The last time we saw America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks had just straight-up turned her one-time television juggernaut into an extended commercial for her “multilevel marketing” makeup line with which she will (allegedly) be fleecing her young fans.
Then Tyra decide that ANTM was done and she wanted to do another syndicated talk show, but then she left that talk show before anyone even knew what channel it was on, so we all assumed she was going to focus on building a pyramid of overpriced makeup with aggressively terrible names.
But now ANTM is back! Without Tyra! Only with her sometimes! It’s confusing. In many ways, it’s a welcome re-boot to the old version of show before Tyra mucked it up with 8,000 frightful catchphrases. It’s back to all women, for one thing, and though I dearly loved Nyle, that’s a welcome development. With the “Guys and Girls” versions, it was always 18- and 20-year-old amateur women competing against 25- or 28-year-old men who usually already had professional experience, so it got weird. Plus there was a ton of skeevy night-vision hunting for action under the blankets.
So, we’re back to the pure ANTM origins, that were all about putting pretty people in an apartment and tormenting them with challenges and—No, wait, it turns out that this season will be “all about being a boss.” So, no, the influence of the Tyra who went to Pretend Harvard Business School is not gone.
Onward! We start with quick cuts of drama and shade and poor interpersonal skills. God, show, I don’t want to admit that I missed you, but at least a part of me did.
Time for the first-episode Thinning the Herd show!
Marissa, 18, is from Houston. Her friends call her Mouth of the South. She was that little girl who watched Top Model and wanted to be one, but the odds were against her. Marissa’s mom was 15 when she had her. But all that made Marissa stronger!
Justine, 18, is from Los Angeles and GOOD LORD THAT IS A TINY OUTFIT in her audition tape. She too has been watching ANTM since she was a kid. Justine, wearing a bra-length tube top and a strange midriff band, says her parents are really strict.
Yes, Justine has definitely picked up some Strict Parent Rebellion outfits. She says she’s never been anywhere and it’s exciting to be in New York and starting her modeling career. Gosh, I wonder how Tyra deduced that she could rip her fanbase off with a multilevel marketing scheme.
“Cherish Waters was born to be Cherish,” says Cherish Waters, causing my brain to instantly write her off as a loss for the rest of the season. She is 25 (Oh, dear!) and from L.A. Her casting video shows her walking in a bikini on a freeway median.
Cherish wanted to become a model when she was younger because she was the only redhead at school and was made fun of every day. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but bitch, you don’t even phase me,” says Cherish, with a carefully rehearsed spontaneous sassiness. Can we agree that being a redhead perhaps does not the same level of oppression as being, say, the only person of color in your school? And can we agree that we are done with Cherish? I am done with Cherish.
(Oh, all right: If you are very, very good, I will tell you about the only Cherish I’ve met in real life, also in a reality show context. But we’ll do that later in the season when we really need it.)
Binta is 25 and she was born in Gambia. She’s an actress, model, and entrepreneur. She says she’s a fighter and she wants to make her people proud and win this.
Giah is 21 years old and she is a country girl. She grew up with chickens and horses and she practiced her model-walk stomping on a dirt path with a book on her head. Giah’s casting video features her roaring around on an ATV and her proud grandma mock-posing in a full-length gown in the farmyard.
I love them.
The models go into a strange, dark venue with a stage. Suddenly there is a very familiar voice talking to us about how she was once a little girl with a dream. A huge video of Tyra intercut with the word “FIERCE” is running on the backdrop and now we learn that Tyra is sharing that dream with you and JESUS CHRIST THEY ARE STILL PLUGGING THE BANKRUPTCY MAKEUP. “BYOB” and “Be Your Own Boss” flash on the screen and we hear the earworm that Tyra made everyone sing last cycle and the models pretend to be surprised to see The. Tyra. Banks.
They say it was “like an out-of-body experience” and call her a “real-life Barbie doll.”
