America's Next Top Model has been a runaway hit since its first episode aired in May 2003. There have now been eight successful seasons or "Cycles" of the show, and versions of the program have now appeared in countries across the globe. Of course, with success comes imitators, and this Friday, TLC will launch its own modeling reality show, A Model Life.
The program features several young models trying to land a modeling contract. It even also features a supermodel host/mentor, Petra Nemcova, famed Tsunami survivor. The show's creators concede the similar premise by taking care to highlight how it differs from America's Next Top Model, saying "without staged eliminations or contrived challenges." What, you may wonder, would be the fun in that?
Well, for hardcore fashion junkies, this show might just deliver all their favorite things about America's Next Top Model: the behind-the-scenes look at what goes into transform the genetic oddity that is a gangly model into the sheer perfection seen in fashion magazines. Just from a quick review of the pictures of the selected models on TLC's website, it's clear the young women selected are closer to the specific aesthetic currently popular in most major editorial spreads than the women featured on America's Next Top Model.
For young women considering modeling as a career, it might give a more accurate picture of what it's really life to try to make it in New York City as a model. All six modelettes have the potential to get a contract at the end of the show. There will be no competition between the girls, at least no more competition than there is between any one model and all the other young women vying for a career in the same industry. Ergo, no one's career ambitions will be dashed simply for "not wanting it enough" or not impressing the judges with her bubbly personality. Instead, these models will be evaluated by an agency against the normal criteria used.
However, will this be compelling enough to make for good television? If you want to find out, the show premieres tomorrow on TLC at 10/9pm.