It’s Final Four time on America’s Next Top Model, and that means we only have two episodes left. Looking back, this has been a great season. While The Amazing Race changed its format and started to decline, and Survivor continued its assault on our sanity by plaguing us with returning cast members, ANTM stuck with its core format and remained one of the most enjoyable shows on television. Sure we may have changed the panel up a little bit, and so we aren’t getting quite the number of theatrics at the end of the show, but the girls fighting for the crown have supplied us with incontinence, lesbian romance, and everything in between. If that’s not the mark of a great reality show, I don’t know what is.Kim was eliminated last week, and again, it wasn’t that huge of a surprise. Nicole was upset because she was Kim’s best friend. I mean it’s not like she was Kim’s first choice, but if sloppy thirds don’t upset Nicole, why should we bother about it? Nicole has never really blown me away although she does take good pictures. Last week I said that I think she wins because she has that “the person every girl wants to be quality”, not necessarily because I feel that way, but she just seems to be what the judges are looking for. I am so glad that so many TVgasm readers didn’t agree with that statement, because it really restored a faith in humanity I have lost since they canceled Hardcastle and McCormick.
Another surprising thing I noticed right away about Nicole at the beginning of this episode was the G-Unit top that she was wearing. Did I just not notice this before? And no, Nicole wasn’t wearing a black hoodie or an iced out chain. If you listen to 50 Cent, and I have listened to my fair share, you will know that he often refers to the shoe and apparel deal he made with Reebok, as in “can’t believe Reebok did a deal with a psycho” in Stunt 101and referencing the name of the campaign “I am what I am” in If I Can’t, although perhaps the campaign came after the lyric in the case of the latter. We finish this history lesson by mentioning that there is also a Lady G-Unit line from Reebok and that’s where Nicole got her tank top. I am not sure if she bought it herself or if it was a gift from somebody, but by simply wearing it she has demonstrated more flava than I would have imagine she would have exhibited in her entire life, and so for that we give props.
Everybody was still talking about the granola bar incident. All of us Bre lovers were cringing at her behavior last week, and when she says that she’s tired of people being inconsiderate, it’s kind of hard to conjure up any feelings of sympathy for her. It would be like if I started complaining that people were writing recaps that were verbose and off topic. To paraphrase Andre 3000, I know Bre thinks her shit don’t stink, but lean a little bit closer and you’ll see that granola really smells like poo poo poo. I think the worst part about all of this is that we would all forgive Bre if she just admitted she made a mistake and apologized, but she says just the opposite. She admits that a granola bar tarnished her standing in the game, but she won’t apologize.
Although Kim’s run on ANTM was unexpected, Bre has always been painted as the true underdog. She displayed a lot of lovable underdog qualities right up until we discovered she got REALLY upset about people taking her snack foods. Bre is such an underdog, even she doesn’t know why she was there, but then again, most of the girls have been a little confused by how things are going. It seems that the girls hated Lisa, but really respected her work because Jayla said that she stopped trying to figure things out when Lisa went home. Apparently, everybody has forgotten how old and crazy Lisa was and how much they all hated her when she was still living with them.
Whenever the models of ANTM leave the friendly confines of the United States and head overseas, the producers like to give them, as well as the rest of us watching at home, a little bit of fashion history lesson. For London, the girls met Simon Doonan on Carnaby Street. Since Lisa was not in the building, the collective fashion IQ of the remaining girls probably doesn’t exceed that of a chimpanzee with a subscription to Glamour, so when Simon asks them if any of them know the history of Carnaby street, we aren’t surprised to learn that none of the girls knew what it meant to the history of London fashion. It’s not that I knew any of that myself, but then again, I don’t have a subscription to Glamour
As part of the crash course on London fashion, the girls were each asked to dress up as one of the four cornerstones of London fashion. Bre was asked to dress preppy, Nik was given mod, Jayla was asked to expand her horizons and go punk[not mod, thanks k-slice], and Nicole was asked to go Bollywood. But despite being told they were supposed to represent different genres, they all ended up sort of looking the same. Now the girls all had at least a little bit of an idea how their look was supposed to come off as, because early on in the season James St. James gave them all a primer on how to dress a certain way, and he covered all of the bases, except, of course, for Bollywood. That means Nicole would be on her own, since none of the other girls knew anything about Bollywood either.
Luckily for Nicole, she didn’t have to wait long for her lesson to begin. Now, if any of you have ever watched a Bollywood movie, you probably had an idea that Nicole was looking a little too subdued. Even if she had watched a sort of Bollywood-ish movie such as Bend it Like Beckham, she would have known that she needed to wear something a little more upbeat. Bollywood is known for lavish musicals that are over the top with their melodrama and acting and such, but Nicole didn’t look like she was ready to sing and dance in a musical, unless the musical was “My Cat Just Died of Cancer”. Mr. Doonan was very nice and offered to help Nicole out with her drab outfit by giving her a brightly colored sari, but she sort of looked at it and wondered what she was supposed to do with it. Normally, I would cut her a break, as I imagine wrapping a sari is like putting on a tie, you never get it right the first time, and it takes some practice, but she did have an example to go by since there was a woman standing behind Jim Doonan while he was explaining to all of them how awful Nicole looked.
