NY Times Review
TV REVIEW | 'SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S SWIMSUIT MODEL SEARCH'
The Audience's Vote Counts on Swimsuit Reality Show
By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN
Published: January 5, 2005
In her sad, mild voice, Cheryl Tiegs greets the contestants on "Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Model Search" tonight on NBC, setting the tone for a sad, mild hour.
This is one of those reality shows in which viewers - known in the press materials as "America" - vote on the winner. (The prize is a layout in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and a contract with Next, a modeling agency.) With the notable exception of "American Idol," shows that use this system, which has a reputation for being rigged, often hurt their credibility.
Shows should stick with the draconian-panel-of-experts format, especially when it comes to beauty. America, after all, might just vote for whoever catches its untrained eye. It's much better for the authority and drama of a show to leave it to fashion photographers and grandes dames like Tyra Banks to hand down judgments on the modelly arts. Otherwise, we might just think being a model has something to do with being pretty, which you can tell at a glance, and which you don't need a reality show to determine.
Tonight we get the requisite lesson about how grueling modeling is. We hear a discussion among the contestants about the price of breast implants. We see girls not eating. We witness heartfelt confessionals in which girls talk about how much they want to win. (Krisi, 23: "Anybody who knows me, they know how bad I want it. How bad I've worked for it in my life. Please forgive me. Don't laugh at me.")
And we ogle girls, girls, girls. The contestants' first task is to walk a long catwalk in bikinis, while a panel of people from the modeling business - including an especially vulgar lecher named Joel Wilkenfeld, who runs Next - mutter about their strengths and weaknesses. ("Miles of legs" is a typical comment, and "She has love handles.")
Finally, the girls get up in front of the judges and several are cut. (The series has only six episodes, so the cuts are dramatic.) On tonight's episode, it's fair to say that - no matter what you think about reality television, modeling, bikinis, expertise, exhibitionism, vulgarity or even girls - you will not care in the least about who gets cut and who does not.
'Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Model Search'
NBC, tonight at 8, Eastern and Pacific times; 7, Central time
Gavin Polone, Patty Ivins, Julie Pizzi, Terry McDonell and Roy S. Johnson, executive producers; Jessica Borsiczky, producer; Jonathan K. Frank, co-producer; Roshumba Williams, Joel Wilkenfeld and Jule Campbell, judges. Produced by Pariah, PB&J Television and Sports Illustrated.
Thoughts? I haven't seen the show, but it sounds like it lacks the human and outré fashion elements that make Top Model so much fun.
I completely agree with this review -- I am a huge fan of Top Model, but this was just a skeezy show with a smurky judge who said to one of the girls during judging "You have a fat, saggy ass". Classy!
Like the above review said, I could've cared less who stayed and who went.
I think with a few eps under their belt it'll be great. I like how they were already supposed to know how to walk, and be a model.
As far as cruddy remarks ... Janice Dickinson.
Good point about Janice Dickenson. But at the same time, it seemed like this guy was sooo unprofessional (Janice is a fellow model, not the winner's eventual boss like the judge last night). I dont know, he was just so....icky!
Perhaps of some relevance:
Swimsuit Issue Offer: Invitation to Opt Out
By RICHARD SANDOMIR
Published: January 19, 2005
There are, it seems, subscribers who dislike Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.
They do not want to see it and they certainly do not want it sent to them.
They view the sensuous lounging of supermodels in expensive bikinis as alien to the mission of a weekly sports magazine.
The anti-swimsuit-issue backlash never developed into a mass movement of anti-bikinists burning the special winter edition in protest. But there have been letters, more in the past than now, saying that the pictorials objectify women.
And occasionally, there have been demonstrations outside the magazine's office building in Manhattan. But now the magazine is inviting subscribers to say "no thanks" to Veronica Varekova, Carolyn Murphy and other models, including the one who will be the winner of a new reality show, NBC's "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search."
The headline on a small box in two recent issues read "If You Don't Want the Swimsuit Issue." The notice provided a phone number (1-866-228-1175) for subscribers to request that the issue not be mailed to them. Those who make the request will have their subscriptions extended by one issue.
Terry McDonell, the managing editor of Sports Illustrated, said: "It's my third swimsuit issue and I wanted to flag this, because I think it's a good policy. I was thinking that if a family doesn't want this coming into their house, with six boys between the ages of 7 and 11, we should show them that it's our responsibility."
The policy for the swimsuit issue has been quietly in effect for decades. McDonell said the decision to make the offer explicit for the 42nd annual issue was not a reaction to a more conservative climate.
"That's the last message I'd want to send," he said. "This is about good manners."
Art Berke, a spokesman for the magazine, said, "Over time, the indications were that people didn't realize there was this policy, so we felt it was important to do it."
For most of the issue's history, which dates to 1964, the swimsuit layouts were featured prominently within regular issues of Sports Illustrated. The first stand-alone swimsuit edition was published in 1989 and became a permanent annual event in 1997.
The invitation to swap models in string bikinis for an extra issue of bats, rackets, Steve Rushin and Rick Reilly has clearly emboldened the magazine's readers. So far, 25,829 paid subscribers, out of Sports Illustrated's total of 3.2 million, or 0.8 percent, have asked not to receive the swimsuit issue.
Last year, when the policy was not spelled out on the magazine's letters page, 21,065 subscribers chose not to receive the special edition, which sold 1.56 million issues on newsstands.
Subscribers receive the swimsuit issue free; newsstand buyers pay $5.99. Subscribers still have time to say no to bikinis and one-piece swimsuits: McDonell plans one more notification before the issue reaches newsstands Feb. 15.
This cracks me up. I only get SI once a year and that's for the swimsuit issue...and I'm a woman. : rofl Is the woman with three boys at home going to keep them from going to the beach where scantily clad woman of all sizes and ages are prancing about? I think she's sending the wrong message to her kids. :ohno
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.