothers anyone else, but I personally hate the constantly-changing real-model judge. First it was Janice Dickenson, then Twiggy, and now Paulina. Janice, even more than Tyra herself, was absolutely ridiculous, which made for some very hilarious and uncomfortable situations. Twiggy took some getting used to, but just as I was starting to warm up to her, Paulina had to step up! And homegirl is kiiiind of a beezy. Thank goodness Miss J (and Nigel!) are still on the panel, or the whole judging thing would be snooze worthy.

The biggest problem with the show however, is that the actual contestants seem to be getting more and more boring, in both their looks and actions. Where are the edgy girls? Or the girls of different races or culture? I don’t see them anymore! If that wasn’t bad enough, apparently when this cycle was filming, producers and camera people actually had to create drama for the girls to fight about so the show would be semi-interesting. It seems that competitive, tall, pretty girls just aren’t entertaining anymore. For this reason, the producers of the show have cooked up a great idea for the next season: allowing ONLY girls 5’7” and under to compete. Are short girls more evil memorable? We better hope that they are, or the next season will be even worse than the last two!

Final verdict? As long as Gossip Girl stays on Mondays, and Grey’s is on Thursdays, I’ll continue to devote an hour each Wednesday to Top Model (because what else would I do?). Otherwise I guess I’ll be seeing Tyra and the gang in syndication on VH1. Maybe.

Are any of you still watching ANTM, or are you over it? Let me know in the comments section!

COLLEGECANDY Writer