Try as I might to resist its siren song, the new season (excuse me, "Cycle 12") of ANTM has lured me in with its predictably psycho two-hour season premiere last night. And this season promises a whole new batch of crazies, chock-full of girls whose "personal stories" and "role model potential" have given Tyra new projects to groom in her image and thereby give her life meaning.
First off, we have Allison from New Orleans, who in her audition interview with Tyra and the Jays disclosed her jealousy of people that get bloody noses, as she loves blood and how it looks running down someone's face. Everyone living in the house with her should be advised to smile and nod when she talks while slowly backing away. Next up is London, the born-again Christian evangelizer who thanked Jesus profusely when Tyra called her name to live in the house. Yes, the Savior of Mankind had a direct role in your participation in a reality show, the producers can tell London as they pat her on the head. Plus, we've got the obligatory "issues" girls who Tyra puts on the show as "role models:" Isabella, who was booted last night, has epilepsy, and Tahlia has burns all over her body. Remind me again how a model with burns all over her body, however inspiring she may be to other burn victims, is supposed to get work in an industry where models are almost universally expected to have perfectly flawless skin? And last but certainly not least, we've got the all-purpose drama-rama role, the girl who is put in the house every cycle by the producers to instigate cat fights and shouting matches, played by Sandra, who had a riotous exchange with another girl already prior to a photo shoot. The other girl was so distracted and off-guard by her antics that she fucked up the photo and was sent packing before she even made it to the house. Imagine how much Sandra will be able to do to break her competition's will to live when she's actually living with them!
Even discounting the overall silliness of the whole "Goddess" theme of the first challenge, this cycle promises to be a new low in the CW's blockbuster series. Even the advertisers aren't impressed - most of the ad time was filled by the CW's promotions for its other shows (with 90210 and One Tree Hill 30-second spots making ANTM look like Masterpiece Theater by comparison). Speaking of ads, am I the only one who notices that the "My Life as a Cover Girl" ads, this time featuring McKey as the winner of Cycle 11, only show during ANTM breaks? Have you ever seen McKey's ads on the teevee at any other time?