Last week on America’s Next Top Model, lots of girls went home, Isis repped the ‘Crying Game’ set, Sharaun learned that Our Lady of the Banks is intolerant only of intolerance (and bad pictures), and we were all reminded to vote. Unsurprisingly, the Tyrabot enjoys being on top, so let’s proceed, shall we?
Ooh, new credits! Look at how producery Tyra looks in her little Madonna headset! Annnnnnd we’re back at the ranch, as the girls admire Marjorie’s picture displayed prominently in the house. TyraMail! Oh, thank GOD and the non-Tyra producers of this show, they’re not all talking at once today. The TyraMail is obtuse, as always, and maybe references contortionism? Ooh maybe it’s Benny Ninja week! Isis identifies keeping her face soft as a challenge, which shows that she really understands the process of modeling (yes, haters, there is a process.) OMFG it IS Benny Ninja week! Strike a pose, bitches! Benny reveals a model co
ntorted inside a box. The girls are told to pose in mesh fabric tubes, their bodies straining against the fabric. Nikeysha and Hannah struggle, and Sheena’s natural flexibility makes her a star.
At the house, the girls play ‘Truth or Dare’ in the hot tub, and Sheena realizes that she needs to tamp down her sexuality. Elina (gayish!) and Clark (maybe not as intolerant as previously believed!) kiss in the hot tub. In slow motion. Hannah is incredibly uncomfortable with the sexuality of the other girls, and pushes Isis away when Isis accidentally backs into her in the crowded tub. Sheena confronts Hannah – in a really straightforward, respectful way – about her attitude, and Brittany steps into the conversation and calls Hannah racist. Which…I think the issue was more the package than the wrapping, but ok. The next morning, the girls discuss the incident with Hannah, while Analeigh helps Isis with her hormone injections.
The models travel to a theater to meet with Benny Ninja and accessory designer Tarina Tarantino – possibly the only human being alive girlier than your recapper, with the possible exception of Betsey Johnson – to model her jewelry and handbags. Isis pushes through nausea brought on by her hormone shot, and Nikeysha is just a disaster again. Sheena, bless her heart, puts her leg behind her head and that handbag right in her crotch. Like, here is my crotch’s handbag. Tarina feels that this somehow disrespected the product, which makes me want to introduce her to every ad campaign Tom Ford has ever done, but whatever. Elina wins the challenge, and a handbag full of jewelry. TyraMail! She wants the models to "start climbing that ladder". The self-decribed "ethnic girls" talk amongst themselves about Hannah’s negative energy, and they call Hannah into the room for a really fake confrontation about her percieved racism. Analeigh comforts a sobbing Hannah.
Whitney’s mom is a big part of her life. I can’t add anything to that.
Unfortunately, the next morning, the house seems to be dividing down racial lines. That’s troubling, especially when Hannah refers to the incident the previous evening as "gang violence." The models take a bus to a field where Mr. Jay addresses them from a hot-air balloon, because this show is absurd. The girls will be hanging from a rope ladder hanging from the balloon. Lauren Brie is up first, and her nerves kick in as she sees eight men attempting to control the hot air balloon, but the idea is quickly scrapped and she hangs from the ladder as it dangles from a crane. She does a great job controlling her body, as does Elina. My girl Analeigh doesn’t know how to model with her face. Sheena, who I love more and more, hangs onto the ladder using only her, ah, rear assets. Isis, Nikeysha and Brittany lose their faces. Joslyn has great body control and makes amazing shapes. Clark loses her length in her photos, and Hannah loses her eyes. Samantha can’t work her dress. McKey can’t hold a facial position or pose. Marjorie does surprisingly well for someone whose physicality is as awkward as hers.
Panel! Prizes, judges, blah blah blah. Tarina Tarantino is the guest judge, as one would expect. Analeigh’s photo body is lovely but her eyes aren’t connected. Samantha looks fat in her dress. Sorry. Hannah has great angles but her face is awful. Tyra and the other judges confront Nikeysha about her size and ask her about her eating habits; her body has to be retouched in photos to make her look less painfully thin. Lauren Brie’s photo is damn near flawless – she has that broken doll quality that the judges love so much. McKey’s body works but her face doesn’t. Clark looks orange but took a good picture (although – and maybe this is just because I find her personality kind of repugnant – she maybe needs to steer attention away from her nose a bit?) Isis’s appearance at panel is denigrated, and the judges disagree on her photo. Marjorie is incredibly confident and chameleonic in her photo. Elina is amazing and Angelina Jolie-like. Sheena looks hoochie in person but really elegant in her photo, although Paulina questions the, um, veracity of her breasts. Brittany is just not exciting, and though the judges love Joslyn’s photo, I think she looks really masculine. Not in person, just in this photo.
Oooh snap! Sheena steps forward and admits that her breasts are fake, and that she’s uncomfortable with the lie. And, in possibly the greatest exchange in Top Model history, Nigel clarifies, "so…they’re not real?" And Sheena snaps "no, of course not!" Heh. Good on you, Sheena. Lauren Brie is called first, unsurprisingly. Oh my goodness, Isis and Nikeysha are the bottom two, and you know Tyra ain’t giving up her transgendered meal ticket. Yep, Nikeysha is going home.
Next week: OMFG MAKEOVER WEEK AAAAAAAAH!!!!
There was some interesting discussion in the comments last week about whether or not it is fair to have a biological male in a modeling competition for women. In my opinion, in a world where Andre J appears on the cover of French Vogue in full drag and Marc Jacobs sends bearded men down his runway in dresses, the potential for a tall, skinny masculine-looking model to achieve true stardom is a lot greater than that for a plus-sized model like Whitney. What do you guys think?