The Wife:

Proving that she is totally on top of the cultural pulse, Tyra decided to do an ANTMAmerica’s Best Dance Crew crossover episode . . . four seasons too late. Granted, ANTM and ABDC churn out seasons at breakneck pace (giving us two a year), so they’re in good company on that front, but it somehow felt incredibly stale for her to teach the models how to use dance by sending them to learn moves from first season winners Jabbawockeez with the guidance of Lil Mama and Benny Ninja. Her point in using the Jabbawockeez, who wear masks during their performances and yet still create completely effective dance works, is valid, which is to say that sometimes a model can’t just rely on her face to convey an emotion. But the execution of the challenge reminded me of, well, this Sesame Street segment:

She asked the Jabbawockeez to perform happiness, sadness and anger, and then asked the models to follow suit. Exactly like Muppet Don Draper makes lackeys Muppet Pete Campbell and Muppet Paul Kinsey do in the Sesame Street Mad Men parody. The Jabawockeez and muppets did this adequately. The models failed. Even Dancer Ashley couldn’t choreograph a cohesive dance piece for her competitors that demonstrated anything worthwhile. I’m presently trying to banish said dance pieces from my mind, because they were all fucking terrible.

Marginally less terrible than the others was the team of Jennifer, Kara and Rae, who won 17K in jewelry. Then the girls were taken to Vegas for a photoshoot involving Cirque du Soleil, which I am pretty sure Mr. Jay could just join anytime he wants to. He makes a good host for a carnival of horrors, and I’m pretty sure that end is achieved through years of practice on ANTM. (Alternately, I think he’d make a great flight attendant. I mean, we all heard how nicely he promoted TSA regulations on that “You’re Going to Vegas” video, right?)

Alternate career for Brittany: playing Magenta in Rocky Horror.

Alternate career for Brittany: playing Magenta in Rocky Horror.

But as excited as I usually am by all things cirque and carnival related, this shoot with members of Mystère was sort of blah, even though photographer Mike Rosenthal had the distinction of shooting the actual Sideshow shoot back in Cycle 7. I think part of the problem here is that the girls had to work in groups, which I agree is an important skill to learn, but was also limiting here, not only to the girls, but also creatively. Making the girls pose in groups disallowed anyone to tell a story with the final image. All of the shots ended up being cloudlike women posing listlessly with masked circus acrobats. I mean, what is that even about?

  • Brittany: “I think it’s the Bride of Frankenstein’s second cousin, who is a model.” — Tyra. Because the Bride of Frankenstein herself would never book a modeling job. With that hair.
  • Rae: She did a really admirable job of pushing herself out from the background of this picture and looking mildly alive.
  • Jennifer: Her photo is lifeless and her outtakes from the shoot are even worse. Possibly the worst I’ve ever seen on ANTM.
  • Laura: She worked the pole on the fringes of this shot. It was great, but incredibly strippery. Props to her for looking alive, though.
  • Ashley: Bleh! Bleh! Bleh!
  • Kara: She looks absolutely hideous in this picture, but the judges seem to like her face for some reason I will never understand. Kara is one of those girls who looks pretty in person, but photographs like a Drag Queen from Outer Space.
  • Erin: I think she’s totally lost in this photograph, but guest judge Josie Marin really likes it.
  • Nicole: It’s a fine photograph, but she really suffered from unfortunate positioning here, wedged underneath the crotch of that acrobat, with the light shining right out of her own crotch. Dreadful, dreadful composition.

    Shes being violated by that light.

    She's being violated by that light.

  • Sundai: I have grown weary of Sundai’s single face in every photograph. She looks like she’s waterskiing in this shot.

Callouts: Tyra awarded the first three spots to the girls who had the best group shot as a whole, so that honor went to Jennifer, Rae and Brittany. She then called girls individually: Laura, Nicole, Sundai and Erin, leaving Ashley and Kara in the bottom two. To my delight, Ashley was kicked out of the competition and Kara stayed. Now it’s only a matter of time before Kara gets the axe, as well . . .

Looking less than ethereal.

Looking less than ethereal.