Tyra welcomes the girls. She’s not looking for a traditional model. She’s not looking for a social media model. Is she looking for a hand model, then? A model T Ford? No! She’s looking for a woman who can be a traditional model and a social media model at the same time! She’s seeking the elusive floor wax/dessert topping of models!
We are required to talk about how smart and businessy Tyra is because Tyra. Which is weird, because, pyramid scheme with overpriced lipstick aside, Tyra Banks genuinely has some impressive accomplishments. What would it take to get her to settle down and let them speak for themselves?
Tyra wants people who create their OWN squads, not be in someone else’s squad! I can’t tell if this is supposed to be be-yourself empowering or if she’s trying to sell these girls on the multilevel thing right this moment. Also: If everyone is strong enough to create her own squad and refuse someone else’s, does that not mean that nobody gets a squad? Or is Tyra suggesting that anyone who joins your squad is inherently weak? Why, then, you do want them in your squad? I did not expect the new cycle to have this many deep philosophical questions right up top.
Krislian is 25 and has been watching Top Model since she was 13. And now she’s here! And it’s the same!
Tyra talks about how having a personal brand is very important, especially if it involves 11 million catchprases that ruin your show. She makes the legit point that being your own boss means controlling your own destiny, which is not a bad goal, but then she pivots back around to “beauty business and badassery” and makes it clear that this will not be the last plug we see for the Tyra Banks Questionable Financial Choices beauty line. Anyhoo, Tyra really does not wish to host this show anymore. She says she can now step aside while she continues to “create opportunities” for women like these girls. Such as the opportunity to pay $89 for a starter kit plus a $49 enrollment fee to become a “Beautytainer.”
Anyway, the aspiring Top Models will go straight into a photo shoot to make a new comp card and then they’ll go see the new judging panel. Eee! Right into the fire! Bye, Ty!
Tatiana (No age! No city!), is a signed model and has done what sounds like a real modeling, including print and commercials. Ugh, this is bad. The show is better when everyone is a noob. We already have a couple of ringers in here. Anyway, Tatiana is excited to “take it to the next level.” That’s good use of Tyra phrasing, but will it count like it used to with an absentee Tyra? Tatiana also has her own product line called Skin Butter. Tatiana has the Li’l Tyra spot, which in cycles past would have meant a near-guaranteed Top Five. But what does it mean now? It’s all so new!
Two identical twin sisters, Cody and Tash (26, from San Jose), are here! They’re their own mini-squad in very small bikinis.
(DOES THAT COUNT AS HAVING YOUR OWN SQUAD? I am awash in confusion.) They are a whole lot of gorgeous in one place, but the show is doing that thing where it refuses to treat identical twins as two individual thinking people. Let’s hope we can settle down with that.
And what’s next? The models wait for a big red helicopter! Is the first challenge to pose fiercely without being injured by the deadly whirling blades? No, sorry, we’re meeting the new panel. Pour some out for Nigel and Miss Jay. And for Twiggy, who once had to explain to a contestant that fur coats are not made from animals that lie down and die peacefully in the forest.
Who will it be! It’s Rita Ora! Singer! Actress! Model! Fashion Icon!
She’s also all about being a boss and having multiple business ventures. We learn that Rita Ora slays. Need we say more? Rita says the girls need to learn how to be a 25-year-old boss like herself. She seems genuinely jazzed to be finding a star.
Ashley Graham steps out and the aspirants lose their minds. She’s described as a supermodel, a designer, a boss, and a brand.
(OK, I get why we’re doing this, and Artemis knows that I support encouraging young women to reach for more than being pretty. But can’t we just do one thing well instead of everyone on earth having 12 shitty useless product lines? Real Housewives, I am looking at you.)
Rita immediately hits the traditional ANTM light condescension by calling Ashley her “sexy curvy model.” Rita says Ashley will give the girls confidence and let them know that hips and a butt are OK.
