Yes, it is early December. And yes, Playboy doesn't award its prestigious Playmate of the Year award until May of the award year. But we've just closed out a year of lovely beauties, and there's no reason not to pick a frontrunner this early on. As the buzz sets in, I'll keep everyone updated on what the big user picks are, but as for right now, it's time for us to remember 2007 and see how it all unfolded...
Jayde Nicole - Miss January 2007
Jayde was a surprising new face in a field of small-breasted blondes which was the trend for 2006. Instead, this dark haired angel came on with lustrous, sparkling eyes and a wintertime pictorial that charmed and shone all throughout January.
The Good: Jayde's beautiful face and eyes are the centerpiece of her pictorials, not to mention her slim frame and excellent butt. Her gorgeous eyes and awesome ass can be seen here. Of course, if it wasn't for Jayde's intense sexuality, she probably wouldn't be a prime PMOY contender, but she absolutely is. This shot with legs wide open tells the story of Jayde's wild side.
The Bad: Jayde's figure is indeed a bit slim and she could use some more curves up front. Her breasts are a tad small but well-proportioned for her style and look. She's also a little bit inconsistent in her posing, but not enough to be overly concerned.
Heather Rene Smith - Miss February 2007
Injecting a long-haired Californian blonde is common Playboy fare, and it had to be done early on this year before the real fireworks started. Heather is an on-and-off poser with a very pretty face and a body that could kill... literally. With such a muscular physique and some excellent talent, Heather was definitely a fun girl to look at... no doubt about it.
The Good: Let's not beat around the bush: Heather Smith's body is phenomenal. It could take the cake as one of the smoothest, finest bodies I've ever seen. That alone is enough to garner her lots of accolades. I absolutely love these shining, glistening photos of her simply hanging around. She certainly takes care of that body, and her front and back are just perfect. And she closes out her pictorial wonderfully, and effortlessly cuts a beautiful centerfold.
The Bad: There's one major thing that keeps Heather from being a true PMOY contender: she's ultimately forgettable. Not that her body needs any more praise or backing from me, but her face doesn't always deliver. She also is extremely inconsistent in posing... the photos I picked out are just about the only spectacular ones. She hasn't garnered much attention from the fans because of her platinum blonde look, as well. If physique were the only criterion in this contest, it's probably be Heather hands-down.
Tyran Richard - Miss March 2007
Coming in for March was 24-year old Cajun queen Tyran Richard, who was a breath of fresh air after bright-eyed and polished girls like Jayde and Heather. Tyran was more mature and incredibly sexual in her photos. At the time, she was surely winning fans over with her intense posing abilities, and she got me into it, too.
The Good: Looking at her photos, you'd be hard pressed not to notice that Tyran has got amazing posing talent. Bedroom lingerie shots like this one transitioning into this dim-light curvy sight were sumptuous and incredible. Tyran delivers with incredible sexuality - something that couldn't be completely palpable with the first two girls.
The Bad: Tyran might look a tad bit too mature in some of her photos, like her centerfold. It's almost too uptight and professional at times... sometimes you just want to sit back and see Tyran let loose, but the honesty just doesn't come through in some photos, keeping her looking emotionally too old (certainly not like a 24 year old girl).
Giuliana Marino - Miss April 2007
In April we got a taste of German Playmates, and the first German superstar since Janine Habeck of last year was German PMOY Giuliana Marino. Although her centerfold was impeccable and I can see how the Germans reacted to such a beauty, her bubbly, feminine nature still leaves something to be desired. However, for fans, she has received very good reaction and may gain a slim edge there.
The Good: As mentioned, Giuliana is an excellently feminine specimen of a model. Her full lips and pretty face are great, and her spunk and energy make her great in a pictorial or video setting. Costuming is key with Giuliana, with great photos coming with proper lingerie or just a setting where she looks like she's having fun.
The Bad: For me, Giuliana just doesn't do it. She doesn't have the Playmate magic to even begin to contend for PMOY, and she doesn't even have what it takes to be PMOM, in my opinion. She's just not that special in her looks, and if the Germans saw something in her, then they must have viewed a different Giuliana than was presented to us in the States. I think it's all in the pictorial, as a Playmate is only as great as the photos shot of her - and Miss Marino's pictorials aren't anything to write home about.
Shannon James - Miss May 2007
May brought it on, and at first, they were going for what looked to be a typical platinum blonde to fill in the "Hefmate" gap that was missing so far this year. But instead, they gave us Shannon James, a stunning blonde, and one of the very best up-and-coming beauties in Playboy. Howard Stern found Shannon on his show, and identified her as a potential superstar, and boy, was he right.
The Good: Shannon's allure lies in her great pictorial for May and her excellent photogenic qualities. She just shines in front of the camera, and was an excellent Playmate pick for the spring, since her colors and qualities meshed with the season perfectly. Shannon did a great job of changing settings in her pictorial, with great ones from the rainstorm, the pool parlor, and just lounging around. Shannon's hair, the look in her eyes, and her flawless posing make her a great candidate.
