The Wife:

Last night, the girls were given a non-challenge/actual real world opportunity that seemed cribbed off Petra Nemcova’s short-lived TLC series A Model Life, which, of all the modeling series I’ve watched, was certainly the most realistic in terms of its portrayal of the process of becoming a model. Nemcova’s show set six international models up with an agency on a trial, booked them jobs and go-sees as a group and then asked the girls to use those skills to book their own jobs. There were no challenges and no prizes. No winners and no losers. Well, except for Angelika, who was fired from the agency for being insolent.

Instead of giving the girls a preliminary challenge, Tyra sent the girls to meet with Sean Patterson, their potential new boss at Wilhelmina Models. They interviewed with him (with Nigel Barker’s assistance, for some reason), and walked for him. At the end of their time with Patterson, Nigel and Sean announced that one girl would be cut, because she basically had no potential as a model. And that girl was Rachel of the Doe Eyes, who made the obvious mistake of telling Nigel and Sean that she had musical theatre training but, when asked to perform, couldn’t come up with a song to sing. My husband felt this was somewhat unfair, but I don’t think so at all. Rachel shot herself in the foot by telling them that she had theatre experience, but then being completely unable to perform. I realize that musical theatre is fairly unrelated to modeling, but in base concept, she told them she knew how to perform, and couldn’t deliver on that promise. And so, she was let go. I’d say it was shocking, but the only shocking thing about it was that I’d forgotten she’d been eliminated and so, when the girls are digitally removed from their group shot at the end of the episode, I was completely taken aback to see two women in rope bikinis disappear.

But that attempt to assert the realness and seriousness of televised modeling competitions pretty much went out the window the minute Tyra showed up as SuperSmize for the girls’ actual challenge. As any ANTM fan knows, “smize,” of course, means smiling with your eyes. And Tyra, after hammering home that concept for 13 seasons now, decided she needed to change up that tired adage by coining a new word (a new, super dumb word, if you ask me) and dressing up as a super hero to battle an evil photographer with her incredible ability to smile with her eyes. I’m sorry, smize. Tyra is only trying to save me keystrokes, here.

Something about these smize just aint right . . .

Something about these smize just ain't right . . .

After showing the girls how to do this act, with her usual amount of batshit crazy coaching techniques, she made the girls come to her “Fortress of Fierceness” dressed as pink and purple ninjas to have a smize-off with other girls. First of all, Tyra may sound insane when she’s coaching the girls on her patented modeling techniques, but I will admit that she gets results. Secondly, I’m glad the production design for the Fortress of Fierceness was somewhere between the old Adam West Batman series and Barbarella. I suddenly feel like I should turn my murder basement into a Fortress of Fierceness, complete with bleepy-bloopy machines with pictures of eyes on them and knobs that don’t do anything.

The modelettes stood before Tyra in their ninja leotards, faces entirely covered except for their smizing eyes, as Tyra’s “machines” gauged which girl better executed the concept of the smize. The winners of each heat were awarded a dinner with potential boss Sean Patterson and given nice fancy dresses to wear, while the losers were taken to the same restaurant and employed as dishwashers. The prize makes sense, but the punishment doesn’t. Models in a kitchen? Bizarre. I really didn’t need to see cutaways of the girls washing dishes, proclaiming that food remnants “look like throw-up.” No need to drive home their body dysmorphic disorders! We all already know!

The next day, the girls were taken to Santa Anita Racetrack to pose “nude” on horses with jockeys. Naturally, some requisite bullshit was said about how Seabiscuit was short and he beat other horses and blah blah blah. My husband was an extra in Seabiscuit. I’m sure he can tell you all about that. I like the idea of this shoot, however, I have to question a few things:

a)      Why even have the jockey on the horse? Was it just to make those girls look taller?

b)      Being topless in a photo does not equate nudity. It equates toplessness. Don’t promise me nudity but only give me toplessness.

c)      It seemed like the styling of the shoot was working against some of the girls. Half of them were styled in this sort of faux-Victorian/Edwardian fashion with a lot of ruffles and cream-colored accessories. But other girls were basically wearing fetish gear in black and leather. All of the girls, however, were asked to be soft. And many of the girls who had issues with the shoot were the ones who were styled “hard,” where as the demurely styled girls ultimately read as demure on film. I question the execution of the intent. Some of the girls might have performed better if the conceit were better explained. It’s definitely possible to be soft in fetish gear, but I don’t think that juxtaposition was made clear. They were simply told to smize, and that was it.

  • Kara: This shot was dead in the eyes.
  • Ashley: I completely forgot she existed until she complained about something during the dinner with Sean Patterson. She looked bored to death in this shot and, while the judges kind of like its “simplicity,” I can’t believe they aren’t totally cutting into her for the fact that this atrocity was her fucking TEST SHOT and they had to digitally remove the lighting guy. Ugh. If this were MMAS, she’d have cost them a reshoot. (But then again, if this were MMAS, she might end up winning despite that bullshit performance. I HATE YOU, BRANDEN!)
  • Jennifer: We learned earlier in the episode that she doesn’t have full range of motion in her left eye. I hadn’t noticed before, but the minute she pointed it out, it’s all I noticed. Her makeup failed her in this shot, drawing all the attention to that lazy eye. Tyra did give her some good tips on talking to the makeup folks about that eye so that she can work around it.
  • Lulu: Wearing one of the best hats of the shoot, Lulu also ended up with one of the best shots. I begin to develop a theory about the relative goodness of these shots in correlation to the relative greatness of the hats the girls wore.
  • Brittany: Homegirl got to wear the absolute best hat of the bunch and produced what I think is the most dynamic shot of the bunch. She lay across the horse’s back, a feat downright magical in its effect.

