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''America's Next Top Model'': Makeovers are only skin deep

On ”America’s Next Top Model,” after the girls get makeovers, Amanda tells everyone that Cassie is bulimic, but Julie gets the heave-ho

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America's Next Top Model
Daniel Garriga/CBS

America's Next Top Model

TV Show
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”America’s Next Top Model”: Makeovers are only skin deep

We interrupt this review of America’s Next Top Model to bring you a word from Cover Girl cosmetics. Especially if you want to create a fresh, natural daytime look! Or even that oh-so-difficult ”night diva” visage! Now where is that Elsa Benitez so we can have a model pout prettily (enhanced by True Blend foundation, of course) and coo unintelligibly?

Sorry if I sound bitter, but this week’s episode just seemed like an extended Cover Girl ad, with enough mentions of the cosmetic sponsor to inspire a drinking game. Now I realize that makeup is as important to the modeling industry as cigarettes, but even non-fashionistas know that makeup artists are product whores and are no more loyal to a — gasp! — drugstore brand like Cover Girl than they are to Dior. They just want what product works for the look they’re trying to create at that moment.

Which brings me to my second point. Much of this episode chronicled the contestants as they received makeup lessons from Mr. J (using CG cosmetics, natch) and then clumsily attempted to re-create the looks themselves. What model is required to put on her own makeup? Especially when there is an entire industry devoted to beautifying the already beautiful?

Anyway, the show kicked off with each girl receiving makeovers, complete with radical hair color changes (am I the only one who thinks that Amanda looks like Marilyn Manson’s long-lost albino sister?) and face-altering switches (Norelle got her braces off! We will never have to hear her say ”bling bling on ma grille” again! Ever!). Of course, no Top Model episode would be complete without the requisite tears. Granted, these came when Jennipher and Eva had to cut their hair and Ann reacted to her admittedly Kelly Clarkson-esque stripy highlights.

Then it was off to the studio to pose for ”beauty shots,” a.k.a., close-ups of completely bare, makeupless faces. The big revelation of the day, however, wasn’t finding out what the dermatologically challenged Yaya looked like without concealer, but rather Cassie’s admission that she is bulimic. She told Amanda in confidence, so naturally the other finalists knew about it within what seemed like five minutes. Later (and only after carefully brushing her newly long, platinum blond mane) Amanda was wracked with guilt: ”Everyone thinks I’m a backstabber!” she wailed. Uh, Amanda, you kind of are.

As usual, the judging segment was the most compelling part of the show. Not only did Nilo’s lapdog look particularly stylish — that striped scarf was fabulous! — but Janice Dickinson was in rare form. After comparing Norelle to a parakeet, she reached new comedic heights when she insisted the projectionist go back and forth between Kelle’s retouched and unretouched photos because it reminded her of ”a Hitchcock film.”

In the end, it was Julie who got the boot, since she had the gall to suggest that she wanted to use modeling to get into the clothing-manufacturing industry. Because everyone knows that the modeling field is all about longevity? Both Tyra and Janice spat out the word ”manufacturing” as if it were a venereal disease. But perhaps the suggestion that one must find a life after catwalking hit a little too close to home.

What did you think? Was Tyra fair? Is Amanda dazzled by her own blondness? And can Cassie keep it together?