Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Top 5 Classes of the Decade

With the decade coming to an end, it's probably most appropriate to take a look back on the 2000-2009 years and reflect on the leading ladies of the Playboyworld: the Playmates. I like to look at each year of Playmates as a "class," and the ebb and flow of any year's class is important in defining how good that year was for Playboy fans. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the top five overall Playmate classes of the 2000's.

#5: Class of 2007
(A) January: Jayde Nicole ~ PMOY 2008
(B+) February: Heather Rene Smith
(B+) March: Tyran Richard
(B) April: Giuliana Marino
(B+) May: Shannon James
(A) June: Brittany Binger
(B) July: Tiffany Selby
(B) August: Tamara Sky
(B-) September: Patrice Hollis
(B+) October: Spencer Scott
(B+) November: Lindsay Wagner
(C) December: Sasckya Porto

The Class of '07 wasn't ridden with big names or huge stars. However, it did stand as one of the most talent-laden classes across the board, as you'll see with many of the top rated classes. The PMOY race was tight and interesting, with an excellent final choice in Jayde Nicole. The class was bookended by major fan favorite Spencer Scott, as well as the exotic Brittany Binger, but the real highlight was the consistency of the ladies, with quality showings from Shannon James, Lindsay Wagner, and Tyran Richard.

#4: Class of 2001
(B) January: Irina Voronina
(B+) February: Lauren Michelle Hill
(B) March: Miriam Gonzalez
(C+) April: Katie Lohmann
(A) May: Crista Nicole
(B) June: Heather Spytek
(B) July: Kimberley Stanfield
(A+) August: Jennifer Walcott
(A-) September: Dalene Kurtis ~ PMOY 2002
(B) October: Stephanie Heinrich
(A) November: Lindsey Vuolo
(B+) December: Shanna Moakler

The Class of 2001 wasn't without its hitches, but some very good singular talents are enough to rank it as #4. Jennifer Walcott is obviously one of my top 25 ladies, as is startlingly wonderful Crista Nicole. Dalene Kurtis is regarded by many as one of the finest ever, and Lindsey Vuolo rounded off the truly seminal talents of the year. Add to that Lauren Hill and Shanna Moakler, and you've got some decent depth in there, too.

#3: Class of 2003
(B) January: Rebecca Ramos
(C+) February: Charis Boyle
(A) March: Pennelope Jimenez
(A+) April: Carmella DeCesare ~ PMOY 2004
(B+) May: Laurie Jo Fetter
(A-) June: Tailor James
(B) July: Marketa Janska
(B) August: Colleen Marie
(B) September: Luci Victoria
(B-) October: Audra Lynn
(B+) November: Divini Rae
(A) December: Teles Twins

The Playmate Class of 2003 was also not the smoothest in terms of year-round talent, but there were girls that truly left their mark. The headliner, of course, was the A+ performance of PMOY Carmella DeCesare, backed up by wonderful debuts by Pennelope Jimenez and the luscious Teles Twins. The depth towards the latter half of the year was provided by the great Tailor James and buxom Divini Rae, with some other assorted ladies balancing out a year without a whole lot of duds, to say the least.

#2: Class of 2009
(A) January: Dasha Astafieva ~ 55th Anniversary Playmate
(A) February: Jessica Burciaga
(C+) March: Jennifer Pershing
(B) April: Hope Dworaczyk
(B+) May: Crystal McCahill
(B+) June: Candice Cassidy
(B) July: Karissa Shannon
(B) August: Kristina Shannon
(A) September: Kimberly Phillips
(A-) October: Lindsey Gayle Evans
(A) November: Kelley Thompson
(B-) December: Crystal Harris

Here's where our most recent 2009 class belongs. As I've said throughout the year, we've got a fine crop of girls this year, and when you stack them up against the competition, it shows. There were no knockout, legendary performances, but Dasha Astafieva's exotic beauty, Jessica Burciaga's sharp sense of style, and Kimberly Phillips' incredible poise rounded off a fantastic set to carry the group. The depth is incredible, with Kelley Thompson, Lindsey Gayle Evans, and several others lending a helping hand. The "Hefmates," including the wasteful double issue involving the Shannon twins, wasn't even enough to derail this special year. Cheers!

#1: Class of 2000
(A) January: Bernaola Twins
(A) February: Suzanne Stokes
(B+) March: Nicole Lenz
(A-) April: Brande Roderick ~ PMOY 2001
(A+) May: Brooke Berry
(A+) June: Shannon Stewart
(A-) July: Neferteri Shepherd
(B) August: Summer Altice
(B-) September: Kerissa Fare
(A) October: Nichole Van Croft
(A-) November: Buffy Tyler
(B) December: Cara Michelle

Still, not even a year such as 2009 could take away from the debut class of the decade, the Class of 2000. I believe it's arguably the best class in Playboy history, but it stacks up well against the girls of the late 90's. Brooke Berry and Shannon Stewart are veritable Playboy icons. Add in the busty Nichole Van Croft, Bernola twins, and Suzanne Stokes, and there is a serious wealth of talent to go around. But not stopping there and having Buffy Tyler, Nicole Lenz, Brande Roderick (who stole away the PMOY title), and the highly underrated Neferteri Shepherd in there, it's absurd how good the year 2000 truly was. Good job to Playboy for ringing in the decade with a bang and letting it go out the same way!

It sure was a great ten years… and it will be an incredible ten years to come!

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