Last night was a truly momentous occasion indeed: the premiere of the Cycle 16 cast of America's Next Top Model. And Tyra Banks has put her fiercest foot forward.

The show kicked off with the President of Mensa performing a little theatah for us. Tyra acts out some staple ANTM personalities we have come to rely on-yhe sassy diva, the artsy dark chick- gang's all here. And actually, Tyra is kind of dead on and maybe even a little bit funny? But alas, it is nothing more than a ruse. Just as we were getting comfortable with Tyra, she drops the bomb on us. She will be taking a cue from Ashton "The Brain" Kutcher himself.

That's right, Tyra punks them. The goal is to familiarize this fresh batch of girls with rejection and the perils that inevitably come with modeling right off the bat. And the best way to do that is to tell the girls who are really in that they've been sent home. Good one, Ty! Tell a group of probably insecure, definitely emotional girls that they've been rejected. Group purge in the common room after this! But of course everything works out and, TWIST, the "in" girls are eventually informed that they are in fact in. And those poor girls who thought they were in but are actually out? The ones who were taken to the other room to "celebrate?" Well, it doesn't really matter much now anway.


After exploring the house, which is of course beautifully decorated with enormous photographs of 'Ra, the girls are whisked away to their first competition. Erin Wasson, looking radiant as ever, makes a guest appearance as one of the judges and explains the event. The girls will be sent to walk atop a partially submerged, extremely narrow runway while inside a plastic bubble. Because, of course. Also, photographer Russell James stops by to take pictures of the girls backstage as they are preparing for the show. It is on these photographs that the girls will be judged at the end. Now, every season it's fun to play "guess the characters." To place your bets for the winner, to guess the diva one, the crazy one, the weepy one, etc. You know, you've seen the show! And so far my money is on Jaclyn, though I'm not quite sure for what.

The bubble-walk is truly cringeworthy, but the girls stomp and clomp and force their way through it. Surprisingly, only two of them go down. But that is just two too many. Ondrei and Freckles thrash about desperately in their plastic wombs for a while, but both manage to recover and even flash a pleasant smile before they make a claw for dry land.


As you know, an unfortunate truth to life is that we cannot all be winners. And last night's Not-winner was Angelia. Better luck next time, girlfriend. Tyra believes in you. And speaking of Tyra, I thought it would be fun to keep a running list of "Tyra Quotes" per episode. So without further ado, I present the Tyra Quotes of the premier:

  • "The road is not a straight line, the road is a zigzag line"
  • "So if you're a black woman or a fiercely plus-sized model..."
  • "Natural swag"
  • "Honey, even backstage the lights are all on you"
  • "I'd like to inject her with an energy boost in her soul"

Until next time!