Monday, March 15, 2010

2010 Cyber Girl of the Year Candidates

As we close in on April, the announcement of this year's Cyber Girl of the Year is imminent. The most prolific and perhaps most important position in the Playboy world, their fans all know that the CGOY has a chance to display her talents for a full year. That means, she'd better be good! This year, however, the field of Cyber Girls is extremely top-heavy. There is some great talent in the top 3 or 4, but there is a major dropoff after that. Anyone outside the top would be a very unfortunate choice. Let's take a look...

#12 Rebecca Lynn (January)
How She Got Here: Rebecca beat out Stephanie Strong, one of the best Cyber Girl of the Week candidates of 2009. That's saying something about how bad the voters screwed up. Stephanie would easily have been a CGOY contender, but sadly, she didn't get the chance.
The Good: Not a whole lot to say about Rebecca... but she does have a bit of variety in her poses.
The Bad: She doesn't have even a shred of talent in her pictorials. Her body is disproportionate, her photos are washed out, and her costumes are atrocious. You can fault Playboy all you want for their terrible production quality, but the bottom line is that Rebecca is just not very attractive.

#11 Jessa Lynn (October)
How She Got Here: Jessa beat out two great candidates: Heather Hughes and Anna Lynn. Heather was particularly clean-cut and beautiful, but Jessa's CGOW pictorial was deceivingly alluring.
The Good: Jessa's got a very interesting face, and her platinum locks make her an interesting girl to watch. She has a presence that may catch the audience's attention.
The Bad: Jessa simply is another repeat of the other "Lynn" on our list. Her interesting face is counterbalanced by a bawdy, gaudy look, with big hair and a full-on style that is anything but subtle. Her posing style is nothing but old and tiring, and we've seen this sort of Cyber Girl time and time again.

#10 Victoria Ivanova (December)
How She Got Here: Victoria certainly had the best performance of all of the August CGOW's, with a cute and polished pictorial. There's no mystery there, though Summer Lena was an intriguing number two.
The Good: Victoria certainly has a very intriguing look. She has an Eastern European look that sets her apart, and her posing style is both sensual and dynamic, with the producers doing a good job of showing off her versatility.
The Bad: Yes, it's true... Victoria's horrific boob job has dropped her from a potential top 5 all the way down to number 10. That's how bad it is. They look like large balloons hanging from her chest, and are a huge distraction on an otherwise pretty girl. It's a huge shame, since Victoria has ample talent, but that physical caveat truly hinders her position.

#9 Netty Maj (August)
How She Got Here: Netty was part of a very weak group of CGOW's back in April. None of the others are even worth mentioning, since Netty's pictorial was very sexy, unique, and spot-on.
The Good: The way Netty got here is through her main strength, and she displayed it in even more detail during August: she took on an all-natural, flowing style. Netty was always mesmerizing, and definitely the toughest girl to figure out... perhaps the most enigmatic model of all 2009. Netty's unique posing style is very passive, but deep and interesting. She's raw, doesn't wear a lot of makeup, and does everything very naturally.
The Bad: Perhaps Netty's strong points are her biggest problems, as well. While she is intriguing in her au natural look, she also lacks a whole lot of "pop" in the process. Netty's shy, reticent style puts her on a different stage from the other contenders, and puts her at a low profile. She's a bit less accessible than the others, but that's what makes her interesting. Still, she's not downright pretty enough to stand by passively.

#8 Jennifer Lewis (February)
How She Got Here: Jennifer's CGOW pictorial was gorgeous and mature, with Playmate-esque poise. She faced up against a strange and unique group, including Jane Taylor and Jennifer Kohut, who generally didn't have much of a chance.
The Good: Jennifer's look is very girl-next-door and outrageously stripped down. She is the ultimate "everygirl," with minimal makeup and no signs of enhancement. Her easy going style is also very endearing, and her overall friendliness makes her the "Miss Congeniality" of the 2009 class.
The Bad: What keeps Jennifer from being truly great, and in the top half of the 2009 class, is that she is woefully unpolished. The production team did absolutely nothing to help her out here... all of Jennifer's flaws are there for the public to see. This is a problem with many girls who make the transition to CGOM: they just don't have the natural looks to punch through the production quality of their CGOW pictorials. Jennifer suffers from this dearly, as she looks pale and disproportionate.

