A new season of “America’s Next Top Model” has descended upon us, TV watchers. That usually means the same old same: some sage wisdom from Nigel Barker, diva tips from Miss J and a CoverGirl shoot in preparation for the winner’s contract. Throw everything you know about “ANTM” out the window. As of the premiere on August 25, Cycle 19 has shaken up top model. And I like it. Here’s why:
1. Hot (Cutthroat) Judges — Clearly Tyra Banks has cleaned house. Say goodbye to Nigel Barker, J. Alexander (often referred to as Miss J) and Jay Manuel. Say hello to sexy British model Rob Evans, fashion blogger Bryanboy and fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone. They’re stylish judges who know the new age of social media and fashion. I figured they added the hot male model for the obvious reason — his abs. However, on Friday Evans proved to be the most eloquent on the panel and his judging tips were spot on. Bryanboy is a wild card for me, but with the addition of Kelly Cutrone, I’ll be in the season for the long haul. Cutrone had her own show called “Kell on Earth”, which featured her yelling and screaming at her employees. Kelly “Cutthroat” Cutrone deserves her nickname and judging position simply for being brutally honest and so entertaining.
2. New Prizes — Goodbye $100,000 US contract with CoverGirl cosmetics. Thankfully we won’t have to endure another “easy, breezy, beautiful” commercial. Instead, the girls will be offered a spread in “Nylon” magazine, which weirdly enough, I actually subscribe to. They’ll also have campaigns with Nine West and Smashbox Cosmetics. The notable difference that makes this cycle better than the rest is a cash prize of $100,000. For some girls, that will mean more than the opportunity to maybe-sorta break out into the modeling industry. Winning “ANTM” becomes bigger than just a title and a lofty promise to someday be a famous model. It means money — real tangible money.
3. Viewers Vote — The audience now has input. Head over to antmvoting during polling periods and vote on your favorite photographs. The scores for each model will be combined and evaluated. In essence, the final score will be a fourth judge on the panel. So we don’t necessarily have the power to vote off a contestant, but if we hate someone, Tyra’s gonna know. You can find the official rules and polling periods “here”.
A little news about this Cycle — Every season there’s a new theme. Cycle 19 centers around college girls and one aspiring model was suspended multiple times in high school for brawling. And I kid you not, you could drop Kristin in Malibu Beach with a pink sports car. She’s a bad-tempered Barbie who throws punches if you cross her. Drama will surely ensue.
If you don’t believe me about Rob Evan’s sexiness, then have no fear. A picture tweet will clear up any indecisiveness.
Catch new episodes on Friday’s at 8pm, and you can currently watch the first episode by visiting cwtv.com or Hulu. Which models do you have your eye on to win it all? My top three: Leila, Brawling Barbie (Kristin) and Yvonne.