Jun 11, 2020
America's Next Top Model Recap Finale Part 1: Not The Actual Finale
Previously on America’s Next Top Model:
Tyra reminds the viewers who only like to check in for the finales of shows that this season was girls and guys both! If you can even imagine. Tyra also says that the stakes are higher than ever, which doesn’t necessarily follow, but OK. Then we skip forward the whole season and are reminded that Chris outlived his usefulness as a source of stupid model fights and Renee wasn’t into macking on camera or fighting with Jourdan enough, so they were both sent home last week. Bye, Renee! You ran a good race. Bye, Chris! For real, find a good cognitive therapist.
LET’S MEET THE FINALISTS!
Marvin came from “humble beginnings” in the Bronx But oh, he has grown as a model!
Jourdan is the country girl who’s gone high fashion! She has outlasted the toughest women!
Cory is the only one with adult-level social skills, but instead Tyra tells us that he’s fierce and androgynous! Because gay!
Oh, criminy, Tyra’s insisting on talking about the colors she assigned each of them. I’m guessing this is leading to branded workout gear? Maybe terrible branded makeup, but my instinct is terrible branded workout gear. Anyway, the colors are (sigh) Sunrise Smize, Fierce Fuchsia, and Booch Blue.
It’s almost as if someone picked the colors thinking that it would be good TV if a woman, a straight man, and a gay man made the finals, but I’m sure these are the colors they would have used regardless.
We are reminded that Jourdan got Best Picture for the bajillionth time in a row. Jourdan says this is her passion and she will keep modeling EVEN IF SHE HAS TO WORK IN A RESTAURANT. Thousands of actors and writers throw the silverware they’re rolling at the screen.
Marvin says that if he wins, it will be the classic rags-to-riches story. Oh, dear. Someone, please hurry and explain to Marvin about most “Top Model” careers.
Cory delicately explains that he, Marvin, and Jourdan represent three aspects of the industry: Youthful Male, Androgynous Male, and Lady.
Marvin is sad that “Marnee” is broken up and that he only got a hug as Renee left. Jourdan is glad that Renee is the hell out of there. But all three can rejoice that Chris is gone! They still feel him lurking. Well, he did do that weird thing where he got into the girls’ shower uninvited. He could be anywhere. Check the linen closet.
Guess who has what it takes to be a Top Model? The models figure out all by themselves that this is going to be their shoot for Guess? (God, I hate that punctuation mark as part of the brand name. Let’s dispense with it, OK?) Oh, boy, have the models been waiting for this.
Ayana Resort and Spa
Wow, would it be worth putting yourself through something as ridiculous as this show just for the travel? Maybe. The models wonder who the photographer will be – Marvin has someone in mind. Well, if it’s Nigel Barker, you’re SOL, Marvin. Useless Johnny Wujek is here, fresh after initialing another subclause with Satan. Johnny is wearing a Guess hat that appears to be homemade.
Johnny asks what’s up with the colored necklaces and Marvin says “We’re representing our fans,” which may be news to Johnny at filming but is obvious to everyone here in the viewing audience, given the fact that nations across the world have been dressing in one of the three chosen colors and engaging in bitter, family-rending fights all week. And we are reminded (slightly heavier sigh) that our Colors of Model Support are Fierce Fuchsia, Sunrise Smize, and Booch Blue. Dammit, Tyra, stop making me type “fuchsia.” It always looks wrong no matter how you spell it.
Johnny tells us that famed Guess Photographer Yu Tsai will be doing the shoot. Marvin is thrilled because he used to work at Guess and knows Yu Tsai’s work. He’s going to try not to fanboy.
Oh, no. Oh, no. Johnny Wujek has more to say. Because the models need to get used to having fans – this is cruel – the obsolete models of the past will be returning as the “runway crews” of the finalists, each wearing the colors of the model they’ve chosen to support. Wow. That is a good deal for the fallen models.
Chlea comes out in Fuchsia for Cory.
Mike comes out in Fuchsia for Cory. He thinks a new kind of Top Model would be terrific. Can we stop being surprised that a straight guy might be friends with a gay guy?
Kanani comes out in Fuchsia for Cory.
Jiana comes out in Fuchsia for Cory. Daaaamn. Marvin snots that it’s because Cory is one of the girls. And those grapes are so sour! Marvin says he’s not worried because “the boys” will come out for him. Have we seen the wrong order, or has Marvin already forgotten about Mike?
Phil comes out in Booch Blue for Marvin… And so does Don (Yay, Don’s back!), so it looks like Marvin’s theory may be vaguely correct.
