Friday, March 30, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: Through Being Cool by Devo

The first time I heard a complete Devo album was when I was in the seventh grade and my friend Ray gave me a cassette copy of New Traditionalists that he'd shoplifted.

Ray was my friend from "the wrong side of the tracks." He used to wait for me in an alley behind my house every morning and we'd walk to school together. Mostly we talked about music. I remember he was the first person I met who legitimately liked both Hall and Oates and AC/DC. One of the last times I saw Ray, we stood on a street corner listening to his newly-stolen cassette of Wall of Voodoo's Mexican Radio on my Walkman. We didn't keep in touch after I went to high school, but I found out years later he'd been arrested for mailing naked photos of himself to the daughter of a police officer. Ray never did have all the spots on his dice, if you know what I'm saying. But I can't fault his musical taste.

This video has always made me laugh hysterically ever since the first time I saw it back in the day, especially the very last scene where the Kennedy wig zombies are chasing the jogging family down a palm tree-lined street. Absolutely classic.

I wonder if Ray's still in prison.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

FIERCEFILE™: Like Victor/Victoria Without The Songs. Or James Garner. Or That Guy Who Played The Music Man.

What a wacky twist we got last night: after a grueling week of learning how to dress themselves, the models finally get to hang around some men -- but they turn out to be drag queens! Oh, bitter irony! And then the models had to dress like men! Stop it, you're killin' me!!

Actually, I thought the bigger plot twist was that they were sent somewhere to learn about how to dress properly and it turned out to be a Sears® warehouse. Would you like a treadmill and a washing machine with your couture today, ma'am? I didn't realize today's hottest designers were suddenly using pastels, polyesters and checks -- but then again, that's why I work in a library. And what happened to the crayon-scrawled "Felicia Mail" from last week? We were robbed!!

I'm sorry, but Renee sucked it up big time. Even with a painted-on adam's apple she wasn't a convincing man. At least her subtle mind games with the plus-sized models worked ("Do you really think there'll ever be a plus-sized model on the cover of Vogue?"). Way to go, Renee, you finally figured out how to beat somebody. I'll bet it took you all five weeks so far to come up with the brilliant strategy of telling the plus-sized models they're bigger than everyone else.

Cha-Cha did a bang-up job on her photo, but she's still just plain boring...altho luckily Tyra avoided giving her the "you're so boring" lecture again this week.

Fresh from her crushing defeat at the Sears® challenge, Dionne worked it and came up with a decent photo for a change. I'm really glad she ramped it up this week, since her commentaries are rapidly becoming the funniest of the bunch...

...but not quite as funny as the disturbing "Let me talk to my child, ok great can we be having the phone sex now?" call home that Natasha made last night. Next thing you know she'll be saying "What a country!" and getting cast in a bit part in the inevitable remake of Moscow On The Hudson.

And who'da thought Jael of all people -- the butchest, lowest-voiced of the bunch -- would have had so much trouble pretending to be a man? Obviously the producers weren't able to slip her enough Vitamin H this week, because she totally sucked it up. She almost had as much of a problem with this photoshoot as she has with her diction.

But of course, we must come to the loser and Diana was a big fat one this week (Ha! Ha! Get it? She's a plus-sized model and she's a "big fat loser"! Ha! Ha! I'm almost as funny as Renee the Psychobitch!). When Jay Manuel asks you why you want to be America's Next Top Model, y'all best have a better answer than "Just...cuz." 'Cause he reports that shit back to Tyra, honey. And she'll read it back to you during the judging and see if it makes you crack. Oh, and you probably should have asked them to give you a man's suit instead of one tailored for a woman, that might have helped. At least we got to find out that Whitney really does love her. She's serious. She loves her.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

ENTERTAINMENT DROPPINGS: Willis, AshKut, Griffin, Asshole

• Todd Bridges is the Keith Richards of 80s sitcom child stars [People]

• Will MTV have to play some music now? [Variety]

• Eddie Griffin drives back...and to the left. Back...and to the left. [TMZ]

