Toss a coin. I’d do em both.
I’d like to start out by thanking both VH1 and iTunes for not making the damn season finale available for download until almost a fucking week after it originally aired. That’s so cool and professional. And completely reasonable, given the ridiculous price I paid for 11 episodes. So, my apologies to you – the loyal reader(s). Also, I’d like to give a shout-out to Flipit for holding my virtual hand throughout the whole ordeal this week. I freaked out in email form many a time, and he was awesome about all of it. Thanks, man. If I ever meet you in person, I’ll buy you a moderately priced bottle of domestic beer. Maybe two if they’re on special. Anyway, we’ve had enough of a delay, haven’t we? On with the awesome craptasia that is America’s Most Smartest Model!
Previously, 3 remained and Angela was sent home because she was a bitchy attention-whore and possibly a pathological liar. What will I do without her? Enjoy life, that’s what. Thank god Andre’s still on the show. I think they kept him just so I’d have someone to make fun of. Because I’m totally positive that Mary Alice, Ben Stein, and all the “models” read my recaps religiously. So it’s down to Andre and VJ, and my money’s on VJ. It’s not the only thing of mine I wish was on VJ, either. Oh yes – I went there.
There’s a recap/flashback of the whole season, focusing on Andre and VJ. Trust me, it’s nothing you haven’t seen or read about. Bor-ing! I waited almost a week for this? Sheesh. Credits! Last time I’ll see this weirdness. House. Morning. The presentation ladies are still helping VJ and Andre with their multimedia presentations on why they should be America’s Most blah blah blah. The woman helping Andre, Kathy, sort of looks like Helen Mirren.
Eh, what’s one more Queen?
The woman helping VJ asks him some probing questions. These questions are an excuse for us to flashback to previous episodes. Like the time VJ won a challenge and got to choose photo shoot durations for the barnyard shoot. He gave Daniel the shortest time available. The flashback is grainy and poorly lit, and it gives it a 70s kind of look, only reinforced by Daniel’s hairstyle. They discuss VJ’s success in the show. Flashback to the Jag challenge. VJ is nervous and excited. Me too, VJ — be gentle with me. Oh, sorry. I got kind of caught up in my own thing there.
Andre flashes back to last week when Ben gave him the Sony Ericsson Z50 Mobile Phone. Now, last time we were left with a cliffhanger: Who does Andre call? His mother? His voicemail? His sexual assault lawyer? No. He calls Pickel to ask him to basically create his entire presentation for him. Pickel, in interview, looks less attractive than I remember. Pickel talks about Andre being a jerk that turned into a friend. Aw, that’s sweet and stupid. Pickel says that he’d be glad to do the presentation, because he’d rather Andre win than VJ. Flashback to Pickel having an ADHD freak out session in front of Mary Alice and Ben Stein. And so, VH1 will bring Pickel back. Again. I guess he’s become popular. Like Steve Urkel. Andre laughs a truly evil laugh and goes back inside.
Flavor of Urkel
Andre tells Kathy that someone else will give the presentation. Kathy likes the idea, probably because she already hates Andre. Andre is arrogant and confident in an interview, all “VJ’s gonna be schooled.” Um . . . sure. By Pickel. Yeah, I’ll buy it. Except not really, because Pickel’s a spaz who was kicked off the show like 4 episodes ago. VJ’s gal says that they have a great presentation. Her name is Sally, which doesn’t really matter now because we’ll never see her again. VJ will stay up all night to make a great presentation if he has to! But he is interrupted by Claudia Wells, a stylist or something. VH1 places this “fun fact” on the screen: “Claudia Wells played Michael J. Fox’s girlfriend in the original Back to the Future.” What is this – Pop-Up Video? Yeah, VH1? 1998 called and said that the two of you should see other people. You can still be friends, though.
Claudia asks VJ to take his shirt off and is visibly impressed by what she sees. Join the club, sweetie. She says, “This is fun.” You know what? I like Claudia Wells. Give me a show about her, I say. She reminds me a bit of Melinda Clarke from The O.C. Which is a total compliment, because Julie Cooper was all kinds of badass. VJ lies in an interview that even if he doesn’t win, he’ll be happy because he made it this far. Does anyone actually believe that? Andre is fitted for his suit. He screams “Soviet!” again. Lordy – I am NOT going to miss that. He kisses Julie Cooper/Claudia Wells’ hands. She pretends to be charmed, but 10 bucks says that as soon as Andre leaves she breaks out the tiny bottle of anti-bacterial solution she keeps in her purse and rubs it all over her hands.