#7 Lauren D'Marie (March)
How She Got Here: Lauren had what was possibly the best CGOW pictorial of 2008. That's saying quite a bit, considering the competition. She was absolutely immaculate, and wholly engaging; Lauren was destined to become one of the great African American models in Playboy history, in my eyes.
The Good: Lauren has a perfect balance of natural beauty that really makes her worth looking into. Her face is beautiful - with a pouty stare or a wry smile, she delivers a very unique look. The production quality of her pictorials is also great, as they put her in perfect situations to perform at her very best. Her body proportions can't be argued against, as they complement her style wonderfully.
The Bad: I have a major question for the Playboy producers here: what happened?!? Lauren was a lock to be a major contender for Cyber Girl of the Year, as soon as I saw her CGOW pictorial. It was amazing to watch her soft features clash with color and style. In her CGOM pictorial, Lauren was reduced to a completely mediocre entrant. Her posing was boring and long-winded. Her hair was curled and frizzy, completely ruining the look that accentuated her legginess and height. The pictorials were overly dark and uncharacterized. What... happened?? Lauren turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of 2009.

#6 Carlie Christine (May)
How She Got Here: Carlie had another one of the best CGOW pictorials we saw in 2009. She was truly a bright spectacle that completely outshone her competitive opponents, Krystie Lena and Danielle Fornarelli. They had no chance against Carlie's bright eyes, though.
The Good: Carlie makes it to the top half of my ranking by simply being a beautiful girl. Her body is voluptuous and stacked proportionally, her face is gorgeous, and her eyes continue to twinkle as they did in her CGOW pictures. She continued to have a refined, stately look that gave her a clean but sensual feel. Her pictorials have some good costuming, and do a good job with matching her passive intensity.
The Bad: It seemed that Carlie lost a huge amount of her luster when she transitioned to the CGOM role. As with almost any of the other ladies, such as Lauren D'Marie, a lot of production quality is lost in the transition to the monthly crown, which exposes flaws and forces girls to tough it out with raw talent. Carlie is a beautiful girl with a great body, but that twinkle in her eyes just isn't the same at this stage. Her intriguing look is roughed up a bit, and you tend to see the flaws in her pale skin and inconsistent posing. Definitely not a CGOY-caliber performance.

#5 Cassie Keller (June)
How She Got Here: Cassie had an admirable debut pictorial in January of '09, but I felt that her selection was a pretty sizable upset over Chase Medley, who had a very wholesome and cute look. Cassie's pictorial held its own, though, with some bright colors and solid posing.
The Good: Cassie's strengths are not immediately apparent. Her style and appearance take some getting used to, but ultimately her greatest qualities are in her height and her posing. Even her great posing abilities do not come across that well in her pictorials, but as a Cyber Girl, videos are fair game, so you would be obliged to check them out. Cassie's video performances are easily some of the best of 2009, and she truly shines because of her congenial personality and her outstanding size. Her sinewy, leggy body is amazing to watch in motion, as she contorts and moves herself in ways that would boggle your mind. Not to mention, she's quite a sight to behold.
The Bad: The main problem with Cassie is what can keep her from being immediately attractive to all viewers: her posing ability and performance don't translate that well to her pictorials. In fact, most of her photos are poorly produced, with a complete lack of quality lighting or proper photography. Cassie is often made-up wrong, and has unflattering poses taken of her. However, if you haven't been able to give her a good look, skip the pictorials and check out her videos, as she definitely shines when she's in motion.

