"America's Next Top Model" is finally back after what seems like forever. Tonight's premiere is a 2-hour event, which narrows the contestants down to the final 16 that will enter the house. The winner will receive a contract with Next Model Management, a spread in "Nylon" magazine, and a $100,000 campaign with Guess.
The show actually taped in the early spring, with fans once again being able to vote for their favorite contestants based on the weekly photo shoots. This is the same concept as last cycle, where the fans votes are added to the judges scores and the challenge scores to decide who goes home.
We start the episode with castings, and Tyra even shows up to one casting in New York, because she's so excited about the guys and girls concept. This is something she's never done before. The contestants are narrowed down to 35, and Tyra calls each semi-finalist to invite them to L.A. for the next step in the competition.
The guys and girls are totally separate, each coming in on different planes and busses, and they're eager to meet each other. One male model, Mike, says that Tyra discovered him on a food truck.
The girls' bus pulls up in front or an ornate theater with the sign saying "ANTM cycle 20 masquerade ball." They enter to a large area filled with makeup tables and clothes racks, and they proceed to get glammed up.
The boys arrive a little later, and now it's there time to get their hair and makeup done.
Johnny Wujek greets each group separately, and explains that they will launch the cycle with a masquerade ball runway. They'll walk out and finally get to meet the models of the opposite sex. The girls will be on one side and the guys on the other. They will get to choose a model to walk down the runway with, and pose at the end of the runway, where they will kiss their partner and have their first photo taken. This will be the first time the judges see them, so they have to give it their best impression.
Several models do confessionals, and we meet one model who is transgendered. Her name is Virgg, and she is 19. She is currently going through hormone therapy prior to having her reassignment surgery.
Jourdan is another model who does a confessional. She's currently 19, and she admits that she got married and divorced at 18. She says that it made her who she is today, and that she was born to model.
Another male model named Cory talks in a confessional, saying that he is very different than most of the other guys who are there. They are very manly men, while he is very androgynous, and that's what will give him an edge.
There's definitely trash talking, where the guys are sure that they'll be ruling the roost, while the girls think that the guys will be nice for eye candy, but they don't believe they will be any competition to them.
It's time for the show. We see the audience, whose members are all wearing masks and are waiting for the show to begin.
The master of ceremonies comes out and welcomes everyone to the masquerade ball, and introduces the judges, BryanBoy, Johnny Wujek, Kelly Cutrone, Rob Evans, and lastly, Tyra. They all go and sit in their chairs in the front row, along the runway.
First the girls are introduced, and they enter and line up on the right side of the balcony. Then, the guys come out and line up on the left side of the balcony.
Lauren is first, and she chooses Jeremy. They reach the end of the runway, and Lauren gives Jeremy a big smack, and seems very dominant.
Nina picks Don, who has lots of tattoos. Their kiss is a bit awkward, but their pose looks pretty good.
Chis S. picks Anjel, who is about 5 inches taller than him, and she looks like she's never walked in heels in her life. She looks like a wobbly doll. Their kiss is really something, and Chris S. comments that her kiss "could turn a gay man straight."
Marvin and Hayley are next and they do pretty well, but nothing memorable.
Next is Ronald and Kanani. Ronald has super sexy eyes that are constantly smizing. Totally hot!! He knows it too, and comments that they've never had someone with bronze muscles like his. He says he's charismatic and charming. Their kiss is very tender and sweet.
Daniel and Renee are next, and Renee puts her leg up as she kisses him.
Mike and Jenna are next, and Jenna seems very possessive of him as she poses.
Virgg picks Phil, who is the only guy with a hairy chest. She comments that she knows she wants to do something to really capture the judges attention, and she smears her lipstick and totally rocks her pose after two sexy kisses to Phil's bearded face.
Jourdan picks Justin, who is about 5 inches shorter than her. She's 6'1, plus is wearing heels. She rocks her pose and their kiss at the end of the runway.
