America's Next Top Model College Edition contestants are being eliminated based on what fans said during the summer.
So, literally the girls with the best photographs are winning, unlike the previous America's Next Top Model seasons where the winners were determined by four judges.
What's odd and a little backwards about this new voting system (a system that's old because voting is closed) is that fans who are watching right now have no say in what's going on right now.
Oddly enough, most competition reality shows where audiences determine outcomes are live (American Idol, X Factor, The Voice). Technically, fans watching the show have no input on the outcome and even more interesting, those who've voted on the girls' photos are, perhaps anxiously, waiting for the show's outcome.
Even with the new voting twist, America's Next Top Model hasn't gotten any more interesting. Cover Girl is no longer a sponsor and new, hipper, edgier products and magazines have endorsed the show.
As Kelly Cutrone told one model, mediocrity in modeling is aspiring for the big names like Lagerfield rather than ANTM products and the newer, commercial, fashionista generation motivated by the internet. Enter BryanBoy, the high, high fashion blogger who can't vote for the girls, only give them feedback on their social media scores.
And overall, the whole thing is just weird. Since when did photo and fashion models need social media to work?
This week, the Disney like princess model Brittany went home. Social media scores failed Brittany and her hurt at not making it further in the competition is testimony to the strength it takes to enter the competition with a "there are no losers" attitude.
It's heartbreaking to see the models who want to make, but don't.
It's also heartbreaking for viewers who really love drama to endure the fan vote. Quite frankly, America's Next Top Model has always been interesting because of the household drama among the girls and their ability and inability to amass their composure at photo sessions.
This year, the household drama was minimized early with the departure of contestants who likely would still be in the running if it were up to four ANTM judges rather than internet fans. For sure, it looks like Laura will win the entire competition because she has a strong fan base and, in the eyes of the judges, she comes across as a real model. A young lady who's really pretty in person, but absolutely stunning (unrecognizably stunning) in photos.
With 19 seasons nearly under its belt, America's Next Top Model was losing steam with viewers and needed to find a new groove. It's not clear if the new judges and the new rating system has helped, but fans aren't responding to the season as they've done in the past. Fans don't see what judges see and they aren't agreeing with social media scores either.
On Friday's episode, Nastassia's best shot confused the fashion sense out of most viewers. Her eyes were awkward and her face didn't say much, but judges loved the photo. One fan said that if that photograph was Nastassia's best, then she's been sabotaged.
Voting has always been controversial on ANTM. White models and white fans thought the show was biased and preferential to black and colored models. Heavier models, shorter models feel the weight of participating in the competition against women with thinner frames. Should Laura win the competition, she'll be one of the few ANTM models larger than a 0, perhaps even larger than a 2, to win.
To date, ANTM only has one shorter winner (Eva) from season one and one heavier model. Top Model even spent a season with models who's height checked in under the model's usual 5'7" and 5'9".
With Brittany out of the picture, Kristen and Kiara have to step it it up a few notches in order to stay out of the bottom with Victoria. Next week, Victoria's likely to land in the bottom two, and that will set well with most everyone watching. But in the event her social media scores beat over Kiara, BryanBoy, Kiara's biggest fan may just begin a mutiny on the set.
The college edition hasn't had an interesting or memorable photo shoot yet. What's worse, the girls are headed to Jamaica. ANTM was filmed during the summer and Jamaica's summer heat requires oxygen tanks, not to mention bottles of sunblock.
Each season the girls travel the world and it's during the travel portion of the series that the sleeper models tend to come to life. Kristen and Kiara may find themselves in a do or die moment while Victoria figures out who she is apart from her mom. Nastassia may just run away with it all as the island complements her tropical roots.
Either way, a model returns next week and rejoins the competition. It adds a little drama to the competition, but nothing will be as exciting as the newly talked about ANTM episode where male models compete for the prize.
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