Last week was The Amazing Model Race, but this week had the go-see challenge. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have that perfunctory TAR-ish challenge at this stage of the competition? As the models were, in fact, racing to get places and complete tasks, lest they cruelly be escorted toward a helicopter and then told they couldn’t fly in it? Either way, there was no Phil Koeghan. And that sucks.
This photo, however, doesn't suck. What the hell is Fo doing?
Instead, thanks to the Correlo de Tyra (“Get ready to hit the ground running if you want to fly.”) the girls were herded into the headquarters for Brazilian Fashion Week where some dude named Paolo’s English-speaking assistant told the girls that in Brazil, modeling agencies look first for the style, then the personality and then the model’s soul. I expected perhaps a Reaper crossover, but since the CW doesn’t give a damn about that show, none of the boys from Reaper would have even been allowed to show up with a vessel to capture whatever passes for soul in the ruthless fashion industry which, Tyra would later remind the girls, totally hates difference.
The girls were sent out with maps and cabbies to visit 5 designers, whose names I attempted to write down, but didn’t entirely succeed at doing because their names were almost never on the screen long enough to catch both the name of the designer and the brand. Celia, perhaps because she is the oldest (and near model death at 25) and therefore wisest, was the only girl to develop an actual strategy, starting at the go-see that was furthest away from their end destination and working towards it. Teyona, on the other hand, had the complete opposite of strategy in that she didn’t wait for nobody, so if she got to a go-see at the same time as another girl, she turned tail and went to another location, making her entire experience a chorus of “Dangit! How she get here before me!” exclamations. And, somehow, by the gods of Brazilian traffic, Teyona made it back on time, while Celia was 1 minute late to the holding room, so Teyona, she of the wind tunnel face and queen of the illogical race of spazoids (enemy to Spock) won the challenge. For the record, I’m totally with Celia on the fact that she was at the location on time, even early, but that she cannot be held accountable for the slowness of an elevator. She should kick that elevator in the face.
As for the go-sees themselves, the models visited Adriana DeSomethingorother who designs for heaven knows what, Oskar Metsavant from Osklen, Cris Barros, Clo Orozco of Huis Closs and Adriana Bozon of Ellus Unlimited. Most of the designers agreed that they wouldn’t book Lemur Allison for a show because her walk is bad, or Fo for anything because she’s too short and, some said, too commercial. Many thought Celia looked too old, but Cris Barros, a former model herself, recognized Celia’s fabulousness and saw a kindred spirit in her, which made me instantly like Cris Barros. (Well, it helped that she was the only designer who looked like she actually wore her won cute-ass clothes.) Clo Orozco had this to say about Teyona: “My first impression of Teyona is the best.” And all of the other designers seemed to agree, which is clearly why she won. They all seemed to like Aminat, too, because she has a great runway walk and a great swimsuit body.
So because Celia was a minute late and Fo was ridiculously late, they were kept out of the helicopter flight across Sao Paulo. I feel the need to point out that the highlight of the show at this point was watching waifish Celia be literally blown back by the gale force winds of the helicopter as it took off. She is like that tiny chihuahua who got picked up in a tornado and carried six miles away from its owners. Only she’s a human. And 25, which is dead in both dog and model years. Once all the girls were back at Brazilian Fashion Week HQ, Teyona was announced as the winner and was awarded one piece of clothing from each of the designers, which she immediately grew insanely protective of when she saw it at the house. Look, bitch, winning is nice and all, but be fucking gracious about it. Especially because now you have actual nice things to replace your suitcase full of Old Navy basics.
(Husband Note: I thought she was joking about being protective, but I’ve also been known to be quite a gullible human being.)
This photo is insane. In a good way.
Teyona’s insanity was quelled by a second Correlo de Tyra which read, “Top Models get maximum exposure. Tomorrow, you’ll know what that means.” In case this episode wasn’t already filled with enough redundancy (Fo’s short! Celia’s ancient! Lemur is awkward! The other two are Black!), Tyra’s writers felt the need to drive the point home with that completely unnecessary second sentence because every time there’s a second Tyra mail, the girls won’t find out what it means until the next day. And indeed they did get maximum exposure the next day, shooting many frames of a swimsuit shot in teeny weeny Brazilian thongkinis in the blazing sun with Nigel Barker. The girls were challenged to stand out in a crowd scene populated by locals with non-beach bodies. In looking at this shoot, I struggled to find what was allegedly editorial about it, as all ANTM shoots are intended to be editorial unless they’re affiliated with CoverGirl or some other tie-in ad campaign. But this one . . . nothing about the composition said editorial, and yet Nigel was asking the girls to give editorial poses. So many of these shots reminded me of Sketchers ads, or OP ads or even, strangely, Steve Madden ads. It was pure commercial schlock, and completely ill-conceived, in my opinion. If they wanted an editorial swimsuit shot, they should look to any photos of Lucia Dvorska in Sports Illustrated (preferably the ones of her surrounded by sheep, because those are about standing out in a crowd . . . of livestock) to see how an editorial swimsuit shot is supposed to look. I defend Celia’s poor performance based on the fact that this shoot was not at all what she had been expecting, based on what they said it would be. However, I can’t defend her lack of adaptability. I just agree that the entire concept of the shoot was a failure of conceit.