I could rag on Nicole for being a brat yet again, but it wasn’t like any of the other girls were any better. Bre was told to go preppy, but besides her jacket, there was nothing preppy at all about her outfit. Simon said that preppy is supposed to convey snotty and rich, and you do this with, among other things, sweaters and pleated skirts. And saddle shoes. Mmmmm saddle shoes. What Bre had, as described perfectly by Simon, was preppy goes slutty, and the micro-mini was a no-no. Perhaps a little more country club and a little less “In Da Club”
Jayla was next, and her look was punk, and her look wasn’t necessarily incorrect, but when Simon was thinking about punk, he was thinking more like The Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash. Jayla’s punk is of the variety where people think that ripped jeans, a studded leather belt, and a CBGB t-shirt make you counter culture. In other words, it was “prissy punk”. Simon was talking about girls wearing trash bags with safety pins through their noses, and Jayla was thinking Japanese animation. It was bad enough that Simon called it a complete disaster.
Finally, there was mod, with Nik, and who better to talk about mod than the queen herself, Twiggy? Twiggy came in and while Nik was expecting to get a lashing from Simon about her outfit, she knew that since Twiggy was also a judge, messing up could mean more than a little reprimand. Nik’s generic jeans and stilettos were not mod, and Twiggy said it was all about micro minis, and flattening your chest as much as possible. Ironically, coming up with a flat chest is a problem that only Nik has at the moment.
History lesson over, it was time for the challenge. It’s the go-see episode, which is always fun. For those of you new to ANTM, go-sees are like little mini-interviews where girls go to “see” a fashion designer, try on some clothes, show them their walk, and let the designer decide if the girl will work for them. There were four designers that the girls had to see, each representing one of the cornerstones of London fashion (btw, that whole thing about cornerstones? I just made it up). The designers were: PPQ – mod, Robert Cary-Williams – punk, Ashley Isham – Bollywood, Ben Sherman – preppy. To add to the difficulty, the girls had to dress up in the style of the designer they were going to go-see. But rather than let them struggle finding something at the hotel, they were given 150 quid and let loose in a flea market to help them build their wardrobe.
Go-sees on ANTM are always interesting. One of the reasons why I love them is that the girls have to go out on their own and fend for themselves, and you see just how much they care about things like deadlines and such. Last year, the girls had a very short amount of allotted time to get things done, which caused fights as the girls tried to see as many designers as possible. This year, there didn’t appear to be any fighting, but that didn’t make the go-sees any less competitive, because the winner of the shoot would get 20 more frames than the next highest person, and more pictures means more chances to impress the judges.
It seemed like the only person who really had an idea of what she wanted to do or what to expect. Everybody else was lost including Jayla, who for some reason thought it was odd that the Ben Sherman designer acted a little stuck up. I loved that the preppy designer was stuck up. Jayla also forgot her shoes for one of her go-sees, which I guess is a no no, since designers want to see you walk in heels, and they usually aren’t keeping extra pairs lying around for people who are trying on their clothes. Bre was a mess, and left her portfolio in her taxi. Luckily they were assigned taxis so she didn’t have to worry about them driving off with her stuff.
When the results came in, the designers though Nicole was the prettiest, Nik was the most professional. Jayla had the worst walk, and Bre had what was called the “least appreciated” look, which I guess is a nice way of saying that she was the ugly duckling. Bre was praised for taking good direction, but that was not going to give her the 100 frames for the win. That honor went to Nik. As part of winning, Nik got to pick one person to get 80 frames, and while we were all expecting her to pick Bre, she picked Nicole. Nicole got to pick somebody to get 60 frames, and she hates Bre, so she picked Jayla. That means that Bre was left with 50 frames, and as an added insult, she wasn’t going to be given a chance to look in the mirror after her hair and makeup was done.
So, not only was Bre judged the ugliest by the designers (I don’t think that’s the case, but the designers did), she was at a disadvantage at the shoot, and she discovered that her best friend in the competition might not have been so close. Bre seemed upset, because Nik had never wronged her, and I think all of us were wondering what was going through Nik’s head. We knew that Nik didn’t approve of what Bre did after the granola bar fiasco, but when explaining her choice of Nicole, she said that it was not only childish, but evil. And Bre talked all this time about keeping her enemies close, and that’s exactly what Nik was doing. Now, we don’t know if Nik was talking about keeping Bre or Nicole close as the enemy, but I was glad to see a little attitude from Nik. She is very stoic, which is not a bad thing, but the judges do want personality and attitude, and that’s what Nik has been lacking.