Some thoughts:

  • “He asked for angry, but I think my dance ended up being way more bipolar.” — Nicole
  • Are all the best dancers really that short, Benny Ninja? I think Cyd Charisse would beg to differ.
  • “It’s not just what mama and daddy did, it’s what I did with it.” — Tyra
  • During their discussion of the photos, the judges said Jennifer was being too sexually forward in her photos. Why is this the standard critique given to every Asian model to ever appear on Top Model? These girls can’t all fall into the stereotype of the sexually exotic Asian woman, can they? Sheena, certainly, but Lazy-Eye Jennifer? Really?

The Wife:

Usually, the Tyra Shoot is my favorite shoot of the season, as I really do like Tyra as a photographer, but this Tyra Shoot was somewhat disappointing. Scarves, Tyra? Your inspiration for these photos actually came from you fucking around on your webcam with your headscarf on before beddy-byes? What inspiration! Couldn’t you at least have made up something about Renaissance paintings or India or old movie stars to make it sound more glamorous than the fact that you came up with this one in your final five minutes of waking consciousness?

Its okay, because Nicole doesnt look all that awake here, either.

It's okay, because Nicole doesn't look all that awake here, either.

Even less inspired than the scarf shoot was the Amazing Race through Wal-Mart CoverGirl challenge in which Nigel Barker and his wife Chrissy instructed the girls to wear cheap-ass “model basics” from Wal-Mart and compete in a foot race against the other girls to then acquire horrible-looking gladiator sandals, their photos, and, finally, put on a face full of CoverGirl lash blast lip slicks mascara gloss radiance whatever. In order to make this less droll, one or two girls got eliminated at each station, leaving on Erin, Sundai and Bianca in the final three. Furthermore, the editors honed in on Erin’s competitiveness and made the whole race about how she pushed people and hurt them and played dirty, which later made her cry in a limo. Look, she shouldn’t have grabbed on to anybody’s arm, but when you’re racing through Wal-Mart, you really shouldn’t even bother to pretend that you’ve got a sense of race etiquette that would keep you to politely running around your competitors, rather than barreling through them. All that didn’t help Erin win, though, because the Barkers liked Sundai’s cheeks, so they gave her some inconsequential prize like being on the Wal-Mart website.

Tyra then did her scarf thing, and gave one girl immunity immediately after the shoot. That girl was Brittany, who has won two things, but Erin thinks two is a million. So Brittany was given the much better prize of shooting with two male models that Tyra just discovered, because this prize, ultimately, had to be about Tyra’s merits, not Brittany’s.

Emerging from Tyras womb.

Emerging from Tyra's womb.

As for the rest of the photos:

  • Brittany: With a golden scarf across her face, this reminded me of an Anne Geddes shot of a baby in muslin.
  • Erin: Is Erin’s deal that she’s ugly pretty? She looked like a raisin in this photo. I do not understand.
  • Kara: Looks like an unpleasant drag queen, which is kind of the point, I guess.
  • Ashley: Her clothing at judging was a hot mess, and this photo was one, too. In fact, Tyra had to change her setting three times during the shoot to even get this disaster. Which just goes to show you: not every girl you pick out of a talk show audience can be a model.
  • Laura: Wearing a playset her meemaw made her to panel that I totally adored, I also adored her photo. She looked like a J.A.L. David odalisque.

    Whats an odalesque?

    What's an odalisque?

  • Bianca: Why is this girl so mad in every photo? She’s got stank face in every damn one of ‘em.
  • Rae: Lovely, lovely, lovely.
  • Nicole: Hunched over in a green scarf, Nicole once again knocked it out of the park.
  • Sundai: A nice, simple beauty shot.
  • Jennifer: This is a nice shot, but is it a beauty shot? It shows more body than face, but it does hide her bad eye . . . so  . . . draw?

Callouts: Jennifer, Rae, Nicole, Erin, Laura, Sundai and Kara, leaving Ashley and Bianca in the bottom two. This being Bianca’s third bottom two appearance, she was finally ousted. Praise Jesus!

The Husband:

So…we can all agree that Nicole is awesome, and certainly the frontrunner, right? Her weirdness hasn’t turned off too many people, has it? Walking around her high school with her books in a wheelbarrow isn’t tooooo strange, is it?

