i’m doing something a little different with this week’s “top model” recap. i don’t have the energy for an exhaustive blow-by-blow, so i’m breaking it all down into topical categories & just covering the highlights (with plenty of my own commentary). let’s get started!
TYRA: in the intro, in which she recaps the horrors of the previous week for more sane television viewers who don’t obsessively run over to their neighbor’s house to catch every new episode, tyra actually said, “who the heck do ya think’s goin’ home this week?” she just doesn’t give a fuck anymore, does she? i can’t help but wonder if this snippet was recorded around the same time tyra found out her talk show (“the tyra show,” covering such important societal issues as “women with two vaginas” & “the fiercee awards”) was being canceled. this was a hilariously indifferent departure from her usual dramatics.
of course tyra wears yet another eye-searingly ugly jumpsuit at judging panel. this one is brown & makes her hips look like saddlebags. why doesn’t someone stop her?
HOUSE DRAMA: angelea describes getting first call-out as “better than sex,” but she seems to be even more delighted about the fact that brenda was eliminated last week. she & krista link arms & dance around in a squaredancing circle, which seems to terrify some of the other girls. krista voices her own desire for first call-out, & you know it will happen because tyra has actually hired a real live wizard for the judging panel this cycle. why else is ALT always sporting those glamorous robes, with his spirit horn & scepter?
alexandra’s spirit has been completely crushed. in interviews, she sounds like she’s been crying, reflecting upon how she hasn’t gotten first call-out, she hasn’t won any challenges, she’s just not doing nearly as well as she thought she would. even anslee manages to find a break from interviewing about how important it is that she win this competition for the sake of creating a better life for her husband & daughter (seriously, she is cycle 8 renee all over again, except not as pretty–just as box-shaped though) to observe the change in alexandra. & watching this cycle on TV can’t be doing any favors for alexandra’s confidence. there are only so many times you can watch sepia-toned footage of yourself being knocked off a runway by a giant swinging pendulum & falling down a flight of stairs before you just give up & die. (an aside: there is nothing i enjoy more than watching people fall down. when i’m having a bad day, sometimes i type “people falling down” in youtube’s search field & just sit back & enjoy. so alexandra has a special place in my heart. i only wish she had leapt on to the pendulum & gone for a ride before falling off.)
jessica extends the olive branch to alasia & congratulates her on scraping through panel last week. “everyone who’s still here deserves to be here,” she says. that was genuinely nice, i think.
after the challenge, anslee & angelea gossip about how much krista deserved to win the challenge & hate on jessica a little bit for being so self-confident. anslee grumps that her walk showed her personality. her personality is something like an angrier version of cathy from the “cathy” cartoon strip, in that case. & i’m not just saying that because she is square.
the girls once again get frustrated with alasia for taking too long to make her hair enormous, causing them to possibly be late for their photo shoot. the girls all go down in the elevator & leave alasia behind. when she presses the elevator button, it doesn’t come. SO SHE KNOCKS. love it. who’d she think was in there? she doesn’t know what to do. i guess she’s unfamiliar with stairs. eventually the crew (i assume) shows her the emergency exit & she goes down the stairs. the limo awaits, although the girls let her know she’s an “idiot”. she says she’ll “take that”.
after the photo shoot, anslee says she will “either be in the middle, or ON TOP!” alexandra is still lacking confidence & concerned about getting the boot. krista offers a pep talk while painting alexandra’s nails.
THE CHALLENGE: whtney port, from “the hills” & “the city” (or something like that), & tyra’s crazy friend pat cleveland come to the loft to tell the girls that they are getting glammed up & dressed in some of whitney’s newest fashion collection (tacky tacky tacky! jessica is sporting some awful strapless solid boobalicious thing with a hideous lacy overlay; she says it makes her “feel like royalty” but she looks like she’s just been crowned roller disco queen of funspot, in toledo, ohio, circa 1991) & they’re going out on the town. i am terrified of the girls getting glammed up by pat cleveland’s team because they apparently thought it would be a good idea to glue huge wolf spiders to pat’s eyelids. seriously, when she blinked, i actually emitted a tiny scream. i was legitimately afraid.
the girls go to a drag club. they notice some “bulkier women” up in the house. the girls are challenged to walk a runway in front of all the drag queens, pat, whitney, miss j., & some random people dragged in off the street to fill out the audience a little. the girls are supposed to express their personality in their walks. alexandra feels the pressure, lest a giant pendulum once again prove to be her achilles’ heel.
question: why does angelea’s hair ALWAYS look like ass? she looks like she should be bringing a tray of tang & some rice krispie squares to some rowdy fourth graders circa 1973. jessica tosses her hair. alasia flounces. alexandra’s walk…there are no words. it was HORRIBLE. she almost walked off the runway, & it’s just a carpet on the floor. & her dress could not be any less flattering. she literally looked pregnant. poor alexandra. krista, meanwhile, nailed it. remember in cycle six, when tyra taught the girls how to stand perfectly still & turn around in a 360 mannequin spin? krista NAILED that. the crowd went wild. even jessica is forced to concede that krista’s walk was fabulous. anslee, however, was hunchbacked, angry, &…well…dreck.
the audience clapped in order to determine the winner. literally NO ONE cheered for anslee. she didn’t even get a pity golf clap. even alexandra did better than anslee. but of course, krista won the whole thing (inspiring an alexandra interview that sounds like an intake meeting at a mental hospital–keep her away from knives; maybe take away her shoelaces). krista wins some of whitney port’s designs. who cares?