Asshole With Ascot fails to realize that the Smokin' Aces media blitz may not have reached every food service worker in America [Defamer]

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: "The Return of Sasquatch" Part 2

I wept tears of joy when I stumbled on this out-of-context gem: part two of the "Return of Sasquatch" episode of The Bionic Woman, where The Bionic Woman teams up with The Six Million Dollar Man (rocking an excellent bionic mustache) and Sasquatch (Andre the Giant in a teddy bear outfit). HOLY CRAP this clip is gold: there's Sasquatch's alien captors (who must be aliens because some of them are deeply tanned and they all wear pastels), a volcano, really bad sets, a volcano, a phenomenal triple-team-up where Jamie Sommers tosses an alien at Steve Austin and he tosses him at Sasquatch who tosses him against a wall, and a VOLCANO!!! Hot damn if this doesn't make me wanna bust out my old Viewmaster® again!

Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Monday, March 26, 2007


So I finally got around to seeing 300 this weekend, and there were some definite highlights:

1. The woman who left the theater during the trailers, came back in five minutes into the movie, and stood in front of me while yelling to her boyfriend "Oh man, did it start already?"

2. The solitary guy sitting behind me who yelled "Yeah!!" when Queen Gorgo stabbed the guy in the gut at the council meeting.

3. The three people who applauded the seventeenth time Leonidas stabbed a guy in slow motion.

Otherwise it was kinda repetitive and not much happened. And they made the end credits look like a comic book, which made a whole lot of sense because it was a historical epic that was based on a comic book, so I'm glad that was beaten into my head one last time.

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Okay, he's not exactly getting arrested in this story, but he is in trouble with The I'm bending the rules and allowing everyone to take a swig this week:

Snnop Dogg is Denied UK Tour Visa

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Friday, March 23, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: Wendy's Training Video Rap

I can't make up my mind who I feel the most sorry for when watching this video: the white boy who was sucked TRON-like into the TV and had to over-emote to project his character's thoughts once the rap started and his lines went away; the rapper who so needed to make a buck he had to act excited to be rapping about skimming grease off the top of grilled meat; the backup singers who gave up their shot of on-camera fame to represent for animated meat-lovers everywhere; or the solitary retiree on the Wendy's crew back in 1984 who was forced to watch this and still couldn't understand what those young whippersnappers were doing wasting their lives listening to that "wrapping" noise. (Thanks for the tip, Tiree!)

Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

FIERCEFILE™: Strike A Poseur

Since this episode was all about voguing, I just have to embed the elephant in the room feel free to enjoy it before you read further.

Okay, now that that's over...First we got treated to some voguing in a park once the Top Model Hummerlimo was pulled over by ersatz traffic cop/Village Person "Benny Ninja", a man so un-policemanlike that only Natasha could have been taken in by his disguise. Best quote: "It's all about the shoes" as Benny ripped his pants while grabbing his ankle. But at least Felicia got a moment to shine during her swansong.

Where did Dionne come from all of a sudden? She was like a regular Henny Youngman last night, which meant that either she was about to become a front-runner or one of the bottom two, and we all know how that turned out.

Once we got to the Catherine Zeta-Jones-inspired laser challenge, we learned two very important lessons.

Lesson 1:

Never let'em see you sweat (man, couldn't they have CGI-ed Benny's pits?).

Lesson 2:

Even models can't make a thick silver polyester leotard look flattering.

Then onto the photoshoot...did anyone else think it was just a tad insensitive to do a "dead model" shoot the week after Jael's friend died of an overdose? It's not like she's had an easy time getting over it or anything. Between getting a disturbing faux-anime drawing from resident psychobitch Renee and then "accidentally" burning her face with a curling iron, I think it's safe to say that Jael did not have a very stable week; then of course it culminates in her having to play dead and somehow Jay Manuel had no knowledge of what happened to her? Doesn't he like, you know, watch the show?

