The Wife:

And so one of the least interesting seasons of Top Model ends by choosing a completely unsurprising winner, the girl I thought was so unmemorable that I actually forgot she existed halfway through the season. She of the wind-tunnel face, Teyona.

But before she could be crowned, the final three had to do their requisite CoverGirl shoot and commercial, coached by McKey, who, for some reason, was given the haircut Hilary Swank had in Boys Don’t Cry, which detracts from her beauty and makes her look really, really awkward and gawky.

[Husband Note: Well, McKey is awkward and gawky, which is what made her interesting, but she was never that awkward and gawky.]

Which one is easy, which is breezy and which is beautiful?

Which one is easy, which is breezy and which is beautiful?

  • Aminat: This girl, aside from her obvious problem with clipping the ends of her words, has the most unpleasant manner of speaking. But the good news is her commercial isn’t totally awful and her eyes absolutely sparkle throughout it. She’s beautiful, truly, and if she never spoke again I’d be totally mesmerized.
  • Allison: She looks so lovely and ethereal on camera and her commercial isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, even though she blanked on her lines. The photographer who shot her print ad thinks that, for some reason, she has a Bettie Page kind of look, which couldn’t be further from the truth, because she looks like a lemur. Or maybe the slow loris.
  • Teyona: I have no idea where all these nerves came from because Teyona has been so kind and happy-go-lucky throughout this whole competition, but she fell apart on this shoot. She kept messing up, got frustrated and cried during her take. What the fuck?

At panel, the girls photos and commercials were reviewed and they were told that the final two would be chosen to walk for design Amir Salama’s Rosa Chá line, and that it would involve something I don’t understand called the Brazilian Stomp. As I watched the cut of the commercial, I realized why there was one line of each girl’s script that I could not for the life of me understand . . . it’s because it was in Portuguese. Good job, me. I’m assuming that was the Portuguese translation of “easy, breezy, beautiful” because I didn’t hear that anywhere else in the commercial. As for their beauty shots for the campaign, all were lovely. Teyona looked like Zoe Saldana as Uhura in the new Star Trek, and I was surprised that she wasn’t hindered by being the only girl with a ponytail in her shot. Lemur Allison looked so lovely, and Aminat received the kiss of death from Tyra. That is, describing her photo with the sounds the adults make on Peanuts. “Wha wha.” Because of that, the right two girls were sent through to the final two, and I took a bathroom break with Aminat cried over her rejection or whatever she did.

What is with all the bird worship in Brazil?

What is with all the bird worship in Brazil?

Tyra immediately shipped Teyona and Slow Lorrison to meet with Anne Shoket to do their Seventeen cover trys. Anne Shoket said she thought this was a neck-and-neck race, but, clearly, Allison’s cover looked better and suited the brand better. Then it was off to the fucking weirdest, trip-tastic fashion show ever seen on ANTM. I’m kind of in love with the nation of Brazil now because it seems like their entire sense of beauty is based on what looks good on drag queens. In their Rosa Chá bikinis, their girls were decked out with bird feathers and jaunty little top hats as though they were a very literal interpretation of Satine’s gentle “One Day I’ll Fly Away” from Moulin Rouge. At first the girls did their bird thing down the runway, with Allison strutting a much improved walk, then they were asked to don full Carnivale headdresses and do whatever the Brazilian Stomp is and then the strangest thing occurred: the girls were covered in oil and asked to writhe in a sexy bikini tar orgy in the middle of the runway.

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ………………………………………………………………. WHAT?





Look, I get the girls being jungle birds in top hats and bikinis and how that goes with the strange Carnivale headdresses, but I do not understand the oil orgy. I would like the oil orgy on its own, as Allison said it was like being in an art installation (true), but combined with the other shit, it makes no fucking sense. Was the intent of the show to explore being tarred and feathered? Because that’s kind of what it did.

Also, Teyona lost her weave up in that bikini oil orgy and she flung it around like it was part of the show, which is more than enough reason for me to be okay with her winning. She gets extra points for that for sure.

At panel, everyone noted how impressed they were with Allison’s walk, and they said they felt that Teyona was sometimes a model-bot on the runway, especially when Miss J tried to get the girls to dance with him at the end of the runway. In a comparison of their photos, it’s clear that Teyona was good and consistent across the board, and that Allison was most improved. But the show is not called America’s Most Improved Model, it’s called America’s Next Top Model and so Teyona was crowned and forced to do a photoshot with crazy-hair Tyra.

Like pyschotic mama-birdgirl, like bland baby-birdgirl.

Like pyschotic mama-birdgirl, like bland baby-birdgirl.

And so we slink off into summer and hibernate by the pool in our Rosa Chá bikinis and jaunty little top hats and weird-ass feather creations until the fall, when Tyra will bring us what I’m sure will be the fucking strangest season in Top Model history: the short girl season. I really have no desire to see girls model commercial juniors clothing for 13 weeks, and I know I’m constantly going to be yelling things at my television like, “Your proportions are all wrong!” “Where are your legs?!” And I’ll, of course, be forced to endure repeated reminders that Miss Eva the Diva was only 5’6″ and 3/4 and that Kate Moss is short at 5’7.” But I will watch it. Because I will never not love this show, so long as Tyra and her giant ego and even bigger hair are there, so too will I be.

The Husband:

Yeah, it was a pretty uneventful season, but I also appreciated the lack of manufactured drama. That’s what always rubs me the wrong way, and while some of the photo challenges were not top-notch, I have still never been bored by one episode of this show. Teyona was a passable winner, but I doubt she’ll be remembered for very long.

Oh, and in case you missed it, this is what went down over on the Tyra show yesterday afternoon when they had an ANTM Graduation Party.

  • Tahlia is pregnant, even though she was told that, as a result of her burns and the surgeries, this couldn’t happen. And she’s inspiring women wounded in combat.
  • Fo thinks she invented the term “Blaxican” when she was eight, thus making her an idiot.
  • Celia is still fashionable.
  • As evidenced by her drawing of a bleeding Tyra, Allison’s art is pretty sweetastic. (Wife’s note: I would, ideally, like a room filled with art by Allison and actor Matthew Gray Gubler.)
  • Old queens at retirement homes do pretty good Tyra impersonations. Which is not surprising. At all.

