America's Next Top Model, Cycle Two
Sixteen tall, slender beauties are ushered into a large, darkly lit room. Some walk with a clear air of confidence, while others are shy, eyes flittering around the room nervously. They make their way in single-file onto a large podium, after which the sound of a siren resonates through the area. A dark figure appears at the other end of the room, behind a desk. Some of the girls squeal, some cover their mouths in anticipation. One bites her nails.
The lights flicker on to reveal the show's host, supermodel Lyra Hanks.
“We're back, bitches!” Lyra shouts, grinning as the girls begin to lose their s***. “Welcome to the semifinals of America's Next Top Model, Cycle Two!
It's been a long time coming, and I couldn't be more excited! I scoured the country and found sixteen amazing girls who I think have what it takes to be the next big thing – the next Roxy; the next Skye.”
A few of the girls start to cry, and Lyra chuckles. “During this semifinal you ladies will face your very first judging panel, which like last cycle, will take the form of a model casting session. You will each do a runway walk towards my desk, after which you will - in the clothes you're wearing - take your very first photo of the competition. You will then state your name, age and location, after which you will be asked a few questions by myself, which I will use to determine who has the most reality televi-- uh, er… model potential. Are you all ready?"
"Hell yeah!" A statuesque black girl fist-pumps the air.
"Fantastic! I expect each of you to bring your a-game and show me your potencial, because things aren't going to be as easy as last cycle - four of you will be sent home by the end of this."
There are a fair few gasps and a high-pitched, nervous laugh. One of the girls is already crying.
"First up," Lyra prowls as she takes a seat at her desk, flicking through a bunch of papers at her side. After a moment, she thrusts her finger toward one of the girls, eyes narrowing. "You."
The competition begins.
The first girl to enter the judging room walks with very casual posture. Slinking in front of the camera, her friendly smile turns into a pout as the camera flashes. After taking her photo, she turns to face Lyra’s bench, hands in the back-pockets of her jeans.
Kristy Caldwell, Twenty, North Carolina.
Lyra: Oh, honey child, your eyes are just to die for! I am obsessed with them. They're so high-fashion and alienesque and bizarre, they really offset the rest of your features, which are... if I'm honest, kind of generic.
Kristy: Um. Thanks! I really like my eyes too, I think. They make me special.
Lyra: Yes they do! I think with some minor tweakage you could very well become a model. With that haircut and those clothes, though, you're looking a little... I don't know. Motherly?
Kristy: Funny you should mention that...
Lyra: Oh? You have a child?
Kristy: Mm. Two, actually! It's a little funny how it happened, really. My husband and I married quite young, and no kidding, the first time we um. you know. did it. We were given twins. Twins!
Lyra: That is insane, girl! Do you think you'll be able to cope in this competition without them? It's a mighty tough journey.
Kristy: You know... I've spent the past year and a half of my life thinking of nothing but my children. They're my everything, and it will be hard, but... I'm ready to focus on me for a change. I'm ready for this competition.
Lyra: Thanks, girl.
Annie Hannigan, Eighteen, Minnesota.
Lyra: Oh! Androgyny! I like.
Annie: Heh. Thanks, dude. I grew up with seven older brothers, and I guess it kinda' affected me, growing up? I'm not really into anything girly; I'm definitely what you'd describe as a tomboy.
Lyra: Interesting... So why did you decide to join this competition?
Annie: Weeeelll, I didn't really decide at all, you know? I've never considered myself beautiful or pretty or gorgeous like the other girls from my hometown, but uh. while I was working - I work as a personal trainer - I was kind of scouted? It took me by surprise, I'll tell you that much.
Lyra: Well I've gotta' say, Annie, I'm really glad you decided to take the plunge. Fashion and modelling aren't always about what's ~lovely and pretty~ and I think you represent a kind of girl we haven't seen before. I'm in love with your skin, and your freckles.
Annie: Oh, thanks!
Lola Cameron, Seventeen, California.
Lola: My name is, like, Lola. I'm a quarter Pakistani, a quarter African-American, and half white. I really want to be, like, the modeling version of a popstar.
Lyra: You have a very prettty face, Lola, but from this sh-
Lola: A popmodel! I want to be a popmodel.
Lyra: ... Riiiight. Well, as I was trying to say, I think you're gorgeous but I'm not sure I'm seeing much potential outside of 'pretty girl'. You look a little short, too - how tall are you?
Lola: I'm, like, not sure. I'm definitely taller than my dance teacher! He's an old man.
Lyra: Mmhm. You're a dancer, are you? That's a little more interesting.
Lola: Oh, totally! My motto in life is to, like, surround myself in total, total fabulosity. I love pretty things - I'm a girly girl at heart, and, like, dancing kind of fits into that. I really think my background will help me in modelling, because I'm a lot more flexible than these other girls. I can pose like no-one else and I have, like, great personal style.
Lyra: Mm. I'm still not sold, Lola, but you're definitely one I'll be keeping an eye on. Thank you.
Betty Braunstein, Twenty, California.