    Not quite as sexy as Jonathans horsey shot from Make Me a Supermodel, but . . .

    Not quite as sexy as Jonathan's horsey shot from Make Me a Supermodel, but . . .

  • Bianca: The judges like her lower body in this shot, but can’t stand her blank expression. I agree. This shot blows.
  • Laura: I think Laura’s face is so perfect that I’m not surprised the wound up producing my favorite shot of the night. I mean, this girl has an amazing face for makeup. She’s spectacular.

    Shes gonna do bad things to you . . . like castrate yo ass.

    She's gonna do bad things to you . . . like castrate yo' ass.

  • Sundai: Everything about this shot blows.
  • Rae: As nice as she looked in this shot, I was very distracted by what the jockey was doing. Was he vomiting? Where is his head?
  • Nicole: With her strangeness, she produced another great photograph effortlessly. Also, she had a wonderful feather hat.

    Oh, this ol thing? I use it to pull my wheelbarrow to school.

    Oh, this ol' thing? I use it to pull my wheelbarrow to school.

  • Erin: The judges love the shit out of this, but I think this one had the biggest styling problem. With so much black eye makeup on, Erin couldn’t not look hard. The judges thought she broke through and looked demure, but I disagree.
  • Crutchney: Blah shot. She complained about having to model in her boot, but Tyra made a good point that Mr. Jay asked her to leave it on for insurance purposes. As in, no one wants to have their broken foot recrushed by a horse.

Callouts: Erin, Brittany, Laura, Nicole, Kara, Jennifer, Sundai, Rae, Lulu and Ashley.

I definitely like Erin’s photo less than Brittany, Nicole or Laura’s, so I disagree with that order inherently, but I also think that Rae and Lulu should have been called before Kara, Jennifer or Sundai.

Crutchney and Bianca were left in the bottom 2, which I thought would surely send Bianca home for her stank-ass attitude about makeup and hairstyles. But no, for some reason, they prefer her to Crutchney, and the petite cheerleader was sent home to heal that foot.

The Husband:

True, I am an extra during the final climactic horserace scene in Seabiscuit, and we most definitely did shoot it at the Santa Anita Racetrack where, around 70 years earlier, Seabiscuit made history. I got the gig through Ain’t It Cool News — I use the term “gig” lightly, because I was an unpaid extra just as I was in Spider-Man — and showed up in my sweet pinstripe suit. We had to look period, so I gave my friend Geoff my Bogart-esque raincoat to cover up his polo shirt. And those of us without hats (i.e. most of us) were given cheap period knockoffs to cover up our modern haircuts.

(For the love of me, I can’t find my original set report for AICN, so I’ll try to at least recreate some of the report.)

Most of this didn’t really matter, as you most definitely cannot see most of our faces or the details of our wardrobe in the finished product, but it was still pretty gnarly. Geoff and I were placed in the bleachers, nowhere near the action, so we felt it appropriate to switch seats and entire sections between the long setups happening. (Filming constant action is tough, and it never fails to amaze me that a director doesn’t lose his mind with all the downtime involved in filmmaking.) Unfortunately, we never really got to the handrail where you can really see the extras faces, but I had to presume that those people were actual paid extras who don’t do bullshit like switch sections for fun or steal from the wardrobe department (more on that later). We did, though, get to a spot near the finish line, but who knows if that was the one angle out of a dozen they used in the final film. Still, you can’t really tell who’s who anyway.

The strange part of the whole situation that the unpaid extras weren’t in big enough numbers to fill out the bleachers, so we were placed among blow-up dummy torsos (with heads), who were wearing the same hats we were as well as a tuxedo t-shirt. The remaining holes would be filled in by CGI, which I’m sure means that my shape is actually copied at least a dozen times somewhere among the crowd.

By the end of a very long day (seriously, where is that set report? I talk about the awesome Equestricam they used for getting close-ups of Tobey), Geoff and I had decided to steal the tux t-shirt off of the dummy and then deflate him. Both were able to easily be stolen away inside my raincoat Geoff had on (I’m a much bigger person than he is, so there was plenty of room in the coat). To this day, I still have the hat and the tux shirt.

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The Wife:

It’s almost not worth talking about the rest of this episode, because the important thing is the terrible, horrible, no good very bad thing that occurred at the end of this episode.

Um. so, we can fuck now, right? Because we're both supermodels? That's the rule, isn't it?

Um. so, we can fuck now, right? Because we're both supermodels? That's the rule, isn't it?

Bravo made Branden a supermodel.

Not Sandhurst. Not Jonathan.

But Branden.

Branden whose naked shoot would have been a reshoot. Branden who was told he was too cocky. Branden who didn’t listen to the photographer’s instructions and wasted an entire day’s worth of pyrotechnic set-up, not to mention the cost of said pyrotechnics. Branden who can’t pronounce Ferragamo.

Does that make any sense to anyone?

Even when Jonathan and Sandhurst faltered, they couldn’t take a truly bad photo, but Branden could. Even if Jonathan and Sandhurst didn’t do their best runway, it was still better than Branden’s. And neither of them had a propensity to sneer. Smirk, yes, but sneer, no. What the fuck, Bravo? What. The. Fuck.

It is truly hard for me to believe that the strength of Branden’s 24×20 Polaroid portrait was enough to cement his win. It was a great picture of his face, but I’ll tell you one reason why I didn’t like it. While Matthew Rolston is correct in the assertion that the freakish S-curve of Branden’s over-developed back in this side-on shot made it memorable, I don’t think the point of this shoot was to show one’s freakishness. The point was for photographer Timothy Greenfield-Smith to coax out the inner resources of the model, producing a photo of Sandhurst that was warm, coy and invitingly sexy, and a photo of Jonathan that was impishly wise. Branden’s photo proved to me that he basically has no Inner Resources, as poet John Berryman would say, and over-developed back muscles that cause him to constantly lurch forward. It was interesting visually, but I did not see who Branden is, and that’s why I don’t think that photo worked.

