The action-packed two hour season premiere of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 20, “Boys and Girls” has eye candy for both male and female fans of the show. Thirty-five semi-finalists participate in a smokin’ hot fashion show which determines who makes it to round two. Next, the remaining hopefuls go before the camera in a larger than life photo shoot where any passerby can help determine who stays and who is eliminated. The final 16 are revealed.

‘America’s Next Top Model: Guys and Girls’ Premiere Photos>>>

Twists and Eye Candy

America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) Cycle 20 season premiere opens with Tyra Banks revealing how the show has added a new twist, revealed months ago, men competing alongside female contestants. After a brief serving of eye candy, the show reverts back to its usual format. Even though the cast has already been revealed, viewers get to see crowds of hopefuls all over the country doing their best version of a runway walk in the hopes of making it to the semi-finals.

Jeremy, 19, says there are a lot of guys at his open casting but that none of them are like “guys, guys.” He says they’re feminine. Jeremy makes sure to reinforce how straight he is by saying he likes to watch football, lift weights and has muscles. He thinks this makes him stand out.

Tyra is so excited by the boys and girls gimmick, she shows up to an early casting in New York. She tells the crowd that she usually never gets involved this early in the process.

During judging, Tyra asks Chris H., 25, why he wants to be America’s Next Top Model, and he says he had a tough childhood. Chris H.’s mother had him when she was only 15 years old. He does possess a can-do spirit but not in a peppy obnoxious way.

Tyra personally calls each of the 35 semi-finalists to let them know they are going to Los Angeles. No mystery regarding who makes the final cut, but weeding out the finalists gives viewers a chance to form a first impression.

Mike, 27, was discovered by Tyra while he was working on a food truck. His main focus is getting a look at the girls. He’s not alone. Most of the boys are anxious to meet the the ladies. Whether they just want to scope out the competition, are looking for some hook-up opportunities or a bit of both remains to be seen.

Marvin, 20, grew up in the Bronx and was bullied a lot as a kid. Jeremy is still a virgin, and he plans on waiting to have sex until he’s married, but he still thinks of himself a ladies’ man. Cory, 22, considers himself very different from the other guys. He views them as the All-American standard kind of manly men while he’s much more androgynous. He says being more feminine and edgy will help him stand out.

Jourdan, 19, reveals she got married and divorced when she was just 18. She says modeling is her dream and it’s what she was born to do.

Both groups of contestants arrive at what appears to be an old theater in downtown Los Angeles. Make-up artists and hair stylists immediately get to work on them.

Fashion stylist  and creative stylist Johnny Wujek, greets both the guys and girls, who have still not seen each other. He informs them they are going to kick things off with a masquerade ball-themed runway where the boys and girls will finally meet. The show is an avant-garde, couture lingerie fashion show. Each couple will sashay to the end of the runway where they are required to kiss their partner. They will also have the photo taken that will be the first one the judges see of them.

The show gets underway after the judges are introduced. Kelly “cutthroat” Cutrone and supermodel Rob Evans are back to join Tyra on panel. Also returning as the social media correspondent is Bryanboy.

Some contestants are guided by their hormones. Other contestants are already thinking more strategically. Don, 25, feels it’s time to show the ladies that men just aren’t mannequins. He thinks it’s time for a man to take the 20th Cycle, and he’s confident he’ll win it all. Jourdan picks a shorter partner to accentuate her height, and she definitely stands out. Cory rejects a female partner in favor of a boy because he feels “I had to be me.” Chris H. walks with two female partners, and when one snubs his kiss, the other is more than happy to oblige.

On “Interview Day” the two groups get the chance to actually mix and mingle. Sparks are already starting to fly. Jeremy thinks Jourdan is the prettiest girl in the competition.

All of the hopefuls go before the judge during which time, they receive feedback on their photos from the runway show. Standouts include: Alexandra “Alex”, 21, Marvin, Jourdan, Chris H. and Kanani,19,.

The group takes a ride and winds up standing in front of the Cycle 20 digs. It is here that the group is cut down from 35 competitors to 26.

Tyra arrives at the house and explains that modeling really is a female-dominated industry – one of the few – but sometimes a man can “break the hell through.” She says it’s rare, but she has a rare finder with her, Rob Evans. He says he’s there to help everyone but especially the men. Tyra says her main goal is to make sure none of the girls’ make the mistake of getting overshadowed by any of the guys.

After some mentoring from the judges, it’s back to fun and games for the “models.” Chris H., who claims to want to genuinely get to know the other people in the house, says he doesn’t mind embarrassing himself to make other people laugh. He puts on boxing gloves and proceeds to pop a bunch of guys in the nuts. Definitely not a good way to make friends. Phil, 24, is especially offended by Chris’ prank. Nina, 18, feels he’s misunderstood, and the others need to give him a chance. Obviously, she doesn’t know how sensitive guys are about their junk.

For the next photo shoot, the contestants are shot in Hollywood, and their images are projected 50 ft. onto a building for all of Hollywood to see. Bryanboy tells them that everybody who walks by their projections will be able to text votes for their favorites. This photo shoot determines the final 16.

The contestants work the crowd trying to garner as many votes as possible. This campaigning is definitely a distraction from the task at hand. 

Making the Cut

The time comes to send the losers packing and reveal just what prizes they have no hope of winning: a $100,000 Guess ad campaign, a fashion feature in Nylon magazine and a modeling contract with Next Model Management.

The winners are determined by the combined tally of the judges’ and viewers votes for the Hollywood photos.

Those who made the final cut: Alex, Bianca, 18, Kanani, Don, Renee, 24, Nina, 18, Marvin, Jiana, 20, Chris H., Cory, 22, Jourdan, Chlea, 20, Jeremy, Chris S., 24, Mike and Phil.

The sweet 16 barely have time to rejoice, before they get the chance of a lifetime, to walk in a Guess fashion show in front of the company’s CEO, Paul Marciano. Just to add to the pressure, the runway is non-traditional to say the least. Viewers will have to wait until next week to see who rises to the occasion.

America’s Next Top Model airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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(Image courtesy of the CW)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.