By Michael Slezak
April 06, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

This week’s America’s Next Top Model may not have featured a challenge as strenuous as last week’s Vivienne Westwood shoe pileup, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t delicious contestant carnage. Case in point: Jade and Brooke’s hilariously inept improvised TV ads for Cover Girl Clean Liquid makeup.

I’m not sure what Jade thought she was selling as she twirled and cooed her way through two takes without saying a single word about the product in question, but she looked sensationally odd while doing it. Still, I’m not sure I’d agree with Tyra’s critique: ”If that wasn’t a drag queen walking through that party, I don’t know what was.” Surely, any dragster worth her nylons would’ve at least served a legendary tagline, no?

Brooke’s ad, meanwhile, was quieter than a Scientologist’s delivery room. I know that girl keeps saying she’s too shy to improvise, but I also have a suspicion that the empty thought bubble over her head might be a 24-7 affliction.

Yet not every contestant faltered on camera: Leslie and Sara broke out from mid-pack with sexy, saucy performances, while Furonda (while a bit too sing-songy for my taste) at least proved astute enough to inject her commercial with some catchy, pre-programmed dialogue. And even though Tyra repeatedly mocked Danielle’s country-South accent, I thought she was hella adorable, and certainly less stiff than Cycle 5 winner Nicole is proving to be in her painful ”My Life as a Cover Girl” campaign. (Of course, Danielle can do no wrong in my book.)

The episode’s second challenge, an improvisation exercise with MTV’s Wild ‘n Out cast also provided some comic highlights, particularly Leslie’s brutal mockery of Cindy Crawford’s mole and Jade’s bile-soaked attempts at freestyle: ”Furonda my dear, I know your skin is bumpy. But my skin is flawless, and you look really lumpy.” Not half as clever as Sara rhyming ”puke in a bottle” with ”super model.”

Once again, Joanie pulled out the punch lines in her confessional interview: “Nobody else took it there. Nobody else was like, ‘Yo, Jade, you look like an 85-year-old woman,'” she sniped, although her second attack on Jade was even harsher, when you keep in mind short career-spans in the age-conscious modeling biz: ”She sure as hell doesn’t act like she’s almost 30.” Cold!

Oh, and speaking of cold — as in icy, maniacally, sociopathically cold — what did you all think of the way Tyra gave the girls a crash course in sadism cruel pranks acting, pretending to collapse from exhaustion until poor Furonda was reduced to tears, then leaping up with a ”ha-ha-I-fooled-you” glee that left all nine contestants visibly shaken. She may not be the nicest reality host in the world, but the woman knows good TV. Which is probably why she ultimately sacked dull-pretty Mollie Sue (pictured) instead of drama-magnet Jade, an unpopular but wise decision.

What did you think of the contestants’ performances this week? Who’s most at risk of getting sacked next week? And would you agree with Nigel that Brooke is a keeper in the battle to become ”America’s Next Top Trout”?

Tyra Banks searches for the next great supermodel
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