America’s Next Top Model: Battle of the Badly Named Superheroes

This weeks ANTM was rather tame, which is probably expected after make over drama in week 2, and Louise’s meltdown in week 3.  Excuse me, I mean Chameeleoné’s meltdown the week before. This week the girls wore bad hats and got advice from a “brand futurist” which is not, and never will be, an occupation. Still, there were fights and crying and threats to leave! Plus, there’s Nigel looking sexy in a t-shirt. Shall we?

We join back up with the models as they recover from Louise’s departure in the “holding room.” Okay, I realize that holding room is probably a standard term, but I am amused nonetheless by its prison and livestock handling overtones. I assume that they are being held there as Louise is tranquilized for transport, her belongings burned, and her identity forever wiped from the annals of ANTM (right, Adrienne Curry?).

Eboni, though, can’t waste too much time worrying about Louise, she’s mad at Tyra, as she should be. Tyra gave her the horrible moniker “30-Never” along with the crappiest pigtails this side of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. I would also be pissed if Tyra went Terry Richardson on me and consigned me to a lifetime of pervy American Apparel Ads. On the other hand, perhaps throwing a tantrum is not the best way to prove you are more mature than Tyra thinks. Also, why are you yelling at Kyle? She’s not the one selling you into child porn.

Eventually, Louise is safely packed into a box and put in the UPS truck for shipping back to the UK, and the girls return home. Once again, the Brits are forced to watch as the Americans enjoy a giant box of treats carefully culled from various gift bags Tyra’s received. Candace gets a suspicious amount of screen time, considering she hasn’t done anything.

A Tyra mail arrives, asking if the girls can “translate their Super Powers into super sales?” I sincerely hoped this would lead to them trolling for tourist pics on Hollywood Boulevard with the other costumed superheroes, but this was not to be. Instead the ladies travel off to Miss J, now dressed like your Aunt Esther on a cruise ship, and a tragically tracksuited Mark Lindstrom, the “brand futurist.” You would think a “brand futurist” would realize the quickest route to making me hate him is using and inventing the term “brand futurist.” And the track suit, obviously.

I’m vaguely Europeanish!

Tracksuit tells the girls they must  create a TV commercial. Jebus, last week they had to develop their own ad campaign. Pretty soon they’ll be building the sets and running on giant hamster wheels to provide power to the house. At least this challenge has a prize: diamonds from Ultra Diamond, which sounds like fake diamonds (as in, “hey baby I got you real Dymondz™, just don’t leave them in a hot car or they’ll melt”) but are apparently real.

In the end, the models aren’t filming a real commercial, and they never will. Instead, they must choose from various fake (I hope) Top Model products such as TV Dinners and toilet paper and ad lib a pitch.

They are actually better at this than I would have ever guessed. CoverGirl should consider hiring them instead of the cretins who come u with “Lash Blast” and other ill fated advertising copy. Although not all of them are great. Scottishly tries to sell toilet paper on the basis of how it will leave your ass smelling so nice your boyfriend would enjoy smelling it.  You could sell pretty much anything with that cute accent, though.

“It mayks yer arse reek bonnie”

Still, a nice smelling ass actually would be a selling point for TP, as opposed to Laura advocating that the trash bags would be handy for shitting in. I would suddenly be very wary of any trash bags lying around the model house.

Eboni’s delivery is very poised, but comes off as snippy, whereas Kyle (Next Doorsia) stumbles and looks nervous. Poor Eboni now also has a big white splotch on her face from where the stylists burned her. No wonder the girl is crabby.

Afterwards, Tracksuit announces that he and Miss j will not be the judges, the public will be. And by public he means the random people whose lives are so empty they can be picked up at shopping malls and convinced to participate in focus groups. You know, morons.

This why America can’t have nice things

The models are herded into another room (holding room?) where they can listen to the unvarnished opinions of unwashed masses. They dislike Azmarie for her arm tattoos and probably general bigotry (Note: this is probably also why CoverGirl will keep her from winning). Laura, of all people, is considered too “ghetto,” and one overly man thinks Alisha has an African accent. People who work with focus groups must go home every night barely suppressing the urge to go on a killing rampage.

Naturally, they love the cute, unthreatening girls: Seymone, Sophie, Annaliese and Kyle. Yes, Kyle. She may barely be able to string four words together, but she’s not bald and tattooed and talks American.

Eboni is furious at Kyle because while Eboni might come across as an asshole mostly because she is an asshole, Kyle stammered her way through and generally did a crappy job. That’s true, but it’s not Kyle’s fault that America loves bland, flavorless things. Kyle leaves the room in tears and threatens to quit. It would amuse me greatly if instead of having eliminations, they simply had one contestant snap every week and leave. Sadly, she stops short of screaming for transport in the parking lot, like Louise.