Really, is this attractive to anyone not named Nicole Trunfio?

Really, is this attractive to anyone not named Nicole Trunfio?

I also don’t understand why Catherine Malandrino didn’t like Jonathan’s clothed, catalog pose, as the point of that was, in fact, to model clothes. They put him in a Marc Jacobs-y outfit and he posed in a Marc Jacobs-y way. Mission accomplished. But then again, Catherine Malandrino spent this entire episode confusing the hell out of me, asking inane, irrelevant questions that supposedly inform the judges’ decisions, inquiring whether or not Jonathan would be able to travel and leave his family as a model (his response: isn’t that what I’m currently doing?), if it was hard for Branden to be away from his mom (so much so that he wept on the runway, the act of which would have immediately gotten a female contestant kicked off . . . like when Amanda did it) or if Sandhurst really wanted to be a model or if he felt more like a dancer. (I don’t even know what that has to do with anything, especially because her co-panelist Jenny Shumizu didn’t always want to be a model and used to be a motorcycle enthusiast until Calvin Klein discovered her . . . hence her tattoo of a pin-up girl clutching a very phallic wrench.)

But my intense confusion about Catherine Malandrino’s very existence and Branden’s inexplicable win aside, there were some excellent moments in this episode, by which I mean the entire segment in which the boys were invited to a gallery showing of their work accompanied by their family members. (The part where they had their Cosmopolitan cover try? Not so exciting, as the current EIC of Cosmo is kind of frightening, but I love that the current fashion director is a miniscule Asian woman named Anna Kwon, who may as well be played by Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously. Ohmigod . . . tangent! I just realized that character I’m alluding to in The Year of Living Dangerously is named Billy Kwan! WHOA! WHOA! My mind was just totally blown . . . even though Kwon and its variants are very common in Korea and other parts of Southeast Asia, those names are too similar for my brain to consider sheer coincidence.) Branden was reunited with his mother, who looks just like him and has such a down-home sensibility about her that she is at first completely stunned to silence by her son’s $1500 suit, only to come past the sticker shock and realize, breathlessly, that it means he actually has money for once in his life. I was, however, not pleased with their complete lack of sophistication during the gallery event, which Branden entered hooting and hollering with excitement. Later, his mother shouted out “My son’s a supermodel!” in a mixture of pride and disbelief that made for good television but would have totally and completely annoyed the hell out of me if I were at that gallery. That’s another reason Branden shouldn’t be a supermodel: he has no sense of decorum in regards to the spaces models currently occupy. Yes, a gallery of your work is exciting, but you shriek that under your breath as you enter, not jump in the air on the red carpet doing bell kicks and yelling out as though you are Yosemite Sam. (Seriously, that’s what I think of when people hoot, holler and do bell kicks in the air.)

Sandhurst’s sister Devonne, who has a really sweet-ass design shaved into her skull, was his plus one. I really liked seeing the joy between these two siblings – they’re super cute together and you can tell they have a whole lot of fun back home. Devonne also seems like a pretty stylin’ lady, and I appreciate the fact that she spoke candidly about her opinions of each contestant’s strengths, endorsing her brother as the best without saying that his opponents didn’t deserve to win or weren’t good.

I just don't understand how a man who looks like he belongs in both of these outfits didn't win.

I just don't understand how a man who looks like he belongs in both of these outfits didn't win.

But there was no better moment than seeing Jonathan with his wife and son. First of all, I pretty much melted into a puddle when I heard that his name was Jude because I spend a lot of my time saying this or that shot of Jonathan looks like Jude Law (in fact, Matthew Rolston’s shot of Jude Law, I thought, looked like Jonathan). Little Jude is super-duper adorable and I could really just watch an entire hour of television about Jonathan interacting with his son. My favorite Jude moment would probably be when he helped his dad turn the pages in his book to show wife Amanda just how fucking sexy her husband is. Honestly, there are few things sexier than a man devoted to his children, and if I wasn’t already a devotee at the Church of Jonathan, seeing him with Jude would have totally turned me.

The Catwalk Challenge, in which the gentlemen had to don Viktor & Rolf-ish weirdo crazy suits and sleek hipster Ben Sherman suits was mostly just there because they needed a catwalk challenge in this episode, as it seemed the judges had already made their minds up and not even Jonathan’s superb walk in both outfits (the Viktor & Rolf outfit was a polka dot suit of which the pants were satin short shorts – he wore that ess and owned it), but especially his cheeky, Mod sensibility with which he showed the grey Ben Sherman with satin double-point lapel, clearly the best suit of the bunch. Branden had the easiest outfits in both catwalks, which might have been Bravo’s way of giving him a free pass to winning, because I doubt he could have worn Sandhurst’s matador-inspired Viktor & Rolf bowtie suit shorts without looking like a total ass-clown.

He's like the most elegant Dali matador I've ever seen.

He's like the most elegant Dali matador I've ever seen.

Ugh.

Whatever, Bravo. Let’s not forget which person on this show actually walked away with a national campaign for 2xist.*

Yeah, that’s right. Not fucking Branden.

*It’s Jonathan, in case you forgot.

The Husband:

Why bother picking somebody who doesn’t know anything about the industry? Why bother picking anybody who has failed at so many photoshoots as Branden, having to constantly be coaxed by sheer fashion force into a passable photo? Why bother ignoring the glorious and entirely commercial work of Jonathan or the sheer elegance of Sandhurst?

