“Germany’s next topmodel” is on again

Heidi Klum and her "meeeeedcheen" "Germany’s Next Topmodel" is on again

The show starts again on Thursday. Photo: dpa/Richard Hubner

"Diversity – there isse!": Heidi Klum once again relies on a pleasing trend theme in her model show and also allows candidates who previously would not have gotten a place on the catwalk. Klum’s vocabulary has now reached its limits.

Munich – Heidi Klum fails at her self-imposed goal after only a few minutes: "This is difficult for me," she notes, after breaking her resolution to speak again of "girls" (phonetically "meeeeedcheen") and not models. Shortly before, she had greeted two gray-haired women, aged 66 and 68, on the red carpet, asked whether they should be on first-name terms – and noted: "We’re all not girls anymore. Should I just say models?"

No more "meeeeeds? That’s never happened in 16 years of "Germany’s Next Topmodel". Season 17 of the never-ending ProSieben show, which airs this Thursday at 20.3 p.m. starts, wants to make clear directly in the first episode: Something is particularly different here now. Klum shouts: "Diversity – da isse!"

Candidate over 60

Diversity, the trendy theme that now also allows women over 45 kilos to "walk" on catwalks and have photos taken of themselves – it gave the show its most successful season in twelve years last year, as ProSieben station boss Daniel Rosemann says. A year ago, transgender model Alex Mariah Peter beat curvy Dasha in the finale. And from the broadcaster’s point of view, all of this has been such a success that they now want to pick up where they left off and take it up a notch.

This year, therefore, there are not only candidates who weigh more than the average model or have scars on their bodies. But also women at an age at which, as candidate Paulina herself says, one is actually in model retirement: 32. And just even over 60.

Between 1.54 and 1.95 meters tall

There has never been so much diversity, Klum emphasizes in a ProSieben interview. The contestants, according to their statements, are between 18 and 68 years old, between 5’5" and 5’5" tall, they wear dress sizes between 30 and 54.

That, he said, presented a whole new set of challenges for the show: It was hard to find designers for the new season, he said. "We’ve been turned down by a lot of well-known designers," Klum says, and asks, "Why don’t the big fashion labels just go along with it??". "After all, it’s your job to dress people, and clothing size shouldn’t be a factor here."

Pop superstar Kylie Minogue is a guest judge

One fashion designer who has not been deterred by this is Jean-Paul Gaultier, one of the big names this year. Guest judge in episode one is none other than pop superstar Kylie Minogue.

And ProSieben emphasizes that the new mix is good for the mood: "We’ve never had so much harmony before."But the format, which is now approaching 20, has never been about a catfight anyway.

At the start of the season this Thursday, "GNTM" will be competing for ratings against quite a heavyweight: RTL’s "Dschungelcamp," which is currently trying its hand in prime time on Thursdays.

The beginning of the first Topmodel episode almost seems like a greeting to the competition from RTL. Heidi Klum waits at a red carpet for the candidates to get out of their cars and say things like, "I’m so excited."Similarities with the dating show "The Bachelor" are, however, purely coincidental, emphasizes station boss Rosemann.

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