Anyway, Felicia up n'died a death during her photoshoot, but I can not wait until next week when we get to read the contents of her crayon-scrawled "Felicia Mail"...I half expect it to consist of only one sentence: "NO BOYZ ALLOWED" with at least two letters written backwards.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: "Meeting In The Ladies Room" by Klymaxx

A truly mind-blowing experience, this video by Klymaxx is notable for so many things: Lorena "Lungs" Porter's angular haircut and frantically breathy rap style ... the pastel set design complete with transparent mirrors and sinks ... the weirdly sung "Uh-OOOOH" hook ... the neon "IN USE" sign which does more to make you feel like the video's shot in a nightmarish 80s diner than a ladies room ... the white sparkly wig ... every single piece of clothing ... the list just goes on and on! But of course, the real centerpiece of this video is Pop 'N' Taco, the man who taught Michael Jackson everything he knows, doing some amazing robot-poppin while sitting in a chair.

Even more amazing to me is the fact that this clip was taken from NBC's late night videofest Friday Night Videos, a show I watched religiously back in the day, and I actually remember seeing this video on there. Excuse me, I think my head just exploded. (Tip from Dartanjal via Tiree)

Truly, this is why God created YouTube™.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007


#74: Keith Urban

I don't know much about Keith Urban, but I know he gives me the heebie-jeebies. I know he's a country singer from Australia, which makes my head hurt. I know he's married to Nicole Kidman, which kinda makes me feel sorry for him in a way -- I mean yeah, the guy's annoying, but living with her must be like living in a haunted, every time she comes walking around a corner, wouldn't you kinda scream like a little baby because of how frightening she looks? I also know that he's been in rehab, which means he's a celebrity. I also know that he kinda used to look like Roy from Siegfried and Roy, which isn't necessarily scary but just a little odd. But what I don't know about Keith Urban is why, whenever I look at a picture of him, I feel like taking a baseball bat to a parked car. Sometimes life just doesn't make sense.

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Monday, March 19, 2007


Quickly glance upon the chocolate Easter Bunny to the right and undoubtedly nothing will seem amiss. Its packaging contains the requisite bright colors and chunky typefaces normally associated with the chocolate products usually consumed by all good Christians in celebration the Crucifixion of their Saviour. But take a closer look at the packaging and you'll notice some sly nods to 21st century urban marketing.

First of all, the bunny is not just "a" bunny, it's a "diva" named "Da' Bunny" (click on the image to right to see this in greater detail). Fair enough. But keep moving down the package and what do you find?

Yes, Da' Bunny comes with "Bling! Bling!" candy jewelry! And the bunny is decked out in hoochie-mama clothes and carrying a little ornamental dog, like some sort of candy-coated combination of Paris Hilton and Lil' Kim! AWESOME! It's like your very own chocolate anthropomorphic Bratz™ doll! Praise Jesus!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

FIERCEFILE™: Do You Believe In Makeover Magic?

Wowzers!! We got the makeovers, the naked photo shoot, a model illness AND a death in the family all in this one big episode! Sha-damn!!

First we had guest stylist and judge Neeko (fresh from his stint providing husky, breathy, Germanic vocals for the Velvet Underground) pop in for the makeovers, which gave Tyra another chance to show off her tremendous acting ability by having a wig on her head get touched by some garden shears. Then Miss Jay got the tables turned on him and got himself a makeover -- oh my, how could they just spring that on him like that? What a shocker!

Of course, herein lied the beginning of Jael's painful journey this week: first she had to endure eight hours of useless makeover, then her friend dies of an overdose. "I don't understand how this could happen," she said. Let me see if I can help: Well, when a person takes too many drugs, sometimes it can kill them, so make sure to cut back next time, honey.

No makeover can stop Natasha from looking brain-dead.

Perpetual frontrunner and melodrama queen Brittany got to bitch about her itch, cry like a baby, morally object to a naked photo shoot, throw up on-camera and STILL win the challenge. Go, girl! Who cares what that nasty Renee says about you anyway!

And speaking of, Renee's makeover really did nothing for her...except increase her ability to look more like Eric Roberts' sister than Julia ever did.