As per comments on my Facebook status update, my mother believes the following: “I blame Osama Bin Laden for creating a xenophobic atmosphere. They wanted an authentic American to win.” While I can’t entirely agree, as Bravo does a pretty damn good job in being as international as they can, there is a little bit of truth, as it may have just been what New York Model Management wanted from the get-go. And that kind of sucks. It was clear they always wanted a male winner after last season’s [rightful] female win. I just didn’t think they’d go so bland, so immature and, yes, pretty boring.

Branden isn’t a tenth of the model that Jonathan is. As with acting, dancing, singing, etc., it’s far more preferable to have somebody energetic you can tone down instead of a stiff performer you have to goose.

Branden isn’t a tenth of the model Sandhurst is. He has almost no control over his body, and his inability to work both his face and his body at the same time basically makes me think he’s one of those people who have trouble patting their head and rubbing their belly at the same time.

Oy. What gives, Bravo? I was 100% behind your decision to eliminate the America voting part of the competition, because I don’t usually trust America in such contests. (Perry, while a dick last season, was absolutely right that Ben stuck around because of the Bronnie bromance.) But now I feel I can’t trust any of these people either. I don’t need another Abercrombie & Fitch model. I don’t care if Trunfio wants his cock.

Oy.

The Wife:

Can someone please explain to me how Branden keeps skirting by in this competition? Because I don’t understand it. I don’t understand how he skirted by last week when he delivered a picture in which a dead fish modeled better than he did, and I definitely don’t understand how he got a pass to the final three this week when he blatantly chose to ignore the advice and instruction of the photographer, rendering hundreds of dollars worth of pyrotechnics and hours of setup completely useless because he decided to scream in his en fuego shoot. This is not the first time he’s basically wasted everyone’s time and money on a shoot, and yet he remains. What’s wrong with that picture?

It's like his face says he can smell how badly he stanked up this pic-a-ture.

It's like his face says he can smell how badly he stanked up this pic-a-ture.

When Sandhurst decided to scream in Clay Patrick McBride’s pyrotechnic shoot, I was worried for him, too, but he gave so much more than Branden did that he transcended the “scream face” McBride was worried about and delivered a strong, yet madcap photograph. Jonathan and Mountaha played it safe and both delivered better shots than Branden, with Jonathan looking exactly like David Bowie in his, but I guess Mountaha doing only one pose over the course of the exposure was somehow not good enough for Perou, who chastised her for not knowing they were going to get more than one shot . . . when McBride had framed the purpose of the shoot to them as saying, “You get a single take to get this shot right.” Now, considering he didn’t tell them he was shooting a single take with multiple rapid exposure, what the hell was she supposed to think other than, “You literally have a singular shot to get this right. One take. One shot. That’s it.” And for that she went home. Why?

WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY? Branden’s shot was BAD and a WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME AND EFFORT. In fact, if this were a campaign it would have been UNUSABLE. Bravo producers, I realize it’s funny to have a village idiot because village idiots make good TV, but I’ve always been impressed with the fact that Bravo’s shows place talent over all else, and I find it extremely hard to believe that Branden is actually a more viable choice to win this show than Mountaha. Thus, you must have kept him in because he’s more ‘interesting” . . . or because Mountaha was actually a threat to either Jonathan or Sandhurst winning, and we couldn’t have a female win this show two years in a row. I’m not saying that the competition is rigged in any way, because I believe at this point either Jonathan or Sandhurst could win. They’re both strong enough to do so. But so was Mountaha. So I ask you, why would you put up a guy who has effectively wasted two photoshoots against Jonathan and Sandhurst unless you were trying to guarantee that one of those two men won? It’s Bee Ess, I tell you. Bee. Ess.

Other than that fateful shoot, though, which Sandhurst won, the models were sent to do some “informal” (i.e. “in store”) modeling at Bloomingdale’s in which they walked around hocking the clothes off their backs. Branden, further proving he is not cut out for the world of fashion, had to be corrected several times by his potential clients about how to pronounce the names of the labels he was wearing. Le sigh. Jonathan was obviously a natural at this because he’s Jonathan and he’s a god amongst men. (Can we also note for a second how adorable he looked in that Marc Jacobs sweater?) Sandhurst came out of his shell a little bit and worked the room well and Mountaha, well, she looked stunning in electric blue Michael Kors – so much so that now I want that dress. For their efforts, the models were each given a $2K shopping spree at Bloomie’s, except for Sandhurst, who had double the money as a reward for winning the photoshoot. Ever the sweetheart, he used the bulk of his money to buy gifts for his family with the help of two Bloomingdale’s personal shoppers. Jonathan bought presents for himself and his wife, Mountaha bought a pair of Dior shoes and Branden, in the only moment that has ever made me proud of him, purchased the suit he modeled that day, which is probably the wisest investment he’ll ever make.

Sandhurst: literally and figuratively on fire this week.

Sandhurst: literally and figuratively on fire this week.


This week’s Catwalk Challenge asked the models to walk in Catherine Malandrino’s designs, and Jonathan received the most praise Perou has ever given when he compared the model to Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Perhaps it was this runway that sealed Mountaha’s fate, as Catherine Malandrino found her decision to don a long brown wig (that kind of made her look like Marion Cotillard) both insulting and distracting from the clothes. For the record, I never, ever understand what Catherine Malandrino is saying. Not because of her accent, but because she never, ever makes any sense. I don’t know. It was either Perou or Catherine Malandrino that did Mountaha in, but I think we all know it should have been Branden who left us this week. And I think Mountaha knew it, too, considering the crying jag she went on after being eliminated. I guess, at the very least, she did get a pair of Dior shoes out of this whole thing. And I have no doubt that she’ll be working for a long time after this, even without a win and $100,000.

