First, an admission: I have been so excited for this
season cycle for what seems like years. It's weird how overexposure to vapid reality shows makes one become dependent. It's like caffeine – things just don't seem right if I don't have a group of idiotic women to make fun of, and the Bachelor series and the Gauntlet just don't feed me the way ANTM does.
On with the show – you know the drill. They looked all over the country, tens of thousands of applicants, and they've narrowed it down to 32. They introduced us to some of them. They are a pretty random bunch, some obviously beautiful, some not so much, ALL of them are painfully skinny. There will be no
"plus size" girl's spirit to break this cycle. Hmmm. There has to be at least a bulimic or a cutter in the mix, or else who can Tyra feel sorry for and build into a small version of herself?
They all arrive at a hotel in Pasadena that is not named, but I happen to know is the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Spa & Resort. I'm not sure why they agreed to let this particular band of narcissists run loose in their hotel, I thought they were supposed to be classier than that.
We haven't really caught more than a glimpse of each woman when the two Jays enter the scene to announce it is time for their first challenge. They have three minutes to use their own clothes to emulate one of three walks demonstrated on video by Tyra. There's the
"sexy" walk, the "sophisticated" walk, and the "virginal" walk. It's a muthafuckin' WALK OFF! All the women take turns strutting their stuff, most do it badly.
Oddly placed side-note: I've run into a bit of summarizing dilemma. The show is all over the place, there doesn't seem to be much structure. We see little vignettes of some of the women, interspersed with random meals, intertwined with repeated footage of certain women telling us how great they are. Therefore, my summary will mirror the show, just randomly deciding to profile specific women at odd times and you'll just have to try to follow along. I'm tired of trying to think of a way to make this thing cohesive. Just trust me – the episode itself is as disjointed as my summary appears.
OK, where was I? Oh yes, the muthafuckin' walk-off. They just show the various women trying to imitate the Tyra video they just saw, and Two Jays are making comments, and the only reason I am even bringing it up is because I am uncomfortable with how much airtime is given to Jay Manuel. I hate that guy, I really do. Walking is Miss Jay's territory, and I just think Mr. Jay should stick with the eye shadow and leave us alone. After the Two Jays start the clock on their 3 minute time limit, one of the girls, Kathy (more on her later), begins taking off her clothes right there on the balcony of the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Spa & Resort. The Two Jays shout to her that they don't need to see her ass, but I thought she should have been complimented. I mean, three minutes isn't a whole lot of time. You gotta take the opportunity where you can.
During the muthafuckin' walk-off, there are a few standout ladies I should mention:
There's Yvonne, an emergency room doctor. I'm not sure what it is about the emergency medical profession recently that turns them into media whores, but I just suffered through the Dr. Travis debacle over on The Bachelor, and I really don't have the strength to hang out through endless weeks of no personality because her head has been stuck in a book for the last 12 years. So I hope she doesn't make it. Then she goes and wins the walk off. Shit.
Dani. Oh, Dani. This one has
"project" written all over her. She looks a lot like Katie, the newly mute contestant of Real World/Road Rules Challenge fame, only a whole lot skinnier and a lot more obnoxious. In the first 30 minutes of the show, Dani complained that she had to audition with 95% black girls, declared Abercrombie & Fitch as off-limits to African-Americans, said she didn't like gays, Muslims, or abortions, and told Miss Jay to his face that she didn't
"agree" with his lifestyle. I figure she's got a lock on the finals. All of the conservatives in the audience will be pleased to know that Dani identifies these viewpoints as supremely conservative and Republican. Shaking the intolerant image of conservatives just got a little bit more challenging with people like Dani as your representative to young America. The good news is, maybe Dani can be this year's punching bag since there is no fat girl.
Jade – to hear Jade tell it, she is a superstar. She is winning; there is no point to this entire competition. Other women are intimidated by her. At 26, she's a little long in the tooth and therefore she feels she deserves it based on that. She is SHOCKED that she has not been discovered yet. We're supposed to hate her, I think. She gets a LOT of chances to tell us how great she is, so of course we have no choice but to root for her demise. We've seen her personality again, and again, and again on a lot better shows, so she's going to have to work a little harder to reach
Omarosa heights. I'm bored with her.
