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America's Next Top Model recap: Hat's All, Folks

Kacey gets ugly in the house, but a Matthew Rolston photo shoot turns out beautifully

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Top Model Kasey
Matthew Rolston/The CW

America's Next Top Model

TV Show
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Model behaviorists, this week’s episode is a little thing we in the biz like to call “a dud.” Oh sure, there was bitchtastic in-fighting, and yeah, there was a pretty rad challenge, but… nothing really clicked into place or seemed to have much influence over other aspects of the episode. On the one hand, nice pictures. On the other… oops, my other hand wandered away out of boredom. Luckily, it enjoyed Raising Hope.

We opened with Lexie telling us that this week was “gonna be really crucial” for her, and Kayla talking faux-smack that she “[couldn’t] handle a third week” of Ann taking top honors. Rhianna droned that she and Ann had the same look, and that was pretty much the sign of doom for the be-hatted one. No one can top Ann, you guys. Fo reals. Liz said that she was on food stamps, and thus wanted to win more than the other contestants do, and Chelsey said she found Kacey “confusing.” I also find Kacey confusing, because on camera she’s got some serious bags under her eyes, and yet in the photo shoots, she looks glam and pristine. Is it makeup? Photo retouching? A restorative night’s sleep? Inquiring minds, etc.

Speaking of confusing, when did everyone get purple knit sorta-beret hats? Anyway, Kacey decided to throw a barbecue with the model dudes from last week, and visions of cycle 2 danced in my head. Remember in Milan? The night of the great Shandi scandal? Ah, memories. Instead, Kacey threw an unbearably awkward “mixer” (as Jane put it), and no one had fun. Maybe there’s a “no booze” rule in Chez Modelhaus these days, but oy, that party had “seventh-grade disaster” written all over it. We were basically one first period away from an actual middle-school dance. Save us, Judy Blume!

Challenge time! Off to an amusement park, where Nigel and Ms. Jay told the models they’d be riding a rollercoaster. Let’s pause here to outline Ms. Jay’s outfit. He was wearing a cockamamie top knot (on trend for this season, but…no) and headband, drawn-on bushy eyebrows, a black blazer/jacket with nothing underneath, some kind of flowy skirt, and black pants. Well, you know what they say, dress for the job you want. I just didn’t know “bag lady” was a paying gig these days. Rhianna was wearing thigh-high socks with shorts and an absurd hat, and yet she looked like the blinking beacon of sanity in the sea of Ms. Jay’s truly ludicrous get-up. But seriously, enough with the hats, Rhianna.

Nigel and Ms. Jay gave each model an emotion or style to attempt to convey while on the coaster, which everyone gamely tried to execute. Unfortunately, physics exists, and everyone looked like a crazy flesh monster making a visit to Unflatteringville. Ye gods.

Liz won the challenge by nailing a “catalog” pose, and she earned a special photoshoot with Tyra. She brought Kayla and Chris, who both sorta showed her up at the shoot, but then they all bonded during a tea party with Ty Ty herself.

NEXT: Who likes Kacey? Anyone? ANYONE?