The Bad: Shannon's proportions aren't anything special, and she's a bit too slim for her size. However, those can be overlooked because of her pretty nature. Aside from that, there's little to complain about, because her posing is consistent even if she changes pictorial themes and outfits.
Brittany Binger - Miss June 2007
Halfway through the year, we found Playboy keeping things fresh with yet another amazing pick. Brittany was sexy, unique, and sultry all at the same time. Her personality came out in her pictorials and her smile and exotic qualities made her quite the catch. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Brittany was her strong pictorial, which blended some old techniques and new concepts to create a mighty interesting batch.
The Good: Brittany's pictorial, that's what's mighty good. Here's a girl who can take on many different looks, from sexy siren to golden-brown beach girl. Then she can turn it all around and be a typical girl next door with a commanding presence. And boy, does that look want to make you melt. Brittany has a way of looking at the camera in a demanding, angry sort of way that makes you want to smile. And if you haven't noticed already, take a look at her ridiculous proportions, and you'll wonder what kind of genetics there had to be to bring about such an unexpectedly hot woman.
The Bad: Bad? What? There's almost nothing bad about Brittany, but if you must insist, her smile is sometimes a little too much, and her face doesn't always proportionally stack up well. However, her inconsistent posing is made up for by the fact that she does some mighty awesome posing much of the time.
Tiffany Selby - Miss July 2007
In the summertime, Playmates have a different feel: they're tanned, they have beach pictorials, and their production gives it a bright tinge of summer fun. Tiffany had all of that in July, but she just didn't have enough to stand apart from the crowd. A tanned Florida beauty with plenty of spunk and beauty, she would thrive in any lesser year, but she turned out to be a Hef-type blonde without a whole lot of uniqueness to offer. The question is: how does she stack up against competition in 2007?
The Good: Tiffany is tall (5' 7") and slim, and has a hard, smooth body and a beautiful tan. She's just beautiful, a platinum blonde beach girl from head to toe. Photos of her behind make it obvious that she's probably got one of the hardest bodies so far this year, maybe only second to Heather. Curves and class are what Tiffany offers, and her face is beautiful, as well. Tiffany's last few photos are what got me really excited: does she look like a bronzed goddess, or what?
The Bad: While stacked to the max and incredibly pretty, Tiffany doesn't get the job done when it comes to "wowing" the crowd. She does her part in her pictorial and looks great doing it, even with the right dose of sex in addition to her polished posing ability. But not once in her pictorial do you go: I'll remember this one afterwards. Yet another pretty but forgettable blonde.
Tamara Sky - Miss August 2007
A lovely Puerto Rican DJ named Tamara greeted us in August, mixing things up with a sultry and exotic flavor that was a great addition to a year with already so much variety. Tamara has a different sort of look, and definitely brought something new to the table for PMOY consideration, and from the looks of it, her fan base is steadily growing.
The Good: One thing's for sure: stacked, curvy bodies are the new thing for this generation of Playmates. Big breasts, big butts, and big curves put together the modern Playmate, and Tamara's body is an archetype of the fact. Tamara's body is phenomenal and as twisty and turny as you can get. Her face is also exotic, and those pouty lips and engaging eyes complement her body very well. I think that Tamara is really at her best when she's turned around, because as her awesome centerfold shows, her butt is breathtaking.
The Bad: Tamara seems to be all attitude, but no emotion. She barely ever smiles, barely even has great posing positions, and doesn't really hit all the pictorial segments you want her to. Like I said, she's best photographed from the back, but from the front, she's just mediocre. Her exotic appeal doesn't even carry her through the moments where she isn't all that special, and she's not pretty enough to make up for her horrible posing. It's a shame that these features drag her down.
Patrice Hollis - Miss September 2007
Mixing it up yet again with an ebony beauty, Patrice Hollis took centerstage in September. She instantly became a bit of a fan favorite after creating a buzz with her all-natural and buxom body and her piercing looks and posing ability. She definitely put a new twist on the 2007 race, and cashed her checks with style and class. Invariably, black Playmates have to contend with being compared with great black Playmates of the past, like Neferteri Shepherd or Nicole Narain. So how did she stack up?
The Good: All-natural is the word to describe Patrice. In a world of non-natural girls all over the place, Patrice comes in with natural DDD breasts. Her body is great and voluptuous, and she poses like a professional, taking great candid shots and playful ones, as well. And did I mention Patrice has a great body? She can work it with attitude, and that's something that Playmates have to have in order to be superstars.
The Bad: Patrice isn't all that she possibly could be. She poses and looks great... most of the time. She's often inconsistent, doesn't always have the right moves, and her body isn't completely flawless, either. She has the voluptuous front side, but what happened to her ass in some of the pictures? It's like it disappears and returns again and again. It's hard to see a Playmate who you can't decide is good or not... it's frustrating because she could be so much better if her pictorial was more consistent.
Spencer Scott - Miss October 2007
A southern blonde with big features and a big smile came in for October, and instantly she became a major fan favorite. Several fans immediately signed on and the buzz was enormous for this cute young talent from northern Florida. It was especially overwhelming to see how much press she got unexpectedly, but obviously it was something in her pictorials which got everyone so riled up to vote. She's definitely a major player for PMOY, so she's worth a deep look into what makes her tick.
