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Sympathy for the Hot Chick

When MTV’s out-of-the-shutter-gate-hot docu-reality series 8th & Ocean introduced identical-twin blondes Kelly and Sabrina into the mix of 10 models — six female, four male — trying to make it in Miami (hoping for both career- and hormone-oriented gains, we have to assume), I thought the producers might be making some sort of wry social commentary. Was the casting director trying to make a joke about the sameness of all youth-culture ingénues these days? Well, no. The big storyline in Episode One was actually about how Kelly and Sabrina are wildly different (!) when the photo lab is finished with them. Kelly is the seemingly fresher presence on the page, and Sabrina is the girl with expressionless eyes that hardly vary from shot to shot. And, of course, there’s sibling rivalry. When Kelly snags a key magazine spread, she flashes her winning smile and acts dismissively toward her agonized twin. Then, when Sabrina starts telling Kelly about a tough-but-fair critique from agency head (and the show’s voice of authority) Irene Marie, Kelly can’t help but blurt out with fait accompli tactlessness, “She said you couldn’t model?” Here it dawns on you that the producers are doing something truly sneaky: making you feel sorry for a hot chick. Dammit! Do we have to come up with a new word for “underdog” now? Underfox?


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