Monday, July 16, 2007

A Model Life

10 Reasons why A Model Life is no America's Next Top Model:

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'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". 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?

My brain
My body

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?

Good music.

6. What do your future plans hold?

Many goals being accomplished." []

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?

My family
My boyfriend
Herbal tea
Warm weather

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
Be polite
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 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:

PS. Their page on 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

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Blogger maya said...

It sounds really good! I've never heard of it before.
the thing is though that I love the drama and catfights etc. on ANTM, I don't think I could give up on my weekly fix of bitchiness.
id love to swap links!

1:05 PM  
Blogger The Stiletto Effect said...

you have a very interesting blog!
great posts about animal cruelty!

i confess i find it hard to read about it (and i can't even see the images) because i love animals and when i read or see such cruelty my heart is broken :( and i cry (i really do)

want to exchange links? i really want to have a blog like yours on my list!

keep in touch

1:13 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I met Petra once in San Francisco when she was modelling Rampage Jeans or something. She was sooo nice, even though I was blubbering like an idiot because I am so easily starstruck. She has very nice hair, and the most nicest model I've met thus far.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm definitely going to check out the show but i'm not going to stop watching antm just cause it's sooo funny:P

3:13 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I've linked you, link me back.

3:58 AM  
Blogger StyleDiva said...

ah! i love this show (one model life)!! petra is so nice and down to earth! it's my new summer reality obsession, haha, and their all young like me which is cool!nice job on your blog!!

7:50 AM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Thanks for all your input, guys! It's very encouraging.

Maya-- I could never give up ANTM either ;)

Su-- You're so sweet with your compliments. I had no idea that I might be scaring off some readers with my content, lol! I'm sorry for making you sad sometimes, but I'm happy that you have a lot of empathy for other creatures :)

Teresa-- Thank you for affirming that she has nice, real hair. ;) I've never really ever met a famous model before, only some fit models when I was young, lol.

Jennifer-- I know! ANTM makes the silliest things seem funny or even serious. "She stole my cereal bars!" dum Dum DUM. It's pretty insane.

stylediva- Hope you watch this week's! Seems pretty you have a favorite competitor?

9:33 AM  
Blogger StyleDiva said...

well, i don't have favorites yet, but i don't like the californian's attitude. she's not friendly, and basically gives everyone the cold shoulder. but i'll def be watching the show tomorrow night!!!

3:34 PM  
Blogger dianabobar said...

This is a great post! To bad the show hasn't leaked on youtube...I'd love to watch it!

2:28 PM  
Blogger .m. said...

wow, great post!
I watch the show (the one tonight about weight issues was heartbreaking!). It just shows REAL everyday models, and doesn't make modeling into the CIRCUS Tyra and Ken Mok do. I'll keep watch, and keep reading your blog! :)

9:55 PM  
Blogger fashionistakay said...

I couldn't agree with you more! And surprisinlgy I've started watching A MODEL LIFE since that friday it first aired (I don't always follow a show from the beginning), but this is great. I watched ANTM reruns the other day but A MODEL LIFE...way better. Lucia is si beautiful, she looks very sweet but dtermined. Not too happy about her having to lose weight when the nutritionist said she was perfect! (from last episode).

10:18 PM  
Blogger Asha said...

I just saw a bit of it tonight for the first time and I immediately thought Beatrice looked familiar. I lived in South Beach for a year, and there were always models that lived across from my apartment. Well, Beatrice was one of those girls. I have not seen how she has acted on the show, but I think part of the problem really is the language barrier. She was always very polite to me, always said hello, held the elevator, etc. I also just think she is young; I think we are forgetting that she is only 16. Obviously, I didn't hang out with her, BUT from what I experienced I thought she was a nice girl who hadn't let the "modeling life" go to her head YET. Anyways, when was this show taped???

Great blog by the way! :)

7:27 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Thanks for dropping by Asha!

I actually think it was taped last december or something because of the snow in NYC in the latest episode.

However it's strange how they would work this out...because whoever won would probably be under contract have to postpone their winning contract with NEXT for a year (until the series aired and finished)...which would probably mean they wouldn't have much modeling work (to stop from spoiling the end)...or at least that's what it would seem like. Did you see Beatrice recently?

anyhows, I'm still following the series, so I'm going to write up a little blurb about the latest episode in my next post!

9:12 AM  
Blogger Asha said...

Looking forward to your next post!

The last time I saw her was in April (temporarily back in the Midwest right now), so that is fairly recent. It had to have been after the show finished taping then and she was definitely working as a model here in Miami at the time. I'm not quite sure with what modeling agency, but I'm guessing possibly Irene Marie (you know the one from that MTV show "8th and Ocean") as it is less than a block away. A lot of them were strange and sat in the hallway to use the internet, which was annoying because they were loud too. lol Out of all the models that come and go out of the building I lived in, I honestly found her to be one of the more attractive and nicer ones though. Of course, they are all like 17.

I didn't end up watching much of the episode the other night, but maybe now I will check it out since I know one of the girls!

P.S. I saw a preview for it on TLC today and it hints at a girl getting asked to leave or something to that effect. Do you all think this happens?

1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the show ,the way the girls dont backbite each other and the good advice Petra gives.I read alot about how some dont like Angelika but I think shes the most honest and true to her feelings.Of course in "model world" thats a no-no.You have to be a goodie 2shoes and kiss ass.But like Angelika advised the girls"the big models didn't get to where they are by bending over" inside tidbit...the girls were never allowed to talk with Petra off camera or on.And of course it was filmed in the winter!
As for the girls being late...ha..the producers arranged it that way to create some drama...and guess who called them on it?....nuff said

5:19 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

anonymous-- thanks for posting! Interesting points you make. Angelika is maybe more likable now...she's not the, to be frank, bitch we thought she might be in the first episode, but she's still gloomy and...kind of a bummer...although I like her ideals.

everyone else -- I HAVE made a newer post on the latest episode:

8:09 PM  
Blogger DavesGotTheGun said...

i have this show programmed into my alarm on my cell phone.. i love it! it reminds me a bit of the first cycle of top model..

8:08 AM  
Blogger Reneé said...

I love love love this show. I also love your comparison to ANTM. I do love ANTM also but I'm usually disappointed that the winners..well, never seem to get too far. I think most of the girls on ANTM don't have the "new face" I think they're pretty commercial looking. 'A Model Life' features models with an edgy look that can definitely get them far in the industry. My favorite has to be Lucia and I can't believe she said people ask her to lose weight. I thought there was some new trend in the industry of actually being healthy and not so waif? Anyway, I'm really rooting for her =)

5:22 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Angelica is a bit too honest and that's not the way real world works. She needs to shut up and pretend. She'll get a lot further in the model world this way and real world in general. She's the most well rounded of the bunch. Besides swimsuit, she can do all. Other girls can either do one, or two but not all. However, Angelica's mouth has become such a liability for her that I can see her not making terribly far in fashion industry. Too bad.

11:24 PM  

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