After the muthafuckin' walk-off, the ladies are eating lunch when Two Jays show up and tell them that Tyra has sent them a video message. Unfortunately, Tyra couldn't be here to meet them in person, and can you believe how fucking ME-focused Tyra Banks is? Obviously, the bitch is standing around the corner, yet she still has Two Jays
"fooling" the girls into thinking she isn't there. It's so sad. I remember when the
"got your nose" game used to upset me. Then I turned 3. Why Tyra is still playing it with these people is beyond me. They are kind enough to play along, and when Tyra finally revealed herself –
"Ha ha! Fooled you! I was here the whole time!" – they all screamed and hollered and were asskissingly excited to see her.
Now that Tyra has arrived, the auditions can begin. Now, I've already introduced you to a few people, and I know you are waiting breathlessly to meet the rest of them, so here we go.
There's Gina, the naïve Korean girl who tells us in one breath that she is there to represent Asians and that she hates Asian men. Tyra, being Tyra, tries to point out to Gina that she contradicted herself, and I hope that Gina tells Tyra to mind her own damn business, but she doesn't. Tyra is right about everything, of course and will not be questioned.
This cycle's sob story comes in the form of Nnenna, an ebony goddess from Nigeria whose mother died 10 days after childbirth, after suffering through an ill-advised pregnancy for a 5th child. Seems Mom was pressured by Nnenna's Dad to produce a boy. Nnenna's Mom had another girl, though, and then passed away 10 days later. I think it's a big coincidence that Mom
"happened" to die after birthing yet another wretched female, but Nnenna doesn't mention that her Dad was then arrested for murder, so I'm guessing she believes the childbirth story. Anyway, Dad couldn't take care of all of them anymore, so he sent Nnenna to live with an aunt in Texas. She has had to work to send her family in Nigeria money, all the time having this dream of becoming a model. She is reminiscent of Iman, who is clearly the best model ever, and before I even see who makes the finals, I am going to go out on a limb and say Nnenna is one of them.
Somewhere along the way, the 32 got cut to 20. Everyone I have mentioned thus far is still in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model. Let's press on --
Furonda! She's 24 and from Stuttgart, AR. She tells the panel that she used to be a phone sex operator, and then demonstrated her sexy voices, none of which sounded too sexy to me. I've never called a phone sex line before, so maybe that's how they sound. She sounded like she was imitating Martin Lawrence characters. That Shenehneh always cracked me up.
Well, I stand corrected. I thought Nnenna would be this cycle's sob story until we got to Wendy. Holy cow, I defy these judges not to bring this girl into the finals after hearing her
back-story. I can't even make fun of her, and you all know how evil I can be. She is from New Orleans, and was successfully evacuated after Katrina hit. She hasn't been able to go back, everything was destroyed. Her Dad, last she heard, was waiting it out inside a car. She has not heard from him since. Tyra, of course, made it all better for Wendy by giving her one of her award-winning hugs. Go forth, Wendy, and prosper. It has been ordained by Tyra. I sort of hope she doesn't make it to the finals, because I really don't think I'll be able to mock her. I say that now. I should know better – I'm sure she'll do SOMETHING that can be mocked at one point or another. As for her look? Let's call it
Oh, look, Nicole is trying out to be ANTM again! And she dyed her hair blonde! Oh, wait. That's Kari, 20, form Brookings, SD. She looks exactly like Nicole, if Nicole were a back-up dancer in a Bell Biv Devoe video.
There are other contestants, too, like Shkita, a 24 year old from Watts who actually admits to a krush on Mr. Jay (who snottily deigns to give her a hug, and finishes it by saying
"Air Kisses!" Damn, I hate him), and Andrea, a 19 year old from Geneva, OH, who says her Mom is her best friend and her Dad is her hero. She did mention that she doesn't get out much, so I guess I can't make too much fun of her. Since this summary is getting long, let's skip ahead to the final cut. Seven more get the boot, including Yvonne the doctor and Dani the KKK apprentice. Here are your finalists:
Jade – well, obviously. She's the best one.
Nnenna – strong black African woman who evokes Iman. Told ya.
Wendy – Katrina evacuee with a heart of gold (I'm assuming).
Kari – Blonde Nicole
Kathy – Girl who took off her clothes in front of Two Jays. I should also mention that she is a self-proclaimed hillbilly. She actually said she was coming to California to swim in the cement pond. Her accent is atrocious.
Gina – aforementioned Korean cutie who is this season's naïve girl with most potential for personal change.