The Wife:

With Fo gone, the house seems to have divided itself along color lines, as in the girls who are the color of the bottom of a swimming pool are friends, as are the girls with actual pigment in their skin. Newly divided into virtual teams, the girls received a Tyra Mail that was basically just a bunch of strange bird sounds (later revealed to be onomatopoetic interpretations of dance beats) and were shipped off to learn the samba with Paulina, who told the girls that dancing is like modeling because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you have to be good at faking it. That’s a good rule for life, in general, actually. Unless you’re faking things like neurosurgery and a knowledge of the law. Those would be bad things to fake. As expected, Paulina told Celia to relax while dancing, was afraid Allison would inadvertently hurt herself with all her clumsy awkwardness, commended Aminat on her effortless grace and was surprised Teyona wasn’t better at moving from place to place. (Um, remember last week’s go-sees? When she fumbled from place to place? Or does Paulina not watch the dailies?)

This reminds me: whos excited for So You Think You Can Dance???? I am!

This reminds me: who's excited for So You Think You Can Dance???? I am!

But this teach was not all the dancing the girls would be required to do, as their next Tyra Mail instructed them to not look down and they were brought to a rooftop to dance the samba before Paulina once again. The girl who fake-sambaed the best would be awarded $7K worth of Ara Vartanian jewelry, and, even though she’s old, Paulina gave Celia the win because she learned to relax and did the best fake samba. She was allowed to share her prize with someone else, so she chose Allison, because girls with no pigment got to stick together, much to Aminat’s chagrin, as she thought she should have been chosen as second best premiere dancer. (Probably, but for all Aminat’s complaining about how Paulina didn’t understand the friendships in the house, Aminat herself apparently didn’t understand how girls on Top Model share prizes.) Now, I have no problem believing that Celia chose her friend to share her prize, but what I do have trouble believing is that one pair of earrings and one necklace made with semi-precious stones totaled $7K. Really? Really, Ara Vartanian? Look, those giant hunks of onyx with the microscopic rubies were beautiful, but I’m so sure they’re not worth more than $1K. And the turquoise and silver necklace Allison chose? Maybe $500. If that’s how much his jewelry made from semi-precious stones cost, I can’t wait to see the price tag on a diamond solitaire.

The next Tyra Mail said something I didn’t even bother writing down about mama birds and baby birds, and the next morning Sutan and Christian Marc showed up to start the girls’ hair and makeup at the house before driving them two hours away from Sao Paulo and into the heart of the Brazilian jungle (and by heart, I mean outskirts).

“This is not, like jungle for TV.” — Aminat

On the way, they found a dramatic Tyra, pretending her Jeep broke down and picked her up and took her to the shoot, which worked out well, as she was the photographer this week. I love a Tyra shoot for a number of reasons, and this was one of the best. It was creative and interesting (the modelettes posed as birds in nests), and filled with Tyra ridiculata. Allow me to give you some of Tyra’s discernible utterances:

  • “Okay, so you are a birdie-owl-slash-pterodactyl.”
  • Tyra thinking a moth is a bat.
  • Tyra’s near-death experience i.e. tripping and not even falling.
  • “I woulda died getting your shot, girl! I almost just died!”
  • “And one of ya’lls gonna be up on her covah!” (Okay, so that was at panel about Anne Shoket, but still. Tyra.)
Sad, scared little birds.

Sad, scared little birds.

Personally, I thought the pigmentally challenged girls did much better on this shoot than the girls with skin tone. Allison and Celia both just stood out in their photos more to me, wore the makeup better and really were commanding presences in their photos. Not to mention that Tyra enjoyed shooting both of them better than she did Teyona and Aminat. But Celia’s old, and she can’t help that. So I think you can see where the producers were leading us. Tyra was so busy turning the modelettes into birds that she forgot to kidnap babies for her stupid Finding Your Inner Fierceness promos for nothing, so instead, they went straight to panel.

  • Allison: This was a truly stunning photo, and it’s amazing that she is not overwhelmed by all that hair and makeup, says Nigel. Tyra was impressed during the shoot and Miss J even complimented Allison’s work . . . in owl.
  • Teyona: Her body angles in this picture are not ideal, but her face looks stellar. The judges are split. I think the photo is really static, Paulina and Nigel like it, but Anne and Tyra don’t think it’s Teyona’s best work. (True.)
  • Celia: “It’s always daring when you put your armpit straight to camera, but it works,” says Nigel. Tyra thinks she looks like an Amazon, and compares Celia’s bone structure to Paulina’s. Tyra also mentions that while Celia photographs old and isn’t conventionally pretty, she was very fresh in her shoot. Anne thinks her body looks perfect in the photo. I just think the photo is perfect.
  • Aminat: Everyone at panel is happy that Aminat finally managed to catch the light on her face, even though her gorgeous body is kinda busted in this pose. I actually don’t like this entire photo, because even though her face caught the light, it isn’t saying anything.
Well, at least one chick named Allison had a good Wednesday night!

Well, at least one chick named Allison had a good Wednesday night!

Callouts: It was kind of a foregone conclusion that Allison would get the first callout, and that Tyra favorite Teyona would make the final three, leaving Aminat the Sour and Celia the Old in the bottom two. After much debate about their potential as models, Celia’s age and Celia’s fabulousness, Celia was sent home, with the express instructions that she was born to work in the fashion industry . . . as an editor or a stylist. Not so much as a model.

I love Celia to death, and I seriously hope that someone is smart enough to put her on one of the hundreds of personal styling/makeover/fashion design shows floating around the networks these days. Could she perhaps be Tim Gunn’s next assistant on Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style? Maybe Bravo could give Celia her own show, or she could run around with Tabatha Coffey giving people fierce hair and fierce clothes. She deserves a showcase for that sense of style, even if it isn’t in the pages of a magazine.

The Husband:

Every once in a while, ANTM does something that greatly confuses me. Okay, they ousted Celia because of her age. Then why did they bring her on the show in the first place? I understand that they often try to make a point with their selections, that for instance just because a model is 25 does not mean she can’t pose young. But that really wasn’t their beef with Celia this week, because she avoided that whole “you model more maturely than we’d like” problem. Basically, they fired her for the same reason they hired her. So what was the point? Not even having a superior picture to both Teyona and Aminat could get her into the Top 3, so what else could she have done?

