America's Next Top Model recap: Touched by an Angel
Oh, makeover episode, you are my favorite. The tears, the weaves, the inherent poetry of beauty through transformation — pinch me! No, please, pinch me to wake me from the living nightmare that was Tyra’s high-waisted suspender get-up. Ah, I’m getting ahead of myself.
We opened this week with Sara showing off pictures of her son Caden (Kayden? Caytin? Kaeden?), and she and Liz commiserated about being away from their children for the show. “I sucked freakin’ ass in the photo shoot [last week],” Sara moaned, and she insisted that she wasn’t another boring white girl. Time will tell, Sara.
And then, gasp, Tyra came over! First she asked about farts — really — and then she told the modeltestants that it was makeover week! Finally! She rattled off some vague descriptions of what everyone would get, and then she told Chelsey they were going to widen the gap in her teeth. Holy moses. It’s not the first time ANTM has delved into the world of orthodontia (miss you, Joanie), but Chelsey’s enthusiasm did surprise me. Also, she doesn’t not look like Dennis Leary. But five points for Chelsey’s can-do attitude.
Tyra then decided to leave the contestants with a bit of inspiration, so she showed off her 1990s runway strut. Why did no one care that she was wearing high-waisted skin-tight capri pants with suspenders by Haus of Urkel? (Or perhaps she was wearing Stefan Urquelle. It’s hard to tell the difference.) I fell to my knees and screamed like Dylan McKay, but none of the models seemed to care.
Lexie confessionalized that she liked “pulling pranks,” so she, Ann, and Rhianna decided to make a fake list of the upcoming makeovers, and then let the other girls flip out over their anticipated looks. Except Lexie was lying, certainly to us and maybe even to herself. She doesn’t like pranks. She likes attention. She wrote that she’d get a crazy makeover, and then proceeded to flip the hell out to the point where the other women were fawning over her and trying to comfort her. I strenuously dislike Lexie, but before we write her off completely, I feel like maybe she deserves a sit-down talk. Lexie, meet me at camera two.
Look: You said in the audition round that you’d been on your own for a while, and that you didn’t get along well with your mom. That sounds hard! But the camp counselor in me has to tell you: the way to make friends is to be a friend. This queen bee shtick? It’s toxic, not to mention annoying, and it’s creating a cycle in which you believe the way people prove they care about you is by paying attention to you in the most base sense of the term. This isn’t the attention you want! Drama only begets more drama. Watch Mean Girls, maybe watch an episode or two of If You Really Knew Me (I am so obsessed with this show!), and get those elf ears screwed on straight.
Whew, back to it. “The makeover list was a great success,” Lexie bragged. “We’re never telling anybody.” Well, oops.
NEXT: Bring on the weaves!
At the salon, Ann got dramatically long copper locks and looked amazing, probably because she is so awesome. Liz got a super short cut and didn’t like it. I thought it was pretty, and then I thought, if they can send Chelsey to a cosmetic dentist, can we not send everyone else to a dermatologist? Better living through pharmacology, no?
Speaking of Chelsey, she got white-blonde hair, which didn’t look enormously different, but I guess we’ll see when the roots start showing. Sara got her eyebrows bleached, a la Erin from the shortie cycle, but with dark hair, so she just looked…old? Weird? Eh. She didn’t love it, but I couldn’t blame her. I also did not love it.
Kendal got a really long weave, which she described as “sensual,” but in the least sensual way the word has ever been said. The hair looked nice, but between her and Ann, that’s going to be one cloggy drain in the modelhaus shower.
Terra cried. This was a huge red flag. She was in the bottom two last week, and we’re long past the days of it being okay to get all weepy about your makeover on this show. “You knew what I was when you saved me!” (In this fable, Top Model is the scorpion. That seems appropriate somehow.) Also, her Rihanna-lite haircut was awesome. Cry me a river, Terra, and then let’s build a bridge to GET OVER IT. Heyo!
Kayla got a Run Lola Run dye job and the grown-up version of Dora the Explorer’s haircut, but somehow looked awesome. If she and Ann aren’t in the top three this season, I’m going to be a really sad panda.
Chris got a flouncy, curly weave that looked fantastic, and Esther appeared not to get much of a makeover. Jane got some meh highlights and extensions, but Rhianna’s super hippie-dippy ones put Jane’s to shame. Kacey got contacts and slightly longer hair (bo-ring), and Lexie completed her evolution to Full Tisdale, getting mousy brown hair. (Is she more Tisdale, or more Haylie Duff? I could go either way.)
Then, surprise! The Jays said they were going to send someone home right then. The unlucky girl? Terra. She complained that she wished she’d been cut pre-makeover, which immediately destroyed any goodwill I had toward her. Smell you later, Terra. At least this means we don’t have to hear “well, since my sister is here…” every time she or Chris starts a statement. But once more for good measure: She’s my sister, but she’s also my competition.
NEXT: What’s the opposite of a choir of angels?
Off to the week’s photoshoot. Mr. Jay stood on the beach, wearing weird black wings. “What do I look like?” he teased. “A bird!” the models shouted. D’oh. “Icarus!” I shouted, because I’m going to die alone. D’oh again. “An angel!” Mr. Jay said. Oh. Not to split silver-tipped hairs here, but: those feathers were attached to his arms! Like…a bird. (Or, I maintain, like Icarus.) Aren’t angels’ wings on their backs? And hey, how many of them can fit on the head of a pin? Anyway, the ladies would be portraying fallen angels, all with the help of some dudes in skivvies. How heteronormative. They’d all pick a word to portray, although after last week, you’d think they’d skip the “pick a word” games. At least that’s what ran through my Big Square Head.
