'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Tyra Banks Reveals Show's 'Totesamaze' Makeover
For the first time, viewers help pick the 13 finalists, who are introduced to a new judge and new photo director.
Viewers got their first look at the revamped America's Next Top Model on Friday night, and Tyra Banks wasted no time addressing the CW show's overhaul at the beginning of the episode.
"I need a whole new direction for the new season, a total H2T [head to toe] makeover," she says. "It's gotta be fierce; it's gotta be totally amazing; it's gotta be ... 'totesamaze'!"
The action kicks off with a party where actress Taryn Manning (8 Mile) is serving as DJ. This season has been dubbed the "College Edition," and 30 semi-finalists from various schools -- ranging from online universities to makeup academies to community colleges to four-year schools -- come running in to join the revelers.
Banks then introduces the judges, who include herself, fashion PR expert Kelly Cutrone and newcomer Rob Evans, a boxer-turned-model.
"I'm pretty much the same age as these girls, so I can vibe with them on a different level," Evans tells the camera. "I'm in this industry right now so I know what's hot and what's in demand."
Banks also introduces stylist Johnny Wujek, who's worked with Katy Perry and will be the show's new creative consultant on photo shoots.
"Working with celebrity clients, I know what it takes to reinforce and build confidence," Wujek says. "I'm going to help these girls find their inner model."
The girls also learn that viewers will now have a say in who gets sent home: They will be the "fourth judge," as Banks explains, and their online comments and votes about each week's photo shoots will play a big role in who stays and who gets sent home.
The 30 semifinalists take part in a runway show and a photo shoot, after which the contestants go online in an "ANTM Social Media Room" to see what fans are saying about their pictures, which have been posted online.
"Mean, mean stuff," says one.
"This has never been done before, so this is groundbreaking," says another.
As the judges and Wujek interview the girls one by one, Banks reveals what the online commenters are saying about each, along with how many "likes" each hopeful has received. Some of the girls are allowed to directly respond to the harshest of the commenters.
Taking into consideration the fan's opinions, the judges and Wujek whittle the group of 30 down to 13 finalists.
-- Destiny, from the Aveda Institute of Columbus, whose mother kicked her out of the house at 14 and who admitted she has had to dive in Dumpsters to find food.
-- Leila, from the University of Rhode Island, who gets told she resembles Kristen Stewart.
-- Laura, from Paul Smith's College, whose dad, John James, co-starred as Jeff Colby on Dynasty.
-- Allyssa, from Florida State University, who tattooed the word "BOSS" on the inside of her lip.
-- Maria, from Harvard Divinity School, who only recently "came out of the closet" about her passion for modeling.
Meanwhile, Briana, from the University of Texas at Austin, who didn't get selected, had harsh words of her own for the show's fans: "If you did not vote for me, you can kiss my black behind."
What do you think about the changes to the show so far?