Hard to believe, but “America’s Next Top Model” is now in its 20th cycle. Yup, Tyra’s been lording it over wanna-be models since forever. This season’s a little bit different: She’ll have both male and female contestants competing against one another. Will there be catfights and sexual tension? Probs. Sigh.
To gear up for this latest season, premiering August 2, we’ve taken a look at the competition and given you an imagined backstory for each model hopeful. Take a look, and tell us who, in Tyra’s immortal words, you “wanna be on top.”
She wants to be on top! Kiara Belen placed runner-up on Cycle 19 of “America’s Next Top Model,” the college edition. The gorgeous, statuesque former UC Irvine basketball player lost to cornsilk-blonde Laura James, the daughter of “Dynasty” actor John James, in an extremely close final panel. But as pained as I felt watching Kiara take second place, I was also pretty sure this young woman would be OK. From the very first episode, Kiara’s determination to get past her crappy upbringing and her confidence in herself were truly inspiring.
Kiara is busy getting her modeling career off the ground (she’s already worked with Janice Dickinson — not too shabby!), but she was kind enough to answer some of our questions over email about the luscious Rob Evans, kooky competitor Victoria, and Tyra’s best modeling advice.
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We were totally shocked when we saw former “America’s Next Top Model” contest Jael Strauss — who’d appeared on Cycle 8 of the series — would be appearing on a “Dr. Phil” episode devoted to her drug abuse. Since appearing on the series six years ago, Jael’s life has taken a severely downward slide. She’s been addicted to meth, and her family begs her to get help during a harrowing Dr. Phil intervention. Jael hardly looks like the beautiful girl she was just six short years ago — with pockmarked skin and bleached blond locks, she appears much older and worn out than most other 28-year-olds.
We wish her the best and hope that Thursday’s episode of “Dr. Phil” gets her the help she needs. Jael is hardly the only reality TV star to slide into addiction — let’s review…
Whoopee, tonight is the premiere of “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 19! The college edition, or something. I really hope Tyra has some new stuff in store. I mean, after 18 seasons, things get stale. Although I have no commentary to offer as of yet, I honor the return of “ANTM” with this genius morphing of Tyra Banks and a nipple. Never would have thought of combining these two, but I’m jealous of the person who thought of it first. This gave me lots of new morphing ideas. Going to MorphThing.com, the site that makes it all possible, to screw around. [Mean Plastic]
There’s been a lot of shake ups in Tyra Banks’ “Top Model” world of late. As she struggles to make “ANTM” relevant and engaging in its zillionth “cycle,” Ty-Ty decided to mix up the judging panel by getting rid of judging mainstay (“Noted Fashion Photographer”) Nigel Barker and model coach/shoot producer Jay Manuel (that’s Mr. Jay, if you’re confused). Tyra has kept Kelly Cutrone (who started last season) and recently plucked up model Rob Evans. And her latest hire? Blogger and fashion week regular Bryanboy.
After the jump, five things you should know about the new face on “ANTM”‘s judging panel.
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I guess Tyra Banks is aware that she’s grasping at straws on this season of “America’s Next Top Model.” You know when you do a segment called “Tooch Teach” that it’s time to change stuff up. After 19 Cycles of almost exactly the same thing, Tyra has decided to clean house for the next season of the show. Yesterday, J. Alexander, Jay Manuel and Nigel Barker were dismissed from the “Top Model” family to make way for “major changes planned for [the next season].” PR mogul Kelly Cutrone was the only judge to survive the blood bath. But that could be because Tyra’s scared of her. I know I am. Keep reading »