Another fun fact: There’s no way those things are real. This woman is going to have severe back problems in the not too distant future.
Morning. Andre gets dressed. VJ gets dressed. VJ feels like a “warrior putting on his armor.” Well, good lucked jousting in that so-called armor, VJ – poly-cotton blends can tear pretty easily. A limo pulls up to whisk the “models” away. They pull up to the El Rey theater in L.A. On the marquee, it says, “Now on stage America’s Most Smartest Model.” For some reason, both VJ and Andre are very excited about this and I’m not sure why. It’s a damn marquee, just like the one at the Sacred Heart school down the road from me: “Tuesday – Bake Sale for debate team.” Actually, that is kind of exciting. I hope they have cinnamon rolls.
Inside the El Rey, VJ kinda gays out a little and says he and Andre each get their own rooms, like they are “actors! Getting ready for Broadway!” complete with a touch of the jazz hands. I think VJ’s secret wish is to go out there and sing “Big Spender” from Sweet Charity to Ben and Mary Alice. “Do you wanna have fun? How’s about a few laughs? I could show a . . . good time!” God, I love that movie, even if Shirley MacLaine’s vocal stylings are a bit iffy.
Good lookin’, so refined! Say, wouldn’tcha like to know what’s goin’ on in my…line!
VJ goes over his notes in his green room (see? I know the theatre lingo.). One of his lines is, “I! Can! Accomplish! Anything!” I! Am! Annoyed! By! VJ’s! Enthusiasm! In the mirror, VJ says to his reflection, “I look like a gosh damn Kennedy.” Yeah – maybe Eunice Kennedy. Pickel walks in to Andre’s green room, and in interview, Andre does this completely horrendous and embarrassing Ed McMahon/Tonight Show impression, all, “Herrrrre’s Jefffffffffff Pickel!” I hope Andre’s watching this and covering his face in shame. Learn from your mistakes, Andre. Learn from your many, many, many mistakes.
Andre shows Pickel the presentation. Pickel asks, “But . . . where are the naked pictures of Brett? You promised me naked pictures of Brett, Andre!” (Not really. But I bet he’s thinking it.) Pickel interviews that Andre still has issues with the English language, and that he was smart to ask Pickel to do his presentation for him. “Smart” isn’t quite the word I would use, Pickel.
VJ and Andre walk out to see Ben and Mary Alice sitting at a table covered in red velvet. Mary Alice appears to be wearing a necklace made entirely of Hearts of the Ocean from Titanic. How many 120 year-old ladies had to die to make your necklace, Mary Alice? Mary Alice – without champagne?! – explains that VJ and Andre have 5 minutes to make their presentations. Ben Stein introduces the Ugly But Smart judges.
The first is one of those precious old men with those glasses that make their eyes look 3 times larger. He is an actual rocket scientist. I hope he has an accent! That would just be precious-er. Andre interviews that “the guy likes rockets! Just like meee!” What the hell is up with Andre in this episode? He’s acting like a seventh-grade girl on Pajama Day of School Spirit Week. Go Buffaloes! Tee-hee!
The other smarty judge is some guy who is, according to Ben, a writer, psychologist, and investment banker. Mary Alice introduces the Dumb But Pretty guest judges. They are some chick who has dressed famous people and a guy named Cameron who was voted by Time magazine as one of the “most influential people in fashion” and owns a vintage couture boutique. Yeowza – dude looks pretentious. I bet he wore an ascot in high school and has never had a beer in his entire life.
Yo, Mr. Toad! Love your Wild Ride!
I notice that VJ and Cameron McPretention have handkerchiefs in their lapels that match their ties. When the heck did that come back in fashion? That crap is tacky and pointless. The only reason to have a handkerchief is if you’re a 60 year-old man who blows his nose a lot, and even that is kinda disgusting. Sorry, Dad – I love you but it really grosses me out. Ben pretends to care by saying that he and Mary Alice have been honored to work with the two of them throughout the competition.
VJ’s up first. Hey, VJ tells us that “VJ” stands for Van Jameson, in case you cared. Which you did not, of that I am sure. He projects this ginormous image of himself on the screen. Seriously. When it’s placed next to the real VJ, he is teeny tiny in comparison. What if all the “models” on the show were this giant size, I wonder? That is terrifying, especially when one considers how big Jesse already is. And Mandy Lynn’s boobs? They’d block out the sun, ruining our crops, and making us very, very cold.
