It’s the battle of the sexes on the runway this Monday on the 21st cycle of “America’s Next Top Model” as male and female models compete to win a modeling contract with Next Model Management, a $100,000 cash prize from Guess and a fashion feature in Nylon magazine.
But, come on, we really watch the show to see beautiful people behaving badly, right?
Returning, per usual, is host/lead judge Tyra Banks along with fashion public relations maven Kelly Cutrone and the return of fan favorite J. Alexander (aka Miss J). Also joining in this second edition of guys vs. girls is Yu Tsai, renowned fashion photographer.
To give us a preview into what we’ll see, what makes for a good walk down the catwalk and who we should be watching out for, I grabbed some time via email with Cutrone and Miss J. Let the posing begin!
With Cycle 21, is it business as usual or do we have some format changes this year?
Kelly Cutrone: How can you have 21 seasons and still be business as usual? This is the second season of guys on the show. We have Miss J coming back and it’s his first time judging the guys. This season has more hookups, breakups, blowouts, and fights than I’ve ever seen before. Oh, and did I mention there’s a witch in the house?
Miss J, you’ve been away for the last few cycles so was it like slipping into a comfortable pair of stilettos when you returned?
Miss J: It was like I never took them off! But getting used to the new judging set up took a few
Kelly, you’ve been through the show more than a few times. What still manages to surprise you, if anything?
KC: I’m always surprised that I find myself more than half-way through production of the cycle and have absolutely no idea who is going to win. It’s kind of amazing to witness these model contestants become their own worst enemies by letting their minds take them out of the competition.
You’ve always been known as ‘Queen of the Catwalk,’ Miss J, but what’ the true key of doing a walk right? Is it attitude? Confidence? The body? Do tell!
Miss J: All of the above! It’s not just walking up and down. It should be mixed with your judging at panel before they fit just right. Personality, character, spirit of the clothes (what the designer asks of the models), as well as understanding the runway décor and design, music, rhythm of the show. Sometimes you have to walk against music, not with it. Oh yeah, and a bit of good DNA in the long leg department can help.
We’re in the middle of a fabulous trans movement where trans actors/models/people in general are getting lots of love. Any trans models in today’s crop of contestants?
Miss J: Well, maybe! No, just kidding. Not this season. But let’s keep the trans movements positive and going forward in fashion, acting, music and everyday life. We are all human and just want a shot at living our lives how we see fit and with respect.
We’ve got guys and girls on the show again this season. Who are more catty? The guys or the girls?
Miss J: That’s a difficult one as I was not always with them when shade was thrown. From a couple of things I witnessed and heard at judging, I think the guys! It could be a full on bitch fest and set ups when backs were turned.
Of the contestants, any chance we could see some same sex romance (or just pure lust) blossom during the course of the show??
Miss J: Well, I would have loved it and it could have, but I don’t think they were each other’s types. You know we can be a picky bunch of bitches. LOL
Be it on the show or in the PR world, how does social media play a part in success these days?
KC: That’s a question everyone’s asking themselves. So please call me when you’ve got an answer! Social media isn’t as important for models as it is for say, a singer, comedian or an actor. It’s actually a pretty traditional industry. I don’t’ think there’s a million models being discovered on the internet. That said, Tyra is addicted to the internet and found this cycle’s competitor Chantelle Brown Young on Facebook, I believe. One of the really great things about “ANTM” is that it allows contestants to really build their social media following. I’ve seen previous contestants with like 50,000 followers on Twitter. It’s crazy.
Going into the new season, who would you tell viewers to keep an eye on??
KC: That’s tricky. There’s so much drama this year. Who would I keep an eye on? Depends if you mean in a good way… or a bad way?!
Miss J: Me! Tee hee!
“America’s Next Top Model” kicks off Cycle 21 on Monday at 9pm on the CW.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.
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