Oh my goodness, I have so many opinions this week and am so thankful that I have a forum like TVgasm to express them. I tried to get this up yesterday but I just had too damn much to say. This week’s ep was fairly eventful and I’m sure most of you have strong feelings one way or the other about the outcome, so let’s jump right in.
When I said, “jump right in,” I thought that implied feet first!
Fabcab! Whitney’s taking a page out of Dominique’s book and doing a little self-ego inflation by talking about how she went from being in the bottom two to being called first in just a weeks time. Cut to an interview where Whitney claims that America’s ready for a plus-size model to win ANTM. Dominique says no dice. Why, pray tell? “The problem with Whitney is that I don’t see her as a winner in this competition,” she explains.
Oh really Dominique? Well, that might mean something if your name was Tyra Banks and this was your show. Seriously, where do people like this pick up the skills necessary to manipulate facts and ignore logic to bend things to their favor? And yes, I say “people” because sadly I’ve dealt with others like Dominique who see the world through their own idiotic-colored glasses (which are chartreuse, in case you were wondering). Is someone secretly distributing copies of Chicken Soup for the Insane to a bunch of would-be crazies and allowing them to base their views and morals off of supposedly inspirational tales? I really think we need a special task force to look into this. Then, Dominique predictably continues to brag about how she’s the best, but seriously, I might die if I have to talk about how annoying she is anymore. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before and I figure I might as well save my energy for the more ridiculous things she does later this episode. Onward-ho!
In the house, the girls find a really sweet note from the recently departed Aimee. Cue the sepia-toned flashback of Claire and Aimee in last week’s bottom two. A few of the other girls took issue with Claire’s in-yo-face victory song and dance from last week. Including Stacy-Ann in what I’m pretty sure is her first post-production interview of the season. I say this because I probably would have remembered hair this ridiculous.
“If there was a problem, YO, I’ll solve it.”
Claire explains how badly she wants to stick around because then she can justify her guilt for leaving her husband and baby for so long.
The sometimes-cryptic-yet-always-annoying Tyra Ticker Tape flashes “If you can’t make it here, you can’t make it anywhere.” Anya immediately thinks it has to do with Broadway. Dominique is pumped because her mom always told her that she was a natural actress. Firstly, Dominique’s mother? Between last weeks phone pep-chat with your daughter and now this comment about praising her non-existent “natural” talent, I officially blame you for at least 41% of your daughter’s ego problem, so don’t be surprised if I start to take that out on you in future recaps. Secondly, Dominique? If you’re such a good actress, could you try to “act” a little less self-centered? We’ll all cheer when it comes time for your last episode and give you a standing ovation and throw roses at our televisions or whatever your little heart desires, so long as it keeps your mouth shut from now until then. Capeesh? Capeesh.
Hold on tight to your sofa cushions, Gasmii, Coffeegate ’08 is upon us. You see, Fatima made some coffee, left the kitchen for a hot sec, and when she came back her coffee had disappeared. Blast! Lauren was the next to use the pot but she claims that there were just some grinds and a few drops of water in it. Fatima says, fess up and admit you made a mistake. Lauren says, no way girl, I didn’t do anything! Back and forth, back and forth… Lauren grudgingly shares some coffee with Fatima and runs her mouth a little more. I’m not listening because I’m too busy looking at the glassware she’s using.
Way cooler than when I was too cheap to buy wineglasses and had to drink my vino out of coffee mugs.
Fatima passive-aggressively shrugs off Fatima with a “Sweetheart, you’re not even worth it.” Well this makes Lauren’s punk ass go ca-raaaazy. I’m not entirely sure what all she’s saying because it’s getting bleeped and blurred out, but I’m getting the distinct feeling that something has been edited out. Fatima interviews that Lauren’s got a really bad temper but most of the other girls don’t realize it. Methinks that Fatima’s the one that wouldn’t let the issue drop and then Lauren probably overreacted to that. But seriously, that’s it? I’m a little let down because this was so hyped on the previews.
