First, I want to thank all of the people who wrote in this past week wondering where the recap for America’s Next Top Model was. Despite some very interesting theories, I am not giving up on the ANTM recaps. I just had a lot of other stuff to do, and frankly, last week’s episode didn’t exactly blow me away so much that I wanted to put everything I was thinking at the time in writing. To tell you the truth, this week’s episode was also kind of lackluster, but there is no way I was going to miss two weeks(three if you count the clip show) in a row. We only have a few more weeks before we crown Cycle 7′s Top Model which means the girls are soon going to leave their Brentwood estate for some unknown foreign land, but not before we tie up a few loose ends in Los Angeles.First, I guess I should tie up a few loose ends of my own. The episode that I neglected to recap was the final episode for poor, sweet, almost unimaginably attractive Anchal. Like I said back when I had a chance to see the girls in person, Anchal was really stunning in person. She was so attractive, I assumed she was a huge bitch because, really, that’s what society has taught me. In reality, we all know that she was terribly shy, and that was what did her in.
Anchal got a little self-conscious last week because there was a bikini shoot, and she really doesn’t have the bikini body. Yes, Anchal is more full-figured and her curves are some of her greatest features, but if she was serious about modeling, she would have tried to tone up and change her diet a little bit. There is no reason for her to starve herself, but she has to know that putting down five eggs in the morning is going to put a good deal of junk in the trunk. Perhaps her parents were Wilson Phillips fans and bought the Carnie Wilson cookbook in 1992. That being said, I thought the photo shoot was an interesting concept, but an awful idea. It wasn’t so much a test of how people modeled, but rather how well the spotters could hold these girls in position.
However, despite all of the problems I thought were inherent in the shoot, Anchal really deserved to go home. At times, I thought she was so scared of the competition, she ate so the judges would have a reason to eliminate her. It sounds convoluted, but I think it may have been the easy way out. Perhaps as she gets a little older, she’ll gain a little bit of confidence, learn what a vegetable looks like (and that they don’t need to be cooked in a frying pan), and try this modeling thing in the future. Until then, it was nice knowing Anchal, and her time on the show did inspire other girls around the country. I know this because I watched Tyra’s Panty Party this Wednesday on the Tyra Show. No really, that is what it was called, and before you laugh at me for watching it, take a look at the picture below:
Mmmm. Now that is the Tyra I fell in love with!
Now that we took care of all of the shit from last week, we can move on to the craziness of this week. Jaeda has really been hanging on by a thread all season, and I knew there was going to be trouble ahead because in the first few minutes, she talked about missing her boyfriend. The producers have sort of telegraphed who is going home this year with what they choose to feature in the first five minutes of each episode. When AJ left, she was complaining about feeling out of place early. When Brooke left, she was upset about missing her graduation. It took almost seven minutes for Anchal to complain about her weight, but you could tell she was marked for elimination as well. The only thing that could have been more obvious that she was going to go home was to put her in a scene in 24 and have her storm a warehouse with Curtis and Jack.
And so it goes with Jaeda. I thought she must have a serious boyfriend because I have often seen her with a gold ring on her left ring finger on the show. Now that she has mentioned this boyfriend’s existence, I am putting her chances at surviving this elimination about equal to me announcing that I’m going to be marrying Mariah Carey. If anybody knows how I can raise my net worth a couple hundred million in the next few hours, maybe I’ll make a go for that second one when I finish this recap.
The other big issues swirling around at the beginning involved Caridee and Melrose. If we are going to judge these models on their personality and likeability, then Caridee is easily at the top. Other than Brooke, I think she has been the most likable this year. She has been taking great pictures, but doesn’t get hung up talking about how great she is or get bogged down trying to put down her competition. Caridee wants to win badly, and called it her dream, but I think she really believes that winning this competition is going to be up to her, and the judges of course, but you know what I mean.
Melrose might be considered the exact opposite of Caridee, at least with the attitude. I really felt bad with how Melrose was treated by Monique, but after Monique left, Melrose took her place as the main tormenter in the house. I will be the first to admit that Melrose is taking great pictures, and when it comes to talent, she really understands how to position her body more than anybody else, and she is not afraid to let everybody else know it. I know it seems a little hypocritical to say that Anchal needed to have a more self-confidence and then saying a few paragraphs later that Melrose has too much self-confidence, but that is true. If you are really good at something, there is no need to remind everybody around you about how good you are. What you should really do is just concentrate on your performance, and if the next one is as good as the one before, people will recognize you for that. Melrose could be that type of person, but she chooses not to.
