I Can't Believe I'm Admitting This But...

...I like watching [sigh] America's Next Top Model. I suppose I could blame it on the woman sitting next to me on the couch, but that wouldn't be terribly fair. At first, I figured I would just watch this drivel to placate Ashley's unrelenting requests. Relationships are about compromises, and this would give me some pre-marital, street-cred worth at least, two video rentals and a back rub. A small price to pay considering I intended on acting interested, while in truth, I figure the show could serve as white noise as I solved complex math, or invented the perfect meatloaf recipe inside my head. Five minutes into the first episode and before I could figure out x was proportional to something else, I was fully hooked. There were beautiful girls; edgy fashions; tragedy; and drama, which also, meant there was an unlimited source of humor bore from the skinny, insecure loins of 19 year-old attention whores.

Despite already offering me more than I could've ever hoped for in quality, reality programing, America's Next Top Model showcased the biggest egomaniac since Lucifer took on God in "Eternity Idol." Of course I'm referring to the show's host, creator, executive producer, panel judge, promoter, photographer, artistic inspiration, mentor, therapist, gynecologist, and official Rabbi - Ms. Tyra Banks.

The level of intensity with which I watched each show only increased with every weekly elimination, much to Ashley's delight; and she vowed to teach me in the ways of "the force" so I too could fight the evils of stilted poses, and runway disasters as an Armchair Knight of the Supermodel Judging Council. To prepare me, Ashley managed to tape every episode, of every season on DVR, forcing me to watch each one while simultaneously doing a hand-stand and balancing her on my feet as she ate Hagen Daz. At first, I tried to maintain some masculine dignity by whining about her unorthodox methods, but the minute she would leave to run errands, I'd cram in as many episodes as possible. With this sort of discipline it wasn't long before I could accurately point out that Misty lacked the ability to evoke high-fashion in her photo shoot because she failed to turn her chin enough to capture the light, or that in the runway challenge, Audry moved too fast, took too short of steps and failed to smile with her eyes when facing the crowd. It was brutal, but I earned my promotion from Padiwan Learner to Armchair Knight when I correctly predicted the bubbly hopeful that would be hugging her back-stabbing girlfriends and making the tearful This-Changed-My-Life speech before returning to their job at WalMart in Butte, Montana.

I'll admit that it's rewarding to have earned the respect of a Master like Ashley, but there's still an underlying disturbance in the force that I feel every time Tyra rejects yet another shocked contestant, banishing them to a future of failed therapy over their feelings of celebrity-endorsed inadequacy, announced in prime-time before several million viewers. I have grown to both detest and pity Tyra for the liberties she takes in never letting you forget that Tyra is the sole reason prompting creation, evolution and the big bang. If there's a way to mention her name, display her likeness or showcase her body, then her will be done. Tyra's entire essence is ubiquitous. The model's living spaces are so decorated with everything Tyra, you start to wonder if she went so far as to autograph every stick and brick used to construct the actual building itself.

It's possible I'm embellishing somewhat to make my point, but it's undeniable the way her name is thrown around in the same fashion that McDonalds utilizes "Mc" (Tyra-Mail, Tyra-gram, Tyra-pose), or that the Smurfs use "Smurf" (Tyra thinks she can pull a Tyra with that kind of Tyra-tude? Oh Tyra, she didn't, Tyrafriend!). As disturbing as it is that the name Tyra can be used as an acceptable substitute for every part of speech (except an article), it's infinitely more unsettling to learn that the show's theme song from Season 5 contains the eery discovery of a back-masked message screeching, "Tyra is Santa Clause... Tyra is Santa Clause" over and over. With the world that she has created for herself, it won't be surprising to hear that as part of next season's European visit, Tyra has requested the entire nation of France to wear pink T-shirts with her likeness on the front and the declaration, "Frogs Heart Tyra!" displayed on the back.

I suppose this is a little harsh, even though it's not far from the truth. It took me a while to determine the origins of my uncharacteristic tirade over such a superficial reality show, but after several minutes of trance-meditation I realized that the true message of America's Next Top Model is a cry for world peace. It's a real and lasting form of peace achieved through the elimination of trouble-makers, non-conformists and the ugly until one beautiful person remains to rule over the rest. Unfortunately, this quest has gone awry as Tyra has transformed herself into the George W Bush of reality television hosts, justifying her self-serving actions to wage war on anyone prettier than her, smarter than her, and more secure than her.

I've seen it from her before in past seasons, but in this week's episode, Tyra was the most Tyra I've ever seen, as she blew off model-contender Katarzyna Dolinska, who corrected Tyra for repeatedly mispronouncing Katarzyna's name week after week (even the panel of judges regularly correct Tyra for this). Master Ashley couldn't believe how rude a gesture it was on Tyra's part and was compelled to re-run the scene several times, her disgust growing with each play-back (video forthcoming upon release). Ironically, the week before, Tyra chided this very Katarzyna for lacking assertiveness and holding back, but then the minute she stands up for herself - BAM! Tyra spank. Did I mention that Katarzyna is a college grad, is spoken well of by the other judges, and possesses a level of maturity and emotional security far beyond the remaining competitors? These three factors form the perfect "Axis of Evil," giving Tyra the proof she needs to carry out the "Mother of all Tyras" by employing the Tyras of Mass Destruction. Fight on Katarzyna! We are with you, and bless ANTM patriots like, Joel McHale of The Soup and Perez Hilton for bringing the tyrannical actions of Tyra Banks to the forefront of this country's moral conscious. God Bless America's....Next Top Model!!!

Tyra on The Soup... or The Soup on Tyra...which ever

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