“Being a lesbian, I was kinda nervous,” Kayla said, taking a quick break from starring in The Fifth Element. How about just “being a sane person,” Kayla? I also was nervous, given some of the other models’ reactions to the mere sight of manfolk. Have a little dignity, ladies. [Let me pause for a second to laugh that idea out of my system.]
Alrighty then! The ladies were strapped into uncomfortable harnesses and hoisted a few feet in the air. Esther complained/joked (sort of?) that staring at her male model was “wrong” because he looked like “a sexy Jesus.” I totally missed that part in Leviticus and Deuteronomy! Oh, here it is: Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cleft you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. Also, no staring at muscley beardo dudes. They are definitely unclean for you, too.
Next was Liz, who was “becoming a pain in the butt,” according to Mr. Jay. She whined about the harness hurting. Kayla looked elegant and seemed to interact with the dude just fine, but Sara’s attempts at “seductive” were not up to snuff.
Back in the waiting zone, Kacey schmoozed with one of the male models, a guy she apparently knew from her home town… and then she turned on the most grating charm offensive ever. “Jane, if you want a boyfriend, that’s what you do!” Lexie insisted. Nooooo! No! Jane! Do not follow this advice. This is terrible advice. “Become extremely annoying and cloying and pouty, and then demand to be hugged, just because.” Somewhere, a seventh-grade cafeteria table is missing its relationship guru. Also, according to the other girls, Kacey has a boyfriend.
Record scratch! What Kacey and her boyfriend decide is right for their relationship boundaries is their business. But Kacey gruesomely violated the seven-minute rule by leading this other guy on. What’s the seven-minute rule, you ask? It comes from the dearly departed Tip Me Over, Pour Me Out webcomic, and it stipulates that “if you’re a girl with a boyfriend and you meet a guy at a party, you MUST make reference to your boyfriend within the first seven minutes.” This works the other way, too, fellas, and it applies in same-sex partnerdom as well as heteropartnerdom. Learn it and live it, people. Not cool, Ms. I Got Contacts.
NEXT: Patricia Field, let ’em have it
Rhianna did a good job in her photoshoot, Chelsey did a great job, and Chris looked really elegant in the air. Jane struggled to make meaningful movement, Kendal seemed decent, and Ann killed it, because as we all know, Ann is the best. Lexie couldn’t figure out what to do with her foot (gaaah), and the photographer straight-up hated her. “Lexie? She probably shouldn’t model, to be totally honest,” she said. Burn! Third degree burn, Lexie. Buuuuurn.
Time for judging! Tyra ruined her perfect bob by frizzing it out like whoa and continued her unfortunate theme of matching her lipstick exactly to her outfit. This week’s guest judge was Patricia Field, and while she was no Diane von Furstenberg, she was still pretty kickass. Tyra busted Ann, Lexie, and Rhianna on their fake makeover list, and everyone laughed except Liz, probably because Liz wanted her fake makeover and not her real one.
Liz’s photo was sort of blah, but Chelsey’s experience showed again, and her photo was solid. Esther, who now really looks like Sarah Silverman, had weirdleg and deadface in her photo, which is a near-lethal combo. Jane’s photo was a mess, to the point where Tyra wondered if Jane actually knew what “scorn” meant, which is really disturbing. Jane is 19 years old! She should know what scorn is. Patricia Field dinged Kacey for wearing an ugly outfit — “you shouldn’t have bought the shirt” — which was a warm-up for the judges dinging her for having an ugly photo.
Lexie picked the word “predatorial” for the theme of her shoot. Honey, the word you’re looking for is “predatory.” [That sound is me banging my head against my desk.] Sara’s photo was too dancer-y, and Patricia Field again laid the smack down: “Were you all copying each other?” she sighed.
Chris’s photo was deemed passable, but only because the photos all seemed to suck this week. Rhianna was wearing a different eyeball-searing hat (my notes here say “HAT! NOOOOOO”), but her photo was great. Kendal’s “lust” photo, like her “sensual” weave, wasn’t (and also, didn’t Kendal claim to be celibate at the audition round?), but somehow Kayla made a closed-eye pose work. To the shock of no one, Ann’s photo ruled. Nigel nosily asked if Ann had ever been that snuggly with a guy, and while Ann admitted she hadn’t, the question seemed really inappropriate and mean. Is it really so unbelievable that Ann might gotten some action? Mind your own beeswax, Nigel. We can’t all be as sexy as you.
Tyra scolded the modeltestants for their subpar photos, but the judges’ secret deliberation didn’t seem particularly heated. (ALT compared Ann to Penelope Tree, though, which was kind of amazing.)
This week’s best photo? Duh: Ann! And second best? Kayla. This is two weeks in a row that those two have taken top spots, and I hope they stay in the lead all cycle. Chelsey, Chris, Rhianna, Liz, Jane, Kacey, Kendal, and Esther were safe. Would Lexie and Sara please step forward?
Even though Lexie’s photo was deemed “deaditorial,” Sara was the one sent packing. Bye, Sara. We hardly cared about you at all.
What’d you think of the mighty makeover episode? Was it all you’d dreamed it would be? And what is Lexie’s problem? Sound off in the comments below!
Tyra Banks searches for the next great supermodel