A new cycle of America’s Next Top Model kicked off tonight with an episode that narrowed down 33 girls down to 13 finalists.  The girls were called personally by Tyra, who hand picked them for the semi finals, to let them know that they had made it.  They traveled to the Caribbean where they boarded a cruise ship to begin the competition.  J. Alexander, runway expert, gave the girls some tips on their walk.

The models gathered in a room where they were surprised by Tyra who appeared on stage in a showgirl outfit singing with backup dancers.  Of course, the models went crazy, since it was the first time they got to see Tyra in person.  The girls would get the opportunity to be seen by Tyra, J. Alexander, and Jay Manuel and they would also competed in a photo shoot to help determine the final 13.

Once the girls finished talking with the judges, they stripped down to bikinis and once again, showed off that all important runway walk.  Standout stories come from Heather and Ebony.  Heather has never really felt like she fit in anywhere.  She was diagnosed as a child with Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism, which sometimes cause her to be awkward socially.  Ebony, who was disliked by the other models, had a tough upbringing.  Her mother was a drug addict and she was raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. 

When the introductions and interviews are over, the girls head to the beach where they meet and catch up with cycle 8 winner Jaslene Gonzalez.  There, the girls compete in a photo shoot which will ultimately help determine who stays and who goes.  When the photo shoot wraps, Jay announced that only 20 will head back to the cruise ship while 13 will stay behind and head back home. 

The final cut is made by Tyra, who must dismiss 7 more girls before the finalists can be annouced.  Mila is called first. The remaining 12 finalists called were: Bianca, Jenah, Chantal, Ambreal, Victoria, Sarah, Saleisha, Kimberly, Ebony, Janet, Heather, and Lisa.  On next week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, the girls will move into their new L.A. mansion but some have a hard time fitting in and getting along.

– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer

(Image courtesy of CW)

Gina Scarpa

Staff Writer, BuddyTV