'America's Next Top Model' recap: The 15th Time's the Charm

tyra-banks-antm-15-320.jpgWell take a picture of us and hang it in your salon. This "America's Next Top Model" s*** is going legit. Gone are the days of Ann Shoket and her ghetto Seventeen cover shoot. This year, the girls are competing for a feature in Italian Vogue and a contract with IMG, along with the traditional Cover Girl contract. Thank you, Mr. Talley! Additionally, luminaries such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Roberto Cavalli, and Patrick Demarchelier will make cameos. We have to endure the story of Tyra's discovery (which is really just a convenient excuse for her to wear a schoolgirl uniform) before we get to the real action: bitches.

The semi-finalists head to Palm Springs for their panel interviews. There's one repeat contender -- Kacey, who failed to make Cycle 11. We remember her not at all. But apparently she raps. Other early standouts include 6'2" Addams extended family member Ann, who looks like she's taken a turn in the taffy puller; sweet mop-headed poverty-stricken near-albino Kayla; Miss Teen Minnesota and inspiration for the Hall and Oates song "Rich Girl" Vanessa, hippy dippy plant-inspired stoner Rhianna, 30G-boobed orthodox Jew Esther, semen-hater Kendal, and Tweedledum and Tweedledee doppelganger sisters Terra and Chris. The girls have been placed in broad categories such as "sexy," "brunette," and "quirky," and are told that they're competing with others like them. They are charged to stand out amongst the crowd in fashions by Miss Cynthia Rowley, who also makes a cameo.

Of course there is some drama. Lexie, with the help of some s***-stirring from Kacey, places herself in the midst of drama surrounding Jordan, the pretentious pop culture hater who may or may not want to really be there. And someone read West Virginia resident Emily's diary, in which she stated that she almost got a black roommate -- "Ew." Emily states that it's a big misunderstanding, even though the words "Black girl -- ew" are pretty unequivocal. No one addresses the fact that it's pretty crunk to read someone else's diary.

We lose Vanessa and Emily in the first cut, and they take it with a disappointing lack of histrionics. The rest of the girls get to attend a garden party photo shoot with Cynthia Rowley, who by the looks of it has gone mad. The models must pose in duos with their most direct competition. Cynthia pretends to be impressed. Tyra and the Jays talk it out and decide on the fourteen finalists: Annamaria, Kendal, Rhianna, Chris, Jane, Chelsey, Liz, Sara, Lexie, Esther, Kacey, Kayla, Ann and Terra. Let the competition begin!

Photo credit: The CW