Dec 16, 2019
America's Next Top Model Recap: Fights And Flawsomeness
Two Weeks Ago
We found out that Alex is going to return to the competition! But which, oh, which of the boys will be returning! So many tenterhooks around! Oh, and the models are going to Bali!
We saw a pointless clip show because Tyra likes to be a dick. Also the producers and editors are frantically trying to redo a couple of storylines based on who seems to be doing well. We learned that Nina rocks glowing hula hoops, and our lives were a little bit better for it.
So who gets in already?! Will it be Phil, Ice Cream Mike, or Jeremy, the “bodylicious virgin”?!
Tyra calls the boys forward to torment them. See? She likes to be a dick. It’s all based on Fetch scores, and Mike is out. Wow, Mike doesn’t even get a little speech.
Jeremy or Phil? Phil or Jeremy? The numbers flip pointlessly… And it’s Jeremy! Wow, I am a little surprised. The producers love Phil, and Tyra has really been photogenically been tormenting him during this panel. But Jeremy likes to take his shirt off, and they’ve brought up his virginity this week and last week, so I guess the producers are hoping for a night-cam deflowering. Onward!
Phil, in a hat, is sad. He says he’ll get back on his feet. Enjoy your hair extensions, Phil!
Tyra reiterates that there will be no more comebacks.
On the ride home, Alexandra is thrilled and happy. Jeremy says there was not a doubt in his mind that he would be coming back. Oh, P.S., Jeremy is sometimes a doosh. Jourdan is pissed that two people came back instead of one, and I am in agreement with her. That has to be exhausting to the models who have been slogging through this. Jourdan is also pissed that Alex is the strongest girl who could have come back.
Chris won best photo, back eleventy million years ago when we learned who had best photo. During their stupid puppy fight, Renee said that she wouldn’t speak for a week if one of the boys won best photo. Renee does not seem to be on board with following through on that.
Chris picks Alexandra to share his Guess Closet winnings with him…which means he has not picked Nina to share his Guess Closet winnings. Nina, who was his only friend and supporter in the house for weeks on end, is super sad and decides to focus on the competition. FOCUS ON THE HULA HOOPING!
Alex reveals that she has a heart condition. I wish she had followed that with “…I’m in love!” But alas, it’s about not getting enough oxygen, which is less romantic.
Jourdan and Jeremy – who used to be all disingenuously “we don’t have crushes on each other, God,” get reacquainted in the kitchen and Jourdan, modest and self-aware as always, says she wants to work really hard so that she deserves it when she wins. Yeesh. Jeremy says, “So are you saying I’m not going to deserve it at the end?”
Jeremy interviews that he used to have a crush on Jourdan, but now upon reflection, he realizes she’s not his type. Jourdan interviews that Jeremy drives her bananas. Just hate-kiss already. The other models are pleased at Jeremy’s capacity to make Jourdan huff out of a room.
Opening Credits, Finally!
…but when we come back, Jourdan is still bitching about Jeremy, whom she totally does not like. She says she can’t have an intelligent conversation with him, which is often true, but in this particular case she just means that he called her on her bullshit.
Jourdan says that Jeremy is reminding him of her abusive marriage, which is tricky ground. We haven’t actually seen Jeremy do anything abusive. I think what Jourdan means is she’s attracted to him in the same way she was to her bad husband, and that gives her the skeevies? Or that fighting with him reminds her of her husband? I don’t know. I feel like the editors aren’t handling this well, but maybe they’re uncomfortable too. Jourdan says she doesn’t know why Jeremy gets under her skin, but he needs to back off a little bit.
P.R. Maven Kelly Cutrone is there! Way to stand firm on that ridiculous job title, Kelly Cutrone. She informs the models that they will be auditioning for a commercial directed by Vincent St. George. They’re shilling for a fake water product called Quaff. Kelly says they’ll be working in front of a green screen, which means the editors can add in whatever images they want. That should make way for some excellent craziness.
The models walk in to meet their director and OH, MY GOD, IT IS REGGIE WATTS:
WHAT IS REGGIE WATTS DOING HERE?
The world of awesome and the world of awesomely bad have just collided and I don’t know what to do with myself or how to pick up the pieces. What does it all mean?
One thing Reggie is doing is faking a French accent. There’s the standard green background and some weird fake-primitive stuff and a pink plastic pool and who knows what-all scattered around. Alex, in what are essentially green feety pajamas, goes first and is told to lie down and be like a nymph. P.R. Maven Kelly Cutrone interviews that they want to see how well the models can take direction and sell the product.
