By Margaret Lyons
Updated August 03, 2020 at 01:40 PM EDT

Image Credit: Mike Ruiz/The CWIf the next cycle of this show doesn’t have some kind of compelling gimmick (actual human feelings) or twist (Born Agains vs. Atheists), I think we might have to part ways. A dance-inspired challenge? Excuse me while I try to wrest myself from this coma. Nope, I couldn’t do it, coma: 1, Tyra: 0. A blah challenge, warmed-over fights, dated references, and an elimination that arrived by telegraph months ago — Top Model, why have you forsaken me?

Brenda complained that she was having an “identity crisis” thanks to the haircut, and Ren said she was “93 percent sure” she was going to leave the competition. Luckily these statements came in rapid succession, otherwise I would have had time to say “that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” in between them. But I didn’t have time! Thanks for saving me the embarrassment, ANTM producers.

Ren continued to whine that she was only on the show to make her mom happy (boy, our moms are different), and that she didn’t know that it was going to be all these girls, living in a house together, getting on each other’s nerves. Were you raised Amish, Ren? Are you on Rumspringa? How did you not know this is what it was like to be on a reality show? Naduah got so much mileage from being “the girl who was in a cult.” You could have been “the girl who doesn’t know what anything is.” Opportunity doesn’t knock that often, toots.

The modeltestants headed out to a “glamorous” bus (just a bus), where they were greeted by Toccara, one of everyone’s favorite former contestants. Or “most memorable characters” as Alexandra said, because I am 93 percent sure she thinks this show is fictional. The girls were assigned to teams, robbing this moment of any kind of drams, and then they participated in an aggressively stupid head-to-head quiz that made Family Feud look like a gathering of Nobel winners. Simone won for her team, Brenda froze (allegedly), and Anslee continued to be way too intense/sour/hard-seeming. Chill, Anslee. Chiiiiiill.

The winning team got to go on a go-see at a discount fashion website which I won’t name here because I bet they paid extra to have a product-placed question in the quiz. That just, ugh, rubs me the wrong way, or gives me the creeps, or ices my cupcakes or whatever. No mention for you, website. Anyway, the losers had to measure things while the winners strutted their awkward, horrible stuff for two women who desperately tried not to laugh at them/cry tears of vomit/just cry or vomit. Simone won the challenge, and Jessica showed a flash of fangs when she complained that Simone seemed “pageant-y.” Easy there, toothpick legs.

Back at the house, some people were sitting around, and some people wanted to go to bed, and Brenda… declared bedtime in half an hour, which seemed fair? There’s a whole house to sit around in and shoot the shizz — if you want to go to bed, it’s okay to ask people to hang out elsewhere, no? Well, maybe not. “I was like, listen here, Gepetto,” Krista said. …Whuaa? “Cause she’s like the puppet master.”

I was like, Listen here, Gepetto — cause she’s like the puppet master.

I can’t add anything to that.

It seemed like there was going to be a fight about bed times (worst), but instead, a few of the girls trash-talked Brenda, saying she looked like Miranda from Sex and the City (she really doesn’t) and Chucky, which is actually really funny. Ren, because she hates drama, ran downstairs to create some and told Brenda all this. Brenda freaked, and then Anslee freaked because Anslee is too tightly wound omg calm down lady, and then the whole thing blew over the end. Where’s Alasia when you need her? Just kidding, we never need her.

At the challenge, Mr. Jay told the ladies they’d each be given a type of dance to use as inspiration for their photographs, and an actual professional dancer wasted his gifts by teaching each of them a few moves. Anslee got shafted and had “rhythmic dancing,” which was just ribbon from rhythmic gymnastics, and she was pretty blah. Jessica had salsa (with nachos! just kidding, worst joke ever) and looked oh so very white, Angelea had “moshing” which was actually just “Hot Topic” or “character from Guitar Hero.” She apparently did great, but I just do not get what the judges and Mr. Jay see in her.

Tatianna, who I don’t think has had a single confessional this season, had tap, which was a little awkward; Ren had disco, which she completely sucked at, because she is so much better than everything even though her mom doesn’t like her enough because she’s not “All American,” alt alt alt. Alexandra had break dancing comma, which she seemed pretty into, and Raina predictably crushed her jazz photo. Brenda had African, which mercifully did not include race play, but was terrible anyway. Krista had ballet, which just emphasized how freakishly ungraceful she is, Simone had hip-hop, which she sucked at, and Alasia had interpretive dance, which she actually rocked. Also, she was wearing what appeared to be the nightgown the TV-crawler girl wears in The Ring.

I know you guys like a window into the recapping process (you like it, right?), so here’s this week’s peek behind the curtain: I type notes as watch the episode, and usually these notes are all in lowercase and sort of nonsense. (Example: “more blurred boobs.” Oh yeah! There were more blurred boobs on this ep. WTF?) But sometimes moments move me to the point where I write in all caps or full sentences, and the judging panel here was one such occasion. “OMT TYRA IS WEARING A NUDE JUMPSUIT! WITH A SENSIBLE MOM BRA! what.” It’s no Gepetto line, but it’s what I have.

Because seriously, holy hell, Tyra was wearing a naked-looking jumpsuit! With unfortunate crotch bunching and ankle stacking! Do I need to say that it was unflattering, or is that implied? It was, at best, an eyeball abortion, and I cannot believe I spent 25 minutes Googling around to see if I could dig it up to link to here. Rachel Roy? No. Discount website? No. I could not find it, alas. Anyway, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to be “the weird one” if you’re going to sit next to a guy wearing what appears to be a taffeta robe of some kind and a to-the-side claw/tooth necklace the size of my hand. But somehow, Tyra has managed.

The panel, with guest judge Head Dude from Wilhelmina Models, deemed Jessica’s picture too literal, and André called the pointed-toe pose “gauche,” which, burn. Raina was great, Anslee got a thumbs down, Simone looked too vacant, and Tatianna had just the weirdest strangest disaster of a picture — but a great close-up. Brenda also had a bad photo, which was super pleasing to Anslee because Anslee has an intense and pervasive hatred for Brenda this week. Alasia’s photo was great, but at judging she was wearing a silver lamé bathingsuit instead of a shirt. I would say “listen to the panel’s fashion advice,” but look at them: Tyra’s jumpsuit has a sheer v-neck and a weird high waist. She’s the pot and the kettle. She cannot call anyone else out.

Alexandra had no neck in her photo, but it was still declared good, while Angelea won praise yet again. Krista looked elegant despite her clumsiness, and Ren looked horrible. Deadface horrible with not an ounce of disco fever to be found.

Tyra and her jumpsuit asked Ren if she wanted to go or stay. “I want to stay,” Ren mumbled, which was the nail in her coffin. You’re supposed to say “I want to win.” Come on.

This week’s winner: Alasia! Ugh. Angelea was runner up, and Jessica, Aexandra, Krista, Raina, Tatianna, Simone, and Anslee were safe. Would Ren and Brenda please step forward? Ren told Tyra that shed changed her mind and just wanted to leave, and Tyra said it didn’t matter because they were going to pick Brenda anyway, suckaaa. So adios, Ren, you grumpy, grumpy little girl. Resolve those mommy issues, put a little pep in your step, and the world is your heavily-tattooed oyster.

Okay, Model Behaviorists, are puppet masters? Do you see something in Angelea that I don’t get? Can anything de-stress Anslee? And can anyone catch Raina for front-runner status?

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America's Next Top Model

Tyra Banks searches for the next great supermodel

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