For July, we find Shanna McLaughlin, easily the weakest entry into the 2010 race. Shanna is a complete train wreck of a Playmate, but earned her stripes in the "Playmate Shootout" competition, where amateur photographers shot their own models in an elimination challenge on Playboy TV. Shanna was absolutely not the best of the bunch, but some lucky breaks got her through, and thus she earned a berth as a Playmate of the Month.
Shanna is not entirely devoid of talent, but she suffers in an even bigger aspect: her looks. She is, unfortunately, just not very attractive. She tries, but just hits some horrifically bad poses time and time again. There really is very little that she truly does right, and in fact her pictorial wouldn't even normally cut it in the Playboy "amateurs" section. She simply has no pizzazz, no spark. In fact, her pictorial gets progressively worse, showing off her terrible breasts and her complete lack of sense for the camera.
- Face: C Shanna's face is angular and unattractive - it's plain and simple. There isn't a single shred of beauty in it.
- Body: C Shanna's breasts are overly large and soft, which completely destroys any sense you can get of her curviness. If they were a bit more firm, she could pull off a lot of poses with more strength and poise. Instead, she flops - literally.
- Talent: C+ She has no sense for what looks good, and does not belong in the category of Playmates.
- Pictorial: D Being a completely clueless model, Shanna produces absolutely no memorable pictures, and she only fails in doing what she wants to do. Whatever the photographers were thinking, it certainly didn't work.
- Centerfold: C Shanna's centerfold looks like just another entry in her pictorial, and is one of the most forgettable centerfold shots we've seen in quite some time.
- Overall: C- Is Shanna the worst Playmate of the new decade? For sure. Is she the worst Playmate we've seen in years? If you go past 2009's Jennifer Pershing, you could go as far back as another decade to look for a Playmate as poorly conceived as Miss McLaughlin. There has not been a more undeserving girl in a long time, and she looks to be a waste of space in such a prestigious position.
With a performance like July's, there's pretty much nowhere to go but up. But Playboy didn't
settle for that, and instead went way up, injecting some spice into an already reasonably competitive Playmate class. August brought Francesca Frigo, a Venezuelan firecracker with juicy sexuality and a gorgeous body. Francesca was a polar opposite of her predecessor,
demonstrating a penchant for the camera and a beautiful Latina style.
Francesca's unique look is captured wonderfully in her pictorial. Although its theme is drab and uninspired, it evolves from the traditional beach scene, showcasing her body at its most natural. The scene tops off with a very attractive view of Miss Frigo from head-to-knee, showing the photographic style with which she is most palatable - with shadows in her lower half, and a split open pair of lips that shows off her unique facial structure.
All this aside, Francesca then comes into her own, without gimmicks, and settles in the bedroom. In one of my favorite entries of her pictorial, she spreads her tip-toed legs and exposes her bottom, while coyly covering her top with a sparkling smile. It comes together in a more subtle, girl-next-door look that really shines. From here, she takes the bedroom scene to ridiculous heights. Her side shots show off her immense proportions (with a perfect waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7), and her overhead shots are particularly sexy. When she curls her legs up, you get a cozy sense that she is unbelievably comfortable in the nude. If you still don't have an appreciation for Francesca's milky skin and spectacular measurements, one look at this photo will make a believer of you. The pose takes advantage of her picture-perfect thighs and gorgeous calves. Her great pictorial closes off with an overhead close-up of her shadowy curves. Brilliant!
- Face: B Francesca's more unusual facial structure may be her biggest flaw. Her jawline is often very edgy (hearkening back to Tamara Sky), and she doesn't have the soft features that characterize other girls this year. Although her smile is bright, this is certainly her biggest drawback.
- Body: A Francesca's body is nearly perfect, with a powerful frame and excellent proportions. One of her greatest assets is her amazing legs, which complete the look of her rock-hard core.
- Pictorial: B+ She certainly looks much better in her comfort zone, and in the bedroom photos, she excels. However, the pictorial has some repetitive scenes, and wastes time with a silly series of beach photos.