Brooke – Tyra keeps calling her weird-looking. To hear Tyra tell it, Brooke's face is so odd, only high-minded fashion whores like her will
"understand" her. Um, Tyra? It's called no-makeup, babe. See, sometimes women aren't so much into the whole hair and makeup deal, so they just don't wear it. No need to call a person freaky looking over it.
Furonda! I don't know what to say about this, except that Tyra was obviously on crack when she made this decision. Or maybe she wants to keep her around so she can see Furonda do
'Jerome' or 'Roscoe' next.
Mollie Sue – morose young woman that had a boyfriend for a million years or something. If she has a personality, she was keeping under wraps during this episode. What is it about women with strangely red short hair? Wasn't there one of these in a prior cycle? She was so bland that no one even noticed she was there until there were only 4 or 5 people left.
Leslie – early contender on my hate list because she has a tattoo across her lower stomach that reads…oh, I don't remember what it reads, but it was something stupid and she copied it from Angelina Jolie. Seemed proud of it, too. Idiot.
Joanie – She is a preacher's daughter who is trying to rebel. She's already tried wearing red cowboy boots and organizing a dance that is in direct violation of a city ordinance, but that didn't do much good, so she's going to try to upset her father by acting a fool on national TV.
Danielle – She's a lot like Tiffany
"Bitch poured beer on my weave" from Cycle 3 (or whatever it was). She says she's
"hella focused" because she NEEDS this. She doesn't really tell a sad story about how her Grandma spent the rent money to buy her a new bathing suit, so I'm not sure if she will get any sympathy from Tyra. Her Mom does have rheumatoid arthritis and Danielle has to take care of her, so there's that, but problems like that don't really interest Tyra too much because it can't be cured with one of her patented pep talks.
I'm missing someone – oh, Sara! I can't believe I forgot her because I think she could be the winner. They keep pointing out that she has zero modeling experience, which confuses me because I kind of thought that was the whole point. They mention it several times in relation to her, though, and also the fact that she didn't really audition, but was approached at a mall. I can see her press kit now. Anyway, she looks exactly like someone who would be a Cover Girl, which is why she is my early pick to win. Her main problem is she's about 10 feet tall, which makes this the first time on ANTM history that someone is too tall, rather than too short. I know. Gives me chills, too.
So now that we have the finalists, they are immediately sent into a challenge. It was a press conference wherein they all had to answer questions from a panel of what can only be described as G List celebrities. Except for Miss Janice Dickinson, who is at least a D List celebrity. Todd Newton (is he on E!? I've seen him before, I think, but I couldn't tell you where), Rolanda Watts (Remember when she did
'Inside Edition' with Bill O'Reilly? Not that it has anything to do with anything, I just like to bring up O'Reilly's past as a celebrity ass-kisser at every opportunity I can, since he seems to think he is so above it now), and Trey Smith, who is described as a
"special consultant." Isn't Trey Smith the son of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? I'm embarrassed to admit I know that.
During the fake press conference, Jade told us she was awesome, Danielle told us she was awesome, and Nnenna told her sob story and of course touched the hearts of the panel and won the challenge. Wendy didn't say shit about her ordeal, so she basically handed the win to Nnenna. For her reward, she got to choose 3 other ladies to join her in being the first people to enter their new house and scream over each and every photograph. She chose Jade, Gina and I forget the 3rd one.
Finally time for their first photo shoot. Tyra, that crazy cut-up, came out and told everyone they were going to go bald. They've been promoting that clip all week; as if viewers are going to sincerely believe that they are going to shave them all bald. Please. But, we have to wait in suspense a bit before Tyra reveals that they will be wearing skull caps. Oh! Whew! Glad that's over! I TOTALLY thought they were going to shave everyone's HEAD!
So everyone looks actually pretty good in their skull cap, except Kathy, whose photo will give me nightmares for years to come. Also, I had not mentioned it earlier, but if Kathy is 20, then so am I. I don't know who she thinks she's foolin', but she has got soccer Mom written all over her. I bet she has a few kids. She's gotta be about 35.
At judging, everyone gets pretty good feedback except Furonda and Kathy. They are pretending like Furonda took the worse picture of the two, but they lie because we just heard them talk about how Furonda has
"something," and they didn't say that about Kathy, so you know Kathy is going home. And she does. I don't even know what she was doing there in the first place, but she would have definitely benefited from a makeover.
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