An "America's Next Top Model" cycle with past models may be a thing of nightmares for Tyra I-Made-Smize-A-Word Banks, but it's something I and many other fans have been hoping for since Twiggy left several cycles back.
In fact, Tyra and the gang have seemed to revamp this cycle to cater to what we fans love best -- endless drama, bickering, catchphrases and the ability to judge harshly without really knowing the girl. It's a dream come true.
Fourteen past "ANTM" favorites, Angelea, Laura, Lisa, Bre, Bianca, Brittany, Dominique, Sheena, Kayla, Allison, Camille, Shannon, Alexandria and Prince George's County girl Isis filled the house yet again. A who's who of "Top Model" should've-been-winners and why-is-she-still-around-ers.
So who still had the stuff and who was sent home a second time around? Frankly, I was surprised.
BEWARE OF SPOILERS AHEAD!
For their first photo shoot the girls were styled as their "ANTM" personas. Some nailed it and others … well, sort-of sucked.
Allison, one of my all-time favorites, played off her large eyes and adorableness and was dressed like a doll. A giant lollipop-holding doll with an absurdly short dress. But it worked!
Ms. Isis King, whom most fans will remember as being the show's first transgender contestant, also knocked it out of the park. Since competing in cycle 11, Isis got her gender reassignment surgery and, thankfully, isn't uncomfortable modeling in bikinis anymore. She brought it in the photo shoot, posing on water and portraying "confidence."
Shannon, the "I don't pose nude" model from the show's very first cycle, was back to her old tricks and refused to pose in little lace shorts. Instead, she opted for a teeny tiny bikini bottom. Because that's less revealing. Her reasoning? She'll wear a bathing suit on a public beach, but only her husband can see her in her underwear. Slightly ridiculous, yes, but at least she stuck to her guns. Plus, her photo was lovely.
Not up to par were last cycle's Alexandria and the stereotypical wild child for cycle four, Brittany. It worked then, dear Brittany, but not so much anymore. Neither of the ladies stood out during the shoot.
The best part of the new cycle: live judging in front of an audience in front of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. I love me some judgmental audience members. The girls were to walk the runway on the stage in the middle of the crowd before taking the podium in front of the judges.
Nicki Minaj added her fashion expertise and general sauciness to the judge's table. She wasn't afraid to lay it on the ladies. And apparently neither was the audience.
When Alexandria walked down the runway, she got a few "boos" and one "Hey, Alex. F--- you!" The only one to get anything other than cheers.
Hey now, disgruntled "Top Model" fans. I dislike Alexandria as much as the next guy or gal, but booing her from the sidelines? Harsh. Even though she's one of the more disliked (and that's putting it nicely) models, she redeemed herself more in cycle 16 than Bre (Red Bull fiasco!) or Bianca ever did. Plus, I could've done without the fake crying.
"I’m trying to have my time!" And I was trying to get through the episode without rolling my eyes. Oh, well.
After the judges had their say, the Jays asked the crowd who they loved and who they hated. Clearly, the crowd had good taste: They named Allison their favorite and Alexandria the most hated. But Brittany got the worst critique: no one remembered or mentioned her. Ouch.
When all was said and done, Isis was called first (woohoo!) and my girl Allison called second.
Lackluster pics and the crowd's disdain and indifference landed Alex and Brit in the bottom, and, ultimately, Brittany was sent home. After all, who would watch a reality show without a villain?
Sorry, Brittany. You may still look like Janice Dickinson sans the plastic surgery, but you couldn't last as long as she did on the show.