- Centerfold: B+ In a year of very good centerfolds, Francesca adds to the goodness. It's a bright, beautiful picture with a great representation of her body and energy.
- Talent: A- Francesca's pictorial hinders her ability to really showcase her style, but it does a good job of showing how much energy and vitality she has. She truly knows how to move her body, and what looks good on camera.
- Overall: A- Francesca Frigo is certainly in the race for 2011 PMOY. Although her pictorial quality held her back in her ability to really show all she could do, it gave a good overall look into her knack for the camera. Francesca's poise and Latina flair come together with a hard, strong body to make for a gorgeous girl to look at. Although she doesn't have the intangible qualities that girls like Katie Vernola and Jamie Edmondson possess, she definitely is beautiful enough to make plenty of noise this year.
To top off the trifecta of new Playmates that I'm adding reviews for, we find our current entry. Olivia Paige makes an appearance as Miss September 2010. At first glance, Miss Paige comes off as yet another cookie-cutter Playmate with bright blond hair and a plastic frame. Olivia, however, is quite a bit more than that, putting her at a high spot in this year's Playmate collection.
Olivia also competed in the "Playmate Shootout" contest with Shanna McLaughlin. Although she didn't win, after viewing her collection, you might wonder what the judges were thinking. First and foremost, Olivia's body pretty much carries her through her pictorial. She's tall, slim, and statuesque. Although she isn't as meaty as girls before her, her slender appearance lends itself
well to her posing style. As she lays out the goods in lingerie, you notice that she's also very nicely proportioned. Because she's slimmer, her curves are sharper and leaner. Her style is more crisp, and the pictorial is done nicely to complement this. Shots like this one, where she pushes out her curves intentionally, are common.
You should also notice Olivia's major flaw when going
through her pictorial - her talent level, and her face. In a photo like this, she comes off as tacky and downright strange, with a facial expression that is quite puzzling. Although it's nothing against the way her face is structured, it's moreso her sense for the camera that leaves you disappointed. She often has to try very hard to distinguish herself in photos, leaving her overreaching for poses that would otherwise come easily to other models. Through inconsistent looks combined with this lack of awareness, her stock is brought down on what is otherwise a very promising girl.
- Face: B- Although Olivia's face is not structurally flawed, she has some issues with her facial expressions that have the potential to ruin major parts of her pictorial. She often looks clueless and awkward, changing the looks of an otherwise fantastic pose.
- Body: A- Obviously Olivia's greatest strength, her body is slim, cut, and sharp. Her 120 lb. frame is not voluptuous by any means, but she knows how to set shots up so that she can accentuate certain attractive features.
- Talent: B- On the other hand, Olvia's greatest weakness is her inability to use her beautiful build to her advantage. She has very little clue on how to position her body for maximum potential. Although she takes on an active posing role, it doesn't always come across well.
- Pictorial: B Olivia's pictorial is ultimately very forgettable. There is very little costuming or setting going on, and it all seems very contrived and hastily put together. When it all comes together, it's just a little bit of shadowy lighting and cookie-cutter sets.
- Centerfold: B The centerfold is attractive, and does a good job of showing off her muscular body, but doesn't really do much else. Not very creative at all.
- Overall: B Olivia is a prototypical middle-of-the-pack Playmate. She has lots of tangible qualities that make her beautiful - a great body, radiant looks, and photos where she looks spectacular. On the other hand, there is nothing intangible that really puts her in the PMOY race at all. There are no breathtaking moments that really set her apart from anyone else. In the end, she's just another Playmate with not much talent to go around, but worth checking out on one pass.
There you are! Three new Playmates that offer a whole variety of looks for you to ponder. As for me, here are my best Playmates of the year so far, with only three left to go:
1. Amy Leigh Andrews
2. Katie Vernola
3. Jaime Faith Edmondson
4. Francesca Frigo
5. Kassie Lyn Logsdon
6. Olivia Paige
7. Kyra Milan
8. Heather Rae Young
9. Shanna McLaughlin