Ciao, Gasmii. I’m sure my two loyal readers (hi Mom and Dad!) were concerned that I had dropped off the face of the earth after no recaps from me for the past two weeks. But fear not! I’m still alive and kicking. I thought about recapping the recap episode but once Dominique started professing her love of bidets, I flushed that idea down the toilet (ba dum bum!). Plus, you guys didn’t really need a recap of a recap episode that your recapper had already recapped, right? I had visitors in town this weekend which is why this recap a bit behind schedule, but hey, life happens. Just like life happened to Fatima this week when she missed a photo shoot because she didn’t have her paperwork straightened out. Will I grant her the same forgiveness I allowed myself or will I totally play the hypocrite card and slam her for her irresponsibility? Read on to find out!
For the love of Tyra, it’s not pronounced doc-uh-ments
We open this week with the girls standing around the kitchen, reveling in their own awesomeness because they’ve made it so far in the competition. Everyone’s amped up because they know they’re heading abroad soon. Everyone, that is, except for Fatima. You see, homegirl’s not a US citizen and has lost a very important “travel document” and can’t leave the country unless she manages to get a new one. Does the CW really think that ANTM‘s target audience is too stupid to understand words like “visa” and “passport”? Apparently so, because for the rest of the episode, we will only hear stories of mysterious “travel documents.”
Fatima sits down the girls to fill them in on the situation. If she can’t get the documents in time, she’s automatically going to be pulled from the competition because she won’t be able to participate in the shoots abroad. Cue the waterworks from Fatima. You know what, Fatima? You’re kind of the girl who cried wolf. I’d believe these tears a bit more if you didn’t horribly attempt to squeeze some out every week at panel. Whatever comes of Fatima from this competition, lets hope she doesn’t end up as an actress.
Anya seems to be the only girl that genuinely sympathizes with her and tells her she needs to keep calling until she can get it straightened out. At first I think that Anya might have some experience in these matters until I remember that she’s actually from Hawaii. What can I say, the accent doesn’t match the platinum drapes.
“I guess I have to pay the consequences if it doesn’t work out and I’m accepting that,” Fatima reluctantly confesses in her interview. Okay, I can’t hold off my self-created cliffhanger anymore – Fatima totally doesn’t deserve to be off the hook as far as I’m concerned. She admits that she lost whatever document she needs which is just irresponsible in the first place. I travel frequently and ALWAYS make sure that I have my passport in a safe place and I check obsessively to make sure that it’s still there. (I know, I totally have the makings to be that crazy old lady that always thinks she left the stove on.)
There’s just no excuse for this especially when she lost the document not while they were already abroad, but before the girls even left the US! Hell, she lost it before she even started filming the show because she admits that she lost it in Atlanta when the show is filmed in NYC. She later whines that she didn’t know she needed these papers, but clearly she’s gotta be aware that ANTM heads abroad at the end of every season. Ergo, she damn well should own up to the consequences for not having herself prepared for the trip. I’m sure much of what I said about Dom not taking responsibility for her alarm clock issues would also apply here. Grow up, girls! No one holds your hand as you make your way through real life! I will grant her a teeny tiny bit of forgiveness because the producers shouldn’t have cast a contestant who can’t leave the country. As soon as she was cast though, that responsibility was totally on her.
Paulina saunters into the kitchen to give the girls a little lesson on showcasing themselves and how to think fast on their feet. Ah, the “how to deal with the media” tutorial. Props to Paulina for showing up all dressed down and with a delightful ponytail instead of her usual hairsprayed-to-the-nines look.
Easy, Breezy, Beautiful
Paulina stresses that in social situations, the girls can’t just be a blank face. They need to actually have something to converse about and they have to do it intelligently. Roleplay time! Paulina will be impersonating the fictional Mrs. Dubois, a cosmetics company owner and each girl has a minute to impress her.
Anya ambles over, introduces herself, and asks Mrs. Dubois about her family. Um, awkward. “They’re all dead, Dearie,” Paulina Dubois replies. Double awkward. While the rest of the girls collapse into giggles in the background, Anya maintains her composure and says that she’s sorry to hear that but knows that P-Dubs is a strong woman. Stacy-Ann decides to singsong her way through an introduction and flatters Paulina with compliments. I don’t think Stacy-Ann means to be fake, but that’s exactly how she comes off with a voice like that. Lauren fumbles and awkwardly stutters while Dominique commits the faux-paus of personally addressing Paulina and then asking for her name.
P-Dubs can’t help channeling her inner-Hoolia when Dominique’s in the room.
