This week on Top Model, Tyra takes a stand against all that is wrong with the world, and vows to right those wrongs using the medium of reality television. Just when I thought I couldn’t love this show any more, she kicks things up a notch. Tyra’s my hero, you guys.

Spoilers and awesomeness ahead…

The girls start their first day by meeting Orange Jay, whose hair is distinctly whiter than usual. I think the cooler silvery color really brings out the orange in his skin. He brings them out to their new biodiesel limo/bus. It’s awesome, and may actually begin to make up for the horrifyingly gas-guzzling transportation used in previous cycles. Go, Tyra!!! They drive to their new pad, which is also green-themed. Plants everywhere and tips for being eco-friendly scattered about, though I wonder if it’s truly eco-friendly like the "witch" bus. Alternative energy? Composting? Low-flow showerheads? Green roof? I kind of doubt it, but that would be pretty sweet. And guess what?! The difference-making isn’t done yet! Later, at the end of panel, Tyra announces that this is a non-smoking cycle, because Top Model is Taking. A. Stand. Two stands in one episode? Best cycle ever! I can’t wait to watch Jenah (who smokes) try and quit in a situation this stressful…I just wish I knew who else smoked. There’s gonna be drama for sure, guys.

Okay, time to gossip about the girls. Heather, who has Aspergers, spends a lot of time on her own. And staring into space. Aww. She gives the others a little lecture on Aspergers, but they still don’t seem to be taking to her, though they do seem to pity her a bit. Interestingly, they keep coming up with reasons why Heather’s disability will make the competition really difficult for her. Threatened, much? Victoria, who is awesome, is bothered by the other girls talking about Heather behind her back (not that she does anything to stop it). Kimberly, in particular, is pretty mean. Nuts. I kind of liked her. Now that Heather is a top contender, I wonder if they’ll be treating her any differently.

Now, I know Ebony is getting the witch label, but I have to say, I think Bianca is worse. I mean, at least Ebony owns it! Bianca is, like, stealth-witch. Lisa and Bianca snipe back and forth at each other a lot at the photo shoot. Now, I know Lisa’s more mature, so I don’t know why she’s even bothering getting into it with that witch. Bianca actually makes her cry when she says that the next Top Model won’t be an exotic dancer. Orange Jay has to come in to tell them to get their act together and quit fighting, and then they make nice back at the pool. …Or do they?! Bianca totally admits in an interview that she only apologized because she didn’t want it to come up at panel. Worst. Ever!

Alright, time to talk photo shoot. The first shoot’s theme is…(drumroll please)…anti-smoking! Aww, you guys, Top Model is being all adorably responsible this season! Can next week’s theme be about the dangers of eating disorders? And then make the next one about how throwing phones at people is bad for your career? It’s a double-shoot, with each contestant shooting one glam photo lighting up a cigarette, and one darker photo, which will be shown as a reflection in the mirror, of the side effects or end results of smoking. And, as you might have guessed, this is one of the Most Controversial Shoots Ever. If they keep topping themselves like this, they’re going to have to have the girls strangle puppies or something just to get the controversial label.

photo depicts lung cancer, in the form of her coughing up blood. It’s pretty gross. The judges see a great model in her photos, but less so in person. Jenah is portraying baldness from chemotherapy. Oh, and she’s a smoker, but she claims to have quit after the shoot. Nice touch, Jenah! I bet you thought you’d get some happy tears from Tyra for that one. Little did you know, Tyra’d be making you quit anyway! The judges really like her photos, but give her a few posing tips. Privately, they think she’s already getting a bit boring. Mila, who is possibly the most cheerful person I’ve ever seen, is also doing chemo hair loss, but can’t stop laughing how crazy her patchy hair looks. Um, yeah. Not great. She gets some criticism for her posing and gets tagged with the dreaded Dead Eye label. Uh oh.

