A Model Life
1. There does not seem to be any intent to drag out any drama between the contestants.
2. All these girls are portrayed in a good light. Most of them have the personality that comes across in backstage photos of models (very sweet, chippery, playful).
3. All the contestants are gorgeous and already look very runway suited. Whereas ANTM tries to pick "the next new face" by gathering mostly girls who look very interesting, but normally wouldn't make it in the industry. These girls seems like they can make it.
4. There's only six. And none of them are drama queens (so far).
5. The host, Petra Nemcova, comes off very sweet and genuine and acknowledges the superficiality of the fashion world and really cares about supporting important issues (well, she did survive the Thailand tsunami--and lost her fiance in it). I mean, I love Tyra too, but they're just very different hosts. Petra's very empathetic and she was very heartfelt when she said she understood the hardship of moving from a totally different country and being all alone in New York and she offered her help ("If there's ANYTHING that you want to tell me, please do.") .
6. Petra has amazing hair. AMAZING. It looks good in every shot. And...Tyra...well, she's got her weave...but she doesn't really know how to style it half the time.
7. Petra knows how to dress herself (Most of the time, Tyra doesn't). Also, these 6 girls know how to dress like models too (skinny pants, high heels, chunky layers of jackets and scarves)
8. There's no crazy, insane challenges (so far). This competition comes across as more real. There's no real "judging", they only critique certain girls who are in need of help, and also I don't believe it's one of those, "Cut 1 girl after each week" shows. NO JUDGES. The people these girls work with are not actors. You can tell the co-founder of NEXT isn't very good at working in front of the camera. And their "New Faces" agents are very understandable, even if the girls are late (as long as they call them).
9. This is an obvious one, but most of these girls are not from America and come from a lot of different cultures.
10. Because of the lack of drama or mad challenges, it's not as, let's say, edge-of-your-seat, as ANTM. It's more low key, but it shouldn't be totally counted against the show. I mean, we've been spoiled with like...8 cycles (it is 8 right?) of TYRA-TYRA-TYRA (fierce, girls, fierce!) ANTM.
Anyway, yes, I think I really like Petra now. The only thing is that she dated James Blunt who is sappy and has such a whiny voice.
Anyhow, I may be wrong about the last point since the episode coming up this week seems to have a little something-something going on. In the preview, the girls meet with a nutritionist and some of them are told they're too thin or too...un-thin for the industry. One of them cries (yes, one of them cries!)
Now, if you still do not have any idea what I'm talking about, here is a tiny summary. "A Model Life" is a modeling competition between 6 girls from around the world (well, excluding Asia) for a contract at NEXT Modeling Agency. There hasn't been too much publicity surrounding the show. It airs on TLC and is hosted by supermodel Petra Nemcova who also founded the Happy Hearts Fund, a children's charity. You can even fill out an online application to volunteer.
Let me introduce to you the contestants! The 6 girls are: Abigail (16) from the UK, Angelika from California, Beatrice (16) from Brazil, Lucia from Slovakia (18), Michelle (20) from Florida, and Valeria, a Russian girl from Australia. I can't quite accept the fact that some of these girls are younger than me! They look so mature and...tall. You know how they say first impressions are everything? Well, unless any of these girls are going to pull a Natasha (Russian girl I hated at first and gradually grew fond of, last ANTM) on me, my first impressions are going to stay the same.
Abigail seems like a very sweet, innocent, likable, good girl-- a bit self conscious. Michelle is a bit sweet and awkward, like a girl I would befriend in the 5th grade. But who knows...it's still early on in the competition. She's from a farm in the middle of nowhere and she loves horses. And she looks a little Jewish to me. Lucia and Valeria are my favorites. Lucia is very peppy, seems a little mischievous, and she's got a European doll-like look. Valeria seems like a very spunky, fun, - and funny- smart girl. Some say she looks like "the baby Petra"-- let's hope it won't turn out like the ANTM "Baby Tyra".
