By Margaret Lyons
Updated April 29, 2010 at 02:30 PM EDT
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Image Credit: Nigel Barker/Pottle Productions Inc/The CWFair is fair: This was the best episode of the cycle so far. Sure, it was still pretty crummy by ANTM standards — aren’t the go-sees supposed to be a little more tense? — but at long last, everyone in the cast showed signs of life. Stupid life, mostly. But life. Thanks, New Zealand!

Raina gushed that the finalists were “the luckiest six girls in the entire world,” but, like Norm MacDonald as Lou Gehrig, maybe she was being sarcastic. Alexandra confessed that her previous picture “was heinous,” which is the best thing she’s said all season. Then Jessica admitted that she thought “New Zealand was right above Canada.”

I know that Jessica is young, and that teenage mothers face serious educational obstacles. We also know that she’s kind of ditzy, and that, minus Simone, the contestants this season have not been particularly intellectual. (Tell us again what a courtesan is, Tyra.) But this is not “oh, I sometimes forget the difference between covalent and ionic bonds.” Jessica did not know where New Zealand is, and part of me wonders if she really knows where Canada is, given that she thinks there’s another country “above” it. Jesus wept.

The modeltestants arrived in New Zealand and were treated to a traditional Maori dance, which of course was totally lost on all of them. They were then dispatched to six go-sees, even though they all “smell[ed] like yesterday” (zing, Krista!) and Alexandra was basically in pajamas. Angelea bragged that because she had flown first class, she wasn’t jet-lagged, because that is totally how jet lag works.

Raina played dirty by running right by Alexandra at the first go-see, but it didn’t really matter: Raina bombed anyway (as did Alexandra, who kept getting dinged for being underdressed). Alasia seemed like a natural fit for the lamé swimwear people, Jessica was deemed “too commercial” over and over, and Krista impressed everyone with her Bambi-like features. I’m starting to think that “too commercial” is like the “I have a boyfriend from camp” of the modeling world — the perfect bullshizz excuse for why you didn’t book anything, that’s both sort of bragging and sort of underminer behavior. Oh, I was too commercial for that campaign. But you? With your terribly strange face and awkward body? You’d be perfect! I can only do mass-market stuff, on account of how traditionally beautiful I am.

So… Angelea. She wowed everyone on the go-sees — and “booked” six out of six of the shows, which is insane. Of course she did her “rawr” move, which gets cheesier and more irritating every time she does it, but all the bookers loved her anyway, and she easily won the challenge. I couldn’t possibly understand this less. This is my “where is New Zealand?”

As is Top Model tradition, some of the women didn’t make it to all the go-sees, and some were late getting back to the agency. Remember when that was a big deal on this show? Ha ha ha. Memories. I can’t believe this show is still trotting out the myth that models need to be punctual, although I guess they still trot out the myth that one can break into modeling at age 24, too, so this whole enterprise is an exercise in magical thinking.

Chez Modelhaüs: Southern Hemisphere Edition was appropriately luxe, and a massive double rainbow the next morning seemed like a good sign to everyone. “I always knew the world was out there,” Alasia said, in an obvious reference to Plato’s cave allegory.

Off to the photo shoot! This week’s photographer was Miiiiister Nigel Barker, and everyone wore the same diaphanous black gown and posed with the same grumpy-looking sheep. You are all sheep. Baa! Also, the regular makeup team was there, because there are no makeup artists in New Zealand.

Anyway, Alexandra had her groove back and did great at the shoot, while Jessica fell on her ass and looked confused. Alasia was vacant, Raina was regal, and Angelea was a mess. She asked if she could sit on the sheep, and Nigel wailed “noooooooo! it’s a sheep!” which was probably the best part of the whole episode. Krista was afraid the woolly beast would bite her, and then Nigel became an expert in sheep and told her that wouldn’t happen, etc. When did Nigel learn so much about sheep? You can’t sit on them, and they don’t bite? What are you, James Herriot?

Panel time, fools! This week’s guest judge was the host from New Zealand’s Next Top Model, who was not wearing a jumpsuit. Tyra, however, sported a one-shoulder lilac abomination. (My notes: “oof, that jumpsuit is bad news.”) Then again, Andre was wearing a Shrek-skin cape. When in Rome! Except not Rome. Some crazy alternate fashion world where unflattering, eye-raping garments are all the rage. TyRome? (Sorry.)

Raina’s photo was fantastic, and the photos themselves — models or no — were really lovely. High five, Sheep Whisperer! Alasia had the dead eyes, Alexandra had another up-the-nostrils shot that the judges liked, Jessica looked too spacey, and Krista looked amazing both at panel an in the photo.

Then it was Angelea’s turn, and she marched to the judges’ table in a skin-tight dress Tyra said was more appropriate for “the club.”

And then.

And then something bizarre and awful happened. Angelea decided she wanted to do a slow-motion “club walk,” acting as if she was in a tracking shot of a music video? I think? That’s what it seemed like? Sort of? It was also reminiscent of catching a little kid playing make-believe, softly muttering to herself and dreamily prancing around, oblivious and content. But in the bizarro sense: While a child may evoke nostalgia or affection, Angelea mostly evokes “get this over with!” and cringing.

This week’s winner: Krista! Two in a row! Runner up: Alexandra, who squealed unappealingly. Raina was safe, and so was Angelea. Tyra said Angelea projected self-pity and dejection, which is plainly false. Angelea is the cockiest contestant of the season. (Rawr!) The last thing she needs is more confidence.

Will Alasia and Jessica please step forward? Jessica lacked edge, and Alasia “lacked focus,” Tyra saaaaaaaiiiid slooooowwwwllly. Sometimes at a shoot, it seems like “Alasia’s body is here, but her brain isn’t.” Are you sure, Tyra? I think the big T overestimated how noticeable the presence of Alasia’s brain might be. I mean, she knows the world is out there… and now she’ll get to experience more of it on her long ride home. Bye, Alasia!

What did you think of this week’s episode, Model Behaviorists? Can Krista keep it up, or is Alexandra poised for a come-from-behind win? Have you come around on Angelea?

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America's Next Top Model

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