Friday, December 30, 2011

No Other Choice

Kayla Love
CGOM December 2011
While 2011 was a decent year for Playmates, with things looking up in the second half of the year, the same can't be said for Cyber Girls as of late. The year was abysmal for Cyber Girl of the Year candidates, with no one seemingly taking the lead as we saw last year. In 2010, Bethanie Badertscher looked like a lock as soon as her pictorial debuted. In 2009, there were a handful of excellent candidates who are among the best Cyber Girls ever.

But, there is a saving grace. December's Cyber Girl of the Month, Kayla Love, is fantastic. She is, without a doubt, my choice for CGOY in 2012.

It all starts and ends with her posing talent. Kayla might be the most talented model of the year, even when taking Playmates and other models into account. Just take a look at her pictorials, and you'll understand. Her sinewy body does some awesome things, as she can curl up and minimize her frame to look vulnerable, or she can do her signature move, standing tall and creating a lean, sleek set of lines.

I could go on and on referring to some of her wonderful photos, but the fact is that her slim body and sharp posing sense meld almost magically. She might be a lightweight in appearance, but her curves look spectacular when viewed as a profile, in shots like this one or this.

While Kayla's face might be her Achilles' heel in the end, with a lack of definition that makes her look rather generic, she's still pretty, and this shouldn't detract from her sexy presence. She also looks incredible in videos, flashing a melting gaze along with her ability to stand tall and deliver a great picture.

In the end, the other ladies of 2011's Cyber Girl class don't deserve a full rundown. The bottom line is, there's Kayla, and then there's everyone else. We've seen a similar talent and body type last year (Bethanie, anyone?), and Kayla delivered just as well. However, let's cross our fingers and hope Miss Love  can deliver on a CGOY bid that will dig us out of our current rut.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Texan Attraction

Rainy Day, Miss December
Given the rollercoaster year we had in 2011, I'd say that we've ended on some thankfully positive notes. While the year started out and developed to look like one of the more disappointing years in the past decade, salvation came in the form of a couple of sensational talents that made their mark and allowed us to forget the missteps of the past. Duds like Mattingly made way for gems like Cerny, and we made lemonade in the latter half.

Fittingly, after some great ladies in September, October, and November, we should see the grand finale in the last month. As is always pointed out, great December Playmates used to be something of an expectation (Tiffany Fallon, Teles Twins, Lani Todd, Karen McDougal, Elisa Bridges, Barbara Moore...). I really thought we had one in Miss December, Rainy Day Jordan. Rainy had made her way to Playmate status through the Casting Calls circuit (in February) and as a Coed of the Week in April. Her quick ascension brings her to cap off a mystifying, but ultimately satisfying, year.

I initially had a great first impression of Rainy Day when I laid my eyes on her preview pictorial. Since she was extremely unpolished before as a COTW, it was something of a surprise to see her in her comfortable element, posing with a sexy, sinewy frame that looked spectacular in the soft lighting. If the Playmate pictorial only took it from there, I thought, we could have the PMOY on our hands.

But, alas, it didn't quite work out that way. But then again, not so bad either. With Rainy Day, you get kind of a mixed bag. She is certainly unlike other models we've seen this year, with a more unique face and a totally different body type. I feel like the way the pictorial displayed her face in such harsh light really ruined it for me, as it exposed some of the issues with the evenness in her facial skin tone and other features. Rainy's face is certainly her biggest issue, and it reflects poorly when the editors can't get it just right. When it is done right, like in this shot, her pouty lips and gorgeous eyes don't take away from anything at all.

Still, when she's photographed well, she's definitely a wonder. Her skill in front of the camera is among the best we've seen in 2011, and she can lay down some sexual bombshells. But, as in many Playboy pictorials of late, she isn't ever allowed to spread out and explore the boundaries, making the whole thing seem rather restrictive and boring. You can tell that Rainy is one of the more outwardly sexual girls of the year (much more so than Amanda or Ciara), but she's kept in the same box as all of them. There are just too many repetitive shots like this, and not enough creative, freestyle shots like this around.

All in all, when you get down to what makes Miss Jordan unique this year, you can't avoid talking about her body. It's definitely the hottest body of the year. Rainy is the tallest Playmate of 2011 (5' 9") while still having the best waist-hip ratio of any of them (0.647 - the lowest since Dasha Astafieva in 2009). Rainy is perfectly proportioned, gorgeously tanned, and has smooth, almost palpable skin that makes her absolutely stunning in the glow of the photos.

  • Face: B
    Rainy's biggest issue, her face just does not come off very attractively in hard light, and the editors use it plenty in her Playmate spread. Although she has penetrating hazel eyes and lovely wispy hair, her sometimes awkward looks detract from an otherwise near-perfect model.
  • Body: A+
    Despite being the tallest Playmate of the year, Rainy maintains a rather curvy physique, one with some of the best measurements we've seen in a few years. Her amazing hips and smooth, natural contours are a sight to behold. Her golden brown skin is silky in pictures. This is how and why she got the nod for Playmate, after hitting the scene in under a year.
  • Talent: A
    Rainy is probably one of the more unrestrained and freewheeling girls of the 2011 class. Although we only get to see glimpses of her talent, it's definitely there. She maintains a coy, sensual persona throughout, and comes with an attitude that melds Texas farm girl with unbridled enthusiasm.
  • Pictorial: B
    While Rainy is a great talent, she got a raw deal when it comes to her final pictorial spread. The meandering, pointless photos follow a familiar cowgirl theme, which is very fitting and sexy, but are executed horribly. The quality of the model saved it with her natural looks, but besides that, it's just uninspired photography.
  • Centerfold: B+
    While nothing special, Rainy's centerfold is solidly sexy, and shows off a good amount of her body. The direct look does a good job of depicting her hit-or-miss face.
  • Overall: A-
    The year came in with a whimper, but certainly finished with quite a bit of a roar. Rainy Day did a great job of following up some of her highly touted predecessors. With the main attraction being her sexy and perfectly proportioned physique, Miss Jordan was a fine choice for Playmate. Just as in recent months (and years), though, Playboy's editors dropped the ball by inserting an otherwise awesome model into a drab, boring set of photos. The uninspired Western theme was a cookie-cutter choice, and didn't do Rainy justice, just as Ciara was also jilted. Still, Rainy is going to be up there in many fans' lists for Playmate of the Year. Although I doubt she will get too much consideration for the top prize (much more will go to Ciara, Amanda, and Tiffany), Rainy has certainly made her mark on the Class of '11, and will definitely fall in my top 5.
Well, there we have it! All 12 Playmates have been set, and we're ready for PMOY voting to heat up. I'll publish my usual full rundown of all twelve, including my annual ranking, around the end of the year. We had some serious ups and downs this year, but it was all worth it in the end. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Face You'll Remember

As we draw to a close in 2011, we've seen the ebb and flow of Playmate quality in its most exemplary form. The first months of the year were wallowing in mediocrity, with some of the poorest Playmate performances we've seen in years. Fortunately, things have picked up for the close of the year, and that's quite an understatement.
Miss November 2011, Ciara

Tiffany Toth led the charge by lending her Cyber Girl experience to good use, creating a polished, gorgeous Playmate persona. Amanda Cerny followed that up with her unique look and spectacular size. To continue that upward trend, we now find the breathtaking Ciara Price as Miss November.

Ciara is a Maine native whose understated and humble personality can be immediately endearing to Playboy's audience. On top of that, she is just a beautifully radiant girl - one who is amazingly well-suited to a passive posing style due to her spectacular features. To sum her up, it's ok to just look at her being Ciara, and nothing else. No frills and no embellishments are needed with Miss Price, and when photographed well, she flourishes as one of the top models we've seen this year.

Really, Playboy had the right idea going in. Her girl-next-door, unpretentious charms are displayed in full force in her move-in photos, where she steals the scene in a low-key setting. Ciara is nothing if not commanding by just being herself, just flashing a smile here and there. And throughout her photos, the most amazingly striking detail is her face - simply put, Ciara has one of the most beautiful smiles you've seen in forever. Couple that with a twinkle from those small, squinty, cute eyes, and you have a girl who can melt the camera with just one look.

With a face like that and a nice, petite body to boot, you can't think it could go wrong, right? It did. And you can blame the editors for it. Ciara is a model who should be passively displayed, but instead she's worked into poses that don't work for her. The main problem, though, is the lack of any sexual sensation in the entire spread. Most of it is unbelievably prude, with strategically hidden vagina shots in otherwise gorgeous photos. It all just cheapens the experience that Ciara could potentially provide, and that's just a very sad reality.
  • Face: A+
    Ciara doesn't just have the most beautiful face this year (surpassing Jaclyn), but easily has the best since Laura Croft back in 2008. She has a unique sparkle to her congenial smile that instantly attracts and centers herself as the subject. With squinty but distinctive eyes and a beautiful tendency to lay her blond bangs over her face, this feature makes her simply irresistible and establishes her as a serious model in 2011.
  • Body: A-
    While her body doesn't add much to her overall allure, it is solid and sexy, and certainly doesn't take away from her performance. Her breasts are natural, nicely sleek lines and a slim profile with  curves in all the right places, creating a great silhouette when photographed right. With that head on her shoulders, it's hard to concentrate on anything else, but her naturally glowing look is without many flaws.
  • Talent: B+
    Ciara never really takes it to the next level in terms of her posing. She is rather passive, which may be a byproduct of an unimaginative pictorial. However, she doesn't ever need to do a whole lot, and doesn't. With her face and appearance being well suited to a passive girl-next-door stance, she does it well, and respectably.
  • Pictorial: B
    It's sad when a gorgeous girl like Ciara has her reputation dragged down by poor material, but this is a textbook case. While her pictorial isn't ugly by any stretch, it's prude and holds back so much that it makes you yearn for a little more exposure here and there. Ciara always looks willing, but always holds back just enough to frustrate the audience. Although the model makes up for some of the poor production and lack of imagination, it leaves you with an unpleasant taste.
  • Centerfold: B
    Miss Price's centerfold isn't much to shout about, taking from her black lingerie motif. If it came from her "move-in" series, it might have been a home run. However, it does a good job of accentuating her legs, albeit a relatively small 5' 4" frame.
  • Overall: A-
    It goes without saying that Ciara is a classic case of Playboy not taking advantage of a great model when they have one. Ciara could easily take the cake as one of the finest Playmates we've seen since last year, but instead she stays at the muddled front third of the pack. In a year where we've seen some definite lows give way to some awesome highs lately, we can safely conclude that Ciara will place near the top of most Playmate polls. With her polished, understated look and naturally breathtaking face, she should easily be in the PMOY race. While she does carry herself wonderfully, she still lacks much of the experience and zeal of a Toth or even her predecessor Cerny. This year's PMOY race will come down to a sheer moment of personal preference by the editors and fans, and whatever sticks will pull one girl through. With the mediocrity of Ciara's pictorial, she can only hope that audiences look beyond to her stunning visuals.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stuck in a Rut

It's really tough to explain just how poor this year's Playmate class has been. It isn't just a down year - I have not rated any of the women so far this year higher than a B+, and that has not happened in quite some time. Decades, even. If the trend keeps up (which I don't believe it will), this could be the worst Playmate class in a long time.