#4 Kaytee Bees (April)
How She Got Here: December 2008 was where it came time to select the "Cyber Girl 100" winner, who would become the 100th CGOM to be selected all-time. Kaytee shone in her pictorial, with a soft, exotic look that truly stole the show. She was understated in her looks, beating out the competition, with contrasting styles of the other candidates being shut out.
The Good: Though not as wholesome as she was in her CGOW days, Kaytee put on quite a show due to her posing prowess. Her flash and pomp throughout is hard to match, and she deals out dynamic poses and juicy sexual positions in every photo. Kaytee is very true to her style, and that style is one of unrelenting sensuality. She isn't very subtle with her actions, and delivers sizzling hotness with every picture. Having a body like hers also helps -- she's very voluptuous and buxom, with colossal breasts and a curvy body that brings the point across.
The Bad: Kaytee's got the style and body that fit what she's trying to bring to the table, and there's no doubting that. However, she ends up being very one-dimensional for the same reasons. In her CGOW pictorial, she had a good mix of everything, and came across as a wholesome girl-next-door who could "flip a switch" and turn into a sexual goddess in a flash. However, she loses that multidimensionality with her monthly debut, cutting out any sense of intrigue. Kaytee looks far too artificial, always made-up and overly enhanced. Her breasts look larger, and although they might not actually be, they are overstressed in her pictorial, and her body takes more precedence over her own skills.

#3 Tess Taylor Arlington (November)
How She Got Here: Tess beat out some pretty strong candidates with some pretty weak material. Brook Ericson seems like she had a chance, but Tess's performance was far more nuanced and mysterious, and was by far the most intriguing CGOW pictorial of the month.
The Good: Tess Arlington is, without a doubt, the biggest surprise of the 2009 Cyber Girl class. Not only is she a scrappy 20-year-old with a very unique face and personality, but she is outstandingly talented. She knows how to wear a sexy smirk in just the right way, just enough to tickle your curiosity and please the audience. She poses with unbelievable confidence, and carries herself with great professionalism. It almost feels like she's been doing this forever, and it just feels very natural. All in all, her pictorials are done beautifully, too. The producers capture her skin tone and style in a great way. Tess has a great balance of sexual passion as well as innocence, and is a great girl-next-door persona when she wants to be. Above it all, she has a chiseled, awesome body... probably one of the top 3 in the class. The style, the poise, the beauty... It's hard to express just how amazing Tess is.
The Bad: It is very unfortunate to say it, but Tess would be easily the #1 or 2 girl of the year if not for one fatal flaw: her tattoos. Normally, I can ignore some body art as long as it doesn't get in the way of most photos, but Tess has huge tapestries carved across her picturesque body. How she can mar such amazing skin is beyond me, and really brings her down to #3, in my eyes. If she didn't mess with perfection, Tess could catch the attention of many more fans, and could have gone down as one of the best Cyber Girls in history.

#2 Hillary Fisher (September)
How She Got Here: It was a simple path for Hillary - she started out in Playboy's "Girls of Hooters" feature, after which she became CGOW back in last May. There, she was an immediate hit, providing what was easily the best Cyber Girl of the Week pictorial of 2009. In doing so, she blew out her competition as a major fan favorite - the other girls aren't even worth mentioning here. Hillary's CGOW pictorial was extraordinary, and hit every good angle of her luscious body.
The Good: It's simple: Hillary Fisher is the epitome of sexy. She is probably the most outrightly photogenic model of all the CGOM's in the 2009 class, with a beautiful face and an equally busty body. Her slim stature and respectable proportions complement her incredibly tough, hard body. While not the best body of 2009, Hillary's certainly stacked far up there. What makes her my #2, however, is not her physique, but more in her overall friendliness in photographs. When Hillary hits a sexy pose, she does it with passion and a charming accessibility that gives her a massive fan following. On top of all that, she is very overtly sexual, but in a playful way. She could be your girl next door, but you can also picture her being outright raunchy when she feels it, and she does a great job of conveying attitude in her pictorial.
The Bad: Hillary could easily have been the best model, far and away, of the year. The caveat that kept her from reaching the summit was, without a doubt, her poor CGOM performance. If you add it all up, she has a perfect face, an amazing body, and a photogenic quality that makes her timeless. However, her CGOW pictorial was far and away her best work. Her CGOM series was an utter disappointment. The production quality vastly suffered, and besides her final pictorial series (May 18th), she didn't offer much in the way of quality photos. In fact, she has a hard time being consistent in these photos, and oftentimes looks uptight and misses her poses. It's actually incredible that I could rank her so high, but that is just a testament to how gorgeous she is, inherently. Without those striking good looks, she would have been a disaster, given what she had to work with. This amazing girl deserves a shot at CGOY, to showcase what she can really do with lots of time.

