Ann breaks down, Kayla opens up, and Chris turns it on. Can we get these people some therapy, please?

By Margaret Lyons
October 28, 2010 at 02:17 PM EDT
Mathieu Young/The CW
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I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key, Esther was bound to get the boot this week, Chris was feeling glee. La la la la la la la la… etc. Commercial week is never my favorite — I don’t believe that cringing is entertainment, and these strained, invariably disastrous videos just make me feel tense and sad. But at least some women were paid to be big bitches?

The modeltestants were lounging around the house when Ms. Jay — still sporting that crazy get-up! Which no one has mentioned! — swung by with the very adorable Zac Posen. All the women were in like, cruddy pajamas, which is fine for lounging purposes (and…recapping purposes), but I’d be bummed out if the first time I met a fashion superstar, I was in sweats. Zac and Ms. Jay told the models that they’d be walking in a runway show alongside professional models, and then Zac gave some generic advice about having attitude and confidence. Models should have attitudes, in a good way, and confidence. Take a note, dreamers!

This was the perfect opportunity for Ms. Jay to give his patented runway seminar, especially because the women have that stupid runway in their g-d living room. Put on some heels and strut, ladies! But…no. Why don’t those sessions happen anymore? They were such key parts of early seasons, when Ms. Jay would wear stilettos and hot pants and show the models how it was done. Plus he was able to imitate everyone’s crappy walks, and it was awesome. Come back to us, Ms. Jay of yore. Stop painting on those terrifying and unexplained eyebrows and come back to us. We miss you.

At the runway show, Ms. Jay told the professional models to be big jerks to the modeltestants, because sometimes that’s just how the world is. Well, they more than accepted the challenge: They were stone-cold bitches, openly mocking our sad little wannabes, and then brutally disregarding the difference between subjects and objects. “Between you and I” makes the baby Jesus weep. All together now: “Between you and me.” Say no to country club English, friends.

Zac adorably beamed at Jane just before the show started, and it was the cutest most honest little glimpse of joy ever. Hee. Too bad I cannot extend similar enthusiasm to the footwear for this runway show. It was seriously Clomptown USA, Population: Cankles. Peep-toe chunky clogs! My eyes! My eyes.

Most of the modeltestants were decent, but Liz was a little too chin-y, and Ann got way psyched out and stumbled during her walk. Oy. As much as I flinched when she wobbled, I flinched even more when the ladies rejoiced backstage, shouting “we’re real models now!” Oh, honey. No. Just…no. No.

Chelsey handily won the challenge, but I don’t know that she’s vivacious or interesting enough to win the competition.

NEXT: Our sweatpants saga continues!

Back at the house, it was breakfast time, and Ann was eating some kind of egg…water? Unclear? Nigel and Mr. Jay popped by, because again, who doesn’t love starting professional conversations while in their comfers-cozers PJs? I sure do. Nothing says “gameface” like “I got these on clearance at Old Navy four years ago, and now I can’t imagine my life without them.” Um, other people take sweatpants seriously too, right?

Mr. Jay and Nigel told the women that they’d be shooting a commercial for fake Vitamin Water. How exciting! Every little girl dreams of shilling for a crappy imitation of a bogus product! While on roller skates!

Poor Ann, who is seriously now bumming me the hell out with how little confidence and clarity she has, sighed that she was not down for the commercial. “Being tall on roller skates is not a very good combination,” she lamented. Can we get this girl to some roller derby events, please? Tie on some skates and feel empowered, lady.

Kayla had a far worse reaction than Ann, though. She recoiled at the idea of having to kiss a guy in the commercial — and she broke down and told Mr. Jay it was because she’d been sexually assaulted as a child, and that it made her distrust and fear men. Holy crap. “They scare me,” she cried, and Mr. Jay encouraged her to get some therapy. “You can’t go through the rest of your life like this,” he said, in the most earnest moment he’s ever had on this show. It was heartbreaking.

