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"America's Next Top Model" Fails To Impress In Its 16th Cycle

Katie Lemon |
February 23, 2011 | 10:24 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Cycle 16 of America's Next Top Model (The CW)
Cycle 16 of America's Next Top Model (The CW)
The Cycle 16 premiere episode of America’s Next Top Model opened with supermodel Tyra Banks impersonating the stereotypical model hopefuls that show up every season. There’s the bossy one, the I-don’t-know-why-I’m-here one, and the southern belle.

This season is no different. There’s the Southern belle (like Laura from Cycle 13), Jaclyn, who has a baby face, Texas twang, and high-pitched voice. Then there’s Alexandria who will be the bossy, mean girl of the house. She basically put herself under this label when she stated, “I have natural swag and you don’t have to like me.”

Tyra stated that the first order of business was rejection. She claimed she wanted to toughen up the girls by making them think they were going home. So Tyra tricks half the girls into thinking that they are eliminated. After confessionals filled with tears and dramatic outbursts, the models that thought they were being sent home found out Tyra’s master plan. Tyra may have thought she could shock the viewers by switching things up, but it just seemed unnecessary. 

In this week’s challenge, the girls modeled Alexander Wang’s collection while walking down a 12-inch wide runway in a plastic bubble filled with confetti. Two girls fell off the runway and had to awkwardly and embarrassingly stumble to back to their feet. The challenge was incredibly unrealistic and not something the models would face in the actual fashion industry. The designs on the models were also hard to appreciate through the distracting and superfluous plastic bubble.

Blonde, athletic, and sweet Molly won best photo this episode, which was not surprising. However, the elimination round certainly did not seem fair. The beautiful and exotic Angelia was voted off prematurely.

The show has slightly elevated its status in recent seasons by upgrading the prize cover from Seventeen Magazine to Beauty in Vogue and a spread in Vogue Italia. But even then, past winners and contestants rarely excel in the fashion industry upon completion of the show.

The exclusion of the normal 2-hour casting week episode made this premiere incredibly weak. The audience barely got to know the girls, because there was only so much the producers could fit into a one-hour time slot. By the end of the first episode, it’s hard to imagine anyone would be interested or invested in the girls since their personalities outside the competition were not showcased enough.

Judging from the premiere episode, this season will be unimpressive for ANTM. The girls are unimpressive and none have interesting stories to tell. In relation to past seasons of ANTM, this one is sure to be forgotten. 

Reach Katie here.



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