America’s Next Top Model Recap: Sob Stories, Drama, Smizing…With Men

Last night, Cycle 20 of America’s Next Top Model premiered on The CW, and yes, I watched it. I admittedly haven’t kept up with the show in a few years (sorry Tyra!), but I was intrigued by this cycle’s inclusion of male models. Having men compete seems like a very authentic way to mix up the usual photos, shoots, and drama. Plus, they’re hunks. So I’ll be tuning in every Friday, and doing a recap here on Saturday.

If the premiere was any indication, it’s going to be a pretty wild cycle, filled with tears, cattiness, smizing, and maybe hookups.

Last night The CW blessed viewers with two back-to-back episodes, as the contestants went through two rounds to make it to the finals. The competitions were basic, as the judges TyraJohnny Wujek, Kelly Cutrone, Bryanboy and Rob Evans tried to get a sense of who was competent and who wasn’t. But they were the perfect introduction to the diverse cast of characters we’ll get to know in the upcoming shows.

First off was a “masquerade,” where the contestants had to don underwear and a mask, then choose a person of the opposite sex to walk down the runway with and kiss in front of everyone. The highlight of the entire premiere was probably watching  the wannabe models exchange painfully awkward, forced kisses while trying to exhibit their “personality.” It was hilarious.

The second challenge was a simple shoot in front of a white screen, that projected onto the side of building to show fans who could vote for which contestant they thought modeled best. The judges used the resulting photos to decide which of the 26 finalists would make it to the show, and below are the pictures of the 16 who did.

Despite the cast’s novelty, drama has started strong, and it’s clear which people will be clamoring for the most attention. One finalist, Chris, rubbed people the wrong way by being awkward and punching guys in the nuts. One female contestant was a transgender going through hormone therapy, and she opted to leave the show to prioritize her health, after a tearful goodbye to Tyra. Jourdan, a girl who all the other contestants seem to believe is the prettiest (despite her being inexplicably boring) called out one of the guys for having a crush on her, couching it in “I just want to make sure you know we’re friends” terms. So catty.

The second episode ended with a cliff-hanger, in the most literal sense of the term: next week the contestants have to compete walking down the side of a building.

Best insult of the night: Obviously from Kelly Cutrone, who said of the contestant Nina, “She looks like Kurt Cobain’s love child from Wisconsin.” Hopefully, Cutrone will give us hundreds of little gems like that before the season is through.

How do you feel about the premiere? Any favorites yet? Bets on a winner? Let me know in the comments!

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