Janet is a burn victim with makeup that looks completely painted-on. The judges love her photo, but I’m not really feelin’ it. And Twiggy doesn’t think she looks like a model. Probably because of the semi-mullet. I’m with ya, Twiggy. Chantal has the throat hole thing. URGH. The judges like her photos, but think her eyes were a bit too "bedroom." I think she looks pretty hot. In the one without the throat hole, obvs. Heather and Saleisha are together depicting the effects of second-hand smoke. Quite the astonishing coincidence that the girl with a social disorder gets put in a photo with another girl on her first shoot, eh? Heather has a tough time interacting with Saleisha, but the judges love their photos.

Kimberly is doing "sunken face," which…okay. Is that even a real thing, or just an excuse for crazy makeup? The judges think she’s a bit too hoochie, but love her "tragic" shot. What could be more tragic than "sunken face," after all? I have to say, the judges seem to be grading on a bit of a curve this week. They’re usually so harsh, especially on the first few shoots, and now they’re giving the mildest criticism ever, combined with effusive praise. Is this the kinder, gentler Top Model? At any rate, Sarah is doing premature aging, and her makeup is hysterical. She looks a little like Melrose, as a matter of fact. The judges love her photos. Victoria is portraying a smoker who has given birth to a stillborn child. Yikes. The judges love her photos, but say she needs to work on her people skills a bit. Never change, Victoria! Never change!

Ebony doesn’t quite rock the shoot–she’s depicting a collapsed lung. The judges think her posing is stiff, but like her reflection shot. Which barely even shows her face, or anything but props, but whatever. Nigel thinks she’s the most beautiful girl there. Oh, Nigel. So horny and thus untrustworthy when it comes to judging potential models. Bianca has "severe gingivitis," and they put some kind of scary British/hillbilly teeth in her. YUCK. The judges think she’s too posey and has the Dead Eye, and they love her reflection photo, which looks totally freaking absurd to me. Lisa is working with a "face tumor," which is just gross. The judges think her photos are great, though, and they are right. They looove her, and are right about that, too. Yay, Lisa!

Before judging, the girls get a quick styling challenge/Old Navy Commercial. They’re instructed by Miss Jay to head over to Old Navy (which is full of great basics!) to pick out an outfit to wear to panel that fits their personal style, but makes them look like a model. And they only have ten minutes, of course, because what’s Top Model without a gaggle of girls running all over a store in various states of undress while totally trashing the place? Benny Ninja, the flamiest posing instructor in all the land, meets them there to pimp Old Navy and yell stuff at them as they frantically shop. He tells them to not be boring, but that seems like some sort of sneaky trap, since Miss Jay said to keep things clean and simple. At panel, judges mostly complain about too many accessories. Victoria gets props, but Saleisha wins the $1,000 Old Navy shopping spree, as well the chance to do an ad for Old Navy.

And finally, the moment of truth at panel. Heather gets called first! Take that, witches. Lisa (yay!), Chantal, Sarah, Jenah, Saleisha, Ambreal, Victoria (yay!), Janet, Kimberly, and Bianca (boo) are all also in. Ebony is totally already crying, but it’s cheerful optimist Mila who’s out, still smiling, of course. Fair enough, I guess…her photos weren’t great, and she doesn’t bring the drama that Ebony brings. (Also, Nigel’s totally right. The chick is gorgeous.) Still, it would’ve been nice to have had a sunny person like Mila around the house. Either that, or it would have gotten old in, like, five minutes.

In other news, Jaslene’s "My Life as a Covergirl" was extremely uneventful. Um, the Teen Choice Awards? Lame! Does anyone remember when these were good, or is it just my imagination? Lisa, for her part, is the Covergirl of the Week. Well done, America. Well done.

See This Week’s Photo Shoot Gallery

Who were your favorites this week? Do you think Mila deserved to go home?


For more TV recaps and commentary, visit Liz at Glowy Box.

Posted by:Liz Pardue