The Wife:

To begin, thank God that Salome and Jonathan reversed last week’s tragic makeovers! Thank also the producers for asking the models to shoot a swimwear shot during a 34-degree New York winter! This was a great attempt at realism, in which Nicole pointed out that because of conflicts with the runway season, most swimwear campaigns are shot in the winter. However, she neglected to mention that they’re shot in the winter in places where winter is no colder than 50 degrees! Sports Illustrated shot their swimsuit edition all around the freakin’ Mediterranean, not the island of Manhattan! And guest SI model Jessica Gomes would definitely, definitely know that better than anyone. And so the models were tortured as Nicole, Tyson and photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani (which kind of sounds like a Scandinavian rock band) stood around in parkas, asking naked people to act like they weren’t cold while posing with frozen sea creature corpses. It was pretty glorious, actually. There are few things in this world I love more than semi-nudity and seafood.

  • Salome: They put her in a butt-baring thongkini and asked her to loft a very sinewy, long dead fish over her head. At first, the photographers had a lot of trouble getting the right expression out of Salome, but eventually, she settled in and delivered a golden shot, with her glorious ass straight to camera. Photographers really seem to love her body, which is kind of like a giant fuck you to Marlon.
  • Jonathan: The man can carry two ungainly dead fish and look amazing. I’m a bit put off by the toothy expression he had in these pictures, but he got a great action shot out of this deal.
  • Sandhurst: Being from a place where one might actually shoot a swimwear campaign, Sandhurst was colder than the rest during his shoot and never really seemed to be able to put his mind over the matter that his balls were freezing. He got an okay shot, with a lackluster face and slimy octopode corpses dripping all over his shoulders.thumbicicle
  • Branden: The fish in Branden’s shot was a better model than he was.
  • Mountaha: They put her in a silver swimsuit, slicked back her hair and wrapped her shoulders in an eel stole. Her pose, style and demeanor in this shot actually reminded me of the model in Maurizio Nichetti’s Ladri di Saponette (or, The Icicle Thief), Heidi Komarek, who I think was an actual model in the 80s. The image to your right is a tiny thumbnail of Heidi Komarek, which when you compare to Mountaha’s picture, I think is pretty uncanny. Her shot blew me away. And now I kind of want an eel stole.
Uncanny.

Uncanny.

Salome was given the win, although I really think this one should have gone to Mountaha. Nonetheless, as the only two girls left, they both got to go-see at Amir Slama’s Rosa Chà, who is all over my teevee recently. Mountaha was excited to meet him because they’re both Brazilian. Unfortunately, Slama didn’t like either girl in his swimwear, but he did offer them jobs modeling his dresses at an upcoming trunk show. Success! Meanwhile, Nicole arranged a job for the boys, as well. They were asked to promote hip furniture store BluDot by modeling on and interacting with the furniture and the customers. Jonathan excelled at this, in part because he’s such a charming carnival barker. Branden was a total tool, but that kind of worked to his advantage here. Sandhurst, on the other hand, just does not have quite the right attitude to be in sales. Nonetheless, they all got paid for the day, so it was a win for everyone!

At home, Marlon dropped by to critique everyone’s swimsuit shots. He actually wasn’t totally mean to Salome, although he did point out that how great she looked in the shot was probably due to some cellulite retouching. Although, really, I’m not sure why that would matter as every single photo that goes in a campaign is retouched in some way. He also kind of destroyed Branden’s confidence while renewing Jonathan’s and gave everyone helpful tips for how to look stronger, taller or thinner in their photos.

At the Catwalk Challenge, the models were told they would no longer have immunity as the winner and were asked to model two looks in high fashion designs by The Blonds, one goth and one glam. Allow me to provide you with my favorite quote from this episode on The Blonds:


“I saw this cute little girl and as soon as she turned the corner, I was like, ‘Adam’s apple!’ Branden was like, ‘Boobies!’ And I was like, ‘Nuh-uh.'” – Jonathan


That right there? Inspired. Also inspired? Every single thing The Blonds put the models in.

Goth segment:

  • For a second, I thought Branden was Adam Lambert in a blonde wig.
  • Sandhurst in a blonde pompadour looks like a muscular version of Prince.
  • Mountaha looks so fucking fierce I can’t stand it.
  • Jonathan = rawr.
Vaguely Lambert-esque.

Vaguely Lambert-esque.

Glam segment:

  • Salome’s wig is terrible, but her metal star dress is my second favorite metal creation of the week. (Behind Adam Lambert’s epaulettes, of course.)
  • Putting Sandhurst in brown pants is kind of a bad idea, as it took me a long time to realize he was wearing pants at all.
  • Mountaha! Showgirl feathers! She is fucking killing me today!
  • Jonathan looks like an Egyptian metal god. Even I don’t know what that really means.


After some strange discussion from Jenny Shumizu in which she dubbed Branden euro-looking and avant garde (because those are not words I would ever attach to him), the judges decided that Jonathan should be this week’s winner, and while I love him, this should have been Mountaha’s week, for sure. They also decided, perhaps with Jenny Shumizu’s urging, that Branden should stay in the competition, putting Salome and Sandhurst in this week’s loser category. Ultimately, Sandhurst was allowed to stay, while Salome’s sweet ass was sent home.

I love Sandhurst, and I believe he can rise above his biggest critique:

“You have the body of a supermodel, but the face of an accountant.”


But, really? Really? Salome? Over Branden, who is so one-note I don’t know what to do with him? A guy whose shoot would have been reshot only a few weeks ago? I knew Salome wouldn’t win this season, but she should have been in the final four. Even though the show is not called Make Me a Print Model, she deserved one more week on Make Me a Supermodel, because the show is also not called Make Me a Mediocre Model, and that’s what Branden is.

