America's Next Top Model: Cycle 12
By Stephanie Lynn, age 24, Massachusetts
Spoiler Alert This article contains story line information about the premiere episode of ANTM Cycle 12.
As a fan of modeling and the modeling industry, I was excited for the premiere of Cycle 12 this past week. I always find Top Model to be inspirational to young women and girls interested in the industry.
If you missed it, here's a recap:
The First Hour
Cycle 12 began with 34 semi-finalists at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The girls screamed with excitement as Jay Manuel and J. Alexander introduced the Roman goddess theme. Each girl then changed into a white dress with white high heeled gladiator sandals. Their profile shot was followed by a short runway walk. Then Tyra was dramatically introduced by a sea of muscular gladiators as "The Goddess of Fierce". But soon things started to heat up between contestants Sandra and Angelea when Tyra asked each of them to pose.
After the evaluations, the girls were narrowed down to 21 who discovered they had a golden wreath. Next came a simple photo shoot with Jay. Each girl was preassigned attributes which began "goddess of ..." Unfortunately, the fight between Angelea and Sandra escalated. Judging narrowed it down to 13 finalists. Tyra consoled those not selected, reminding them that "this is not the end of the road. If you have passion, you will not stop."
Who didn't make the cut? Among others:
Angelea, 22, from Buffalo, NY, who had a daughter who passed away from a seizure. Her unprofessional drama with Sandra during the preliminary photo shoot apparently outweighed any sympathy she garnered from the fact that, in New York City for callbacks, with only $40 in her pocket, she slept in a Port Authority bus station for two nights. Apparently she wanted to be on Top Model that badly, yet not enough to focus on her own business when she encountered a girl with an attitude like hers.
Monique from Colorado was a conspiracy theorist who distrusted all governments (especially ours), even believing FDR provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Kathryn, 18, from Indiana, showed Tyra her interesting pen collection, and was promptly challenged to name 5 top models working right now. Unable, Tyra told her that having a gimmick was not gonna get her a modeling job, but her knowledge of modeling might. When she returned she was challenged to name 3 famous designers. This is serious competition.
The Second Hour
The 13 finalists met with Nigel Barker and Paulina Porizkova at the top of the Empire State Building. Paulina announced that Celia was to have her choice of beds, which led to some drama when the girls discovered that there were only 12 beds for the 13 girls. Sandra had chosen a bed, but Celia elected to displace her. Thankfully, after much arguing, London stepped in and volunteered to sleep on the floor so everyone else could have a bed.
The next morning, the first Tyra mail arrived, leading the Lucky 13 to 59th Street Bridge for their first runway show. Some girls were assigned a "good girl" walk, while others were told to walk the runway as "bad girls". This concept fit well with their assignment, as each piece in the designer's line had elements of innocence as well as naughtiness.
Celia, age 25, Kentucky - Week 1 Photo
As you might expect, some girls did better than others. Sandra blew her portion of the show by only walking partway down the runway. Isabella was nervous that the runway strobe lights would effect the way her brain functions because of her epilepsy, but walked with total confidence and innocence. Tahlia was upset about having her burn scars covered up by the most concealing piece in the designer's line, but overall the contestants did fairly well.
Later, for their first official photo shoot in Central Park, the girls were each challenged to portray beloved childhood playground games. Tyra pointed out that girls today are growing up way too fast, and the innocence of childhood is often being lost. My favorite shots were by London (tug-of-war), Allison (double-dutch), and Celia (Hoola Hoop). Of course, what really matters is what the judges thought.
London, age 18, Texas - Week 1 Photo
At judging, Tyra reiterated that all ANTM contestants are role models, and shared the sad statistic that one in five teen girls wants to be a teenage mom. At judging, it came down to Sandra and Isabella as having the weakest photos. Isabella was sent home with her awkward, low energy dodgeball shot.
If you're interested in being on America's Next Top Model, they're looking for girls 5'7" and under for the next cycle. So, if modeling is your thing, and you're at least 18 years old and under 5'8" tall, visit cwtv.com for your chance to be America's Next Top Model!!
♥ Stephanie Lynn