The person who got me through 2021: Miss J and America’s Next Top Model transported me to carefree times

Three years after it ended, scandal surrounds the show, but its familiarity and formula provided a comfort blanket. I really hope they bring it back

It sounds troublingly shallow, but when I saw the tweet that said “Holy shit, ANTM [America’s Next Top Model] is on Amazon Prime” my heart soared. I am not one who can pretend the pandemic isn’t still raging but, in that fleeting moment, I felt a spiritual lightness I hadn’t experienced since 2019.

I dropped everything to binge the episodes, then fell deep into a rabbit hole of detective work: where are the contestants now? Are they on Instagram? I found a whole subsection of TikTok dedicated to calling out where the show was problematic, and YouTuber Oliver Twixt has a highly viewed series of interviews with ANTM contestants levelling accusations of maltreatment at the show’s producers. Whatever the reason, ANTM is back in the cultural sphere.

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