For the first challenge, the girls went to meet Tasha Smith at the Los Angeles Prepatory Company. What is Tasha’s claim to fame? Well, she credits herself as being the one who taught Tyra how to be crazy. Personally, I think Tyra is crazy and spontaneous enough, but if Tasha really wanted to help this show out, she would spend some time with Twiggy. Just because you are at the top of your field doesn’t make you interesting. Since Twiggy is so boring, all of the rest of the judges try to compensate for tepid demeanor, meaning we get lots of staged pieces at panel that aren’t really that funny. Hopefully her contract is running out and we can get somebody to bring a little more life to the set. Instead, the deliberations have become part People’s Court, part Laugh-In, and it just plain sucks.
The girls did a few exercises to get them in the mood for what was coming next. I wish I knew some of Tasha’s secrets. If I need to get a girl in the mood, she usually makes me buy her dinner first. As far as getting them writhing all over the floor, I’m still working on that one. I get the job done most of the time, but it really helps if they are fans of vodka and Twister, or I happened to introduced myself to them as a Shiatsu massage therapist when we first met.
Anyway, after the warm ups came the dump game, which encouraged the girl to simply dump out as much of their emotions and their feelings as possible. Eugena was first, and she did the normal Eugena thing, which meant she was completely unmemorable. She said that she feels out of place, but she really didn’t let go completely. Michelle and Amanda went next. I think it was Amanda that went first, and she put a little more feeling into it, but I don’t think she really yet go.
Oddly enough, this was the same reaction I had when I saw her in a bathing suit last week.
Michelle went next, and was a little bit better than her sister, but overall I thought this exercise was really dumb. Melrose did spice things up a bit by calling out some of the other girls about questioning why she wants to be the best, and although I really didn’t need to listen to Jaeda talk about how her hair makes her insecure, I did find it funny that even her boyfriend was telling her to get over it.
And then there was Caridee.
If there is ever a part of this show that is putting you to sleep, Caridee is sure to wake you up again. Here’s what she had to say:
I’m sick of hearing that models can’t feel! I am sick of people thinking that this care is, is just something so great! It is hard! I see people break down in front of panel and have their dreams smashed! I want this so bad! I’ve been through so much! I tried killing myself….
Woah! That was something that I never expected to slip out, but I think that is what a lot of people like about Caridee. This exercise was about letting EVERYTHING out, and she just de-classified a lot of information. There really aren’t a lot of things that are more personal than what she just said. I mean, I guess she could say “I killed a man in Reno, just to see him die”, but even that’s not surprising these days. Caridee continued:
“Cuz I know what if feels like to want to die and not live anymore. For the first time in my life I’m doing something right. and I feel like I’m….
Most of the girls were in tears, and obviously Caridee wanted a moment to herself. Then came the real competition portion of our visit with Tasha. The girls all had to shoot their own silent film while Tasha gave them directions. If this had happened a little earlier, I might have considered it a fun challenge, but there really aren’t a lot of great actresses in this bunch, and the silent film demands over-acting to the extreme. Personality wise, Eugena, Jaeda, and the twins just don’t have the chops. Could you imagine interviewing any of them? I imagine the looks on their faces as you ask them questions would be akin to asking Ralph Maccio why he doesn’t prounounce his name llike Ralph Fiennes. No, it was obvious that this challenge was going to come down between Caridee and Melrose, but we were going to have to wait for the results.
Even after her emotional day, Caridee took everything in stride. After she talked it over with her boyfriend, she said that it felt like a great release and that there was nothing holding her back now. I thought there was nothing holding her back before, so if there is really nothing to stop her now, I can’t wait to see how she is going to deliver.
The girls received a DVD the next day that featured the winner of the silent film challenge edited to look like an actual silent film. I don’t think it surprised anybody when we saw that Caridee won. She really did have a lot of emotion in her face, and when she got that telegram from Cowboy Cal saying he fell in love with his horse, I felt like I was the one who had a boyfriend that left me for love of equine.