Our precious!

Our precious!

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.

The Wife:

Remember how there was a riot during the New York auditions for Cycle 13 — excuse me — Le Cycle 13? Well, if you wondered in particular why such tiny women could be so full of hellfire, then I’m sure you got all of your answers in last night’s two-hour premiere of ANTM. Let me tell you all something right now: shawt bitches be crazy.

The diminutive hopefuls all gathered at L.A.’s Biltmore hotel to be cut from 32 to 20 to 14 who would continue on in the hopes of become America’s Next Top Model, but first they had to endure a faux casting session with the “normative” modeling industry, only to be interrupted by faux French Tyra who pronounced, in her approximation of a Parisian accent, that this season would give short girls a chance that they normally wouldn’t get in the modeling industry just because of their height. The short girls rejoiced, and then spilled out a sack of crazy all over my TV.

So tiny, they have to be on a balcony to see stuff.

So tiny, they have to be on a balcony to see stuff.

A sampling of insanity:

  • Amber the Jesus Freak is straight-up insane. I have no problem with her love of the Lord, but it’s pretty clear that she’s got some kind of personality disorder, what with the screaming, histrionics and random-ass dancing. When she posed before panel in her grandmother’s hat (great hat, but TOO DAMN MUCH for an audition), Mr. Jay called her affected. And that says a lot coming from a dude with ice blonde hair. I’m also terrified about her commitment to scream about celibacy.
  • Courtney straight-up broke her foot during a cheer competition and came to this audition in crutches. There is nothing more inappropriately funny than seeing a girl in a bikini on crutches, donning heels and trying to be high fashion. Priceless.
  • If Amber weren’t enough crazy, there’s also Sundai, who is sporting a giant weave made out of what I assume is roadkill and hails from Bakersfield, CA. This chick is insane in ways I can’t even begin to describe.
  • Amber announces that she dances for the homeless. How does one dance for the homeless, exactly?
  • I like Lesbian Lulu a lot. She’s a little saner than the others, but still crazy enough to tattoo her girlfriend’s name on her chest. I appreciate her sense of humor, though, as she’s already thought of modifications to make to that tattoo should she break up with her girlfriend.
  • But I adore Nicole. This redhead is exactly the kind of crazy I like. First of all, I can’t believe she’s only 18 as, in her space cadet way, I believe her when she says she’s more mature than her competitors. What are some other things I like about her? Well, her nickname is apparently “Bloody Eyeball” due to a childhood affliction. She can’t sleep and gets up to paint (pretty well, I might add) at 3 a.m. and she carries her stuff to school in a wheelbarrow. Nicole, please move to Seattle and be my kooky fabulous friend. Thanks.
  • A quote from super-insane pixie Raven, which I will be using at a job interview someday: “I don’t really have any experience, but I’m cute.”
  • Amanda from Louisiana lives in a trailer with her husband and roommates. They do not have a bathroom. This girl is really something, isn’t she?
  • Not one, but two animal castrators! One a farm girl who reminds me of a blonde Felicia Day, the other an upper middle class Bohemian who lived on an island and worked on a farm and her tan.
  • In addition to two animal castrators, we heard three stories of abuse. I feel for those ladies (Bianca, who cut her hair defiantly after her boyfriend beat her; Sundai, whose mother beat her and she ended up in foster care; and Rae, who was abducted and raped), but what, really, does this have to do with modeling and their desire to model? I’m all for sharing your stories and using them to shape who you are (as Rae seems to achieve), but somehow including them in the audition process of ANTM seems a little exploitative. Save that for the Tyra Show, ladies!

Ultimately, Tyra chose a Top 14, consisting of:

  • Jennifer, the Only Asian One
  • Erin, about whom I have nothing to say
  • Rachel, of the Doe Eyes
  • Kara, the Dillettante
  • Lulu the Lesbian
  • Rae
  • Ashley, who was plucked from the Tyra Show audience
  • Brittany the Mathematician from Livermore, CA
  • Bianca
  • Courtney the Cripple, whom I shall henceforth refer to as Crutchy or Crutchney
  • Nicole of the Bloody Eyeballs
  • Amber the Jesus Freak
  • Laura from Kentucky
  • Sundai

The Chosen 14 were sent off to Melrose Avenue and fetched by the Jays for the next round of competition. Mysteriously, Amber the Jesus Freak never appeared and Tyra informed them that she had to leave the show for personal reasons (how . . . nebulous . . .) and that Lisa of the Threaded Brows would be taking her place in the competition.