Farewell, enjoy your career as an assistant stylist somewhere!

Farewell, enjoy your career as an assistant stylist somewhere!

You confuse me, Tyra.

The Wife:

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, doesnt suck. What the hell is Fo doing?

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.

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?

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.

The Wife:

Continuing down the road of terrible episode titles, we got “Take Me to the Photo Shoot” this week, which would have been clever, if the photo shoot involved aliens, but didn’t, so it wasn’t. We actually got a two-shoot episode, though which was kind of neat. The first Tyra Mail told the girls that “a Top Model knows how to be direct,” which lead them to a challenge in which they acted as creative directors for one another, posing in Southpole Jrs. urban chic street hip hop fashion wear clothing designs. (I just felt like using a lot of words to describe a brand that I don’t think had much of a look going for it.) If the budding little Miss Mr. Jays did well, one lucky winner would be rewarded with a fashion spread in Seventeen. What strikes me about this particular challenge is this: knowing the tension between Tyra and Mr. Jay, I felt like asking the girls to do his job was, in some way, her means of erasing him, or at least reminding him of his place in her empire. Let it be known, Mr. Jay, that Tyra could replace you with a model at any minute. Step it up, or resign yourself to hosting Canada’s Next Top Model.

Working it like a good little lemur.

Working it like a good little lemur.

On the other hand, though, it was a good idea for the girls to see what it’s like to direct their sorry asses on a shoot, as well as style and edit their sorry asses. The experience clearly proved valuable for Lemur Allison, who learned enough human language to make an amazing picture of Aminat. It was, however, completely unappreciated by Aminat when she was directing Natalie, as her poor time management led Mr. Jay to snap at her. She was all like, “It’s so not my fault,” and he was all like, “Bitch! Please! You just dumb!” And, despite all that, Anne Shoket from Seventeen somehow thought that what I felt was the worst-looking picture in the bunch was actually the best Seventeen cover-type photo of them all, with Natalie looking listless with her arm over her head, in jeans so whiskered around the thighs they actually made her look like a normal-sized girl. Celia put out a great photo of Fo, except she chose a final shot where the girl’s ankles were cut off, and so Teyona, who directed Celia, won, particularly because she demonstrated good styling techniques, which, amazingly, had nothing to do with Celia herself. For the Seventeen shoot, Teyona brought along her model Celia and her friend Aminat, which apparently angered Fo a little bit, who thought Teyona was her bestie best bestie.

The Tyra Mail for this week’s actual photo shoot suggested, “You haven’t had too much R&R – maybe it’s time for some R&B.” And so Mr. Jay woke all the girls up at 5:30 at the asscrack of dawn and brought the styling team to their abode for hair and makeup – because that’s how real Top Models do it. Then Ciara showed up and they were informed they’d be posing with her in their photoshoot, as crazed fans wound up in her microphone wires. Or, as photographer Mike Ruiz explained, “The metaphor is that you’re tangled in Ciara’s web.” Um, actually, Mike, it’s not really a metaphor anymore when you are literally tangled in things that are attached to the person entrapping you. Poor London had issues with this shoot because she’s gained 15 pounds over the course of the competition, which, to a model, is the equivalent of 100. She was feeling badly about it, but then Mr. Jay felt the need to talk to her about it. He did so gently, but, still, it’s not like she wasn’t aware after last week’s Joe’s Jeans incident. It is somewhat disconcerting that she gains weight so quickly, as this competition is really only, like, 2 months long. To gain 15 pounds in 2 months is a significant amount of weight, but if she’d had that weight on her when she started, no one would even make a deal of it. I still think she’s pretty and takes a fierce photo, even if she’s allegedly model fat now. And so the tragedy of weight-related issues in the fashion industry continues . . . sigh.

Right, because when I think of Brazil, this is what I think of.

Right, because when I think of Brazil, this is what I think of.

At panel, Tyra brought back her damned Guide to Finding Your Inner Fierceness, this time dishing out the advice that music always helps a model find her groove. Apparently, nearly nude male models carrying Brazil nuts also helps, because after a drawn-out segment where Tyra ate said nuts and tried to guess what they were, it was announced that six of the seven beautiful girls standing before here would join them on a plane to Brazil. The ensuing celebration of Brazilianness seems very scaled back this year, which I assume is due to the economy. They could only afford two Brazilian flags, cheap maracas from the Oriental Trading Company and some paper confetti. Not to mention all the money they spent asking that male model to shell all of those Brazil nuts for The Goddess of Fierce. After a set PA came to sweep up the scaled-back debris, the judging began.

This time, itd be called White Celia . . .

This time, it'd be called White Celia . . .

  • Natalie: The judges say she really stands out in this picture, which I think we all know is because the stylists froed out her hair in a way that seems impossible. I think she looks a bit zaftig in this shot, as the way the microphone cords cut across her belly make her look a tad on the side of pregnant.
  • Aminat: This photo is a total failure. Per Miss J, “What you needed was two cups of crazy and a pinch of insane.” Word.
  • Celia: Her photo is “not classically pretty,” but she looks really hardcore in it. She reminds me of Brigitte Nielsen in Red Sonja.
  • Teyona: Girl got a fierce shot this week, what can I say?
  • London: Nigel thinks her shot is a bit over the top. Tyra loves that London smiles with her eyes in person, but wonders why that goes away in a photograph. To my dismay, Miss J immediately wonders what she’s been eating. Thanks, Miss J. You’re real fucking nice.
  • Fo: Dressed like a movie star from Mexico in the 1940s, Fo delivered a shot this week that was all angles and 100% awesome.
  • Lemur Allison: Finally, she delivered a different kind of face in her photo this week. Miss J wishes her body were as dynamic as her face in this shot. She then goes on to compliment her experience working with Mike, which Tyra tells her is not smart because she’s worked with Nigel and he’s sitting right the fuck there. Or, you know, they could not act like children and just listen to what the girl has to say. Whatever.
And if they ever need a new Barbarella . . .

And if they ever need a new Barbarella . . .

