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'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 16 Ep. 1 Recap: Changes Galore!

February 24th, 2011 11:21pm EST | Lori May By: Lori May

The contestants of ANTM Cycle 16!

The America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 16 premiere came with quite a few changes to the traditional ANTM line-up. Tyra started the show with a parody of the different types of girls who try-out for “America’s Next Top Model,” before announcing the first major change for Cycle 16: The constants would begin this cycle thinking they had been rejected during casting week.

 The final 14 received envelopes without photographs, which Tyra announced would mean they weren’t headed to panel and instead must leave immediately to go home. This begs the question: What about the other ANTM contestants who did have photos, who thought they were still in the competition? The whole thing seemed rather cruel for the sake of variety in casting week and for the shocked reaction from the not-really-rejected girls. Naturally, viewers didn’t see the let-down moment for the other constants—the actually rejected ones, that is.

 This also meant that the Cycle 16 premiere wouldn’t including the 20-30 minutes normally reserved for casting week, instead launching straight into the first challenges and the preliminary glimpse of the girls at the ANTM house. Alexandria, a 21 year old unemployed contestant from Huntington Beach, California, seems to be setting herself up as Cycle 16’s argumentative diva. I expect Britanni, the 19 year old from Beech Creek, Pennsylvania, to be the first girl to go toe-to-toe with Alexandria in upcoming episodes.

 For each “America’s Next Top Model” cycle, I take a guess at which two constants I predict will fare the best on the show. The first guess is based solely on her promotional photo and biography over on the official ANTM website; the second is based on my impressions of the contestants during the premiere episode. This year, I am placing my bets on Monique, a 19 year old from Pell Lake, Wisconsin, based on her promo, and from the premiere there is southern belle Hannah, who is 20 and from Austin, Texas.

Both girls made it through the first panel of ANTM Cycle 16, though the Tyra seemed concerned Monique will be considered too sexy for high fashion work.

Hannah's photo from Cycle 16 Ep. 1

 The first challenge for the contestants of “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 16 came in the way of a difficult runway show—and their very first photo shoot, all in the same day. With a spread in Italian Vogue, the cover of Beauty in Vogue, the usual Cover Girl Cosmetics contract and representation by IMG Models on the line again this cycle, Tyra has certainly continued to up the bar on what she expects from the ANTM model-hopefuls. The Cycle 16 premiere featured Erin Wasson, a famous designer/model who contributed the jewelry for the runway show, and epic photographer Russell James, who has been seen on several previous ANTM cycles.

The girls wore garments from Alexander Wang, and were met with a 12” runway over water—and a plastic bubble, which they would be inside while strutting their stuff.

First, the girls’ photo shoot happened backstage, and Mr. Jay and Miss Jay explained that in today’s fashion industry, what goes on behind the show is just as important as the show itself. Tyra reiterated this point during the ANTM Cycle 16 premiere panel, so it is very likely it will be a continuing theme during this cycle. The girls had to balance appearing occupied and off-guard while actually delivering a beautiful photograph, something quite a few of them struggled with. Tyra and the judges seemed most impressed with Jaclyn, a baby-faced 20 year old from Belton, Texas, and Molly, a 22 year old blonde beauty with an amazing jaw line from Charleston, South Carolina. Unfortunately, Angelia—a 20 year old dark beauty originally from Germany—managed a veil of dark hair concealing her face, which irked Nigel and the other judges.

 Amazingly, only 2 of the 14 contestants took a tumble during the runway show following the photo shoot, despite the treacherous, narrow runway over water—and that giant bubble full of confetti. Dominique, who is 23 from Houston, Texas, slipped and fell into the water but managed to conduct her recovery with a smile, and flare, which impressed guest judge Erin Wasson. Ondrei, a petite contestant from Muskegon, Michigan, who is 18, didn’t recover with quite as much elegance as Dominique. Britanni managed to conduct an almost flawless walk during the show, and she was praised by Erin Wasson and the Jays afterwards. Each of the girls got to keep a piece of jewelry from Wasson’s collection.

The ANTM Cycle 16 runway show.

 At the first panel of “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 16, Molly won best photo for her strong performance at the impromptu shoot behind the scenes at the runway show. Both Nigel and Tyra seemed very impressed with her bone structure and her “wind machine” hair, though Britanni was likely a close second behind her considering she rocked the in-a-ball runway show and delivered her own strong photograph. In the end, Angelia and Dominique fell into the bottom two, despite Tyra’s comments during deliberation about having a makeover specifically in mind for Dominique. Ultimately, Dominique made the cut, due to her vivid personality and unique look, making Angelia the first of the 14 contestants to go home.

 With 13 girls remaining, and the always-popular makeover episode coming up in the next few weeks, will you be watching? Tell us your favorites in the comments below!

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Photo Credits: © The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved


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