Lyra: Um, what is going on here? Am I seeing things correctly?
The model laughs, placing a hand on her hip.
Betty: You are, yes! I was born with quite a rare condition that makes the pigment in my skin ever so non-existent. It's bizarre, I know that, but I actually love it about myself; there's no one else quite like Betty Braunstein, and in an industry like this, that's important.
Lyra: What... What a well spoken and eloquent response. I think I may like you, strangely! It says here in your form that you're actually the great grandaughter of a famous hollywood actress?
Betty: Yes! My family history extends to the golden period of Hollywood, and I think that's yet another thing that makes me quite unique. I've taken acting lessons from a young age and, at the moment, work as a cabaret performer. I crave a life of stardom, and I truly feel like America's Next Top Model is the forum to do so.
Lyra: Well, you're definitely one of the most interesting girls we've ever had on the show. If you make it through it'll be interesting to see how you adapt.
Betty: I sincerely hope I make it. I'm prepared to show the world what I can do.
(Cast will be updated in fours. Stay tuned!)
omg Kristy too
BETTY is <3
Kristy is gorgeous c;
Annie so Androgyny
and Lola is so lOl!
BETTY! I can't wait for more updates
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YES OMG SHAKING AND CRYING
Kristy & Betty
I thought ModeL 101 had competition with Beautiful's Next Top Model, and now THIS!
Just kidding! This is fantastic! Love all the girls.
As Above, So Bello
You mean Marina?
Originally Posted by RnRModel1
Betty struts back to the platform elegantly, a new girl taking her place in front of Lyra.
Soo-Yeong Jung, Sixteen, Michigan.
Lyra: Ooh girl, you are stunning! Stunning. You have a face very reminiscent of Zalika Karuyon; I think there's a lot of natural potencial here, in both the way you dress and the way your face is composed. You just need to learn to master it.
Soo-Yeong smiles for a moment, then breaks down and cries, holding her head in her hands.
Soo-Yeong: Thank you so much! It means a lot to hear that, it really does.
Lyra: Aw, babe! What's the matter? You're the most naturally gorgeous girl I've seen today, there's no need to be insecure.
Soo-Yeong: I don't know... I was raised in Korea by my mother and, um, father, who is black. I used to get picked on a lot for my skin colour; told I was different or a freak. That my mother had been raped, or tainted. It got so bad that we actually made the decision to move to America, which is why I'm here now. I've never, ever, considered my weird-ass features to be something that people could call beautiful.
Lyra: That is the saddest thing I've ever heard! Your skin is, not lying, your very best feature, Soo-Yeong. I really want to use this show to help expand society's definition of pretty, so that young girls don't have to go through what you did. Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
Soo-Yeong: Th-that's okay. I'm really happy to be here, honest.
Angel Brown, Twenty-Two, Nevada.
Lyra: More pretty eyes! You have a very interesting face, Angel.
Angel: Thank you so much. I desperately want to model; want this. This competition is my last chance.
Lyra: So it seems. It says here in your profile that the eyes aren't the only interesting thing about you. Mind telling me your story?
Angel's eyes sparkle, and she begins to drool a little.
Angel: I've been trying to break into the industry for yeears and years; since I was nineteen. I want this so badly, you have no idea, but people just don't take you seriously when you've, well... When you've got a banja and penis.
Lyra: Ooookayy. Well, as Aphrodite proved last season, that's nothing to keep you from performing strongly in this competition. Do you plan to get it removed in the future?
Angel: Considering. My boyfriend, Derrick, he's this beautiful, gorgeous black man... He's really helped me get my life on track, and he says he wants me to keep it, so I don't know. It's not really a priority at this point.
Lyra: Fair enough, I suppose. You'vve got an interesting look, Angel, but there are a few things holding you back. Thank you for your time.
Nadia Bruno, Eighteen, New York.
Lyra: Heyy! Welcome back, girl! I did not expect to see you walk back through these doors.
Nadia smiles, tilting her head to the side.
Nadia: It's awesome to be back! After leaving the competition last year, I quickly accepted a scholarship for my soccer and was whisked off to Spain, where I spent the year training and playing. It was an amazing experience - perfect, even, and it really gave me a new lease on life. I'm a different person to last time.
Lyra: I can see that! Look at that gooorgeous skin! Spain did you a whole lot of good, girl; you've grown taller the past year, and grown out of that baby face of yours. When I heard you'd be reauditioning I was a little concerned, but seeing you here now, with all this newfound potential... Lyra like, girl. Lyra like a lot.
Nadia: Thank you! I still don't know, like, much about fashion, but I'm really interested in learning and giving it my all.
Lyra: Thank you, darling.
Blerta Aliu, Nineteen, California.
Lyra: Ooh, girl. That is one powerful face you got hiding beneath all that hair.
Blerta: Oh, gee, thanks!
Lyra: No, seriously; you don't strike me immediately as gorgeous, but I do think the potential is there. Everything is screaming high-fashion to me, at the moment.
Blerta: I've never thought of myself as that.
Lyra: Interesting. Tell me what bought you to this competition, then?