Callouts: Teyona, Fo, Natalie, Celia and Allison, leaving Aminat and London to wonder whether or not they’ll be able to journey to the Amazon. Strangely, Tyra chose to keep the girl who takes terrible photos over the girl who gained weight and sends London back home to her God while Aminat gets a ticket to the rainforest. Frankly, I would have kept London, who I think has more potential than Aminat. But I guess, as always in the world of fashion, some who is skinny but has no talent is favored over someone who looks like a normal person and has talent.

The Husband:

Whatever, Tyra. You’re just leaving me open to now cast London as a manic pixie dream girl in whatever Cameron Crowe rip-off film I intend to do in the future. I’d give her a small part, to be sure (like the best friend who shows up in three scene) but London’s got that gnarly little Godspell thing going on – that nifty combination when hippie meets Christianity and doesn’t bug the hell out of me – and I think that if she has the acting chops she claims, she could definitely make a cinematic impression.

And yes, wife, casting her on 90210 wouldn’t be a bad idea either, especially considering she looks exactly like Jessica Stroup. Maybe she could be a cousin. Or a long-lost sibling, a bastard child from their personal trainer-banging whore of a mother.

The Wife:

Apparently, the acting lessons in this episode started even before Paulina’s teach and Clay’s challenge, because back when this was filmed (during Thanksgiving! thanks for fucking with my sense of time even more than Lost, ANTM!), Natalie acted like a spoiled brat and didn’t help clean up the dishes, but thanked everyone who did (which is what you do when you’re an asshole, right?) and then Aminat acted like what she said was somehow racist. That is the most interesting interpretation of that scene any actor could have possibly found, and Natalie furthered that interpretation by saying some nonsense about how, in the part of California she hails from, people don’t do their own dishes? I think her point was that she doesn’t have to work hard because she’s not from the ghetto, but I feel the need to point out that I do my own dishes and I am not from the ghetto. Since when is cleaning up after yourself and acting like a human being “ghetto”? Clearly, whoever wrote that scene is a genius beyond measure because I’m starting a PhD program in the fall and I didn’t even understand what was going on here. Waiting for Godot makes more sense than whatever happened between SquishyfaceNatalie and Aminat.

The acting continued when the girls received a Tyra Mail reading, “Tomorrow you will be molded into a fine piece of Clay,” and they all pretended that they had no idea the C was capitalized and suggested they’d be doing things like art modeling or painting or something. But no! Clay with a capital C is always Clay Aiken! The person who should have bested Ruben Studdard in American Idol season two with his breathtaking rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”! The person closed out the role of Brave Sir Robin in Spamalot! Leader of the Claymates! The man my mother-in-law has an oil painting of in her office! The one and only Clay Aiken! What fools these models be!

I mean, seriously, yall should bow in my presence.

I mean, seriously, ya'll should bow in my presence.

But before his Royal Clayness could be revealed as their scene partner for the acting challenge, Paulina put the girls through a teach in which they had to say common phrases with different emotions, drawn from a bag. Allison, being a Lemur, is simply not very good at pretending to be a human, and Tahlia evidently doesn’t know what words mean. Everyone else does okay in this, and so Paulina unveils Clay and hands the girls scripts for their scene . . . which, insultingly and disappointingly already have the proper emotions for the lines noted in the margins. Really? You guys really have no faith in these girls at all, do you ANTM producers? I get that not everyone is a great actor, but I have to assume that the girls aren’t so untalented that they can’t figure out a way to interpret a line for dramatic effect. I’ll be insulted for them, though, because apparently none of them cared. They seemed like they all had fun with their scenes, even the Lemur. Tahlia, however, was fucking awful, and Natalie carried on the character she created during the Tgives feast into her scene with Clay, which she did not appreciate. He is from Le Aiken de Clay! How dare you insult him with your hands, unsullied by dish soap!

Paulina and Clay, though they both loved Celia, deemed London the best and awarded her with $5,000 in Joe’s Jeans merch . . . which she sadly couldn’t wear because she struggles with her weight? Uh, really? It’s not like she’s Salome whose fat ass (Husband Note: If by “fat” you mean “sweet.”) is constantly measured over on Make Me a Supermodel, so how were we ever to know? London’s weight drama came the fuck out of nowhere and might be just another fine bit of acting, if you ask me. That girl looks great.

The next Tyra Mail put an end to London’s weight drama, reading, “Do you play well with others? It’s time to find out!” And so the girls headed off to their CoverGirl commercial shoot, where McKey was filming and looking absolutely fabulous in that purple dress because she’s gorgeous. Mr. Jay puts the girls in groups and tells them that they’ll each take turns in the lead role in the commercial and, further proving that this show has no faith in the models it claims it will produce, he gives them a TelePrompTer. Le sigh. Spokesmodels need to be able to deliver lines naturally, people! Just hire me, the girl with the giant skin cancer hole in her arm! I can read real good!

My preliminary thoughts on the commercials:

  • Celia: Although I think her face’s natural angles are a little harsh for TV, she was excellent. Clearly, this was going to be the commercial to beat.
  • Teyona: Oh, God, the poor girl can’t even look at the camera or read English.
  • Aminat: It was like she didn’t even want to be there, delivering a performance that seemed, to me, kind of like she was angry to even be asked to do a commercial.
  • Lemur Allison: Because Lemurs are afraid of technology, she had a lot of trouble looking at the camera and reading at the same time. I’m amazed Lemurs can read at all.
  • Natalie: For some reason, she was given an outfit that made her look like a Can Can dancer. Her commercial was okay, but a little flat.
  • Fo: As cute as she is, Fo did not sound natural delivering these lines at all. She is for looking at, not for talking.
  • London: London’s commercial was really good. I think she’s a natural in front of the camera (her family is comprised entirely of actors, she says) and I want her to be cast on 90210 immediately.
  • Tahlia: Someone should just kill her now because this steaming pile of crap was the worst of the bunch. I was surprised, though, that she didn’t cry about being asked to wear pants. You know, because that means someone didn’t want to hire her because of her burns. The best part of her commercial was Mr. Jay telling her that modeling will be hard for her until she quits the business. Truth!

At panel, Tyra forgot to include a Guide for Finding Your Inner Fierceness commercial . . . am I to assume she didn’t include it because the recap special was just laced with the things? (I didn’t even DVR it because Lost was way more important.) I did not miss it, and neither did anyone else. I hope she lets them go for the rest of the season.