Also, where was Dominique during all this? I’m sure she would have added her two cents if she could. Also #2, to the naysayers who said that all Whit does is stir up trouble, we did catch a glimpse of her sitting this one out while she sipped on some tea, always smiling… judging… watching… look at the baby, look at the baby. Bonus recap game #1: Win my undying love and affection by naming that quote without googling. Quite the prize, I know
Fabcab delivers the girls to the sponsored modeling agency (that’s right, no free advertising from me!) where the director meets with them and gives them the rundown about go-sees. A real live model is there to dispense quality advice like “Be confident” and “Make a good first impression.” Fascinating stuff. Oh also, this director must have hit every freaking branch as she fell down the ugly tree. You know how they say beauty is symmetry?
Bonus recap game #2: Circle three things on the left that are different than the right. Start with the SINGLE GIANT EAR.
The girls are split up into two teams to go on the go-sees. They’ll have to walk because models that are just starting out usually can’t pony up the big bucks for taxi rides. Oh, but the girls WILL have the aid of a lovely little phone with a built in GPS system. Because clearly, that’s in a financially-challenged model’s budget. Ramen noodles, Vogue, GPS system to be used in Manhattan. Here’s a hint girls: Manhattan streets are on a grid and the last time I checked they’re all in numerical order.
Team #1 is Claire, Dominique, Stacy-Ann, and Whitney while Team #2 is Lauren, Anya, Katarzyna, and Fatima. Claire takes the reigns for her team because her mommy instincts kick in so she directs everyone where to go. Yeah, being the leader must be really tough… when you have your own GPS system to get you there. Anya and I are on the same wave length because her eyes are glued to the directions the phone is spitting out. Lauren seemingly mocks this tactic in an interview, but then is shown pointing at the phone and telling her team that they just need to follow that.
Predictably, there’s tension between Whitney/Dominique and Fatima/Lauren. Correction: Dominique’s NOT concerned about Whitney not being concerned or some other double negative nonsense, Whitney doesn’t expect the designer to book her, Fatima thinks Lauren’s loud and annoying, and Lauren’s worried about having to be tame and doesn’t want to offend someone she doesn’t know. So to clarify, Fatima and Dominique are the ones concerned with petty differences with their nemesii while Whitney and Lauren are worrying about the bigger issues (well, Whitney at least). I’m just saying.
Team #2 heads over to meet with Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, who’s initial claim to fame was being Jerry Seinfeld’s underage honey back when I was probably still learning how to write in cursive.
They’re real, and they’re fabulous!
Lauren’s up first and has to change into a hiiiideous yellow bathing suit. It sort of looks like someone skinned a rubber ducky and added ruffles. And then stuck that on Lauren’s so-pale-it’s-almost-sickly-looking body. She’s clearly uncomfortable and Shoshanna picks up on it. Shoshanna thinks Fatima’s stunning, Anya’s worried that she didn’t ask enough questions, and Kat’s confident in herself but doesn’t know how the other team is doing.
Perfect segue! Team #1 is still chilling in the waiting room when they’re greeted by the pretentiously spelled Pamella, designer for Pamella Roland. She opens her mouth and flat vowels fall on our ears. I’d know that accent anywhere! She’s a fellow Midwesterner! A Google search verifies that she’s Michigan bred, while I hail from the ‘burbs of Chicago. I wonder if Pammie points out her hometown on her right hand by pretending it’s a map. I hate that. ANYWAY, Stacy-Ann says that the go-sees are a breeze for her because she’s so personable, and both Pam and I believe it. Stacy-Ann would definitely make a great runway model because she’d rock her go-sees and she wouldn’t have to worry about switching up her signature face. Pammie says she’d definitely book Stacy-Ann, but doesn’t like Claire’s look.
Dominique looks pretty good in her orange gown and even Whitney agrees. But it’s impossible for the Domster to humbly take any kind of praise. She makes a big show about getting high fives from the other girls and even gives herself a pat on the back.
Now, if only she was standing in front of a window. And used that hand to push herself out of it. That’s what I’m talking about.
Whitney rescinds her compliment and – yet again – calls Dominique trashy. Someone get this girl a thesaurus ASAP or at the very least send her to urbandictionary. Whitney models an unflattering frock and does a bit of the Clydesdale kick when she walks. Pammie thinks she’s a beautiful girl but tells her flat out that she wouldn’t book a size 10 for her runway shows. Whitney smiles and tells Pam that she understands, but back with Dominique and Stacy-Ann, she vents a little bit of her frustration that she’s not even in the running because she’s not a size two. From her interviews, Whit seems to have a pretty solid grasp on what the realities for her are in the “regular” modeling industry. She knows that on real go-sees, she wouldn’t be trying to book the same gigs that the other girls would and so she really doesn’t seem surprised at all by Pammie’s reaction. Smartly, Whit decides not to burn a bridge because Pam might pass along her name to someone else who needs a plus-size model.
