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October 25, 2014

America's Next Top Model: The Girls Go Cruisin' (season premiere)

by JJ Hawkins, posted Sep 20th 2007 12:58AM
Cycle 9 finalists

(S09E01) Four years, eight cycles, and countless eating disorders ago, America's Next Top Model premiered to great fanfare on the channel formerly known as UPN.

Cycle 9 premiered tonight on The CW, and although it hasn't changed all that much in eight iterations, the series doesn't seem to be showing any real signs of its age.

Aside from it being a viable excuse for me to watch 13 semi-attractive girls strut around in skimpy clothing, what is it about this show that keeps me ravenous for more? A simple answer awaits you if you'd kindly follow the jump.

Tyra does a little cabaret.

See the wide-eyed nut job with the red feathers flanked by gay sailors in the screencap above? She's the reason America's Next Top Model has been so successful all these years.

Nevermind the fact that she co-produces the thing - if Tyra's crazy ass wasn't physically on the show on a weekly basis wearing ridiculous outfits (see above), pantomiming ridiculous poses (see below), and deadpanning ridiculous phrases (listen to anything serious she says), this show would have died many, many moons ago.

I'm saying all of these things with great admiration by the way. Basically, I've grown to love Tyra Banks and I'm not ashamed to say it. Well, maybe a little ashamed to say it, but I'm pretty sure no one in my fantasy football league knows I review this show so I'm safe.

Anyhow, if we're using Tyra's atrociously delicious cabaret performance as a barometer for the foolishness that's going to ensue this season, than this should be the best cycle yet.

On with the show.

We started out with 33 girls. Through the initial introduction process we met some pretty interesting characters that included:

  • Ambreal who goes to Howard University and showed off "the ghetto walk", "the Africa walk", and the "crazy choreography walk" which Tyra tried and failed to duplicate
  • Chantal who dropped some designer names like Versace and Rachel Roy which really impressed Tyra, Miss Jay, and Mr. Jay
  • Sylvia who Tyra made walk like a high fashion butterfly, a high fashion robot, and a centipede?
  • Heather, a very peculiar, slightly gangly girl with Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD. The former is a mild form of autism that among other things, causes people to be a little awkward in social situations (according to Heather). The latter is a "disease" concocted by the medical industry to describe people who can't sit still or focus. :)
  • Alicia who went to T-zone (a Tyra Banks modeling camp) when she was 14 and now she thinks "she's bomb". Tyra promised to be harder on her because she knows her.
  • Victoria who is a quasi attractive nerd from Yale who is very smart and thinks some of the other girls are really dumb. At this point, I wish to concur.
  • Janet who is a hottie from a small town in Georgia who does bikini waxing for a living. She gave Tyra a faux bikini wax as seen below, then gave her a sexy smack on the ass...I reviewed this no less than 17 times on my TiVo...
Tyra gets a bikini wax and a butt smack.

This sequence caused Tyra to say, "Any girl that gives me a simulated kitty cat wax is fine by me." Me too Tyra. Me too.

Next, we sadly hit a patch of girls who had been wronged in one way or another as they were growing up. In all seriousness, I hate to hear stories like these, but am glad that they've been able to make it this far through such adversity.
  • Jennifer is a bartender with no vision in her right eye. She talks with a thick Boston accent.
  • Marvita was passed from one relative to the next as a child. She has been homeless, molested, and raped.
  • Lisa was in foster care for many years. However, now she is an exotic dancer, but she always has her clothes on. Sure Lisa...and Miss Jay is really a woman.
  • Ebony is from the hood, and the girls already hate her. Tyra was able to pull out the fact that Ebony had a boyfriend that walked all over her and a mother that was a crackhead.
Next, we moved on to some random beach for a photography assignment that would weed out seven more girls.

Cha Cha Diva (a.k.a. Jaslene, cycle 8 winner) made an appearance while on the beach and gave the girls a small pep talk about how she's living her dream and how they too can make their dream a reality if they work hard and blah blah blah "I'm Spicy".