PHOTO SHOOT: most ridiculous premise ever? the girls are turned over to a couple of professional weavologists, weaven steven & derek j. they will be crafting outfits made entirely out of hair for the girls. the girls act excited in front of mr. jay, but in interview, alasia provides more comedy gold by asking, “where did you get the hair, first of all?” she is horrified by this idea. the girls are also split into teams. they are asked to cheer for their teammates during the shoots, & heckle their competitors. the idea is that “you can’t always control the elements at photo shoots”. so they have to rock these ludicrous, smelly, “clan of the cave bear” outfits while the weavologists & fellow competitors yell at them.
jessica is first & jumps up in the air a lot. she looks elegant to me, but mr. jay said her head was either too far back or she looked stiff. raina yells, “what are you even doing?” good one. angelea has full-on hair pasty covering one breast. she flops at first, but after mr. jay ridiculed her a bit (& alasia zinged her with, “home depot called. they want their carpet back”–zing?), she does better. (supposedly.) raina rocks a red hairy coat. anslee is informed that her dress looks like “pubic hair,” that she is “dreckitude,” & jessica yells, “you look like a two-bit whore!” what? these girls are the worst hecklers ever. jared actually said, “if this teaches us one thing, it’s that heckling is harder than it looks.” krista decides to channel grace jones & does a lot of amazing faces & poses & positions. the other girls wear themselves out hollering. alasia rocks a little hula & could not be more boring. alexandra looks really pretty, but…her poses are horrible. she keeps twisting all around, trying to make the hair move. mr. jay is not amused. raina yells, “epic failure!” which made me laugh really hard. alexandra’s baby doll dress shape is totally unflattering for her body.
JUDGING: the judges (including guest judge whitney port) say they are tired & need a power nap. they all pull out pillows & put their heads down. a shepherd with a new zealand accent comes out & suggests they count sheep. suddenly everything gets all soft focus with lots of fluffy clouds & there’s a sheep on a harness. the girls look dumbfounded, insulted, horrified, & scared all at once. clouds descend, with little Zs hanging from them. the judges pluck them like apples & then tyra pulls down a big poster that says “new zealand” on it. the girls who remain after tonight’s panel will be off to that epic fashion capital, new zealand. this was one of the best (read: worst) international destination announcements EVER. i especially liked the sheep!
the judges say jessica’s photo makes her look like an “up & coming model to watch”. her shot is in mid-air with pointed toes. krista gets praise for looking like a model on a go-see. her photo is awesome & tyra says all her film was great. the judges like anslee’s strong face but they hate everything else about it. alasia looks sexy, but maybe too va-va-voom, in my opinion. of course ALT loves it & summons the ghost of alexander mcqueen in his praise. but tyra says her film was dull. the judges aren’t crazy about alexandra’s shot, in which they can see up her nostrils & directly into her brain. with her head tipped back, her body tipped forward, & wearing 300 pounds of hair…it’s not so great. angelea’s photo, in my opinion, is the worst of the bunch. her face looks like a melting candle, her hair dress gapes about four inches away from her skeletal torso…oh my god. HIDEOUS. but of course the judges love it. raina’s shot is adorable. she almost looks like an extra hairy audrey hepburn out on a walk. the judges offer praise.
in deliberations, ALT & tyra work hard to find criticisms to throw at jessica. they just don’t like her, because, come on, her shot is great. they rave about krista. they hate anslee. ALT is IN LOVE with alasia. he says he’s a “high fashion sepia model from givenchy” or something. what’s his deal? tyra says that alexandra has a gift for being able to show everyone her nostrils butgive gorgeous face anyway. nigel praises her perfect plus-sized proportions. they all praise angelea–WHY? whitney says she wishes she had a face like raina’s. tyra says she would buy raina’s hair coat.
krista gets first call-out, along with first-class plane tickets to new zealand. angelea is called next (the judges must have access to truly phenomenal crack). raina is called third. all the girls seem to be contractually obligated to squeal about going to new zealand, & if they don’t comment upon it (as jessica & alasia do not), tyra mentions it for them.
this leaves anslee & alexandra in the bottom two. anslee is informed that her non-face modeling fucking sucks. alexandra is told she takes “pretty decent pictures…not stunning, but decent,” & that she “lacks drive”. i thought the editing was leading to an alexandra elimination, but they tricked me. alexandra is given a photo. tyra tells her to kick up the passion, & then tyra sends anslee off with a hug & a compliment on anslee’s “handsome” face. talk about damning with faint praise. anslee hugs her girls goodbye & krista is informed she can choose a friend to join her in first-class. she shrieks & selects angelea.
anlee cries about being cut, but says she looks forward to seeing her daughter. she only regrets that she “let [her daughter] down.” um…she’s two. i think she’ll somehow find the strength to soldier on despite this devastating disappointment.
next week, alasia forgets her map when she goes on go-sees & is ridiculously late returning to the agency, & the girls have to pose with sheep. krista appears to fall on one. get psyched!