You wanna be on top?

It seems just a few months ago that the lovely Saleisha took the crown as America’s ninth top Tyrabot, and yet, here we are again, with a whole new crop of young women stepping on each other’s faces to get to the top.

Except when they’re crying and hugging each other, yo.

Here’s my preliminary team. I’m a big fan of this season’s “big girl” Whitney, who, in my opinion, looks like a healthy, normal woman. And she’s adorable. And I’m rooting for her. I also like unpronounceable-name girl, and mostly I’m hoping that Tyra will actually get the pronunciation down before the finals. Finally, weirdo Claire is on my list because, well, I don’t know why. I think she’s going to do well, but she probably won’t cry much until she starts missing her kid.

I thought the stunt with bringing 14 girls into the house was a big set-up for the whole season. The “surprise elimination” from the first episode seemed totally staged to me. I think Tyra wanted to bust some chops off the bat to scare the other women into submission. She needed to throw some weight around, now that she has some.

And cheers to Paulina Porizkova joining the judging panel and, on day one, taking both the models and Nigel Barker to task. I was only slightly shocked to discover the actual length of the stick up Nigel’s butt—the one Caridee so smartly identified in Cycle 7. She’s a little bit Twiggy, a little bit Janice Dickinson. It’s going to be hott, y’all.

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