You Guys It’s Here! Your America’s Next Top Model Catch-up Recap Spectacular Spectacular!
Once upon a time, an ambitious model named Tyra had a perfect show. She invited on lots of young, beautiful women who were sometimes not very bright and tormented them with challenges and a world of complete illogic until one emerged victorious and grabbed a prize that ended up being precisely zero actual use to her career.
And everyone watched, and they smiled with their eyes, because they saw that it was good. Well, not good, exactly – usually it was deliriously terrible – but it was delightful and insane and a joy to watch for reasons good and bad.
And then the model named Tyra took a marketing class.
And suddenly the show was filled with branded catchphrases like Smize™ and H-to-T™ and, most terrifyingly, Tooch™. And the show got a lot less fun.
And then the model decided her falling ratings were due to not staying relevant to the youth market, so she started trying to make music videos and young adult literature about islands full of models, and for some reason she would not shut the fuck up about saying “Pot Ledom,” as though that were in any way a meaningful thing, and then she could not trust anyone to get that wicked cool secret code, so she would immediately follow that with “Top Model backwards” every single damned time.
And still her ratings fell. And the show descended into tedium and catchprases and suck, and the model named Tyra fired her stiff tin man, her leggy scarecrow, and her useless orange lion, apparently via Facebook, and lo, the show got even less fun to watch.
And so young Tyra hired a hunky male model and a frowny P.R. and Fashion Maven and the most useless thing in the entire known universe, a BryanBoy, which did nothing but talk about “social media” scores and comments that some poor intern kept track of.
And still the show got sadder and harder to watch.
And so Tyra the model yelled, “Let there be men!”
What You Need To Know About the Remaining Models
Cory is ghey and biracial and perhaps the most together person in the house So far Cory has always been a welcome and level-headed presence on our screens. He doesn’t stand a chance.
Nina is sweet – maybe a little too sweet. She has a tiny chin and huge, beautiful eyes, which means she can look very high fashion or the judges can sabotage her on a whim by choosing a photo with a weird angle. Did I mention she actively works to reconcile people and won’t start new drama? She doesn’t stand a chance.
Don is gorgeous, African-American, has tattoos, and is a ladies’ man, and dialogue in early episodes indicated that Tyra and the producers expected him based on some jerky stereotyping to create tension by being difficult and homophobic. Instead he seems so far to be pretty sweet and level-headed and is getting a boring edit. He doesn’t stand a chance.
Jiana is beautiful, but not wholesome-pretty, and not that weird kind of avant-garde pretty that Tyra loves so much. Jiana has been flirting with Phil, but she’s kept the fact that he has a girlfriend at home in mind and doesn’t seem dumb enough to commit any indiscretions on camera. She doesn’t stand a chance.
Chris had a terrible, terrible childhood, and we should feel much sympathy for that. On the other hand, Chris the adult doesn’t seem to put a hell of a lot of effort into not being a dick. I don’t want him to stand a chance, but he probably does.
Marvin is a sweetheart and I am afraid this competition will chew him up like a bewildered gummi bear. We have a soft spot for Marvin because of the week when Perez Fucking Hilton came on. The odious Hilton told the models how they had become “fabulous personalities” through blogging and then side-coached the models through earpieces as they did “interviews” with people on the street. Mostly Perez and Bryanboy tried to get the models to either strip or insult the random people they were interviewing, and Marvin wouldn’t have it. He tanked the challenge rather than be mean to a stranger. So, yeah, we don’t know what he’s doing here, but we like him.
Renee is stunningly pretty and seems to have good modeling skills. (Remember when this show used to teach something about modeling?) Renee is one of the acknowledged Contenders. She hates fellow Contender Jourdan with a molten-fire intensity that could power the public transportation systems of a thousand major cities, but she keeps it pretty well in check in terms of actually starting trouble. Renee has a real shot.
Phil is a hipster dingbat. He has a beard and never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever takes off his horrible woolen hat, even indoors, unless he is actually in the middle of a shoot.
Jourdan is the clear front-runner right now. She has wholesome girl-next-door looks and modeling experience and often nails her photos. She also has an abusive teen marriage under her belt. Jourdan will definitely make it to at least the top three, because she drives everybody else straight up the walls.
Awesomest Elimination Thus Far
Perfectly fine model Kanani was eliminated because someone scared her with a clown doll the night or a couple of days or maybe weeks before her photo shoot. For real: She blamed her lackluster photo on having seen a clown doll that was not in the room at the time of the shoot. And several of the other models bought this theory.