Now...my two least favorites: Beatrice and Angelika. I'm not too crazy about Beatrice...she seems a bit closed-off and maybe snooty/prone to argue? She didn't quite get along with the photographer in the season premiere. And she never says thank you to anybody. Maybe so far she's just lost in translation?
But she's definately not worse than Angelika, the Californian. Everything says I should like her; she's a vegan, she's socially conscious, she thinks modeling is superficial but she "wants to use her looks for good", she's gorgeous, and she looks like a younger, smoother Famke Janssen (who has done some work with PETA in the past). But...I don't, because she seems mean, hostile, gloomy, and acts like she knows more about the world than anyone else. She seems stubborn and the hardest to get along with (although she did really well with the photographer).
When all the girls moved into the apartment, she just went and claimed the biggest bed to herself while dismissing the rest of the girls who were deciding a fair way to split up the rooms (5 beds, 6 girls). Then she went to sulk in her room, busily texting on her Sidekick while the other girls were getting to know each other (and Lucia tried to attempt to talk to her but she wasn't too receptive) On camera, she pretty much actually said that the people in the modeling industry sucked and the whole system sucked and she said they should go f*** themselves. She's depressing to watch and acts like her beauty is such a pain to her. There's a difference between being humble and downright annoying. Angelika says she wants to use her looks for good, but she comes off as a misanthrope who hates everybody and can't get along with anyone. Her Q & A on the TLC website is a bit one-sided and very snooty. More Q than A. Especially when compared to the other girls':
"2. What are the top 5 things you couldn't live without?
3. What are the top 5 modeling secrets you learned while filming the show?
How to be "fresh and dewy," how to walk and... thats about it. I knew everything else.
4. What is your favorite movie?
I have many favorite movies. Jackass is a classic.
5. What kind of music do you like most?
6. What do your future plans hold?
Many goals being accomplished." [tlc.com]
Self-explanatory. Anyway, she's just kind of mean, acts like she doesn't respect anyone, and she seems like she'd make you feel really bad about yourself. Valeria's Q & A is a lot more interesting:
"1. What are the 5 things every woman should know about being beautiful from the inside out?
Treat others the way you would like to be treated
Neverlaugh at other people
Don't wear too much make up
Always get enough
2. What are the top 5 things you couldn't live without?
3. What are the top 5 modeling secrets you learned while filming the show?
Always be on time
Always have a pair of heels with you whengoing to a casting
Learn your subway map by heart
Be open minded"
Another difference between ANTM and A Model Life is that if in ANTM you don't seem that crazy passionate about modeling it is a surefire MISTAKE. The judges then say, "It doesn't seem like you want it enough, etc etc" and even if they really do but don't show it that much, they're penalized. Every girl in ANTM has to go, "MODELING IS MY PASSION I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE I WOULD DO." Whereas Petra sits down and asks them their passions and Beatrice is "Family, family, family", Abigail is, "I love music! I play several instruments", and Valeria says, "Languages are my passion!" Who knows what would happen if they were on ANTM.
Regarding their actual modeling abilities (well, I was getting there eventually!), Abigail kind of only has one look, and she's not as edgy when it comes to UK models and Beatrice doesn't quite know what to do with her body and doesn't really listen. And I don't really like her look either. Valeria was tapped on the hand too during the model shoot. The rest of them pretty much rocked (including Lucia, my Slovakian favorite, yayyy!)
Anyhow, A Model Life is at times quite humorous and it shows more of, and is closer to, what probably really goes on in the industry. It's a bit low key, bland so far. It was kind of disappointing when, on their first day, they met Petra at the firehouse posing with a bunch of firefighters and then you thought this was going to be some sort of challenge with male firefighters and then...no. It's not a bad watch and it could get better!
For more information, here's an interview with Petra regarding her show and what also sets it apart from the other TV shows: http://television.aol.com/tv-celebrity-interviews/petra-nemcova
PS. Their page on TLC.com has a puzzle with Petra Nemcova's face on it, is that weird or what?
If anyone else has watched it, feel free to discuss <3