Since the granola bar/ red bull incident, there has been a feud brewing between Bre and Nicole. Nicole let Kim do most of the arguing last week, but you had a feeling that if somebody didn’t do something about it, somebody else would get knocked the hell out. Nik and Jayla didn’t want to get stuck in the middle of things, so when the girls learned that they were going to split into pairs for a walk around London, they decided to force Bre and Nicole to go together instead of separating them and having to suffer while they complained about how much they hated the other.
Nik and Jayla going out together is easier to see than Bre and Nicole, but they had a lot of bad blood earlier in the year, and in case we forgot, we got a nice little video montage of Jayla saying some pretty meant things in confessional about Nik. We know Nik is mature, and as strange as it is to say it, it looks like Jayla is next in line on the maturity scale because she apologized for how things may have been at the beginning. Nik was appreciative, but said that she wasn’t there to make friends or enemies but to take advantage of an opportunity.
As refreshing as it was to hear how mature Nik and Jayla were, I think we were all waiting to see what would happen when Nicole and Bre went out on the town. Nicole had already said it was whack that Jayla and Nik were forcing her and Bre together (first a g-unit shirt, now saying whack, is an Escalade far behind?), so you can imagine how upset I was when Bre and Nicole decided to let things go and make up. Bre suggested that they sit down and have a glass of wine and talk over their problems. It’s good to know that Lisa’s legacy is still on the show. Getting drunk and working out your problems worked for Lisa, and now that Bre is talking with a person and not a plant, maybe they can put their feud aside. Bre admitted that she was immature, not thinking, and she could not fault Nicole for the way she acted, because she would have probably done the same thing had the roles been reversed.
Anybody else notice how cold Bre seems to be in London?
It looks like petty arguments were gone, and maturity was the name of the game. I am happy that Bre sort of redeemed herself. Maybe she finally realized she did something wrong when she lost Nik’s approval after Nik’s challenge win? Free frames fiascos are always difficult, and last year Kahlen was very upset Naima gamed her out of frames when she really thought she needed then. But like Kahlen, Bre used that as a hint that she needs to do better, and in Bre’s case, treat people better. Nicole and Bre even walked back to the hotel arm in arm and were happy that Nik and Jayla made them have their talk. Who knows when they would have had a chance to say they were sorry? Speaking of saying sorry, the next Tyra mail had them asking if they would feel Sari the next day. Double entendre: intended.
Although there now seemed to be peace in the house, Bre still had a headache. Last week, she said that it was Nicole’s fault because she was jumping around and making noise. This week, Bre was sick again, and she had a fever, and there was Nik, in the same green boy shorts that had me clutching my, uh, chest last week. I am not sure if they simply used the same footage, but WOW! Last week I quoted Black Star, but this being a G-Unit week, let me quote the song “Smile” for my feelings about Nik this week. “God Bless whoever gave you alla that. If you seen her from the back, you’d understand why I feel like that”. I couldn’t have said it any better than you, Lloyd Banks.
Do not adjust your television, Nik is just that hot.
As for the photo shoot, the girls made it to their next location where they learned they would be doing a Bollywood shoot. Since Bollywood is now for lavish, over the top productions, Jay Manuel said that these shots were going to test how well they stood out in a crowd. They also had a very special photographer, one Nigel Barker. It turns out that Nigel is half Sri Lankan, and so he knows a thing or two about what it means for Indian culture and British culture to come together. There was a moment when Jay asked Nigel to open up one of his patented striped shirts and let it all hang out. I know all of you Nigel lovers will want to see some chest hair, and since you are all so tolerant of me talking about the girls’ asses all the time, I knew I had to oblige:
Bre had the distinction of having the fewest frames, plus she got to go first. She was having trouble staying awake because she took Benadryl and Tylenol PM on Jayla’s recommendation. When Jayla first came on the show, we may have thought she had a boyfriend who cooked meth, but that’s not to say that she is a good pharmacist. Benadryl, an antihistamine, and Tylenol PM uses the same active ingredient as Benadryl – as sleep aid. If she had taken Nyquil as well, they probably would have called it a suicide attempt.
Jay told Bre that she should just keep her energy on the set (hey, it’s only 50 frames!), and then she can crash when they were done. We know all of the people on their show have their favorites, and Bre is not Jay’s favorite. I thought she did a decent job when it was her turn, but Jay thought that Bre wasn’t there. She not only left the building, she was never in the building. I don’t think Jay likes Jayla either, but I can see the reason. She really only has one expression. Jayla said she was just going to do her thing because listening to the criticism made her nervous, but she didn’t really move her head or try any different positions and it just looked like she wasn’t having any fun out there. I still like Jayla, but it looked like she was the one who had taken all of the sleeping medicine out there.
