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'America's Next Top Model': Let's judge the Cycle 13 contestants by their photos

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next-top-model_lWe’re less than a month away from experiencing Cycle 13 of America’s Next Top Model — the two-hour season premiere is slated for Sept. 9 on The CW — and I’m not entirely certain I’m excited. Last spring, I suggested five ways Tyra Banks’ aging reality competish could freshen its formula, yet this season’s big innovation (all 14 contenders will measure 5’7″ or less) seems more of a headlines-grabbing gimmick than a way to raise the ANTM stakes by making sure the eventual winner has a career that goes beyond six months of ribbon-cutting ceremonies at discount stores nationwide.

Still, DVR habits die hard, which means I’ll at least tune in to the season premiere before I pass judgment on the entire season. And speaking of passing judgment (fun!), initial photos of all 14 contestants are now online at The CW’s ANTM site, which means we can all channel our inner Tyras and emotionally torment some beauties with fragile egos choose our early favorites. Here are my three early picks cracking the final three:

Kara: Every cycle needs a megabeast who’s good at stirring up s*** in the Top Model house, and Kara (left) is serving serious contempt with that facial expression in her initial ANTM shoot. Can gossiping, backstabbing, and screaming tirades be far behind? I sure hope not!

Lisa (center): Look! Girlfriend possesses “wind in her hair,” and we all know from the first 12 cycles of ANTM that you can’t teach that difficult and all-important skill set. (Also, Lisa’s really pretty, and she’s from Queens, just like my good friend Ugly Betty!)

Jennifer (right): Has already mastered the art of smiling with her eyes, and seeing how she’s 23 years of age, she could fill that vital role of the contestant who gives the judges a chance to play that timeless game of coming up with euphemisms for “too old for the modeling business.”

Check out the 14 contestant photos on The CW’s site, then head to the message boards below and name your three early faves!

Photo credit: Jim DeYonker/The CW

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