January 10, 2008 10:18 PM by Lisa Stauber
Bravo’s new reality show, Make Me a Supermodel, premiered to an America already hooked on the show. Online voters have chosen two extra contestants, bringing the total to 14 competitors: 7 guys and 7 girls who will be competing to be the next big thing on the runway. Each week, viewers get to decide who will be eliminated, until only two are left to go head to head for the big prize – a contract with New York Modeling Agency, a spread in GQ Magazine, and $100,000. Hosts Niki Taylor and Tyson Beckford will be narrowing the choices down to the bottom three and then we’ll be picking them off one by one.
“We’re going to be stripping you down and seeing what you’re made of,” Tyson tells the models. He’s not kidding. They immediately set to work, shooting with photographer Lee Strickland. The catch? It’s freezing outside, and they’re modeling summer fashions in Times Square.
Lee lets us in on his thoughts. “To me, she was more of the girl next door,” he says of Sarah. He finds most of the models are not quite up to snuff, but Jay is deemed the hardest to work with due to inexperience. Jay gets the Nice award, though, confiding, “All I want to do in this world is tell my Momma she don’t have to work no more.”
Stephanie is chosen as the strongest overall, and the models are released to warm up before being taken to their new digs. They’ll be living together as roommates while they compete as rivals, and the space is amazing. It’s lavishly decorated in modern, graphic prints complete with orange shag carpeting tastefully arranged on the wall.
Sarah instantly makes herself at home. “I really feel like I’m going to be here for a while,” she says. She’s already been criticized by the judges for being “too Barbie” and “the girl next door.” Let’s hope she doesn’t have to eat her words on the first episode!
The contestants are told it’s time for a go-see, and quickly put on their best clothes. Tyson takes them down to the river, and points to a smoking 55 gallon barrel. “It’s time to leave the past behind. Take something off and throw it into the fire.” It’s not long before the guys are stripping to their boxers and watching their clothes burn. At least they kept their coats!
They arrive at the studio half naked to find judges Cory Bautista and Niki waiting for them. Time for measurements, and Cory is not pleased. Katie needs to work on her legs, Ben has lost too much weight, Jay is accused of having chicken legs, and Holly is taken to task over her haircut. Hey, it’ll grow out! Lighten up! Jackie, the strongest runway walker, is told to always cover her ears with her hair on go-sees. Measurements, we’re informed, will be taken on a weekly basis.
The third challenge is a fun one – a party with GQ style editor Adam Rapaport. The girls look fabulous, despite having only 20 minutes to get ready. Holly seems to have made quite an impression. Maybe that haircut wasn’t such a bad idea, after all! Six hours later, the exhausted contestants return to their new home.
Morning comes early, and with it, Jennifer Starr, the fourth judge and a casting director for major fashion campaigns. She’s brought along model Debbie Dietering to coach the guys and girls along on their walk. Again, Sarah is spurned. “I see her on a shampoo commercial,” Debbie says to Jennifer, who readily agrees.
After a grueling session, the models finally get to see their portfolios, taken the day before. Most are thrilled, but Aryn is brought to tears. “I’m just so disappointed,” she sniffs.
The excitement is cut short by Perry’s announcement that he has to go to the hospital to get an injured foot looked at. Frankie is quick to see an opportunity. “I hope he doesn’t get better. The better for me, you know.” Frankie, where’s the love?
Perry’s foot is broken, and despite returning on crutches he is determined not to let that get in the way of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “Sometimes you have to play ball injured,” he says as he hobbles off to bed.
The final challenge is the toughest one yet – a swimwear catwalk, and the collection includes four thongs. Tyson calls for volunteers, but when no one steps up the infamous Bravo Black Bag comes out. Jackie, Shannon, Casey and Ben are all selected for overexposure.
Jackie has a crisis of confidence. “I just think it’s tacky,” she cries. “I just don’t want to wear it.” Sure enough, on the runway she is wearing more modest bikini bottoms. The judges are appalled.
“I think there is a difference between a really beautiful girl, and one who photographs well,” Jennifer observes, but it’s not hard to see who rules the runway on this challenge. Holly rocks it out, but former prison guard Ben looks a little scary. Even Tyson was intimidated by his jailhouse stare.
After a final lineup, quirky Holly is declared the winner. Perry is given accolades as the best male walker – despite his injury. Jackie barely squeaks by the judges questioning, but is declared safe.
Katie, Sarah, and Dominic are chosen for the bottom three, and now comes the question the models dread. Who will hear Tyson’s commanding “You may leave the runway” next Thursday? You get to choose. Visit www.bravotv.com by 3 am Eastern Friday morning to put in your vote on the next Supermodel.
Photo courtesy Bravo Television Network