Immediately, the girls were given makeovers, which I presume is for my benefit so that I don’t forget what any of them look like. The fabulous Sally Herschberger was there to administer the haircuts and Tyra explained her plan for each girl via the Tyra-strator, which is just kooky enough, but way less scary than Magic Mirror Tyra.

This should be her new ID card at Santa Clara University.

This should be her new ID card at Santa Clara University.

  • Brittany had her blonde hair dyed dark, presumably so no one would confuse her with Anna Paquin. I heartily approve.
  • Erin went ice blonde, and it turned out better than I’d expected.
  • Nicole gets her red hair amped up with some saturated color and a crazy-ass giant weave. It is fierce.
  • Rachel goes dark brown, which is a good change for her.
  • Jennifer gets her hair cut only slightly shorter. I deem this not nearly enough change.
  • Sundai gets a Rhianna bob. It’s good times.
  • Lisa gets her hair cut slightly shorter. This is also not enough change.
  • Crutchney gets her dyed redder and cut shorter. She now has a Kim from Cycle 5-ish do. It is super hot.
  • Lulu gets a straight weave and bangs. She now looks like a cute version of Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Flavor of Love 3.

    Thing 3? Quick, someone call Flav!

    Thing 3? Quick, someone call Flav!

  • Bianca gets her eyebrows bleached. She isn’t happy, and I really don’t know how I feel about this.
  • Rae gets her blonde hair iced out. It looks great.
  • Laura gets highlights, which are fine, I guess.
  • Kara also gets highlights and I am indifferent to them.
  • Ashley gets a straight black weave with a center part. This makes an immediate dramatic improvement.

With the exception of Bianca’s reaction to her bleached eyebrows, no one was unhappy with their makeovers and everyone looked very pretty. Dare I say these girls acted professionally? I guess everyone’s crazy goes away a bit when you’re getting an $800 cut from Sally Herschberger (who looks fab with the long shag, by the way).

The girls then headed to their new house, which was funhouse themed because, you see, short models are basically children. For some reason, Tyra’s production people stole mannequins with colorful hair from the Limited Too and put them up around the house, as well as funhouse mirrors and, strangely, an ostrich statue. They were then given a Tyra Mail from the Bankable Productions vault that instructed them that their next photoshoot would somehow involve babies (i.e. make them go “gaga”).

I know my husband disagrees with me, but I find that there’s something inherently disturbing in our cultural infantalization of grown women. And here, not only is Tyra putting these women (if I can call them that, as the median age of the contestants appears to be 18) in a childish funhouse, but the photoshoot actually asked them to model in editorial recreations of their baby photos. Outside of the context of the shoot, many of these photos turned out beautifully and the women in them looked like women. But there were certainly others that didn’t transcend the context and ended up being portraits of grown women pretending to be babies . . . or, in one case, looking like an adult baby at a fetish party. I know that this was meant to be in fun, but I just can’t help thinking that asking adult women to emulate the way they were as children is harmful to women in general. I think it’s also got a little bit of sexualizing childhood to it, which is simply not okay in a world where six-year-olds can buy thongs. I’m sorry, guys, but sometimes I just can’t turn my brain off the way Tyra wants me to. So this photoshoot was a little bit offputting.

Furthermore, at panel, the judges hid themselves behind their own baby photos, and it was most disturbing to see Tyra’s baby picture positioned above adult Tyra’s legs. So wrong. So creepy. Not unlike some of the photos:

Adult Baby Alert!

Adult Baby Alert!