After the hot minute of serious talk, it was back to everyone putting on skanky American Apparel outfits and skatin’ in up. Kayla struggled with the lines but looked cute in her wig/hairpiece, while Liz kept laughing through her screw-ups, much to Nigel’s irritation. I didn’t think Liz was actually laughing so much as struggling with a nervous giggle, but Nigel was openly pissed that she didn’t seem to be taking the shoot seriously enough. Esther was godawful, and was also poured into the least flattering swimsuit ever. In addition to being Grimace purple, it had this awkwardly placed halter thing that pushes boobs apart as some form of anticleavage. Sternums!

Jane was a little flat, which I’m seriously going to make into a macro at this point, because homegirl is an emotional pancake. Chris was obviously the best at the shoot, but I had assumed all season that Chris’s confessionals were annoyingly cheesy because the producers egged her on, and asked her the same questions over and over until she got goofy. But now I don’t think so! I think she might just be really big, to use my favorite Seth and Sandy Cohen-ism. (Recall Danny.)

Anyway, then Ann made us all sad. She was so nervous and so awkward and wearing such strange little hotshorts. She was worried that people were going to laugh at her, and then her segment was edited to pretty much make sure that happened. She fell over and over, leading Nigel to ask, “Would you feel more comfortable if you had pants on?” Ahem, only if they’re sweatpants, homeslice. Otherwise, pants are just leg jail. Update: I was so sweatpants obsessed this episode that I completely missed that Nigel said pads not pants. Either way, nothing appeared to make Ann more comfortable.

Ann’s whole segment was excruciating, but luckily it went on forever.

NEXT: Judge not lest ye be — hahahahaha, just kidding

Panel time! Tyra was sporting a seafoam green dress that was quite lovely, but it was offset by her increasingly unflattering hair. Again, I’m making a macro for this.

First up was Jane, whose commercial was actually pretty good, and she was working some Estella Warren angles for parts of it. Unfortunately, the nuzzly dude saying “tastes good, too” was really barfy.

Liz’s commercial was terrible, and Tyra asked if she was “scared of looking foolish.” On this show? How could she be? This is pretty much America’s Next Top Person Looking Foolish, but okie doke. Tyra perpetuated the total crap myth that the contestant who wants it the most has an advantage. How many times must we watch Super Troopers before we remember that desperation is a stinky cologne?

Chris’s ad was the only passable one, and it helped that she could actually roller skate well. Beyond her moves, though, she was the only one with any kind of spark or liveliness, and it was abundantly clear that she’d win this week. I’m baffled that none of these women appear to have ever been on camera before. Didn’t anyone make, like, high school Spanish projects? Or a stupid short movie with their friends? Anything?

Ann’s commercial was disastrous. “Fear is not endearing,” Nigel scolded her, and she looked so broken down and dejected I wanted to rush her to an Oprah-sanctioned empowerment retreat. I really feel like a lot of the contestants this season could benefit from a safe space to talk through some of their issues and maybe get some tools together for how to move forward with their lives.

Kayla didn’t do a particularly good job in her commercial, but she looked so cute and charming it was hard to stay mad. The judges praised her for looking “urban” because she was wearing hoop earrings, which is almost as important as actual representation and diversity. Chelsey’s ad was on the wooden side, but it was a masterpiece compared to Esther’s, which was basically performance art. Tyra played amateur speech pathologist and told Esther to practice projecting her voice.

This week’s winner: Chris. Duh! Second place: Jane! Both well deserved, and it’s starting to look like Jane might be the sleeper contestant of the season. Chelsey, Kayla, and Liz were safe. Would Ann and Esther please step forward?

Obviously Esther was the one sent packing — you can’t win five in a row and get kicked off after two weeks of subpar performances. But it’s seriously time for Ann to kick it into gear; her black hole of self-esteem is making this damn near impossible for her.

I’m still pulling for Ann, Model Behaviorists. What about you?

LOVE TO TALK ABOUT TELEVISION? Then don’t miss this week’s TV Insiders podcast! Annie Barrett, Dalton Ross, Michael Ausiello, Michael Slezak, Missy Schwartz, and our resident TV critic Ken Tucker weigh in on the best show on television right now, and dish the latest happenings on Project Runway, Survivor, and Dancing With the Stars. Click here to download the TV Insiders podcast to your MP3 player, or listen to an embedded version below!

Tyra Banks searches for the next great supermodel
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