The Husband:

Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I have no idea how Branden ekes by each week. He does a bad job with the photos, and his runways are, with one exception, completely disappointing. I get that the show needs to have some kind of representative for the über-young, and some of the judges want his cock.

But him over Salome? Conspiracy!

Pretty sure Mennonites know how to fish like this.

Pretty sure Mennonites know how to fish like this.

Yes, this show isn’t called Make Me a Print Model, but I think she was doing far better with the catwalks than for which she was given credit. She wasn’t the best, but couldn’t she have had another week of “learning”?

FNEH!

The Wife:

A horrible thing almost happened this week on Make Me a Supermodel. We almost lost Jonathan. And I still don’t understand how. I mean, did the photographer not see at all what he was giving during his photoshoot for Rowdy? Dude fucking hung upside down in a doorway and gave mad face — how could they possible not have chosen at least one shot of Jonathan over that lonely, far-off shot of Branden?

Nonetheless, props to the max to the editors for making us all think that because Sandhurst and Jonathan know they’re the best and that Branden is by far the least talented of the remaining models, that Branden would be the one to not appear in any shots. The challenge, by the way, was to get in as many of the final six shots as possible by being fucking awesome. The girls also bitched and moaned about how their hair and makeup took longer so they were at a shot disadvantage, but, presumably because the girls have breasts, they ended up being in more shots than any of the boys.

I mean, really, why wouldn't you choose more shots of these fine ladies?

I mean, really, why wouldn't you choose more shots of these fine ladies?

Here’s the final tally:

Mountaha: 3 photos

Salome: 4 photos

Jordan: 3 photos

Branden: 2 photos

Jonathan: 1 photo, which is the wrongest thing I’ve ever seen

Sandhurst: 2 photos

Per the rules of the game, Salome was awarded the win, much to the chagrin of her fellow contestants who constantly complain that she wins all these photoshoots but never books jobs, which, frankly, tells me that she’s a great print model, but not a good runway model. (I see their argument in that the show isn’t called Make Me a Print Model, but Make Me a Supermodel, implying the winner should be able to do all types of modeling.) She was sent on a go-see for Alice + Olivia, and brought Mountaha with her (since she brought Jordan last time).

While Salome and Mountaha were out strutting their stuff, Nicole Trunfio took the remaining models to a salon to get “next-level makeovers.” This basically meant that nothing happened to Sandhurst, Branden got some wax put in his hair and Jordan threw a fit before putting herself in the hands of the stylist who darkened her look. But then there was Jonathan, so clearly distraught from a challenge he (and I) completely misread that he thought he should make a drastic change. So he cut his hair very short and took it very dark, erasing his sun-kissed golden god look and basically becoming . . . Jude Law. This was not an entirely bad makeover, but I liked Jonathan as he was before. Even Sandhurst felt that the makeover made Jonathan lose some of his glow.

At the go-see, the folks from Alice + Olivia loved Salome’s angelic face and thought that, even though she’s a little bigger than most girls on the runway, they really liked her for the brand. Mountaha didn’t have the right look for Alice + Olivia clothing, and was deemed not quite edgy enough to transcend/juxtapose romantic clothing. They told Salome they were considering her for their summer collection, which is better than all of the outright rejections she’d received before. Mountaha and Salome joined their competitors at the salon post-go-see where Mountaha was made blonder and Salome, for some reason, got a strange exaggerated bob weave, about which she remarked that she never thought she’d have a weave because she thought they were for black people. She’s kind of right: just look at all of the white girls Tyra gives weaves to and notice how they absolutely don’t know how to take care of them about halfway through the season over on ANTM. White girls just don’t know how to take care of a weave.

At the Catwalk Challenge, the models were asked to learn to use Heelys and incorporate skating into their catwalk. Jordan was afraid she’d be the worst at this, and she was, but even so she opted not to trade in her Heelys for high heels. Jonathan really stepped it up here and, knowing he’d done poorly in the photoshoot, learned to skate backwards down the runway, which certainly secured him another week on the show. The outfits for this challenge were straight up wacky, like stuff you might see in a neon raver version of Godspell, and Mountaha got the worst of them all, but still managed to rock it.

Wigga-wha?

Wigga-wha?

In the end, Mountaha was given immunity this week, and Jordan was sent home after a very intense discussion in which I thought they might oust Salome (because Marlon straight up hates her body) or Jonathan (because everyone at panel thinks he over-models sometimes), but they sent home one of the right people. It would have been better to see Branden go, but Jordan is such a pill that I’m glad to be rid of her bitchface.

My ideal top 4 would be Jonathan, Sandhurst, Mountaha and Salome. Branden has to go next week, because if he makes it into the finals, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong for any of those far superior models.

The Wife:

Last week, the aspiring models learned to lead “The Simple Life” and were taken out to a ranch for a “rugged” country shoot involving farm animals and the spirit of the American cowboy, in which I learned that Jonathan is God’s gift to male modeling and it would be a complete and total thing if he didn’t win this season. There was some debate before the shoot where Jordan was a snotty bitch about the fact that Amanda and Salome felt they would do well because they grew up on farms and ranches, thus giving them more experience with animals. I don’t know why Jordan has to be such a snotty bitch about everything, but she is. She’s a good model, but a terrible human being. Although she is right about one thing:


“I’d rather wrestle a pig in a photo shoot than shoot with Amanda again.”