Hasta la bye bye losers.
After the shoot, 13 girls were cut. For the next 20 girls Tyra, Miss Jay and Mr. Jay deliberated over their photos and ultimately called out the 13 girls who will actually be in this season's competition to be America's Next Top Model.

20 ladies anxiously wait to see if they've made it.

We already know who the 13 finalists are from this post, but in the event you missed it, here's a list of the ladies that made it:
  • Mila
  • Bianca
  • Jenah
  • Chantal
  • Ambreal
  • Victoria
  • Sarah
  • Saleisha
  • Kimberly
  • Ebony
  • Janet
  • Heather
  • Lisa
Just like last season, upon seeing the 13 finalists I asked my wife who she thinks will win the competition. She picked Heather. I'm picking Janet.

If you remember, my wife picked Jaslene after the first episode of cycle 8 and I picked uber biotch Renee. In other words, my wife spanked me last year, and I'm not going to let her do it again.

Make your early pick on who will win cycle 9 via the poll below, or if you really want to make it official, via the comments.

Who's your early pick to win cycle 9 of America's Next Top Model?
Mila137 (3.6%)
Bianca137 (3.6%)
Jenah187 (5.0%)
Chantal491 (13.0%)
Ambreal119 (3.2%)
Victoria361 (9.6%)
Sarah150 (4.0%)
Saleisha314 (8.3%)
Kimberly136 (3.6%)
Ebony265 (7.0%)
Janet329 (8.7%)
Heather669 (17.8%)
Lisa468 (12.4%)

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33 Comments

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lubla

I am just curious, does anyone know if any of the antm winners have a successful career ? Would some one please e-mail me this information. Thank you

November 24 2007 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Spencer

I happen to have Asperger's syndrome myself and many of my friends I made in high school also have it. That being said, this Heather girl is competing to be (drum roll, please)...a MODEL?!?!? That's about as likely as Paul Simon joining a heavy metal band or Albert Einstein playing sports. No offense to Heather, but wouldn't she be a bit more suited to something in a more "indie" field? I always thought modeling was something that only the "popular" girls/women went for; I'm not trying to be judgmental here but just about everyone I know with Asperger's syndrome (including one girl), consider things like modeling, sports, and stuff that has mega-massive "mainstream" appeal to pretty much be a waste of time. Again, I'm not trying to be mean or rude here, so please don't read too much into these comments. Bottom line is that unless modeling is her ONLY talent (which I doubt) she's probably better off doing something else like music (like David Byrne), writing (like Donna Williams), or even puppetry children's entertainment (like Jim Henson) Not sure if Henson or Byrne actually HAD Asperger's but they seem like they might've.

October 16 2007 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Spencer

I happen to have Asperger's syndrome myself and many of my friends I made in high school also have it. That being said, this Heather girl is competing to be (drum roll, please)...a MODEL?!?!? That's about as likely as Paul Simon joining a heavy metal band or Albert Einstein playing sports. No offense to Heather, but wouldn't she be a bit more suited to something in a more "indie" field? I always thought modeling was something that only the "popular" girls/women went for; I'm not trying to be judgmental here but just about everyone I know with Asperger's syndrome (including one girl), consider things like modeling, sports, and stuff that has mega-massive "mainstream" appeal to pretty much be a waste of time. Again, I'm not trying to be mean or rude here, so please don't read too much into these comments. Bottom line is that unless modeling is her ONLY talent (which I doubt) she's better off doing something else like music (like David Byrne), writing (like Donna Williams), or even puppetry/children's entertainment (like Jim Henson)

Not sure if Henson or Byrne actually HAD Asperger's but they seem like they might've.

October 16 2007 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug

I love watching ANTM, Tyra is awesome!!!
One person I was very upset over leaving was the girl from Boston, Jennifer. She was actually gorgeous and not to mention sincere (so who didn't cry) atleast she showed her inner beauty!!! I truly hope she makes it in her career and her dreams come true as J Lo said, high fashion runway model go Jennifer. Obviously I am from Boston and I am proud of my Bostonian accent.

