Jeff Tells Liz What Happened In “Top Model All Stars” Ep 1
Back in the fall of ’03, my roommate and I lived a life of solitude and we’d watch basically anything on TV, including the new modeling competition on the UPN network. We each picked a favorite girl and vowed we’d stop watching as soon as our picks were eliminated. My roommate picked brainy Elyse while I chose goofy wild-child Adrianne. We figured we’d watch for three weeks, tops. Much to our surprise, Elyse wound up finishing third overall while Adrianne actually won the thing. Plus the season turned out to be a minor reality show masterpiece. Who knew? Still, I skipped out on the next cycle and didn’t wind up watching the show again until Cycle 5, which was another gem. And I’ve been with the show ever since, to increasingly diminishing returns. Seriously, the last few cycles have been a snooze.
But now we’ve got ALL STARS, which should prove a bit more diverting, at the very least. Although this first episode didn’t give me much hope. To war!
We open the only way we possibly could – with an insane Tyra sketch. Tyra sleeps peacefully (in a log cabin!) until she is haunted by visions of herself doing terrible impressions of contestants past. And then suddenly the girls are there! In her bed! Yelling and being awful! So Tyra wakes, scream/sobbing “All right! I’ll do it! I’ll do an All Star Cycle!”
I think this sketch confirms what we’ve always known to be true: Tyra hates these girls. Obviously. I mean, each cycle brings a new challenge which borders on torture. The first challenge last cycle saw the girls being criticized for being unable to walk across water in inflatable hamster balls. That’s like holding someone’s head under water and yelling “Stop drowning!”
Tyra introduces the show, claiming that the contestants are YOUR favorites (I don’t see Joanie, lesbian Kim, Mollie Sue, Elyse, or Jade in this cast, so she is clearly lying. To me, at least). She also makes a key distinction in what the judges are looking for this cycle. Since many of these “All Stars” are old hags in their late 20’s and early 30’s, modeling is only part of the competition. A lot more emphasis will be put on personality and creativity and whatever. Plus one of the prizes is to be a guest correspondent on “Extra”. So really it’s “America’s Next Top Former Top Model Contestant Turned Reality Competition Star”. Good to know!
Okay! So! The first half of this episode is all introductions/recaps , so I may as well follow suit. In order of arrival at their palatial mansion:
First up is Angelea Preston from Cycle 14. She was the girl who didn’t get in one cycle and was sleeping in the bus station. She made it in the cast of the next cycle and presumably stopped sleeping in bus stations. I remember her being crazy and awful. Unsurprisingly, that will be a theme! She starts knocking back drinks as soon as she enters the house.
Next is Laura Kirkpatrick from Cycle 13. Laura! She castrated bulls and her grandma made her clothes. I remember her adorable hick routine being surprisingly un-grating, so that’s nice.
Next we have Bianca Golden from Cycle 9. I remember her being vastly unpleasant. Great.
And now Lisa D’Amato from Cycle 5. Do I remember Lisa? Lisa was a drunk who talked to plants like they were her friends and was eventually eliminated for public diaper urination. OF COURSE I REMEMBER LISA. She has apparently recorded an album since being on the show. Do not give me that album as a gag gift. I will hit you.
Up next is Bre Scullark, also from Cycle 5. I remember Bre being perfectly reasonable until someone ate her food without her permission and she completely flipped her shit. Anyway, after their Top Model cycles, Bre and Bianca apparently moved to Chicago together (what?) but Bre didn’t tell Bianca she was going to be on All Stars so now Bianca hates her (WHAT?). I feel like we missed some details there, but who gives a shit.
Brittany Brower enters next. She was apparently on Cycle 4, but I didn’t see that cycle so she is a stranger to me. Apparently she’s a fun party girl. Okay.
Then comes Dominique Reighard from Cycle 10. Barely remember her. Generally unpleasant? Total dudeface? Am I right? I’m right.
And now Sheena Sakai joins us from Cycle 11, with her fake boobs and hooch powers. She seems much the same as when we left her.
The parade of mediocrity ends with the arrival of Isis King from Cycle 11, who you might recall had a penis at the time. She’s since gotten her gender reassignment surgery and is no longer scared of being seen in a bikini. Well, good for her. I remember Isis being totally chill, which I think we can all agree will be much-needed in this house.
After that is Kayla Ferrel from Cycle 15, who no one remembers. But I remember her! She was fine. Also, a lesbian.
Hooray! Our next contestant is Allison Harvard from Cycle 12, aka “Bloody Eyeball”, aka “Jeff’s favorite of this group by a country mile”. She nearly won her cycle, and frankly deserved to. I consider her the Richard Blais of the group. (You get that reference, right? Sure you do.)
Everyone starts talking up Camille McDonald as some sort of mega-diva, like they’re all C-level supervillains who know Dr. Doom is about to show up. But Camille was in Cycle 2 so I can’t confirm her reputation. She doesn’t do anything of note this episode.
Next is Shannon Stewart from my beloved Cycle 1. You might recall Shannon being the only one of Cycle 1’s final four without a discernible personality. Nice but dull. Oh, and religious. That’ll come up again.
And finally we have Alexandria Everett from Cycle 16, who was so awful that Brittani talked shit about her in front of a client and still wound up winning, probably because that shit-talk was completely accurate.
After introductions the girls move right into their first photo shoot. They’re representing their “personas” from their previous cycles and ugh it’s so dumb and let’s say no more about it.
Wait, I do have to say one thing about the photo shoot. Shannon, whose only memorable moment from Cycle 1 was refusing to pose nude, decides to milk that moment right off the bat by refusing to wear some lacy lingerie shorts. However, she does agree to wear a more revealing bikini bottom. Remember Liz, underwear is for husbands, but micro bikini bottoms are for the WORLD.
And we’re straight to judging! Judging for this first episode is taking place in front of a live, unruly crowd in some parking lot next to the Staples Center. All our usual judges are here. Tyra! Nigel Barker (with new, ugly hair)! Andre Leon Talley (still dressed like a fashion wizard)! And our special guest judge, Nicki Minaj! Wait, what? Nicki Minaj is actually relevant! Like, right now! This is quite the get. Turns out she is a legit Top Model fan, so nice work on locking that down, whoever locks this stuff down for Top Model.
So the girls have to walk through the crowd and then get critiqued. How do I even describe what Lisa is wearing? Here, let me quote Milhouse: “It’s Lisa! And she looks like Blossom!” This very public judging is not particularly memorable, save for when Alexandria heads through the crowd and someone yells “Hey Alex! Fuck you!” Not very polite, but hey, at least they remember her! This will be important later. Nicki Minaj actually makes a pretty good judge, but then again none of the other judges can say they were on a track with Kanye and Jay-Z and put them both to shame, so we shouldn’t be that surprised.
After judging, the Jays head into the audience of women and catty gay men to ask the fans who should go home. Whoa, that’s a terrible idea. At the end of the day, Alexandria and Brittany are your final two, since the audience hated Alexandria and couldn’t remember Brittany. Tyra says that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but indifference (INCORRECT) and sends Brittany home. Which is a shame, since Alexandria is awful and Brittany seemed okay, mostly by virtue of not being Alexandria.
See you next week!