‘America’s Next Top Model’: Now with extra preaching!

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Is Tyra warming up her political chops for Barack Obama’s appearance on her talk show Oct. 1? Because Wednesday night’s ‘Top Model’ took on one issue after another -- from the environment to smoking to people with disabilities to, shudder, shopping at discount stores. I mean, my God, has the woman no shame?

The models will be carted around in a biodiesel limo bus this year, which is seemingly an invitation for jokes about the vehicle running on more food than the girls. (Not that you’ll read a joke like that here, oh no.)

And perhaps in an attempt to make up for the pack-a-day habits of the women last cycle, the first photo shoot is a glam-gone-wrong shot of the women smoking. In one photo, they look like young, albeit nicotine-addled beauties; in the other, they were made up to show the ravages of smoking: lung cancer, aging, tumors. Tyra proclaimed it a no-smoking cycle, which will probably have smoker Jenah climbing the curtains within hours.


The leitmotif was the women in the house coming to terms with Heather’s awkwardness; she has Asperger’s syndrome and has been put in the position of continually having to explain that her social skills aren’t quite wired like everyone else. Some girls took her condition in stead; others think that ignoring Heather is the best way to go, because she might get ‘clingy.’ As if there aren’t enough shows about high school on TV.

In the end, Mila was the one to be eliminated -- laughing at the way she looked when made up as a chemo patient with hair loss was pretty much the beginning and the end of her ‘Top Model’ career. (She actually compared her appearance to Bozo the clown. Good riddance, eh?)

And while we’re speaking of preaching, one of the judges may have dropped a big hint in the media as to who wins this cycle. While this spoiler doesn’t give a name, it does give a big hint as to a character trait to watch for in future episodes. Click here if you want to know.

-- Ann Donahue