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“America’s” Next Top Model premieres

We’ve become accustomed to America’s Next Top Model throwing curve balls our way with every season. But cycle 18 is in a field all of its own as Tyra Banks selected seven of the U.K.’s top models to compete again seven American girls. With this new twist, the competition is sure to be extra fierce!

Tyra Banks

Instead of the usual first episode that begins with a whole whack of girls getting brought in and then weaned down to 15 or so, this season, we jump right into it and are immediately introduced to the 14 finalists. The U.S. girls are a little surprised to hear that the Brits have previous experience — on Britain’s Next Top Model. But they quickly get their confidence back as they parade through the city to rousing applause.

The Brits are shocked as the American girls christen the house with a skinny dip on the very first night. But there isn’t much time to dwell on the culture shock as the ladies are quickly swept away to their first photo session. But this ain’t your average shoot. Instead of one photographer and one camera — the girls are surrounded by 60 cameras that capture them in 3D as they bounce on trampolines. As if all that isn’t enough pressure for their first shoot — one Brit and one American are paired up for each session and must portray competing historical figures.

The judging panel, too, has experienced a makeover as British star Kelly Osbourne and PR expert Kelly Cutrone join Tyra and Nigel. The judges might be new but they make it clear in the first episode that they mean business and are ready to get these girls to the skill level to which they aspire.

The Brits definitely don’t do as well as they hoped as the final five ladies are all from across the pond. The cute, scottish-accented Ashley is saved because of the light and exuberance she showed the judging panel, while the tough-shelled, dating expert, Jasmia is sent packing.

Tune in next week to see the girls pose with some of the Kardashians and find out if the Brits can even out the numbers or lose another one of their own!

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