The judges’ thoughts on the commercials:

  • Celia: Clay thinks she’s excellent at being in character, but Tyra says something strange about how Celia “acted” a little too old for the CG demographic in the commercial. As in, she felt like Celia was the prim auntie to the little models in her commercial. Ouch. 25 is totally dinosaur old in model years.
  • Teyona: Nigel tells her that she’s photogenic, but not telegenic and that her commercial was too squinty, like she was having a hard time reading the prompter.
  • Lemur Allison: Girl, you should know that you cannot wear the same dress twice when you appear at a judging panel on a reality show! Tyra never wears the same dress twice and neither should you! In fact, this upsets Tyra so much that she asks Alison to change clothes with another girl during deliberations. As for her commercial, her Lemur eyes become dead doll eyes, but Tyra compliments her on looking like the 14-year-old girls CoverGirl products are sold to.
  • Aminat: Nigel does not like how she cuts off the ends of her words and Tyra says her commercial sounds exactly like Teyona’s.
  • London: I guess the judges and I watched completely different commercials, because they thought London sounded like a street thug. To add insult to injury, they told her that her shorts made her look fat. Poor London!
  • Natalie: Miss J called her performance stiff, Tyra says it’s unmemorable and Clay Aiken mentions that she does not play well with others.
  • Fo: Miss J thinks she sounds like she has a mouth full of marbles and, sadly, everyone notices how good Tahlia looks in Fo’s commercial more than Fo’s performance.
  • Tahlia: In the reverse of Fo’s commercial, everyone notices how cute Fo is more than Tahlia’s performance. Nigel sums this up very well: “You know that it means? It means you’re both background.” Also, Tahlia still has no idea what a model looks like, showing up in a cast-off bridesmaid’s dress from a springtime wedding.

Callouts: After announcing that everyone was week this week, Tyra awards Celia with the first call out, then Natalie, Teyona, Fo, London and Aminat, leaving the Lemur and Tahlia in the bottom two. Thankfully, Lemur Allison was given one more chance and I no longer have to sit in agony as I wonder why Tahlia doesn’t know that one of her eyebrows is, like, a half inch higher than the other. Nor will I ever have to hear her whine about anything ever again. The Goddess of Fierce exists, and she is good and just.

The Husband:

So, one of the things Natalie mentioned during that dishwashing brouhaha and its aftermath (and their quick talk with McKey behind-the-scenes) was mentioning how she was from California, not like the other hicks. Now, I know a lot of people get the wrong idea about California, from thinking that SoCal represents the entire state to thinking we’re all beach dwellers to thinking our entire population is simply a bunch of wacko liberals. But here’s the thing – if we’re talking area-wise, California is about 90% “hick.” Get outside the major metro areas and you’re dealing with conservative suburbs and rural areas that look just like every other state. Hell, even IN the San Francisco Bay Area, basically once you lose sight of the city or the hills of Marin. It bothers me that Natalie thinks, or even jokes, that California is not a “hick” state. Oh, it is, alright. Just visit. I dare you.

Just remember, Los Angeles County may be 4752 square miles, but go directly to the right and you’ve got San Bernadino County, a massive 20,000 square mile sprawl of desert and cactus and tiny oases with fast food chains you’ve never heard of, and it looks just like any other Southwestern state.

The Wife:

And so the fallout from Celia’s actions last week begin. And friends, that fallout was not pretty. For some reason, Sandra absolved herself from the entire discussion of addressing Tahlia with Tyra and went turncoat, reporting how every other girl in the house had planned to ambush Tahlia at panel. Actually, let me make that more accurate: every other non-black girl in the house. Somehow, this battle came down to a battle across racial lines, with Sandra, Teyona and Aminat backing up Tahlia while Natalie, Lemur Allison, Fo and London sided with Celia. (Did Fo somehow lose her blackness in this fight in favor of her Mexicanness?) As Celia and Tahlia stood on the stairs uninvolved, Teyona and Aminat took it upon themselves to scream and hoot and holler at the other girls, culminating in Aminat screaming in Natalie’s face about . . . something. I don’t really know what this fight ended up actually being about, because once everyone else got involved, it stopped being about Celia and Tahlia.

After about seven minutes of girls screaming at each other, they all magically reconvened to read their first Tyra Mail: “Cut it out. I don’t want to see anymore blank faces.” The PlaidMobile spirited them away to some mannequin-filled alley, where Mr. Jay told them he did not want them to ever be called “just a clothes hanger,” because America’s Next Top Model cannot be merely a stick with clothes on, she has to have a face, too! To make his point, he then destroyed a mannequin, in exactly the way I would have liked to do to those super-creepy talking mannequins in Shopaholic and to Old Navy’s extremely un-clever “Super Modelquinns.” Any talking mannequin that isn’t Kim Cattrall deserves to be given the slow topple to the ground and left alone, shattered in an alley somewhere in New York.

Once away from the carnage, Jay introduced the girls to Howard Stern’s wife, Beth, who is a model who gives good face. She helped them practice The Only Three Expressions You’ll Ever Need as a Model by putting the girls in front of make-up mirrors, and gently demonstrating how they can go from whatever awful face they were making to the correct ways to express “sensual,” “mystery” and “alluring,” which all sound more like cheap perfumes than expressions, possibly because only one of those is a noun.

Jay and Beth then went on to remind us exactly whose show this is by asking the girls to pose with their faces . . . inside a cardboard cut out of a photo of Tyra. In this moment I fully realized what I have always known: this is not a show about modeling, this is a show about Tyra. And every girl on this show should aspire to be like Tyra, so much so that a contestant should inhabit the spirit of Miss Banks by sticking her head through a cardboard cutout of her mentor/surrogate mama/idol/megalomaniac. The idea, Jay reminds us, is for the girls to learn to pose with their face and to make their face match the body pose provided by the far superior Tyra Banks. This challenge proved to be too hard for everyone but Natalie and London, the only two girls to correctly match their faces with the photographs of Tyra. Natalie won this teach, by the way, and was awarded with 50% more frames in the upcoming photoshoot. Considering I’ve never seen an ad where someone sticks their head through a cardboard cutout of something else, wouldn’t Jay’s lesson have been better delivered by finding some other way to show the girls how to connect their faces with their bodies? Ah, but another way wouldn’t have worshipped the Goddess of Fierce, and may have angered her. And no one wants to anger the Goddess of Fierce.

