There's a new queen of campy ridiculous on Tyra Banks' high-end public access show and he happens to moonlight as Vogue editor Anna Wintour's right-hand man. Welcome to the André Leon Talley report card.
This was the second episode of this cycle of ANTM, but the first to have a judging component and an excuse to have two doses of ALT in one episode. When Tyra introduced him to the girls as "the black queen who ate Miss J," they sort of clapped and applauded but they had no idea who he is or what his nebulous title at Vogue involves. Actually, I don't know what he does either, other than write a little something every once in awhile, take Anna to runway shows, and play tennis in the entire Louis Vuitton spring collection. Of course, Tyra told them and they pretended to care.
Andre is obviously Ty-Ty's new toy and she loves him more than she loves the crummy old judges. She'll err on the side of Vogue's editor-at-large rather than some "noted fashion photographer" and whatever corporate sponsor happens to be guest judge that week. Watching them look at the photographs of the girls is like watching two 16 year-olds flip through their old yearbooks.
We quickly learned that his judging style alternates between harsh and fawning, and there's a whole lot of gibberish and foreign-sounding words sprinkled into his commentary. He even contributed something to the ever-growing ANTM lexicon. His new word is "dreckitude" which means awful—kind of like dreck with an attitude. Let's take a look at both of his appearances.
Outfit: A crisp white shirt with his signature giant black tent structure over it.
Accessory: A huge chain with a tusk (or talon) placed delicately to the side.
Agreeability: He disagreed with Nigel Barker on several counts and was the only one who liked this model's lousy picture after everyone made fun of it. We think it's because she cried. But Anna wouldn't like this show of weakness.
Education: We not only learned a little French, but also what a salon is. Servicey!
Uses of "Dreckitude": Zero.
Grade: For the first exposure to ALT on the show, this was all we could have hoped for. It was equal parts daffy, fawning, and bitchy. Sort of like watching your rich uncle at a Chuck E. Cheeze birthday party. (A-)
Outfit: Navy mock turtleneck with a purple tent.
Accessory: The Amulet of Aggamatto dangling amid his ample bosom
Agreeability: He got along with everyone, mostly, except guest judge Rachel Roy. Now she will never appear in Vogue again.
Education: A short dissertation on the beauty of model Naomi Sims.
Uses of "Dreckitude": 2
Grade: Much more sedate, but he managed to scare the girls with his candor and his quick dismissal of one girl's picture. We were glad they were shocked out of their complacency. (B+)