We see a shot of Jourdan, who has no crew yet. She says she feels like she’s in school getting picked last for softball. Johnny asks if Jourdan expects anyone to pick her, and she says “maybe Nina.”
In one of the most deliberately cruel moments of the season, Johnny calls Nina, who comes skipping out in Fuchsia for Cory. Wow, that was cold. Jourdan says she’s pissed about that, but figures Jeremy will probably pick her. Do I really need to tell you that Jeremy immediately comes dancing out in Booch Blue?
Holy crap, this feels really mean, especially since we’d kind of dropped the Jourdan-is-a-pill storyline for the Chris-is-a-dick storyline. On the other hand, my dream has come true, and it looks like at least a piece of this cycle is, in fact, about being here to make friends. Jourdan’s face is completely composed, but her cheeks are a deep shade of Fierce Fuchsia. Wow, even they like Cory better.
Renee is, duh, in Booch Blue. Marvin gives her a big hug and says “Marnee” again. He’s very happy.
Jourdan, meanwhile, says this is awkward and that she sees the others’ true colors now. Her using that metaphor when everyone else was literally in someone else’s team colors is just the little clammy squeeze on your soul that you think it is. Marvin says it’s getting cold where Jourdan is, and Jourdan says she’s feeling hurt and alone and “starting to wonder” whether she could have done something to make people not like her. Um. Jourdan says she’s picking at herself until there’s nothing left.
Johnny Wujek says there’s one person left. (Wait, Alex didn’t make it to Bali? That blows Poor Alex.) The remaining person is Chris. Who will he choose? And this moment is deemed dramatic enough for a commercial cliffhanger.
When we come back, Johnny torments Jourdan for another moment… And then Chris comes out in orange. Johnny Wujek snots that Jourdan “got one.” Cory theorizes that Chris picked Jourdan, the finalist that no one else chose, for the attention. Jourdan admits that she’s kind of shocked too. She notes that she doesn’t like Chris, and says she’d rather have no supporters than a fake one. Dang. Marvin says he also wouldn’t have wanted Chris. OK, happy nice times ahead! Chris says he picked Jourdan because he could see her in a magazine right now. Which is not the same thing as saying you like someone and want to support them, but I kind of respect the choice not to pretend that they’re pals now.
Marvin is delighted with his support team. Chris and Jourdan make awkward pep-talk conversation while she gets her hair and make-up done. Marvin, surrounded by supporters, says he feels good, and thinks he would be a better Guess model than Jourdan because he doesn’t find her sexy, and he pretty much would have sex with almost any woman, but he wouldn’t with her. So he rests his case. Cory is happy to have the support of his crew because he knows he has solid competition. He just wants to make it good and make them proud. Cory also explains that Guess is a more natural shoot for Marvin and Jourdan, and more of a challenge for him.
Jiana says Cory appeals to men and women, so this is the perfect forum for him. Cory has a shoot with a fan and tries to be masculine as Yu Tsai gives him roughly 3,000 times more practical coaching than we’ve seen Johnny Wujek give during his entire tenure on the show. (And, really, the same goes for Jay Manuel. Can we get Yu Tsai to stay?) Cory’s “catwalk crew” is also side-coaching Cory, which looks irritating as all hell. And evidently it is, because Yu Tsai yells at them to shut the hell up and pay attention like Cory does.
Marvin concern-trolls about Cory’s ability to be “masculine,” and my God, am I tired of this bullshit fake issue the show is imposing on Cory. Yes, Cory’s comfortable with androgyny, but it’s not like gay men are incapable of ever being traditionally masculine. A few bazillion of them have built up very lucrative Hollywood careers doing just that. This show’s fake hipness about The Gay is helping anybody. Once you slide from we’re-all-hip-and-comfortable-with-it into we’re-all-so-hip-and-comfortable-with-it-that-we-can-talk-about-how-true-those-tired-stereotypes-are territory, you are, in fact, back in tired stereotype territory. I understand why Cory is playing along – or how he might be psyched out enough to believe it too at this point – but that doesn’t make it not bullshit. The production people on this are participating in this lazy, easy, stereotypical crap when they should know better.
Anyway, Marvin says Cory is too feminine, and that’s not Guess. “No disrespect,” he says, which is quite a big shovelful. Yu Tsai, an actual working fashion photographer, is beyond that, thank goodness, and says it’s not about masculine or feminine, it’s about getting to the real you. He says that once he gets Cory past those blocks, some magic starts happening. Yay! Team Fuschia gives Cory a cheer.