I think this is one of the most disturbing things Ive ever seen.

I think this is one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen.

The next Tyra Mail alerted the girls to the theme of their photoshoot: “You’re all looking a little pale. I think you need some color.” After deciding that the shoot will likely be a rehash of Cycle 10’s paint-on-the-face shoot, Tahlia and Celia have a nice quiet chat in a strange hallway about their feelings toward the incident at panel. Celia maintains that she wasn’t trying to be mean to Tahlia, but merely that she wanted the competition to be fair, and Tahlia tells Celia tales about her various self-esteem issues while eating a bag of Cheetos. Girlfriend, if you are a model and you are eating a bag of Cheetos, I think it is obvious to everyone that you have self-esteem problems. Through the healing power of Chester Cheetah, the girls work out their issues like adults and agree to be cool.

At the photoshoot with Keith Major (who shot Tyra for the Ebony cover – did you guys know that??? wow! he shot Tyra!), the girls suspicions are confirmed in re: paint on their faces. Jay tells them that they’re going to be doing a beauty shot where they have to emote their power colors. Look, I think we all get the abstract notion that colors represent certain feelings, but I honestly don’t think any of the girls conveyed the “emotions” of these colors very well, except maybe for Fo and Tahlia, although I say that last name reluctantly.

Tell me that she doesnt look like shes surprised and horrified by the murder she just committed.

Tell me that she doesn't look like she's surprised and horrified by the murder she just committed.

  • Allison: Pink was her color, and although she kept saying things about how she wanted to be girly, she mostly looked to me as though she were some frenzied animal who had just eating a very raw steak and smeared it all  over her face. I guess that’s girly, if you’re from a Hell dimension.
  • Aminat: She had green, which she said represented the Earth and thus she wanted to be “earthy.” I am pretty sure that isn’t an emotion. But I guess she’s not a good enough model to convey jealousy or greed.
  • Tahlia: The photo Tahlia ended up with actually really captured the regality of purple. She had serious bitchface in it, and that worked. But throughout her photoshoot, it was pretty clear that she was trying to go for sexy, telling Keith Major that she was pretending he was her boyfriend and that she was posing for him. She lucked into doing well on this.
  • Teyona: Assigned yellow, Teyona apparently misunderstood the entire concept of yellow and, dear Lord, I thought she looked hideous throughout this entire shoot.
  • Fo: The Blaxican beauty had red and conveyed it’s passionate intensity flawlessly.
  • London: She had blue and her performance reminded me a bit of Tilda Swinton as The White Witch.
  • Natalie: Squishy face Natalie had orange, and Mr. Jay wanted her to convey firey passion. She didn’t deliver, though, until her extra frames kicked in. Personally, I would have gone for exuberance or boundless energy with orange, not passion. Jesus! Not ever color can be passionate!
  • Sandra: Sandra had white, which would have been beautiful because she’s so dark, but she started thinking of angels instead of Aborigines and it all went to Hell from there.
  • Celia: Stoic Celia was given a stately gray and I was reminded of the living statue challenge from Cycle 5 where winner Nicole failed at being perched upon by birds.

Easily the artiest shot of the bunch from the only girl who truly understands aesthetics.

Easily the artiest shot of the bunch from the only girl who truly understands aesthetics.

At panel, though, the judges apparently saw different pictures than I did, because they seemed to love nearly everything . . . either that, or no one explained the concept of emoting a color to them. And that’s probably for the best, really, because it’s a ridiculous notion.

  • Aminat: The judges thought she nailed this picture and that she looked “natural.”
  • Natalie: She took a straight-on shot and thus had no angles in her face. And that’s not good when your face is squishy.
  • Tahlia: Rather than spending time talking about her photo, the judges talked to Tahlia about last week’s panel incident and how it’s okay to question yourself because that’s how you improve. Tyra also suggested that Tahlia spend more time questioning how she looks in person because although it’s a model’s job to look better in photos than in real life (uh, sometimes, Tyra!), Tahlia is a fucking hot mess in person.
  • Celia: After deciding that, if she went home, she was going to go out swirling, Celia strode into panel wearing the most fucking fibbity fab fab outfit I have ever seen anyone wear on Top Model. She slicked back that bob, donned a voluminous golden skirt and topped it with a hardcore leather jacket and looked like a fucking force to be reckoned with. The judges complimented her on her personal style, as well as her graceful embodiment of the color gray in her picture. Keith told her he wanted to shoot her more, which is basically the ultimate compliment.
  • Teyona: While I think this picture is terrible, the judges think her skin looks amazing and that the picture is so hopeful Barack Obama should put it in the White House. Uh, okay . . . if hope looks like a crazy homeless person, then sure.
  • London: While I like this picture, the judges think it’s weak because they recognize that London is giving the same face in it as last week. And that’s no good if she’s already relying so heavily on her strongest face.
  • Lemur Allison: Keith says he hated working with her and the judges give her the same criticism about relying on the same look as London. I fucking hate the picture and they love it. Go figure.
  • Sandra: The judges and I finally agree on something in that Sandra’s shot is horrendous. It’s bare and emotionless.
  • Fo: I think Tyra said it best when she purred, “Weerrrrrrrrrrrrrrk! Majah!” in response to this photo. Fo is hella hot in this pic, no joke:
Like TyTy said, Fos face is fabulous.

Like TyTy said, Fo's face is fabulous.

After the girls were sent away so the judges could privately pick them apart, the producers continued to focus on the Tahlia vs. Celia drama in which Nigel comes to the realization that I’ve already come to and admits that he hates Tahlia’s personality, and Paulina, likewise, finally picks up on my observation that Celia is the most stylish girl to grace Top Model . . . ever. I don’t know why they’re wasting time on this, as neither of those two girls is going to go home because their pictures this week were really strong.