Cassandra finally got rid of her janky sewed-on wig, but that still didn't save her from getting the boot. And let's be honest here, her neck isn't the only thing that disappeared in this photo...I mean, is there even a person in this picture, or is it just an afro on a toothpick? Maybe think about trying to "flav up" on some Mike and Ikes, girlfriend!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007


Unfortunately, due to the basketball-related delay in the broadcasting of last night's ANTM, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to read my pearls of wisdom about it. I was too tuckered out to stay up for the whole thing because I have the sleeping habits of a 75 year-old man, so I'm waiting until tonight to give it a time-shifted look-see. Hopefully y'all can survive until then.

I did, however, manage to catch Jay Manuel's appearance on the WGN morning news earlier this week, and it was fabulous. He did a great job pretending to be happy to talk to Chicago's "zaniest" morning news crew, patiently answering Larry Potash's wacky, frat boy-friendly questions and even sticking it back to weatherasshole Paul Konrad, who asked a question about whether men should wear makeup (since Jay was quite obviously sporting some base, toner and eye liner). Gee, Paul, that was HIGHlarious -- and now I know that you're not gay! Thanks for feeling the need to clear that up for everybody. I'm sure it did a world of good to let the world know that you were uncomfortable about having to share a satellite feed with a man who doesn't own a single Girls Gone Wild video.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


[A little backstory is necessary here...long ago, in the dark days before existed, I confessed to a group of friends I work with that I had just seen a poster of Adrian Brody plastered to the side of Burberry in Chicago the previous weekend, and that the mere sight of him made me so angry I wanted to go punch something. I was then asked if there were any other celebrities who generated similarly violent impulses in me, and I said "Oh yeah, I could probably give you a list a mile long" and the response was "No way, I'll bet you couldn't even come up with 75 of them" and I said "Way! I could come up with 75 in like less than an hour!" and so to prove my point, I went back to my office and came up with a list in just over 30 minutes. I've since lost the original list, but it's not that hard for me to reconstruct...and so, here begins a new, deeply disturbing regular feature of rants that you may feel free to ignore.]

#75: Philip Seymour Hoffman

What can I say? The man who probably more rightfully deserves the nickname "The Hoff" instead of David Hasselhoff truly makes my skin crawl. Whether he's looking shaggy or clean-cut, bespectacled or be-contacted, I look at this man and immediately want to stick thumbtacks in my own thigh just to make the visual memory of his face go away. I consciously avoid seeing movies he stars in (but he wasn't the only reason I decided not to see Mission: Impossible 3), although I did see Capote and managed to get through it without tearing down the curtains from either side of the movie theater screen, wrapping myself in them and lighting them on fire. Don't ask me how.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: "Man From Atlantis" Opening Credits

Riding the crest of the Star Wars/sci-fi dork wave in 1977, Man From Atlantis is surely one of the strangest tv shows ever to be greenlit, and nowhere is that more evident than in these opening credits. Yes, you had the young, virile, pre-Dallas Patrick Duffy playing the web-fingered lead role, but he swam like he had something lodged in his buttocks that he was desperately trying to shake out (of course, that didn't stop a whole generation of dorks from trying to swim like him during the summer of 1978). And the theme music feels more than a tad incongruous, better suited to being an incidental cue from a noirish detective show than a theme tune about the last survivor of Atlantis. Plus there was a guy in there whose last name was "Fudge." Can anyone be shocked this only lasted one season?

Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

FILMPHLEGM™: The Host Is All It's Cracked Up To Be

Usually I'd only be this excited after seeing a movie because Anonymous A and I managed to score the two solitary wheelchair-accessible seats in the exact center of the theater. But actually, The Host was so good I didn't even mind having to read the subtitles. It has a very precise mixture of horror, melodrama and comedy that's just like the 2005 revival of Doctor Who (if it was a Korean horror movie).