Oh, and then they blow the game of who Reggie Watts is right away, so you know you’re watching someone mess with the models instead of an actual crazeball director. Alex seems game as Reggie leads her through a bunch of different discoveries among the crazy props and, oh, dear, some poor production assistant who’s in different green feety pajamas and also has his head covered has to waggle a unicorn head on a stick. Alex is a very good sport about having water poured into her face.
Chris, even in this bizarre environment, comes off as super weird.
Jourdan lets us know that she was fearless. Thanks, Jourdan! Whatever therapy she did to get her self-esteem back maybe worked a little too well. Reggie and Kelly liked Jourdan, however.
Cory has to kiss the unicorn head, but is game.
He leaps around the set. Don, Jeremy, and Marvin were a little more boring, I guess, because we don’t get much of them. We also only get a tiny bit of Nina. Are you telling me that NINA was among the least whimsical? I call foul. Give the woman her hoops.
Renee is afraid of the stuffed, green-wrapped camel. For real, y’all. Let me get a couple of exact quotes: She tells P.R. Maven Kelly Cutrone “I don’t like stuff in suits, and it’s irrational.” You don’t say. To the camera, she elaborates: “I have a fear of things that are in a suit or disguised as something else. Especially if they’re bigger than me. Like, I hate it. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.”
What a strangely specific yet broad-ranging fear. Kelly, who in past seasons would have yelled at Renee to suck it up and mack with the camel head, offers to name the camel after someone Renee likes. What? Also, way to make Renee afraid of people she likes… In suits… Who are bigger than she is… This is a ridiculous phobia.
Kelly tells Renee she needs to commit to the camel. And interviews that Renee’s weird phobia is not the kind of thing people want to deal with on set. Word. The Top Model producers, who have thrown snakes, tarantulas and heights at the models to get this very kind of fear paralysis out of someone, share a quick champagne toast.
Reggie steps in to say that the relationship with the camel is crucial. Renee sucks it up and works through it. Renee tears up and is proud of herself…until the next innocent invitation to Chuck E. Cheese.
Kelly introduces Reggie as Reggie. Model minds are blown. Kelly says this is about learning to do what you’re asked. Which brings me to one of my longstanding problems with this show: There’s a lot of emphasis on models being obedient and going along with whatever the creative team says and not bitching. Which is generally really good advice. But Tyra never, ever gives young models tips on what to do if they end up with a creep like Terry Richardson. If you’re going to pretend to give the models the benefit of your experience, Tyra, do it for real occasionally, if only for the thousands of teenage girls watching the show.
OK, back to the challenge: Kelly says the models have been scored based on commitment, professionalism, and being believable. Reggie says Alex and Jourdan were the standouts…And Jourdan wins! Renee makes a face like she just saw slugs mating. Jourdan says she’s really proud of herself, but that people are going to be super mad that she won another challenge.
No, you know what we’re going to be mad about? WE NEVER SEE THESE INSANE GREEN SCREEN COMMERCIALS. It was just about getting the models to zany around, and then we only saw like 30 seconds of that. I’m going to have to cite this show for criminal underuse of Reggie Watts and green screen teasing. You know what we do have time for, apparently? Model fights.
Back at the house!
Chris sees that he came in last and is pissed. So I guess he really hasn’t seen his own green screen film. Jourdan is pawing through her challenge prizes, which include headphones and bathing suits. Renee only got a 7. She’s bummed. Dude, you freaked out over a stuffed camel.
Chris starts cleaning the kitchen and works himself into a frenzy of pissiness over how messy and gross it is. He’s mad that he’s washing dishes for everyone else. So, like a mature responsible adult, he calls a house meeting and calmly asks for a little more courtesy and suggests making a chore wheel.
Ha ha, no. He puts up little passive-aggressive signs and then leaves the girls’ dishes out with pissy little notes on them. Renee reacts to being called “ratchet ass” (what???) on her note with maturity and grace, saying that the dirty dish is hers, yes, but she’s not going to wash it and she hopes no one ever washes it. Who raised these people? Orcs?
Renee yells that she can be nasty in person, but that Chris is nasty in his mind, his heart and his soul. Nina does not think Renee needed to escalate the fight to that level. I think Chris and Jourdan should have children together just to see if their offspring can instantly repel people, like magnets. Chris and Renee devolve into one of those arguments where everyone is yelling about who respects whom. Sigh. Jourdan yells some syntax-free incoherence about how Chris can’t understand respect because he doesn’t understand love. Or something.
At this point, Jeremy decides that what this argument needs is a little more Jeremy in it. He leaps in and tells Jourdan she knows nothing about love because she got divorced at 19. Wow, Jeremy, that was uncalled for and not even a good point. Chris and Jeremy are yelling at a weirdly united Jourdan and Renee while Nina frantically taps at the arm of Chris’s hoodie to try to calm him down.
