Thursday, March 9, 2006

America’s Next Top Model

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I saw the last hour of “America’s Next Top Model” last night. It was like watching a slow train wreck! I didn’t want to continue watching but I was so mesmerized by what I was seeing, that I could not look away.

For anyone [blissfully] unaware of what this show is about, I will quickly recap. A group of young ladies that wish to be “top” models were selected from around the country (world?) and in the first half of the first episode were whittled down from 30 or so to just 12 (13?). I know this because it was re-capped for the second half of the show. The second hour of this first episode followed the usual reality show format by having the remaining ladies perform some sort of task and be ranked on the results. There are non-task clips as well as interview clips scattered throughout and in the final 5 minutes, someone is sent home.

The challenge in this segment was to do a photo shoot that was run by a world famous fashion photographer (whom I never heard of as I am not into fashion). In preparation for the shoot, the ladies were driven across town to a famous hair solon (something else I never heard of as I am not into famous hair solons). The ladies were all giddy, expecting to get complete make-overs in preparation for the shoot. The host then informs them all that the shoot will be with all of them bald. You would have thought that they were told they would need to loose a finger. One lady almost fainted.

As an aside, if my dream were to be a top model (it is not) and I had made it this far in the selection process, if the host said I would need to get my head shaved for a shoot, I would be sure to be the first person stepping up to get it done and would be darn sure to do it with enthusiasm and commitment. I mean this is supposed to be my life’s dream for heaven’s sake. The man that can make this happen says to go bald; I go bald and am darn glad to do it! That should have been a point of elimination right there, and like that scene from “A League of Their Own” where the guy running the league replied to the woman that did not want to wear a dress while playing, “There are X girls in the parking lot right now that will gladly trade places with you”.

They did not actually get shaved. Much to everyone’s GREAT relief, they were told that they would be wearing bald caps to make it look like they had shaved heads. That made everyone very happy. They all then went off to the shoot location. There the bald caps were applied and it did indeed make them look bald. The shoots were completed and then the ladies were judged on the quality of their photos and one was eliminated and sent home.

This was one of the silliest, most shallow, and superficial things I have seen on TV in I don’t know how long. The judging panel was so crass as they ripped into the different ladies looks, expressions, attitudes, etc. They could not even rise to the level of the American Idol judging panel. I am dumb-struck that shows like this can be produced from season to season. It is a text-book example of all that is wrong with TV today.

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