Before I start this review, I must warn you, I'm going sound cattier and more nit-picky than usual. After all, I am writing about America's Next Top Model, one of the cattiest shows on television, so it's only appropriate that I take on the requisite catty tone. Meow! *cat scratch*
Since when the heck did we get to Cycle 12 of ANTM anyway? It's hard to believe that this reality show that nobody believed in in the beginning has already churned out twelve "top" models, and counting. I've been watching ANTM on and off since the very start, and besides the lineup of the judges, and the overseas location changing from cycle to cycle, not much else in the format of the show has changed at all.
I've even started to notice a pattern in the type of girls that they choose for each cycle. In every cycle, there's usually the plus-sized girl, the girl who's too short, the overly religious girl, the girl with a medical condition, the girl who doesn't look like a model at all before her makeover, the girl who hates her new short haircut, etc, etc. I guess that the producers are trying to make each group of girls as diverse as possible (though they're missing their requisite bisexual or lesbian girl this cycle). Though I did enjoy watching this cycle, it was far less drama-filled and thus less entertaining than previous ones. So if you're looking for melt downs, cat fights, and devastating phone calls, this probably isn't the cycle that you want to catch a marathon of.
Plus, Janice Dickenson is no longer there to give her epic, bitchy critiques (actually, she has been there for the past few seasons). Her replacement, Paulina Porizkova, as gorgeous and experienced a model as she is, tries too hard to sound bitchy and controversial, but none of the critiques that she dishes out will ever measure up to Janice's antics. I actually prefer all of the former judges, including Kimora Lee Simmons and Twiggy, over Paulina. I thought that Paulina seemed alright and sane at first, but I was really turned off after she screamed at Celia about how she's too old to model, how she's obviously desperate, and how desperation isn't sexy. I felt that that comment came out of no where, was totally unnecessary, and completely out of line. Paulina should probably just stick to modeling and stop the critiquing (oh, and the acting, too). That'll be easy, though, considering that she just got fired from ANTM for having too big of an ego (really, that's what the producers told her!).
Here's a run-through of five of the more memorable girls in the top ten in order of elimination. With the exception of Monique (the conspiracy theorist who doesn't really look like a model), and Angelea (the girl who slept in the New York Port Authority bus terminal, and had lost a daughter in infancy :(), the other girls weren't very memorable at all. Sandra -- Definitely the Queen B of the bunch. She had the holier-than-thou attitude of Robyn from cycle 1, the bitchy I'm-not-here-to-be-America's-Next-Top-Best-Friend attitude of Camille from cycle 2, and the African princess-ness of Yaya from cycle 3. Except unlike those girls mentioned, Sandra left pretty early on in the competition. I didn't like how she was unneccesarily rude to the other girls, and I really didn't like how she randomly picked a fight with Angelea by calling her "trash", among other things, especially after Angelea had admitted her hardships, like being homeless and having lost a child. So wrong. With all her talk of being the only one in the house who had potential to be a supermodel though, she turned out to be a one trick pony who can only take pictures with one pose. The house was pretty quiet after she left.
London -- Evangelical street preacher(/creature). With her stringy brown hair, weird head band, and hippy clothing, she didn't look like a model at all, but after Tyra cleaned her up a bit and gave her shorter, blond hair, her best features showed through and she actually looked pretty good. I love her eyes, they're very cat-like, and like Tyra said, she seems to always "smile" with them. Unfortunately, she gained a bit of weight on the show, and I'm pretty sure that that factored into her getting sent home.
Natalie -- Confidence is sexy, conceitedness is not, and that's what Natalie was. She was so full of herself, kind of like a more subtle Sandra. She seemed to think that she had this competition in the bag and therefore decided that it was okay to just look pretty week after week instead of trying to improve. This made for very boring and predictable photos. This wasn't aired, but apparently, she got into a very heated argument discussion with Tyra after her elimination and decided to call Tyra and the show out on all of it's bs. This probably wasn't aired because it would look bad for the show. It's great that Natalie has opinions and likes to speak her mind, BUT, she doesn't seem to realize that she's burning bridges, and that she's dealing with a modeling LEGEND. Not a smart move.
Celia -- I love her style, and so did the judges! She always had something unique and stylish to wear to each elimination. I also loved that she had a great attitude and personality, and she didn't let negativity bring her down. Though Celia's gorgeous, has a very unique bone structure and actually has talent, she also looks much older than all the other girls, even though she's actually just a few years older. Put against the fresh faced girls of this cycle, though, she had some tough competition.
Allison -- I wasn't sure how I felt about her initially, especially when she said that she thinks that nosebleeds are "very pretty" and that she's "jealous" of people who get them. She does have very lovely doll-like features, kind of reminiscent of Gemma Ward and Lily Cole. Allison also reminds me of Shandi from cycle 2, being a quirky, meek, un-supermodel-esque girl in the beginning, then looking like a fierce blonde bombshell after her makeover, and quickly became one of my favorites. Though I love Teyona, I was rooting for Allison to win because she was the most improved model of the cycle, and she has this beautiful, very unsual look to her that I can see making it in the real model world.
All in all, this was a very tame, and mostly anticlimatic, season. I wonder what Tyra has in store for us next. I'm sure that despite the literal stampede at the latest top model audition, they still had no problem getting some quality contestants. I just hope that they find someone entertaining, relevant, and fierce to replace Paulina!
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About the reviewer
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
America's Next Top Model, Cycle 12 is the twelfth cycle of America's Next Top Model and the sixth season to air on The CW network. It premiered on March 4, 2009. The cycle's catch phrase is "Get In The Fold." The cycle's promotional song is Lady Gaga's "The Fame".
The first half of the cycle took place in New York City, moving the show back from Los Angeles last season. The international destination for this cycle is São Paulo, Brazil.
The number of girls was once again reduced to 13, the first time since Cycle 9, after being maintained at 14 in the last two cycles. This was also the last cycle in which Paulina Porizkova appeared as a judge. It was won by 20 year-old Teyona Anderson from Woodstown, New Jersey. She won management and representation by Elite Model Management, a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl cosmetics, and the cover and six-page fashion spread in Seventeen.