VJ quotes Patton, saying, “If everybody’s thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” Well, doesn’t that mean that everybody’s thinking? I think so, and so do you. Oh no! VJ’s audio doesn’t work! This is a disaster ripe with juicy drama! For half a second. Thanks for promising something and delivering nothing, Show. VJ of course covers well. The clip he shows on the huge VJ-Vision screen is of VJ calling his friend for Jag advice. Was VJ cheating? No! VJ was “adapting. Using my resources, and staying ahead of the pact.” Oops. He meant to say “pack.” This is an honest mistake, really. At least it’s not as bad as the girl I knew in college who said “amb-lee-ance” instead of “ambulance.” I also knew a girl who said “Chi-pull-tay” instead of “Chipotle.”
I’m bored. Where are the breasts? What have we done? I want MAAAAANDY!!!
Ben Stein is not amused and looks at the Ugly But Smart judges as if to say, “Yeah, these people are kinda dumb. I warned you. But you’re on TV! Yay!” VJ projects a graph on screen, saying that he is a golden retriever, as compared to Andre as a rottweiler. VJ says rottweilers will eat your baby! Oh my god! Run upstairs and check on your babies! Are they okay? Yeah? Good to know. Although, I hate both dogs and babies, so what do I care? Mary Alice and Ben chuckle at this analogy. Eating babies is hilarious! VJ makes his closing comments, something about room to grow and room to change, and everyone claps. I have to say, VJ would make a good public speaker. But he’d have to do it with his shirt off so that the audience could forgive him for his staggering load of bullshit.
Seventh-grader Andre interviews that he’s ready to beat VJ. Andre walks out and tells the judges that the “models” were thrown curveball after curveball in the competition. Oh, how I wish that were literally true. So now it’s his turn to throw a curveball. He introduces Pickel. Mary Alice and Ben Stein are stunned. Backstage, VJ looks pissed. Like Faith-Hill-losing-to-Carrie-Underwood pissed. Awesome.
I’m so telling Tim McGraw to slash your tires, you hick bitch!
Again, Andre interviews that his gift is “from Soviet with love!” Is Andre Soviet? I had no idea. It’s not as if he’s told us over and over again throughout this entire series, causing my eye to twitch every time he says it. Pickel turns on his Pickel charm – barf – and says he is here to support Andre because Andre will be America’s Most Smartest Model.
VJ interviews that it was very sneaky of Andre and he applauds him. Pickel tells the judges he’ll show them Andre through his eyes. He goes on to talk about Andre’s life in Russia. Looks like Andre had it so hard, what with his dad being a criminal lawyer and his mom working for the UN. I bet he never even had to work at Pizza Hut in high school like I did. Try making a freaking Bigfoot pizza, Andre, and THEN we’ll talk hardships, my comrade.
Andre had been to 20 different countries by the time he was 18. Andre “speaks 5 languages” and was a “forensics psychology major, minored in criminal justice.” Um, okay. VJ says from behind stage, “Didn’t graduate.” Ha. I really hate Andre even more than usual now. He’s put up this whole “Soviets are built tough because they work tough” persona throughout the whole show and, turns out? He’s a fucking trust fund Euro-trash asshole who’s never had to work a day in his life. I mean, probably.
Get me a Kleenex. I want to wad it up into tiny balls and spit it all over that screen.
VJ complains that Andre isn’t doing anything but standing there while Pickel gives the presentation. I’m torn between my pseudo-love for VJ and the fact that Andre is serving VJ up some sweet justice for all the sneakiness he pulled earlier. But since VJ is the least assiest of the two, I’ll go with him. Oooh! Pickel says Andre has worked with Nigel Barker! He’s on that other, more successful, and marginally more legitimate modeling show, America’s Next Top Model! He’s also kinda dreamy, but only because the other guys on the show are kind of weird (Ms. Jay) or so horribly over-tanned and dyed that they have become mere shadows of whom they once were. Mr. Jay Manuel, I am speaking to you. Orange is not a natural body color.
Pickel interviews that he’s long-winded, and then we see him listing all the clothing lines and companies Andre has “worked with.” Hang on. I need to grab a 3-gallon trash can to pick up all the names that Pickel’s dropped. There we go. Pickel talks about Andre’s photo shoots and how great they are. He’s about to wrap things up when Andre says he can take it from here. Finally! Someone embarrassing themselves in front of the judges!
