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:

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:

This episode was all about Tahlia’s self-doubts and her ultimate rise to power after a pep talk from her sister, Marquis. (Do Tahlia and Marquis’ parents really like theatre and not know how to spell? And, barring that, do they know that Marquis is masculine? Shouldn’t she be Marquise or Marchioness?) The editors did a fine job this week of tricking us all into thinking that Tahlia would be going home because she hates herself and can’t model, only to win accolades in a photoshoot that I do not think was very good at all and remain in the competition.

The girls were first tasked via Tyra Mail to a runway lesson with Miss J (“Mind your Ps and Qs  . . . and J.” Is it bad that I immediately thought of all the points I could get in Scrabble with those letters?) The runway lesson was set up like an episode of VH1’s Charm School, with Miss J playing a combination of hosts Mo’nique and Sharon Osbourne. It was truly, truly bizarre. Also truly bizarre: instead of putting the girls in Catholic School Girl/Prep School uniforms for the walking challenge, they were outfitted in bright cardigans and khaki capris, like a Gap commercial from 1999 only with pearls. That struck me as a very bizarre decision as it made them look like country club mommies instead of charm school attendees, which was supposed to be the conceit. J hated Tahlia’s lack of confidence, and really hated Teyona and Allison’s walks. Then Cycle 9’s Bianca and Chantal were unveiled to teach the girls how to pass other models on the runway properly. I’m just glad Nikki Blonsky wasn’t around for Bianca to beat the shit out of, because that would be a battle worthy of Rock of Love Charm School.

Back at home, the Tahlia confidence-beating continues when the girls play Truth or Dare and Natalie says that she thinks Tahlia had the worst picture last week, other than the two girls in the bottom two. Own your mistakes and try to improve, Tahlia. That’s all you can do. Don’t let squishy face Natalie with her prior modeling contract get you down. That’s Tyra’s job. The girls get their next Tyra Mail (“Take it from me – the runway is the worst place for excess baggage.” Nice. Way to stoop to fat jokes, Ty Ty.) and prepare themselves for their upcoming runway challenge with Jill Stuart, in which they would have to put their skills to the test by walking with shopping bags. Anne Shoket showed up to help judge this challenge for some completely indiscernible reason. The prize for the winner of the show was a rack of Jill Stuart clothes, personally chosen for the lucky modelette by Stuart herself . . . so why was Anne Shoket there? This challenge had nothing to do with Seventeen.

I dont care if she has a great walk; her face is squishy.

I don't care if she has a great walk; her face is squishy.

No major pratfalls occurred during the show, although Natalie strangely decided to twirl and swirl in the middle of the runway. Christ, Natalie! Don’t you know to save that shit for when the Aswirl Twins show up? I’m pretty sure they’d tell her she wasn’t doing it right and then call in fierce bitch Jade from Cycle 6 to give her a lesson or two in fierce twirling. Lemur Allison also announced that she is terrified of narrow spaces, which makes me question her ability to be a runway model, while Tahlia, because this is still the part of the episode where she sucked at life, walked that runway like she wanted to die. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl have a worse time on the catwalk than she did out there. I almost wished she would have plunged off the edge, just so Lemur Allison could see some pretty blood somewhere on this damned show.

Jill Stuart loved Celia and Fo, called Allison “cute and quirky” and complimented Natalie on her excellent runway walk, despite the twirl. Tahlia, she noted, was the weakest of the bunch. Natalie won the prize. Maybe she was doing the twirl right, after all, because she somehow blew past Celia, who did a much better job opening the show. Robbed, I tell you. Robbed.

Why does no one else understand how fierce this girl is?

Why does no one else understand how fierce this girl is?

At home, Tahlia had the aforementioned pep talk with her sister and the girls received their next Tyra Mail: “Give it your all tomorrow, or you might get thrown under the bus.” Their photoshoot, with Mike Rosenthal, involved the girls posing for yet another group shot on top of a double-decker sightseeing bus in front of New York’s famous landmarks. You know, landmarks like a random building in SoHo or the Louis Viutton store on 5th Avenue. Each group of girls was charged with representing the kind of New Yorker you might find at said landmarks, or, in the case of the girls assigned to play Times Square tourists . . . the lack of New Yorkers? I had some major conceptual problems with this shoot, which ultimately didn’t make much sense because it was so inconsistent in its vision. The photos did end up being pretty cool, though.

Bitch, if you steal my sale, I will throw this laptop, three apples and a cat at you or my name isnt Kenley Collins!

Bitch, if you steal my sale, I will throw this laptop, three apples and a cat at you or my name isn't Kenley Collins!