Nicole and Nik are a couple of Jay’s favorites. He said Nicole really stepped up her game, although to tell you the truth, I don’t think she has that many more expressions than Jayla. He also said Nik was fabulous, and that so many of her shots were amazing, she didn’t need the extra frames. I say it every week, but the pictures really are getting better. Maybe it was Nigel’s presence that got them all to step up, but I think everybody took their best pictures, with perhaps the exception of Jayla, who was just bleah. Here are the pictures from this week (click to enlarge):
The models got a lot more of Nigel than just the photo shoot, however. They also got a chance to have dinner with Nigel and his mom, who was a model. None of the girls sounded as if they had tried Indian food, and I was sort of disappointed we didn’t get any funny scenes where people looked at a piece of chicken vindaloo and wondered what exactly was encased inside. As her parting gift, Nigel’s mom taught all of the girls how to wear saris, just in case they found themselves in the middle of a Hum Aapke Hain Koun revival.
Winners of Ralph Macchio look alike contests in Sri Lanka are awarded pet snakes. Good job Nigel!
I didn’t think panel was going to be all that exciting. You knew that Nicole and Nik were going to be top two, and it would be between Jayla and Bre. Bre thought she was leaving last week, and she believed she had another bad week, but she seemed to take it pretty well. Like Lisa and Kim, she was proud of how far she went. She was in the bottom two so often, and nearly broke down the last time, so nothing was going to bother her. She was proud, however, to be the fourth baddest bitch in America, and nobody was going to take that away from her. It was that kind of attitude that made us love Bre at the beginning, and it was good to see it come back, although I was hoping it wasn’t too little, too late.
At panel, we were introduced to our judges, as well as guest judge Barbara Hulanacki (Hoo-lah-nuh-kee), the queen of mod. I would like to say that if Barbara and that crazy lady who mad the girls learn the tea ceremony in season three had a love child, it would be Edna Mode from the Incredibles. Thoughts?
For the mini-challenge, the girls were told that a traditional item of London fashion would be in the back, and they would have to try and update it with a modern look. The secret item in question was the sari, but the only people who really had a modern look were Jayla and Nik, and I am not sure if that was intentional or they just didn’t know what to do because they weren’t paying attention when Nigel’s mom was teaching them the lesson.
As I think was quite obvious, the judges liked Nicole and Nik’s pictures the most. Although they said Nicole’s updated sari looked like she had fallen into some curtains, they really couldn’t stop talking about how great her photos are. I think she as a solid photo. Really, very nice and good. It just doesn’t blow me away, or at least it doesn’t stand out among the other excellent work that week by Nik and Bre. For Nik, they liked the modern color she picked for her sari, and once again mentioned how she didn’t need extra frames, but did tell her that she needed a little personality.
I know there were some complaints about it last week when people said Nik needed some personality. Yes, Nik stands out because she is mature, considerate, and doesn’t get caught up in games, but it means that she is reserved and doesn’t stand out. As Nigel said, all models can take beautiful pictures, but something needs to make them stand out, and often it is that bitchy attitude and confidence that can make the difference between being successful or not. Barbara thought Nik was stunning, and called her a beauty of all time, and I would agree, but unfortunately, she may need an attitude if anybody is going to remember her.
The final two came down between Bre and Jayla, but I was thinking it had to be Jayla. Bre had a great picture, and has been getting better each week. Jayla has had some good pictures, but is up and down, and in the latest pictures she didn’t do what was asked of her, which is stand out among the crowd. The only thing she did noteworthy was giving Bre the pill, and all the judges laughed at that. I thought it was all over, but Tyra started mentioning Bre’s height, which wasn’t a problem before, but the judges really noticed in Bre’s neck.
When Tyra called out their names, Bre looked like she was ready, but Jayla looked like she was defeated, and that was the case. The judges liked that Bre was improving, and just didn’t like that Jayla wasn’t versatile. Based on this week’s pictures, I think they made the right choice. Jayla just didn’t step up to the level that Nicole and Nik are playing at and Bre has been getting much closer than she has. There really was nothing else that they could do. As Jayla went out, she wasn’t quite as happy to be there as Lisa and Kim. In fact, she said that she would like to shatter the winner and make her look like nothing. I guess you do whatever you can for motivation, but don’t go all Jeff Gillooly them, OK?
So, we have our final three, and I think it is a pretty good bunch. They are all taking great pictures, and although I still think Lisa should have been among them, I think it is going to be a great finale. The Cover Girl glamour shot and commercial shoot will tell us a lot, especially when it comes to being a spokesperson and the personality of ANTM, Elle Girl, and Cover Girl. All of the girls have the face, but whoever has the personality to wow the judges next week will be America’s Next Top Model.