THIS WEEK YOU GUYS THIS WEEK
Kelly Cutrone, in sunglasses and holding a parasol, declares that Melrose Avenue is the “epicenter of trend and fashion shopping in Los Angeles.” The hell it is.
Who is Kelly Cutrone, you ask breathlessly! Turns out ANTM has partnered with a website that is – You will be astonished! – a client of Kelly Cutrone. Kelly Cutrone is going to give the models a quiz on fashion – from her podium on the sidewalk – and the models will earn credits for the website that I will not be tricked into naming, nope! Just forget it Kelly Cutrone! And then the models will use their website credits to shop in the actual Melrose Avenue stores.
The models could earn $2,000 in website blerg and will also be challenge winners. The models do a reasonable job of looking excited.
Oh, but to create a new look, they need a “blank canvas,” so the models are being forced to strip again this cycle, this time on a busy thoroughfare. HEY, TYRA. HOW ARE THE RATINGS?
Everyone does because there are no nevernudes on the show anymore because everyone knows it immediately gets you kicked off, so good luck with that forced drama. The models just blandly strip to their skivvies for a sidewalk quiz. As one does before one goes shopping.
Renee ends up with $250. Some of the models have $25. And 30 minutes. And they’re in their underpants – they’re all in black matching bras and underpants, actually, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say the stripping wasn’t a huge surprise.
Chris tries to help Nina and Jiana dithers. Phil can’t find anything for his $25 budget. The models fight over salespeople and Marvin tries to psych people out. The models are acting like they have money for shoes, which, no.
Kelly introduces Monica Rose, who it turns out is the stylist for the Kardashians and is thus dead to me. God, the two of them together are like a standing puddle of things that are wrong with our culture. And this challenge is stupid because none of the models had full-outfit budgets, and yet they are all fully dressed.
Monica Rose is even more superficial than I expected, and is, in fact, dressed like the lesser Kardashian sisters.
Jiana picked a pretty cool dress that has a daring midriff-baring grill kind of a thing. (Oh, P.S., I’m not into clothes, so you’re just going to have to roll with my Fashion moments in these recaps.) Maybe it looks a tad more daring in person, but Monica Rose calls it “bondage,” which it definitely is not. Jiana is horrified that she looked “bondage,” but in fact what happened is that Monica Rose doesn’t really know what a bondage look is.
Phil had $25 to work with, so he bought (and distressed) some women’s tights and threw a T-shirt over it. And it does, in fact, look like a street-style look. Not a good one by any stretch of the imagination, but a plausible one for a major city with an arty scene. I didn’t think it was a winner, but I did think it was a clever way of complying with the stupid contest rules. KELLY CUTRONE AND MONICA ROSE COULD NOT BE MORE ANGRY OR DISGUSTED WITH PHIL. They think he is mocking their terribly serious and useful challenge. Because you know how often real working models are sent out onto the street with $25 in gift cards and told to dress themselves. Kelly Cutrone is just hilariously furious. I am hereby begging everyone to start this as a real trend.
And the winner is… Hypnotic Don! He gets $2,000 for Kelly’s product placement website. Don also gets to choose two people to go out for ice cream with him. What? It would be awesome if they made the other six models watch them eat with their faces pressed up against the window, but in fact it’s just Don, Marvin, and Renee going out together.
There are challenge scores maybe but we stopped paying attention to what those meant weeks ago. Bring on the emotional carnage please!
Art! We’re at some art!
It’s what the caption says is the Lanark Art Gallery, which, um, doesn’t seem to be coming up as a real thing on my Google search. Maybe it has been mislabeled. I can’t think about that right now because I am too occupied with doubling over in embarrassment because all the pictures – ALL OF THEM – are pictures of Tyra made up to look like other supermodels. Or, um, depending on your definition of such things, as actual supermodels. Seriously, you guys, I can’t even tell if the pictures are cool or not because I’m cringing too hard to be able to see and my body keeps trying to spontaneously protect my brain by hiding on the couch. It is a stunning display of naked ego, ambition, and raw, clawing anger. The exhibit should be called “DON’T EVER LOOK AT ANYONE BUT ME! THERE ARE NO MODELS BUT ME! I AM THE HIGHLANDER!”
It’s… I can’t even… OK, look, I need to meet you back here in a bit. I’ll be under the couch.