Cory is next, and he's the first to do something totally different. Instead of picking a girl, he turns around and chooses a guy, Rhyan, to walk with him. He said he just had to be himself.
Other pairs include Ashley and Delton, Adam and Caress, and Chris Hl, who chooses two girls; Saydi and Lanaeya. At the end of the runway, he leans over to kiss Saydi and she turns her mouth away, letting him kiss her cheek. Lanaeya does just the opposite, and gives him several sexy smoothes.
The last ones to walk are Bianca and Chlea, so they walk down together. Bianca is very disappointed that she wasn't chosen by any guy, and likens it to being the last person chosen in P.E. class.
After the masquerade ball, all the models finally get together and everyone starts socializing, while they wait to get called into the judges room to be interviewed.
Jeremy is first to enter. Tyra calls him adorable. Looking at his picture, Tyra likes his body, but thinks his face is lacking. Rob tells him that his body looks better in person than it did in the photo, and he comes over to him to give him some pointers on how to stand to show off his physique.
Alexandra is next. They look at her picture, and Johnny likes her picture. Tyra loves her smize.
Ronald is next. He comments that he noticed there's only one other African American guy that is his competition. Tyra corrects him saying that everyone is his competition, not just the black guys. He then tells her that he was trained for high fashion. Tyra asks him, "By who?" and he tells her, "D.J. Stokes… that's my manager." Tyra laughs a little and says, "Thank you very much." I don't think she was impressed.
Marvin is next. Tyra looks at his photo and comments that he looks like a boy in person, but a man on film. Kelly tells him she would put him in a fashion show tomorrow.
Mike is next. Tyra tells him to explain where she found him. He tells the story of being on his ice cream truck when two girls came up to the truck and one said, "Do you do any modeling?" He said he hadn't, and she mentioned she was casting for "America's Next Top Model," and they're doing guys the next season. That's when Mike realized it was Tyra. They look at his photo, and like it ok, but think his mouth is a bit tight.
Jourdan is next. She tells Tyra that she is 6'1. They look at her picture and just love it.
Next is a montage of people doing some kooky things, like dancing and boxing and just being kind of weird.
Next is Chris H. Kelly says that she thinks he looks like a model in person. Tyra loves that it looks like he's smizing all the time. They check out his picture and are impressed with it as well.
Phil is next to interview with the judges. Rob notices the duck tape on his shoes. Tyra asks if he has it like that for fashion, or purpose. He tells her that it's both. They look at his picture and think it's interesting. He loves it, saying that he kissed something that isn't a girl and he liked it. Kelly said maybe he's bi, and he says maybe he is. She said that she loves his honesty.
Virgg is next. She talks about being trans-gendered and how she was really helped when she saw Isis (the trans-gendered girl from cycle 11). It made her realize that she didn't have to feel what she wanted was wrong, and she decided to start taking hormones and move towards getting sex reassignment surgery.
Tyra then brought up that she found Virgg on her instagram contest, and she really saw something special in her.
Next is Cory. Tyra said that it was bold of Cory to pick a man instead of a girl when it was time to choose someone to walk with on the runway. Cory told her that he had to be true to himself, so that is what he did. They look at his picture, and Rob comments that he thinks Cory was being a little over the top, and he thinks he needs to dial it back a bit.
Don is next. He says he's a rapper. Johnny asks him what are the three most important things in his life. Don answers, "Money, women and attention. And they all go hand in hand." Rob corrects him, saying that it's fine to want money, but it shouldn't be the most important thing in his life.
Kanani is next, and she talks about being from Chicago. She is doing this to give her daughter a better life. They look at her picture, and Tyra says she looks elegant.
And that is it for the interviews. The judges decide on which 26 they will put through, and the models are then taken by bus to this beautiful estate where BryanBoy is waiting for them.
BryanBoy tells them that this is the model house for Cycle 20, and it's time to make the cut to 26 people. He points to a place where there is a fence with masquerade masks. The masks have pictures of the faces of the people who are moving forward.
Everyone then runs up to try to find their faces on the fence, and in the end, we have our top 26 semi-finalists.