Callouts: Fo(!!!), Teyona, Tahlia, Aminat, Lemur Allison, Natalie, London with Celia and Sandra in the bottom two. Celia, it seems, was only put in the bottom this week so Tyra could further express her displeasure with the girl’s actions last week. She spends some more time upbraiding her for getting in between another model and her money, which is a big no-no in the Book of Tyra (aka The Guide to Finding Your Inner Fierceness, now with 50% fewer adorable children!), and then lets Sandra go home. I am grateful that Sandra is gone because she’s a terrible person, and my opinion stayed unchanged as Sandra’s final confessional played over footage of her packing her bags in which she came across as completely ungrateful even for the opportunity to piss me off in my living room. And yet another haughty African girl fails to win ANTM. Maybe they should try, oh, I don’t know, not being so aloof?

This doesnt read serenity, it just reads drunkenness.

This doesn't read serenity, it just reads drunkenness.

Next week: Bad acting and Clay Aiken? Have I died and gone to a production of Spamalot?

The Wife:

Can someone explain to me why this episode was called “Put Your Best Face Forward?” It’s not as though any of the challenges directly related to having one’s face thrust forward, and that’s usually the kind of literalness the ANTM writers go for. I suppose it vaguely relates to the idea of an immigrant making a brave stride to come to America, putting their “best face forward” in so doing, but the episode titles from this season and last really make me miss Tyra’s “The Girl Who . . .” structure. This episode would have been much more memorable if it were called “The Girl Who Continually Doubts Herself and Somehow Got Best Photo This Week” or “The Girl Who Stood Up for Herself” or, better yet, “The Girl Who Was Told by Tyra to Step Back in Her Place.” Because, really, the most memorable thing about this episode was Tyra scolding Celia like a Kindergarten teacher scolds her class.

But before that hoopla in the final few minutes, Tyra made the girls jump through her regular series of hoops, such as inviting former contestant Toccara of Cycle 3 fame to host a slumber party with the girls in some free sleepwear from Mira Kelis and talk about how important it is to have personality, because its totally Toccara’s personality that made her one of the first black women to be featured in Italian Vogue. (I would wager that its because she’s got a really classic Sofia Loren-ish figure and Italians like that kind of thing, but I guess being an unapologetically vivacious lady helps, too.) In other news, nobody likes Sandra, Tahlia’s confidence continues to flounder and, inexplicably, Kourtnie thinks that she has the personality of an old male comedian trapped in a curvy chick’s body. I think I’ve seen that movie . . . isn’t that The Hot Chick with Rob Schneider and Rachel McAdams? Man, I can’t wait until Kourtnie buys a box of tampons and runs around screaming, “I have to put these WHERE?” That’d make for a great episode.

I hear Benny Ninja coming! Quick, everyone! Look fierce!

I hear Benny Ninja coming! Quick, everyone! Look fierce!

After Toccara jetted back to wherever she came from, the girls received a Tyra Mail: “If you can’t move to the music, then that might pose a problem.” And off they went to a posing challenge at the Marquee with Benny Ninja (!) and Aussie model-turned-DJ Sky Nellor. Benny taught the girls how to create poses inspired by different kinds of music, his best piece of advice going to Fo in re: posing for country western music:

“Think of horse dung.”

Wow, I wish Randy Travis had given the contestants that advice on last week’s Idol . . .

The girls started picking on Kortnie’s poses, claiming via confessional that she wasn’t taking the competition seriously and just wanted to be funny all the time . . . you know, because she’s Rob Schneider. All of this talk of Kourtnie being funny was very, very strange considering we’ve never heard anything about it before or seen her attempt to be funny or weird. I mean, she’s not Jael, who was both funny and weird and you knew it from the minute you laid eyes on her. Or crazy-ass Lisa from Cycle 5, who, let’s not forget, wore a diaper around the house one night and wet herself. Intentionally. Most of the girls this season are fairly boring people, and Kourtnie is chief among them. It’s not a good sign when the most interesting thing about you is how your name is spelled.

Oh, and if you want more proof that most of the girls this cycle are incredibly boring, here’s a whammy: I completely forget that Wind Tunnel Teyona even existed. The girls received another Tyra Mail to set them up for their next challenge (“Practice your posin’ if you wanna be chosen.”), a cabaret-style pose-off facilitated by Benny Ninja and The Blonds for a house full of queens and Boy George, pre-imprisoning an escort, I presume. Ninja made the girls compete in two heats of five models, with the incredibly gay audience’s applause deciding the winner of each heat. I look away from the TV for a second during the first heat and only caught Allison (sour lemur poses), Kortnie (trainwreck poses), Sandra (even the gays hate her) and Celia (easily winning this round by being a posing bitch BAMF) posing off and could not for the life of me figure out who the final girl in that heat would have been. As I went through the next heat of Aminat (booed by the gays), London (also booed by the gays), Tahlia (super duper booed by the gays), Natalie (yays from the gays) and Fo (stripper boos), I still couldn’t remember the tenth model. My husband kept insisting that it was a black girl with a strange name and I kept insisting back that there were only two black girls left now that Ninja was gone: Sandra and Aminat. It wasn’t until the photoshoot that I even remembered Teyona existed. He was right, but that is not a good sign. At all. (Sorry, Teyona! You are boring as shit!)

Natalie and Celia easily advanced to the next round of Benny’s pose-off and Celia won as the gays love for Natalie was fleeting. Celia best amused the queens and won a dress from The Blonds, which was very, very sparkly. Once again, Tahlia’s confidence flagged and I realized that I hate her and do not have time to put up with her emotional rollercoaster ride. At this moment, I decided I wanted her gone. She stole my scars angle, and that was enough reason for me to hate her, but her emotional instability is really the nail in her coffin here. I will not be happy until she gets the hell off my TV.

Oh, shit! The British are coming!

Oh, shit! The British are coming!

