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Yes, Ellen Was the Perfect Choice

And why TyTy’s shake-up on ”America’s Next Top Model“ is perfect, too.

Forget the “Top Model” shorties. Forget wondering about whether or not you think you can dance. Forget (if you can) that image of “More to Love’s” Luke and Malissa gettin’ it on in Hawaii. (I know I’M trying to block that one out.)
The biggest reality news this week has got to be the announcement that Ellen DeGeneres will be joining “American Idol” in January as the fourth judge.
At first this choice prompted me to (again) say, “Capital WTF?” (It’s my new catchphrase. Thanks, Ra’mon!)
But then I realized that DeGeneres is the perfect Abdul replacement. First of all, hardly anyone can deny the universal appeal of Ellen, not even the red states. She is a great comedic talent and will no doubt provide the same amount of levity that Abdul did … except that she will do it on purpose, canceling out the awkwardness.
“That is all well and good,” you say, “but Ellen is no musician.” I would argue that neither is Abdul, number one hits or not. Semantics aside, Paula’s role on “Idol” was not “former superstar vocalist” — they could’ve gotten Debbie Gibson for that. (Oops, sorry, that’s “Deborah.”) 
Paula’s role was cheerleader, a part Ellen was born to play. She wants the kids to do well and will provide the “heart” of the show, if her stint as a guest judge on “SYTYCD” is any indication. (I mean, remember when she cried on her show over freakin‘ puppies?)
For those who said that “AI” would die without Paula, I concede that there’s some truth in that. An era of the show is definitely over. But I can see “Idol 2.0” on the horizon and — bonus! — it’s full of lucid comments.
Tyra and company (sans Paulina) are back for the original modeling competition reality show. You know, the one where the winner receives a modeling contract, an ad with Cover Girl and a one-way ticket to obscurity?
TyTy really knows how to shake things up. (I mean, I’m still marveling at the “courage” it must’ve taken for her to reveal her — gasp! — real hair on the premiere of her talk show Tuesday.) This cycle of “ANTM” is no exception.
The contestants are all — are you ready for this? — under 5-foot-7. How inclusive.
The thing is, though, the fashion industry is meant to be exclusive. Now, some of you are gonna find that statement as offensive and controversial as, say, the President telling kids to stay in school. But modeling is not about embracing all shapes and sizes. It’s about getting the majority of your nutrients through nicotine and walking down the runway in snazzy sheer shirts with no bra. 
Seriously, there are certain standards. Number one, you should either be drop-dead gorgeous or kinda funny looking (also known as “edgy.”) You have to have a good (preferably “signature) walk and give good “face.” Tyra says that you have to have a sparkling personality, too, but I beg to differ. I mean, did anyone ever see Cindy Crawford on MTV’s “House of Style?”
Most importantly, you have to fit the clothes. That is the main requirement of your job. After all, at the end of the day, you’re a walking clothes hanger. This means fitting into the sample sizes. If you watch “The Rachel Zoe Project” (and I bet you do), you know what a major pain in the butt it is to hem up haute couture. Do you think designers will have time to do that for these no-names once “ANTM” is over? 
This is not the first time Tyra has tried to pull a stunt like this. Her mission to change the standard of beauty (or mission for ratings) has prompted her to include all kinds of outcasts, from transgendered models to burn victims to a girl with Asperger’s. (Again, an exception in the “sparkling personality” department).
Perhaps the most prevalent outcast has been the plus-size girl. Almost every cycle has included one, and Cycle 10’s Whitney was the first to actually win the competition over the far-superior Anya. My personal opinion was that Tyra had decided that that year’s prize would go to a plus-sized model. (Coincidentally, Cycle 10 was filmed not long after the media had attacked Tyra herself for being too heavy.) 
Interestingly enough, the current cycle does not seem to include a plus-size model so I’m guessing (and kinda hoping) that this season’s midget misfire will pave the way for a (tall) plus-size edition of “ANTM.” I mean, just look at shows like “More to Love,” “Dance Your Ass Off” and “The Biggest Loser.” Fat is totally the new thin.