October 10 2007 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
L. Walsh

My name is L. Walsh and I am the Program Director of a program for young adults with Asperger's Syndrome in Norther California. The website is: www.lifeworkssc.org.

I have been following Heather as she caught my attention when she informed the audience she has Asperger's Syndrome. Asperger's Syndrome is a term used when a child or adult has some features of autism but may not have the full blown clinical picture. There is some disagreement about where it fits in the PDD spectrum. A few people with Asperger's syndrome are very successful and until recently were not diagnosed with anything but were seen as brilliant, eccentric, absent minded, shy, and a little physically awkward.
Although the criteria state no significant delay in the development of language milestones, what you might see is a "different" way of using language. A child may have a wonderful vocabulary and even demonstrate hyperlexia (an above normal ability to read accompanied with a below normal ability to understand spoken language) but not truly understand the nuances of language and have difficulty with language pragmatics. Social pragmatics also tend be weak, leading the person to appear to be walking to the beat of a "different drum".
In social interaction, many people with Asperger's syndrome demonstrate gaze avoidance and may actually turn away at the same moment as greeting another. Those with Asperger Syndrome desire interaction with others but have trouble knowing how to make it work. They are, however, able to learn social skills much like you or I would learn to play the piano.
There is a general impression that Asperger's syndrome carries with it superior intelligence and a tendency to become very interested in and preoccupied with a particular subject. Often this preoccupation leads to a specific career at which the adult is very successful.
Many of the weaknesses can be remediated with specific types of therapy aimed at teaching social and pragmatic skills. Anxiety leading to significant rigidity can be also treated medically. Although it is harder, adults with Asperger's can have relationships, families, happy and productive lives.

September 27 2007 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

Saleisha for now, but it's easier to pick after the makeovers.

September 24 2007 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ryan and desiree

Go HEATHER!!! We are cheering for you along with the rest of VCF valpo!

Ryan and Desiree

September 23 2007 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FashionBug

I have to agree with PinkPearl.

I have my degree in psychology, and even have won awards for my work with "Aspergers" sufferers, but in the end, I do agree, that this is a made-up disease. This is not to say that people do not exhibit symptoms, all it means is that those people who are in power to taxonimize and classify have grouped together a set of behaviors, and decided, for the sake of communication, to call them by the same name.

On the same token, virtually all disorders are made up in a similar fashion. Whether you choose to buy into them or not, simply shows the level of granularity with which you view people. To classify large groups of people into vague and general disorders like this necessarily makes mistakes. In an ideal world we could look at the individual rather than trying to squeeze people into pigeon holes.

In the end, this is why I have not pursued psychology professionally. The medical climate is far too unwilling to acknowledge the inherent flexibility of disorder classifications.

Hopefully more pinkpearls will emerge out there who challenge people to rethink the paradigms of the medical/psychiatric profession.

Oh yeah, and long live ANTM. Is it just me, or is Bianca rediculously stunning? Her attitude might be a bit of a turnoff, but wow.

September 22 2007 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katie

Oh Pearl, I probably know as much on this subject as you. People with ADHD, and while it is over and can be misdiagnosed, have been shown to have different brain scans than people who do not have the disorder.

This says to me that there really is something going on, and not just being lazy and disrespectful, or an excuse. I have worked my butt off to overcome my disorder, with and without the use of medications, and to be successful. And without IEPs, which weren't done in my area in the early 90's for ADHD.

And yeah, if that is your attitude towards your students and the problems they deal with, I wouldn't want to work with you, much less have you teach the students I work with.

September 21 2007 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pinkpearlhtml

Dearest posters...

Get a life, and get off your high I am so important and i have special needs horses. I NEVER said I didnt like the students I teach. I was only making a note of how things now have to be labled and medicated. I am sorry that you BRAINWASHED people are so offended. Again, get over yourselves and maybe think outside of your little tiny box. I may have something too. Although you all seem to be the ONLY people that know anything about the special "disease, problem, etc". Give me a break! Get a life and get real!

September 21 2007 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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