Why I Love America’s Next Top Model

Didn't we just do a story on how Lane HATES this show?

Lane Cummingsby Lane Cummings


I used to be embarrassed just admitting that I watched the show, and now I really don’t care, because the show is…. AWESOME.

I think we should just give the producers a wild, unbridled round of applause for finding such noxious harlots, season after season. Okay, sure, there are a few sweeties pies in the mix, though most of them get eaten by the vampires, as they have to be. The vampires have to eat, but for the most part, the lot of them are incorrigible, back-stabbing sorority sisters in training .

One of my favorite moments of the show was in cycle two, episode one; the designers were dressing all the girls up as Garden of Eden detainees, or some high-concept crap with body paint and one girl, Jenascia, overslept and NO ONE bothered to wake her up as they were all traipsing out of the house. It  was ludicrous. Particularly since we got to watch the girls’ bedtime promises to do precisely that.

And then—this was my favorite part—they showed some of the producers asking the girls about this, as everyone was like, “Where’s Jenascia?” and the noxious ho's, replied in true character, “She kept sleeping.” And one producer said, “Was she breathing?”

Doesn’t that just summarize it so perfectly? Was she breathing or… does she need medical attention, a shot of adrenaline, a ride to the ER?

And then the editors would cut back to livid Jenascia saying, “If I’m not sent home, it is so on, it is so on.” And you really just want to cheer and cheer for her, and send her a care package filled with tommy guns and brass knuckles.

 And then there was cycle four, episode 11, where they take the remaining contestants to South Africa, and Tyra Banks made the huge blunder, though hilarious blunder, of taking the girls to Robben Island, home of political prisoners during apartheid, including Nelson Mandela.

We are talking about reality television show contestants in modeling. Fashion modeling. These are some of the most ding-dong empty people on planet earth.  These are girls that would use the fat of dead baby seals as a hair straightening balm. You don’t put people like that on Robben Island. You take them to a sample sale at Nordstroms, or you show them how to wax their pubic hair into dynamic formations. What’s next? America’s Next Top Model is going to take their models to Dachau? Auschwitz? So we can hear the girls’ meaningful commentary on the worst genocide humanity has ever known? Really?

So, check this out: At one point the tour guide takes the girls to the outside of Nelson Mandela’s cell. And he holds the key out. And he says, “Who would like to open Nelson Mandela’s cell?” NONE of these girls want to open Nelson Mandela’s cell. They want to knife each other in the neck, touch up their lip gloss and declare themselves the winner of the damn contest. But, they’ve all got the etiquette of a pack of jackals, so this one girl (Naima) snags the key and opens his cell.

And the other girls are pretty ticked off. And of course the editors cut to Naima’s one on one interview, and she explains (this is priceless—please youtube this, it’s so priceless). Naima says something to the effect of, “I just felt that being black I should be the one to open his cell.”

 And I remember staring at my TV saying, “That girl’s black?”

 Let’s just say she could be the stand in for Blair from the Facts of Life, back in the day.

And then the editors cut back to the contestants, sitting back in their chauffeured air-conditioned mini-van, trying feign excitement of “We were just in Nelson Mandela’s cell, you guys.” It’s just not believable. It’s not even almost believable. Like clinical psychopaths, these girls know they should be feeling the feelings they are not feeling. So they attempt to feign those feelings. And they pull it off like a linebacker wearing a dress.

Moving on.

Sometimes the cattiness of those girls really just seems like a chip off the old block. For example, during the judging session of cycle 12 episode eight, Tyra and panel announce the show will be going to Brazil! And everyone cheers and music plays and it’s a hog wild celebration. Until Tyra abruptly cuts it short, saying that all of them will be going to Brazil save one. The unfortunate aspiring model who’s getting axed this round. Dunt dunt dunt.   

Just as I often wonder how the creative team comes up with these sometimes genius and novel and sometimes random and useless  ideas for photo shoots, I often wonder when the time will come when a girl gets on the show who’s so poisonous and hated she gets her own franchise. Like someone who’s a hybrid of the personality of Janice Dickenson with the branding conceptualism of Martha Stewart. And Tyra will have to live in the shadow of this chick’s aisle of merch at Target and Kmart, bearing also the shoe collection bearing the name of the heinous shrew she brought to the world.