#1 Jamie Graham (July)
How She Got Here: Jamie created loads of fan buzz when she appeared in a spread for last year's "Girls of the Big 10" college issue, where she showed off her serious body for all to see. She then took a feature as CGOW, where her legend grew through a series of playful, college-themed shots that easily blew past the weak competition. Still now, Jamie carries this close following as she heads into the CGOY race.
The Good: There is only one place to start when you talk about just how hot Jamie Graham is: she has a fantastic body. There are no two ways about it, Jamie has what is probably the best body of any Playboy model of 2009. That's a tall order, but just take one look at her picture-perfect physique, and you should agree that it's better than perfect. Her breasts are taut, her back is curvy, and her butt is absolutely perfect. Her whole body, from head to toe (and yes, including those amazing legs) is absolutely toned, muscular, and the ultimate picture of femininity. Ok, all of this gushing aside, Jamie isn't just a (hot) piece of meat. She is also an impeccable poser, with an amazing attention to detail and a great sense for the camera and environment. She has a very general, girl-next-door demeanor, yet unleashes a tide of sexual energy in every photo, making her a very enigmatic model, and one that always stays interesting. Jamie is truly the strongest candidate for Cyber Girl of the Year, given her cult-like following and near perfect execution of nude modeling. She is absolutely the most promising Cyber Girl since Jo Garcia, and that's saying quite a bit.
The Bad: It's tough to pinpoint flaws in Jamie, but to be straightforward, her looks are not for everyone. Sometimes, her face may be her ultimate flaw, as she is uneasy with her smiles, and looks different from separate angles. Her hair can also look too conservative at times, and she can sometimes use a rougher look to complement her physical beauty. Still, Jamie's got the most momentum in the CGOY race, and should be formidable. Wouldn't it be amazing to see 12 months of that body?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Momentum, Halted

After such an amazing crop of Playmates in 2009, one cannot expect that this momentum can last forever, especially given Playboy's reputation. We've been disappointed time and time again in the past, where just as things were starting to take off, they would introduce a series of duds that put everything back off track.

We closed out an awesome 2009 and opened 2010 with another gorgeous model in Jaime Faith Edmondson. Her mature style and incredible poise were enough to immediately fault her into PMOY discussion, albeit the fact that she debuts at the beginning of the year.

Well, with the rate February and March have gone, you might as well pencil Jaime in for the time being. Miss February 2010 is Heather Rae Young, a 22 year old blonde bombshell from southern California. I know, thinking out of the box, right? For Playboy, this is another cookie cutter girl with a complete lack of talent, not to mention an inherent lack of really memorable good looks. Yes, Heather is nothing out of the ordinary, and it's easy to see that from her weak pictorial.

Heather looks like nothing more than a typical blonde Playmate, and she even adds to that negative energy with some flaws here and there. She is simply not interesting, and has a horrible sense for the camera. Her sleepy-eyed look pervades her photos, and sometimes gets in the way of her posing.

