America's Next Top Model says: Later for that talent stuff, girlfriend. (We're all girlfriends when we watch ANTM.) Those who love (or even love to hate) the show know that actual potential for Top Model-dom in the real world has little to do with why we watch. Or why Tyra Banks and her sidekicks favor one poser over another. In season eight, we've got a girl who cries a lot and swears that every breath she takes is for her baby son. There's the girl who's a Russian immigrant bride, the girl who's intellectually vain (to be fair, she's the only one, yikes, who claims ever to have heard of legendary photographer Richard Avedon), the gawky, biracial punk, and the breadstick-thin Latina with a lot of mouth. There are also two, yes two, ''plus-size'' girls, an attraction the now juicier-size Tyra proudly points out as if she has funded an eating-disorder clinic in New Orleans.
I mock because I marvel: By now ANTM runs like a dream, a crazed circus of hair snarls and temperament snarls. Who's on top? The answer is easy: all of us slobs who get to judge at home. B