CariDee's ill-timed joke at a bullring has a Very Important Photographer seeing red. Meanwhile, the twins lose their way in the streets of Barcelona, Eugena comes on strong, and Melrose just keeps on smiling

Credit: CariDee: De Yonker/The CW

”Next Top Model”: A bull session goes awry

Happy Thanksgiving, America’s Next Top Model fans! If you are reading this on Thursday morning, I feel it is safe to say that one of the following two things is true:

1. You are not American and are therefore at work. In which case I say, Happy Thursday, America’s Next Top Model fan!

2. You are obsessed with this show, to an almost unhealthy degree.

(Both answers are also acceptable.)

For whatever reason you are awake and reading this on Turkey Day, know that your time will at least be well spent, because first and foremost, this episode finally gave us some answers w/r/t what Tyra is looking for this season. ”In this competition,” she admitted during panel, ”passion is way more important than beautiful pictures.” Well. I’ll be. While I’m not sure that justifies the dismissal of, say, Brooke, I will say it makes tonight’s decision to send Michelle home a hell of a lot clearer.

I’m sad to see the more sexually confused of the so-called Skeletwins go, but at the same time, I’m okay with it. She’s made it clear from day one how unsure she is about making modeling her life, and so despite having the strongest portfolio in the bunch, Michelle was asked to pack her things and leave the house in Barcelona. There will be no contract with Cover Girl (holla!) for her. And I think she’ll be fine. (Still, it’s a shame that she’s gotta go just as I’d determined a foolproof system for telling the damn twins apart: Amanda = ears!) BTW: Loved the moment when Tyra realized that Michelle was self-sabotaging, perhaps prepared to sacrifice herself so that her sister, Amanda, could live on. And trust me: Tyra knows about sacrifice! That’s why she’s so tough in the judging! Much like Jesus, Tyra is laying down her life for others, every single day!

But not to get ahead of myself: We kicked off with the gals calling up the male models from last week’s unfortunate Secret commercial and asking them to dinner. CariDee really got the party started when she took one of them — the mysterious Victor — out on the porch for some tonsil hockey, and I thought to myself, goodness, that girl is acting out. Something tells me the patented CariDee Crazy, which has laid dormant yea these many weeks, is starting to bubble back to the surface. There’s something strange behind her eyes. Like a gerbil, looking for a way out. I fear she may soon gnaw off her own leg.

The reward challenge was the fearsome go-sees, a process that seems to take less and less time with every season that goes by: Go see designers, walk for them, smile, don’t be late coming back. Naturally, someone is always late — this season, it was the twins, who couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag on the dull streets of Barcelona. Naturally, Melrose won — as we’ve established, that’s what Melrose does. She was the most friendly, according to the judges, and while her walk wasn’t perfect, it certainly wasn’t anything half so bad as Michelle’s Scoliosis Strut.

Next, the big photo shoot took place in a bullfighting ring, bullfighting being, according to CariDee, the cheesecake of Barcelona. (Blah blah blah, insert speech about animal cruelty here; I found the bull adorable in all his hoof-scraping glory, and I certainly hope that his reward for standing around in the hot sun for hours behind self-esteem-challenged young women was a couple weeks off from the fights.) Yes, this brings us to the prophesied CariDee Comment, which was both just as bad and at the same time nowhere near as psycho as we were led to believe it would be. She turned to Nigel — who, as the photographer this week, was playing with a prop stick — and said, ”Did you just remove that from your ass from the last panel?” Oh, honey. Not funny. Well, okay, kind of funny… but haven’t we learned that ANTM is The Land Where Jokes Go To Die Unless They Are Made By Tyra In Which Case They Just Scare Us A Little? I think we have. Cut to shot of pensive Nigel walking away. Cut to lecture about respect from Mr. Jay. Cut to much apology from CariDee (she even read an I’m Sorry letter at panel). The two eventually worked it out — ”You have to be careful,” said Nigel, in the cutest moment he’s had all season. ”You know me, but you don’t know me” — but I couldn’t help but think that The Comment + CariDee’s mediocre photo = Death Cab for Crazy.

Boy, was I ever wrong. In fact, CariDee didn’t even make the bottom two. No, Wise Old Producer Tyra — standing in an almost-flattering three-quarters profile pose at panel this week — finally played the card we’ve been waiting for all season: She pitted Skeledee against Skeledum, and booted the one with the least passion. Michelle, bags under her eyes, hugged the gals goodbye. Amanda, ears flapping in the breeze, practically glowed with opportunity. The other three finalists, for the most part, looked like deer in the headlights of their own ego, ambition, and abject terror. Yeah, that’s right, ladies: You could be next. And unless you are Melrose, chances seem good that you will be.

One final note from tonight: The ”judging challenge,” ”administered” by Nigel, required everyone to say — in front of everyone else — who they thought had the most and least potential in the competition. I guess everyone’s getting along just a little too well or something. Love the unnecessarily manufactured tension. Quick! Someone steal a granola bar!

Now it’s your turn: What did you think of the CariDee drama? Were you surprised her ”joke” was not her ticket out of the competition? What do you think the teaser for next week means for Melrose? Do you think there’s any way she possibly loses the competition at this point? If so, who do you think can pull off the upset? And for the world travelers among you, just how difficult is it to find a street address in Barcelona?

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America's Next Top Model

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