Nobody likes Amanda. Because she sucks. Let’s do some model math on this shoot:

  • Sandhurst + a baby calf = Totally golden photograph that shows how damn strong Sandhurst is.
  • Branden + a steer = Wounded masculinity, in that he didn’t look rugged in this shot at all.
  • Mountaha + a baby calf = One bewildered shot out of a series of wasted frames with an unhappy cow.
  • Salome + steer = Bonanza Jellybean in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.
  • Colin + steer = A still from Witness? He couldn’t have looked more Amish in this shot, or more cinematic, which isn’t totally a good thing..
  • Jonathan + horses = I don’t know how to quit you because you are totally the best model in this competition and I want to hang that photo on my wall and stare at it.
  • Jordan + a horse = The only time Jordan has taken a really bad shot.
  • Amanda + a horse = But at least Jordan’s shot didn’t look like it came out of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. Quote photographer Aliya Naumoff, “It’s like she’s making love to a horse.”
If I were a dude, I would go Brokeback for this.

If I were a dude, I would go Brokeback for this.

It became increasingly evident that Jonathan’s only real competition on this show is Sandhurst, as he won the shoot and was awarded a go-see at Buffalo jeans, which he immediately thought would be problematic because Sandhurst has self-proclaimed “thunder thighs.” In other words, being a ballet dancer has made him develop stellar, muscular, strong legs that are not ideal for modeling. He brought Branden along with him because they’re the same height, so the folks at Buffalo would be forced to choose between two equivalent things. Colin sang Sandhurst a cute little diddy about his thunder thighs as they left and, once there, the folks at Buffalo weren’t too thrilled with how tight Sandhurst’s jeans were (although, “that is a look, now”). They liked how the jeans fit Branden better, but didn’t like him as a model. Neither gentleman booked a job.

At the house, a personal trainer dropped by to whip everybody into shape, which is good because in addition to being a whiny bitch, Jordan also isn’t a gym rat and spends her time loafing about while the others murder themselves to get in shape. She even attacked the fridge, telling Sandhurst that a cereal bowl the size of his head is too large and that Branden would have to give up his bacon.


“I’m gonna miss you, bacon. My life isn’t gonna be the same without you.” – Branden

For their Catwalk Challenge, the models donned outfits inspired by the English countryside. Branden noted that Jonathan has a very English walk, whatever that means, and Jonathan himself thought that he had an advantage here because he’s lived in the English countryside and knows how people walk there . . . which I would assume is not at all how one would want to walk on a runway.

Amanda, Sandhurst, Jonathan, Mountaha, Colin and Branden were called down as the best and worst of the bunch. Nicole lobbied to save Colin (which I think means she wanted to do him), but her weird alien influence wasn’t enough and, after Jonathan was declared the winner, Colin was sent home. I, too, will miss his cute-ass face. But I hope he follows Tyson’s parting advice:


“Colin, go home. And get laid.”


The models then rallied for their next assignment in “Naked Ambition,” in which they were told by photographer Bill Diadato to select their “one perfect accessory” from a table to model with in their photo shoot . . . naked. Perhaps the luckiest in this shoot were those who chose scarves (Jonathan, Amanda) or large handbags (Jordan), while others with smaller accessories had a bigger challenge.

Branden’s biggest challenge was apparently his hairy balls, which the makeup folks suggested he shave before the shoot . . . and he cut himself. I’ll let Sandhurst explain the situation, because it was really fucking funny:


“Apparently, uh, his testicles are bleeding. You know, I’m sorry. There’s really no way to sugarcoat that one. His testicles are bleeding.”


Amanda tried to put her best face forward, even though everyone else (re: Jordan) mentioned that she was the most insecure in the house about her body. She mentioned in confessional that she’s very comfortable with her body because, in order to keep her son from becoming homosexual, she’s naked around him all the time. Um, okay, Amanda. First of all, if that doesn’t give him a total Oedipal complex, I don’t know what will. And you’re an idiot, because that’s not how people “become” gay. I wish she had said this in front of Jenny Shumizu so Jenny could tell her, straight up, “You know that makes no sense, right?”

I wish I knew how to knit you.

I wish I knew how to knit you.

Let’s do some more model math about this photo shoot:

  • Jonathan + a grey scarf = Wow. Jonathan is a god amongst men. He has an amazing body (and a really great ass!) and I think this shot is even sexier than his shot with the horsies.
  • Mountaha + 5 in. heels = A really difficult shot to pull off. She had a lot of trouble crouching, but her final shot, showing off her backside, was so stunning, and probably the most artistic of the bunch.
  • Salome + big earrings = “This picture is definitely never gonna be in the Mennonite weekly news.” Nope. No, it’s not because it’s a really great beauty shot of Salome’s gorgeous face. Plus, the photographer seemed to like her ass, which is a first for this show.
  • Sandhurst + gloves = “I am an African god warrior and everyone wants to see me naked.” I actually liked this picture more and more each time I looked at it. Not only does he look stellar in it, but I think he was the only person to show off his accessory in a really unique way.
  • Jordan + big-ass white bag = This girl is such a good model she got her final shot in one goddamn take.
  • Amanda + scarf = The first bad shot of the bunch, displaying neither the model nor the accessory well. But, to Amanda’s credit, I think she has a future as a Goldie Hawn look-alike. There were moments during her shoot where she looked exactly like Goldie. It was uncanny.
  • Branden + tie = The only shoot the photographer would have asked to set up a re-shoot for. That said, Branden did end up lucking into a shot that looked better than Amanda’s.
Please just look at how he's holding his hands. I know it's hard to look past the muscles, but I really think he did the best job showing the accessory here.

Please just look at how he's holding his hands. I know it's hard to look past the muscles, but I really think he did the best job showing the accessory here.