For party game number two, Paulina grabs the nearest water bottle and uses it as a microphone to interview the girls. P-Dubs impression of a reporter cracks me up since it’s essentially a third-grade girl after a few too many Fun Dips. Fun facts that we learn during these impromptu interviews: Fatima sleeps in the nude, Whit still loves her curves, and Dominique can nonsensically ramble with the best of them.
Later, we’re still in the damn kitchen and the girls are making potato pancakes. Lauren’s chopping up some onion and manages to slice off a chunk of her finger including the nail. OUCH. A producer swoops in from behind the scenes and decides to take her to the hospital where she gets stitches. Unless ace bandages are the new black, this probably won’t fit in so well on the photo shoot.
Stilllllll at the apartment, a gold box gets delivered from this week’s soda sponsor. It’s full of lemons and limes… and an invite to a “green carpet event” where the girls well get to show off just how personable they can be. Whitney’s concerned that she’ll be at a disadvantage because people will notice that she’s plus size. It’s hard to say if Whitney’s so obsessed with this that it’s all she can talk about or if the editors have decided that this will be her one dimension so they might as well run with it. Regardless, I’ll be sending a note to the editors that goes something like, “Whitney’s got curves. She loves them but she still struggles. We got it. Next.”
At the event, a reporter from celeb-show “The Insider” is set up on the world’s smallest carpet that actually appears to be inside the event. All sorts of extras – I mean, actual photographers – line the thing and get ready to photograph the girls. I’m fairly certain that circa ten years ago, I probably set up something similar… for my Barbies. It looked about as realistic as this scene does, only smaller. Perhaps Tyra was inspired by her own costarring role with Lindsay Lohan in the made-for-Disney-Channel movie, Life Size?
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!
On the green carpet, Stacy-Ann awkwardly stumbles over the word “intimidation” but Dominique has the most cringe-worthy moment of the evening when she botches the name of the designer she’s wearing. Designer-host extraordinaire Jay Godfrey – not Jay Giorgio, as Dom says – will probably not look too highly on this considering he is a co-judge of the challenge. Smell ya later, Dominique!
Lauren can’t control her potty mouth when she proclaims that she should be America’s Next Top Model because “I could kick the (shit) out of those girls anytime.” Nice. Yay for classiness.
We get to sneak a peak as the girls socialize. Lauren is surprisingly un-awkward as she chats up Paulina’s husband. The EIC of Seventeen is a special guest at the party and I don’t even recognize her between the hair straightening and apparent nose job that she’s undergone. She and a proud marionette doll look on as Anya dazzles the crowd with her storytelling abilities.
Imagine if these two made a baby.
Other hilarities ensue as Whitney backs herself into a corner when she gets caught up in a probable lie – she claims to have lots of family in Texas but then can’t come up with a name of a city when pressed. Nigel witnesses the charade and shakes his head disapprovingly. There’s a surprise ANTM guest appearance when April from cycle 2 shows up and Anya smartly asks for her advice on how to succeed in the competition. I knock Anya for her accent a lot and her exaggerated way of speaking, but she always comes across as very outgoing, upbeat, and interested – qualities that can only help her in the long run.
Stacy-Ann thinks she’s got this competition in the bag because she can market herself and the dress very well. And if reverse psychology editing tells us anything, it’s that Stacy-Ann does not have this in the bag. We then get flashbacks to her audition striptease from the first panel. Oh wait! This must be new footage because it’s not sepia toned.
Always good to have a backup career in case the whole modeling thing doesn’t turn out.
Designer Jay (or D-Jay as I will dub him because, seriously Tyra, enough with the Jays) and Insider-Reporter-Lady give the girls feedback before announcing the winner of the challenge. Jay says that the winner is someone who is incredibly natural and has the confidence to win the competition. Whitney’s totally wearing a smug “it’s sooooo me” look on her face and gives D-Jay a knowing nod. Sneaky editors! Anya pulls out the win. For all the criticism that Whit gets that she’s too “pageant queen,” she really should work on her graceful loser face.
Anya’s equally orgasmic about winning this prize as she was about her naked shoot with Nigel.
Yet again, she’s naked, covered in lemons in limes for a shoot for a 7up for which she receives a cool 10 Gs.
Fatima receives the phone call she’s been waiting for – apparently her lawyer got her appointment at her consulate to appeal tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. He tells her approximately 87 times that he hopes she can make it. Hmmm, foreshadowing hammer, is that you? Have you come to hit me over the head yet again? Hey, old friend.
