When it comes to reality shows, it seems you can teach old dogs new tricks. (Not that you should. But you CAN.) America's Next Top Model debuts its 19th cycle on August 24, and the brain that brought us important cultural vernacular like "smize," "H to T" and "tooch" isn't out of new ideas just yet.
New Theme, New Models
Tyra's been hard at work cleaning house and instituting an amazing amount of changes to her ancient modeling competition show. Including her biggest change to date: An online fan voting system that revealed every single photo from the cycle before the show even premiered. Huh? More on that below. Here's what else you can expect when cycle 19 hits the CW:
Well, that's actually nothing new. There are new models every cycle. But these ones are proud college co-eds, hailing from Harvard, community college and every sort of higher learning institution in between. Along the way, the girls will be repping their respective schools, and Tyra will take every possible opportunity to remind us that she attended Harvard Business School last year.
Meet the fresh meat, really putting those educations to werk:
With Nigel, Jay Manuel and Miss J now out of the picture, Tyra has brought on a brand new arsenal of fashion-minded men to round out the panel with herself and Kelly Cutrone, whose biggest and possibly only fan appears to be Tyra herself. Kelly recently said that "people don't like it" when she's nice, so the message seems to be that we can all look forward to even more of her indiscriminate surliness this season. Tyra and Kelly will be joined by fashion blogger Bryanboy, the show's new "social media correspondent, male model (free labor!) Rob Evans, photo shoot stylist Johnny Wujek and "movement mentor" Jonte.
New Judging System -- And a Whole Lotta Photo Spoilers
Throughout the summer, Tyra also enlisted an extra judge: the viewer. Or, rather, the fan who cares about Top Model even when it's not on-air. Although it's unclear if any sort of voting will take place as the show airs, over the summer, Top Model fans were encouraged to vote and comment online about this season's photo shoots in real time as they happened. Here's the CW to explain how that works:
"The audience vote is compiled from an average of each of the viewer's numerical online and mobile votes. These scores will be added to scores from Banks and the judges to help determine who is eliminated each week. Also, in a new twist, the girls who have already been eliminated will have the opportunity to return to the competition via votes on their photo shoot pictures, which will allow the audience the chance to save their favorite model."
At the time this announcement was made, I was entirely confused as to how this new voting process would affect spoilers, eliminations and everything else about the season. And while we still don't know how much of an impact the viewer votes will make on the judges' decisions and when/how many models will receive second chances, we do know that ANTM decided to combat spoilers and allow for these "saves" by allowing all the models (except one, Maria, who appears to have dropped out early) to participate in every. Single. Photoshoot. All season long. And to reveal the majority of those photoshoots online before the season premiered. So while we don't know who's eliminated when, we do know what they each looked like in all those photos. And guess what: You can see them all here, right now!
Guess you'll just have to tune in for the drama ... right?
Instead of the usual Covergirl contract and Vogue Italia
spread, the cycle 19 winner will receive: "a fashion feature in Nylon Magazine, as well as $100,000 cash and campaigns with Nine West and Smashbox Cosmetics,
in addition to a modeling contract with LA/NY Models and being named
the face of America's Next Top Model
perfume Dream Come True."
New Time: Fridays at 8pm
If you're sufficiently intrigued by this confusing new public voting system and enticed by all those short plaid skirts, you should know that the CW has moved ANTM away from its long-standing Wednesday timeslot to 8pm on Fridays. All we can say is thank goodness for DVR, because there are only a few shows that could compel us to postpone our Friday night party plans ... and as entertaining at Tyra's antics are, cycle 19 probably won't be one of them...
But it sure will be hilarious Saturday morning viewing! "MY page has 500 likes." "Mreow!"
Higher learning, indeed.(Image courtesy of CW)