Ashley says she’s living proof that there isn’t one standard of beauty. She says she’s lost track of the number of her magazine covers and then breaks into a genuine laugh. Looks like Ashley is going to be OK.
Next we have Drew Elliott of Paper. One of the prizes is a spread in Paper, so let’s hope Drew is good, because we’re going to have to live with him. The girls agreeably react to his presence as though he’s a celebrity that they would know on sight. Drew says he doesn’t sugarcoat and is not here to be your best friend, apparently not realizing that that staked-out position on a competition is played out and has become more boring than watching Jell-O set. And less rewarding, because with the other one, you at least get Jell-O.
Law Roach gets off last. He’s a celebrity stylist and the women are delighted to see him. I am a grownup, so I will not go off into dreams about how Law Roach would be an amazing legal procedural.
The models have been obligingly squee-ing for what must have been hours, but there will be no rest for them! They’re sending the models straight to go-sees! OMG! Without any training?! Have you gone mad?! Good.
Half are going uptown to meet Philipp Plein. The other half will go to Queens to meet luxury designer LaQuan Smith. I don’t know why Philipp is just a designer and LaQuan is a luxury designer. It might be that (Spoiler!) Philipp is a dick to the models. God, I hope that’s it.
There are 28 models now, but only 14 will make it through to compete for the rest of the cycle!
Philipp Plein is a German high-end designer. He says you need certain attributes to be a Top Model. He says that mother nature was not always fair to all of us, and also that a tiger will never become a bird. I bet that statement was easier to listen to when the U.S. hadn’t elected a eugenics and white-supremacy-loving fascist to its highest office. Now it sounds even more cockbaggy than it must have in its original context which, let’s be clear, was still extremely cockbaggy.
Philipp says he won’t waste his time putting a dress on a girl “who won’t fit in.” So a) Philipp is an asshole, and b) he wouldn’t have cast at least one of the judges or Tyra Banks in her early days. Which c) makes him not so much a design visionary as a follower and d) did we already cover asshole?
One contestant says she grew up watching Top Model and Philipp snaps that he grew up watching football; it doesn’t make him a football player.
He tells Coryanne to walk again because she was terrible. He says he wants top model, not flop model. Philipp Plein evidently worked on a few zingers to keep in his pocket for the show. Also, did I mention he is an asshole? We as a society need to squash the whole idea that being a shithead to others makes you seem powerful or knowledgeable or efficient. It just makes you a shithead who never learned how to be gracious. Also? If you’re going to be treating others that badly, you should maybe have more genius going for you than $700 Batman sweatshirts.
Way to be innovative, Philipp!
LaQuan Smith, also a famous and respected high-end designer, is actually nice to people and seems to approach the world and this task in a fun and positive way. LaQuan says he wants to celebrate a women’s body.
Tatiana knows his designs and loves him and is both genuinely and strategically open about that. Smith says he loves women who already love his work. Heh. But he also gives a lot of positive comments in general, telling the novices what he likes about them. Not that you have to coddle someone who genuinely wants to learn to do something well, but being gratuitously nasty doesn’t help either.
LaQuan likes Binta’s confidence and sensuality. He also likes Krislian, who I am not looking forward to spelling every week. We learn why clothing choice is key when LaQuan measures Krislian’s chest over her plunging neckline and no bra. Krislian is also a brand and has a clothing line, and Jesus H. Christ with a line of handbags am I going to hate the personal-branding-entrepreneur part of this season.
India tells Philipp she’s from Seattle, then tells us she’s a rocker chick who likes music and sports, so veteran ANTM watchers can check off those boxes. India hopes the other girls will underestimate her because of her easygoing personality and then KAPOW.
Philipp tells Justine she looks like a duck, and then when she laughs that off, he lectures her on how she is here to look like a princess. He admonishes sweet Giah with “you’re not a horse!” while she’s walking for him. Got it: Women who don’t do exactly what you want are animals. After he insults Giah, Philip is pissy with her because he needs self-confidence. If you’re into not particularly creative misogyny this season, be sure to check out Philipp Plein’s collection!
