We opened to a montage of characters (learn about the cast here) thanking God and their mamas for the opportunity of a lifetime: being chosen as one of the few, the proud, the model wannabes. Nikki and Tyson welcome the hopefuls to Times Square on a rather frigid day. Nikki reminds them that only one of them will win (a line I’m sure we’ll hear quite a few more times), and tells them that the competition starts immediately. For some reason, some of them are surprised.
Lee Strickland, photographer for such powerhouses as Elle and Harper, tells them that even thought it’s the dead of winter in NYC, they will be modeling summer clothes, and need to really sell the sex/fantasy/drama factor. I’m not exactly sure whose fantasy they were targeting, but I’ll just put it out there that the guys were working that itty-bitty pink and lime green theme. Didn’t do too much for my personal fantasies, but somewhere, someone man is ready to buy a pink body stocking to go under his sliver jacket.
Dominic tells us that he’s not easily intimidated and he’s only worried about looking natural in the cold air. Lee Strickland says that Dominic tried too hard. Ben, a married prison guard, is given the worst outfit: pink pants and silver jacket over a bright pink tight tee with a bright pink scarf to match. Bet the guys back in “the yard” can’t wait to rag him about that next time he waves his baton. Completely reading my mind, he interviews that he knows the pink will come back to haunt him. Perry complains that the clothes “aren’t him,” and then goes on to say that the only improvement he could offer would be maybe to be more good looking. He totally forgot that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The photographer felt that Franki was a little too effeminate. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the outfit helped. Jay said he wants to win the competition and be a supermodel so his mama won’t have to work anymore. He admits he is in awe of Tyson and had pictures of him on his wall growing up. Feel free to insert your own remark here. The photographer tells Jay that he has chicken legs and isn’t east to photograph. Ouch. Maybe all of his pictures of Tyson were from the waist up. Jacki was beautiful, but her ears were a big distraction, literally, They stuck out like Mrs. Potato Head. When the photographer asked her if she was self-conscious about her ears, I thought he was going to give her words of encouragement. Instead, he told her to cover them up going forward. So much for Jacki’s self esteem in front of a million viewers.
Holly was ragged for having to severe of a haircut, but I really didn’t see the problem since they can changer her hair anyway. Stephanie gave the best performance, not giving any indication that it was cold. The rest of the crew was forgettable. Lee Strickland names Stephanie as the standout for the shoot, but she doesn’t win anything. She just gets to be the standout for the shoot. And put her coat back on since it’s freezing. The contestants get to see their new $20M digs in Manhattan. It’s nice, but for $20M I would think they wouldn’t have to be in bunk beds. Then it’s off to bed for the kiddies so they can be fresh in the morning.
Burn, baby burn! The next day, they wake up to Tyson telling them they have 20 minutes to get ready for their first Go-See. They meet under a bridge near an abandoned building straight out of Law & Order, where they see a fire burning in a trashcan. Tyson tells them that now is the time to let go of the old and embrace the new. They are told to throw as much or as little as they want of what they are wearing at the moment into the fire. Most end up putting all but their underwear in the fire, even new suits. Dominic, however, doesn’t put anything into the fire, saying he doesn’t see how burning perfectly good clothes will help him win the competition.