One of the reviews of The Host that I've since read described it as "Jaws meets Little Miss Sunshine" which I would agree with if I didn't think Little Miss Sunshine was one of the most insipid, annoyingly cliched movies I've ever seen. The Host may be full of cliches, but its characters are actually likable, the plot is cohesive and stays cohesive until the very end, and the grandfather of the little girl doesn't ever give you the pedophilia heebie-jeebies like Alan Arkin did.

I could talk about all the other stuff like how it's a cerebrally post-modern re-envisioning of the Godzilla mythos, it's slyly anti-media, anti-government and anti-American, and it manages to put forth a strong message about the endurability of the family without being smarmy, but you can read that crap in all the professional reviews. What you really want to hear from me is that the monster is frigging AWESOME cuz it's got like five mouths and a prehensile tail and shit. Which is the truth. So just go see it.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

ENTERTAINMENT DROPPINGS NEWSFLASH!!!: Asshole With Ascot Now Equipped With "Trans-Gen-Dar" Super Power

Whew, that was a close one, Jeremy! Wouldn't want to get caught canoodling at Excalibur with one of those, huh? People might start to think you' asshole!

Oops, too late.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

FIERCEFILE™: Back To School Sans Rodney Dangerfield

So we got the Runway Training episode this week, and the ANTM writers picked prom/high school as the episode's theme, which meant that Miss J got to act like he was part of Prince's Superbowl backup band before he had to get down to business and show the ladies how to walk a straight line.

As per usual, we got to see the models struggle to grasp basic choreography concepts, with Natasha and Jaslene sticking out as particularly awful at taking simple directions. Maybe the school uniforms made them so nervous they couldn't follow basic directions.

Once the training was over it was time for the prom catwalk challenge, hosted by guest judge/toad face Roy Campbell. The three themes (contemporary, the 80s, and "ghetto fabulous") sounded promising, but all we got were a couple of shoulder pads and some 'tude from the models; the clothes were all pretty much boring up until Sarah had her wardrobe malfunction.

Jaslene's confidence/incompetance ratio could become an interesting theme until she gets booted, but I'm much more interested in how extremely unlikable stay-at-home-Hawaiian-mom Renee is becoming. Her whining during the photoshoot was almost unbearable, and she's gone from overconfident bitch to insecure dumbass in no time flat. Perhaps if she chose to smoke one less pack of Camels a day she might feel a little better about herself.

Once again Natasha proved herself inadequate by not even beginning to comprehend what a "teacher's pet" is, and her dim bulb seemed destined to go out just like Kathleen's did last week. Fortunately, her stupidity makes great television, so Samantha became the week's sacrificial lamb due to her inability to act like a slut. Let's face it, when Jay Manuel has to tell a woman to put her hand on the inside of her thigh, she's toast.

Predictions: Brittany will make the top three; Jaslene will freak out after her makeover; Tyra will dress like a dirty hippie chick for every judging session.

Bring on the makeovers!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

ADVENTURES IN THE DESIGN WORLD™: The Nearly Error-Free Digital Billboard Kiosk

On the first leg of a lengthy road trip last week, Anonymous A and I stopped by the Des Plaines Oasis in the hopes of getting some gas (Mobil), securing some cafffeine (Starbucks), doing some banking (Fifth Third Bank ATM), and of course acquiring a ginormous bucket of Chicken McNuggets® with which to improve our rental car's bouquet (McDonald's).

What we didn't expect to find was the amazing new digital billboard kiosk (pictured above) which dutifully kept flashing various advertisements for the many services the Oasis had to offer along with ads for local small businesses -- even though the server it was connected to was clearly having some difficulty. What an effective piece of advertising collateral! I know for a fact whenever I see a sign that says "Free Wi-Fi Here" with a big-ass Windows error message plastered on top of it, the first thing I want to do is whip out my laptop and see what kind of virus I can get. Choice!

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: Pernell Roberts, Karate Master

You haven't lived until you've seen Pernell Roberts, star of the shockingly long-running M*A*S*H spin-off Trapper John, M.D. slice a watermelon in half with a sword -- on a leotard-clad man's bare chest.

