Review | Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model 8×01

ImageWhat does July mean to you? Flippy dresses? Cocktails? Maybe a relaxing holiday or two? Well, personally, July has always meant one thing and one thing only – drama, fashion and some really questionable hair choices. It could only be Next Top Model!

The show is back on our screens with a couple of changes to the original format. One of the criticisms of previous cycles was that the early selection process dragged on far too long – now, with cycle eight, the producers have decided to skip bootcamp and go straight to what is arguably the most entertaining aspect of the show – the final twenty girls, living and bickering and ‘modelling’ together.

Another shake-up is the shock departure of two of the judges. Previous hunk-in-residence Charlie Speed will be missed for both the valuable eye candy and level-headed advice he dished out. The show will be poorer without Grace Woodward’s sense of style, and her catty one-liners. Filling their places are male model Tyson Beckford and TV personality Witney Port. It’s somewhat jarring to have two such American presences on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model, but we’ll get used to it – Elle is, after all, a proud Australian. Both judges proved surprisingly good at their job, with Witney’s thoughtful critiques a delight at the girl’s first photoshoot. Tyson also proved ruthless and decisive when it came to a decision.

The girls themselves are, at this stage, very much girls and not models. There are some truly gorgeous faces and strong personalities we can’t wait to get to know better. The feisty Madeleine Taga is sure to prove a love-her-or-loathe-her character, and Anne Winterburn’s quirky looks might not be for everyone –  there are, though, some utterly divine faces among the final 17, and we can’t wait to see how they’ll develop.

Elle’s elimination this week seems fairly random, though that is only to be expected with only one episode to get to know the girls. With three girls down already – one departure due to the mysterious ‘emotional issues’ and the other to the pressures of motherhood – it’s sure to be a thrilling race to the final.

What do you think to the new girls? Who’s your favourite so far? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Alice Stamataki

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