Arreyon is another model I’m dreading spelling. She comes in with a weapons-grade braid and says she eats, lives, and breathes fashion.
LaQuan says she has a great personality, but she came in with a wild look. He says he would advise her to tone it down. See how you can critique someone’s job performance in a helpful way, Philipp?
Arreyon comes back into the hall where the others are waiting and says it was amazing and takes a moment to thank the Lord.
Starr tells LaQuan she can rock a bag if he gives her one. She tells us that everything is at stake here, including her credibility. She says everyone said no no no to her, including her father. She’s here to prove him wrong. Well. This should be a comfortable Christmas for the Starr family. LaQuan says he’d use Starr for social media, but not the runway.
Philipp asks how to decide between Cody and Tash, the twins. They say you don’t, that you pick them both. Does that extend to paying for one? Why not play to each woman’s strengths.
LaQuan loves the personal style of Kyle, 23, who is androgynous and gay.
She says she’s in-between and genderqueer and she’s cool with that. LaQuan likes her androgyny but says she isn’t right for his brand. He appreciates her heart, her edginess, and her personality, and predicts a bright future for her. I really like him. He’s not giving out participation ribbons, but he also takes a moment to see what’s cool about each model. Philipp.
Marissa interviews that Kyle and Starr are already feeling each other Starr says Kyle is her alter ego and gives her butterflies. Kyle says Starr is gorgeous and she hopes they both make it in the house. The flirting is to a degree that bothers Marissa, since that’s not what they’re all here for, but I’m guessing it’s part attraction and part bold maneuvering. These women have watched other seasons and are all but promising the producers some on-camera ladykissing if they both make it in. It may not be how a lot of people would want to move forward, but it’s a shrewd gaming of the system. Let’s hope they can both handle it if they make it in.
As for Marissa, LaQuan says she’s a ball of energy and a great walk and is a go for the brand.
LaQuan and another guy from the design house sum up: Lots of potential Binta is the bomb. He loves Tatiana. Starr wants it so bad. Kyle could go somewhere. They have a good selection going. I wonder if this means they’ll be sticking with these groups and designers for some challenges. Gosh, I hope Philipp gets more air time.
Back on one of the Model Buses, the contestants speculate about what they’re looking for this season. Quei is already over people talking about their damned personal brands. I feel you, Quei. Quei thinks that, for example, saying that your “brand” is that you’re a twin is stupid. Courtney leaps into defend, saying that Quei doesn’t know the twins personally. Quei starts to say that she didn’t mean to insult them personally, just that the whole branding conceit is stupid. I FEEL YOU, QUEI. Courtney changes tacks, saying that Quei has made a lot of comments about a lot of people today, and it’s not OK. Quei says that she will give Courney some water to nourish her Chia Pet eyebrows. You lost me, Quei. Also, way to drive home Courtney’s point about you.
Courtney seems to be genuinely hurt and a little stunned to have a fellow human just insult her to her face like that. Tatiana interviews that that was a low blow, and also that people are currently forking over $100 to have eyebrows like Courtney’s. Tatiana is the kind of girl you want to have in your squad. If we were allowed to be in each other’s squads.
Quei finger-shakes at Courtney that she can “pretend to be dramatic” and “pretend to cry,” but Quei is – here’s where it gets confusing – “not falling for the Chia Pet eyebrows.” What? This makes more sense if you look at Quei’s face while she’s doing this – she’s desperately trying to keep up a fierce persona, but she’s also panicking. She knows she screwed up and went too far. I think Quei even knows she was a jerk to uncalled-for degrees; she certainly knows she just lost a bunch of goodwill on the bus. Quei, who insulted the looks of a relative stranger, argue-explains that she was not being mean; she was just standing up for her opinion. Quei needs to look up several of those key words. Marissa interviews that she can’t handle adults who act like children. Marissa, are you familiar with the show?