Tracksuit announces that Annaliese wins. Finally, the Brits win something. It’s been a long time since that Falklands thing, so they were due. Now they know to never listen to the American public, including this blog post. Seriously, I have no idea what I’m talking about.

At the house, Tyra Mail informs them to “Hold onto your hats and prepare for a bumpy ride!” Hopefully that means rodeo. Every girl is a different kind of horse!  Meanwhile, Kyle makes a teary call home and continues to threaten to leave. Mom tells her to sleep on it (good advice, Mom!). I notice that they have separate British and American phone booths.

“But mom, she nick-named me Next-Doorsia! And they’ve already disfigured one girl and driven another mad! Seriously, I’m scared.”

The shoot is not rodeo at all. The models get up in the wee hours for a trip to the Valley and the Sepulveda Dam. Sophie thinks that it’s where they filmed Grease, but that’s pretty much the only movie that wasn’t filmed there. Grease was filmed by downtown. Sophie can be forgiven for her confusion, seeing as how our local waterways are all lined with the naturally occurring concrete Los Angeles is famed for.

Never afraid to make a dramatic entrance, Nigel, Mr. Jay and two nobodies drive up in some awesome lowrider cars. Because if there’s one thing that comes to mind with lowrider culture, it’s posh British photographers and, well, Mr. Jay. For the shoot, the models will stand with the cars and wear Philip Treacy hats. He’s the British designer who tricked out Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie in a spectacularly passive-aggressive fashion for Kate and William’s wedding.

“You will look ridiculous. I will look handsome. Also, focus groups love me, and my ass smells like freshly mown grass.”

Azmarie goes first, and manages to look amazing depite wearing a flying saucer on her head. I’m a little concerned a good wind will carry her away like a Frisbee. The tats actually work well with the lowrider/couture combo.

Snore. Uh, what was that? Sorry, I drifted off again during Catherine’s shoot. She gets a lot of dramatic mileage from a strong breeze. I’m in awe of her hat’s ability to stay glued on.  Somehow, her pose comes off as more uncomfortably pelvis-thrusty than Azmarie’s.

Alisha learned her lesson last episode: if Tyra names you Gamatronica, you better damn well show off your legs. She works that leg so hard, she should sue Angeleina Jolie for biting her style at the Oscars. I half expect her to put a foot on the camera lens.

Kyle, who has been whining throughout the shoot, manages to pull off a good shot. She looks a little stiff (as usual), and Gamatronica might take her down for showing more leg than she does, but she’s finally got a little emotion in her face. It’s a little robot beauty queen, but it’s okay.

Scottishly, on the other hand has a little too much emotion in her face. She looks pissed, perhaps because her brains are exploding out of … oh wait, that’s just the hat. Still, it looks like she’s moments from a good old fashioned Braveheart beatdown.

Seymone, once again, fails to bring it. She sits rather listlessly around the car, perhaps not realizing that the parade was only in the first episode. This car is staying put and she has to model.

Nigel loves Analiese’s eprformance. I’m impressed they got a hat that is the is the pink equivalent to her hair. She looks good, although a bit like she is mad at the car for breaking down.

Laura takes her usual gymnastic approache, much to Nigel’s delight. He’s praises her for being the only model to get on the ground. Not that I blame the other models for not wanting to crawl around on that nasty concrete, but she does get props for trying. It’s a cool photo. By the way, I know the smoke/exhaust is supposed to be artistic, but all it does is bring up the nauseating memory of real car exhaust. Not a pleasant association.

Candace knows she has to impress Nigel, and naturally completely fails to do so. I’m very worried about your chances Candace. Sure Eboni and Kyle have also gotten a lot of screen time, but they are being drama queens. Unfortunately, I don’t think this picture will help. You look like you’re searching for the port-a-potty at the car show.

Sophie’s getting a little full of herself, to the point where Nigel has to tell her to be serious. She wind up with a modified verion of Catherine’s pelvis thrust pose. It’s just awkward. I expect hot car dude to ask if she’s too drunk to drive. She’s British so I can only assume the answer is yes.

Eboni pulls up the rea, and declares she needs to be true to herself, not the idiotic nickname Tyra gave her. Good for you Eboni! I mean, good for you in life, it’s probably suicide in this competition. Still, Nigel liked you and hopefully the judges will give you props for being highly ground adjacent, if not actually on the ground.

Back at the segregated house, Kyle starts to pack. I can’t tell if she’s packing because she plans to leave or if everyone packs up a little before judging, just in case. Laura thinks she’s spitting in Tyra’s face. Please, Tyra will be fine. She can always wipe off the spit with the one of the hundred dollar bills she’s earned making the show. It’s more than Kyle will get. She’ll leave with a terrible nick name and crappy bangs.

Miss J, in what is probably another cost-saving measure, will guest judge. He’s wearing the purple version of the outfit he wore at the challenge. It’s wrong on many levels, but I like it. It’s very Gloria Swanson meets Aladdin. Better than the hair nets and poofy sleeves of previous cycles, at least.