  • Rachel: Her baby photo showed her holding a red purse, so that’s what she did in this picture. I liked this one, but Miss J was right to note that she had one super freaking koala foot for a hand here. It was good, but not great.
  • Ashley: I just don’t like this shot of her melting into a couch. I can’t get past the ookiness of an adult woman in a romper in such a vulnerable position.
  • Brittany: In her baby picture, she was innocently eating a pixie stick. As an adult, I am pretty sure that pixie stick is full of heroin.
  • Jennifer: She was buried in the sand in her baby photo, and her editorial rendition produced one of the best shots of the day as she lay across the sand, looking sexy, but not slutty, and still very regal. If I saw this picture in a magazine, I’d buy whatever perfume it was for.
  • Kara: I do not like the transition between her baby cabbage patch photo and her adult one. I think this was an art direction failure, not necessarily a modeling one.
  • Rae: Her baby photo showed her at the barre, so for her adult photo, she donned eight-inch fetish ballet heels and draped herself so elegantly that she produced easily one of the most ethereal and beautiful shots of the day.
  • Sundai: Sundai’s baby photo was of her clutching plastic cups in a droopy diaper, so they styled her in some diaperesque underwear and asked her to pose with giant plastic strollers and kegger cups. This was, by far, the worst photo of the day. A complete stylistic failure, it was like she was an adult baby waiting to be assaulted at a frat party. And her modeling couldn’t save it.
  • Lisa: She had to be a little clown, and received some of the best photo styling of the day, but unfortunately couldn’t wear that costume. Tragic, because this picture could have been awesome. Her clown neck ruff is so amazing that I want it.
  • Nicole: This crazy bitch was so fibbity fab fab in her harem pants that I’m calling her crazy face for the win right naw.

    The best two of the bunch. Fo sho.

    The best two of the bunch. Fo sho.

  • Laura: This ended up being a lovely beauty shot of her, posing with a baby doll (meant to emulate her baby sister), but the dead dolly in it was really disturbing.
  • Bianca: Eh.
  • Erin: I liked her shot, but I also don’t remember it today.
  • Lulu: The styling of Lulu’s shoot was even more offensive than Sundai’s, as she posed in a romper with pig tails and pouted, but I ultimately liked this shot.
  • Crutchney: She produced the most artistic shot of the bunch, staring at herself in the mirror like a baby narcissist.

Shes this fabulous just lying down.

She's this fabulous just lying down.

Callouts: Rae, Nicole, Jennifer, Ashley, Courtney, Erin, Lulu, Rachel, Laura, Kara, Brittany and Sundai, leaving Bianca of the Rotten Attitude and Lisa of the Threaded Brows in the bottom two. Ultimately, Lisa was booted because she has no personality whatsoever, where Bianca’s stank attitude is, at least, a personality.

Stray thoughts:

  • Miss J was never a child, but, like Athena, sprang forth into the world, fully formed. At least, that’s what his lack of a baby picture told me.
  • Guest judge Chanel Iman had nothing at all to say. What a waste.

The Husband:

It’s not that I disagreed with my wife’s assessment of the disturbing nature of the infantilization of women. I just shooshed her because I wanted to see what kind of crazy was happening onscreen. You do not talk over Mr. Jay, foo’!

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:

Even America’s Next Top Model knows that The Amazing Race is the best fucking reality competition program on television, and you should all tune in to see hunky Phil Koeghan tell you about the world while forcing teams of two to complete totally weird and random tasks that marginally teach both the racers and viewers about the cultures of the countries they’re visiting. Actually, I totally wish Tyra could have gotten Phil to pop up to announce ANTM‘s very, very easy version of TAR. Phil knows a lot about fashion. Here, listen to him talk about how much he loves Russian boots (complete with techno soundtrack!).

So after boarding that ANTM standard aircraft with the models’ heads photoshopped into the windows, the girls arrived in Brazil and were greeted by Fernanda Motta, host of Brazil’s Next Top Model, who would later appear on judging panel and prompt Tyra to proclaim that a version of ANTM appears in over 120 countries. When she said that, I expected one of the modelettes to pipe up, wide-eyed (but not as wide-eyed as the Lemur) and say, “Really, Tyra? I didn’t even know there were that many countries in the world!” Because that’s generally the kind of idiocy exhibited on Top Model. And, hell, with the way Natalie was acting in this episode, I am now completely shocked that such a statement didn’t come out of her mouth. But I’ll get to that later!

