'America's Next Top Model' recap: Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
Image Credit: Eric Liebowitz/The CWThis season of Top Model has been a drag to say the least, so I thought maybe last night’s jaunt to a drag club would liven things up. You know, with wordplay! But my hopes were predictably dashed — this episode was a bore from top to bottom. Not even butt-ugly dresses by Whitney Port could bring some brightness to the endeavor. Bring on the hair. Shudder.
We weren’t even a full 10 seconds into the episode before Angelea referred to her fellow contestants as “bitches.” This makes me crazy. Look, some of them are bitches, but using the word as just the generic term for women? It’s irritating, not to mention degrading. Lecture over.
Whitney Port, Pat Cleveland (who I’d hoped we’d see again!), and Pat Cleveland’s out-of-control eyelashes came by the loft and told the bitches (see?) that they’d be going to a party. Pat decided to help the girls by asking them one or two questions each and then vaguely praising them for “being themselves.” That was not the modeling guidance these ladies needed, Pat! They are all puh-lenty of themselves. Jessica bragged that she felt classy and elegant in what had to be the least classy or elegant dress of all time. That sound you hear is the ghost of Princess Diana, weeping.
Everyone headed to Lucky Cheng’s, where high school students from the suburbs totally go for their 18th birthdays. (I…hear…) The girls had to bust out personality-driven walks — cycle 2’s Camille! I miss you! — and it was the blah leading the blah-er. Let’s recap what we know about everyone’s personality: Angelea is aggressive, Alasia is immature, Jessica is snooty, Alexandra is competitive, Anslee is sour, Raina is naive, and Krista is… I’m not sure what. Naturally, Krista won! The only moment of non-garbage during this entire segment was Ms. Jay saying “what the front door was that?” about Alexandra’s march to stomptown.
Back at the house, Anslee brushed off her disastrous performance by insisting that it’s more important to be herself than, er, to do a good job. Her walk was “stern and it was strong,” she declared, and thus true to her identity. First, all together now: You forgot sour. Second, this is just a terribly misguided attitude. If you want a job where you’re encouraged to be yourself, get a blog. The job requirements for modeling are the literal opposite of that: Please put on this dress and look pretty — or ugly, depending on what we want! — and don’t eat anything. If that doesn’t sound fun — and it doesn’t to lots and lots of us — don’t be a model. No one cares about your self-ness! Sorry, snowflakes.
In the morning, Alasia was running late again, so everyone else left without her. At least that’s what it seemed like, until it turned out that everyone just left the apartment without her and were waiting for her downstairs. Drama fail, Top Model! This week’s photoshoot had the ladies wearing dresses made of hair. You were ahead of your time, Chris March.
I have to stop for a moment to vomit from my eyes and then go rinse my brain off in a bleach/boiling holy water combo I’ve whipped up for occasions just like this. Disembodied hair grosses me out so incredibly badly. Those kiosks at the mall that just have sad synthetic ponytails hanging there? Gaaaaaaah. (Do those carts remind anyone else of that scene from The Piano where there’s a community production of “Bluebeard”? Anyone?) The reaction other people have to scenes of, say, eyeball surgery is roughly my reaction to untethered fake hair.
Part of the challenge was also heckling each other, which didn’t really make sense, nor did anyone do a particularly good job of it. For example, no one mentioned that Angelea looked like she had a hair-tit. (Enjoy your nightmares!) Raina was wearing a coat made of Chewbacca fur, and Alexandra wore what appeared to be orangutan pelts. And everyone else’s outfit was worse.
It was casual Friday at judging panel apparently — everyone was dressed down, though sadly no one was in a lamé bathing suit. Tyra was in a vagina-magnifying jumpsuit, though, so there’s that I guess!
Then the dark time happened. I can barely write about it because it was so horrific. So pathetic. So poorly produced and clearly ignorant about anything having to do with anything. The New Zealand segment was beyond awful. The judges tore apart perfectly good Z props from Sesame Street and then acted like that bozo in a cowboy hat was a shepherd. Insert the “WTF” face of your choice here. Then they had the gall to suggest that he brought actual sheep to the judging panel, which I seriously doubt because, oh, we did not see that. Instead we saw clouded-over images of sheep in, er, the green room? Or… b-roll? Why? Why, God? Why was this they way the show introduced that the ladies were heading to the fashion capital of nowhere, New Zealand? True story: My notes here say “THAT WAS HORRENDOUS. BEYOND HORRENDOUS. they’re going to new zealand. that was hell.”
By the way, if you’re at all interested in knowing anything about NZ, I highly recommend Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story. And if you care about sheep, I highly recommend this blog, which is my current obsession. See how easy it was not to suck? See, Tyra? SEE?
I can’t dwell on that any more. Jessica’s photo was a little to ballerina-ish for Tyra, but was deemed decent overall. Krista looked fabulous at panel and even better in her picture. Anslee, not as much — Andre thought her pose was “a cliché.” And I thought Andre was wearing Dumbledore cast-offs. We all get to have opinions! Alasia was again Andre’s most favorite person ever, even though Tyra said the rest of her film was pretty crummy. Alexandra’s photo was full-on awkwardtown, but Angelea’s was great, according to the judges, with whom I vehemently disagreed on this point as usual. Raina was fine, because she will probably win.
This week’s winner: Krista! I was actually pretty happy for her — her Grace Jones-y photo was awesome (and way better than Xiomara’s back from cycle 2.) Runner up: Angelea! Oh, joy, now we can hear her brag more! Raina and Alasia were safe. Would Alexandra and Anslee please step forward?
Then Tyra cranked her slow-talking storytime voice, which is just the worst. It’s like the voice someone else‘s parent does reading a bedtime story — what is wrong with you?! Or when someone would visit your classroom and read a story and it was like, ugh, just let the teacher do it, she actually knows how fast you’re supposed to read and how to hold the book up in front of everyone. Bye bye, Anslee! Try not… to be… too… sour…
Was it time for Madame Grouchface to go home, PopWatchers? Did Jessica seem particularly stuck up this week, or am I just starting to notice it? And what can poor, joyless Alexandra do to get it together already?