Now, it’s time for me to vent out all of MY frustration about Dominique. Where to begin? “I think Whitney felt really defeated because the designer didn’t cater to plus-size models,” she starts. “I started to slowly see Whitney break down. Bye bye, Whitney!” NO Dominique. Not at ALL. I’m sure if the editors actually had any footage of Whitney breaking down that they surely would have stuck it in this episode. There’s nothing a reality TV story editor loves more than tears (except maybe gratuitous nudity).
Delusional Dominique pretty much lied about what she saw, except at this point, I’m not even sure if it was an intentional lie. Maybe the girl is so messed up that her brain actually twists the concrete facts that her senses takes in and only takes in the selective information that supports her opinions. Wait a sec, that’s starting to sound like exactly the kind of excuse Dominique would make when Dominique wasn’t feeling like taking responsibility for something that Dominique did. The mid-season recap episode better come soon because it looks like I’m in severe danger of picking up the most annoying habits from some of these girls without a break in the near future. That’s what I get for reviewing each episode 2-3 times to write these babies.
It’s a go-see switcheroo as Team #1 heads over to Shoshanna while Team #2 rushes over to Pammie. Shoshanna makes a point of telling the girls that her line is designed for people of all different sizes, which Whitney loves. Shoshanna thinks Claire asks too many prying questions (“Do you get your models straight from the agencies? Which agency?”) but tells Whitney she looks sexy in the dress she models and would definitely book her.
More completely fabricated bullshit from Dominique: “I was a little surprised that Whitney started to pull it together and started to warm up. I think she might have felt stupid and got over herself.” I’m trying to think if there’s ever been a reality contestant on any reality show that I’ve ever seen that I’ve disliked as much as Dominique… and I’ve gotta admit, I’m shooting blanks. She may have that title all wrapped up.
“I’m marching in Dominique’s own parade to celebrate Dominique being crowned Queen of the Reality Douches!”
I swear that if I didn’t have a responsibility to accurately recap these episodes, I’d just hit mute every time Dominique opened up her big ass mouth on her busted face. Then maybe I’d write a little fan fiction for what I imagined she had said. Now there’s a thought. Maybe next week.
Team #2 is hanging out in Pammie’s showroom. Fatima needs a cheeseburger because the size zero gown is falling off her body. Anya lacked cahnfidence says Pammie. Lauren nearly trips over her own two feet while she walks and Fatima’s full of unoriginal catty remarks about it.
The scores are close before the third and final go-see. Some chick named Stacey is going to be outfitting the girls in her designs. I’m thinking Stacey’s an evil sea witch like Ursula from The Little Mermaid because she has obviously stole Paris Hilton’s voice and probably has it hidden in a clonky seashell necklace somewhere. I also can’t tell what generation she hails from because she has one of those weird faces that simultaneously looks infantile and over plastic surgeried.
If a woman tells you she’s 20 and looks 16… she’s 12. If she tells you she’s 26, and LOOKS 26… she’s damn near 40.
Stace tells them to be quirky with their walks and do “cartwheels, whatever you want.” Oh, this is fantastic. Dominique’s not about to take that bait but Stacey’s not too pleased with her look anyway. Claire flutters her shirt awkwardly as she walks. Stacy-Ann does a cute little twirl midwalk. Whitney’s full of sass and I really want the dress that she’s wearing. Fatima impressed Stacey, but it was cute-as-a-button Kat who was this designer’s favorite. Lauren continues to clomp it up and Stacey’s mouth is agape at her – duh – horse walk!
In the end, Team #2 pulls out the win with their strong personalities and Stacy-Ann booked the most jobs. The girls get to shoot a summer beauty spread for Seventeen and Dominique loses her shit she’s so excited. Luckily, this freak out gives us viewers at home a quick shot of yet another one of her cosmetic flaws.
A nasty side effect of that pesky fang removal surgery.
