My life consists of exactly two time periods: B.T. and A.T. (Before and After Tyra).
B.T. was a pretty dark time for me. For twenty-five long, wasted years, I thought I didn't love Tyra Banks. But things are different now: Enter A.T. Last night, I attended a preview screening of America's Next Top Model's season premiere. I met Tyra. She posed for the cameras like she was standing on a rotating pedestal. She told me she liked my "very Brady Bunch in a cute way" dress. She smized at me. She smized at me. More on this later.
For its 19th 'cycle,' ANTM has undergone a well-documented makeover, recruiting a brand new cast of characters—Tyra and Kelly Cutrone are the only ones carrying over. Here's a brief breakdown of all the changes happening this season, and the roles of the new peeps (or so I gathered between bouts of irregular breathing caused by my close proximity to Rob Evans):
Here's a brief breakdown of all the changes happening this season, and the roles of the new peeps (or so I gathered between bouts of irregular breathing caused by my close proximity to Rob Evans):
•Katy Perry's stylist Johnny Wujek is serving as the 'photo shoot creative consultant.' In the first episode, that meant that he kind of stood off to the side and quietly commented on the girls' poses--or, as he describes, he's basically "a host for the photo shoots." One summer I worked as a hostess at IHOP—does that qualify me for that position?
• Blogger BryanBoy, who “for the longest time was allergic to reality tv,” is the 'social media correspondent.' He wasn't in the first episode, but he'll apparently be the go-between for the fans (aka 'the fourth judge') and the models—even though he says he usually doesn't agree with their opinions: “They don't really give other girls the potential... they always have this stereotype of what a model should be.” On the other hand, Cutrone thought the fans were so insightful, “I thought they might unemploy us!”
• Male model Rob Evans is really ridiculously good looking and seems to often inspire Tyra to speak in a shoddy English accent. When asked what she thought Rob brought to the show, Cutrone replied with a resounding, “Duh! D-U-H. And for the models, he represented something doable to them.” Pun... intended? As for Tyra's two cents, “He's so fine and sexy that it's kind of distracting. But he's also vulnerable.” Indeed. Lastly, Rob Evans on Rob Evans: “I'm just tryna keep it real, ya know what I mean. If there's a picture I think is sexy, I'm just like... seriously, that's sexy.” Totes.
• The new Miss. J is a person called Jonte who was seen last night prancing around wearing a leather leotard and a fascinator with cat ears.
• There's no longer a judges table hiding the panel's outfits--now it's "all about the full looks, head to toe," said Wujek.
• This is the first ever college edition of ANTM, inspired by Tyra's oft-mentioned, newly completed Harvard education obviously. “I started mentoring a model who went to Harvard, and I was just watching her juggling school and modeling--I mean she's an econ major, she's super smart. She's on the card counting team, she's just like this genius, and I'm like, I need to show girls that this is possible! That you can get your education and you can model, and I happen to be doing it later in life, but I still got my education--so I just really wanted to push that.” But don't worry guys, there's still tons of drama and alleged homelessness going on with this cast.
• As for the show getting rescheduled for Friday nights? Wujek said he (and Katy Perry, apparently) was excited to join the TGIF line-up, but "we're cooler than Urkel, though!"
And then we all hopped into bed together for a slumber party. Seriously. Please see proof above.
But none of this really matters--what does matter is that I just love Tyra Banks so, so much. I can honestly say that from last night on, I'll wake up every morning feeling happier and more optimistic.. just knowing that Tyra and I are breathing the same air. That smize... it was like gazing into the eyes of an angel, letting me know that everything's going to be alright. And one day, I just know that we're going to put on our one piece swimsuits and cry, and yell at each other because that's how our mamas showed us they loved us. That's really it.