Alright, y’all know by now that I have a train-wreck-type fascination with bad TV. A Manhattan socialite sent to live and work on a rural hog farm for two weeks? I’m in. Tim Gunn telling a wannabe fashion designer to grab some bubble wrap and a banana peel and "make it work"? All over it. A South Central L.A. krumper learning how to jitterbug? Can’t. Look. Away.

And when, on occasion, those shows reveal even the slightest tinge of green … well, it makes me feel like all those mindless hours of TV-zombitude are worthwhile.

Which is why I was so excited to see the premiere of America’s Next Top Model last night. (And not just because I have someone to root for — hooray for fellow Seattlite Cassandra!)

After the initial cuts were made, the 13 finalists were sent to the Goodwill for a three-minute thrift-store shopping spree/runway strut. The girl whose thrift-store fashion statement received the highest auction bid won the first challenge. And what does this teach us? High fashion doesn’t have to mean high impact on the earth — Goodwill goods (reuse, people!) can be fierce!

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The big photo shoot for the episode also included an eco-ish element. The girls were styled to represent the two sides of various controversial issues — including fur/anti-fur and meat-lover/vegan.

During the judging and confessionals, the models were asked how they felt about the issue they were representing. Dionne, the "vegan" model, said something to the effect of "Vegans are people who only eat fruits and vegetables — like strawberries and carrots and jalapeño peppers." Hmm.

Update [2007-3-1 12:56:26 by Sarah van Schagen]: Thanks to Grist staffer (and fellow ANTM-lover!) Trina Stout, I was reminded of another great quote (paraphrased) from last night’s episode. Uttered by Kathleen, the “anti-fur” model who (spoiler!) got kicked off at the end of the show, “I don’t like fur from animals that are killed, but if they’re already dead, I think it’s OK to use their skin.” D’oh!

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