Mandi Bierly
January 03, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EST

Bravo’s new reality show, Make Me a Supermodel, premieres Jan. 10 at 10 p.m., but last night’s casting special revealed the seven men and seven women whose fates we, the people, will control each week. Since our votes will determine who leaves the catwalk and who’ll score the $100,000 and modeling contract, it’s time for a PopWatch Pulse Check: Who are your early favorites?

MEN: The guys definitely had more interesting backstories than the gals, right? I’m torn between Atlanta’s Casey Skinner (pictured, left) 19, an even-hotter Taylor Hanson, and Nashville’s Ben DiChiara (right), 22, a cross between Scott Wolf and Wentworth Miller. Casey wooed me with his sense of mystery — did he read Vogue while living out of his guitar case in an alley? — and his considerable sound bite potential: “We don’t have to do a crotch shot, do we?” “I’m a Buddhist, so I really think just the whole love and compassion thing is, um, really awesome.” Ben, on the other hand, got me with his ability to actually make sense. According to his bio, he’s been working as a deputy sheriff correctional officer for the last two years, which explains what he said on the show: “Sometimes you gotta put aside your dreams and survive for a little bit, and that’s what I’ve had to do.” His bio also says that “he met his wife in high school, where they started as friends in band camp…” Layers!

addCredit(“Make Me a Supermodel: Andrew Giammarco”)

WOMEN: In general, the ladies left me uninspired. Looking on theBravo site now, I feel like we didn’t meet half of them. The judges’favorite is clearly Jacki Hydock,a 21-year-old from Cleveland. I suppose she’s mine at the moment, too,since she appears mentally stable. (On the flip side, I can’t wait tohear what comes out of 22-year-old Shannon Pallay‘smouth next. This will be hard to follow: “My name’s Shannon, and one ofthe most interesting facts about me is that despite my extremelyfeminine physical appearance, I’m actually a man.” Waaay too long of pause. “I’m one of the most masculine girls you’ll ever meet. I’m like one of the boys.”)

HOSTS: While I warmed to Niki Taylor eventually, I’m on TeamTyson Beckford. When he showed those two gents how to walk — as iftoward a beautiful woman — I finally got why everyone (on this show and America’s Next Top Model,at least) seems to swoon when he enters the room. He showed that he cangive both support and tough love, in the same sentence: “Rejection is like gettin’ kicked in the stomach. It hurts for a little bit, but it will eventually pass.” Even more enjoyably, the man has no poker face. See: his reaction to Shannon’s poorly-timed proclamation.

Start your campaigns for your favorites in the comments section below. And look for PopWatch’s Snap Judgment on the show next Friday.

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