Oh yeah, and Bea Arthur introduces him.


Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

ARTFARTS™: Self-Pimpin' Update

You didn't ask for it, but you can get an mp3 of my solo set from the radio show last night right here if you want it. Of course the other, much better set I did with the other guy (which featured the debut of my new Tony Banks impersonation) may be lost forever due to a malfunctioning CD burner at the station. So you're officially saved from that for the time being.

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WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: "In Search Of..." End Credits

The cancellation of the original Star Trek may have been viewed as a crisis by many nerds around the world, but to nerds like myself it meant that I was able to grow up watching wack-ass pseudo-science infotainment like In Seach Of..., narrated by Mr. Spock (not to be confused with Captain Kirk's Mysteries of Science which also debuted in 1976 but was even less fact-based).

If your blood doesn't start pumping a little faster at the sound of Leonard Nimoy calmly (dare I say...logically?) intoning "This program was the result of the work of scientists, researchers and a group of highly-skilled technicians" to the accompaniment of grade school filmstrip music (with a dash of porn soundtrack added for good measure), then you didn't grow up in the Seventies. It probably also means you actually have a life beyond a well-dusted glass display case filled with Mego dolls and framed autographed 8"x10" glossies of Ricardo Montalban.

Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

ARTFARTS™: Self-Pimpin'

If any of my 3 to 7 regular readers are bored enough to be reading this blog on a Sunday (and not on a weekday when you get paid to do it), then you might actually be bored enough to listen to this radio station tonight from 10pm to 2am (local time here in the Chi), when I'll be throwing down some dope-ass shit involving agoraphobic field recordings and synthesizers that sound like they're broken along with this guy who came all the way from Minneapolis for it so you could at least think about listening for his sake.

What was that? You say you're not really interested in the whole bald-white-guys-with-laptops electronic music scene? Then how about this: it's almost inevitable that, as with the other dozens of times I've played on this show over the past seven years, I will be coerced into discussing my unholy obsession with T.J. Hooker at some point during the on-air interview segment.


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FIERCEFILE™: Cycle 8 Belatedly Begins

Yeah, it's horribly late, but it's Top Model time again and I'll be damned if I'll give up the opportunity to force people to scroll past my review just because it's a few days overdue!

Only one episode in and I'm already more excited about Cycle 8 than I ever was about Cycle 7. It seems like the writers have settled their differences and gotten back to work, because last week's two-hour premiere was more entertaining than most of the last cycle put together. Although most of the whole ANTM Boot Camp thing made me cringe, seeing the Jays arrive while standing up in their jeep (how very David Bowie at Victoria Station in May 1976 of them!) was quite entertaining.

Most of the first hour was pure Tyra-centric hype and fluff, especially her grand steppin' entrance with the Delta Sigma boys, which was so very "Look at me! I'm all hip n shit!" altho if she really wanted to score some stret cred points, shouldn't she be showing her chicken noodle soup moves?

It was only with the second hour that we really got to concentrate on what the show's going to be like this cycle. I'm a big fan of Jael, who not only has the personality of a deer in headlights but also kinda looks like bug-eyed UK comic actor and 6 Music DJ Stephen Merchant.

The first photo shoot was classic ANTM, what with Nigel Barker taking over the lensing and the ethnically ambiguous Jay Manuel bitching and moaning that the girls just weren't getting the concepts, especially walking cartoon Kathleen, whose difficulty with the whole "anti-fur" thing was the highlight of the entire two hours.

And what the hell was with Tyra's dirty hippy look at the judging? They couldn't even find a classic Tyra modeling shot to morph into her present day look that came close to looking that bad. At least Miss J has gotten rid of his puffy sleeves from last cycle.

In the end it all comes down to the pictures (and which models make the best television) and so unfortunately Kathleen had to go...but not before the editors got in one last shot at how much of a dim bulb she is, focusing on her lack of bag-packing skills as she unceremoniously lets herself out of the Top Model house. Beautiful!

Viva la ANTM!

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