Last night Model Employee premiered on VH1. The show is a reality competition sort of like America’s Next Top Model meets… Undercover Boss? I’ve never seen Undercover Boss but there were literally undercover bosses on Model Employee‘s first episode, so I think this description is pretty accurate.
On the show, eight model contestants are flown to Las Vegas to compete to become the next face of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. They think that they’re going to be living the high life and doing modeling-related things to figure out who gets the job, but surprise! they are really going to be judged on how they handle all kinds of odd jobs around the Mandalay Bay hotel like clearing banquet hall tables and washing dishes. The models have surprisingly impressive resumes. They’ve modeled for Marc Jacobs, Herve Leger, Michael Kors, Lucky Magazine, and one girl was in a Lil Wayne video. I was wondering why they would even want to be the face of Mandalay Bay, but then I heard it included a $100,000 contract so there ya go.
All of the models came off extremely snobby and went on and on about how their lives are so glamorous and they have people waiting on them all the time which I really, really, really doubt. All the stories I’ve ever heard about models starting out include things like living in “model apartments” with five girls in one room, being put down all the time, being underpaid. I mean, these girls have had good modeling jobs, but working a runway show doesn’t mean you get put up in a fancy hotel and a personal servant and a private jet which is what they were making it seem like.
When the big reveal was made that there would be hard labor involved, one of the girls goes, “I don’t think my agency knew about this at all.” The thing is, they probably did because someone had to sign off on this, right? After finding out the big secret, the girls had to immediately start cleaning dirty post-party tables and washing dishes and they hated it! They hated it so hard! They were told they would be judged on character, poise and esteem (which, really, are all sort of the same) and that they could be being watched by judges at any time. Pretty much all of the girls took this to mean they weren’t being watched and weren’t being judged on any of those characteristics and went on to complain the whole time. The only two that didn’t do much complaining were Alexis and Shannone, and I’m calling it right now that one of them is going to win. The rest of the girls are straight cray. The girl who was obviously doing the worst was Johanna. Not because she wasn’t cleaning, but because she started calling another girl, Britany, “yellow bus slow” and “special Olympics.” Girl, they literally said you were being watched. Come on. Also, the insult is “short bus slow,” just sayin’.
Johanna was easily the most dramatic one. She seemed like she watched a marathon of every ANTM season before she arrived, blended together all the most dramatic contestants in her head, and then decided to be that person. The first night the girls moved in together she was already having a talk with Shah in the hallway about how they’re going to be the two that don’t get along so they just need to deal with it and move on. Dude, you can’t have that talk in the first episode. That is a fourth, MAYBE, third episode talk.
I was actually sort of excited to watch this show because I’d heard that Chrissy Teigen, model/food blogger/hilarious Tweeter, was going to be hosting and I have a massive girl crush on her. And I don’t care for the phrase “girl crush”, so if I’m using it, I mean business. There ain’t much Chrissy on this show, though. I don’t know what I expected since she’s just hosting (maybe for her to be some sort of Tim Gunn-like mentor?), but she did do a good job. The judges include the first Orbit Gum girl, Vanessa Branch, who is an expert because she too was the face of a brand; the Chief Creative Officer of Amusement Park Entertainment, Jimmy Smith; and the VP of Marketing at Mandalay Bay, Patrick Miller. So… yeah, the judges aren’t very exciting.
At the first judging panel, no one was eliminated, but the top four girls were chosen to mingle at a wine tasting with executives from Mandalay while the bottom four were made to serve the wine. Johanna gets her comeuppance when she’s put in the bottom four and called out for her mean remarks because…*drumroll*… the judges had been in disguise as hotel employees and heard the whole thing!
Out of the four mingling girls, Alexis seemed to do the best, but Shannone wasn’t horrible either. I’m telling you, one of them will win. Another girl, Aspen, was asked to describe Mandalay Bay and said, “Um… it’s this factory.” The executives did not like that. Just saying, “Um… it’s a hotel” would’ve been better.
One problem with this show is that the drama between the girls seemed to develop wayyyyyyy too fast to the point that it seemed totally fake. (I know, I know. It’s reality TV. It may all be fake, but I appreciate the effort of realness.) Another problem was that the girls weren’t likable. If they’re being made to act snotty, then they’re overdoing it. Even the ones I sort of liked, I liked by default. We could use some more Chrissy Teigen too. She’s funny and has a lot more personality than what was shown. Someone give her more airtime or possibly just a different show all together. Also, the prize isn’t that exciting. Do I really care who becomes the face of Mandalay Bay Resorts and Casino? Well, I might if I have nothing to do on a Wednesday night. I’ll admit, I’m a teensy bit curious to see if the girls I chose will win.