First, Fernanda told the girls about the origin of that ubiquitous piece of MuZak “The Girl from Ipanema,” heard in elevators and piano lounges across the land. It’s based on a real person, model Helo Pinhiero, and if the girls completed their shoddy version of TAR, they would meet the legend that inspired the song. Lemur did not disappoint me at all when she expressed her disbelief that she would meet someone who inspired a famous song, because that’s as close to actual fame as she’ll ever come. Other than Tyra, of course.

Fernanda told the girls to pair up, sent them to their cabs and made them race to a flower shop to find Helo’s favorite flower, which just so happens to be the Bird of Paradise. They then raced to a park where, once all of the teams arrived, a band broke out into an appropriately MuZak-y rendition of “The Girl from Ipanema” and Helo descended the staircase in some strange, swishy white terrycloth pants, dancing to her song – all to tell the girls in her delightfully Charo-esque accent that the song was inspired by the way she move her hips like zees and to give them the keys to their new home in Sao Paulo! Not like it really matters, but Fo and Natalie technically won the race because they delivered Helo’s flowers first, which won them the strangest prize I have ever seen: baskets of Swarovski crystal-encrusted Havania flip flips.

Um, what?

Look, I realize that ANTM apparently doesn’t have a budget this year, what with their sad confetti celebration last week where they couldn’t even afford a costume for that poor nude male model, and that whatever budget they did have went to getting a new ANTM travel map graphic for the photoshopped plane sequence (to make it look slightly more TAR-ish), but giving someone a basket of $30 and under shoes, “classed up” with garish bedazzling just to make them more expensive is not a prize. The phrase “polishing a turd” comes to mind. They’re in fucking Brazil, home of amazing shoe designers – why not throw some limited edition Gabrielle Rocha their way? Ah, because that would be a real prize, not at all befitting a totally perfunctory competition such as the Amazing Model Race.

Natalie expects their new house and spends most her time complaining that they don’t have a pool. Aminat then complains about her, because Aminat is a hater, but it turns out that pretty much no one likes Natalie, which is fine by me. The first Correlo de Tyra arrives, reading: “Fight or flight? You better give me both.” And the girls are ferried off to the location of their teach/challenge involving the Brazilian martial art of capoiera, a word I had been trying to think of since I saw the preview last week where Celia kicked Aminat in her hater head. Thank you, Top Model, for solving this mystery for me. I park near someone at BART that has a “capoierista” sticker on her car, and I have been wondering what that is for the longest time. Now I know to never fuck up that girl’s car, because she will kick me in the head just like Celia did to Aminat. Clearly, I find that action so amusing that I could watch it over and over and over again.

Celia, kicking ass and taking names.

Celia, kicking ass and taking names.

After the girls learned a few moves, they were taken to meet the Js and photographer Paschoal Rodriguez, who asked them to utilize the fighting skills they had just learned in their modeling. The winner of this challenge would receive 50% more frames in their next photo shoot . . . frames that would be stolen from another girl. Teyona kind of forgot there was a camera that she was supposed to model for and delivered a photo in which she actually looked like a turtle. Celia looked like she was doing well in the shoot, but blocked her face in every shot. Fo and Allison looked the most model-fighter in their shots, while Natalie basically did the can-can. Amina looked tough, but, unfortunately, can’t make a good face in a photo to save her life. Thus, Fo was awarded the win, and, in retribution for not being chosen for the Seventeen shoot last week, stole half of Teyona’s frames for their upcoming shoot, thus officially driving a deep rift between the two girls.