Marvin steps up and says he’s “Team Booch,” which shouldn’t surprise us because he also likes to say “Marnee.” Marvin says he’s the underdog, then reveals that he really only thinks of Jourdan as his competition. I hope Cory kicks his ass. Marvin doesn’t seem to be doing that well at first — Yu Tsai immediately scolds him with “Don’t ever do that! Catalogue!” Harsh. Marvin says he wants to be that sexy man on film, but Johnny says when he gets too intense, he gets scary. Johnny interviews that Marvin is overthinking, and Yu Tsai seems frustrated with him. Yu Tsai suggests they get Renee into Marvin’s line of sight so he’ll smile more. Yu Tsai seems like a pretty good guy, and , again, waaaaaaaaay better than Johnny Wujek at coaching models.
Oh, GOD, Jourdan has been dressed and styled as an extra from “Hee Haw.”
Poor Jourdan. This seems unfair. Chris hopes she wins because he knows that no one would have supported him either. Cory says Jourdan is a classic blonde bombshell (No, Cory, she’s a classic ice blonde; there is no bombshell there), but he thinks we’ve all seen it and she has no versatility. Yu Tsai tells Jourdan to talk to him with her eyes and have something going on instead of just looking pretty. He says she’s empty. Yikes. Jourdan doesn’t seem happy about the shoot. Johnny Wujek makes suggestions that Yu Tsai hates a whole bunch. Heh. Watching Yu Tsai essentially call Johnny a hack is delightful. Jourdan is less delighted, what with it happening in the middle of her shoot and all.
Jourdan admits that the argument throws her off a little bit, but apparently her final round of shots are working. Chris limply cheers “Nice, nice.” At the end of the shoot, Jourdan is so happy she cries. She says Bali is changing her, and now she has a runway show to focus on.
Cory Skypes with his mom, who seems really sweet. She asks him is he’s learning a lot. Jourdan tells her boyfriend she made it to the finals. She says she’s only 19, but she feels so much older. She reminds us that she was in an abusive relationship and adds that she was bullied as a kid. If the producers have been fishing for that stuff, I am grossed out. Jourdan says she believes in herself for the first time in her life. Marvin Skypes with his dad. He says if he wins, he can take care of his family and his dad’s cleaning days are over. Aww. Marvin wants to stop worrying about three jobs and school and just focus on modeling. I don’t know that this show will do that for him, but I hope it happens for him some way. Marvin says he’s in the final three and already feels like a winner. In his interview, Marvin is overwhelmed with emotion at the idea of being the first Hispanic guy to win America’s Next Top Model and it brings him to tears. I don’t think they let the models sleep very much on this show.
Two matching men are here, the editor and fashion director of “Nylon.” It’s hugely important to impress them, because one of the prizes is a 6–8 page spread in the magazine. Jourdan says the vibe is cool and natural, even though her set and pose are clearly meant to convey heroin chic and she’s been styled like Rollergirl going through a bohemian phase.
Jourdan says she’s gone through a lot of financial struggles to get here and she’s focused on winning. Gosh, I hope she’s willing to take it to the next level and give 110 percent.
Marvin astutely figures out that if he doesn’t nail the “Nylon” shoot, he’ll have trouble winning. Oh, dear. He’s been dressed like a Rat Pack version of “Gilligan’s Island.”
Are the “Nylon” people messing with them or what?
Cory says he’s channeling his inner bro. He’s been dressed like a 78-year-old studio exec’s idea of what the hip cool L.A. teens are wearing, but he seems to take it in stride.
Cory tells the matching “Nylon” men that he loves Bali and think it’s very high in spiritual energy. Speaking of high spiritual energy, the editor of this national magazine asks a deep spiritual question: “You guys are in the top three. How amazing is that?” Jourdan tells him about her low self-esteem. Her low self-esteem has unusually high self-esteem. Jourdan interviews that she has broken through a wall and loves herself and knows that she can model.
Marvin, when asked how he has changed since the turntable runway show, way back when, says, “I got a tan.” Everyone laughs. He says he’s confident now. Marvin interviews that he wants this more than Jourdan and that she can’t appreciate what this means to him. Has Marvin really eliminated Cory in his own mind, or is he getting kind of a jerky edit for this section?
The finalists are lounging around wearing their Team Color beaded necklaces, as are we all. Jourdan woodenly enthuses that the clothes from the shoot were “so cool,” this fulfilling the terms of the product-placement contracts. Dozens of producers high-five. I wonder how many takes that took. Cory says he doesn’t feel like the clothes he modeled were his style. Dozens of producers punch through their too-small fedoras. Cory says he had to play characters for his shoots, while the other two models just had to be themselves. Cory says he’s doing it because he wants to win and he’s here to break boundaries in the fashion industry. I heart him.
A Park in Bali!