Anyway, most of the girls managed to turn out decent shots, except psyched out Celia and short-ass Fo, whose work can best be summed up with this gem from Jay Manuel: “You’re giving me Gollum again.” Teyona and Lemur Allison rocked hardcore, although I was deeply, deeply concerned about Allison’s sun exposure. I hope she immediately went home and coated her pearlescent skin in aloe and that Sutan had prepared her for work in the sun by making her glisten with SPF 50 instead of baby oil. Tyra’s version of this shot in her ad for her imaginary Guide to Finding Your Inner Fierceness featured her being the worst mommy ever to a couple of stolen children, looking all aloof and distracted while one baby, wrapped in a white towel, completely stole the scene from her. I imagine that child was subsequently returned to the parents whence it was kidnapped, because nobody out-fierces Tyra. Nobody.
Teyona: She booked 3/3 go-sees and wore one of her spoils of war to panel, a silver silk duponi maxi dress from Osklen with red accents that, combined with her hair in a low, thick bun, made her look for the first time ever like a model. Nay, like a fucking African goddess. Like she was fucking Oya, Lady of the River. (Yes, that’s me rocking some esoteric knowledge about indigenous African mythologies. Like it.) I don’t have negative feelings toward Teyona like I do toward Aminat, so I’m only pleased to see her finally looking like the girl Tyra knew had potential. Her shot, by the way, was excellent. It looked like a really good swimwear ad.
Celia: She booked 3/4 go-sees, but her photo turned out terribly. It looked the most like an ad for Steve Madden shoes to me, but when she confesses that she psyched herself out before the shoot, Paulina shows her some sympathy, warning her to never practice too much before a shoot.
Aminat: She booked 2/3 go-sees and the judges like her photo, although they think she doesn’t know her angles and her face is never emotive enough. For the first time, though, I think her hair actually looks nice at panel. Brazil must have excellent flat irons. However great her hair may be, though, her angles just aren’t good enough in that picture to show off her rockin’ swimsuit body. Nigel called her a “waste of a body,” which I think is apt, because she’s really a waste of a person most of the time.
Fo: This is probably the worst photo I have ever seen on Top Model. Not only does Fo look like Gollum, she looks like she took a pose straight out of a roller derby competition and looks short and squat. Not surprisingly, she booked 0/5 jobs from her go-sees. Consider her death warrant signed.
What the fuck is Fo DOING?
Lemur: “There is, like, this sexual mermaid that washed up on the shores of Brazil,” said Tyra of her photo, which is great praise following Nigel’s assessment at the end of the shoot that her work this week was a pleasant surprise. Indeed, Lemur looked fibbity fab fab in this shot. She do gotta work on that runway walk, though, before I can start making Lemur FTW pennants to wave during the finale. Because of that walk, she booked 1/4 go-sees.
Callouts: Teyona, Lemur Allison and Aminat, leaving the two girls with the worst photos in the bottom two. Fo really fucked up this week, and she was sent home with specific instructions from Tyra never to grow her hair out. I’ll miss your pretty face, Fo. But I thank you for giving Celia another chance. Because she can learn to look younger if she gets a completely new face, but Fo can never be taller without leaving hideous scars on her legs that will make her just as marketable as Tahlia and her massive burns.
Some random thoughts:
- I really need Aminat to explain to me why, according to her, Africans are always late. That comment makes no sense to me.
- Also, to Tyra’s point about difference in the modeling industry, I see how being short and old are detrimental, but not how having a unique look or dark skin are detrimental. Aren’t we in an era where we have black supermodels? Where girls of many skin tones other than fake tan are regularly booked for jobs? Am I missing something about all the dark-skinned beauties I see walking the fashion week runways? Am I missing something about people like Eva Longoria Parker, Queen Latifah, Beyoncé Knowles and Halle Berry all being in regular, national beauty campaigns? Either Tyra was too busy stealing babies to notice these things, or I am missing something majah here.