America's Next Top Model: The model in the plastic bubble
Welcome to Cycle 16 of America's Next Top Model, where Tyra’s throwing casting week out the window. Because in the “real modeling world” it’s all about facing rejection. Tyra herself was rejected by six agencies before she got signed. So what better way to toughen up the girls than to make them think they’re going home? It’s cruel but we love it. The first 14 girls are going to get turned away and then told that—psyche! You’re in!
Kicking things off with a “say what?” moment
The finalists are flown to LA to take part what they think is a regular casting week. But this is anything but typical. They meet the Jays right away and walk the runway…literally…at the airport.
Then they’re whisked off to take photos and meet Tyra, but rather than go to panel and then get the news, they’re told that decisions have already been made. Those who do not have a photo in their envelope will go home immediately. Our real Cycle 16 contestants get an envelope with no photo. So they make their way, tearfully, to the luggage holding area where Tyra comes to tell them that rejection sucks but get used to it. It’s time to go home. Luckily, home is right behind them! A curtain falls and the former rejects see their new Top Model penthouse in downtown Los Angeles! We just wonder about what became of the poor souls who thought they were moving on but were, in fact, leaving.
Have a ball, y’all
It’s off to Malibu where the ladies will take part in their first runway show. They’re met by supermodel and designer, Erin Wasson. The news is broken that they will be walking on a 12-inc-wide runway, over water, in a plastic bubble. They are also going to do a photo shoot first, backstage, before they even go out to the audience. Just a little pressure. Russell James will be doing the photography and it’s kind of a fun, candid-type photo shoot.
The fashion show starts and the clothes and jewelry look great but the girls look like small, stomping rodents as they attempt to come off sexy, walking in their hamster balls. The only ones to actually fall down (or as Erin Wasson says later, “took a spell”) are Ondrei and Dominique, who try to make the best of it and Brittani is the only one to really work the walk properly. But how do the photos look?
A new term is coined
Russell James’ backstage photos are truly lovely. But some of the models come out looking better than others. Nicole, Sara and Angelia weren’t exactly captured in the best light. But to be fair, the photos were taken candidly and it’s really the moment that is captured in the photo—much more than the models. So many of the girls really just got lucky.
At panel Nigel christens a new term of the Cycle—a “cat’s bottom mouth” which is the dreaded pucker that so many rookie models insist on using. Best photo ends up going to Molly, which almost makes the judges forget that she came to panel showing her midriff. Angelina and Dominique are the last two standing. Angelina ends up getting sent home. We’re so pleased that Dominique didn’t get eliminated because we can’t wait to watch her do the facial contortion cry for the entire Cycle!