The Good: Spencer is beautiful and bright, and certainly everything a busty southern blonde should be. She has gorgeous hazel eyes, a smile that kills, and a body with huge breasts, a great set of thighs, and an exceptional smoothness to her skin. They're all things that make Spencer outrageously photogenic, and that has got to be her claim to fame with all her fans. She just looks very very good in front of the camera. Have I gotten the point across yet? Look at her pictorial and get a sense of her slick style, and tell me that it doesn't work to perfection.
The Bad: I rated Spencer a C+ weeks ago when I saw her pictorials, and I had a sense that her preview pictorial had even more to offer than her portfolio entry. I still have that feeling that Spencer isn't PMOY material, simply because she hasn't shown me enough. Her posing ability is absolutely mediocre, she hasn't got a clue how to work the camera sexually (like a professional would), and her body doesn't impress me much, either. In an era of curves that sell sex, Spencer hasn't got many to offer. She's voluptuous and hot, but where are the curves to accentuate all those great features? There aren't any. There's a case to be made against Spencer, and I make it by pointing out that she simply isn't a star.
Lindsay Wagner - Miss November 2007
Moving towards the end of the year, Playboy dealt yet another blonde, and this one was cutie Lindsay Wagner of Nebraska. One thing you could gather immediately from looking at Lindsay's pictorials was that she was buff. And I mean buff. Her strict workout regimen has given her an incredibly hard body with golden features. Lindsay is one tough cookie, and to be able to roll with this impressive class of 2007, she would need to muscle her way through the competition, as well.
The Good: The body. The body of the year? Perhaps. Lindsay is exceptionally slim and has washboard abs and sexy biceps. She's also got a lovely face and looks amazing in front of a camera when she's got her poses right. She drips with sweat and looks like a goddess all while doing it. Lindsay also has a very photogenic face and comes off as a sweet girl with energy and charisma. And she has a way of giving the camera "the look." It's quite gripping. Here it is again.
The Bad: Lindsay, albeit her tough exterior, is very mediocre, following a trend of a couple of mediocre Playmates to close out the year. She's not an incredible poser, and rarely makes those hit poses that she can do so very well when she hits them. Although her body is tough, maybe it's too tough at times, coming off excessively muscular and non-feminine. Lindsay has a tendency to look like totally different girls in different settings, and that's too bad because she can do one pose so well while completely botching a different one. They're all reasons why Lindsay will find it very difficult to roll with the crowd come PMOY selection time.
Sasckya Porto - Miss December 2007
The year chimed in with a disappointing end, especially considering the strong start it had. Great new Playmates gave way to mediocrity and finished it off fittingly. Sasckya is a forgettable Playmate, with very little fan buzz and very little chance for contention for PMOY. Oftentimes Playboy will save their best for December, which is why it has perennially been a key month and an exciting time of year. However, it wasn't the case this time, as promising preview photos made way for an extremely mediocre entry.
The Good: Sasckya has her moments, but they are very few and far between. She looks to be exotic at times, with her nice lingerie and getting sexually charged for the camera. Her in your face shots towards the end can excite a bit, but they do fall short ultimately.
The Bad: Where to begin... Sasckya has a body that just looks better with clothes on. Not that she's ugly, but it's just that her curves don't mesh and they seriously are not appealing. Also, Sasckya has an awkward posing style, doesn't know how to stay consistent, and her face is on and off in terms of attractiveness. An extremely forgettable Playmate, Sasckya is too tall and too voluptuous for the part, and seems to overpower the camera and lacks any sense of subtlety whatsoever.
There you have it, folks. Twelve girls, twelve stories, and twelve different ratings. The official Playmate of the Year race doesn't heat up until April 2008, but it doesn't hurt to get an early start on voting and analysis. I'll keep everyone updated on the buzz surrounding the race as it goes on, and I'll put my two cents in on how the race should be going based on model qualities and what not.
The Class of 2007 will go down as one that started like a lion and went out like a lamb. There were some excellent models and great variety towards the start, like Jayde, Tyran, Shannon, and Brittany, but the year rolled to a halt with mediocre flops like Tamara, Patrice, Spencer, and Sasckya. All-in-all, no real superstars emerged that completely caught my eye, but I'd love to see more photos of any of the top 5 girls of the year.
So without further ado...
Ranking the Class of 2007...
12. Sasckya Porto
11. Giuliana Marino
10. Tamara Sky
9. Patrice Hollis
8. Lindsay Wagner
7. Spencer Scott
6. Tiffany Selby
5. Heather Rene Smith
4. Tyran Richard
3. Jayde Nicole
2. Shannon James
1. Brittany Binger
My pick for PMOY: Brittany. She definitely was the most unique girl, and had a pictorial that blew me away with its variety and awesome production. Although she's not a runaway hit, I'd love it if any one of the top four girls took the prize. Look out for #7 Spencer Scott, though... she looks to be on fire right now in the voting polls.
Until April, let's hope for the best!