I don’t care if Jourdan did the best magical nymphs in the commercial: Nina actually is one, and this world is wilting her wings.
Jesus, why do the stupidest arguments last the longest? Jeremy says Jourdan just blew up and came at him, which is not at all accurate. Chris is screaming that it’s always OK for the girls to play the victim, but what about when he gets victimized? Goddammit, I want Reggie Watts back.
Jourdan is not cool that Jeremy went after her for her divorce. Off to the side, Jeremy is testosteroning about how he’ll jump in to defend anyone, and Chris astutely points out that Jeremy didn’t really “defend” him so much as he just jumped in and made the fight worse. Jeremy, who is actually in a tank top and flexing, says, “Oh well, so be it,” in the tradition of clueless machoing everywhere.
In the girls’ room, Cory (GIVE THE MAN SOME REAL CAMERA TIME.) is trying to mediate, and Jourdan says she isn’t speaking to Jeremy until she gets an apology. Always a productive tactic! What would reality TV fights be without people meta-fighting over who respects whom and who owes whom an apology?
Cory, who has higher reasoning skills, tries to make Jourdan see that Jeremy made her feel bad in the same way she made Chris feel bad. Cory wants all four of them to apologize to each other, do their damn dishes, and move on. Poor, sensible Cory. I wonder if he’s starting to lose it, like moms do when they’re cooped up with young children all day. Producers, take him out for a book club or something.
Jourdan does, in fact, go out and says she was wrong. Jeremy does that asshole thing where you say you’re sorry but then immediately explain how what you did was actually the other person’s fault. Chris and Jourdan hug it out. Chris is happy that for the first time he didn’t have to “go up to someone and apologize for being a jerk or a douchebag,” completely forgetting the part where he started the whole thing.
Renee is not feeling the love. She just wants Chris to go home. Poor Cory tells Renee that both she and Chris had chances to end the fight, but instead they prolonged it. Renee says she was “standing up for” herself. Grudge held, nourished, and cherished. Ugh. Cory goes into the gym and screams and punches the heavy bag for the next sixteen hours.
Finally, a photo shoot!
They’re at a high school. Cory notes that high school was not the best environment for him. Oh, for chrissakes, another Tyrism. This photo shoot is about “flawsomeness,” which is close to Tyra’s heart. Tyra points out that her large forehead made her an amazing model.
Way to overcome adversity, Tyra!
Each model will be highlighting a flaw. Oh, my god, producers, let the models choose each other’s flaws! How could you miss an opportunity like that?
Joining them for the shoot will be male supermodel Shaun Ross. Shaun has albinism, and it would maybe be better if we cut to his cool photos instead of first cutting to the slack-jawed reactions of some of the contestants when they first see him. Before the shoot, there’s going to be a “posing teach.” TYRA! THERE IS ALREADY A PERFECTLY GOOD WORD FOR THAT! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, SAY “LESSON!”
Anyway, Tyra is pretending to lesson them when another model walks in. It’s model/actress Zendaya from the Disney Channel! The models immediately know who she is and love her. Feel your age! FEEL IT! Tyra has been on Shake it Up with Zendaya, and thus Tyra has spotted her as multi-talented and possibly a model. Okay!
Marvin says she’s the best guest star they’ve had. YOU JUST HAD REGGIE MOTHERFREAKING WATTS LIKE TEN MINUTES AGO. I want Reggie to come back and improvise a song about the infinite stupid fight.
Now the models are posing with both guests like they’re the coolest kids on campus, because even when you have flaws, being the coolest should be a goal. Good life lesson, Tyra!
Tyra is still pretending to be a makeup artist. She gives Zendaya some freckles. Tyra asks what she was made fun of for growing up, and the two of them bond over having been skinny. Um.
The makeup team gives Cory a terrible, terrible, terrible widow’s peak for his flaw. Like they don’t even try to really make it match his hairline. What is he supposed to do with that? Renee is getting a fivehead (Tyra’s flaw! Secret advantage or secret doom, Renee! Tread carefully!) Chris interviews that Renees flaw should be her big, loud mouth. See what I mean, producers?
Don’s flaw is skinny legs. Oh, man, they’re just using an actual flaw he’s been made fun of for? And others are getting fake flaws? Yikes. On the other hand, some magic is allowing Don to balance a basketball on his fingertip like he’s spinning it, which is mesmerizing. Don says he’s been working his chicken legs his whole life, so no problem.
Chris gets Rachel Maddow glasses and a gap in his teeth. Fix! Fix! Nevertheless, Chris is sucking. Johnny Wujek is…No help, for the 8,357th time in a row. Nina worries about Chris while Renee sends him her most evil mojo. Have we just dropped the Renee-and-Marvin storyline?
