Saturday, December 20, 2014

Watching old episodes of ANTM...

I quit watching America's Next Top Model after the college edition.  I think that might have been Cycle 19.  Truth be told, I didn't watch all of the episodes of Cycle 19.  The show had become pretty much unwatchable by then.  When Tyra fired Miss J, Jay Manuel, and Nigel Barker and added the repulsive Kelly Cutrone to the line up, I decided enough was enough and pulled the plug.

Since I was without WiFi for half of this week, I needed to find ways to entertain myself.  I had a bunch of old episodes of ANTM on my computer.  Since those earlier cycles were kind of fun to watch, I've been revisiting them.  Man... I'm glad reality TV didn't exist when I was in my 20s.  The idea of spending several weeks in a house with a bunch of drama queens and engaging in silly challenges while listening to Tyra Banks is not all that appealing.  But then, Tyra Banks is my age, so I probably find her less impressive.  She's more of a peer than a role model.  I also find her unbearably narcissistic, but I guess narcissism is a necessary ingredient for the massive success she has managed to achieve.

I guess for me, what really makes this show interesting is that these women really think that being on ANTM will propel them into superstardom.  Some of the women who have been contestants have become actual models, but the vast majority of them go back into obscurity.  And yet, when they are eliminated, you often hear them say "You'll see me again someday" as they drag their suitcases off into the sunset.

Of course, there are always exceptions.  Probably the most successful ANTM alum yet is Analeigh Tipton, who ended up in movies.


A trailer from one of Analeigh's recent flicks...

Adrianne Curry, who infamously won the first cycle and then went on to piss off Tyra Banks by calling her out for not delivering on the prizes she was supposed to win, went on to be in a few reality shows and even married Christopher Knight, aka Peter Brady.  Of course, they ended up getting divorced.

Adrianne Curry keeping it classy on My Fair Brady...

Elyse Sewell was also on Cycle 1 and later wrote an entertaining blog about being a model in Asia.

Elyse Sewell went on to be a successful model in Hong Kong...

Cycle 10's Fatima Siad has gone on to be a model... and it seems appropriate, given how exotic and unusual she is.

And here's Fatima Siad, obviously still working as a model...

But for most of them, ANTM is not an endeavor that will lead to anything substantive in the entertainment industry.  When it comes down to it, ANTM is about drama and catfights.  I cringe whenever Tyra says the judges are "scared" about something.  That's just dumb.  They're modeling, not performing brain surgery.  Granted, I am no model and wouldn't want to be one.  What they're doing is learning how to sell things through pictures.  That's what modeling is mostly about.  

It also kills me when Tyra talks about "high fashion"... but then all the challenges are using Cover Girl makeup at Walmart.  There's nothing high fashion about Cover Girl or Walmart.  When she criticizes a model for being too "commercial", I can't help but think that's what modeling is really about.  Only a small percentage of models are couture-- those are the ones who are doing artistic photo shoots.  The rest of them are making money selling clothes for Eddie Bauer or Target.  There's nothing wrong with being commercial.  That's where the money and the work is.  Hell... Tyra was a model for Victoria's Secret.  What's high fashion about that?  ANTM is really just one big ad.

Anyway... back to Duolingo.  Got to practice my German.

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