It stands to reason that nothing could be better than beautiful babes in bikinis competing for a spot in the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. But NBC has done the unthinkable: Somehow, the network has managed to screw up the age-old idea that girls in bikinis equals ratings gold. Hats off to you, NBC. That’s a difficult feat to accomplish.

TV/New Media Reviews
Total IQ: 95. (Courtesy of NBC)

“Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Model Search,” or The Greatest Disappointment Ever, is not only an unattractive package — it’s also a horrendous piece of reality television. The show lacks every key aspect of decent reality TV — interesting challenges, abrasive personalities or even a good catch-phrase. Simply put, the show is a disaster.

“SI” begins with an impromptu walk-off between the sixteen contestants. This is the audience’s first flirtation with the beauties. As the girls cruise the runway, bombarded by nasty comments from judges, the camera swoops in on each model for an unattractive close-up. The screen also shows a multitude of boring facts about each girl.

After the requisite move-in scene, the girls are whisked away by a trio of buff trainers (eye candy for the many girlfriends forced to endure this crap). Under the watchful eye of the three men, the ladies of “SI” take part in a Simon-says-like aerobics contest for which prizes are a diamond necklace and decision making power in the upcoming photo shoot.

The photo shoot, billed as an elimination contest, takes place on a beach. Each girl models for five minutes. The three judges — a modeling agency owner, a former SI swimsuit model and the founder of the SI swimsuit edition — must then narrow the playing field to 12 girls.

However, by the time the elimination ceremony actually takes place, complete with the terrible catch-phrase, “I’m sorry, we’re dropping you,” audiences will be so bored by “SI” that it won’t even shock viewers when the two prettiest girls are kicked off.

NBC’s “Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Model Search” had the potential to be great. Sadly, however, this show is more nightmare than fantasy.


Rating: 1.5/5 stars

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