24 October 2011


ANTM Themed Shoot Smackdown, Round 2
(Revisit Round 1 and the Intermission)

Thanks so much for your patience! Here are the survivors of the "Smize" Sixteen . . .

Snakes vs. Fierce Eyes --> Fierce Eyes

Celebrity vs. Hapa --> Hapa

No Makeup vs. Mannequin --> No Makeup

Seven Deadly Sins vs. Controversial Issues --> Seven Deadly Sins

Museum Art vs. Classical Statues --> Classical Statues

Circus Freaks vs. Fuerza Bruta --> Fuerza Bruta

Flowers vs. Birds --> Birds

Fakes vs. Psychos --> Psychos

And now this is the part where I take over and decide which photo shoots are most
representative of what America's Next Top Model stands for. But if you scroll down, you'll see another mini face-off that welcomes your vote!

(The best part about this smackdown is that we will never run out of images! Tired of the photos from Round 1? We have new ones in the same categories for Round 2!)

Round 2
The "Know Your Angles" Eight

No Makeup (Cycle 3) vs. Fierce Eyes (Cycle 11)

Let's start with the beauty shots, and focus on the word beauty. ANTM creator Tyra Banks once made the Time Magazine list of 100 Most Influential People in the World because of her message that beauty comes in all colours, shapes, sizes--and despite the fact that she casts the same "types" over and over again, few of them could be called conventionally pretty. Their real talent is transfixing the eye through the camera and challenging what the viewer considers worth looking at. And if you ask Banks, she'd say that the eye of the beholder doesn't matter half as much as the eyes of the model.

Winner: Fierce Eyes--because wherever ANTM is, there must the "smize" be also.

Seven Deadly Sins (Cycle 4) vs. Fuerza Bruta (Cycle 10)

As someone who has always loved playing dress up (and who won Best Costume at her village's Halloween party three years in a row), my favourite ANTM themed shoots are those with an element of "Let's Pretend." And for a while, I was so intent on trying to recreate some of the crazier poses that it didn't occur to me that they had more to do with ratings than with the realities of the fashion industry. A good model must be able to sell something more than a concept.

Winner: Fuerza Bruta--because I'm totally ready to buy whatever this dream-like image is selling.

Hapa (Cycle 13) vs. Classical Statues (Cycle 15)

For both these shoots, the models had to wear full body makeup. The Hapa shoot, inspired by the Hawaiian location, challenged the models to portray an emblematised blend of two races or cultures, such as Mexican and Greek. The Classical Statues shoot, done in Milan, Italy, dropped the editorial elements and doubled the artistry. There is something so striking--heck, so marketable--about this modern take on Pygmalion and Galatea that I can feel the heat from my controversial decision already.

Winner: Hapa--because if Banks was ever adamant about anything, it is that no race or culture can monopolise beauty . . . and that a good model is also a chameleon.

Birds (Cycle 12) vs. Psychos (Cycle 16)

I admit that I put these two are together expressly to underline the Hitchcockian connection. (Hey, this is October.) While the Birds shoot was going for something closer to nature than birds gone (extra) wild, the Psycho shoot was certainly a homage to the great auteur. That just warms the corners of my rotten heart, and I find there's nothing more to say.

Winner: Psychos--because as "ugly pretty" beautiful as nature is, there is nothing like style feeding on style when fashion turns to the movies for inspiration.

* * * * *

So far, I've been content to celebrate pure prettiness. Models playing dress up: what's not to like? But even on ANTM, the contestants have to face their fair share of technical challenges, and it is two of these are featured in this week's mini face-off.

Up in the Air (Cycle 2) vs. Underwater (Cycle 13)

If the model in the first photo looks like she's dangling over a huge hole, that's because she is. The photographer could have shot this over a green screen and drawn the hole digitally . . . but where would the fun have been in that? At least one of the contestants freaked out at the thought of falling to her death--and that's always good. =P The second image was shot underwater--not in a safe, secure studio tank, but in the Pacific Ocean. After taking a deep breath from an oxygen tank at a depth of about twenty feet, each model had to hold her breath during the slow rise back to the surface, posing all the way. Yes, there were a couple of freak outs, too. I loved them all.

But the real question now is . . .
which one gets your vote?

Image Sources: a) Eva, b) Lauren Brie, c) Kahlen, d) Whitney, e) Laura, f) Ann, g) Teyona, h) Molly, i) Shandi, j) Jennifer


lisa :) said...

Woah - those are both crazy scenarios but I vote for Underwater. I think hanging in a harness is scary but at least you have a bit more control over what you look like, where as the underwater shot looks really pretty while so much of the environment is out of the models' control. (If it was me, I'd be kicking like crazy and I'm sure my hair would be tangled around my face or something equally unattractive!)

Enbrethiliel said...


That's a good point about the harness. The underwater models really did have the entire environment against them.

Thanks for participating again this week, Lisa. =)

Sullivan McPig said...

I'm not fond of either picture, but will go for under water as it would freak me out.

Enbrethiliel said...


You're not an aquatic pig, Sully? ;-)

Kate said...

Underwater. No good reason, just a stronger shot I think.

Hi Em! :)

Enbrethiliel said...


Hi, Kate! Thanks for your vote. =)