“America’s Next Top Model” mini-cap: Starting short

America’s Next Top Model is back ya’all! I’m so pumped for Mr. Jay, Ms. J, Nigel and whoever else they’ve got coming to sit in as guest judge. For those of you wondering what happened to Paulina Porizkova, she got the ax on her birthday in true Tyra fashion. Ice cold. Mmhmm, Tyra girl is back for another season of self-aggrandizing, putting girls in their place and teaching the world to smile with their eyes.

This season, there’s a twist — oh how I love twists! The aspiring models in this cycle are all 5’7” and under. As Tyra’s voice-over tells us, “Fierce has many faces, and sizes.” Preach! As a woman who just barely hit the 5 feet mark, I appreciate what she’s doing for my people.

The petite ladies were ushered into a building and greeted by a man dressed in pink and gay as the day is long. Once inside, they were escorted into what appears to be a hotel room that will later be used for Mabel and Irv’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. The girls started to do what any normal reality show contestants would do — dance! That’s right, as soon as you get on camera, bump and grind my friends.

As is the norm for all cycle openings, there was a long drawn out, highly staged set up for Tyra to come out and let all of the smallish models squeal in delight to be in the presence of such grace and beauty. After breaking into a half French, half Miss Cleo accent, Tyra sent the contestants over to the Jays for catwalking and measuring. It was at this point I thought I had picked the gay out of the crowd. My girl Raven with the faux-hawk was too cute to be straight.

The weirdest of the girls chosen to compete, was Amber, who told us she is there “for Jesus Christ” and was also the first to cry. For some reason she yelled whenever she spoke. Don’t worry honey, Jesus can hear you even if you whisper, that’s why he’s Jesus.

One of the other cuties, Courtney, reminds me of Kim Stolz. She’s got an athletic build, shorter hair and unfortunately was on crutches due to breaking her ankle at a cheerleading tournament.

The girls finished the catwalk teaching and gathered to talk about being short because that’s what us short girls do when no one else is looking.

Finally the girls had some one on one time with the judges, allowing the panel to get some insight into their backgrounds. There were a few bad relationship stories, a few geeks and weirdos, a foster child, a sheep castrator and a cow castrator , a girl from New Orleans who poops in gas stations because she doesn’t have her own toilet (so hot right now) and — oh yes, thank goodness there’s a gayelle. Lulu is the gal pal I’ll be cheering on. I totally thought it would be Raven, but nope, it’s Lulu with her girlfriend’s name tattooed on her neck. If she were smart, she would’ve gotten Tyra’s name on there.

As the girls are waiting in the other room, they decide to have a dance-off. Amber is the next Heidi Montag, you heard it here first. During her time with the judges, she spoke about spending time with the homeless and dancing and rapping for them. When Tyra asked to see what kind of dancing she does, she broke into an all-out booty shaking shimmy. I’m not sure if I think this helps the homeless or makes them feel better about themselves.

Later, the Jays take the girls to another room to see if they’ve made it on to the next portion of the eliminations. Raven was cut along with the only other really alternative looking chick (insert sad face here).

The final 14 are chosen and the girls we’ll be watching for the next twelve or so weeks (and then reruns on Vh1) are Jennifer, Erin, Rachel, Kara, Lulu (oh hell yeah), Rae, Ashley, Britney, Bianca, Courtney, Nicole, Amber who shouted, “Thank you Jesus Christ, I LOVE YOU!”, Laura and Sundai. Sundai is the girl who has been in foster homes, so obviously Tyra had to go and say, “I know you’ve been through so much haven’t you. Foster homes and orphanages. But I saw something special in you, and I picked you.” Oh Tyra, you are so wonderful, you picked the world!

On the second part of this very special ANTM casting show, we found out that Amber ended up having “personality conflicts” and was no longer in the running to be America’s Next Top Petite Model. Personality conflict, I’m so sure. Homegirl was a nut job and probably would’ve stolen the thunder from Tyra so they sent her packing. Instead of having an empty spot, they brought back Lisa — who all the girls think is bland and not competition.

Each of the girls got their makeovers and for the most part, they were pretty good. The only issue I had is there were multiple girls getting their eyebrows bleached. Bianca was not feelin’ it but it really wasn’t that dramatic of a change.

After the makeovers, the girls were taken to their new maxi pad. It’s gigantic like something you’d see on The Real World: Carnie Edition. They got settled, and you can already tell people have a problem with Bianca for being too brash and Nicole for being too quiet, anti-social and weird.

So far, Courtney is my favorite because she is sweet and um, hot, like super hot. Lulu is my second fave — you can tell those two are liked in the house.

For their first real photo shoot, the models were asked to pose in a way that connects with an old baby picture of theirs. Luckily, it wasn’t as creepy as it sounds — they weren’t asked to wear diapers or put a bottle in their mouths.

Finally, it was time for the first elimination. Model Chanel Iman was the guest celebrity judge, and ooh she is hot like fire!

The reviews definitely had their highs and lows. Some favorites were Lulu (Chanel said she’s rooting for our girl!), Rachel, Rae, Ashley and Nicole. The lamest of the pictures belonged to Sundai, Courtney, Rachel and Lisa.

The best photo of the week belonged to Rae who had to stand in 8-inch ballerina toe point heels for her picture. The bottom two competitors were Bianca and Lisa — no surprise there. The first model to be knocked off of her small horse was Lisa. Bianca better bring it hard next week.

What did you think of the season opener? Have you picked your pony for who will take it all?