America’s Top Model season review

America's top model
Photo: Angelo Sgambati/The CW ©2013 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

We’re coming up to the end of this – the 20th season – of Tyra Banks’ crazy modeling extravaganza, America’s Next Top Model.

Have you smized your way through this season or have all the bitching, back biting and bottled blinds turned you off this series?

America’s Next Top Model 2.0

She kept it fresh this cycle by including boys and girls and by having more than 14 contestants. In addition, it’s the first series to have more than 13 episodes – are these all necessary moves for a franchise that’s running out of steam or is there plenty of life in the old model yet?

Stylized as America’s Next Top Model 2.0, it’s pretty obvious Tyra is aware there needs to be something new for viewers, fans and haters to get their teeth into. It’s become a big deal in the online gambling world as well, as people queue up to bet on their favorite competitor, presumably playing online on online slot games and the like while watching the models fight it out.

The judges

As well as Tyra, of course, Kelly Cutrone, Rob Evans and Bryanboy all returned as judges to make the models weep on a weekly basis, while criticizing their body, face and appearance to the utmost. It’s a brutal competition and that’s why viewers love it.

With a catchphrase this year of ‘Who will dominate?’, it’s clear that the contestants are encouraged to take no prisoners when it comes to fighting it out for the honor of winning.

The prizes

Some new prizes and sponsors for this cycle as well, with the grand prize being a modelling contract with NEXT Model Management, a feature spread in Nylon magazine and a $100,000 contract with Guess.

The contestants

With guys and girls in the competition for the first time, the season followed the usual format of randomly themed photoshoots and the always amazing makeover episode, which has become famous for making models weep into their crew cut while staring at the foot long hair Tyra deemed it necessary to shave from their reluctant skulls.

Sometimes it’s difficult to believe the makeovers aren’t carried out due to some cruelty on Tyra’s part, as there is always at least one model who is left utterly bereft and looking decidedly worse.

In the first episode of this cycle, there were 35 models, swiftly reduced to 26. In the second episode, they were cut down to 16 who made it through to the main competition. Double eliminations in various episodes added to the tension, as did the twist of some of the contestants being allowed to fight to come back later on in the cycle.

With new elements including social media awards and various interaction with the viewers, this season differed from the original premise that the models are locked away from the outside world for the duration of the competition.

  

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The Biggest Loser: Final Four, But Wait…..

Last night’s “Biggest Loser: Families” got us down to the final four for the season, but there are two episodes left including the live finale on December 16. And as she does as sneaky as ever, host Alison Sweeney made mention of the fact that there would be a “final three” and another twist. Uh-oh. They already brought one eliminated player back…what next? Really now, this show is starting to become a cartoon of itself, and that’s not good.

But down to business. Last night they showed the remaining five players go to New York City for a makeover with Christian Soriano. Now, I can tell you the quarterbacks and coaches from every NFL team, but I had no idea who this guy was, or what “Project Runway” was until Mrs. Mike pointed that out. Thanks, Mrs. Mike. Anyway, they all received makeovers which they would then debut on the “Tyra Banks Show.” The makeovers, honestly, were not all that great, but the contestants all look good because of the weight they lost. Vicky’s red hair looked, well, really bad. And the best part was that they each had a family member surprise them on stage. Those family members were also there to hang out and work out with the contestants for an extra day or two. Then it was back to the ranch.

There was a product placement of Jennie-O Turkey when Ed and Heba made trainer Bob Harper a “thank you” meal of turkey lettuce wraps. Then the challenge, which was to be suspended in a box 15 feet above a pool, holding yourself up as long as possible. Vicky was out first, but refused to drop into the water because she was scared. Then Heba, then Ed, then Renee, which left Michelle the winner. The prize was a spa package in some resort. Vicky, meanwhile, had to face her fear and jump, which she eventually did. Everyone was very nice and encouraging to the evil Vicky, and they actually wound up showing a soft side of her.

At the weigh in, Heba lost the most, followed by Michelle and Vicky. Renee and Ed were below the yellow line. So do the math….two blue shirts to one black shirt were voting, which meant for sure Renee was going home, right? Well, they made us all think that maybe Vicky would vote Ed off since he has a lot of weight to lose. But in the end, she stayed true to her “blue” teammates and voted Renee off.

Renee was shown coming home at the church where it all began, when Jillian showed up to recruit her and Michelle. And she has really lost a ton of weight, and looks great. So now we’re left with Ed, Heba, Vicky and Michelle. They spoke about the twist and that America may vote off the next contestant….let me tell you something Vicky, you’d better not be below the line if that’s the case next week, because I am quite sure no one in America will want to keep you there except maybe your own family. You are still evil, Vicky!

With that, we’re winding down and let’s hope the final two episodes are exciting with a limit on bickering and gameplay and twists. See you next week!

  

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