By Margaret Lyons
Updated April 08, 2010 at 01:26 PM EDT

Image Credit: Eric Liebowitz/The CWThis week’s Top Model boasted a lingerie-clad romp, awkward sexual conversations with Nigel, and a bullshizz PSA about knock-offs — but for an episode that decried fakes in the fashion industry “Smile and Pose” hardly sparkled with authenticity. Instead, we got the same one character trait from everyone — sourness, competitiveness, absent-eyed gum-chewing. Time to put a little meat on these bones, Top Model!

For the first time I can remember, we see the contestants’ stack of mail, which totally looks like it’s been opened and rifled through, prison-style. I hope they all sing the “mail time” song from Blues Clues when it comes, because that’s what I would do. Also, that would have made this episode interesting. When it comes I want to wail: maaaaail!

Ms. Jay took the contestants to Roosevelt Island to ride the tramway and practice making male models feel comfortable by accosting them in a tiny confined car with no exits. As with all information, Alasia processed this by staring into space and chewing gum with her mouth open. The male model they’d have to chat up? Miiiiister Nigel Barker, who was sporting a jaunty Canadian tuxedo. I’m not totally sure why Nigel was lying about himself — he, er, does have kids — except to seem especially hostile, but that weirdness paled in comparison to how strangely skanky the modeltestants got. Angelea did her bizarre “rawr!” cat-paw move (see you in my nightmares), Alexandra’s pick-up line of “don’t look now, but there’s a beautiful woman standing next to you” gave me brain herpes, and Jessica acted like boozy sorority girl on spring break — and not in the fun season-finale-of-Greek way. In a gross, “jeeze, that’s pervasive unwanted sexual contact” way. Tatianna was a little rude, and strangely, sourpuss Anslee was the only one who did even marginally okay. (We didn’t get to see everyone go, tragically. When are we going to hear Raina talk?)

But strained, strange skankiness turned out not to be the week’s challenge! Actually, it did, but elsewhere: The ladies had to do a five-shot photoshoot while sexily posing with “comedian” Ross Mathews. How hilarious! Because he is gay, and thus can’t sexypose with ladies without it being so ridiculous! And challenging! You know, because he’d be making them laugh so much on account of being a comedian.

Do you guys remember how freaked out contestants used to get about having to writhe around with a dude? God, were we Amish back then, or what? Everyone put on garish lingerie and has no problem at all straddling, groping, and rubbing Mathews. Good for them I guess. In what’s becoming the weird recurring feature of the season, Angelea did a gross pose that involved her foot. Put your foot away, Angelea! Gaaah. The winner of the challenge: the barely legal Jessica. Put your sour face away, Anslee! Gaaah agian.

At the photoshoot, Mr. and Ms. Jay gave a spiel about the evils of counterfeit and knock-off products, and how they cost the fashion industry so much money, etc. The ladies got decked out in garish fakes — apparently? but doesn’t that cost designers a billion dollars? — and borderline drag make-up. Tatianna, who said she dreams of being a coroner (different from a volunteer mortician!), used her hands too much, which Mr. Jay said “cheapened the look.” How is that even possible? Alasia was fine, Raina was great, Jessica was energetic and interesting, and Krista really, really looked like a dude. Like, a lot. Brenda, who managed not to talk about her traumatic haircut, was fine, and Anslee just! kept! pouting! Seriously, Anslee, enough already. Angelea looked like she always does — rawr! — but Alexandra was just okay. This of course led to us hearing, again, about how competitive Alexandra is. She doesn’t like to lose, you guys. She wants to win things. Because she is so competitive. We get it!

Here’s what we know about the modeltestants:

Alexandra: Competitive

Alasia: Fighty, enthusiastic about gum

Tatianna: Mortician

Anslee: SOUR

Angelea: Awkwardly thug

Brenda: My haaaaaiiiir

Jessica, Krista, Raina: Jury is out

No need to keep drilling these points, producers! Message received.

This week’s guest judge was fashion legend Pat Cleveland, one of the most important models of the ’70s. I’m guessing Tyra’s red parachute-material jumpsuit was some kind of homage?

Krista’s photo earned raves from the judges and “nooo, make it stop!” from me, while I dug Brenda’s pouty shot that the judges didn’t love. Alexandra, who continued to give off slight Katherine Heigl vibes, did basically nothing in her photo, and Tatianna’s handsy open-mouth shot was too blah. Anslee, who’s shot was pretty cute, really needs some styling help — between the plastic shirt last week and the bad hair this week, it’s clear Princess Sour has no idea how to dress herself. Paging Clinton and Stacy!

Angelea looked like a salty drag queen in her photo, which unsurprisingly won high praise from the judges. Jessica was the only one to move around in her shot, and her mid-air image was great. The usually solid Raina faltered, but Alasia nailed it yet again.

I really hope they bring back Pat Cleveland to be a mentor for the models — her critiques were lucid and interesting, and the woman clearly knows what she’s talking about. Why can’t the modeltestants get better (any?) instruction? Wouldn’t it be nice to see them master a modeling technique and then at the photoshoot be asked to use it?

This week’s winner: Jessica! Apparently there was zero blowback from the weird behavior earlier in the episode, because no one mentioned it. Runner up: Angelea, who did the “rawr!” thing yet again. Yikes. Krista, Alasia, Anslee, Brenda, and Raina were safe. Would Alexandra and Tatianna please step forward?

At this point, I really didn’t have a horse in the race — except for Alexandra’s wipe-out a few weeks ago, she’d been profoundly boring. Tatianna hadn’t even managed that, though, and she was sent packing, enthusiasm for the deceased intact.

Are Jessica and Angelea moving into the top spots, PopWatchers? Was there enough dreckitude for you this week? What can make Anslee less grouchy? And when is Krista going to really shine? What did you think of this week’s episode?

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