Granted, Heather has a pretty nice body. It's pretty well-proportioned (albeit the complete lack of butt), and has a tanned glow that is prevalent in her photos. In fact, that's obviously the only reason this Hef-mate made the ranks as a Playmate in the first place. Given her extensive pictorial, it's hard to find a photo that makes you walk away thinking of her. And it's bland, clueless expressions like this one that make you wonder if she was ever prepared for the shoot in the first place.
  • Facial: C+ If there was any beauty in Heather's face, it is disguised by the bored, sleepy, and clueless expression she often sticks on her face. This trait definitely hurts her the most.
  • Body: B+ This may be overlooked because of her other flaws, but she is tanned and chiseled. She could use more of a butt, though.
  • Talent: B- With no active movement and a series of one-dimensional poses, it's hard to see what qualifies her.
  • Pictorial: C The awful posing combined with the total lack of variety or production value make it a total dud.
  • Centerfold: C+ Nothing distinguishes the centerfold from any one of her pictorial photos. What's the deal with that?
  • Overall: C+ Heather is destined to go down as one of the worst Playmates of 2010. Her complete lack of interest, combined with Playboy's obvious efforts to just "get the job done," create a total disaster. Heather has absolutely no talent, and does not even deliver a sliver of hope that there is anything beneath her veil of passive posing. If Playboy even changed up the pictorial here and there, we could see something outside of the standard "bathtub shots," but instead, we get nothing.
Miss March, Floridian Kyra Milan, is a 20 year old that Playboy fans have had their eyes on for a while. Ever since she was announced, there was a lot of buzz about her unique looks and young, vibrant demeanor. In the end, what we're getting is a mixed bag.

Kyra is what you make of her, and this is a girl where opinions may
differ widely. I myself haven't quite decided what to make of her, and that may be both good and bad. Kyra is a pretty girl, and she has a lot of spunk to her that makes her look overly young. She doesn't have a whole lot of meat on her bones, which some may find a turn-off. I think it just depends on the picture. When looking at her headshot, you may think that you're peeking in on someone even half her age. I personally like my women to look 20-25 years old, but that is your choice.

When Kyra strips it all off, she has flashes of true brilliance. In this shot, she is a sultry and ravenous queen, with lots of aggressive energy. But, she can just as easily turn it around with some awkward posing, with this strange, wide-eyed shot that takes an unflattering look at her bony butt. Her quick turnarounds are difficult to gauge, because she just looks so different in each of her shots. In this photo, she is stunning, and the production is great, with all sorts of colors meshing with her body's character. Then, she can turn around and hit you with one of these very questionable shots, which exposes every one
of her flaws, including her very pronounced chin and upper lip, as well as her overly skinny torso.

For the most part, Kyra's photos are rather awkward. She has trouble hitting winning poses, and her body and face are strange enough that they come through when not photographed right. Now, this is not to say that Kyra is not a beautiful woman, because she surely is (in small doses). This smooth balcony photo, or even her very well-done centerfold, are testaments to her potential. However, she's just not consistent enough.
  • Facial: B- One of Kyra's most questionable traits is her face, which is not very subtle or attractive, but instead has very strong features that are usually photographed awkwardly.
  • Body: B- Kyra isn't that slim on paper (120 lbs), but she can look very boney in many photos, taking away from the fact that she has some pleasant features.
  • Talent: B She is an overall average talent in front of the camera, with a decent amount of variety in posing, and a nice knack for the camera. She can get tiresome, though.
  • Pictorial: B Kyra's photos are not very memorable, but she has a nice bit of variety sprinkled throughout, and the photographer does a good job of playing to her strengths, which lie in her height (such as when she's prone on the bed).
  • Centerfold: B+ Her pictorial is actually one of the best photos in her collection, with a well-shot full frontal highlighting the nice tone of her skin.
  • Overall: B- While an improvement over Heather Rae's portfolio, Kyra doesn't do much to spice up the early race for 2011 PMOY. She is indeed an enigmatic Playmate, and one where there may be plenty of discussion over her merits. However, in the long run, her relatively weak and bland performance combined with some awkward and forgettable posing and production will be the end of Miss Milan. Though she is an interesting entry into the race, and one that mixes things up a little, we're better off seeing more girls like we did in 2009. Bring 'em back!