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.