We come to the first New Panel with ominous shots of the New York skyline. Rita still talks about fucking business and brands. JUST GIVE THEM A GODDAMNED LASER PARACHUTE CHALLENGE. MAKE THEM POSE WITH LIVE BATS HANGING FROM THEIR ARMS LIKE THE OLD DAYS. It will, I promise, be exactly as useful as all of this personal branding onanism.
Rita reminds us about the go-see challenge. Marissa comes in. Marissa has seen the show and knows the value of crying about your backstory during the first casting! Mom had her at 15 and her dad is incarcerated. Marissa has some self-awareness, and says that her mom’s life was hard and caring for Marissa probably made it three times harder. Rita counters that her family fled Kosovo (formerly Yugoslavia) to escape a war zone and came to England, where they didn’t even speak the language. Holy crap, Rita Ora. Way to stomp Marissa’s tough background. Rita’s point is that we all have backstories, and your challenges make you a better person. (In case you’re wondering if Rita is overdramatizing her own story, she doesn’t even mention the ethnic cleansing her family was fleeing.) There is a new sheriff at ANTM, and she apparently is not into having models cry for their suppers. Good.
LaQuon said Marissa’s walk was dope and bomb. They love her comp card and face but want less makeup on it. Yes.
Tatiana, 21, is from Brooklyn and she was in LaQuan’s top three because she knew things about the fashion industry. Law loves it when a girl has a reference and some knowledge. Tatiana’s comp card is sensational.
Ashley says she’d want to book Tatiana right away off of that, and as a model competing with her, she’d be nervous. Tatiana is killing it today.
Paige, 22 is from Birmingham, Michigan. Yes, she does the mitten.
She says she’s the definition of a girlboss. She’s been a competitive dancer and she did pageants and she won a community service award and studied musical theater. What Paige has not done is learn to read a room. She’s rattling off how she wants to “do something in leadership” as the judges are quietly getting a jump start on their tax returns to stay awake. Paige is so not getting it.
Rita says “You’re the girl I would have hated in school.” Paige is not sure how to take that, and rightly so, but she does. Her comp card looks good. The judges say she has a cover model face but take it down a notch in person, Tracy Flick.
Arreyon, who just made me scroll back and do like three different document searches to spell her name right again, says she’s been modeling for a long time, undoes her braid, and says she’s a boss. The judges say not to overdress and she immediately takes her necklace off. They like her but not her comp card. She needs polish.
Justine says her parents are divorced and her mom doesn’t support her career. She says she didn’t tell her mom that she left home to do the competition. The judges all snap into parental mode and lose their minds. Seriously, someone get Justine to call home. Justine’s comp card pose isn’t great, but they love her beautiful hair and face.
Cherish, wearing a T-shirt that says “SLAY,” flips her hair with self-conscious bravado. Rita genially says “Hey, Kooky Queen!” Heh. I think I like the cut of Rita’s jib. We cut to Cherish talking like a normal person about how an agency told her to get filler in her top lip. Ashley is offended on her behalf. In spite of our fears, Cherish’s comp card is controlled and really good.
Rita says Kyle is hot. Law brings up Ruby Rose, which, eh, maybe. Only in the sense that they are both androgynous brunettes. Drew says he’d cast her for Paper. Kyle’s comp is not as good as her actual face.
Coryanne’s mom is professional model Stephanie Roberts. Coryanne describes her as one of the biggest supermodels of the ‘90s, right up there with Tyra, which in a Tyra-hosted cycle would have gotten Coryanne tormented and thrown off the show in two episodes flat. Her comp card is gorgeous.
She just looks like a full-on fashion model. The judges love it. What is she doing here?