Salome was given the win, even though the other models thought it odd that her shot was the only shot that contained only the top half of the model’s body. To which I say, guys, if they hadn’t cropped that shot, you wouldn’t have been able to see the earrings. It was entirely a choice of showing the accessory well, not that Salome’s ass is bigger than any of yours and doesn’t look good on film. (Because, believe me, it does look good on film.) She won a go-see with Vitra, a lifestyle furniture company, and took Jordan along with her. In the car, Jordan bitched and moaned about how annoying everyone in the house was. Salome agreed, and then totally won my heart by telling Jordan that she was also annoying. Jordan had no reply to that, and justice was served. Even so, the folks at Vitra liked Jordan a little better for the brand, citing that Salome was a little too dramatic for their tastes, but neither girl booked the job that day, as there were still other models to look at.

In the house, people complained about Salome’s various wins and how she still hasn’t booked any jobs, which Jordan caught on her Shit Talking-ometer as they walked into the house. Sadly, Jonathan received a call from his wife saying that she couldn’t make rent this month with her husband gone. I’m sure that won’t ever be an issue again when he wins (especially when he gets his advance from 2xist), but for now, I really don’t think he should beat himself up about it. I truly love the fact that he wants to be the breadwinner for his family and that he wants to provide for them, but surely finances are not so bad that his lovely bride can’t dip into their savings to pay rent while he’s gone. Or, barring that, surely she could pick up some extra cash running a neighborhood day care in her home or even borrow a bit from her parents. There are a ton of solutions, and I hope Jonathan knows that and doesn’t let his concern for his family completely interfere with his incredible fierceness as a model.

Please cast her as a space babe in some shitty B movie.

Please cast her as a space babe in some shitty B movie.

For the Catwalk Challenge, the models were asked to make living art on the runway by walking in neon body-conscious clothing with a globe filled with butterflies over their heads. Mountaha was clearly the best in this challenge, wearing that butterfly dome like it was nobody’s business. Of the ladies, she also looked the best in her lime green mini-dress. I even thought Amanda did well today, presenting probably her best-ever catwalk. But even that wasn’t enough to save her, as Sandhurst was given immunity (yay!) and Amanda and fellow Oregonian Branden landed themselves in the bottom two. Although Branden technically had the worse photoshoot, Amanda turned out the weaker photo and then made excuses about how that shoot was really important for her because she hasn’t felt comfortable with the way her body has changed since she had her son – something Salome totally called her out on because, hey, your book doesn’t have those excuses for your bad work in it, just your bad work. So Amanda was sent home to keep her son from being gay by hanging out naked in front of him all the time, which is probably something she is better at than modeling.

The Wife:

Wow. Just . . . wow. This episode of The Amazing Race was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to watch. And I am not talking about that near-torture foot massage participants had to face for their Road Block once they got to Beijing, but because Kisha and Jen were so bad in the water. Also surprising: Tammy and Victor aren’t very strong swimmers, which I find hard to believe, because they’re from the Bay Area and I’ve never met a person up here that doesn’t know how to swim. But at least Tammy and Victor didn’t need to wear life vests in eight-foot deep water or drag themselves down the lane lines as a means of conveyance. Seriously, there is nothing sadder than seeing two grown women don life vests in a pool.

Why swimming? Because the most recent Olympiad was held in Bejing, where Michael Phelps won his eight gold medals and the folks at TAR thought it would be cool to dress the teams up in his special shark LZR Speedo and make them swim the very pool in which he swam. But that was only the “Swim” half of the “Sync or Swim” Detour. The other half explored something that the host country of China had more prowess at: synchronized diving, in which teams had to perfect a synchronized dive and score a 5 from both judges.

Tammy and Victor and Jen and Kisha tried the dives first, but no one could figure out that the reason they were never scoring higher than a four is because they couldn’t keep their damn feet together and pointed down when they entered the water. So, eventually, both teams gave up on the dives and faced the lap pool, in which they had to complete two legs of a 400-meter relay, switching off with their partner. No one had to beat Phelps’ superhuman time, but we at home were allowed to see a comparison between the racer’s time and Phelps. That dude can swim 100 meters in under a minute. It took Jaime and Cara and Margie and Luke – all pretty good swimmers – just under 3 minutes per 100 meters.

There’s no real point in counting how long it took Tammy and Victor, or Jen and Kisha, because failing at the dive put both teams really far behind and their own fears and insecurities only put them even further behind frontrunners Margie and Luke and Jaime and Cara.

Trust me, girls, synchronized diving is harder than doing the backstroke.

Trust me, girls, synchronized diving is harder than doing the backstroke.

I realize that Jen’s fear of the water is actually quite a paralyzing fear, and I don’t want to make fun of something that causes someone so much anxiety, but somewhere in her, she had to realize that no one would let her die on national television. Dude, Salome didn’t even know how to breathe underwater on Make Me a Supermodel and she worked it out. She even learned how to stay submerged for an extended period of time. And were there stipulations that said the swimmers had to do a certain stroke on each part of the relay? Why couldn’t Jen have simply done the backstroke the whole way down, thus completely avoiding putting her head underwater and negating any fear that she’d forget how to breathe (or, you know, not breathe the water) and drown?  I just have so much trouble understanding the thought process that leads to a paralyzing fear of drowning.

But, hey, she got through it eventually, and it’s a double-length leg, which means all the more craziness next week as Cara and Jaime fight to keep their top spot!

The Husband:

Jen had clearly seen this terrifying clip from Jaws.

Seriously, though, it’s a pool, not the ocean, and the only thing that’s going to make you drown is yourself. Human bodies goddamn float, so even if you have your face down in the water, guess what? You liiiiiiiiift your heeeeeeeeeeeead above the water. With underwater cameramen there for protection in only five feet of water TOPS, there is no way anything at all is going to happen. Anxiety is one thing. Losing your common sense is another. Water is malleable. That’s the whole damn point of it.

I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. Swimming is the easiest thing in the world. If, for instance, her brother died in the tub I could understand some kind of anxiety, but we were given no clichéd movie-style explanation of anything like that. So I just chalk it up to ultimate fail.

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