For her win, Caridee was going to get a chance to appear on One Tree Hill. I don’t Tivo One Tree Hill, so guess we’ll just have to take Tyra’s word for it. The fun didn’t stop with Caridee though. Tyra appeared in the silent film, and she was there to drop a surprise on the girls. Well, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, because they do it every year. On film Tyra told the girls to pack their bags and then she ran off camera, only to magically appear right next to the girls to tell them they are going to Spain!
All of the girls love going to Spain because it means that they have made it to the upper echelon of top model greatness. I knew I was going to enjoy their trip to Spain because they always do a really airplane graphic as the girls travel, bopping their heads inside of the ANTM plane all the way.
When the girls got Spain, a few of them were surprised to see that all of the signs were in Spanish. I wasn’t that surprised considering I knew the girls were FLYING TO SPAIN. They were having trouble reading a number of these signs. I know that they were living in Brentwood and they were quite sheltered from a good portion of the rest of Los Angeles, but it is still Los Angeles. You don’t have to live in East LA to pick up a little bit of the language, right. Yes I know that the Spanish spoken in Spain is different from that in Mexico but at the very least I would expect them to be able to say “tapas”.
Those crazy foreign languages. Makes getting around so difficulty
Oddly enough, Hertz Rent-A-Car translates to “Fresh Sushi” in Catalan.
Luckily, the Tyra Mail was still in English, but it wasn’t exactly good news. Saying that the competition was way too easy, Tyra said that she was going to incorporate some local models into the mix. Oooh, this show could use a little Spanish flavor, don’t you think? As you might have guessed, I have been cured from whatever illness it was that prevented me from realizing how truly awful the twins look. Who cares if they have a look that would work in French Vogue? This is America dammit! And we like to be able to look at our models without putting bags over their heads.
This isn’t Survivor, however, so Tyra wasn’t talking about adding more girls as a twist. The local models were going to be guys, and they were there to work with them on the next shoot as well as welcome them to Barcelona. Put a bunch of women together in the same house for any period of time, and things are bound to happen. Throw them into a competition and things get really crazy. Keep them away from exercising any of their hormones, and you have quite the powder keg on your hands. Therefore, working with the guys can seem a sort of a release, especially since they all got a chance to socialize with them as well.
For those of you who may have caught on to ANTM recently, there has been a long history of shenanigans whenever the male models come on to the scene. In Cycle 2, Shandi cheated on her boyfriend with a male model, and her confession over the phone became a famous reality moment. During Cycle 4, Keenya thought she felt something move as she was working with a male model named Bertini. And who could forget Cycle 6 when Nnenna appeared to kiss the male model she was working with, even though she had a boyfriend?
The male models displayed the expected mix of great looks and implied stupidity that we have come to expect from those guys at the top of their profession. Everybody seemed to enjoy getting their flirt on while enjoying a traditional Catalan meal, but the festivities were interrupted by a Tyra Mail. The competition this week was to shoot a commercial speaking Catalan, and the commercial would end with an on-screen kiss with the model they were partnered up with.
Everybody was freaked out, but they all started to practice. Now I thought that the biggest controversy would be with Michelle, since she is all unsure about her sexuality and everything. What would it be like for her to kiss a boy? Would a romantic encounter with Victor, Lucas, or Nacho (I only wish I were making that up) convince her to give other men a tryout?
None of that stuff came up because Jaeda was having a problem of her own. Her partner, Nacho, didn’t want to practice. Jaeda was a little worried, because this was kind of important, but Nacho didn’t want to have anything to do with her. Not speaking any Spanish, I can’t tell you how accurate the translation was, but basically, Nacho said that he didn’t like black girls. Having to work with Jaeda, this could surely be a problem. Poor Jaeda didn’t know what to do, but if I was in her position, I probably would have reminded this guy that his name is NACHO, and he’s not there for his opinions. I think what really happened was Nacho thought that Jaeda was a man, and so he was disappointed to find out Jaeda was a woman and he wouldn’t have a chance to make out with a guy.
Not a lot of the jungle fever going on with these two.
