The show starts with vignettes about what happened in the first two cycles while Tyra explains what it takes to be a model: there is drama (we see girls crying), beauty (we see beautiful shots), catfights and competition (we see Yoanna vs. Camille and Ebony vs. I-don’t-remember-who-did-not-do-chores-in-the-house), etc. Tyra announces “They’re baaaaack! And only one can be… America’s Next Top Model!” While Tyra is saying that last thing, we see footage of Yoanna on the runway… but none of Adrienne. Did they disown her somehow? Or do they want the spotlight only on the latest one? Come to think of it, there was not that much footage of Adrienne from Cycle 1… Actually, was there any?
This episode is kind of a casting special but we just don’t see the tapes or the castings that they might have done in certain cities. So, since we see only glimpses of certain girls, it will be hard for me to assign them their nicknames yet. It will have to wait until the next episode for most of them.
Anyway, we are in LA, the girls are arriving. A total of 34 girls are there. We see a few of them talking about why they want to become a model, why they should win, etc. They are also mentioning that they are looking up the competition and, boy, what a competition! They are all so pretty! Bla bla bla! Then, they are all in a room and super-makeup-dude (Jay Manuel) from Cycles 1 and 2 arrives to greet them. Shrieking sound, applause, woohoo! He tells the girls to enjoy the food, the pool, the hotel that evening and that the next day, the competition begins, and later in the week, there will be a cut.
It’s dinnertime. They seem to have a wonderful buffet. The girls eat, talk, mingle, and get to know each other. Super-evil-girl (you’ll see later plus her name is Eva, hence the “evil”) and super-athletic-girl (Ann) get along really REALLY well. Super-evil-girl even says that Ann is like a sister from another mother. We actually see the two toasting each other, saying, “Here’s to the top two girls!” Another girl, super-African-girl (again, you’ll see later; Yaya) said that she was just looking around, not really mingling because she preferred to be quietly by herself.
And then suddenly, appears Miss Tyra Banks! Lots of shrieking, applause, cheers; a few girls prostrate themselves on the ground in the “we’re not worthy” fashion. Tyra seems to like the reaction quite a bit (why not?). She asks the crowd if they are happy to be there. “YES!” was the response. Who is going to win? “Me!” came in a shrieking tone. Boy, that reminds me of high school! She then becomes slightly more serious and says that LA is her hometown and it was important for her to do the casting here. She continues by saying that she was lucky enough to be already in LA and, therefore, close to agencies but not all girls are so lucky. She switches topic by saying that, now, the fashion industry and the magazines are more focused around the “J Los, Jennifer Anistons” and that it was time that, as models, they reclaim their cover pages. Great cheer comes from the crowd. Tyra reiterates that there can be only ONE America’s Next Top Model and she is somewhere among them. And then she leaves.
After dinner, the girls head over to the pool area. Some girls are in the water, enjoying themselves. Others are around the pool, just watching and mingling. All are in bathing suits. Some of the girls who are in the water decide that everyone should be in the water and go to grab some bystanders and throw them in the water but they resist. The girls watching outside the pool thought that this was really rude and inconsiderate (well, it was!).