Episode 1: Welcome to Top Model Prep

February 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Posted in Aimee, Allison, Amis, Anya, Atalya, Claire, Dominique, episode recap, Fatima, Katarzyna, Kimberly, Lauren, Marvita, speculation, StacyAnn, Whitney | Leave a comment
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Here’s my first episode review for your reading pleasure. If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet, you can find it on YouTube here.

Episode Summary:

This episode was all about screaming, shrieking, and — oh yeah — determining the final 14 to enter the house. The fun began on a bus… singing, screaming, shrieking… instant headache.

The Jays show up; screaming ensues.
Mr Jay announces that school is in session; screaming ensues.
Ms Jay announces that they’re going to have their photo IDs taken; screaming ensues
(Side note: I’ve never seen anyone so excited to get photo IDs taken… seriously. Don’t most people try to be “sick” that day?)

During the photo ID shoot, we finally get a bit of humor here, at the expense of Kimberly, who obviously has no idea what she was doing, and had a full five seconds of awkward silence before asking “Do you want me to pose?” Wow.

Back to screaming… Ms Jay enters the classroom; screaming ensues.
He announces that they’ll be practicing runway; screaming ensues.
(Side note: Those backpacks they had to carry were rather hideous. Whose idea was that?!?)

Highlight of the runway walking was Lauren, who had no idea what she was doing and was walking (in the words of Ms Jay) as if she had no circulation in her feet. He then went on to imitate her walk, which we all know is never a good sign.

Oh, and Dominique screamed while just talking about practicing runway. Yikes.
Runway practice was over; screaming ensued.
They ran out to a football field; screaming ensued.
(Side note: Some former ANTM girls were “cheerleaders” during this “pep rally”… I really would have liked to have seen more of them, since some of them were some of my favorites… oh well.)

Mr Jay announced that ANTM will be in NYC this season; screaming ensues.
They announce the homecoming queen… it’s Tyra (big surprise)… and screaming ensues.
(Side note: I wonder how many of these girls lost their voices from all of this screaming? At least we know they have healthy lungs.)Tyra goes on a homecoming queen-esque tirade which basically just served to annoy me. (Nothing like promoting another stereotype there, Tyra.) She mentioned that she slept with all their boyfriends, and Allison chooses that moment to make herself stand out by telling Tyra that she slept with hers. (Thanks so much, Allison, for playing in to the absurdity of it all… it makes it about ten times more ridiculous that way.)

Auditions are next… I’ll cover the highlights when I focus on each girl, but basically, same old, same old. We hear the same “I’m a victim of my past” stories, and the same “I have a pet cause that I’m here to promote” stories, and the same “OMG I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, TYRA.” Yawn.

While auditions are going on, the girls are already getting into catfights. Here are the main ones:

Fatima vs. Shaya – Fatima calls Shaya “ghetto,” Shaya takes offense and gets in her face about it. Fatima goes on and on about how educated she is and what great manners she has. Blah, blah, blah. As with most catfights, there’s no real winner.

Fatima vs Shalynda – Shalynda decides to defend her ghettoness by telling Fatima that “Everyone got ghettoness in them!” Sorry, but no. Most people know how to properly use the verbs “got” and “has.”

These disputes break up as soon as Fatima starts talking about her circumcision and crying over it, which is when all the other girls decide to be nice and comfort her. Manipulative, anyone?

This brings up the third catfight…
Marvita vs. Allison – Marvita makes an insensitive (but probably not intentionally hurtful) comment to Fatima about her circumcision, and Allison jumps on her. Hands start flying in slapping movements and the two of them bicker.

After the auditions, the Jays enter; screaming ensues.
They announce that their report cards are in the hallway; screaming ensues.
We’re left with our twenty semi-finalists. Hoorah. And the others cry. Boohoo.

The photo shoot that follows is a “Senior portrait” with a tube top, their own hair and makeup done by them, and a tacky-looking fur; screaming ensues. Highlights of the shoot… Allison decides to give herself makeup tears because “it’s a hip trend in Asia.” Mmmmkay. Lauren gives herself a makeup black eye because she has no idea what she’s doing. (Anyone else think this is maybe kind of a joke to her?) And Fatima the perfectionist takes the longest on her shoot and is way high-maintenance.

The judges take the photos into their judging room, and — surprise, surprise — decide on the fourteen finalists that we’ve seen on the CW website for the past month or so.

They have the final call-out… there are more tears… and Tyra announces that since there was so much talent and 13 is an unlucky number, they’re allowing one more girl in (Dominique). Awww, aren’t you nice, Tyra? Everyone’s screaming, they pretend they’re on a runway, and we get a short sneak peek into next week’s episode, when they all move to New York. Hoorah.

So… here’s my recap on each individual girl (this is also my new favorites line-up… some of my opinions changed a bit after watching this episode):1 Clarie –

She actually wasn’t shown much in this episode, and I’m not sure if that should worry me or not. In her audition, she declared herself a crusader for the environment (which I think is totally awesome), but it also made Mr Jay think that she may find the industry a bit shallow and vain. Mr Jay did complement her on her photo shoot, and Ms Jay said that she has something different, but exciting.

2 Katarzyna –

Again, she wasn’t really shown much – at least not as much as some of the girls – but what I did see of her really impressed me. She went to Cornell, has a good job, and Tyra likes her look: “Sweet, but not boring.” She was also compared to Paulina, which may bode well since we all know that Paulina is one of the judges this cycle.

3 Aimee –

My opinion of Aimee also went up this episode. I must say, I don’t think that her promo pictures did her justice at all. My only concern with her is that her family are very strict Mormons, who had concerns about her being in the modeling industry. Tyra also said that she looks like a model — definitely a good sign!