After dinner, the girls learned that they would be staying in an authentic Spanish apartment, and the challenge winner (that would be Caridee), would have first dibs on her choice of rooms, probably as a consolation prize because so few people would see them on One Tree Hill. Melrose got upset because she knew that Caridee would pick the big room with the big bed and the big closets. This is one of the problems with Melrose. Perhaps it was the editing, but let somebody else have her victory. If you are jealous of what she gets when she wins, then you should simply concentrate on winning yourself!
At the photo shoot, the girls met up with Tyra, who was there to tell them a little bit about Barcelona, the fashion capital of Spain, which I always thought was Madrid, but whatever. After giving a little rundown of some of the who’s who in the Barcelona fashion industry, she asked what everybody thought of the male models that she picked out for them. Jaeda mentioned the problem she was having with Nacho, and Tyra told her that she would just have to give him a kiss to make him love black girls. You know, once you go black, you never go back, unless you are just coming out of a Wesley Snipes movie. You’ll probably never go back after watching that.
Tyra left the girls in the good hands of our friend Jay Manuel. I am not sure what it is about Jay, but he has been extraordinarily bitchy this year, don’t you think? I guessed that he might have broken up with his boyfriend earlier this year, but I think it is something different. My new theory is that all these years spent bleaching his hair has allowed a little seepage into his brain, affecting his thought process. Seriously, this guy is supposed to be a makeup designer and style aficionado and can’t come up with something better to do with his own hair than what is currently going on? Anyway, Jay should be happy coming to Spain because he no longer has to feel self-conscious about unbuttoning his shirt to the navel, since that’s what all the cool kids in Barcelona are doing these days.
The commercial the girls were scheduled to shoot was for Secret deodorant. The new slogan is “strength and confidence when the pressure is on” which makes sense, but is nothing like the old school days when they were secretly teaching chemistry to all of us kids. I knew that Secret was “Strong enough for a man, pH balanced for a woman” long before I knew what pH balancing meant. I guess it’s not everyday you can come up with a slogan so catchy and educational.
Whenever the girls are forced to learn lines, it always makes for an interesting photo shoot. Who could forget last year when Jade couldn’t even read from the cue cards? Oh, as crazy and tranny-looking as that girl was at times, I do sort of miss her. We quickly learned two things about this photo shoot. First, the girls had to memorize their lines, but they also got to use cue cards to help them remember. Second, although there was a lot of hype made about the on-screen kiss, it came at the end, and didn’t seem like it was going to be a big deal.
In my mind, the degree of difficulty in this shoot was not very high and taking into consideration how far along these girls were supposed to be in their development, I was embarrassed watching it. I am not sure how many takes they got to shoot the commercial, but not one of them deserved to be in consideration besides Melrose. Melrose knew her lines and was completely natural doing everything that was asked of her. She really grates on me sometimes, but this competition is about modeling. At the end of the day, Melrose is the one who is bringing fierce to her photographs more consistently than anybody else.
Since the commercials were so awful, I am not going to bother posting every single one of their commercials. Instead, I will rate each of these girls on their kissing technique and let the judges’ evaluations rule for the rest. Is it fair to judge their kissing technique since they are kissing people they might not be attracted to or might not be attracted to them? Probably not, but I’ll do it anyway.
First up was Michelle/Amanda. I am sorry. I know that I promised to try and tell these two apart, but it is so much easier when the producers identify the two of them for us, and there were many times that their names weren’t placed at the bottom of the screen for our convenience. But I think Michelle was first. Her commercial was pretty bad. It looked like she was just going through the motions. She was concentrating so much on the words, she forgot that she was in a commercial. When it came time for the kiss, she wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it was clear she didn’t have much practice. I’ll rate her a 4 (out of 10) because it wasn’t very good, but she might get better with practice.
Eugena was next and her commercial wasn’t great, but she did remember that she was helping tell a story, and even Jay gave her praise for being really personable. Eugena said that the kiss was “the worst kiss she had in her life” and felt like she was trying to kiss her own closed fist, but I am going to give her a 7.5 on the kiss, because it looked like she had good technique. She brought her guy in close, hands on his neck, and went for the bottom lip with good enthusiasm and an acceptable amount of sloppiness.
