As a nun about to peace out from a life of chastity to bang an Austrian duke or some shit once sang in a field, let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.
The new opening credits. I have to say, I really miss Tyra fiercely waving her gloved hand in front of her face from last season's credits, but I guess the ferocious sass finger is a decent substitute. Also, I love that quick shot of her leaning back oh-so-casually on a couch, talking to a "model". I guess we're supposed to believe that this is Tyra imparting advice on what it takes to be America's. Next. Top. MOD-el to a contestant via actual words and not random noises and facial expressions, but let's be real. In that shot she looks like...a talk show host! Wow, Tyra Banks! A talk show host! Why on earth would the credits be trying to create the impression that Tyra Banks is a...oh, never mind. Plug plug plug, Tyra Banks Show, Emmy Emmy blah.
(P.S. I went to a taping of the Tyra Banks show last year, and happened to be there for the Valentine's Day episode. Tyra rose from the floor through a trap door in the back of the audience, and walked down the stairs while people on the aisle threw red rose petals in her wake. I'm not kidding. She also has a little gay Latino man running after her whose only job is to comb the bangs on her weave in between every take. Also, the theme was surprise proposals, and there was not one single gay marriage or any women proposing to men. Instead, we watched two men propose to their girlfriends before shipping out to Iraq, as well as Tyra's interview with a young couple who had originally lost their virginity on her show. [I know, riiiiight? What??] They told her they were engaged and planning to adopt children. Tyra: "That's so wonderful that you're going to adopt! Are you going to have normal children too?")
The new Tyra Mail. I can understand Tyra as a postal worker because of the obvious connotations of batshit craziness, but the blowjob face flashing onscreen like 4 times an episode is just discomfiting. Whatever, as long as we don't have to listen to 14 quasi-illiterate people attempt to read words in unison off of that slow-ass digital ticker mail.
The continued presence of Benny Ninja. As amusing as it is to watch Benny cry "Click! Click! Click!" while hitting "fierce" poses, I just don't get why Tyra keeps bringing him back so often. They must have made some kind of deal on a lavender night at a gay crossroads or something, because the contortionist bullshit is just unrealistic. And I say that fully aware of the new definitions of "unrealistic" created by this show. But I'm serious. Flexibility can be useful to couture posing and all, but try telling Naomi Campbell that she has to wrap her leg around her head and cram herself into a box. Or Tyra herself, for that matter. Nobody could actually do that unless you are, like guest model Bree, a Model/Contortionist. (I want that business card. I also want one that says Math Enthusiast/Bad Ass MC, even though I hate math. What up, Kevin G!)
Also notice that Tyra never participates in these sessions because there's no way she could feign superiority to the girls who actually turn out to be flexible (props to Sheena on this episode, still shocked that Cycle 7's Anchal was good at something besides whining and eating 4 fried eggs at a time). Besides, any major campaign that really wanted some crazy contortion in an ad could afford to photo doctor the shoot. They do it for every major shoot anyway, despite how many times Tyra tells the contestants that they have to "earn" the kind of airbrushing that she gets now. Tell it to the cheese fries, Ty-Ty.
Also, Benny Ninja is amazingly flexible, but his discomfort always shows in his face when he's doing his "extreme" poses. Especially when he's split-legged across a chair wearing a mini-chapeau rejected from the Moulin Rouge! wardrobe department. Or perhaps it was simply the mental strain of knowing he was about to put 13 girls into what resembled those adult re-birthing canals used in that controversial "attachment" therapy, and the proximity to even a faux vagina was too much for him. You know that guy has not been near a birth canal since he came triple snapping out of his mama's womb.
Hey, is Hannah a racist? Idaho, Alaska! Calling yourself a "stereotypical white person" is definitely asking for trouble and is completely ignorant and stupid, especially when you're talking to an Asian girl and an African-American girl. She must have learned the phrase "dance up on me" from Britney Spears which must mean that one day she found a battery-operated radio out on the tundra somewhere (even though she's never had indoor plumbing or electricity or, clearly, a black best friend like Whitney's). I think she's mostly a naive, inexperienced and ignorant girl who isn't intentionally being a bigoted ho (unlike Cycle 10's asshole Allison and her stupid My Racist Barbie) but despite that, the shit in the pool was not cool. (It never is). Isis was simply backing up and obviously not intentionally violating Hannah's "boundaries" and Hannah's panicked shove clearly reveals her discomfort with Isis and therefore her transphobia. Girl needs to stop hating. Yet I notice she didn't jump out of the pool when Elina's repellent wish to kiss goatface Clark was granted. (Maybe now when Clark's TV bitch factor wears off halfway through the season and she "goes home a lesbian" to her "traditional" town, they'll shoot her!)
Also, I'm sorry Wholahay: I have to call my own "What's a Bureaucracy?" moment here:
Hannah: "If their whole prerogative was making me feel bad..."
Um, yes. I guess that was their prerogative, if not their intention. And it's my prerogative to tell you that you're an idiot who needs a vocabulary lesson. Also, everybody's talkin' all this stuff about me. Why don't they just let me live? (Tell me why!) I don't need permission. Make my own decisions. Oh...Britney could definitely teach her another thing or two.
Wow, I haven't even made it to the judging yet. But I must fiercely sign off for now. But not before pointing out that I really thought that Mr. Jay introduced tonight's photographer as "Microweave". Mike Ruiz should seriously consider that. Wow, Microweave...that could be the ultimate combination of quality beer and cheap hair.
Speaking of hair, Sutan looks HOTTT with his hair cut short. His beauty is aspirational and relatable. Nikeysha, take notes.