Ken Mok, ANTM’s executive producer, and Laura Fuest, another executive producer, announce that this park will be the site of Final Runway. But not now! First there will be a shoot of a “fashion film,” which will be part of the runway show. The producers assure everyone that fashion films are totally a real thing all fashion models have to do now. I do not believe this assertion.
The theme will be… wait for it… a love triangle. Jourdan will have two suitors, because we’re not breaking that many barriers. Jourdan says that she is “doing whatever it takes to do amazing.” She also points out that in the fashion industry, guys and girls will be “fulfilling that element of romance.”
The catwalk crews are here to support the finalists and also be extras in the totally normal fashion film. The catwalk crews mostly seem to distract the finalists with tortured “natural” banter, but some kinds of support come in unusual packaging. Cory’s crew members say he has it in the bag. Marvin tells Don he’s been acting all along, and Jourdan said she tried acting as a kid, but she had stage fright.
Oh, gracious, Rob Evans and Cycle 19 winner Laura James will also be in the fashion film. Rob is a photographer who discovers Jourdan, and Laura is the muse who gets replaced. Everyone has the scene explained to them and nobody ever reads a script. Great idea. ANTM is about making bold choices. Bold, lunkheaded choices.
Cory explains that Jourdan is caught between the light and the dark, and that Cory will be playing the bad boyfriend. Cory is dressed all in red, Marvin is dressed all in white, and Jourdan is dressed in red and white. DO YOU GET THE SYMBOLISM?
Jourdan says her life has already been in the abusive place that they’re making her go with Cory, and it’s hard to go back to it, but she can’t let anything hold her back. Ken Mok, who seems to have decided that what this show needs is a little more Ken Mok in it, is directing up a storm. “Action! Grab her by the neck! Action! Try to plant a kiss on her! Turn away! Run!”
Cory says that for him, the model film is acting to the tenth degree. (No, it isn’t.) He says that, again, Jourdan and Marvin just play themselves, but he has to jump through a hoop of fire. It’s a metaphoric hoop of fire, but it still makes me miss Nina’s light-up hula hoops. Can we have those shipped out?
Marvin is happy to play the good guy because he’s playing himself. Meanwhile, they’re using remote-controlled camera drones for no reason whatsoever. None. Jourdan is impressed that Marvin is “going for it” and successfully pretending to be in love with her and not Renee, whom, we are reminded, he’s actually with. Marvin, taking a sharp detour into Creepytown announces that if he kisses Jourdan, he’ll have kissed every woman in Cycle 20. Way to make both your co-star and your girlfriend feel comfortable, Marvin. Jourdan says a kiss isn’t happening, which suggest to me that she hasn’t thought through the implications of this fashion film. This important, authentic, fashion film. Marvin tells Jourdan she’s sweating like a pig. Charming, dude.
Marvin assures us that he’s not into Jourdan and will be imagining Renee’s face over Jourdan’s face if they have to kiss. A visibly uncomfortable Renee says that if Marvin has to kiss Jourdan, that’s his job, so whatever. She really has nothing to worry about, because Marvin seems to be taking every possible opportunity to be shmoopy with Renee.
Ah, but it’s Cory who must make out with Jourdan! It’s better than the kiss in the Michael Jackson “Remember the Time” video
…but maybe not by much. Cory says it’s “disgusting,” (Oh, come on.) and then says “Sorry, girl.” Cory can’t believe they’re making him do this, but at least he’s keeping his sense of humor about it. And he does have a more difficult job: He’s not a natural creeper like Marvin and he doesn’t just have to be the passive recipient of male attention (Thanks, Tyra!) like Jourdan does. Jourdan tells Cory that she’s sorry he has to kiss a girl so many times, but she interviews that she had fun doing the scene. Good for you, Jourdan.
Those are three tuckered out models. Jourdan says it’s still way better than being stuck behind a desk as a telemarketer. Marvin can’t believe they shot a Guess campaign and a “film” and a “Nylon” spread in so little time. Well, at least they’ve kept things in perspective. Points all around for that. Marvin says Cory is doubting himself, which means Marvin now has the edge. Cory says he nervous and doesn’t want to let his community down.
Final Runway Day!
Johnny Wujek is wearing a hat that says “RUNWAY” on it. Ugh. Do you think he packed all those terrible hats, or do you think he’s been bothering someone in Bali for them. (“You want a what? Why?”)
Johnny asks the models how it has been to have their catwalk crews there. Marvin and Cory say it’s been great. Jourdan is carefully diplomatic and says it has been good to have someone there to keep her spirits up. The catwalk crews might be more useless than Bryanboy. But maybe they help with the fatigue.