Chris has one…shot…left. Johnny says, “You’re not modeling right now.” Helpful! The photographer suggests that if Chris is nervous, he should use it and play the nervous nerdy guy. (THAT is what useful advice sounds like, Mr. Wujek.) We have no idea if Chris got the shot or not. Jeremy is also having trouble. Jeremy’s flaw is “duck lips.” Are you kidding me?
Marvin’s flaw is a mole. Marvin is more nervous about posing with an actress and a supermodel. Jeremy is still talking to Jourdan all the time. She is now legitimately annoyed by him. Jourdan also has to pour vinegar into a glass to make a “science experiment” foam. She blames Jeremy for walking in and distracting her and making her pour too much. The show helpfully suggests a #JourdanvsJeremy hashtag, which is a) sort of like walking into the slumber party and suggesting the kids throw some Katy Perry on and b) way too damn long for a fun hashtag. Try #JvJ or #Hatefuck.
Jourdan’s flaw is listed as “unibrow,” but she clearly has two distinct eyebrows that are just a little heavy. Way to wimp out, show. Jourdan is upset because she was weird and stiff after her spill. Shaun gives her a pep talk.
Alexandra isn’t feeling well. Her flaw is “big hips,” – Thanks, Tyra, one-time promoter of healthy body images! – and the makeup artists haven’t even tried. They’ve just jammed a couple of volleyballs up Alex’s skirt. Alex worries about having more fun as she poses too hard. Cory is tired of hearing about how badly Alex wants this.
Nina also got her actual flaw, which is messed up. Hers is “big eyes,” and Nina is all “you want big eyes? CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!”
Even the photographer is stunned by the ocular hugeness. She’s all “Try not to look so possessed.” But then she loves Nina!
Back at the house!
The Skull of Doom appears. Alex is scared to go into panel sick. Chris is freaked about how he was supposed to model with a gap tooth and is worried about his bad challenge score. So tense! Only not really! PS: Guess who the bottom two are!
We open on another one of those massively annoying “living pictures,” this one of Tyra with a sign that says “5Head Crew.” Tyra teases the models with Bali again. One of them won’t be going!
Cory is up first with the stupid huge widow’s peak they made him. Tyra says Cory looks crazy amazing; Kelly says Cory doesn’t make you want to buy anything. Bryanboy, ever pointless, says Cory’s Fetch scores have gone up. 7-10-8.
Jourdan’s flaw was “unibrow.” The judges find several other flaws. 8-7-7.
Marvin’s flaw was “mole.” The judges like him, but Tyra says he needs better body shapes. 8-7-8.
Chris had “gap teeth.” He looks like he’s about to show us the blueberry muffin he just chewed up. For some reason, Kelly Cutrone loves it. 9-7-7.
Don and his skinny legs look good. He’s shown them that he can do side tilt! 7-10-9.
Jeremy had “duck lips.” This is a ridiculous flaw. Rob hates Jeremy’s lack of variety. 8-9-6.
Nina and her big eyes look great. And she’s the queen of Fetch scores! 9-10-10.
Alexandra had big hips, but they don’t feel like she did enough with her stupid fake hips. Tyra says she looks old and heavy. Bryanboy says her Fetch score was bad and asks Alexandra what’s up with her health. She won’t admit to anything but dizziness. Trouper! 7-7-7.
Renee looks great. Tyra feels like she really “took the teach.” Or maybe even LEARNED from the LESSON, Tyra. Aigh. Bryanboy blah blah fans think she gives the same face nobody cares. 10-9-9.
The judges are tallying and Alexandra, backstage, feels really sick. Uh-oh. The producers, instead of having a medical professional immediately in there, are having her give an interview about her sickness. We cut to her lying down on a couch to rest.
Tyra has only eight photos in her hands! Eight models will go have stupid fights in Bali!
Nina! Yay! She gets a pink flower for Bali.
Don! Yay! Another flower! Don would rather not hold that!
Chris and Alexandra are in the bottom. Nina shakes her head. This is gonna be weird without Alex there, but Tyra still bulls through the little elimination speech. The judges question Alexandra’s fashion ability! And can Chris be consistent? Pointless number flipping
This Week’s Obsolete Model:
Alex! Aw, poor thing. I hope they let her see a doctor now. Nina is relieved that Chris is still in it, and totally embarrassed at the camera zooming in on her.
Executive Producer Ken Mok comes in to tell a semifetal Alex that she didn’t make it. She’s a pretty good sport about the exit interview from her sick couch. Classy, show. Classy.
Bali! A motherscratching UNDERWATER RUNWAY! Renee calling Marvin a jackass! Yes! See you there!