Andre says that he’s heard Mary Alice say many times that “it’s not about whether you’re gay, black, white, or you’re fat –” (Jesse, watching this show on his couch, looks up from his giant bag of Cheetos, hands and mouth encrusted in orange dust, and says, “Who you callin’ fat, bitch?!”) ” – those things can change.” Oh, Andre. Mary Alice’s face is all, “What the hell did you just say that I said, you Commie bastard?!” Since this is probably the only interesting moment in the show, and therefore the best moment, VH1 shows us Andre saying “those things can change” 3 times. And in case you didn’t catch it the first 4 times, VH1 plays it in slow-mo for us. We get it. Andre’s an idiot.
VJ interviews that he’s pretty sure that “if you’re gay, it’s your way of life, and if you’re black, it’s not your choice.” I’m pretty sure that I’m gay whenever I look at VJ. It’s just my way of life. Then Andre verbally bashes VJ for being sneaky. VJ retains his cocky demeanor backstage, but tells Andre that he tips his hat to him for being a sneaky bastard when Andre joins him afterwards.
Professor Rocket Scientist – who I am pleased to say has one of those Mel Brooks-ish accents that I find so endearing – says that VJ was very personable, motivated, and believable. Mr. Psychologist/Writer/Investment Banker says that he liked the dog metaphor. He looks like he likes dogs. I bet he has a cocker spaniel. Maybe a beagle.
Both of the Ugly But Smart judges liked that Andre had someone else do his presentation for him. Mr. Psychologist says that it was nice because English is not Andre’s first language. Oh, come on! He speaks English perfectly fine – he’s just a turd! Dr. Rocket Scientist says it was “thinking outside of the box.” Cameron McPretention, one of the Pretty But Dumb judges, says that he prefers Andre because he’s “groovier” and put on an “edgy” presentation. The other lady says she prefers VJ because he’s chic and polished. Once again, Mary Alice and Ben are all, “Oh, this is a tough one!” The words sound hollow and pointless to me now, having lost all credibility when they said the exact same things when it came down to Jesse and Mandy Lynn.
Would you rather be burned alive or skinned alive?
Ben thought VJ’s performance was professional and polished. Agreed, Mr. Stein. Ben suggests bringing them back out for a model-off debate thingy. Mary Alice likes the idea. Ben posits that Andre and VJ discuss why modeling is not just about faces and figures, but also about strength of character. VJ pretty much spews the same crap that he did in his presentation. Andre interrupts VJ to accuse him of cheating. It’s the same old song and dance, without singing and dancing, which would be so much more amusing.
Mary Alice says, “Andre, do me a favor and don’t interrupt.” Oh yeah! Soviet just got served! Ben says that they’re not supposed to be yelling, they’re supposed to be discussing. Well, that sucks for Andre because those two things are one and the same to him. VJ represents himself well, as usual. Andre says he was fair, and that VJ’s message, “God forbid he wins, is a message that I do not want my children to see.” Oh man, that’s a scary thought, isn’t it? Little Andres running around in diapers, yelling “Soviet!” in a tiny voice and allegedly assaulting women?
Andre spirals into this whole tired “VJ cheats!” diatribe. VJ just laughs, because he knows that Andre is just handing this competition over to him on a silver platter. Mary Alice and Ben write furiously on pieces of paper. Mary Alice writes: “Buy more champagne!” and underlines it twice. Ben writes: “Call agent!” and circles it, draws stars around it, and then doodles a picture of himself hanging from a tree, with a caption that reads, “What this show makes me want to do to myself,” before passing it over to Dr. Rocket Scientist who nods in agreement. Ben and Mary Alice thank Andre and VJ and say they’ll meet them back at the mansion.
Come on, guys, you can do it. It’s almost over!
Final elimination, bitches! Andre walks on the runway, and then VJ walks out. Intense. Mary Alice says VJ had the least experience and she was concerned that he wasn’t model enough. But he got better and used his smarts to watch and learn. Mary Alice says he’s now a model. Ben says that he was impressed by Andre’s energy, and he was annoying at the beginning. But he made friends and gave up his antagonizing ways, which worked in his favor. Did it? Did it, Ben Stein?! Yeah, that Alliance of Delusion worked REAL well.