Johnny Wujek, in a wondrous burst of pure evil that gives me faith in this show all over again, says that sure, the crews are there behind the models they want to support the most… But are they supporting the models they really think will win? Wujek announces that the catwalk crew of the model who actually wins will get $1,000 each. There is a hilarious shot of Chlea doing some hard thinking. Seriously, this is a little slice of monstrous genius. I hope the producer (or production assistant, or whoever) who thought of it gets promoted immediately.
Jourdan wonders if people will choose he or if Chris will bail. Marvin says he’s nervous because he knows money is tight in his catwalk crew. Oh, man, I’m really hoping for someone to turncoat, and I don’t much care on whom. Renee stays with Marvin. She interviews that Johnny’s trying to bribe her with $1,000, but she doesn’t want to be a bitch. But in the moment, she says that she thinks Marvin is the strongest competitor. Are we agreed that those statements do not match? Nevertheless, no one leaves Team Booch.
Jourdan thinks the Booch Blues want to turncoat, but are too afraid of looking like jerks. Chris says he’s confident that Jourdan will win him $1,000 – and it seems to be generally acknowledged that she’s the one everyone thinks has the best odds. In fact, the whole premise of this challenge seems to be that Jourdan doesn’t have anyone who likes her the most, but is the acknowledged front-runner and everyone knows it. That’s pretty diabolical on its own.
Oh, harsh, Chlea is open about the fact that she’s debating whether Cory can really win. She says Cory knows she loves him, but…no, wait, money won’t talk her out of this! She’s staying! Um, that’s loyal, but she as good as said that she doesn’t think Cory can take this. That is one mixed blessing of a teammate.
Oh, snap! Mike is switching to Jourdan’s team. He says he has bills to pay and Jourdan’s a real model. Cory responds that he’s sorry Mike will miss out on a thousand bucks.
Jourdan says she’s glad to have two people who have her back now, but Marvin points out that neither of those people actually like her. Team Booch yells “Booch Blue!” together in a male-bonding way. Oh, dear.
Johnny says it’s time to go into hair and makeup and get this thing started. YES, PLEASE.
Jourdan says when you’re doing great, you have a lot of haters. Mike and Chris stand around awkwardly, because we all know that both of these things are true for Jourdan, but we also all know that those things are not necessarily related. Well, everyone but Jourdan.
Renee says that Marvin has the really loyal team. And good thing, too, because he’s asking for lots of reassurance. Cory protests a little too hard that he can win this thing. Stay cool, Cory. Nina tells Mike he’s going to shit himself when he sees that Cory has won. She’s a good egg, that Nina.
Outside, we get a tiny, tantalizing look at some sort of very interesting Indonesian dance that’s happening, but we have to cut away from them because this is not that show. At least we get to see Cory all dressed and looking fantabulous like a sexy well-dressed lord.
For some reason all the fallen models are in formalwear as well. I’m not clear on why. Are they all walking in the show as decoys? Or are these, um, all the models we have for this one?
With 20 minutes to go before the show, Tyra comes backstage and says she has an announcement: Only two of the finalists will be competing in this runway show. Oh, man, this is a PILE of evil. It is magically cruel. Rob and P.R. Maven Kelly Cutrone walk in to eliminate one of the finalists right now.
Tyra looks deeply serious, and is using her serious, formal enunciation to match. The judges and “social media” will determine who will be walking in the fashion show based on the Guess shoot. Holy criznap.
God, the living photos are still the worst. In Marvin’s they just have his shirttail pointlessly flapping. Kelly wonders if Marvin’s cheekbones work harder than he does. Rob says Marvin looks more Kohl’s than Guess, and Tyra says Marvin looks too young and sweet. Useless Bryanboy says social media loved him, though.
Jourdan’s braid is flapping for her “living photo.” Because what you want is to distract from the model’s face. Chris pipes up that he’s glad he picked Jourdan. Kelly says this Daisy Duke shot needs less Daisy and more Duke. I have no idea what Rob says, none, but he seems to think it looks like a Guess shot. Tyra likes Jourdan’s booty tooch, but not her neck. Apparently the Fetch scores are all about the booty tooch as well.
Cory looks so good he gets applause. Kelly says he looks like a straight guy, but not THE guy. Rob says he’s masculine, but doesn’t like the shot. Tyra says Cory is modeling his ass off.
This week’s obsolete model:
THESE BASTARDS ARE NOT TELLING US.
Jerks. We see decoy shots of all three finalists walking, then apparent footage of everyone looking at someone who has collapsed or been injured. It is super, super jerky. But we have true grit, you and I, and so we will persevere. The actual finale part of the finale will be upon us soon enough. See you next week!