4 Whitney –

My opinion of Whitney actually decreased a bit. As you can see, she’s no longer in my top three. I appreciate her stand on “real-sized” women, and perhaps it’s just the editing, but it seems like that’s all they’re focusing on with her, which makes her personality really one-dimensional. I do agree with what she said about previous plussies — they get in, stuff happens, and they lose their cool.

5 Anya –

I’m with Mr Jay on this one… love her look, but her personality is a little much. She’s funny, alright, but a bit intense. She was also one of the criers during the final call-out, which lost her a point or two with me… the ones that cry all the time tend to drive me nuts. She is VERY pretty, though.

6 Amis

I think we have Jael part II on our hands here. Amis is crazy, nuts, and not afraid to say or do anything. In a way, it’s rather refreshing, but in a way, it more than just a little bit awkward. Mr Jay also noted that she has a bit of a “dated” look, but in my opinion, that’s nothing a makeover can’t fix.

7 Marvita –

Despite her pulling out the “victim of my past” card, my opinion of Marvita is still rather lukewarm. Mr Jay thinks that she may be trying to conform to what they want her to be, but – hey – it worked for Jaslene!

8 Atalya

She wasn’t really featured much either. Ms Jay picked on her lisp, which I thought was a bit mean, but hopefully they’ll just close that gap (a la Danielle C6) and make it all better.

9 Lauren –

I’m still very undecided on Lauren. There are times when I like her, and think that she is being genuine — such as when she was talking about how she likes watching zombie movies (yay!), and her comment about the catfighting, when she said, “screaming doesn’t get the point across.” I definitely was impressed with her at those points. However, in other parts — such as the black eye for makeup, or just how she did her hair (or, didn’t) for the audition, makes me think that she’s either seeing this as a huge joke, or is manipulating it so that she undergoes this “huge transformation” and thereby wins the approval of the judges and viewers… it seems at this point like she’s not even trying.

10 Dominique –

She also played the “victim of my past” card, which Tyra always manages to eat up like chocolate. She was highly criticized by some of the other girls, but Tyra and the Jays thought she was gorgeous. Oh, and she cried during the call-outs. How many emotional girls can you fit into one house?

11 Stacy-Ann –

Stacy-Ann was last in my previous line-up, and she earned points not by anything great that she did, but just by not being as awful as the ones that follow. She was married at 17, and when she told Tyra and the Jays that, they asked if it was because she was pregnant. Let me tell you, that girl handled that accusation a LOT better than I would have! I thought it was rather appalling that they would assume that was the reason, but Stacy-Ann just kind of laughed it off and said that it was because they were “in love.” Real specific, there, SA.

12 Kimberly –

This girl either got the worst edit ever or is Mila Part II, only blonder. Besides the “Oh, do you want me to pose?” episode, she also looked like a complete idiot in panel, and seemed like she needed to have everything repeated twice. Overall, the judges didn’t seem to have anything positive to say about her, so I’m thinking she might not make it far.

13 Allison –

I have a real issue with this girl. Yes, I know, some of it may be editing… but to say that Waunakee, WI is the “smallest hick town in Wisconsin” either means that you are clueless as to the geography of Wisconsin or you just think it’ll make you sound cool to come from “nowheresville.” Here’s a quick geography lesson for you. I looked it up: Waunakee, WI is 5 miles from Madison. Yes, Madison, as in… the state capitol. Hardly hicksville if you can drive 5 miles and be in one of the largest cities in the state. Waunakee itself has a population of 12,000, which is FAR more than about a zillion “unincorporated” townships and villages elsewhere in the state. And I get that Madison isn’t a fashion capital, but to say that there are no opportunities (for anything at all?) where you live is a huge insult to the 41,500 students enrolled at UW-Madison, a mere 5 miles from your doorstep. Yes, Wisconsin is rural. But get over yourself… you don’t have it that bad.

Another Allison gripe I had was a statement that she made later on in an interview: “Compared to the other girls, I have much more experience.” Like I said before, Madison’s not exactly a fashion capital… and having seen some pre-ANTM pics (see each girl’s tab on the top of the page), it seems to me that Claire and Whitney (and possibly some others) have a WHOLE lot more experience than Miss I-Come-From-Such-A-Hick-Town-Where-There-Are-No-Opportunities. Puke.
Oh, and she’s the first to make an obsessive statement about body image: “Let’s see some rib cages if you suck in!” to which everyone else replied, no, let’s not.

#14 Fatima –

This girl wins for the biggest crybaby of this episode, with a total of three separate incidences where she broke out into tears. And she somehow managed to get into two catfights already. Here’s a few Fatima quotes to give you an idea of her personality:
“these other girls are intimidated by me” (undiscovered supermodel, are you?)
“I’m giving 100% and even more” (go back to math class, please)
And, she doesn’t care that she wasted everyone else’s time on her photo shoot. Can we say diva?
And speaking of quotes…
Here are my top 10 quotes of episode I (in no particular order):

Shaya – “I like to create beauty, because I’m beautiful”
Amis – “A lot of my friends think I’m weird… but in a positive way.”
Allison – “I’m the silent predator… they won’t know what hit them.”
Lauren – “My runway walk? I don’t think I’ve discovered it yet.” (This one also wins the UNDERSTATMENT of the week award)
Anya – “When I go to sleep, I have to take an hour just to breathe. Not an hour… but, you know what I mean.”
Shaya – “Shaya is everyone’s fantasy.”
Amis – “My thoughts in my head spew out… there’s not much of a filter.”
Shalynda – “Everyone got ghettoness in them!”
Claire – “It tastes kind of like light soy milk”
Anya – “Like, just the food alone… like, the food that they’re feeding us… I just love it so much!”

Next week, I’m looking forward to seeing the first photo shoots – yay! And we’ll see how they do on a New York runway!


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