America's Next Top Model Refuses to Take Itself Seriously

In recent weeks, I’ve attacked the producers of America’s Next Top Model for populating the tenth cycle of the show with human beings I’m not even confident could collectively muster the IQ points necessary to use a calculator. This week, as I continued to marvel at the dumbest batch of models yet -- in fact, my girlfriend spent the episode saying, “Why are they so dumb?” over and over. I finally realized why Top Model shouldn’t be compared to other reality competition shows like Project Runway, Top Chef, or Hell’s Kitchen, but rightfully deserves to be compared to the worst reality competition show on television at the moment, Make Me a Super Model (though, to be fair, Step Up to It and Dance hasn’t debuted yet).

And what, I’m sure you’re dying to know, was my realization? Well, simply that Top Model doesn’t cast real models in their competition; instead, they cast pretty girls like Lauren who can’t even confidently say they’re pretty, Kimberly the vapid blonde who doesn’t even like high fashion and literally walks off because of her disinterest, Amis the goofball who has demonstrated zero commitment to a possible future as a model, and Dominique who is, I’ll point out yet again, a dude (how many more trannie jokes from the judges can we take?). In other words, they cast a few women who’ve made a buck or two “modeling” somewhere, maybe for a local print ad, then fill out the rest of the roster with women who had never thought about modeling until they decided to try out for Top Model.

Can you imagine how boring and impossible watching Project Runway would be if all of the designers had never actually used a sewing machine before or, gasp, didn’t even understand what couture meant? Or how about a season of Top Chef with nothing but homemakers and single dads trying to make some Hamburger Helper more exciting for the panel of judges? Nobody would watch these amateurs compete, and yet the producers of Top Model expect us to root for ignorant, untrained faux-people trying to become “America’s next top model.” Is there any wonder that none of the models ever achieve success at all proportionate to the title they’ve won?

Take last night’s episode of Top Model, throughout which Miss J cringed and gasped at just about every model for the terrible way they crossed a runway. Hell, I could swing a runway better than Lauren. Fatima, who’s been hailed as the next coming of Iman, couldn’t even look average walking one, and yet she deserves to be here... why? I guess because she has a pretty face. Oh, and let’s not forget Amis (who, by the way, was voted out of the competition this week); she literally skipped down a runway this week. It’s week three: the remaining models are supposed to be the cream of some (maybe rotting?) crop, yet very few of them had any idea how to actually model for a camera either. I guess this is why Tyra spends every episode snickering about how silly the women standing before her are.

America’s Next Top Model needs to start taking itself more seriously, at least if it ever wants its audience to take the show seriously.