9/30/2004 Add a comment
Don't get me wrong. I love America's Next Top Model just as much as the next girl. And I was psyched when the third cycle (apparently the fashion industry is too fierce for ordinary words like "season") began. But the first two episodes have bummed me out. The girls are just as nasty to each other; the editing is just as entertaining; the fashion shoots are just as ridiculous to watch. So what's the problem? Too much Tyra. Get off my TV screen, woman! She's gorgeous, she's accessible, and she's clearly the star of the show. But ANTM always worked best when Tyra was a little remote, a little inaccessible. She was the judge who was too glamorous for the girls, the model who made cameo appearances among the mere contestants to dole out advice. But she's had more camera time in these two episodes than the contestants combined. And the cheese factor is way up. Witness, for example, the scene where Tyra, reclining in her boudoir, views the photos from the Jamaica swimsuit shoot on her laptop. She's obviously acting--there's no way she's making that decision in that shot. And you can tell--especially when she decides to kick out Magdalena and proceeds to rest her head on her pillow and switch off her night lamp. Umm, yeah. Are we supposed to believe that Miss Tyra just didn't notice the massive camera crew and the sound guys tiptoeing out of her bedroom? Whatever. ANTM is at its best when it's most real--and by pushing Tyra into every shot, it becomes less authentic and more staged. It's as if Phil gave inspirational comments to the Amazing Racers while jogging along besides them, or as if Jeff Probst joined the Survivors for dinner every night. I'm sure Tyra is launching her talk show and all, but the editors have to make a choice between Tyra's career and the integrity of their silly and fabulous modeling show.