After everyone has found their masks or not, BryanBoy has the people not moving on head out, and those staying will spend the night. The top 26 are relieved, but not for long, as BryanBoy says that there will be another cut tomorrow, bringing the numbers down to 16.
The semi-finalists staying rush to find their rooms, and some people have some snacks and get to know each other. As usual, because the house wasn't meant to sleep 26, there aren't enough beds, so some people will be sleeping on the floor or couch, or wherever.
The next day, Tyra comes to the house and everyone gathers around. She says that women rule in modeling, but once in a while a man can break through and rise to the top. She has one such model that has done so, and she introduces Rob Evans.
Rob says he's here for everyone, but mostly the guys. Tyra says she too is there for everyone, but especially the girls. With that, they break off into two groups; Tyra with the girls and Rob with the boys.
Tyra tells the girls that they have the advantage, because guys can only sell clothes, shoes and underwear, but girls can sell hair product, makeup, skin care, jewelry, lingerie, purses and more.
Rob tells the guys that the girls really are what it's all about, and the guys are more of a mannequin. But, the guys can also rise to the top.
Back to Tyra and the girls, she tells the girls that they will be doing things with guys, so sexuality is important, but she doesn't want porn. She wants them to make girls want to be them, and make guys want to be the guy in the picture with them.
Rob continues talking to the guys, saying that when you're a male model, you get a lot of free food and free clothes, and sometimes it's easy to get caught up in that lifestyle. But, he stresses, it's important to take care of your self and work out and eat well.
Soon, all the time for talking is over, and Tyra reminds the models that they need to watch out, because there will soon be another cut. With that, she and Rob exit, and everyone socializes again.
Chris H. decides he's going to have some fun, and he puts on some boxing gloves and sneaks up behind some of the guys and punches them where it hurts the most. Phil is really upset, and he reads them the riot act. I think he's made some enemies amongst the boys by doing that.
The next day, the models take a bus to Hollywood, where they meet Johnny Wujek and BryanBoy at a photo shoot. Johnny tells them that they will be posing against a white backdrop, and their images will be projected on the building behind them making them fifty feet tall. People passing by will be able to text votes for their favorites, based on their projected images.
The guys and girls start doing their shoots, and most of them do pretty well. Chris H. has some problems at first, but after some instruction from Johnny, he pulls it out. Virgg starts off doing well, but in voiceover, she says that she isn't a quitter, but she's really having a hard time with her hormones, and she doesn't know if she can keep doing this.
The next day, everyone gets ready for the final cut. Many of the models are exercising. Virgg talks with Marvin, and she's still having doubts about being able to stay. Finally, all the models pack their bags and head out on the bus to the judging.
The judges deliberate as they view the full-length photos, and they pick the final 16. As the models wait in a room together, Virgg gets up and talks to the producer and tells him about her decision to leave the competition. After that, she goes to Tyra and explains about the hormones making her crazy, and she can't deal with everything. She doesn't want Tyra to think she's a quitter, because Tyra chose her for the competition, but she really feels this isn't her time. Tyra understands, and Virgg departs.
Finally, everyone gathers around in front of a building that has huge banners running up to the roof. They have the Guess logo on them, so everyone is thinking that they will be walking a runway show for Guess.
Tyra walks out from behind a screen. She tells everyone the prizes; a spread in Nylon magazine, a contract with Next Models, and a $100,000 national campaign with Guess.
She goes on to say that they'll be walking in a Guess runway show, for the CEO of Guess, Paul Marciano. But, there are only 16 spots backstage, so not everyone will be participating.
The models that will move on are:
- Chris S.
- Chris H.
Tyra congratulates the Top 16, and she explains about the Guess fashion show, saying that the runway ends here, where she is standing, but it begins up there (as she points at the top of the building, where we see someone walking down the side of the building, held only by some wires. Wow!!
Tune in next Friday on The CW starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT to find out who will rock the runway, and who, if anyone, will fall.
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