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James Hibberd

Drinks by the Pool

July 12, 2006 3:51 PM

 By TCA party standards, where critics often hit the buffet then return to their rooms, Style Network’s poolside shindig is a success that lasts several hours. There are floating balls in the pool and Playboy Playmates lounging on cushions. Cabanas feature complimentary makeover stations—manicures, make-up tips, back massages and photo-posing lessons.


That last is staffed by “American’s Next Top Model” judge Jay Manuel, who has a new makeover show on Style. I learn three things from Jay: One, the next season of “Top Model” is “the best season yet”; two: no, it’s not a coincidence that Tyra Banks is never in the scene when acerbic former judge Janice Dickinson makes a “Top Model” guest appearance; and three: I shouldn’t directly face the camera and hold my head high when being photographed.


One popular Style Network party crasher was billionaire Dallas Mavericks/HDNet owner Mark Cuban. Cuban is impressive because he seems perfectly comfortable flying solo at a major media event. Whether sitting for dinner, dropping in on a panel session or grabbing a drink in the lounge, he’s strikingly entourage free at a conference where most network executives have a publicist (or two or three) in tow.






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