Sophie is first, and Nigel complains that he really wanted a shot of her and the car in the air at the same time. Is this really Sophie’s fault? No, Nigel’s just complaining about his unfulfilled artistic vision. You’d think after 38,942 cycles he’s be used to it. Kelly think her arched back screams maternity wear, much to my amusement. Tyra gives some very good advice about negative space that is also probably too complicated for Sophie to follow.  She couldn’t even jump in time with the car, remember?

Eboni, despite being a jerk and refusing to bow to the will of Tyra, gets a lot of love from the panel. Tyra does feel she’s going for a sexuality she doesn’t have yet. Well, you know how teenagers are, Tyra. They love to do what authority figures tell them. Now that you’ve told her to act like a child, I’m sure she’ll be happy to obey.

For once, Catherine is not adored by the panel. Kelly feels she’s not sexy, and Miss J thinks she needs to be more emotional. Weirdly, this is the fist close-up of hers I’ve really liked, even with a giant pick saucer glued on her forhead.

Even the panel thinks Alisha’s leg-centric photo is a little too much. You named her Gamatronica, Tyra, now you see what destruction you have wroth. If she’d been allowed to stick with her real name, she might not look like she’s making the first move in a couture game of twister.

Seymone, as expected, is in trouble. Tyra manages to nail the photo criticism by saying she looks like the wife of a mayor in a parade. Good one, Tyra. Too bad Tyra’s remedy is for Seymone to slut it up more. You know, like the mayor’s wife after she’s gotten a few drinks in her.

Kyle looks so down that even Kelly, Queen of Darkness, think she looks morose. No one should look that sad before Kelly has a chance to tell them how much they suck. Tyra’s solution is for Kyle to let her hair down from her bun. Problem solved! Rememeber ladies, all problems are cosmetic. They like her photo, and for once, I like her facial expression. She should get mad more often. It suits her.

Nigel thinks Ashley is a chameleon. Um, Nigel, Chameeleoné lost her mind and was sent upstate to a farm for a little rest.  Ashley is Charismia. Do not forget it. I’m not sure why they like this close-up of Scottishly and hated Eboni’s last week. Scottishly looks way angrier here and in a less pretty way.

Nigel criticizes Candace for being boring and uncommunicative. Tyra threatens to shave her head. OK, not exactly, but she does say she wished she had given her Azmarie’s hair so she’d have nothing to hide behind, conveniently forgetting that she had a ridiculous hat to hide behind.

Laura, of course, is adored. Tyra takes the opportunity to bring up another Tyra-ism, using model as different parts of speech. Laura was model the verb, not the noun (that’s good, btw). Plus she was present participle and not the past subjunctive, which would have been a disaster.

Miss J tells Annaliese she needs to look taller, which we all know is code for looking thinner. It would help if she didn’t have a huge puffy skirt and an enormous car in the foreground. It’s hard to look tall when the headlight is larger than your head. No wonder she looks mad.

Finally we have Azmarie. Tyra like her photo because it doesn’t look human. Given what we saw of humanity in the focus group, I have to agree that’s a plus. Girl has got an amazing face, and the hat helps hide the horrific pattern you shaved in her hair.

In deliberation, Kelly says that Scottishley needs to conscious of her brand. This is right after a panel where Nigel says he that she can be a chameleon. You’ll never win, Scottishley, never. Nigel thinks Azmarie is too aloof, but all is forgiven because she gave a great photo.

Whatever, let’s get to the photos before I’m another week late with this recap. Azmarie wins! Again! USA! USA! USA! Sorry, just practicing for the Olympics. She’s followed by Laura, Kyle, Catherine, Annaliese, Eboni, Alisha, Scottishley and Sophie.

Unsurprisingly, Seymone and Candace are in the bottom two. Tyra says that plus-size models with Seymone’s proportions are hard to find. Lord knows, we don’t want plus-sized models shaped like actual plus-sized people. That would be madness.

Candace, on the other hand, is not working the “Exotica” moniker that Tyra saddled her with. By the way, “exotic” to Tyra means from “Hawaii, Los Angeles, or Zimbabwe.” Guess what country is not exotic? The UK. I wish it was hard to believe that Tyra got all the way through this cycle without realizing how screwed up it was to tell a girl from New York that she was less American looking than actual foreign people, but it isn’t.

Candace hoes home, although it really should have been Seymone. I can only assume that she didn’t want to cut her last plus-size model so soon after the last one ran out screaming. I have expected to offer Candace a chance to stay, conditional on her shaving off all her hair. Such awesomeness was not to be. Goodbye Candace, you were one of the prettiest women here. Too bad that means nothing in the world of modeling.

brilliantmistake | 03.28.12 | Filed in America's Next Top Model,brilliantmistake,Recaps

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