America's Next Top Model recap: Designing Women
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. That is the sound of this cycle just totally dying. There are aspects of it that are fun, I guess, but week-to-week, the thrill is gone. The joy is gone. Ann’s winning streak is over. The photoshoots aren’t strange enough, and the challenges aren’t challenging enough. Why are you hurting me like this, Top Model, when all I’ve ever done is love you and mock you?
We opened on the women rejoicing that Kacey had gotten the boot. Kendal admitted to offering just a tepid handshake when Kacey gave everyone farewell hugs. Bwahaha! Unfortunately for Kendal, she was also getting the adios edit — I knew she was a goner, which robbed the episode of any of its possible “who is going home?” drama.
In other exciting news, Esther exists! And likes to French braid her hair, I guess, given the elaborate plaits she sported throughout the episode. She confessionalized that she keeps Kosher in the house, and that it’s a challenge.
Off to the Grammy Museum, where people have to pretend that Grammys matter. I guess that feeling is both rare and decreasing, so maybe a museum is the right place for it. Liz and Kayla freaked out over the exhibit of Michael Jackson costumes, which seemed a little goofy, given that Kayla was not even born when Thriller and Bad were released. But sure.
The challenge was to break into pairs and dress your partner to be a “Grammy girl.” Miraculously, the pairing-off portion of the challenge elicited zero dramatic response from the modeltestants. Even Mr. Jay was surprised by how smooth the process was, which brings us to one of the annoying truths of reality TV: Sane, likeable people do not make for very good television. On the one hand, ugh, I hate when stupid people act like six-year-olds and whine about everything. On the other, I don’t really want to watch a show called “let’s calmly state our preferences and then reach an amicable compromise.”
Everyone strategized and talked about what they wanted, and then each model was given 10 minutes to raid a fancy store and pull a dress for her partner. It presented certain obstacles, like Jane having “no idea what G boobs, or any boobs, are like,” but she managed to find Esther a dress with straps. Ann had a harder time, though: Chelsey had asked for something black and flowy, and Ann grabbed the only thing she thought fit the description — but it was in a size 12. And Chelsey’s a size 2. Also, kind of a biatch?
Kayla picked out sequined pants for Liz, who was mad, because she wanted a dress, but even she had to admit that the outfit Kayla put together was actually pretty cute. Liz picked out a fun silver dress for Kayla, and they both seemed pleased. Chris and Kendal were both happy with their looks, too, but Mr. Jay and Fake Stan Winston, the head of the Grammys (or something?), thought they looked a little skanky. Esther and Jane look like bridesmaids at the boring-est wedding ever, and Chelsey and Ann both looked kind of awful. I didn’t think Chelsey’s too-big dress was that big a deal — the dress itself looked fine, actually — but that scowl was unflattering. And Ann’s Victorian dominatrix get-up was nine kinds of fun. Anyway, Kayla won the challenge! Way to overcome poverty and homophobia!
NEXT: Let’s all hope John Galliano wasn’t hosting an ANTM viewing party tonight!
Liz confessionalized that she was pissed she didn’t win. Next episode, every time Liz starts a confessional with “I’m angry” or “I’m mad” or “I’m livid inside,” we should all take a deep cleansing breath. By the end of the episode, we’ll be totally oxygenated and blissed out, you guys! Liz processed her anger by getting drunk and tickling people, but writing it out like that makes it sound possibly interesting or fun. It was neither! Remember when drunk people on this show used to talk to plants? I do.
Photoshoot time! This week’s photographer, Francesco Carrozzini, was very handsome, and had that Jordan Catalano/Daniel Desario head-loll going on. “Oh, this noggin? It’s so heavy and full of ideas of how to stand sexily and groom my stubble. Pardon me while I relax my neck muscles.” I was about 30 seconds away from doing this guy’s history homework. Fashion editor Rushka Bergman was also on set, but she seemed more than capable of doing her own history homework.
This week’s shot had the models dressed as and impersonating famous designers. (This just made me miss the celebrity impersonation shoot from cycle 2.) Liz said she didn’t know who John Galliano was because she’s “very busy at home,” but she sure can rock a drag look: Her smirky, pouty Galliano impression was dead on.
Chelsey looked a little too mean as Carolina Herrera, but Chris’s energetic Betsey Johnson was pretty perfect. “She’s crazy, she’s cool, she’s spunky, just like me,” Chris said. The connections are endless!
Kendal’s Vera Wang was completely blah, and she just stood there awkwardly as the photographer (handsomely) shouted “let’s do better than that, come on!” Don’t get mad, Francesco. I will comfort you.
Kayla did better as Vivienne Westwood, though I wished she would close her mouth in some of the shots. Jane seemed unable to channel Marc Jacobs, but perfectly able to channel Yitzhak from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Ann’s Alexander Wang was appropriately slouchy, but Esther couldn’t find that same masculine energy for her Christophe Decarnin. I soooo thought one of them would get to be Karl Lagerfeld. Missed opportunity, Tyra!
Off to panel, where the judges loved Kayla’s shot. It read a little deadfaced to me, but okay. Liz’s shot was awesome, and Tyra praised Liz’s androgyny — which Liz didn’t seem too psyched about. Embrace the gender-bending, Liz. Free yourself of the shackles of a binary, proscriptive gender system and live a little.
Chelsey’s photo was pretty, if your ideal woman is still C.C. from The Nanny, whom she’s resembling more and more each week. Esther’s and Jane’s were both very eh, but Kendal’s was even worse. Ann’s photo…was awesome! Of course the judges loved it. Because we all love Ann! Chris was in mid-air in her photo again; André was sort of adorable and said “I think you’re fabulous, but it’s not my favorite photo.” Say crazier things please, André. Otherwise this is just more polite chitchat.
This week’s best photo: Liz! Yay I guess? Her photo was really good, but I’m having a hard time enjoying her presence on the show. Runner up: Kayla, whose presence I’m enjoying a lot more. Ann, Chelsey, Chris, and Jane were safe. Would Esther and Kendal please step forward?
We all knew Kendal was going to get the boot, right? The adios edit, the lousy performance, Mr. Jay’s suggestion she didn’t want to be there — I present to you my feelings on the subject, in a sound poem.
What’d you think of this week’s episode, Model Behaviorists? Were you surprised that Liz was the one to dethrone Ann? And is Jane going to get it together or what?
THINK OF YOUR TELEVISION AS A VITAL MEMBER OF THE FAMILY? Then don’t miss this week’s TV Insiders podcast! Michael Ausiello, Michael Slezak, Annie Barrett, Dalton Ross, and Jeff Jensen weigh in on the returning series that are hitting creative peaks this season, and dish the latest happenings on Mad Men, Survivor, and Dancing With the Stars. Click here to download the podcast to your MP3 player, or listen to a YouTube embed below!
Tyra Banks searches for the next great supermodel