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'America's Next Top Model' recap: Us versus them

The models learn that sometimes it’s important to sell the product more than themselves, which is a lesson that leads to one of them going home

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Danny Moloshok/The CW

America's Next Top Model

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‘America’s Next Top Model’ recap: Us versus them

I’m not sure Elina and Marjorie got the memo: They’re competing on America’s Next Top Model, not Europe’s Next Top Model. Last night’s episode launched on a bus, where the remaining seven models were casually chatting about how they’re all doing in the competition. Sheena, who’s constantly vamping and was in the bottom two last week, complained that the judges don’t think she’s modelesque. But it was the deluded Euro-pair Elina and Marjorie who felt they’re unfairly taking hits at judging because of how European they are.

Hold it, wait — what? Come again? They couldn’t seriously be making that argument yet again, which seems like more of a cop-out for just not delivering. “Unless you’re from Europe or you’re European, you will not understand,” Elina said. “Just, you won’t.” But is there anything sensible that we’re supposed to get here? It may seem rather narrow-minded, but Tyra and the other judges — who are part of this American show now in its 11th cycle — aren’t gonna change their ways for you. Oh, you’re European! I didn’t realize. We really should make some modifications to the competition because of that. Um, not gonna happen. So just suck it up and deal.

All these girls have some handicap they’re trying to overcome. I totally agree with the sentiments of Samantha, who was met with venom from the pair when she said, “Yeah, but didn’t you guys move here when you were like 8 or something?” Sheena added: “You’re only an immigrant in your mind. You’re only the way you feel.” I have a feeling that sourpusses Elina and Marjorie use their Euro-crutch for anything they’re struggling with. You don’t see Joslyn complaining she’s having a hard time because she’s black (or in the case of this week, sick) or Samantha complaining that her blond hair is holding her back.

You’ll notice that when Elina won the competition — the gals had to don green spandex suits so they’d be “invisible models” on screen — she wasn’t bleating about being persecuted for being European. Maybe she got equal treatment then because the judges couldn’t see her face? Of course, Top Model is always rife with dramatic competitors, but I’m convinced that Marjorie and Elina are two of the most dramatic. Both had problems with the challenge — Elina basically hyperventilated before going on stage, while Marjorie didn’t realize her dress had fallen down. Jocelyn, in a flowy dress, continued her awkward tear by taking off her belt on stage and turning it into a necklace or “something that draped,” as she said. Why on earth would she do that? I know this challenge was also about showing versatility with accessories, but you might as well have been shimmying with a pashmina. It was distasteful.

Although I don’t think any of the gals did anything that really stood out in this competition (oh, you moved your arms around a bit — special!), I did enjoy seeing them lined up backstage in their green spandex suits. It all looked rather alienesque — and definitely more Sci Fi than CW. And the effects, with their bodies disappearing on screen, were cool, too.

NEXT: It’s acting!

But that challenge wasn’t the focus of the week: It was really all about the Cover Girl commercial shoot. Even with the help of a TelePrompTer, the girls managed to mess things up. Walking and talking at the same time is so difficult when you’re (semi) pretty! Or sick: Joslyn spent most of her time leading up to the shoot coughing and barfing into a trashcan. (Did the producers really have to show her doing all that? The sound effects alone were cringe inducing.) But honestly, her health didn’t affect her performance for the shoot that much — it seems like to me Joslyn would have still been giggly and over-the-top even if she hadn’t been sick. (“Did they serve ham and cheese between takes?” asked Mr. Jay.)

The rest performed as expected. Samantha was unmemorable and enunciated about as well as a 7-year-old. Elina, of course, was robotic (Mr. Jay: “It’s still controlled”), even if she was rather fierce looking. McKey couldn’t get the blocking down and was scattered-brained as usual. “McKey is a little clueless,” said Mr. Jay. “And clueless does not make a Cover Girl.” Marjorie was an annoying mess of nerves, and she started crying after the first take. If I were Mr. Jay, I would have smacked her right then and there. And Sheena was fluid and stunning on screen.

But the standout was clearly Analeigh. She just seemed natural and believable. Or as Mr. Jay put it: “When she speaks, she becomes way more beautiful than just a snapshot of her.” I concur, and will admit that I was almost inspired to buy some cosmetics for the first time in my life. Almost.

For once, Tyra was pretty unmemorable last night — but naturally, she did manage to add in a little wackiness before the judging by requiring the girls to strut their stuff in wooden clogs. “It’s really important to know how to walk in all types of shoes,” the stone-faced Tyra said. “Especially wooden clogs.” What? Why? Because, she’s taking the six finalists to Amsterdam, of course! (How fitting, with all the European-based drama, right?)

Analeigh took the win for the week, and rightfully so. Sheena came in second. And damn the duo, but neither Elina (who was in the bottom two) nor Marjorie were sent home. It was poor, sick Joslyn who bit the dust after falling so far over the last few weeks. My favorite reaction shot of the evening was from Sheena, who looked completely surprised when Elina wasn’t sent packing. Cue up the drama between the two for next week! Can’t wait.

But what did you think, PopWatchers? Are you buying the bull that Elina and Marjorie are selling? Would Joslyn have been sent home if she hadn’t been sick? And do you think it’s important for a Top Model to be able to walk in wooden clogs?

But before I go, I’ve got a special treat for you: the return of America’s Next Top Doll!