Tyra ticker tape. “There’s no time to lag so pack up fast or you’ll miss your connecting…” I’d try and transcribe the rest but it’s something like AAAIIIEHHAIIIAIEHHHAEEEEE!!!! Kat and Anya in particular lose their minds and while all the girls are jumping and squealing in circles, Lauren stands back awkwardly. Really, what else would she be doing? She claims to not be getting too excited cause you have to look out for that tricky trickster Tyra.
The girls stay up all night packing and get called an early morning wakeup call to take them to the airport. They roll on up at 7am and see Jay chilling out on the stairway up to a private jet. Dominique’s run is hysterical, arms flailing, all limbs completely out of control. Jay greets them with a hearty hello and thanks them all for bringing their luggage… because the luggage will be used as props for a photo shoot. Oh, snap! Lauren gets a gold star for seeing this one coming from a mile away. But seriously, did the girls think they’d manage to make it out of the US without one final panel that oh-so-cruelly sends one girl home just as she’s close enough to taste the crappy airline food?
This week’s assignment is a group shot. Every shot will feature all of the girls running to catch the plane, but they’ll all rotate through so each girl gets a chance to be at the front. Still, the judges (aka Tyra) will pick their best shot from any of the photographs.
Jay also tells the girls that there will be a time crunch – they’ve got to be off the tarmac by 3 p.m. Fatima puts her tail between her legs and crawls over to Jay and explains that she can’t make the shoot because of her appointment. She tries to get sympathy points by mentioning her refugee status but Jay slams her right down. ANTM is an international show and she’s going to be expected to fly off at the drop of a hat so she needs to have her shit together. He says they’ll start with the other girls and they’ll squeeze her in at the end if she can make it back on time.
Just like a three-year-old who uses a word that he’s heard but doesn’t know exactly what it means.
The shoot looks absolutely freezing but Jay tells the girls that they still need to bring lots of energy and rough the elements. Lauren looks pissed when she poses and Jay tells her she needs to hide her bandaged thumb from the shoot but she doesn’t appear to listen. Stacy-Ann struggles because the wind makes her eyes water and screws up her makeup. Jay chastises her yet again for going into her rehearsed poses. Whitney tries to be very dramatic to draw attention to herself and Jay thinks that it’s the first shoot where she didn’t bring her A game.
Around 12:45 Fatima miraculously gets whatever damn travel document that she needs and attempts to head back to the shoot before the day is over. Unfortunately for her, Jay calls it a day before she arrives and tells the girls they can go warm up with their luggage in the hangar. Yes, the same luggage that was completely essential to be props in their shoot. But wait kids, we haven’t seen all the surprises that are in store for the models. Nope, inside the hangar is… A SURPRISE PANEL!!! Da da DUM!
“You see, when I curl my fingers like this, the claws retract!”
Tyra grills the girls about where Fatima’s whereabouts. What, the little birds that tell her who’s causing trouble in the house failed to mention that Fatima is visaless and passportless and whateverelseless? Anya responds, “We don’t know.” Ah, Anya. There you go proving Whitney right when she said you weren’t the brightest start in the sky. But before anyone else can explain the situation, Fatima happens to walk in the door right at that very moment. Ohhhhh, I’m shaking in my stiletto boots because the wrath of Tyra is going to be cranked up high this week.
Fatima attempts to offer up an excuse but Tyra wants none of it and cuts her off with a “So you didn’t do the photo shoot?” In the past, girls that have missed the shoots for any reason generally go home. THAT’S IT TYRA?!?!?! There was so much potential to lay into Fatima for being totally irresponsible but Tyra let that one slip by.
Tyra reveals that after panel, the girls will hop immediately on the plane and head to the abroad destination which she’ll reveal after panel. The judges get introduced. Mr. Jay gets to guest judge in panel this week and he’s probably pissing himself with sheer excitement and joy because you just know he lives for these moments where he can actually have a say in who stays and who goes.
