On Wednesday, September 3, new episodes of America's Next Top Model return to the CW with a two-hour premiere. It will undoubtedly be as joyous as the hippie vibes La Banks exudes in the absolutely stupendous ad for the new season at left. How could it not be when Tyra's the queen of cooking up fierceness with a side of camp? Oh, plus the CW has revealed the fourteen finalists of the new season. And for the eleventh time they sound stellar.
Eight of the fourteen finalists are 19 years old, the perfect age for not getting along with other girls you're forced to live with, especially with no media to entertain you. The oldest contestant, Joslyn, is only 23. Tyra's even throwing two Europeans into the bunch. Elina, 19, hails from the Ukraine and needs to win because she really needs a job. Why bother with annoying résumés when there's the ANTM safety net? Also 19, Marjorie hails from Marseille and is currently a student in San Francisco.
But we're most intrigued by the 21-year-old Sheena, a Hawaiian hostess and go-go dancer who currently lives in Harlem. We expect Tyra to find a way to analyze how being a go-go dancer intersects with her womanly values and self-esteem, all the while encouraging her to switch on her go-go fierceness in front of the camera to propel her modeling career (none of the other contestants have that going for them after all). We can't wait.
Update: Us Weekly reports one of the cast members is transgender. Now how's that for all-inclusive? Isis is a 22-year-old former receptionist who tells the magazine she identifies as female but was born male. GLAAD is beside itself: Its president, Neil Giuliano, called Isis's casting "unprecedented. He adds, "We applaud Tyra Banks and the CW for making this historic visibility of transgender people possible."
This ought to make the bikini-wax episode more interesting.
EXCLUSIVE: Transgender Contestant to Compete on Top Model [Us Weekly via Gawker]