  • Fo and Aminat were paired together to pose in front of the NYSE as Wall Street Brokers. Both of them rocked this shot as power bitches, and I appreciated how well they stayed in character between takes. This shot worked, both in concept and in execution.
  • Kourtnie and Ninja headed to some random spot on SoHo to pose as “Artists.” Both girls kind of failed in this shoot, largely because neither of them really understood how to pose as an artist. Especially not Ninja, who had no idea what to do with her prop violin. Playing it, apparently, didn’t even cross her mind. For me, this one failed in both concept and execution. Historically, art and SoHo do go together, but the costuming of these girls as artists didn’t work for me, nor was there anything about the particular building in front of which they posed that served to highlight the artistic trope. This one probably would have worked a lot better without the tour bus, like if the girls could have posed in a cafe or in a loft space or something.
  • Celia and Sandra posed in front of the Met as Nannies. Both girls were excellent in the shot, but why put them in front of the Met? Why not park that bus a little bit further down the street in front of oh, I don’t know, Central Park . . . where nannies actually take their charges? And why even choose the nanny as a representative New Yorker? Why not replace this one with a shot of Broadway actresses or dancers? Or seamstresses in the Garment District? Or stevedores or sailors in New York Harbor? ANYTHING ELSE that would have actually showed a reflection of the city and its people would have been better than “nannies.”
  • London and Alison posed in front of the LV store on 5th as Upper East Side Socialites. London was excellent in this shot, giving spectacular bitchface, but Lemur Allison kind of floundered, even though she looked just like Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen during her shoot. By the way, I was unaware that the LV store was considered a NY Landmark. Did they not want to visit Bergdorf’s twice?
  • Natalie, Teyona and Tahlia got stuck with the easiest task of all playing Times Square Tourists. They all kind of sucked, especially Natalie, who didn’t even realize that she had a prop camera and resorted to lame pantomime.

Ugh. This is not a good shot of Tahlias armpit.

Ugh. This is not a good shot of Tahlia's armpit.

Before panel, Tyra once again ran one of her little self-indulgent commercials for “the guide to finding your inner fierceness,” which, as far as I am aware is not actually a product, book or television show. I don’t really understand what these commercials-within-the-show are supposed to be about or what they’re supposed to be for, but I’m concerned that Tyra is going to add a different cute little girl to each photograph in the manner that Miss J keeps adding bows to his bowtie for each fallen model. By the end of the show, Tyra is going to be covered in 13 adorable little girls. Can she just adopt a kid so she can get over her intense mommy complex? I am really concerned for her. And for those poor little girls in these photoshoot/commercials.

At panel, the judges evaluated the girls by group and announced that this week’s winner would have her partner digitally erased from the photo displayed in the house. Wow, that’s, uh, harsh. It’s not like they erased the other girls in last week’s shot; I don’t really see the point in spending the money to digitally erase the winner’s photoshoot partner, as the lack of praising quotes for said partner would probably be shame enough.

  • Kortnie and Ninja: The judges hated this photo as much as I did. Paulina calls it lame and no one likes Ninja in the shot at all.
  • Fo and Aminat: This is a great shot, and the judges recognize how good the girls were at getting into character. Tyra thinks its Aminat’s best shot to date. Nigel makes a little joke about how the stocks have definitely gone up in her favor.
  • Celia and Sandra: This is an extremely editorial shot and both girls look great in it, but Sandra looks stunning. Nigel says she steals the picture from Celia.
  • Tahlia, Teyona and Natalie: For once in her life, Tahlia looks alive in the shot. The judges thinks Natalie isn’t believable in the shot, and no one can see anything of Teyona but her giant mouth full of teeth. I don’t think anyone looks good in this shot, but I suppose if anyone does, it’s Tahlia, despite the really terrible placement of her arm above her head.
  • London and Lemur Allison: Everyone agrees that London is good in the shot but, overall, its “wha wha wha wha,” quoth Tyra, doing her best imitation of a teacher from Charlie Brown. Miss J thinks Allison looks like “a hungover Olsen twin” in the shot. I am not sure that’s an insult, because looking like she’s a hungover Olsen twin means she actually nailed the character.

Whats your damage, Lemur?

What's your damage, Lemur?

Callouts: Sandra, Aminat, Tahlia, Fo, Celia (who is being erased from Sandra’s photo as we speak), Kortnie, London, Teyona and her teeth and Natalie, leaving Ninja and the Lemur in the bottom two. Wisely, Tyra sends Ninja home because she’s boring, which is helpful to me because I will now no longer confuse her with Animat. And the little Lemur that could gets to stay another day.

I don’t know how Tahlia pulled herself out of the bottom with that shot, because it wasn’t good. I guess it was a Gordon Ramsay-style “best of the worst” kind of scenario, because she definitely wasn’t good enough in that shot to be called before Fo and Celia. I think Tyra and the producers are just keeping her around because she’s dramatic and because she’s got that awesome burn scar story that has to cause her to have a really dramatic meltdown later in the game.

The Husband:

Is it just me, or does Natalie look more like a porn star than a model. )Actually, she looks exactly like two real porn stars put together, but I don’t want all of you Googling their names and getting all offended, so I’ll refrain from mentioning their names.) Yeah, she’s pretty, but I’m not entirely sure what she’s doing in this competition.

I’m also very proud of Fo for not bitching about her hair this week (other than a bit of mumbling in the “Previously On” segment) and actually taking a photo that not only looked great, but actually looked like she was finally aware of what her hair could do to her entire look. Maybe she got lucky with just a few frames, but she didn’t pose as if she had long hair, like last week. Good on you, Fo. (Yes, I know I’m not explaining myself very well. I’m a doctor, Jim, not a modeling expert!)

I’m also curious as to what compelled last season’s McKey (or Mylar, or Mudblood, or MacDougal, or Dirty Dingus Magee) to take on the Make-A-Wish Foundation as her focus for her “My Life As A Cover Girl” segments. I don’t recall mention of any of her friends or family members having terminal disease during her run last season. I’m not complaining. I just want to know why this of all things?