Corrello de Tyra Numero Dos appeared and informed the girls that “tomorrow, you will enjoy the fruits of your labor.” And that very next day they were taken to a favela, a poor neighborhood in Sao Paulo where they would inexplicably dress like Carmen Miranda and try to embody her in a fashionable way in the shoot. Natalie got all uppity about being in Brazil’s version of the ghetto, which made me want to punch the bitch in the face. When you are lucky enough to be able to shoot on location, you do not complain about what that location is. You work there, do your job, and go sleep in your comfortable hotel room at night. Furthermore, this favela was nowhere near as impoverished as any neighborhood visited on The Amazing Race. Every year, the racers end up in some off the grid part of India or somewhere in Africa where children play in mounds of trash and families live in shelters made of found materials. This favela was nothing like that. In fact, I’d say it was cleaner and nicer-looking than some low-income neighborhoods in the Bay Area. Racers on TAR are always moved by poverty, and it either makes them grateful for everything they have, or deeply sad that they’re around people who have nothing. Celia expressed that she felt this way, but not Natalie. All that girl could see was that the neighborhood she was in wasn’t nearly as nice as her cozy home of Palos Verdes, California.

You are not in the suburbs anymore, honey.

You are not in the suburbs anymore, honey.

Natalie’s complaints aside, I myself don’t really understand why the girls were dressing as Carmen Miranda in a favela. First of all, Carmen Miranda was born in Portugal and emigrated to Rio, not Sao Paulo. Secondly, I can’t find anything that indicates she grew up in poverty. Her dad owned a barber shop, which to me would indicate that they were pretty securely middle class. In short, this shoot didn’t really make any sense, but it looked pretty, and that’s the whole point, right?

Tyra stole two babies and a pineapple this week for her Guide to Finding Your Inner Fierceness commercial for nothing, and she rambled something to these adorable babies about pursuing your dreams and, when you do, your dreams will bear fierce fruit. So . . . like . . . a cherymoya? Or a durian? Those fruits are pretty fierce, and I definitely do not want my dreams or any other part of myself to bear them. I really think Tyra is rapidly advancing toward a point of complete deconstruction as each week she shows me signs of language breaking down. This show is turning into a David Lynch movie. Next week, I bet those tiny kidnapped babies will be dancing the samba across Tyra’s screaming, crying Naomi Watts-esque visage to a swing track about inner fierceness. Just you wait. It’s going to happen.

In other news, the Brazilian judging room hurts my eyes because it’s so goddamn bright, and I think I went completely blind in my right eye when Miss J’s plaid bowtie entered the frame. On to judgment!

  • Aminat: Paulina complimented her on how luscious her skin looked this week, which she said was because she got some sun, which prompted Tyra to immediately get into mommy mode and warn her against getting too much sun. Aminat interpreted this as Tyra saying that she didn’t want the girl to get any more chocolatey, but Tyra told her it was for her health. I’m glad Tyra cares about skin cancer, which is exactly why she should have me on the damn show! Or at least on The Tyra Show. I’d go on that, especially if I were sharing my airtime with a segment involving trannies. Anyway, Aminat’s picture was declared just okay because she was doing Black Girl Model Pose 101. She continued her stank-ass attitude, though, telling Tyra and the judges that she was doing more during the shoot than what she actually did, at which point Tyra rolled her eyes and Paulina informed her that she is beautiful, but boring.
  • Natalie: Totally blasé photograph in which she looks exhausted. Fernanda tells her she’s missing her spark, and Natalie proceeds to blame her bad photograph on Mr. Jay’s direction. This is a lie, because Mr. Jay actually knows what he’s doing, and Natalie does not.
  • Celia: Tragically, Celia’s photo was really flat this week. Her body looked great, but her face didn’t.
  • Lemur Allison: The Lemur totally and completely rocked this shoot. She was cute, fun, sexy and sassy. She embodied Carmen Miranda without being too literal and gave good face.
Baruch a ta ai dios mio!

Baruch a ta ai dios mio!

  • Fo: Mr. Jay’s take from the shoot was, “It was Carmen Miranda. On crack. As a drag queen.” Nigel’s opinion, on the other hand, was, “Very cute, but it’s as if someone’s done a remake of a Carmen Miranda film.” Either way, that means it’s an actressy photo, not a modely one. And that’s not great.
  • Teyona: Tyra hates the nightie she wore to panel, but thinks she looked sassy in her shot. It’s not very Carmen Miranda, but it is editorial. Tyra then reminded everyone that Teyona had 25 fewer frames than everyone else and delivered this great of a shot, which was impressive. Not impressive? That Tyra actually said Teyona had 25 less frames, further contributing to English speakers’ general confusion between fewer and less, and making me roll my eyes.