OK, I’m back, and oh, Shesus, some of the “photos” are all doing this moving thing. I forgot to tell you about this earlier: In a heartbreaking attempt to connect with The Young People, all of the photos this cycle have one moving element. I think they’re calling them “living photos.” It is just as stupid and distracting as you think it is. They might as well have made the models pose for those 3-D pictures where you move it back and forth and the pterodactyl flaps its wings. Also, Tyra? The teenagers you’re trying to reach have been making full-on gifs of your face since they were 8. They are not going to be impressed by the still image with the herky winking.
So we see Tyra as Cindy Crawford and Tyra as Kate Moss and Tyra as Claudia Schiffer.
Personal to Ms. Banks: You have carved out your own empire and made one bajillion dollars. Please. You don’t have to do this. The exhibit is called “The Supermodel: Tyra Untouched in Black & White.” Oh, heavens to betsy. The guys read that there has been no photo retouching, and this is all makeup, styling and lighting. “Tyra has not been retouched in any way.” Uh-huh.
Tyra appears and asks how everyone is enjoying the “art exhibit.” She says it’s a global art exhibit that will be in galleries around the world. Fine. Apparently it showed at New York Fashion Week, so, OK, fine, shut my mouth, it could be going anywhere.
The models are going to be living art installations too! In this gallery! Well, “gallery.”
Oh, sweet heaven, all is right with the world: The models are having paint hurled at them.
Let’s Throw Some Paint!
Jourdan complains that the paint got in her ears and nose, while Cory loves looking like Carrie in his bloody red paint.
Jiana is bummed about this shoot because she hates being sticky. Honey, you should have been there for the maple syrup shoot. Johnny has a ton of good advice for Jiana… which he delivers to the camera person who will not be showing this footage for months. He does not, apparently, give any of that advice to Jiana while she’s actually there. USELESS.
Johnny tells Nina that she wants to look elegant, like a swan. And then a production assistant hurls a bucket of paint at her. They seem happy with what they got.
Phil looks too much like Jesus, so Tyra gets someone in to trim his Jesus beard and has them put his extensions in a bun. Johnny wants Phil to think outside the box. Not that Johnny tells Phil that directly.
Tyra’s intro photo has her with paint on just her fingers – we do not throw paint at Tyra – and what looks like what you would get if you sliced off the dorsal side of a dove. Maybe it’s supposed to be an angel butterfly? I have no idea.
As usual, Kelly Cutrone, Rob Evans, and the UTTERLY USELESS Bryanboy are here. Bryanboy makes new staffer Johnny Wujek look like a freaking Leatherman multi-tool.
Everyone likes Jourdan’s shot. She gave them neck! Tyra says she gave them H-to-T neck. Which, translated, means that Jourdan gave them head-to-toe neck. That is freaking terrifying. Bryanboy blahs about how “social media” loves her as we awesomely cut to Renee to watch her demurely swallow a cannon-ball sized chunk of rage. Tyra gives Jourdan a 2. Wait, she’s just kidding! 10-10-10. Tyra calls it one of the top 20 Top Model pictures. Renee crushes a billiard ball to dust.
Kelly accurately points out that Phil looks like he’s in a diaper in his shot. The judges aren’t feeling it. Also some crazy chick gives him a note in bizarre makeup, like she’s hoping to camouflage herself and live among the ermines. 5-7-6.
Tyra tells Renee she looks like a bird that is on fire. Nobody tell Tyra that that is not usually a good thing. 7-10-8.
Time to add up the scores!
Nine models! Eight photos in Tyra’s hands! They have added in the social media scores! Please, PLEASE think of a new phrase and stop saying “social media” a million times an episode!
Best photo: Jourdan! Duh!
Runner up: Renee
Oh, no! Phil and Jiana are left! Are we crying because their push-pull attraction is about to be sundered, or because Phil is wearing purple pants and a bright red top? One photo left!
Tyra says Phil has potential but cracks under pressure. She says Jiana started strong and kept falling. Does she understand her own beauty? Who stays? Who goes?
This week’s obsolete model:
Aww. Phil gives her a hug, and Jiana’s collapse-and-cry is hindered by her giant heels.
Tyra reminds us all that Jiana is actually staying, like, right next door and still doing all the photo shoots, so don’t freak. Phil and Jiana long-hug. Phil’s girlfriend bites a two-by-four in half.
Next week: Jourdan freaks! Phil and Renee fight! Oh, no!