Of all the great things about television, the greatest is that it’s on every single day. TV history is being made, day in and day out, in ways big and small. In an effort to better appreciate this history, we’re taking a look back, every day, at one particular TV milestone.
IMPORTANT DATE IN TV HISTORY: April 4, 2007
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: Through the years, Tyra Banks gave her models some interesting advice when it came to the mastering of their craft. Whether it was smiling with ones eyes (SMIZE) or the proper way to stick out one’s booty while posing (TOOCH!), Tyra was full of advice that helped her girls … conquer? … the modeling world? Well, maybe. But it certainly made for good television! Which was honestly always the objective of America’s Next Top Model. Did it really teach the girls anything to have them pose with raw meat or dress up in male drag or endure season after season of failed pixie cuts and poorly thought-out weaves on makeover day? Probably not. But as one model said memorably, this wasn’t America’s Next Top Best Friend. Nor, apparently, was it America’s Next Top Modeling Academy. There was TV to be made, and by God, Tyra was going to make it.
One particular bit of dubious advice came in the middle of season 8, when Tyra sent Twiggy and past contestant Melrose in to instruct the girls to come up with new “super-name” in order to better brand themselves. Of course, since these women are not exactly branding geniuses, these would-be successors to Gisele and Iman came up with monikers like “Nata” and “Brit” and “Moe.” MOE! The only models who came up with halfway good names were the ones like Jaslene who kept her actual name.
photo: The CW The lone exception, and gloriously so, was Dionne, who was easily the most likeable character on this season, who managed to somehow get crowded out by ultimate winner Jaslene, resident DGAF Russian Natasha, and snarling mean girl Renee. But this episode belonged to Dionne, and that’s because the super-name she chose was “Wholahay.” Only the best model name in the world! And even then, because nothing gold can stay, stupid Tyra made her change it at judging panel to “Brown.” BROWN! Oh, you know, that model with the catchy name BROWN. It’s just so memorable! I’ll tell you this much, if Cleveland’s football team called itself the Wholahays, they sure as shit would have won a Super Bowl right now.
It’s honestly an insanely dumb decision that befits an insanely dumb challenge that is only saved by the fact that it gave us Wholahay for one blessed day. Well, Wholahay and also the fact that special guest 50 Cent was getting visibly annoyed by Jael. Which makes sense because Jael was the most annoying model in history.
So thank God for Wholahay Brown Dionne, our momentary respite from Jael being so annoying that 50 Cent threw her into a pool and Brittany being utterly unable to handle her insanely bad weave:
But what a time capsule this episode was! Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie guest starred, back when they were still best known for being best pals on TV. Paris was even still in her self-branding “that’s hot” phase. And we got future RuPaul’s Drag Race champion Raja as ANTM‘s lead hairdresser.
Cue “The Way We Were”!