With Miss August, I thought that help was in sight. We've had some inconsistency in posing, as well as some truly uninspired posing styles, but here came busty Ukrainian Iryna Ivanova, with a fresh face and lustrous eyes, who could perhaps inject some sizzle into a dismally cold and boring class.

Unfortunately, this isn't the savior we're looking for.

Iryna is, to put it straight, a very one-dimensional model. She has a very intriguing face and a buxom body that may be appealing to many, but she just does not have the gravitas and posing ability that an A-class Playmate needs to possess. Instead, Iryna just appears to lack a true identity in her posing, although taking viewers on a decent ride through a colorful pictorial.

Iryna's pictorial is not revolutionary by any means, but it is still well-executed and has a beautiful summertime feel that is wholly appropriate, obviously. However, it isn't always clear in it that Iryna is the perfect model for the setting. With this model, full-on body shots just look awkward and wrong, and her body often looks too sloppy and voluptuous to be photographed this way. Instead, Iryna excels when prone, with her sexy, slick lower half taking center stage. When she's pictured this way, she shows her curvy attributes without letting her rather silly looking breasts hang out in the breeze rather awkwardly.

This severely limits the way the editors were able to use Iryna, and you notice that they have her lying down flat for much of the pictorial, and this is where she is at her best. Otherwise, she just doesn't look all that appealing. If there is, however, one redeeming factor, it is her alluring face. Although she doesn't change up her expression much, and her forehead is a bit too large when not covered up by her bangs, she has some interesting facial features, particularly her amazing, sparkling eyes. Those dark, large eyes are something to behold, but can't make up for her other shortcomings, unfortunately.

  • Face: A-
    Although her forehead is a bit large when not obscured by her hair, her face is soft, beautifully proportioned, and cute. Her deep, piercing eyes are full of intrigue, but she has a hard time "selling" her expressionless looks in her pictorial.
  • Body: B
    With a more voluptuous and curvy body, Iryna is nice to look at when laying prone or in particular poses. When fully exposed, she suffers due to her strange, overly large breasts that are oddly proportioned even considering her larger frame.
  • Talent: B-
    Iryna's pictorial is solid, but the model is certainly not. She often does nothing to counteract the her physical drawbacks, looking lost and disinterested throughout. She has an overly passive posing style that could not possibly get her any recognition further into the year.
  • Pictorial: B+
    Iryna's pictorial is her one saving grace, with the editors doing a decent job of getting her into poses that suit her less physical style and body type. The entire production is colorful and includes some sexy bedroom scenes, but ultimately were wasted on the wrong girl.
  • Centerfold: A-
    It might end up being the finest centerfold shot of the year, with a beautifully executed pose and an awesome shot of her nuanced face and engaging eyes.
  • Overall: B
    Iryna came in with some promise, but leaves in the same fashion that nearly every other model has so far in 2011. There is virtually nothing that will leave an impression in viewers' minds, and besides her deep, beautiful eyes, she doesn't physically have much to leave behind, either. She has very minimal posing talent, taking on an almost oblivious look to executing her pictorial. Besides a very well-done centerfold, her pictorial is extremely hit-or-miss. But again, what else would be expect from a 2011 class that has seen all of these issues, and more? When putting all the models in perspective, Iryna is at par or above when it comes to aspects of the current crop of ladies. While the final few months of the year show some promise (Tiffany Toth, the very interesting Amanda Cerny, and Ciara Price), I will hold my judgement until we see the goods. I have great hope that our PMOY will come out of the end of the year, but only time will tell.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Taking The Lead

After a very lackluster start to the 2011 Playmate class, it's time that things start to turn around and we see some really solid talent. The ladies so far have been very disappointing - up until now, Jaclyn Swedberg is probably the strongest of the candidates for PMOY '12, but her grip is anything but steady. All of the girls have been flawed, particularly in the area of true, raw talent. No one so far has been able to make an impression quite like Amy Andrews or Katie Vernola were able to do with such ease last year.

Here we are in July, with 27 year old bombshell Jessa Hinton coming in as Playmate of the Month. Initially, I had some major reservations about Miss Hinton's entry into this already weak class. Jessa was featured as Cyber Girl of the Month prior to this appearance, and her seemingly one-dimensional style put me off quite a bit. Her preview pictorial did nothing to assuage my lack of confidence. However, with her pictorial, she's proven quite a bit indeed.

As a poser, Jessa is certainly helped by her excellent size (5'8") and body proportions. Her long, buxom frame photographs extremely well, and her hard, chiseled midsection is certainly nice to behold. Jessa's overall appearance is a bit darker and more sexually raw than other ladies we've seen this year. We've gotten used to seeing some general watering down of Playmate pictorials, with a particular problem arising in the models being reluctant to expose too much in photos. Jessa, however, brings it back in force, not being afraid to bare her sexy labia.

Jessa may gather mixed reviews, as many will be put off by her obvious enhancements and sometimes plastic look. I, however, was pleasantly surprised by her sense of presence in front of the camera, and felt as though she really has a good grasp of posing that can easily outweigh any physical flaws she may have. Jessa can simply hit some excellent poses, such as this one, which show her range of skill by photographing her body in motion-based angles, using an active posing motif rather than a passive one.

To really tie it together, Jessa has a really intriguing face, which sold me on her being a very worthy Playmate entry. While her sharp eyebrows and angular facial features may turn some off, I was attracted to her slanted, exotic eyes and full lips. Jessa is a bit of an enigma in a lot of ways, and her face is a microcosm for the type of model she is - one that is sure to cause debate in her worthiness to lead the 2012 race.

  • Face: B+
    Many may find Jessa's face to be the deciding factor in either loving or hating her appearance as a Playmate, but for me, it is certainly one of her strengths. Her intriguing, smoky, and squinting eyes along with a strong jawline with some lovely, full, parted lips are unique and very engaging in photographs.
  • Body: B+
    Although her breast enhancements and overproduction in photos may serve as a flaw in the eyes of many, Jessa's tough and tall frame totally makes up for them. Her posing style plays in very well with the way she engulfs photos with her photogenic legs and abs, and her subtle curves also keep her looking balanced from head to toe.
  • Talent: A-
    Jessa is certainly keenly aware of the camera, and visibly understands how to strike some excellent poses. While she has some issues being consistent, Jessa's in-your-face approach complements her physique with style.
  • Pictorial: B+
    While not taking any real risks, the Playboy producers did a very good job alternating outfits and keeping the pictorial as physical as possible. With an active poser such as Jessa, the focus is kept on her movement and great height, and this helps the audience see what she has to offer.
  • Centerfold: B+
    Jessa's centerfold does what her pictorial does so well - it showcases her lower body very well. Although it misses the boat with her facial expression and doesn't truly convey the type of model she is, the shot is a sexy one.
  • Overall: B+
    Jessa won't win over every Playboy fan out there, but her introduction as Playmate has been undeniably justified. She is a sharp poser with plenty of skill, but more than that, she carves out a unique niche among the ladies in the 2011 class that will endure. She may not have the polished look of Jaclyn Swedberg or the bubbly likeability of Anna Berglund, but she does what she does well, which is raw, physical posing. With a more complex and involved pictorial, we would have been able to understand her better, but with her intriguing face and great body, she is a surprisingly solid entry for the 2012 PMOY race. She is currently my frontrunner for the title next year, although she is certainly not a dominant favorite for the win. Let's hope this roll continues, with a very interesting Eastern European Miss August just around the corner.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cyber Girl Tourney: Sweet Sixteen, Part 2

After a brief hiatus, we continue our tournament bracket to find out who will be crowned the Greatest Cyber Girl of All-Time in our ongoing polls. The first part of the Sweet Sixteen round was quite eventful, with three "upsets," and one 6th seed reaching the Elite Eight. Let's recap:

