Credit: Michael Desmond/The CW    
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America's Next Top Model

ANTM Cycle 19 Premiere Recap: Is the Rebooted Format Smize Worthy?

Welcome, class, to the new America's Next Top Model! But first, as one Cycle 19 modelstant wisely requested on the premiere, “Let’s have a moment of silence for Rob Evans and how fine he is.”

Oh yes.

Rob is one of the good changes on the newly redesigned ANTM. That boy gives new meaning to Tyra Banks’ long-standing question, “You wanna be on top?” So far our only complaint about him is he needs more screen time. Johnny Wujek, known for being Katy Perry’s stylist, had even less screen time on the rather rushed premiere and new social media guy BryanBoy had no presence at all.

Instead, the hour followed Tyra Banks, Kelly “Cutthroat” Cutrone and company whittling a pool of 30 college-student models down to 13. It would’ve been nice to get that part over with before the premiere, since the 13 girls’ photo shoots have already been out for a while, but the fourth judge this cycle is the viewers at home and they had to show how Facebook votes led to this 13. So if you are already hating on “mean girl” Kristin Kagay, blame the Facebook fans.

Did you vote? If they do this again, you should remember to get involved so you too can call Victoria Henley’s face “boring” and have her respond by calling you a “racist.” Insults are for everyone!


The show started with an Animal House-style mixer where we met the 30 contenders — or at least heard them “WOO!” at each other — then watched them do a walk-off and get critiqued by the judges at the newly designed runway panel. (Very pink! No table!)

They may be college-educated ladies, but you clearly don’t need a degree to unleash the claws. As Jasmine put it, “All the girls are attractive, so that’s good ‘cause I don’t want to just stomp all over them.” But she really meant “meow” all over them, since she said her nickname is Kitty and she meowed at the judges. Yeah. She’s gone. Sad Kitty.

A couple of girls cried at panel, including curvy Yvonne Powless, who has a self-tooching booty but trouble with her dad. Laura James has a famous dad, Jeff Colby on Dynasty. Brittany Brown is a huge Disney freak — and she talks like a Disney princess — but Tyra said she’s dark and said she should be “the evil queen,” not the princess. (Do you think she’s a Once Upon a Time fan?)

Credit: Michael Desmond/The CW    


Tyra cut the top 30 to these 13:

1. Kristin Kagay
2. Nastasia Scott
3. Laura James
4. Allyssa Vuelma
5. Destiny Strudwick
6. Kiara Belen
7. Leila Goldkuhl
8. Darian Ellis
9. Maria Tucker
10. Jessie Rabideau
11. Brittany Brown
12. Yvonne Powless
13. Victoria Henley


Who looks good so far — for their modeling prowess or just good reality TV stories?

1. Leila Goldkuhl — Got them on their knees already, Leila! Johnny Wujek said Leila looked like Kristen Stewart, but with a fetching gap in the middle of her teeth. (Unlike Ivory’s unique gap to the side.) Rob said he can see a lot of potential in Leila — and if she can be like a sponge and absorb all their information, she could go far. (That could be a good sign for her.) Kelly Cutrone said she would raise the bar super, super high for Leila and the other girls.

2. Destiny Strudwick — Destiny is a standout, for her looks but also for her touching backstory. At 14 her mom kicked her out of her house and she was in a group home at 16. She was homeless and sometimes has trouble finding her next meal, so she’s even had to go dumpster-diving. Judge Rob shared that he has a similar story; he started from nothing too, like our own little Oliver Twist.

3. Jessie Rabideau — The bespectacled pixie with the “world class ass” — who was once asked to model at Trader Joe’s — looks just different enough to stand out, but does she have range? We’ll see.

4. Kiara Belen — Basketball player Kiara presents herself very well. She was abused her whole life, ran away from home at age 16 and got a fellowship to college. She doesn’t like to dwell on the past, but she wants to be a great role model for girls. She did warn that she can be “pretty fierce” and a “fighter” so maybe she’s just happy now and we’ll see her dark side later.

5. Kristin Kagay — We have a house “villain” already! Yeah, she supposedly got the most house “likes” on Facebook, but the fans at home didn’t get to hear her talk. “I used to be a mean girl,” she revealed, later adding “don’t get me mad!” She’s been in brawls before, and in trouble at school, but she’s not planning to fight again ‘cause she thinks her face is too pretty to mess up. Hands up if you’re tired of her already!

6. Victoria Henley — Victoria goes to college online and was home schooled her whole life. She said she doesn’t have a lot of friends and is the first to admit “I’m different.” Keep an eye on her, ‘cause ANTM loves anyone who self-describes as “different.” Especially if they hang out at amusement parks with their mom. Victoria was the only one who got to tell off one of the fans for insulting her. First, Rob called Victoria “weird looking” — in a good way. Tyra read a review of Victoria from a Facebook fan named Melissa, who said the model’s face was “boring,” Victoria told Melissa (via the cameras) that her face is filled with stories from her Jewish and Native American ancestors. “Our people were led off on the Trail of Tears and the Holocaust — so if you have a problem with my face, well, you’re a racist.” OK then!

Did you find ANTM’s H2T makeover “totes amaze” (although, shouldn’t it be “tooch amaze”?) or were you too busy anti-smizing over the Dreckitude of no Nigel and the Jays? Sound off in the comments!

Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.

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08.25.2012 / 07:08 AM EDT by Gina Carbone
Related: America's Next Top Model, Recaps, Tyra Banks, Rob Evans

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