Blerta: I was watching last cycle on our home-theatre, and I saw all the glamour and the pretty, expensive clothes, and I thought to myself 'I want to be on this show.' So I went to my Daddy and I told him, 'Daddy, I want to be on America's Next Top Model', and he told me he'd do anything for his princess, and here I am!
Lyra: Giiiirl. Let me tell you right now that you made the cast not for your connections, but for that face and that face only. I can't wait to strip you down and make a model out of you. Thank you for your time.
Blerta: Thank you, Lyra!!
Blerta does a twirl, then takes her place back next to the girls. The next model kind of floats up to the desk quite dreamily, as if other-worldly.
Titania Verona, Seventeen, Kansas.
Lyra: Girl! You kind of remind me of Pania, but less... I don't know, accessible? You're so alienesque! Look at those eyes; that squashed head!
Titania smiles, looking off to the side.
Titania: W-why thank you.
Lyra: No worries, girl. I love your outfit, too, but - and I'm going to say this in the nicest way possible - I think that if you make the cast, you're going to need to work on that confidence of yours. You have a very bizarre look and you need to own it, otherwise these other girls? They'll leave you behind. You look scared as anything in this photo.
Titania: I-I'm sorry, I'm just not very good with people... I was home-schooled, and I've never really had any friends other than, say, one or two people... or the animals on my parents' farm. Coming to this competition is a big step for me.
Lyra: Mm. I can see that, but girl... There's no need to be shy. Honestly. You are gorgeous, and sweet, and I kind of want to eat you, you know? What made you decide to try out for America's Next Top Model?
Titania: I don't know... My mother suggested it to me. Said it would be good for building up social skills; confidence... I mean, I guess so...
Lyra: Mm. Interesting. Thank you, honey.
Kinuka Asano, Eighteen, Washington.
Kinuka: Konnichiwa, bitches! My name is Kinuka, I'm Japanese, and it has been my dream to become a model since I was, I don't know. Six.
Lyra: Well you certainly make a good first impression! I LOVE you outfit, love your look; this competition is in need of some fierce asians, and you've got that in spades. You're the first girl I've seen today that I cannot fault one bit.
Kinuka flashes a smile, placing a hand on her hip.
Kinuka: Thank you. Seriously. I mean, I entered this competition because modeling is my top priority, you know? I look at these other girls and I think, god, what is up with some of them? Like, really? You're entering a modelling competition looking like that? With a s*** walk and no sense of style? Good luck to you, I guess. I'ma stand over here and do my own thing. And win.
Lyra: You... You have confidence to spare, that's for sure. Do you ever worry about the things that come out of you mouth?
Kinuka: Never. I have strong opinions and I'm not afraid to let them show. I believe in honesty above all else; it's how I roll. Call me a bitch, and you're probably right, but I don't see that as a bad thing. Not at all.
Lyra: Giiirl, keep delivering shots like this and you can be a bitch all you god-damn want, I don't mind.
Kinuka: Thank you. I will.
Amber White, Nineteen, Tennessee.
Lyra: Our plussie! You have a gorgeous body, girl.
Amber: Oh, y'all are so sweet for thinkin' that! I love my body, too. It's funny, because where I grew up, being large and proud is, like, the norm. So when I open up a magazine and see all them skinny bitches out there on the pages, I think, who does that apply to? Who can relate to this? Not me or my friends, I'll tell y'all that much.
Lyra: You pose an interesting point. It's refreshing, to be honest. I am in love with your outfit, with your southern-fried hospitality and especially with your face. You have one of those amazing faces that can be both commercial and high-fashion.
Amber: Damn right I do! God bless my daddy for those beautiful blue eyes o' his. I want to be a model so badly, y'all have no idea. My sisters are all beauty pageant queens, and that's cool y'all, it is, but like... I want high-fashion. I want weird and avan... Avon? Avo-
Lyra: Avant-garde, and totally. I really think you might be able to pull it off.
Amber: Thank y'all so much.
Sophia Lee, Nineteen, Pennsylvania.
Lyra: Always nice to see some more biracial butterflies. Where you from, girl?
Sophia: My father is from Taiwan, while my mother is Russian. It's a really unique combination and I feel blessed, to be perfectly honest.
Lyra: Oh, for sure. From what I can see - which to be honest, with those glasses and all that hair, is not much - the girl standing before me has potential in tenfold.
Sophia nods, face remaining stern.
Lyra: Tell me though, what made you decide to come to semi-finals in this outfit though? I cannot see a reason for going anywhere in clothing like that.
Sophia: I don't know, these clothes are what I generally wear on a day-to-day basis. I work in computer repairs so I can't go around looking ~pretty~ and ~fashionable~. I have to be practical. Smart.
Lyra: Fair enough. I still think you can do that without looking like a middle-aged man, but what do I know?
Sophia: Your attempt at humour has been noted.
Lyra: ... Thank you, Sophia.
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Kristy, Betty, Soo-Yeong, Nadia, Blerta, Titania, Kinuka & Sophia
BOW THE **** DOWN TO ANGEL