Mary Alice asks Ben about the PowerPoint presentation. He says VJ’s was like a sales presentation, but a good one. Andre’s was more daring. He rolled the dice and took a gamble. Choosing Pickel was a “stroke of genius.” Mary Alice asks VJ what he thinks about Andre using Pickel for the presentation. VJ says it was “almost cowardly.” Word, dude. Word. Andre is shocked, and the VH1 editor takes about a million facial expression shots out of context and splices them here to give us what feels like 20 seconds of Andre’s reaction to this statement. VJ goes on to say that Andre did what he did because “he knows that he cannot beat me himself,” and he didn’t “have the ability to present like I do.” Word again, man. Word. Mary Alice says, “clearly, Andre is the best model.” Clearly, Mary Alice is crazy, cuz Russian dude is unattractive as hell.
Mary Alice is a crack addict.
We’re treated to pointless interviews about the levels of nervousness of VJ and Andre. Silly tribal drums pound in the background as Ben gives us the last pointless analogy that has confused many, both contestants and audience members. Something about Stalingrad and 1943 and . . . VJ is America’s Most Smartest Model! VJ acknowledges Andre, saying, “I couldn’t have done it without an incredible competitor.” Oh, please. Andre is sad. He wishes VJ the best (whatever) and interviews that it was “a great journey and it wasn’t meant to be.” He then cancels out his “best wishes” for VJ by saying that he “spits, he curses, he coughs, he cheats, he lies.” Andre tells us that anytime we miss him, we just have to look in a magazine. Unless that magazine is Honcho, Andre, I think I’ll pass.
Wait. I like him again.
We’re treated to one final “Soviet!” and fist-pump, and then Andre is gone. Don’t worry – he’ll borrow money from his parents and be back on his feet in no time! Well, once those sexual assault charges are taken care of, anyway. Back inside, VJ is all smiles, as Mary Alice obviously reads from a teleprompter or cue card about how much growth VJ has made. So, VJ will be in a V05 ad, and gets a portfolio of his photos. And now, I present to you a scene from a modeling agency, as VJ attempts to show his portfolio:
AGENT. So . . . you posed with a . . . is that supposed to be a . . .nerd? In this photo?
VJ. (Enthusiastically.) Yeah! We got to make our own tanning solution and rub it on the nerd! It was awesome!
AGENT. Uh huh. And in this picture, you’re posing with a . . . horse?
VJ. Oh, man, that was so sweet. There’s a whole barnyard theme there.
AGENT. Yeah, I see that. Let’s see . . . Have you done any runway work?
VJ. Oh, totally. There was this one time where we had to make our own clothes based on geometric shapes? And then, like, wear them for a fashion show.
VJ. Oh yeah.
AGENT. Well . . . that’s . . . interesting. You know, I’m not so sure -
VJ. I was on a TV show! I won!
AGENT. Oh? Which one?
VJ. America’s Most Smartest Model!
AGENT. Yeah, I’m not familiar with that.
VJ. It was on VH1!
AGENT. Of course it was, sweetie. (Patting VJ’s hand.) Of course it was. Well, thanks for coming in, DJ -
VJ. It’s VJ.
AGENT. Whatever. We’ll call you if anything . . . farm or nerd related comes up.
VJ. Sweet, thanks! (VJ exits.)
AGENT. (Picks up phone, dials.) Oh my god, you will not believe the crap I just had to look at! No. No lunch for me. Because I don’t eat on Tuesdays and Thursdays, that’s why! (Hangs up angrily.)
Flashbacks to VJ throughout the competition, including one of him in the shower commercial. Mmmmmm . . . VJ in a shower. Why can’t we have 43 minutes of that? It’d be a boring recap, but hell if I care! Included in VJ’s portfolio is the check for $100,000. VJ says his mom knew he could do it. Aw, that’s sweet. VJ is America’s Most Smartest Model. The end.
Well, that’s all she wrote. I have to say that I was completely not surprised that VJ won. After the shower commercial, I figured he probably would. So, that’s it. I’d like to thank everyone for reading my very first recaps, ever. For a professional website and not my Myspace page, at least. Flipit? Dude? You rock my face off. And thanks to you, the loyal readers, who have been here since the beginning. I’ll be back here again, that’s for sure. Just look for the Hypnotoad name on any quality product. I’ve heard there’s going to be a second season of this unfortunate bastard-child, so who knows? Another season of Jesses and Mandy Lynns. I think I’m up to the challenge. As long as VH1 and iTunes pull their heads out of their gigantic assholes! Well, as Ben Stein would say, as the [insert historical event or person] was to the [insert other historical event or person], I have been vanquished. Cheers and thanks. Happy Holidays!