America's Next Top Model: A Previewby Jamie Goralski -- 04/21/2003
Beauty, glamour, girlie stuff... everything I love! America's Next Top Model, beginning May 20 on UPN, seeks to find the next golden girl of the modeling industry. The premise is 10 real women living in a New York penthouse being filmed 24 hours a day as they learn the ins and outs of the business, including complicated cat walks, fashion shoots, honing their publicity skills, and undergoing rigorous fitness regimes. Who will show the inner and outer beauty necessary to move on and who will be eliminated? And how important is inner beauty in the modeling world? These are the questions. Another question is just how complicated a cat walk can really be. The girls, ranging in age from 18-26, will face weekly tasks determining who will be eliminated and who will move on to the finals where they will undergo a modeling "boot camp." Which begs yet another question: What on earth is a modeling boot camp? The winner will have the opportunity to receive a Revlon modeling contract and representation by Wilhelmina Models, and will be guaranteed an appearance in Marie Claire magazine.
An interesting aside, it was reported on Dateline a couple nights ago, April 19, 2003, that Wilhelmina Models scouting practices are being investigated due to joining forces with former Trans Continental Talent, Inc. (TCT) to form Wilhelmina Scouting Network March 21, 2003. You can find more information at http://modelingscams.itgo.com/news.html. I wonder if the "opportunity" to be represented by Wilhelmina Models is an bona fide contract with the legitimate agency started in 1967 by model Wilhelmina Cooper, which is unquestionably one of the top modeling agencies in the world, or merely to be featured in the searchable online database of the scouting network. There is a world of difference.
Enough of my hard-hitting investigative news journalism - back to the shallow waters of pretty girls on reality TV...
Judging the participants are:
The last brings up another question, doesn't it? How does one become a muse to the degree you can put it on your résumé? Does that pay well? There will also be a weekly guest judge bringing specific expertise from various facets of the beauty industry.
Let's meet the would-be supermodels...
Adrianne Curry, age 20, from Joliet, Illinois. Stats: Long brown hair, green eyes, 5' 10 1/2", 123 lbs., occupation - waitress. She loves '60s music including Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix. I do too so I already like her. She has a pink toed tarantula in addition to more run of the mill pets like her two dogs and a cat. Do tarantulas come with pink toes? I hope so, since if the pink is due to her giving her spider pedicures that's a little more eccentric than I am comfortable with.
Ebony Haith, age 24, from the Bronx, New York. Stats: shaved head, brown eyes, 5'10", 125 lbs., occupation - make-up artist. She describes herself as comical, charismatic, beautiful, and religious. I hope by comical she means she has a sense of humor since I think you would need one to be critiqued regularly on television. She lists The Real World as one of her favorite shows and I wish she had named her favorite season so I could judge her. I think you can tell a lot about people by their pick for top Real World cast. The best would be first season New York or second season L.A., and if you say Miami you should never be allowed to own a television, much less appear on it.
Elyse Sewell, age 20, from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Stats: Short brown hair, blue eyes, 5' 10", 120 lbs. occupation - clinical researcher. She has a BS in biology and a BS in Spanish and it is of note that she completed both degrees in three years. Her life motto is a quote from Perutz: "How could the search for ultimate truth have revealed so hideous and visceral-looking an object?" So she is beautiful with an intimidating intellect. (I consider myself a fairly well-read and intelligent woman so I hate anyone whose life motto is a quote that whooshes over my head. Actually I hate anyone who has a life motto.) Will her braininess help or hurt her in this basically superficial contest? She does watch Elimidate, however, so that has to take the edge off the intellect somewhat.
Giselle Samson, age 20, from Corona, California. Stats: Long brown hair, brown eyes, 5'10", 130 lbs., occupation - theme park entertainer. She sees herself as goofy, outgoing, and loud. I like that when asked to describe herself she talked about her personality.
Shannon Stewart, age 18, from Franklin, Ohio. Stats: Long wavy blonde hair, blue eyes, 5' 10 1/2", 135 lbs., occupation - student. She describes herself as unique, classy, diligent, and blessed by the Lord in many ways. She forgot arrogant.
Katie Cleary, age 21, from Glenview, Illinois. Stats: Long brown hair, brown eyes, 5'9", 115 lbs., occupation - student. One of her favorite shows is The Bachelor so I have to wonder if she is a RealityNewsOnline reader. Where do you get better Bachelor recaps? Nowhere. She volunteers with the Chicago AIDS Foundation and Kenosha Humane Society. I think her charities bespeak character and on a personal note I'd like to see a neighborhood girl take the big prize. I grew up in the next town over from Glenview so I hope she wins. I never said I was deep.
Nicole Panattoni, age 22, from Murietta, California. Stats: long blonde hair, brown eyes, 5' 11", 125 lbs., occupation - bike/skate shop employee. She lists her most interesting job as learning how to build a skateboard. I like that, I think that would be a cool thing to learn how to do, and not just because my 12 year old son would be wicked impressed.
Robin Manning, age 26, from Memphis, Tennessee. Stats: Long brown hair, brown eyes, 5'9", 160 lbs., occupation - day care assistant. She is looking for a God-fearing man who will treat her like a queen. Well she was once crowned Miss Soybean and if that doesn't entitle you to royal treatment for life I don't know what does.
Tessa Carlson, age 19, from Chicago, Illinois. Stats: Shoulder length blonde hair, blue eyes, 5'9", 124 lbs., occupation - hostess. I'll quote her self-description, "Sexy, Crazy, Cool! Or is that a TLC song? I'm fun, spontaneous and kinky." It's actually a great TLC CD and it's Crazy Sexy Cool. Another Chicago area girl. I know what you're wondering. Are all women who grew up in Illinois stunning, and as such, contenders for the supermodel crown? Yes. It's quite the burden to endure but we shoulder it bravely. Ahem.
Kesse Wallace, age 21, from Little Rock, Arkansas. Stats: Black hair, brown eyes, 5'9", 135 lbs., occupation - student. She describes herself as "intelligent, beautiful (inside and out), confident, and a Baptist who tries to incorporate her religion into her everyday life." Kesse also refers to herself as a DIVA: Devastating, Intriguing, Vivacious, and just plain All that. Based on her self-description she sounds like a hybrid of Ghandia (Survivor: Thailand) and JoAnna (Survivor: The Amazon). Someone hold me, I'm afraid.
As yet there is no info that I've found on how many girls will be eliminated weekly and how many will make the finals, so I will just predict the winner to be Katie Cleary. Since I am notoriously wrong about this kind of thing, my world famous psychic powers not extending to reality TV, rest assured whatever I say will be completely wrong and bet accordingly. What would the Vegas odds makers do without me?
Jamie can be reached at JRS5150@aol.com.
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