  • #5 Jillian Beyor def. #1 Monica Leigh: The first of the #1 seeds to go down, prolific former Playmate and CGOY Monica was beat to the punch by fan favorite Jillian early on. Miss Beyor jetted to a big early lead, and although Monica clawed back valiantly, it was Jill's huge profile and following that got her over the hump. It may not be a major upset, since she has a fighting chance as we move forward.
  • #3 Jamie Graham def. #2 Sharae Spears: Sharae was the second of the three former CGOYs to go down in this round of voting. There really was never much competition, as Miss Graham is one of the most favored Cyber Girls in recent years, and has a massive fan backing that could carry her to the Final Four. After dominating the first round, she easily took care of Sharae in a battle of the bodies.
  • #4 Bethanie Badertscher def. #1 Jo Garcia: The next CGOY and #1 seed to bite the dust was, surprisingly, Jo. Although I had her as one of the favorites to win it all, the fans apparently didn't think so. She struggled early against Dana Dicillo, and got beat in every single way by our current reigning CGOY. Beth may have benefited from her current high profile, having pictorials of herself published as voting went on. Whatever it is, it was a pretty surprising upset that could give Miss Badertscher enough momentum to carry her for a long time.
  • #6 Hillary Fisher def. #7 Kortnie O'Connor: The two lowest seeds still around, one of them had to go, and it was the lesser known Kortnie that was cast aside. Hillary is one of the great darkhorse upset candidates of the tournament, with her popularity and freshness, she can make a statement as she moves on to face our newest CGOY.
And now, let's look forward as we finally get the voting back underway:
  • #1 Cabal vs. #5 Holland
    Will Merritt Cabal become the latest #1 seed casualty? Will any #1 seeds even make the Elite 8 round? Those are the questions as she faces off against one of the three former Playmates (the others being Carmella and Nicole) left in the tourney. Kim has the firepower to pick off a girl who is perhaps the weakest of the CGOYs left in the field, and she struggled mightily against bottom seeded Tailor James. This one might be a toss-up.
    Prediction: Holland by 10%
  • #3 Hurt vs. #7 Whitehead
    This one is a definite clash of styles. Nicole is a slim, bubbly former Playmate whose Cyber Girl feature may not have packed the same kind of punch, but who also comes off a destruction of CGOY Alicia Burley. However, Jennifer Hurt is simply one of the major favorites to win it all, with a strong fan following and a curvy body and fun posing style. It would be a tough one to pull off for the lowest seeded model remaining.
    Prediction: Hurt by 50%
  • #1 Cooper vs. #5 Richardson
    Here, we have a contrast of accomplishments. Amy Sue Cooper is easily the strongest of the two #1's left, and a possibility to go all the way. She comes off an easy win, and faces Danielle Richardson, who has never even been a CGOM, and is fresh off a tough upset over Stephanie Eve. Amy Sue looks in good position to move on here, but we've seen it all in this tourney.
    Prediction: Cooper by 30%
  • #2 Barre vs. #3 DeCesare
    On first glance, it would seem that the first ever CGOY is in a whole lot of trouble here. Erika Michelle Barre struggled to even close out against rather unknown Carolee Bass, and she'll have a whole lot of trouble here. Carmella absolutely annihilated Paula LaRocca in the first round, and looks to be the strongest candidate so far to win the entire tourney. If Erika can conjure up more than a handful of votes, she'd be extremely lucky.
    Prediction: DeCesare by 80%
Now, get in your votes, and stay tuned as it gets really good.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Waiting For Summer Heat...

To say that the change in the sheer quality of Playmates this year is shocking is an understatement. It's downright disappointing, given the great ladies who graced the centerfolds in 2010. The Class of '11 is about halfway through, with Miss June rounding out the first six of the selection for PMOY 2012, and we're still searching for the breakaway star that can really leave her mark.

Last year, I thought Amy Leigh Andrews, Katie Vernola, and Jamie Edmondson all were truly amazing entrants. Heck, even Claire Sinclair, our current PMOY, would have easily stomped the competition so far this year. Let's take a look at our two most recent Playmates.

Miss May, Sasha Bonilova
Miss May was Sasha Bonilova, a Ukrainian bombshell with some major assets. To get down to the point, and the entire premise of Sasha as a Playmate, it's her breasts. Her tits. They are absolutely gargantuan, and certainly the largest we've seen in more than a decade, perhaps even further back. Sporting her 36-inch DD cups (which look more like EE cups in her photos), it's hard to even notice much of her posing repertoire because of these massive distractions.

Now, to some, Sasha's boobs may be a fetishist thing. It's certainly not something we see often. Sure, large breasts are naturally more attractive, but this is something over the top. Sasha is more of a sideshow, a circus act that unfortunately looks all wrong. Although I'm entirely convinced that her breasts are absolutely 100% natural, it still doesn't make it any better. They simply look silly, and mask any semblance of class her pictorial might have. When you do get past the ridiculousness of her body, she really doesn't have much to offer, unfortunately.

Sasha is just an empty, vapid poser with little facial expression whatsoever. She never so much as cracks a smile, instead leaning on a drab, distressed look to go along with her Eastern European posing shtick. That tired old squinty-eyed look just doesn't cut it these days, with serious talents relying on a large variety of active posing styles to really turn up the heat.

  • Face: B
    Although certainly not unattractive, Sasha never smiles or changes her facial expression throughout her entire collection, choosing to look absurdly dull.
  • Body: B-
    Whatever semblance of a sexy figure she has (and she does have it when you look beyond), Sasha's breasts are just too distracting. In an era showcasing tight, chiseled Playmate bodies, Sasha just looks like a joke, and a relic of the 1980's.
  • Talent: C+
    Sasha shows absolutely no sign of posing talent throughout her pictorial, and that's just the truth. She never changes up her style or takes even a semblance of a risk, instead choosing to look dull and disinterested, costing her a chance to use her rather pretty face for some good.
  • Pictorial: B-
    The editors tried to do as much as they could with this disaster of a model, but ultimately failed due to the subject matter. You can't blame them, as they tried every fancy technique possible on such a passive, boring poser. It turned out miserably.
  • Centerfold: C+
    A full-on body shot only failed to conceal the ridiculous proportions, and failed to look beyond them to the possibly cuter girl deep down. Nice effort on the rare (albeit goofy) smile, though.
  • Overall: C+
    I know I've been harsh on young Miss Bonilova, but really it is difficult to put it any other way. After waiting a few months for a good Playmate entry to come around, it just got drastically worse with Sasha. Her colossal breasts may be a draw to some, but to me they are huge, dangling gimmicks, and a mask on top of a completely talentless model. She could have fared much better had she backed up her chest with some skill, but she is ultimately destined for the bottom of my yearly rankings, barring some other unfortunate entry.
Miss June, Mei-Ling Lam
Then came our current Playmate, Miss June Mei-Ling Lam, our first Playmate of Asian descent since 2008's Grace Kim. As I've said in the past, I'm never opposed to Asian Playmate entries. Several have been more than decent, including Lynn Thomas, Hiromi Oshima, and hall of famer Jodi Ann Paterson. It's always exciting to see a newcomer try and crack the mold, and I was understandably excited when I saw test photos of Mei-Ling float around the Cyber Club. To my dismay, she just couldn't pull through.

Just as with her predecessor, Mei-Ling never had the talent to make a push as a serious Playmate in the first place, and the choice is another mystery so far in 2011. She turns out to be an extremely passive and rather awkward poser, often waiting for the camera to turn out pictures rather than create some of her own. Although she does benefit from an oftentimes cute face and a tight little body, she wastes it by offering up an oddly paced pictorial. She never explores her sexuality, never draws the audience in, and only meanders around with a clumsy dress. She fiddles with it with a confused expression, never figuring out what she's supposed to be doing.

It is also again rather odd that Playmates are starting to get more prude with their pictorials' sexual content as we move on. Jaclyn Swedberg disappointed me earlier this year, but Mei-Ling truly takes the cake in the "no-pussy" department. She just refuses to show a single shot of her labia, settling on a variety of oddly focused butt-shots of a nonexistent butt. Her body is nice and slim, but she tries to expose curves she just does not have. Although shots accentuating her body using the usual lighting tricks are good calls, they fall flat at the end.
  • Face: B
    Mei-Ling has a pretty face with a nice smile, but often wastes it with some awkward looks at the camera, complementing the fact that she just often looks lost.
  • Body: B
    Mei-Ling's physique needs to be enhanced using pictorial tricks, as she really doesn't have the curves of most modern Playmates. And while that's perfectly fine to have a petite body, the photographic angles never do a good job in using that spunkiness to her advantage.
  • Talent: B
    As we saw with Sasha, Miss Lam is an average talent at best. Although she does offer a much more bubbly and dynamic look than her predecessor, she suffers from the issue of not knowing how to handle her pictorial and often looking lost and disoriented.
  • Pictorial: B-
    One of the more poorly executed pictorials we've seen so far in 2011, Mei-Ling was definitely not given the star treatment by the Playboy editors. While she is a nice model with some manageable talent, the pictures betrayed her with totally unimaginative costuming and a lack of any real sexual zest. She never reveals enough to draw in the audience, to say the least.
  • Centerfold: B+
    In what is again an unrevealing choice for a pose, it still is polished and cute, and she is in her best setting of the entire pictorial series.
  • Overall: B-
    There is not a whole lot to say about this forgettable performance. Mei-Ling should fade to the back of the pack in any normal Playmate class, but in 2011 she could find herself in the muddled middle. There simply hasn't been any more-than-decent talent so far, and Mei-Ling doesn't help the case at all. She has very little intangible quality, and does not get a chance to exhibit her petite physique and naturally attractive qualities at all. It's a bit sad, since she is a cute girl, but I say good riddance. Let's turn our attention to the latter half of 2011 and hope for the best, since duds like Miss Lam need to be pushed to the rearview mirror.

Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 PMOY Review

As everyone saw coming several weeks ago, this year's Playmate of the Year is Claire Sinclair, Miss October 2010. It came as a bit of a surprise to many, including myself, that Claire was able to nudge out some stiff competition. 2010 was an excellent and very deep Playmate class, as I reviewed months ago.

With some awesome candidates like Amy Andrews, Katie Vernola, and Jamie Faith Edmondson, it seems strange that Playboy would go with a Playmate who comes from complete left-field to take the title. Although Claire was at #5 on my ranking, it comes as a bit of a disappointment. Claire has talent, and is undoubtedly a pretty girl, but she just doesn't have the all-around package that a PMOY really should have.

Claire lacks the body of a Playmate, and although there's nothing wrong with a few curves, her body is just not very photogenic. Her pale skin and lack of sleek, tight contours really hampers her appearance. The biggest issue with her, however, is her gimmicky look. Her entire PMOY pictorial stands as a perfect example: it showcases Claire in over-the-top "pinup" style poses, which is creative, but incredibly tacky. When it all comes down to it, fans just want to see some comfortable, sexual posing with intimacy and grace, like all the greats have done it. Miss Sinclair completely misses that boat, lookin overproduced and silly in a cartoonish beach setting, or in a bizarre bunny costume.

When it comes down to it, Claire is a sensible choice for PMOY. She's a bit of a risky pick, but it's somewhat refreshing to see a throwback girl take the title. On the other hand, it always feels like a whole lot is missing whenever Claire poses, and it leaves an empty feeling throughout her pictorials. The overdone pinup girl thing is cute for a while, but as in every great Playboy model, keeping it simple is always a great rule of thumb.

So, another year has gone by, and another Playmate prediction has gone awry. To be more accurate, I never "predict" the winner in my PMOY rankings, but merely identify who I think should win. So, let's take a look back at my picks for the ultimate Playboy title, and see who's won the prize instead for the last 10 years.

Year My Pick Winner Winner's PBC Ranking
2011 Amy Leigh Andrews Claire Sinclair #5
2010Jessica BurciagaHope Dworaczyk#8
2009Juliette FretteIda Ljungqvist#3
2008Brittany BingerJayde Nicole#3
2007Monica LeighSara Jean Underwood#2
2006Raquel GibsonKara Monaco#3
2005Tiffany FallonTiffany Fallon#1
2004Carmella DeCesareCarmella DeCesare#1
2003Teri HarrisonChristina Santiago#5
2002Jennifer WalcottDalene Kurtis#3
2001Shannon StewartBrande Roderick#7

Ouch. Well, here's to next year!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hello, Goodbye

In the past three years, you could say we've seen some major missteps in terms of Cyber Girls. We've seen some greats come and go, and a pair of questionable calls at Cyber Girl of the Year (Sharae Spears and Tess Taylor Arlington) made many shake their heads in confusion. How could great entries like Jamie Graham, Trina Marie, Jia Lynn, and Tasha Nicole get tossed aside so easily?

Thankfully, this year's dark cloud has a silver lining. You might have noticed that I did not even bother to write a Cyber Girl Recap post for this year's class, simply because I thought it was abysmal all throughout. Well, except for one girl - Bethanie Badertscher, our 2011 CGOY.

Some might recall how I gushed about Bethanie after her CGOM debut back in July of last year. I went on about how she was the "one to beat" for the CGOY title, and her all-around perfection inspired me to award her a spot in my PlayboyCritic Hall of Fame with an A+ rating. And lo and behold, Bethanie's taken the title with relative ease. And believe me, she won't disappoint.

No, Bethanie could easily be the greatest Cyber Girl of the Year we've seen since Jo Garcia, and could even surpass that prolific woman by leaps and bounds. It's no secret that she's got a lot to live up to: 4 previous CGOYs are in my Hall of Fame (Jo Garcia, Monica Leigh, Amy Sue Cooper, and Merritt Cabal). Those ladies had some dazzling showings in their monthly installments, but I have no doubt Miss Badertscher will be able to hold her own, and eventually cement herself as one of the great Cyber Girls in history.

Seeing her first pictorial just reaffirms my fascination with this girl. Bethanie is just a different breed of poser - a fresh breath in an era of boring Barbie doll models with lifeless posing styles. Beth has loads of talent, and her debut pictorial is saucy and spectacular. The sexy, strappy lingerie combined with a wholly different look offers a window into how Bethanie's reign as CGOY will be. The ability to deliver variety is key, and there may have never been a CGOY with more varied talents like this one. She can change her look with a flip of the hair or a flash of her smile, and her body is just immaculate in every photo. I'll wait to really judge where Bethanie will sit in the order of past CGOYs, but it's safe to say that it will be exciting from beginning to end.

Tess had a rough outing
as CGOY, drawing the ire
of many fans
The same, unfortunately, can't be said about our outgoing Cyber Girl of the Year, Tess Taylor Arlington. Her twelve months have been unbelievably forgettable, and her unfortunate pick over fan favorite Jamie Graham still is a sore spot among many. I held out hope when she was selected, even saying that she would turn out some memorable performances to silence her critics. Now that her reign is over, how would I rank her among the CGOY's of the past?

See my original Cyber Girl of the Year rankings from 2009

#1. Amy Sue Cooper ('05)
#2. Monica Leigh ('06)
#3. Jo Garcia ('08)
#4. Merritt Cabal ('03)
#5. Sharae Spears ('09)
#6. Erika Michelle Barre ('02)
#7. Alicia Burley ('04)
#8. Breann McGregor ('07)
#9. Tess Taylor Arlington ('10)

So there you are. I believe we just went through the worst CGOY we've ever seen. Now that it's over with, we can bask in the glow of Bethanie, who I believe will have a good chance to usurp even the biggest names on that list. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cyber Girl Tourney: Sweet Sixteen Voting Begins

Our 2nd round matches were, as expected, good to the very end. The first part was lacking many tight ones and upsets, but the second 8 matches were extremely competitive. We saw tons of lead changes and down to the wire exchanges. Before we begin with the Sweet Sixteen round, let's recap what we just saw:
  • #2 Sharae Spears def. #7 Shamron Moore: Sharae never really felt the heat in this one. While the styles were similar and Shamron could have put up a fight, Sharae is just far fresher in fans' minds, and has the CGOY credentials to pull through. She'll need that tight, sharp body to carry her any further, as Jamie Graham will await her in the Sweet 16.
  • #3 Jamie Graham def. #6 Christi Nicole Taylor: As expected, this one was an utter mismatch. Christi is one of the relics from the very first year of Cyber Girls, and her name recognition wasn't up to par with Jamie. Miss Graham has a major following, and many are still sore from her loss in last year's CGOY voting. She should prove to be quite a force.
  • #1 Merritt Cabal def. #8 Tailor James: This match was too close to call all the way to the end, with Merritt narrowly getting by with 2 votes. Tailor mounted a serious challenge, and for most of the week it seemed as if she'd get the big upset. As a #8 seed who had to start out in the first round, Tailor put Merritt in danger of being the only #1 seed not to advance. Now, Merritt will need to put up a strong showing to make it much farther, with Kim Holland and Jennifer Hurt in her possible future.
  • #5 Kimberly Holland def. #4 Kaytee Bees: This was a back and forth battle, with Kaytee looking strong in the middle of the week. She was ultimately edged out by the popular Kimberly, whose repertoire includes numerous pictorials and a Playmate appearance. Kaytee, even with the honor of being the 100th CGOM, couldn't even advance past the first round, making that decision look a bit questionable when looking back on it.
  • #1 Amy Sue Cooper def. #9 Trina Marie: This match started a bit tight, but then as expected, Amy ran away with it. Being one of the tougher CGOY's seeded in the tournament, she should prove to be a hard opponent for anyone, and especially was for Trina, one of the girls passed over in a tough CGOY race that was won by Sharae Spears a few years ago. Amy should be one of the major favorites moving forward.
  • #5 Danielle Richardson def. #4 Stephanie Eve: This one should be one of the most surprising  results so far. In a tight battle, Danielle, who was (and is) the only candidate left to have never been a CGOM, beat out Stephanie, who is a hugely prolific Playboy model who has Playmate (and Playmate Xtra) credentials under her belt. In the end, fan favorite Danielle edged out the competition in a stunner, to move on to far stiffer competition against a CGOY in Amy Sue Cooper. Amy isn't likely to flop like Steph did, but it's all left to be seen.
  • #7 Kortnie O'Connor def. #2 Breann McGregor: The second of the #2 seeds to go down, Breann couldn't use her CGOY credentials to battle off the underrated and scrappy Kortnie. This should have been an easy one for any former annual title winner, but Breann is one of the more maligned CGOYs in history, and wasn't necessarily favored in a matchup against a girl with a superior body and posing style, anyway. Not a complete shocker, really.
  • #6 Hillary Fisher def. #3 Tess Taylor Arlington: Let's just call it revenge. Hillary was unfairly beat out by Miss Arlington for last year's CGOY title, and got her chance here to find some retribution. She got it, getting the help of her die hard fans. Hillary's bubbly personality combined with a rock hard body should have gotten her the title in the first place, but a deep run in this tournament might just be her consolation prize.
And now, let's look ahead to the first half of the great matchups of the 3rd round, the Sweet Sixteen. All the contestants here will face some true adversity with some tougher opponents. And as we saw, your votes count!
  • #1 Leigh vs. #4 Beyor
    This is the one to watch in this round of bouts. With both contestants thoroughly handling their 2nd round opponents, this one could go either way. Monica Leigh is one of the great CGOY's, and easily handled Danielle Gamba with her stunning beauty and great material. Jillian Beyor is a longtime fan favorite who took care of Melissa Puente with surprising ease in her battle. For these reasons, this should be good. Will Monica avoid being one of the first #1 seeds to go down? She couldn't have gotten a worse draw in this round, with Jillian being a powerful force who could very well reach the Final Four. Prediction: Leigh by 10%
  • #2 Spears vs. #3 Graham
    This is the second of two matchups in the same bracket region as Monica Leigh, where all the top four seeds advanced. This one pits a former CGOY, Sharae, against one of last year's favorites to win it all, Jamie. Sharae clobbered Shamron Moore in her first match, as did Jamie against old-school Christi Taylor. With such dominant opening performances, one would think this one will go down to the wire, with some seminal talents. For Playboy fans that are into tough, lean, and chiseled bodies, there is nothing more you could want. Both girls pack curvaceous bodies with hourglass figures, as these dazzlingly photogenic physical specimens cannot be beat in that department. Prediction: Graham by 20%
  • #1 Garcia vs. #4 Badertscher
    A very interesting matchup pits the sinewy and talented former CGOY Jo Garcia against the newly crowned CGOY, Bethanie Badertscher. Jo struggled a bit to put away Dana Dicillo, a #9 seed who kept it close for far too long. Bethanie, on the other hand, crushed Heather McQuaid to roll into this one, and may have a huge boost. If she can exploit the slow start by Jo, she could possibly cause a minor upset here. Bethanie is the 2011 Cyber Girl of the Year, which means that she has plenty of current exposure, and that it's upped her credentials and made her look a bit underseeded. If she can use that momentum, she could very well take it. But it's still a tall order to beat a competitor as strong as Jo, who is always a top poser. Prediction: Garcia by 5%
  • #6 Fisher vs. #7 O'Connor
    The lowest seeded match in the Sweet Sixteen, this is not the meeting many might have expected. There was a chance that this bracket region would have 4 CGOYs pitted against each other, but these girls took care of that. Both girls beat out CGOY winners: Hillary beat up on her rival from last year, Tess Arlington, and Kortnie made a surprising push to handle Breann McGregor. The fact that both did this is very impressive, and perhaps is a case of underseeding when considering how great the models really are. Now, Hillary will try to use her popularity from last year's class to beat out a lesser known Kortnie, for the chance to face yet another CGOY. Both girls have very similar body styles, but very different posing philosophies, with Kortnie being far more subtle and Hillary taking a more overtly sexual role. The winner could be the surprise of the upcoming rounds. Prediction: Fisher by 20%
The Sweet Sixteen is set, now time to vote some ladies into the Elite Eight, and the regional finals!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Falling Short of Greatness

A sharp, tight body can help
 Miss April go a long way.
So far this Playmate calendar year, we've been searching for the first true contender for Playmate of the Year. It's been a rough one, with girls like Ashley Mattingly simply not being good looking enough, and the top contender, Kylie Johnson, just not having the complete package it takes to be really great.

Here in April, we're presented with by far the most promising candidate, Jaclyn Swedberg, Miss April 2011. Jaclyn has a background in Playboy that's more extensive than most, with appearances on numerous Playboy TV shows and other features. In them, she exudes the persona of the resident 'badass,' with leather and motorcycles being her primary M.O.

She carries that over into her Playmate appearance. Jaclyn hammers it home with a consistent theme to her pictorial, but doesn't quite put it all together into something that truly complements her appearance. On the surface, Jaclyn is a gorgeous girl. She's wholesome, and fits the girl-next-door experience quite well. With a very attractive, youthful, face, Jaclyn draws in the audience. That's what really sells her style, since the pictorial doesn't go into enough depth, as I'll discuss later. Instead, she relies on some sexy stares, combined with a slim, sleek silhouette to pull her through.

Jaclyn almost has the entire package. She's very warm and inviting, and alternates this with a sharp sense of sexuality that sells her leather and biker image. The sheer depth of her facial features and the color of her body are just breathtaking. While not so toned and curvaceous as the modern Playmate, she has a lanky, tall build that really is beautiful to look at. All in all, she is awesomely photogenic, and has plenty of talent to tie it all in.

All that said, Jaclyn falls just short of greatness. This is due to the fact that her pictorial just never seems complete, with Jaclyn being unbelievably bashful about showing her genitals, which is too bad, since some long distance shots in her video show off a cute set of lips in glancing shots. It's not just this fact, but also that the pictorial never gives the audience a look at the subtleties that really characterize a beauty like Jaclyn's. She can just be low-key and clothed, and still exude a sense of poise. That's amiss in her material, and this is a plain shame.
  • Face: A
    Easily the best face in a year full of awkward mugs, Jaclyn is just gorgeous to admire. Her piercing eyes and beautifully shaped jawline are extremely picturesque, and those lucious locks of soft hair just flow in every photo. She can overdo those pouty lips at times, but they can also do wonders in close-ups.
  • Body: A- Jaclyn isn't as busty and curvy as most Playmates of the modern era, but her slim waist and great length in a slinky, cute package make her irresistible. Her body is just incredibly photogenic, and it almost looks as though she was destined to pose in the nude. Just a pleasure to look at.
  • Talent: A-
    With a quick glance with those amazing eyes, or a flip of the legs into the air, her slender body combined with an irresistibly charming persona make her a talented girl. She knows how to use every ounce of her sex appeal.
  • Pictorial: B
    Although the production value is great and the photographer hits all the right angles, it seems as though there is quite a bit still missing. The motorbike theme doesn't quite suit Jaclyn as well as one would hope. She seems like a more wholesome girl who could be better suited to a subtle home theme. More importantly, the pictures are not in the least bit revealing, and may be a bit too softcore for Playboy in the modern era.
  • Centerfold: B
    It is definitely a beautiful photo, but leaves a lot to be desired. It also suffers from rampant overproduction, as with most centerfolds. Jaclyn's beauty is in its depth and color, and both are ruined here.
  • Overall: B+
    Jaclyn, at first glance, has it all together. She is a gorgeous woman with subtle and intricate beauty that one can spend a long time observing. She isn't a simple girl, and there is a lot to her posing style, which makes her an excellent pick for Playmate. She is, by far, the best girl of the year so far, and a true contender for Playmate of the Year. However, she still did not deliver as much as she could have, and you all know how much PlayboyCritic values material. The pictorial was not complete, as much as her Jukebox videos were (which really did a good job of showing the girl-next-door bubbly side to her, which I wish was emphasized more in her pictorial). She really has it in her, which makes her a stunning model; but there's just something that keeps her from being truly great, and that's a shame.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

2nd Round: Part 2 Voting Underway!

After a week of 2nd round voting, we've seen some very interesting matchups unfold, and some expected and unexpected results. Now, we move on with the next set of 16 ladies, finishing out the 2nd round and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. But first, a quick recap of the first eight matches, where we only had one upset, but there were some interesting and tight ones:
Round 2, Part 2
  • #1 Monica Leigh def. #8 Danielle Gamba: Although play-in candidate Danielle offered a similar posing style and some tighter-than-expected competition, former CGOY Monica stormed to the 3rd round with relative ease.
  • #4 Jillian Beyor def. #5 Melissa Puente: This was a bigger blowout than expected, with major fan favorite Jillian trouncing Melissa. Jillian looks poised to put up quite a fight against #1 seeded Monica, and that should be one of the upcoming marquee matchups.
  • #7 Nicole Whitehead def. #2 Alicia Burley: The first CGOY to go down, Alicia started tough against Nicole, but succumbed to a the spunky blond. Fans were drawn to the more recognizable Miss Whitehead, while Alicia is one of the more controversial CGOY picks of the past. Justice was finally served. This one may not be as big an upset as it seemed to be.
  • #3 Jennifer Hurt def. #6 Erica Campbell: Jennifer was, as expected, a true juggernaut in this one. It was never close, with Erica getting some sympathy votes. Jen has cemented her position as the one to beat in her bracket region, even with Cabal and Holland posing a threat.
  • #2 Erika Michelle Barre def. #7 Carolee Bass: This match began with Erika having a comfortable lead, but Carolee quickly knotted it up. In the end, name recognition, in being the first ever CGOY, helped Miss Barre edge out her tough competition. At this rate, though, her tourney run might end early; she needs to step up her game.
  • #3 Carmella DeCesare def. #6 Paula LaRocca: We expected Carmella to be strong, but didn't expect this. This was the biggest blowout we've seen, with Paula crumbling under the onslaught with a single vote. Carmella looks like the class of the tournament, and it might take the likes of all the CGOYs to take her down.
  • #1 Jo Garcia def. #9 Dana Dicillo: This was the most interesting match of the round, unexpectedly. Jo had a surprisingly tough time beating the lowest overall seed, and did so with some fans pulling through at the very end. It looked at one time as if there would be a huge upset here, as the voting was all tied up. With this slow start, it would be interesting to see if she can survive to the Final Four.
  • #4 Bethanie Badertscher def. #5 Heather McQuaid: Perhaps it's the currency of Bethanie's reputation, but she easily dispatched Heather, who seemed to be a worthy opponent. For her to beat the slow-starting Jo Garcia, she'll need some serious firepower, but as it was shown, it is possible.
Here are the upcoming matches to finish off the 2nd round, and to move on to the Sweet Sixteen:
  • #2 Spears vs. #7 Moore
    Sharae is one of the more recent CGOY's, and won in controversial fashion due to her gorgeous body and great height. Shamron is one of those CG's of old who has a similar body style. It could be an interesting one, given the old-school nostalgics are out in full force.
  • #3 Graham vs. #6 Taylor
    This one seems like a rather lopsided affair, as one of last year's CGOM favorites goes up against Christi Taylor, one of the original CG's of old. Again, if some of the nostalgic fans of the old days turn out, it could be close. However, fans are still irate over Jamie's snub last year against Tess Arlington, so she could be yet another tough #3 seed.
  • #1 Cabal vs. #8 James
    One of the 1 vs 8 matches of the round features one of the most underrated CGOY's in Merritt, against a former Playmate in Tailor, who made it past the opener in a thumping. The clash of styles here should prove interesting, and it would be good to see one of the seldom talked about CGOY's to make a deep run.
  • #4 Bees vs.  #5 Holland
    Kaytee is featured here due to her status as the winner of "Cyber Girl 100," being the 100th CGOM after a contest. She hasn't garnered much fan buzz, so it should be a tight one against one of the iconic CG's of the past, and a former Playmate from 2004. Could this be an upset in the making, with yet another lower seeded Playmate trying to beat out a high profile Cyber Girl?
  • #1 Cooper vs. #9 Marie
    The lowest seeded girl left, Trina made her name a few years ago in a stellar CG class. Would she be able to go up against Idaho beauty Amy Sue, who made a brilliant career as a sultry and sophisticated poser during her CGOY reign? Amy is still one of the most celebrated CGOY's of all-time, and this could be nightmare scenario for Trina.
  • #4 Eve vs. #5 Richardson
    Definitely one of the most intriguing matchups of the round, Stephanie is a poser who has gotten tons of exposure in numerous Playboy media outlets. Her curvy body and sex-tinged posing style go up interestingly against Danielle (the only CGOW left in the contest), who is a mature girl-next-door with an understated appeal. The clash of styles is very alluring.
  • #2 McGregor vs. #7 O'Connor
    A favorite of the PlayboyCritic, Kortnie is one of the more underrated CGOM's to appear in years. With her playful style and engaging pictorials, she is a gorgeous entrant. On the other hand, Breann is one of the less favored CGOY's in years. Her short stature and extremely voluptuous frame make her an interesting model, but can she roll with the punches and make it far into a tournament packed with stars?
  • #3 Arlington vs. #6 Fisher
    This one packs perhaps the most interesting storyline of all. Tess Arlington is the much-maligned current CGOY, and the only one at a #3 seed. She faces one of her main challengers for the CGOY throne this past year, Hillary. Although Miss Fisher finds herself at a rather low seed, can she make some waves by defeating the girl who beat her out for 2010 CGOY in the first place? It may not be as far-fetched as it seems.
That's all, now make your picks for who should advance on to the Sweet Sixteen, where the real action begins!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Greatest Cyber Girl Bracket - 2nd Round Voting!

2nd Round, Part 1
Thanks to all for the votes in the opening round of the Greatest Cyber Girl tournament. All of the matchups were blowouts, maybe rightfully so. A short recap of the #8 vs #9 competition, and the girls who'll face the #1 overall seeds in the next round:

  • Daneille Gamba def. Tila Nguyen: The fans obviously liked the busty Miss Gamba over reality TV star "Tila Tequila," who achieved a lot after her CG career, but that still didn't help her clinch this one. Danielle will face a steep challenge in top seed Monica Leigh.
  • Tailor James def. Stephenie Flickinger: This one was a bit closer, but Tailor James, who was also a Playmate during her career, easily dispatched Stephenie. She moves on to face top seed Merritt Cabal, former CGOY.
  • Trina Marie def. Ines Alecsandra: A more current CG, Trina upset Ines as a bottom seed in her bracket section. She didn't get too much press during her CGOM reign, but now she goes up against a formidable foe in Idahoan beauty Amy Sue Cooper.
  • Dana Dicillo def. Rochelle Loewen: The bottom overall seed, Miss Dicillo made it look easy against Rochelle. Dana is the only CGOW in the competition, as she never got the respect of being the month's Cyber Girl. Now, she gets a chance to create a colossal upset against #1 Jo Garcia.

And now, for the real competition. We will open 1 1/2 weeks of voting on the first 8 matches of the round. Here are the competitions we see here:

  • #1 Leigh vs. #8 Gamba
    One of the most prolific Cyber Girls and Playmates of all-time, Monica Leigh will use her CGOY clout to try and crush upstart Danielle, who made it to this round in her play-in against Tila Nguyen in a blowout. Can she keep the momentum to create a major upset?
  • #4 Beyor vs. #5 Puente
    Two major fan favorites, Jillian and Melissa should create one of the closer matches in the tournament, and it would come as no surprise if either one made a deep run in the bracket. Miss Beyor is especially a major darkhorse as a #4 seed.
  • #2 Burley vs. #7 Whitehead
    One of the #2 seeded former CGOYs, Alicia faces off against Nicole, who has the distinction of also being a Playmate. In that sense, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see an upset here, as Nicole, less heralded as a CG, could prove a tough matchup.
  • #3 Hurt vs. #6 Campbell
    This is a big one to watch. Jennifer Hurt is easily one of the popular picks to go very deep, perhaps to win it all. She faces the sexual, raw Erica, who is a former SE Model of the Year. Jennifer is one of the most popular CG's in recent years, so perhaps it's time for redemption here.
  • #2 Barre vs. #7 Bass
    Erika, the very first CGOY, finds herself as a #2 seed facing an interesting competitor in Carolee, one of the classic Cyber Girls. Miss Bass could pull the upset with the help of some nostalgic fans who find her hardbody and straightforward style appealing.
  • #3 DeCesare vs. #6 LaRocca
    Here's a big one. Carmella is one of the most celebrated Cyber Girls, as well as a former Playmate. She has the goods to go a very long way, and definitely could beat the best of the best. Paula is one of the great and most underrated CG's of the past. Both have similar styles, so it could be tight.
  • #1 Garcia vs. #9 Dicillo
    Here, we have one of the highest overall seeds, and a CGOY, facing the lowest seed in the tournament, a girl who never made it past CGOW status. While Dana is one of the biggest snubs in Cyber Club history, it would be a tall order for her to beat one of the best and most talented posers in Playboy's history. Is anything possible?
  • #4 Badertscher vs. #5 McQuaid
    Bethanie is the most recent girl in the tournament field, while Heather is one of the Cyber Club classics with enduring appeal for many. This could be a very close one, and the girl who wins here ultimately could create some upsets down the road.
So there you are, the 16 girls who'll try and move on in the coming weeks. Let the real action begin! Start voting, folks!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vote on the Cyber Girl Bracket!

This time of year, every website is doing brackets to determine a champion in something. Well, I just couldn't resist. I've always wanted to create a ranking of Cyber Girls, but instead, I'll leave it up to the fans to figure out who the people think is the very best Cyber Girl of all-time.

I've seeded the girls in the bracket according to general popularity. The top seeds were automatically awarded to CGOY winners and other top models.

Now, it's your turn to vote for the winners. Each week, I'll advance the girls in the tournament according to your votes. Today, we'll begin with the first round, with four matchups that determine "play-in" games against the top four seeds. Enjoy, please discuss in the comments, and happy voting!

- The PlayboyCritic

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Still Searching

Ashley Mattingly
Miss March, 2011
Here we are, into the third month of 2011, and we're still looking for a true contender for Playmate of the Year. Sure, Kylie Johnson staked her claim with a couple of fans, and would be my pick so far, but we need a true contender to lead the pack. Yes, it's still early, but none of these girls seem to have much of a shot at all. And March is no different - we have Ashley Mattingly, a hard-bodied 24 year old who can introduce some interesting discussion, but should just be a blip in the long run.

Ashley is your typical "workout buff" Playmate. We have one or two each year; these are girls whose entire claim to Playmatehood rests in their physique, which is often toned, ripped, and hardened beyond the typical leanness that most entries have. This goes beyond the usual hourglass figure or hard abs, but goes to a level of strength that can cross over to being excessive.

That's really all Ashley has to offer. Her body is incredibly powerful, and it's well-advertised in her blurb. She has very toned arms, a stiff, rippled core, and an overall imposing figure. However, it just isn't as attractive as it could be, given the work she's put into it. It's not as nicely shaped as other ladies (even as much as Kylie was), and she can sometimes appear rectangular or boxy in pictures. And through it all, she looks so toned that is downright masculine.

That really is Ashley's biggest flaw - her masculinity. Her body puts across this point, being almost too strong in appearance. But even more than that, her face is just not attractive. It's angular, edgy, and far too manly for my tastes. She just doesn't have much of the femininity and soft features that make a girl beautiful. Even though she's got the fluttery blond locks to complement it, her face is square and unattractive. Is this Playmate just here because she hits the gym very often? I'd think so, since she doesn't really back it up with talent, either.

  • Face: C 2011 hasn't been a great year for stunning faces so far, and Ashley just drags it down. Her masculine face is downright ugly, and just gets in the way of her appearance in so many pictures in her collection. Just not up to standards.
  • Body: B It is all up to taste, and many people would rate her quite high based on the strength of her physique, but Ashley's body is just too toned and too muscular to be truly attractive. A softly toned look provides a look of vulnerability and femininity, and Ashley misses on these points. She also lacks a butt, which oddly throws off her proportions quite a bit.
  • Talent: B+ You can tell Ashley has a sense for nude photography, and knows how to throw in some attractive looks to the camera. Still, her overall appearance hampers her greatly.
  • Pictorial: B The glistening shower shots are very good for showing off the details on her impressive body, so they're a good selection. While the black lingerie is questionable, they used it to tone down her imposing looks a little bit, but a more familiar look with street clothes may have been more effective.
  • Centerfold: B The centerfold isn't mind-blowing, but does a good job of showing off Ashley's body, and follows the shower theme to give a glimpse of her best.
  • Overall: B- Ashley just doesn't measure up, and for unique reasons. She definitely has a body that has taken hours upon hours to perfect. However, this puts her over the top, making her appearance downright unattractive. We've seen workout-freak Playmates in the past who've been very successful (case: Karen McDougal), but these girls had the talent and the facial beauty to complement the physique. In the end, Miss Mattingly is far too manly for the tastes of many, and we've yet to find a truly impactful Playmate in the 2011 class.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Kicking It Off

It's March already, which means that we need do round up some Playmate reviews for the first girls of the Class of 2011 already. I've been behind in my patented reviews, and so it's time to catch up. We've had two girls so far, with another one on deck shortly, so let's go through Misses January and February to get current.

The first girl of the year was Anna Sophia Berglund, a voluptuous Californian blond with a Swedish heritage that shows through in her photos. Anna has a definite Scandinavian look: the tallish frame, the soft facial structure, and of course the long shiny golden strands of hair. Anna is a nice girl to look at from afar, but when you get through her pictorial, you start to realize that she's hardly Playmate material.

To get to the positive point, Anna is definitely a pretty girl, and there's no doubt about that. She has an engaging presence and a lovely aura about her, and that sparkling smile helps, too. In addition, her body is deceiving, as it's curvy as much as it is slender and lean. You can get an idea of the bottom-heavy shape of her body here, where her thick thighs really show. Her body isn't as toned and hard as most great bodies these days, but it's attractive in its unconventional shapeliness.

Still, the few positives of her attractive physique aside, Anna is an abysmally boring and untalented Playmate. She either makes clown-like faces at the camera, or has no facial expression at all, leaving you wondering where her personality has escaped to. Her face isn't all that memorable, either, and her pictorial doesn't help matters - it's riddled with random poses, and has absolutely no cohesiveness.
  • Face: B-

    Anna's face isn't ugly by any means, but it has no distinguishing features, and she often wears a bored, nonchalant look. Certainly her biggest weakness is her inability to convey emotion.
  • Body: B

    Anna's biggest strength is still nothing to shout about. Her body is curvaceous and her breasts ample, but her unbalanced size makes her legs look a bit large, and her pale skin doesn't come across well in photos.
  • Talent: B-

    She simply lacks any notion of what looks good in front of the camera, and fires off some very odd poses, looking awkward in almost every one. She has a sparkling aura that never quite reaches its full potential.
  • Pictorial: C+

    The pictorial is well below Playboy's standards, looking like a hasty mess. There is almost no production value or cohesiveness; the whole thing is a train wreck.
  • Centerfold: C

    The centerfold is horribly done, with only a partial view of Anna's body, and doing a terrible job of enhancing her skin tone with a bright background and anonymous setting.
  • Overall: B-

    It could have been worse, but Anna Berglund's appearance as Playmate was a disaster in many ways. She is a beautiful girl in many ways, but seems very out of her element as a Playmate. The stage almost seems too large for the young lady, whose talents are very limited and whose physical gifts are better suited for the Cyber Girl class, which she could easily have become a frontrunner in.
Next, we find the famed February Playmate, who always carries the responsibility of being the representative for the "month of love." This time, we don't come across your typical V-Day Playboy model, but instead see a real curveball in Kylie Johnson. Kylie is the first black Playmate since 2008's Ida Ljungqvist (PMOY 2009, of course), and one of the most exotic and intriguing Playmates we've seen in some time.

Kylie is indeed a different type of Playmate. Gone is the era of the clean and bubbly blond month-in and month-out, and now we're seeing more aggressive moves by Playboy to find some edgier stars. When it comes to an edgy look, Kylie certainly does deliver, for the most part. She sports a sharp, tight body, an impressive set of moves, and a charismatic and intriguing look that is worth a second viewing.

Of course, as I mentioned, Kylie's body is the prime attraction here. She's cut and trim, and her body is busty and sexy in its toned nature. Although she very oddly lacks much of a butt, she makes do with her frontal features, with a visibly tough set of abs and a sexy, curved back. Obviously her greatest asset, her body carries her through a so-so pictorial. It also makes up for her rather unusual face, which is a hit-or-miss affair. She can shoot off a sizzling, unique stare in pictures, or can give off a toothy grin in other photos that is simply not attractive.
  • Face: B-

    Certainly Kylie's major issue is her face, which is angular with a large jaw. She has some seductive eyes, but that toothy grin is what makes her look downright awkward in many photos where her body tries to make up for it.
  • Body: A-

    Although it's sadly tainted by some tattoos, Kylie's body is smooth, sleek, and finely tuned. It's not perfect by any means, especially with an undersized butt to go with her very large breasts. However, the tone and curvature make for a nice viewing.
  • Talent: B

    Kylie is a mediocre poser, in general. While she has her moments, they can be more attributed to her great physique than her natural abilities.
  • Pictorial: B

    Again, Kylie's talent goes hand in hand with her pictorial, which is nothing to shout about. It is consistent with a nice wintry vibe, but some stupid, wasted shots (like the ones through the cabin window) make you wonder what the editors were thinking.
  • Centerfold: B+

    It's simple, to the point, and conveys Kylie's persona pretty well. It also does a good job of lightening her skin tone, which is well done throughout her photos. The golden brown color of her body is quite attractive.
  • Overall: B

    Kylie is one of the better black Playmates we've seen in the past 10 years, mainly due to the unique intangibles that set her apart from the others. Whatever it is, it's a bit difficult to figure Kylie out. She is a very interesting entry early in the Playmate of the Year race, but I wouldn't expect her to be a major contender at the end. Kylie is a one hit wonder, and a pictorial that doesn't really go for the jugular is unfortunate for a girl with glimmers of talent here and there.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2011 Playmate of the Year Candidates

After a bit of a hiatus, I now take a look back at the Playmates of the past year, as I do annually at this time. We had a very diverse, varied class of girls last year, and as usual, you have to give Playboy some props for innovating and looking for new and unusual talents. This year, I gave out my first "A+" award in years, and saw some other talents that were extraordinary. Even compared to 2009, which was a high point in recent years, 2010 might be formidable, albeit a little top-heavy when it comes to true talent. And now... the countdown!

Shanna McLaughlin - Miss July
Age 25 | 34DD-26-36 | 5'8" | 123 lbs

Shanna won a contest that put her in the position to become a Playmate, coming through above some not-so-great competition. She was given an opportunity that so many others should have had, and Playboy squandered it with every shot. Shanna is a complete non-talent, and one of the very worst Playmates I've seen in years, perhaps even a decade.
The Good: There isn't a whole lot of positive to say about Shanna. She has a decent smile in some photos, and looks pretty decent with her clothes on.
The Bad: Where does one start? Shanna's body is abysmal, with drooping breasts, a lack of a butt, and a softness and edgy quality that looks terrible in photos. She looks downright aged, and has absolutely no talent to offer. Her hair is frizzy and unattractive, and her photographs are of poor quality. She isn't even worthy of a spot as a Playboy girl of any sort, let alone a spot as a Playmate of the Month. An absolute travesty.
Face: C
Body: C
Talent: C+
Pictorial: D
Centerfold: C
Overall: C-

Heather Rae Young - Miss February
Age 22 | 32C-23-33 | 5'7" | 102 lbs

Heather came about in the beginning of the year, and brought about a shift to the Playboy norms: a buxom blonde with spacey eyes and a lack of emotion or talent. An ultimately forgettable entry for 2010 and beyond, Heather is completely inconsequential to the PMOY race.
The Good: Heather's sole redeeming quality is obviously her physique. While not having the most balanced and proportioned body ever, it is tough and chiseled. She's not very busty, but her body is attractive and golden tanned.
The Bad: From the body onward, it all goes downhill from there. Heather just has zero talent, period. She has the oddest facial expressions towards the camera, and has no idea how to show emotion in any way. Her face isn't necessarily unattractive, but she just has no comfort level to show. Her awkward posing makes it painful to look at her, and you can only wonder how much more potential she had, and what she could have shown if she only tried a little harder. All in all, a strikeout, and a wasted opportunity once again.
Face: C+
Body: B+
Talent: C+
Pictorial: C
Centerfold: C+
Overall: C+

Kyra Milan - Miss March
Age 20 | 32B-24-33 | 5'7" | 120 lbs

Easily one of the most hard to place and enigmatic Playmates of 2010, Kyra's performance uncovered her inconsistency as well as her immature posing style. Although she has her moments of real artistry, it is covered up by her lack of posing knowledge.
The Good: Unlike the other girls mentioned so far, Kyra has moments of brilliance. Hence, she will be a fan favorite in many cases, because of this presence of talent. Kyra is very youthful and vibrant, looking fresh and beautiful in many of her photos. Her wide-eyed stares, mixed with the young sensuality, make her attractive. She can pose in spurts, but only when the production is good.
The Bad: It's difficult to say what exactly it is that makes Kyra just not work as a Playmate. She is simply ranked so low on my list because she lacks many of the intangibles that makes a good Playmate. Her body isn't all that to shout about, and looks awkward in many positions. In general, she does not have an idea of how to pose her body to photograph perfectly. In fact, she wastes many opportunities trying to contort her legs in ways that make her lower half look strange. Her biggest issue is with her face, which does not always look attractive and youthful, and instead sometimes looks folded and angular. It does not always photograph well, and this is an item that is a major flaw in her physical appearance.
Face: B-
Body: B-
Talent: B
Pictorial: B
Centerfold: B+
Overall: B-

Olivia Paige - Miss September
Age 19 | 36C-24-36 | 5'7" | 120 lbs

Olivia was similar to Heather in her appearance - part of the blond bombshell class of Playmates with typically large bustlines and pouty lips. Olivia, however, came on with a bland pictorial, but with a body that pushes her higher on my ranking. Although she'll still be one of the most forgettable Playmates this past year, she's still easy on the eyes.
The Good: One good thing that comes out of Olivia's plastic image is her body, which is an ideal "hard-bodied" look. It's slim, chiseled, and curvy in many of the right ways. Although it's not truly spectacular in any way that would make it unique, it's still gorgeous in its pure hardness. Probably the finest abs of the year.
The Bad: Again, very similarly to Heather Young, after you get past the hourglass body, the rest is not on par at all. Olivia's face is empty of expression and without thought, delivering a pictorial that you can go through in seconds without caring. The pictorial itself feels like the same photo over and over again. And to top it off, Olivia's great physique comes with the fact that she has that Barbie doll persona that makes it hard to give her high marks on being a truly natural beauty. She almost looks like a computer generated model at times, which is her biggest issue.
Face: B-
Body: A-
Talent: B-
Pictorial: B
Centerfold: B
Overall: B

Kassie Lyn Logsdon - Miss May
Age 23 | 34C-25-36 | 5'7" | 125 lbs

Kassie was not a big hit with the fans, but had some redeeming qualities that certainly gave her credibility as a Playmate. Her defining trait is her thin frame, with a skinny body type that underlies a very pretty face.
The Good: Athough Kassie's body type is not for everyone, she is undoubtedly pretty gifted, and has a silky smooth complexion that is amazingly photogenic. Her face is also one of the best looking in pictures by any Playmate this year, with a veritable 'baby face' that compliments her understated body features very nicely. If she was a buxom woman, it just would not work so well. Kassie also has a nice sense of her sexual limits, and she pushes them as far as she can in every photo.
The Bad: Again, the issue that most fans have with Kassie is with her body, which is simply too thin for most. Offsetting her pretty face, too, is a pretty sizable forehead that her hair doesn't do a good job of covering up all the time. It's a major drawback in photos that brings her down a few notches. The cherry on top is her pictorial, which starts abysmally, and stops any chance for her to really show her true potential.
Face: A-
Body: B
Talent: B
Pictorial: B-
Centerfold: A-
Overall: B

Shera Bechard - Miss November
Age 27 | 34D-26-36 | 5'6" | 116 lbs

Shera initially intrigued me, coming in with a classy sense of her own sensuality. The oldest Playmate so far on my list, Shera showed a maturity in her posing that gave her a different dynamic than most of the other girls in the 2010 class. However, for the fans, she flopped miserably, and just lacked the sizzle to vault her over the top.
The Good: Shera's sexy poise and understated sexuality make her very intriguing at first. She has the body to back it up, with a tall frame and ample breasts. Her angular, more defined facial features also complement her mature posing nature, making her look significantly older than the other ladies of 2010... but in a good way.
The Bad: When you get past the tangibles, Shera hits rock bottom. She has very few other redeeming qualities, including the most important one of all: the talent. Shera may have talent, who knows? Her pictorial is flat and boring, and barely scratches the surface of who Shera may actually be as a model. She comes off as a very intriguing, clean-cut girl, but all the great paradoxical Playmates like her usually flip a switch and turn on the sex charm... and she did nothing like that at all.
Face: B+
Body: B+
Talent: B
Pictorial: B-
Centerfold: B-
Overall: B

Ashley Hobbs - Miss December
Age 21 | 34C-27-32 | 5'6" | 120 lbs

The year's closer was an interesting choice, and one that many did not see coming. The Hawaiian beauty is a certain favorite for many fans to win it all, but the lack of a real intriguing presence and an below-average build bring her down significantly.
The Good: Simply put, her face. Ashley's deep green eyes are spectacular in photos, taking center stage in many photographs and becoming the focal point for her entire pictorial. Pair them with a soft, young facial structure and a beautiful head of dirty blond hair, and you have one heck of a top half. Her face alone brings her up a few notches for the year, and her posing talent is there too, albeit nothing to scream about.
The Bad: Aside from the gorgeous mug, Ashley's physique leaves a lot to be desired. Her body is soft and angular, and does not have the smooth, sleek tone that many of the other ladies possess this year. It's a major drawback on an otherwise striking girl, since her posing is decent, and she is quite photogenic. However, the lack of a solid physique is a drawback that's hard to ignore, considering the competition.
Face: A
Body: B-
Talent: B
Pictorial: B
Centerfold: B-
Overall: B

Claire Sinclair - Miss October
Age 19 | 36D-24-36 | 5'8" | 125 lbs

One of the year's biggest surprises was the way Playboy introduced fresh new talent, and mixed it up in different ways. Claire was part of this experiment, and one that brought on great results. Claire is a throwback Playmate, with a physique and posing style similar to the dark haired, light skinned bombshells of the 50's and 60's. Claire emerged as a huge fan favorite, and may contend for Playmate of the Year against some heavy competition.
The Good: One thing to get straight - Claire is no gimmick Playmate. Sure, she focuses her persona on a characterization of Playmates of decades ago, but that isn't all. She is a poser with talent, with a knack for the camera. She looks great in all processed photos. In addition, her body is great. While not very lean, she is still quite tall, and has a voluptuous build on top of that fact. It all makes for an out-of-the-box Playmate that really mixes it up with an engaging smile and great talent. Claire just demonstrates the depth of the top of the year's Playmate class.
The Bad: While Claire's success is no coincidence, there are several factors that keep her from being a truly great Playmate. The main thing, of course, is her body, which is tall and curvy, but not necessarily toned and perfect. She also has a very pale complexion, which isn't everyone's cup of tea, but may appeal to some. Again, her retro look can both appeal to some and look dated to others, depending on perspective.
Face: B+
Body: B+
Talent: B
Pictorial: B+
Centerfold: B-
Overall: B+

Francesca Frigo - Miss August
Age 24 | 34D-24-34 | 5'5" | 115 lbs

No year is complete without its obligatory Latina firecracker; Jessica Burciaga set the tone last year, and the style is alive and well with Francesca Frigo. It's that butt-shaking, high energy pictorial combined with a busty body and pulsating, active posing that makes a girl like this. Francesca has that, and it's endeared her to many fans and put her in the forefront of the PMOY race.
The Good: It's that simple formula of throwing subtlety to the wind and taking on a larger than life persona that makes Francesca so great. She's an absolute pleasure to look at, with her wildly curvy body and infectious smile. Her bright, enthusiastic eyes and gyrating motions are exceptional, and she really is a gifted poser when she really gets her chance. Her greatest strength comes when she is just allowed to move, with no gimmicks or overprocessed, overthought pictures. Instead, just letting her body do the talking, Francesca does a great job. Her legs are some of the sexiest we've seen in forever, and the tone and hardness of her body rival that of any girl of the 2010 class.
The Bad: When you get past Francesca's rock hard body and impressive moves, she does lack a certain "it" factor, and it can mostly be attributed to a relatively weak pictorial. It has its flashes of brilliance, and she does shift themes smoothly and show her versatility, but it never really captures the intangible qualities that you know Miss Frigo has. It never really makes a case for her PMOY candidacy, and that is sad, considering her immense potential. While having the physical goods, she never truly pulls through and closes the deal, like similar Playmates like Jessica Burciaga or Monica Leigh did.
Face: B
Body: A
Talent: B+
Pictorial: B+
Centerfold: A-
Overall: A-

Jamie Faith Edmondson - Miss January
Age 31 | 33C-24-35 | 5'8" | 125 lbs

2010 definitely started with a bang, and a very intriguing one, at that. Here came 31 year old Jamie Edmondson, by far the oldest Playmate of the year, considering the decreasing average age of Playboy's classes. However, Jamie introduced some things that these young guns couldn't come close to: the intangibles. Jamie was not only a woman with a sizzling body, but someone who exuded every bit of sexual confidence that comes with a Playmate of the Year contender.
The Good: Jamie is a spectacular girl with some real talent for the camera. She is incredibly photogenic and youthful looking in her physical appearance, while still flaunting that mature poise and sophistication that makes her stand apart from the other girls of 2010. She has a great eye for the camera, and an incredible size that makes her photogenic with her height. Her pictorial, while having its weaknesses, does a great job of mixing in some color and great costuming to complement her height and persona. Her beauty is understated, but her awesome posing talents give you multiple perspectives on who she is, without ever giving up too much.
The Bad: Jamie doesn't have any fatal flaws, but her pictorial does leave a bit to be desired. It never really takes off to another level, but it does do a more than decent job in showing off her portfolio of physical features. Still, you almost wish for a handful of truly defining shots, but they never come, and that's ultimately what keeps Jamie from vaulting to #1 for the year.
Face: B+
Body: A
Talent: A
Pictorial: A-
Centerfold: B
Overall: A

Katie Vernola - Miss June
Age 18 | 34D-26-35 | 5'8" | 125 lbs

In a year full of unexpected stars, Katie certainly was the most out-of-nowhere girl to really impress. One of the youngest Playmates in years, Miss Vernola was a seemingly good summer Playmate selection who turned out to be really amazing. For such a young new talent, it's uncommon to display such poise, but Katie was probably the most talented Playmate of 2010, and that's no stretch. Going from the oldest to the youngest, my #2 really shows off the diversity of the class, and the strength of the top 5.
The Good: Where do you even start with a girl like Katie? She is everything you could hope for in a new young talent, and then some. She's incredibly physically gifted, with an angelic face and a truly spectacular aura in her photos. Her body is voluptuous and fitting for a modern girl, with hourglass curves and flawless skin. Her hair is golden brown with the bright streaks complementing her golden tan beautifully. But what really makes Katie awesome is her posing, which is some of the best of 2010, without a doubt. She moves and contorts herself with great precision, nailing shots that always look amazing in still photos. She has a sense for what makes for great nude shots, with great instincts. You would never know that she's only 18 with no nude posing experience, considering how well she holds her posture and croons for the camera. She's the wholesome, all-American girl that makes for great Playmate material, and she surely is a major contender for PMOY.
The Bad: If there's anything that drags Katie down a notch, it's her body. She absolutely knows how to use it, but the only issue is her weight, which creates an issue with the tone of her midsection. She certainly is gorgeous, but her breasts and curves look a bit sloppy in second looks, making it not so perfect.
Face: A
Body: B+
Talent: A+
Pictorial: A+
Centerfold: A
Overall: A

Amy Leigh Andrews - Miss April
Age 25 | 34D-24-36 | 5'2" | 110 lbs

One of the best stories of the year was of a girl who ran the gamut of Playboy's veritable "rags to riches," starting off on the lowest ladder on the way to Playmate, the Coed. Amy's debut as Coed of the Week in August 2008 was not without its hype, and she showed her prowess as a radiant girl, but with a bit to work on here and there. After a COTM stint, my personal expectations weren't so high for her Playmate appearance, considering that she could use a bit of trimming down here and there, in addition to a sharpening of her skills. I was more than pleasantly surprised to see that she surpassed my wildest dreams. Amy came in with one of the hardest, leanest bodies of the class, showing off her hard work with impressive skill.
The Good: Amy earned my first "A+" rating in years, and for good reason. She unveiled a new, retooled body in her Playmate appearance, trimming down on the love handles and sloppy appearance of her past. The drastic change includes a spectacularly toned set of abs, a great, curvy midsection, and a butt to boot. Her breasts seem to have remained perfectly portioned, and her body has the appearance of looking long and lean, despite her diminutive size. On top of that, her face is beautiful as ever, with smoky, sexy eyes and a great smile. To top it all off, a masterful pictorial shows off an amazing spectrum of talent, from passive showcasing of her physicality to a full-on set of active skills. She moves with grace, and her enthusiasm makes her a great Spring seasonal Playmate. All in all, she is almost as picture perfect as a blond girl can get, and has an all around awesome resume.
The Bad: Miss Andrews leaves very little to be desired. To be particular, she could use a bit more contrast in her pictorial, showing off a darker side to her sexuality. Also, her pictorial could be a bit longer, but that just tells of how great she is.
Face: A
Body: A+
Talent: A+
Pictorial: A
Centerfold: B+
Overall: A+

There you have it, from 12 to 1! And now, some annual awards:

Best Pictorial: Vernola

Honorable Mentions: A. Andrews

Best Centerfold: Vernola
Honorable Mentions: Logsdon, Frigo, Andrews

Best Body: Andrews
Honorable Mentions: Frigo, Edmondson, Paige

Best Face: Andrews
Honorable Mentions: Vernola, Hobbs, Logsdon