Next up was Amanda. Her commercial was a little bit better than her sister’s, but that really isn’t saying much this week. The kiss was a lot like her sister’s, but Jay was correct when he said that it wasn’t very sexy or passionate. She turned around and kissed him, but you could tell that she was being paid to do it. Final score on the kiss: 3.
I can’t really say that much about Jaeda. Her head wasn’t it in it this week and it showed. Her commercial was painful to watch. She didn’t get the words, wanted to give up, and started to cry. Yes she has to end the scene kissing somebody who doesn’t like her, but she is still in Spain and still has a chance to win Top Model, sot hat should be enough to put a smile on her face. The kiss was just what you would expect from her at this point in time. She has checked out of this competition, and the only thing we can do is watch and see if the judges decide to leave a mint on her pillow and give her the USA Today now that she has decided to give up. I am just going to continue imagining in my head that Jaeda really knows how to kiss, but evaluating just this commercial, she gets a 3.
I give Melrose lots of shit, but she had the best commercial. She was overacting a little bit but delivered her lines and did a good job telling the story. Melrose is the oldest one left, and her experience really helped her when she went in for the kiss. The problem with so many of the other girls is that they didn’t know what to do with their hands. Considering this is network television, Melrose had her hands exactly where the guy would want them to be. There was a quick smooch and the she re-adjusted, leaned in, and went for more. Melrose gets an 8.5!
That brings us to dear, sweet, Caridee. I absolutely love the girl, but she had the worst commercial of the group. She acted like she didn’t even need to be there, and it really showed. And then it came time for the kiss. I guess Caridee thought the kiss was what she would be judged on, because that was the only part of the shoot that showed any life. You could tell she enjoyed her kiss, and that her partner enjoyed it as well. She also made good use of the hands and was really into it, but since I personally don’t like a lot of slobber, I am going to give Caridee and 8.
Like I said, it was not really that much of a competition. Everybody could clearly see that the top spot was going to come down to a battle between Eugena and Melrose. As the girls went back stage to await the judges’ deliberations, Eugena and Melrose started arguing. The judges had praised Melrose because she was really the only one of the girls that was speaking Catalan well enough to actually use in a commercial. Melrose said that it was because she stayed up two hours longer than anybody else, and Eugena said that Melrose was trying to make the others look bad on purpose. I think that if anybody else had said, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but Melrose does have a habit of winning and rubbing it into the other girls’ faces.
I can see how the others can be pissed, but until they start doing something to set themselves apart, Melrose can do all the bragging that she wants. When it came time for Tyra to start calling names, Melrose was the first girl called. The judges thought that her performance might be the best ever on Top Model, and it was very good, but it’s much easier to get noticed for the quality of your acting when you are surrounded by inferior talent. At this point I really should make a Baldwin brothers joke, but that’s just too easy. Nigel did mention that she was a little old, but she is really going to have to stumble not to make it into the final three.
Eugena was called next, and Tyra said that she was one of the girls that the others have to look out for now. Combined with Jay’s compliment, and a few others during the panel, this was Eugena’s best day. I think she can be a model, but she is going to have to have some strong performances to have a chance at winning this competition.
Tyra called out the twins’ names next. I think the judges can’t tell the two of them apart. Some of them like Amanda, some of them like Michelle and it seems like they just keep advancing the two of them for fear that they might eliminate one of them and then realize later they really wanted to eliminate the other. Like I said, I am completely off of their bandwagon. They are too skinny, too pale, and should never be seen outside of the occasional Japanese horror film. The gimmick is over and next time they pick a couple of girls from Orange County, they should try a lot closer to the beach.
That left us with Jaeda and Caridee, but there really wasn’t any suspense in this decision. Were the judges going to send home Caridee, who is the most attractive of the remaining girls, has been taking great pictures all season, and has an attitude that everybody loves? Or would they send home Jaeda, who has been constantly complaining and giving mediocre performances all year? Exactly. Jaeda went home, and I did love her looks, but she really deserved to go.
This episode was kind of slow, and I think it was clear that putting Caridee in the bottom two was supposed to be a lesson//wakeup call to her, but I think it was a good idea. Caridee needed to regain her focus and be reminded what she is playing for, and I think that is exactly what happened.
What did you think of the episode? Who was the best kisser? Did Jaeda deserve to go home?