Roxy, 23, says she likes to talk in a British accent, which is not to suggest that she does it well. Nor has she figured out that doing this in front of someone who speaks an actual British dialect maybe isn’t cute. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a ton of Roxy.
Starr sings way up high while wearing a bra, a skirt, and a fur.
Future contestants, avoid this.
Quei was not praised for her achievements growing up, which may explain why she’s a bit prickly. She’s also a transwoman. Backstage, counsels Tatiana counsels Courtney that Quei is a very strong personality, and Courtney shouldn’t let Quei’s bullying affect her. Courtney says that people pick on others because they’re insecure just as Quei comes out of panel. Courtney freezes like she thinks Quei has raptor vision.
Quei deliberately comes over to sit by Courtney, and Tatiana says yes, they were talking about Courtney’s feelings toward Quei. Quei does a take that gets a music sting, and all the women nearby jump in saying that this was “not in a negative way.” Courtney says feels like they should be “joking around and having fun and not being bitches to each other, which isn’t really a de-escalation. Quei says she is a bitch. Oy. Courtney says she’s not a bitch, and that’s the problem. Tatiana says you can be a strong person without being a bitch. YES. Much like trying to show you’re an accomplished professional by being an asshole, trying to show you’re a strong person by being a bitch a) isn’t something the average person can pull off and b) just makes the world a more unpleasant place. It’s mostly an excuse for never, ever thinking about anyone but yourself. And, hey, if you decide that being horrible is your personal brand, go for it, but you’d better have enough money to take care of your own damn self when you’re old.
Quei says she’s sarcastic, which is not the word she’s looking for it. She pulls into a better apology and says she made an immature comment and she’s sorry about that. She says she and Courtney will be there together forever, and says in engagingly enough that Courtney starts laughing. They decide to move on.
And now Courtney’s in the panel! Courtney confirms that there was some mean girl action outside, and Rita says they don’t tolerate that nonsense on ANTM. We’ll see how that holds up. Courtney interviews that she’s has a lot of hardships her life. She was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child and she has metal rods in her back. And her mom kicked her out of the house at 17 and she’s never had anyone to lean on or ask advice. Law says he can’t describe how proud he is of her. Aww. He’s sweet.
The judges love her comp card – it’s smashing and a little masculine.
They say she’s very high-end. Correct. And yes, those eyebrows are working.
Krislian has a dance background and has done social media and music videos and has 50,000 Instagram followers. Drew says she sells sex. Is that her brand? The comp is pretty sexy. Rita points out that she’s using an Instagram pose, which is different than what you want on a comp.
India has dome some international modeling in Milan, Istanbul, and Athens. Another ringer! Ashley reasonably asks why she’s here, and India says she chose those modeling jobs for the travel, and now she knows she needs to come to New York. I thought modeling for travel was a great answer, but the judges are concerned. They worry about whether she’s serious. India’s comp card looks very all-American. Philipp loved her, which is quite an achievement.
Binta is from Seattle. (But first from Gambia!) LaQuan loved her, and she loves modeling, and the judges can tell that she loves it and practiced. Rita loves her comp, but Ashley says the pose is a little weak.
The sisters come in together and speak in unison. Ladies. They love Tash’s card. Cody’s is harder and looks a little menacing and tough.
Law says a lot of designers are booking toughness and androgyny, so there.
Giah is wearing a Texas flag shirt and says Philipp was blunt, but seems cool with that. Her comp is ravishing. Giah tears up when she talks about how much Ashley and Rita have inspired her. Rita loves Giah.
OK, it’s go time. Everyone gets called in. Rita says they’re looking for Business, Boss, and Brand. WHY? Do we really have to flog Tyra’s stupid – wait, yes, of course we do. I knew that. I’m sorry.
Rita recaps: We’re narrowing 28 down to 14. The winner gets $100,000, a Rimmel London commercial, a Paper spread, and a 1-year VH1 talent contract. Not bad. But wait, they phrase that as though maybe the winner does not get paid for the Rimmel ad separately from that $100,000. I could be wrong. The world of ANTM has made me suspicious.
