Welcome to Amateur Hour
What the hell has happened to “America’s Next Top Model“?
I’ve stuck with this show through good and bad, thick and thin, and Whitney and Ann. I’ve laughed at the bad episodes and gushed over the good ones. It’s always been a campy mess, but it’s also been a campy mess with decent production values.
This “Guys and Girls” cycle, however, is different. Take this picture of Jourdan from last night’s episode. If you can’t find a way to make a 6’1″ Barbie doll look good in a photograph, you’re probably a shitty photographer. Jourdan might not be the best model to ever compete on this show, but she certainly isn’t the worst. What’s worse is that it looks as if the orangutan did her makeup and wardrobe styling. In my not-so-humble opinion, this is the crappiest photo in ANTM history. At least there was some ambition in Lluvy’s infamous fish shot.
The rest of the pics weren’t much better. Chris H. received negative criticism for not being able to model with TWO macaws sitting on his shoulders. What was he supposed to do? Dance while they dug their talons into his flesh? There’s a reason that their handlers wear leather gloves. Nina and Don kept getting interrupted during their shoots when the snake they were posing with left the frame. Shame on them for not bringing their professional snake-handler A-game to the set. And both Jeremy and Reneé had terrible shots as they posed with a baby leopard that wouldn’t sit still. A playful kitten? Who has ever heard of that?
There wasn’t a good photo in the bunch, although Nina lucked out with her snake picture. Still, the judges couldn’t agree if it was good or not and they awarded their typically arbitrary scores, including a 10 from Tyra. Yes, a 10 for this:
I can accept that this was the best of the bunch, but in no way did it deserve that sort of praise. If Jourdan’s shot deserved a 1 out of 10 as the new benchmark for “terrible,” I suppose that this one would earn a 6 or maybe a 7. Here’s an 8:
I’d give it a 9 if I didn’t have this one to compare it to:
Of course, this shot would be a 10 in any universe where this shot didn’t exist:
Anyway, there are opportunities galore for the producers of this show to collaborate with exceptionally talented people who would not only produce a body of work that would show them in their best light, but also allow the models to leave this ridiculous program with a decent portfolio and a sense of accomplishment. They’ve used them in the past (jeez I miss Sutan Amrull and Mike Rosenthal) and they can use them in the future. Tyra Banks and Ken Mok just have to recognize that breathing life into a tired franchise doesn’t mean cutting corners with production values. I watched “Survivor: Blood Vs. Water” this week and saw one of the greatest episodes in twenty-seven seasons. If you give the contestants an environment in which they can thrive, it’s going to happen. So stop blaming the models for your low-budget shitshow and put some talent behind the camera before it’s too late.