The photoshoot was introduced by Tyra Mail: “Models aren’t the only ones that migrate to New York to make their dreams come true.” Immediately, the girls assumed they were going to be birds, cleverly latching on to the word “migrate.” Little did they know that they’d be taken to Ellis Island to be high fashion immigrants, recreating old timey photos using a long-exposure 8×10 camera, surrounded by dirty little immigrant children and Benny Ninja posing as their multi-ethnic husbands. 10 points for creativity with this shoot, because I think foremost that reminding people that this country was intended as a refuge for anyone who longed for freedom is truly important and because I really liked the idea of shooting with an old timey camera. Kourtnie said she related to this shoot because immigration is how most of her family got here, and I hate to burst the poor girl’s bubble but since not a single girl on ANTM this season is of Native American descent, that’s exactly how EVERYONE’S FAMILY GOT HERE! (For some, though, it was perhaps not through Ellis Island, but through British colonization, Dutch colonization, in chains to a debtor’s colony or, sadly, on a slave ship.) I really wish we had some old timey photos of my nonna, Philomena Carmela Caruso (or Carmela Philomena Caruso, no one is really sure because we think they switched her first and middle names when she came through the immigration station) looking fabulous with her luggage and her children when she came through Ellis Island. But, alas, we do not have those photographs. Because photographs were expensive back in the day, which really is the one issue with this shoot . . . immigrant families coming through Ellis Island probably couldn’t have afforded these long exposure photographs, and the only reason they would exist is if some cub newspaper photographer asked them to allow him to photograph them for the paper. That’s how I’m going to rationalize this shoot to make it completely make sense.

Some preliminary thoughts during the shoot:

  • Mr. Jay calls Sandra his biggest disappointment so far. Ouch.
  • London looks just like Eliza Doolittle in that stripey “I come from Morcambre” outfit. She thinks she looks like Kate Winslet in Titanic, but apparently doesn’t realize that Kate Winslet was filthy stinkin’ rich in that movie.
  • Tahlia does really well in this shoot, and that’s disappointing because I hate her.
  • Alison is apparently a Russian dockworker in this shoot. She looks like Kristen Schaal in the Flight of the Conchords‘ “Petrov, Yelyena & Me” video:

In Tyra’s strange self-promotional intro to panel, she only had two little babies with her, disproving my theory that she will collect babies like Miss J collects bowties, but still confusing me. She has also stolen Blair Waldorf’s bow-print Milly blouse (which, btw, looks way better on Blair), which proves to me that sometimes Tyra shops out the of CW wardrobe closet. On to the judging:

  • Teyona: The girl whose name I totally forgot received generally favorable reviews from the panel, who noted her strong eyes in the photo and said empty things like “there’s a history” and “there’s a romance” in this photo, which I guess needed to be said just because it was the first photo and that way they could get it out of the way and never have to say it again.
  • London: Her face is great in this show, but the judges don’t like that she’s posing in opposition to the children she’s with.
  • Sandra: Girl is dead in the face and totally disengaged from the shot.
  • Lemur Allison: This is the first shot of the bunch that looks like a fashion shot, says Nigel. Tyra and Paulina thinks that she doesn’t look like a mother to the kids she’s with, but like a big sister. “Because mommy died on the way over,” Paulina morbidly notes.
  • Aminat: A good shot with a strong face.
  • Fo: Similar to London’s shot, she is disengaged from those she’s posing with.
  • Natalie: For some reason, the judges think she looks like Keira Knightley. This is not true, because Keira Knightley has a chin and an elegant neck, neither of which are attributes of Squishy McSquishface. However, it is a great fashion shot.
  • Kourtnie: This pose is sour, in the parlance of one Benny Ninja. She’s dead in the eyes.
  • Tahlia: The judges clamor around this shot and dub it the best picture so far. They think she is exquisite in the photo but that she looks like a hot mess in person. Both things are true.
  • Celia: Tragically, Celia gets lost in this photo and is completely upstaged by the little girl in the white outfit standing behind her. I blame this in part on wardrobe, who dressed everyone in dark colors and put that one little girl in white. If Celia were in white, or a lighter color, it would have drawn the eye to her, even if she were reclining on the side, a pose that made London stand out in her photo, even if it didn’t work to her advantage.
There were some bad wardrobe decisions that led to this shot being so awkward.

There were some bad wardrobe decisions that led to this shot being so awkward.

As the judges deliberate, Miss J comments on Aminat’s knockedy knees, and I learn a new Tyra fact: she learned how to unknockify her own knees. I propose that Tyra enter into a new business teaching women how to unknockify their knees and elbows. That should be a chapter in her whole “finding your inner fierceness” tome.

Callouts: Tahlia, Teyona, Lemur Allison, Natalie, London, Aminat, Celia and Fo, leaving Sandra and Kourtnie in the bottom two. As Tyra deliberated on who should stay, the girl who just dies in the eyes in photographs but is interesting in person, or the girl who relies too much on her natural beauty and sometimes forgets to try, the camera kept cutting to Lemur Allison, who seemed genuinely concerned about who would be leaving. The only reason I can imagine for her concern would be wondering if Celia would actually do what she said she was going to do in an earlier discussion in the house: tell Tyra that Tahlia had expressed numerous times in the open that she didn’t want to be there and that Tyra should consider those comments before sending anyone home. Celia did announce this, in her shiny new Blond dress, after Tyra made the decision to keep villainess Sandra over Rob Schneider girl, and then Tyra shot down her cries on unfairness by reminding Celia that it was unfair of her to speak on Tahlia’s behalf, reminding the Bergdorf’s employee to take her place in line, i.e. a place far below The Goddess of Fierce.

Was Celia wrong to speak her mind to Tyra about Tahlia? Because I hate Tahlia, I’m inclined to say no. I, too, believe that she should leave the competition (and modeling) if she doesn’t have the confidence to handle criticism, which she clearly doesn’t. Celia took the fall here for expressing the opinion of every other girl in the house, and that takes balls. Furthermore, she did so in a respectful way that was more matter-of-fact than accusatory, and she politely took her place when told to. What she said can be backed up by the dailies, if TyTy ever cares to watch them. But Tyra has never forced a girl to leave because she didn’t want to be there without the girl saying it herself, or Tyra coercing her to say it (such as the case the plant from last cycle who didn’t think high fashion should exist). And Tahlia, owner of her own fucked-up emotions, has the right to decide whether or not she wants to leave the competition outside of an official elimination. Mostly, this little skirmish needed to happen so that there could be some drama in the house, and it appears we will get it next week.

Am I wrong to think that Tyra liked this shot best because its the most Tyra of the bunch?

Am I wrong to think that Tyra liked this shot best because its the most Tyra of the bunch?

As for me, I’m on team Celia. Even if what she did was not the kindest thing, Tahlia needed to be called on her bullshit. Because that’s what it is: bullshit.