Top Model Takes On Supermodel
Tyson Beckford, Tyra Banks
It's a catwalk battle royale Wednesday night when both America's Next Top Model and Make Me a Supermodel unveil their new seasons. How do the similar shows compare? Check out our breakdown of each series as we size-up how their format, style and even their teeny-tiny waistlines — and be sure to weigh in one which you prefer.
Make Me a Supermodel: Season 2 (Wednesday 10 pm/ET, Bravo) kicks off with 16 new models competing for model supremacy while living together in New York City by competing in photo-shoot challenges and runway walk-offs.
Top Model: The 12th season (Wednesday 8 pm/ET, CW) begins in Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace with 34 wannabe models who are narrowed down to 13 who compete in photo shoots, fashion shows and other obscure challenges dreamt up by Tyra.
Supermodel: Tyson Beckford, a supermodel and actor who's often the pretty face hired to star in multiple music videos (like Britney's "Toxic") hosts, and Nicole Trunfio, a 22-year-old Australian supermodel, acts as mentor.
Top Model: Tyra Banks, a supermodel, talk show host, actress, singer, and producer — there's not much she doesn't do. Girlfriend needs to take a minute.
Supermodel: Designer Catherine Malandrino, London-based photographer Perou, model scout Marlon and model-turned-mechanic Jenny Shimizu (aka the lesbian CK model who hooked up with Madonna and Angelina Jolie)
Top Model: Tyra Banks, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, photographer Nigel Barker and runway expert Ms. J. Alexander. We still miss Janice Dickinson, who left the show in after Cycle 4, because was never afraid to throw her two (thousand) cents in.
Casa de models:
Supermodel: The guys and gals live in a modern Manhattan high-rise apartment decorated in shades of black, white and blue, with funky art and what appears to be potted grass. The panoramic view of the city is sick. Jea-lous!
Top Model: The girls invade Gossip Girl territory. They'll live in a townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side with a chic black-and-white color scheme and tons of stairs (like they need to lose any more weight). In a deliciously dirty move, there are only 12 beds for the 13 models. Plus, the place is plastered with ginormous pictures of the ever-modest Tyra.
Supermodel: The male and female contestants have modeling experience. They're looking to take their careers to the next level, hence the super in the show's title.
Top Model: The female contestants (mostly with zero experience) always have interesting back-stories. Last season there was a transgender contestant; this season, a burn victim.
Supermodel: The challenges are bizarre. In one, contestants are submerged in a tank of water while posing with an albino snake. Another involved full body paint to participate in a living art installation. A favorite challenge involves conveying sexual chemistry with your scene partner, regardless of gender.
Top Model: Tyra is a fan of conveying a message through her challenges. In one, each girl represented one of the Seven Deadly Sins or a different kind of natural disaster. Our favorite is when the gals posed in a freezing meat locker with slabs of cow. PETA, NOW and the contestants themselves were not amused.
Most Memorable Moment:
Top Model: Tyra yells at a contestant:
Supermodel: The "bromance" between straight Ben and gay Ronnie:
Supermodel: Um, no. A girl with the tiniest layer of posterior padding is told she has a "badonkadonk" butt. Muscular men are told to "deflate" their pecs. Sigh.
Top Model: While the show encourages young girls of any shape or size to try out, new host Nicole Trunfio remains realistic. "I don't think that being overweight is a good boundary to break," she says. Hopefully, the more impressionable girls are asleep by 10 pm.
Supermodel: $100,000 from Maybelline, a contract with New York Model Management, and a pictorial in Cosmopolitan
Top Model: $100,000 from CoverGirl, a contract with Elite Model Management, and a fashion spread and cover in Seventeen
Likelihood the Winner's Career Will Take Off:
Supermodel: Too soon to tell, though they're already working models
Top Model: Many of the past contestants are working, but none of them are keeping Gisele up at night worrying about security. Adrianne Curry married a Brady... on TV. Eva is acting. And a few of them even still model, most recently for Project Runway during Fashion Week.
Which will you watch?