“Dear Santa, Thanks for finally listening this year! Kisses! Jay”
Kat’s up first
Tyra thinks there’s poise and conceit, which is what the jet-set lifestyle is all about. Kat’s shot reminds Nigel of a vintage airline poster and he likes how the light hit her jaw. Kat explains that while she was shooting that she tried to channel someone who thought she was better than everyone else. Nigel explains that she does it very well and very naturally. Does Nigel know something we don’t? I’m still a little bummed that after so many episodes, we’ve barely gotten a glimpse of Kat’s personality. Is this a sign that she’ll get far and they’re saving up the good stuff for later episodes? Or does it indicate that she’ll get cut soon and the editors aren’t wasting time letting us get to know her? Time will tell…
Lauren explains the onion-chopping incident to Tyra. Tyra pretends for just a moment that she’s on Top Chef and attempts to impart some onion-chopping skill on Lauren. Right, because Tyra’s ever chopped an onion in her life. “I just learned that like two weeks ago,” she admits. HA! As for Lauren’s best shot, Mizz Jay loves the tippy toe and Paulina thinks it looks very 1940s. Nigel says, stunning! Mr. Jay doesn’t understand how Lauren can be so relaxed and effervescent at the party but then gets all awkward and Quasimodolike at judging.
Tyra likes the booty tooch. Say whaaaa? Paulina says it’s fun and friendly. Nigel thinks she nailed it. Hoolia thinks she looks like a flight attendant and is also wondering WTF is up with those shoes.
Nigel says that it’s a bit over the top and that Stacy-Ann looks like she only has one leg in the picture. To be fair, the only reason it looks like she has one leg is because Whitney jumped right in front of her (or was photoshopped in front of her?) and that’s not exactly Stacy-Ann’s fault. Paulina and Nigel also lay into her for being fake at the party and for trying to sell herself too much. Mr. Jay gives bonus points because Stacy-Ann remained composed at the shoot even though she seemed to be suffering the most from the elements and that doesn’t show in her picture. Tyra wants Stacy-Ann to be able to control her jaw more.
Mr. Jay thinks Whitney looks natural in the shot but that during the shoot she was acting too pageantry. Tyra concurs. Nigel calls Whit out for being fake at the party as well and Whitney looks truly hurt and shocked. Tyra tells her to tone it down because models don’t talk about saving “The Iraq.” TouchÃ©, Tyra. Paulina thinks Whit would benefit from some of Lauren’s roughness while Lauren would benefit from more of Whit’s confidence.
Tyra thought Anya would struggle with the challenge because of her weird accent but because Anya was herself, she managed to shine through. Mr. Jay thinks she stole the show and Nigel agrees.
There’s no shot for Fatima, so they don’t evaluate her. At panel, Jay thinks that Fatima shouldn’t automatically go home because they’ve had other girls who have made it far while missing a shoot. They flashback to Shannon from Cycle 1 who came in second even though she didn’t pose for a nude photo shoot. I suppose… but I think there’s a big difference to someone who opposes a shoot for moral grounds (in “real life,” Shannon could have just chose not to book the gig) instead of someone who misses it due to their own irresponsibility.
After deliberation, the girls get called: Anya, Lauren, Dominique, Katarzyna, and Whitney. Stacy-Ann and Fatima are in the final two. The judges reviewed both girls’ bodies of work and felt that Stacy-Ann may have plateaued. Everyone felt disappointed in Fatima because she should have known to be prepared with a passport and visa and on top of this, she didn’t participate in the shoot. In the end, they save Fatima because she had a stronger body of work. Tyra says that Fatima needs to learn a lesson in responsibility. Fatima and Stacy-Ann hug each other goodbye and one tells the other one that she is their favorite. I think Stacy-Ann told Fatima that? Could you guys tell?
After a tearful exit by Stacy-Ann, Tyra says it’s time to get on the private plane. BUT WAIT! The girls aren’t top models yet whereas the judges are stars… so the girls will fly commercial while the judges fly first class private. Divalicious, Tyra! As she hops in the plane, she tells the girls she’ll see them in… Rome! The girls freak out and I freak out too! I know I’ve dropped hints here and there that I’m living somewhere in Europe but guess what? I’ve actually been living smack in the middle of the eternal city for the last year! ANTM is coming to my kind-of European hometown! Hopefully I can give you all of the insider dish. I’m so looking forward to having the girls butcher the Italian language for the commercial they have to film next week. And don’t you kids worry, I’ll scour Italian TV to see if the thing actually airs!
But, before we arrive in Roma… What did you think of this weeks episode? Did Stacy-Ann deserve to go home or should Fatima have gotten the axe? Do you think the judges are being contradictory with their reasoning for letting some people go – for example, Aimee gets cut cause she’s too much of a chameleon but then Claire and Stacy-Ann get canned for always having the same look? Is Whit really too pageantry and fake? Who got to wear the prettiest dress to the 7up ball? Did you play a drinking game every time someone said “travel documents”? And should Paulina permanently be redubbed P-Dubs? Until next week (or… tonight, because I’m late), Gasmii! Baci!!!