At the CW upfront presentations today, Tyra Banks addressed the crowd in promotion of the all-star cycle of America's Next Top Model to air this fall, and promised that cycle 17 will mark the end of the show's existence as its most basis premise:
"We will never have another normal cycle of America's Next Top Model again," she said, perhaps the first person in history to apply the term "normal" to the show.
Banks did not elaborate, so I guess it's up to me to elaborate for her. Here's what I'm guessing she meant (and probably can't say in front of people she hopes will buy ad space on her show):
The lifespan of Top Model as simply Top Model has come and gone. As reality shows go, it's ancient. Sixteen seasons! That's a lot of seasons, and the show's attempts to make the competition more "high fashion" have not increased ratings or decreased fan feelings that the show hit its peak more than a few cycles ago. I mean, I still love it, obviously, but you can only watch so many episodes of crazy photo shoots and ridiculous runways before you feel like you've seen it all before.
So, since cancellation is clearly not an option, Tyra and her America's Next Top Model crew are opting for the "Why jump the shark when you can catapult over it?" method, and the series will become its own spin-off from now on, starting with All-Stars in the fall.
That could mean any number of things, and I suspect it probably will -- meaning that I bet they will milk a few more cycles out of the series by casting a variety of outlandish concepts one after the other. In my head, I can already envision an all plus-sized season, an older woman iteration, and maybe even (finally!) an all-male cast. Maybe she'll finally crown an Asian winner after an all Asian season of the show! It sounds like a stretch, but I'd watch 'em, wouldn't you?
That's my theory, anyway. What do you think of Tyra's comments? Are you sad we might never get back to America's Next Top Model in its purest form? What non-"normal" types of cycles would you like to see?
I'm kind of worried, but I know I shouldn't ever doubt Tyrawe Inspiring Banks. She's an intelligent, Harvard-educated woman who's smarter and more creative than any other TV producer in the business right now. No matter what I will watch religiously just to see Tyraffluent Banks continue to be fierce and flawless. However my first reaction to this was: