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!