Thursday, September 21, 2006

Forget The Donald, Give me The Tyra
I'm usually one of the first people to rail against the evils of reality television, but I have my supreme reality pleasures -- Amazing Race, Rock Star: Supernova, and anything starring Gordon Ramsay. But my biggest squeeee comes from the premiere of America's Next Top Model. I don't know what it is about this show that makes me happy, but somehow, having Tyra Banks back on my television (even if I hate her most of the time and just want to reach into the set and throttle her) just makes me a happy person.

The new season began last night on the brand-spankin-new CW network and Tyra was in fine form. There was a bunch of the usual stuff:
-some girl decided to just say no to "takin' her clothes off just because some cotton-pickin' guy told me to, no way, that's not what Jaysus would want of me" and then got booted for it
-Miss Jay (a.k.a. Mushmouth) pranced around looking like a 7-foot-tall moron and wanting people to call him "she." Um, yeah. Please don't do that, Miss Jay. We women don't want you in our club.
-Mister Jay was awesome
-Tyra tried to "debunk" stereotypes while upholding them simultaneously, something she magically does every episode, and we love her for it
-someone broke down in the audition crying because "no one thought I was beautiful (sniff) growing up [sad music begins playing], and... and... my sisters (snort) were all prettier than I was, and... and... people at school laughed at me (SNOORRRRT) and... [music swells]
"... I wear contacts because... oh god, I'm going to cry, I'm so sorry... (sniff)... but in India they believe lighter eyes are prettier, and (snort) and... I'm here to debunk that myth. Dark eyes are beautiful." Uh... and the contacts were for what, to just raise the issue?
-some girl has "stripper" on her resume and Tyra goes into a long rant about how stripping and modelling are VERY DIFFERENT THINGS and the girl ends up being booted even though she was far more model-like than many of the women who made it. And then... the first photo shoot is naked. Tyra, do you listen to yourself talk??

My personal fave going into this competition is whatshername (I never know names the first week) with the really short hair, Megan or Maggie or Minnie or something, who got up, told a story of being in a plane crash when she was 9, and her mom threw her body over her to keep her warm and died of hypothermia... and not one sniffle. Not a single snort. Yet, she's not stone; she cares about her mom, she knows she's standing behind her (Tyra tried to get her to cry by saying, "I bet your momma is in this room RIGHT NOW" and the girl still didn't break, she just smiled). I love her. She's not going to use the sympathy vote, she thinks she can do it on her own. FINALLY.

Twins: They're emaciated, but it also could be a genetic thing, so we're not here to judge. I thought their pictures both rocked. Nigel -- lovely, lovely Nigel -- commented on how his wife is a twin [cut to shots of this gorgeous woman and her gorgeous twin] and said if they're competitive, they'll never make it. Um... Nigel? This is a COMPETITION! If they both stand at the photo shoots and say, "No, you go first" "No YOU go first" "oh you're way more beautiful," "No, YOU are".... they'll never get anywhere, and you'll be bitching next week that they're not competitive enough.

I loved that the MOST CONTROVERSIAL PHOTO SHOOT EVER consisted of stereotypes of models. O...kay. If you'd done a religious or political theme, I could see that generating some controversy. But first Tyra swoops in dressed as a she-devil and shrieking like a banshee to show them what the real stereotype is, and then asks them all to pose in those stereotypes. And in doing so, they uphold them -- they choose the anorexic twins to play an anorexic and a bulimic. They send one girl out for a diva treatment, get her back to the set 10 seconds before she's supposed to perform and then they all yell at her for being late and say she's being a diva, yet also complain she's a bad actress. Jay tells her to NOT act like a diva on his set, so she gets into her pose and refuses to act like a diva, and he complains to Tyra that she wasn't acting like a diva enough... argh. And the person they voted off -- whose name escapes me -- was asked to do a moronic picture of the "model who acts" (which is apparently a stereotype... ok... could someone tell Tyra that??) and of COURSE she couldn't nail it, because it was a silly picture to have taken, and she had almost no direction.

Unfortch, they've kept on Twiggy, who is lovely, but vapid and she seriously went, "Oh I love that picture" when one photo went up, and afterwards during the voting, said, "I really don't like this picture." And I've heard Janice 'the freak' Dickinson is coming back for MORE damn cameos (someone get this woman her own show so she can stay off THIS ONE).

But my favourite line stayed in the show, and I was thrilled. "So now, the judges are going to debilerate... debilitate... debooberate.... uh.... we're going to think about it and make a choice." Tyra trying out her polysyllabic words... it's what I live for.

Ah, Tyra, thank you for coming back to my TV. It's going to be a very quick 12 weeks, but I will love every minute of it.


The Chapati Kid said...

Me too! Me too! I can't WAIT for the next episode (today) where the Indian girl (who I can't stand, because she wore light contact lens because it's so Indian-trash to do that) gets into a catfight over the phone. Bring on the drama, ladies! Although I really miss Jade. She was so heinous that I actually began to like her. Kind of like Omarosa on The Surreal Life.

Anonymous said...

Damn, I couldn't even follow the recap, i don't know how I would have made through the show. I'm watching Survivor again and it is ok. The who divided by race controversy was mostly just smoke.

And we're watching Amazing Race for the first time, and I'm highly amused by all the sterotypes on that show.