Callouts! Lemur, Teyona, Fo and Celia, leaving my two least favorite models in the bottom two. Stank-ass Aminat was given one more chance, although I’m not sure why, and Natalie was sent home, which is fine, because she’s a horrible person and a horrible model. She may have great legs, but I think she should look into a career as a porn star, because she constantly looks like she’s on coke already, so it really wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for her.

The Husband:

My wife told me I should write the following, as it relates to modeling shows on television, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with ANTM.

Two nights ago, I couldn’t get to sleep, so I rummaged through Comcast’s OnDemand function to grab some short three-minute segments. The best are usually provided by either MTV (they have a collection of Jackass short features, for instance) or G4, a channel designed for that ADD-ridden guy with a lisp and a penchant for anime who works a few cubicles down from you. I chose “Cutting Edge,” then “G4,” then chose the “Gears & Girls” section, because I thought hey, since I’m going to sleep soon, it might be a good idea to ogle some PG-13 bikini-clad women so I could have good dreams…uhm…of my wife! (Yeah…that’s the ticket!)

The three-minute feature was called “Superbabes” or something, which was pretty much just that week’s top 10 internet “hotties.” (Disappointingly, only one of them was actually dressed like a superhero.) When the countdown got to #3, I did a double-take. Why, it’s my beloved Lucia Dvorska.

Superbabe? Indeed.

Superbabe? Indeed.

Who is this gorgeous Slovak model? She was a contestant on the stellar TLC series A Model Life with Petra Nemcova, an eight-episode series that aired its final episode almost two years ago at the end of August, 2007. In it, Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova took six various models from around the world and put them through a bout of fashion model training. There was no competition, so technically, as my wife pointed out, there were no “winners,” but three got to do a final shoot in the Bahamas, and another (Angelika, obnoxiously pronounced with the emphasis on the “lik”) definitely ended up as the sole “loser” and was not allowed the final prize given to all the other models – representation by NEXT Modeling – because of her piss-poor attitude, her fighting with the judges and her complete hatred for the modeling industry.

Five of the girls were damn good in various ways, but Lucia, especially, was not only drop-dead gorgeous but seemingly a delight to work with. Despite some competition, especially from Beatrice (the Brazilian minor who was waaaay too young to look so sexy), Lucia was the obvious stand-out, even if some of the judges worried about her weight. (As usual, she didn’t really have weight problem…at all…but looked like an actual woman.)

The next day, I went through the IMDB page of A Model Life, chased a couple links, and found that not only was Lucia now represented by Elite, she was actually in the very Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition that was sitting on my coffee table. (I don’t read SI, and I haven’t really perused the issue, but my wife certainly has.) Lo and behold, there’s that beauty, nearly two years later, from a TLC show that nobody seemed to have watched, doing better than almost every single contestants on ANTM, completely rocking one of America’s most well-known photo shoots. And her online gallery is even better.

(This is where my wife will post a pretty ridiculous picture of Lucia with some wildlife, so I hope she can also find the “other” picture that we can both agree on. She knows which one I’m talking about.)

Nothing says Top Model quite like carrying an ittle wittle lamby wamby in a bikini!

Nothing says Top Model quite like carrying an ittle wittle lamby wamby in a bikini!

Success can come from modeling television shows, and it doesn’t even have to be from a buzzed-about Tyra product. Being a good model, listening to critique, having a good onset demeanor and being an all-around good person does pay off, so let that be a lesson to, say, ANTM’s Sandra or Natalie, who did nothing but hate and bicker. Despite what Janice Dickenson may seem to promote, being a cruel soul can only take you so far. And now, the pleasant Slovak girl, described as a “newcomer” by G4, is the envy of many.

I totally failed when I posted this before, because this is the photo my husband wanted me to post. He liked it because her boobs looked nice. I liked it because I thought she had nice lines. Either way, suck it, CW.

I totally failed when I posted this before, because this is the photo my husband wanted me to post. He liked it because her boobs looked nice. I liked it because I thought she had nice lines. Either way, suck it, CW.

Suck on that, CW.