Oh, this is brutal: Tomorrow there’s a VIP party. The models will have to line up and ask the “bouncer” if they’re on the list. If he lets them into the party, they’re on the show. If not, they’re just out there on the street. This is the sort of glittering cruelty that once made Top Model shine so very brightly. I’m impressed.
The next day, Cody recaps the rules about the bouncer and the list for us. Arreyon says she can’t wait to see her name on the list. She doubts that she won’t be there. India, on the other hand, is nervous because the judges didn’t think she had passion. Here we go!
Courtney is in. She heads in trying not to cry with happiness.
The fake bouncer tortures Giah, making her spell her name over twice. She’s in.
Roxy, as we knew, is out.
Justine is in.
India is in.
Arreyon is not in. She doubles over and weeps hard and asks “Are you sure?”
Oh, man, this is not what Fake Bouncer signed up for.
Tash is in. That’s twin one! She says being in the final 14 is reassuring to her and that she and Cody will win this competition together. That’s really not how it works, Tash.
Tatiana is in, duh.
Brittany is not. She knew that, and she handles it well.
Kyle is in. Starr gives one last interview about her “crush with Kyle.” Kyle waits inside, looking for Starr. Ooh, but it doesn’t save her. Starr is out. “This isn’t right,” weeps Starr, “I should be in there with her.” Given that these starr-crossed lovers have known each other for two days, I’m going to say that, yeah, while there may have been some real feelings, there was definitely a lot of strategy going on. Starr says “It’s not fucking fair” one million times.
Binta is in, of course.
Coryanne is also in with little surprise. Heh – they’re all about the drama here, so the top contenders are getting very little screen time.
Cherish is in.
Paige is in. Yes, you bet they want that high-strung achiever in the house.
Quei is not in. She says she’s annoyed: She’s honest and raw and open and killed it. That said, she’s saying all that with a smile. I think Quei is going to be fine. She says whoever said no to her should get their head examined. OK, that’s less gracious, but a sassy line to go out on.
Krislian is in.
Angel, of whom we have seen six seconds, is not.
Marissa is in.
Cody has been keeping a careful count and knows that she is one of two girls left in line and there is one spot left. She is flipping the fuck out inside. She’s trying to be happy that her sister is in so that if she doesn’t make it, she’ll have someone to root for. But no worries, because she’s in! The sisters are thrilled.
Oh, snap, did we just leave that last poor girl on the sidewalk?
Yes, we did.
The women inside scream and jump around. Except for Kyle, who cranes her neck to look outside for Starr. You JUST MET.
Quei tells Starr to get up from her weeping crouch on the sidewalk. She says if the judges can’t recognize how amazing they are, they’re nuts. That’s a much better look on you, Quei. I will miss you and your just hatred of this personal branding nonsense. Starr wails that she should be in there with Kyle. You JUST MET.
Rita greets the final 14! Justine is thrilled. They’re all amazed by the thought that America’s next top model is in that room. Now it’s time to make a great impression on the NYC fashion scene. The 14 ladies walk the runway at an indeterminate party/fashion show.
Giah says she has to do this for the people back home. Marissa says there’s no going home for her; she’s always wanted to be the main star. Binta says winning is the most important thing for her right now. Tatiana says she feels like she has a target on her back. Good instinct, Tatiana. Cherish says buh-ring it on and watch out, ladies! Oh, good. I was worried she’d be short on catch phrases.
We get to see what are presumably the new opening credits now that they’re not spoilers.
And then – GOD. DAMMIT. – over the very last credit is Tyra saying “We see your beauty!” so that we don’t risk ending the show without thinking about her expensive pyramid makeup.
OK! I am optimistic about this reboot and this panel! Let’s see how long it takes to dash these hopes. See you next week!