The makeover episode of America’s Next Top Model is hallowed ground, similar to the Restaurant Wars episode of Top Chef or the Venereal Disease Checkup episode of Jersey Shore. It comes but once a year, like Christmas, and, like Christmas, there’s excitement in the air at first but everyone pretty much ends up with something they don’t particularly want. Also like Christmas, you have to stand there and listen while a bunch of people criticize you for the choices you’ve made. Like I’ve told you a million times, Mom, writing about reality TV is a real job! I don’t know the first thing about real estate law! Aarrrgh!!
Wait, where were we? Right, makeovers. I know only three things about them:
(1) Like training for a spelling bee or raising money to save your camp from being taken over by snooty rich kids, they work best in montage form.
(2) They can’t perform miracles: Ugly ducklings usually just end up as ugly ducklings with hair extensions. Unless you’re already Rachael Leigh Cook in glasses, in which case, just take off the glasses.
(3) Ally Sheedy was totally more attractive before hers in The Breakfast Club.
Sadly, this cycle’s makeover episode was about as interesting as navel lint, and not even the cool kind. Barely anyone cried, the challenge was a yawner, and only Molly’s monstrous, probably child-devouring weave could be labeled a full-on disaster. The models had their first inkling that something was up when they returned to the house to see a tasseled rope hanging down with a sign that read “Pull Me.” Not being ones to ignore direct orders from inanimate objects, they didn’t waste a second tugging on it, which could have easily set off some elaborate Saw death trap involving brain drills and face-melting acid. But no, the girls weren’t going to get off that easy. Their fate was much, much worse. It was makeover time.
A banner unfurled, covered with a variety of phrases describing all the different styles of makeovers the contestants would be subjected to. Although I’m pretty sure they could have just as easily been the titles of new CW reality series the network was testing out. Dirty Blonde & BIG Waves, the sultry adventures of a sex-obsessed surfer girl. Extreme Angled Bob, the deeply emotional journey of Bob, a man born with a rare genetic disease that left all his limbs totally perpendicular to his body. Or Short Dutch Boy, about a midget paint salesman. I would watch any and all of those.
The models reacted to the prospect of a makeover with hysterical screams that were somewhere smack in the middle between girlish joy and abject fear, as if they had just spotted Joey McIntyre…coming at them with a kitchen knife. And rightly so. Undergoing a Tyra-assigned overhaul is like playing Russian roulette with five chambers loaded: Sometimes you end up with a flattering haircut, but most of the time you look like someone just stapled a possum to your head. So everyone fretted and worried until the next day, when they went to the salon to meet their fate with steely resolve.
NEXT: Hair today, gone tomorrow