After the requisite 30 seconds of footage from said photo shoot, the ticker tape tells the girls to put their best face forward but not to get washed out. Lauren wallows in her low self-esteem because the other girls “already know how to walk in heels” and she’s not good enough and blah blah and she needs to improve. Hey dollface? You’ve been on the show for seven freaking weeks. If it’s not happened yet, it’s not gonna happen. You missed your window of improvement – you know, your first fifty days in the house.
On the day of the photo shoot, the girls are led inside a big warehouse where Jay’s getting his workout on… on a big, giant treadmill. Then, some models – one of whom looks like she walked right out of a Madeline book – hop right on the treadmill and start going against the flow of traffic!
This happens to me at the gym all the time.
Then Jay breaks into a dead sprint and bursts through a makeshift wall apparently made out of empty boxes and confetti. You see kids, the lesson here is that the Top Model hopefuls need to burst through their own metaphorical wall to get to the next level of the competition. Apparently, Jay’s sprint-and-run was just for show, because the girls won’t get to be reenacting that. Instead they’ll be splishing and splashing through water on some plexiglass while the photographer shoots them from underneath. No hair, no makeup, it will just be the girls “raw,” as Jay puts it. He encourages them to pose with lots of movement and to make interesting shapes with their bodies.
Personally, I think this shoot is a horribly executed idea – the final results are really blurred and none of the girls are capable of a really exceptional shot because you can barely make out their faces. I can’t imagine any designer would want their clothes shot in this way because you can’t make out details on any of the girls dresses. That being said, the shoot looks like it would be so much fun and so I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up. Do you think this place does birthday parties? Because, forget the traditional “let’s get wasted at a bar” idea. Next year, I totally want to get my besties together and get all dolled up in girly dresses and roll around in colored water. And bounce on the plexiglass. And break through walls on the treadmill. And maybe get wasted, too.
Claire’s up first and decides she wants to slide into the water like the performers earlier did. Hey, whoever’s out picking up a new thesaurus for Whitney? Would you mind picking up a dictionary for Claire? Because apparently by “slide in” she really meant “do a belly flop and face plant into hard plastic.” Now come on Claire, I’ve been doing nearly everything to support you and have even looked past a few minor indiscretions… but girl, you should know that belly flops kill when they’re done in the water, so OF COURSE it’s going to break your face when you do it into hard plastic!
Claire needs to take a minute to nurse her sore head and neck, so Dominique steps up to bat. She slithers around and basically makes love to the plexiglass and Jay doles out the accolades. After recovering from her terrible fall, Claire’s ready for her shoot and comes off a little stiff for Jay’s taste. Lauren seems to be the only one that’s bothered by the height of the platform and really struggles with the shoot.
Kat’s up and it’s haircut time. I totally forgot about this! Yay! She sheds a few tears and I don’t blame her. If I get a haircut that so much as approaches shoulder length, I pout for weeks. It doesn’t look fantastic when it’s unstyled at the shoot, so I’ll treat you to a screencap of Kat from panel to get the full effect:
Cute as a button, indeed.
Despite the tears, she embraces the change and is happy with the final result. During Whitney’s shoot, it’s obvious just how much she really is the best model out there. Her face lights up and is a thousand times more expressive than any of the other girls. Unless she gets in an accident and ends up horribly disfigured, I really am going to be so disappointed if she doesn’t end up in the final few, at the very least. Stacy-Ann struggles but Fatima flourishes. After her shoot, Fatima giggles, “I can’t even swim!” Well sweets, good thing there’s absolutely zero swimming involved when it comes to rolling around in a puddle where the water is less than an inch deep. Do you struggle with all other water-related activities? Showering? Drinking a glass of water? My my, Fatima. What a challenging life you must lead.
Back at the house, the girls are performing their weekly ritual of freaking out about panel. Lauren in particular is stressed – at least I think she is, from what I can deduce from the spazzing out that she’s doing in the confessional. Everyone agrees that this was the toughest shoot yet. Dominique astutely observes, “The girl that didn’t pull this off” – quick shots of Lauren, Claire, and Stacy-Ann – “is definitely going to be the girl that goes home.” Thanks again, Captain Obvious, for clearing up the entire premise of the show for me. I didn’t figure it out in the first nine seasons.
Panel time. The guest judge this week is the asymmetrical director from the modeling agency. Meanwhile, Paulina’s hair is stick straight. Tyra claims she’s channeling Cher, but she’s giving me more of a Morticia Adams vibe.
Tyra reveals that this week’s shoot was quite impromptu. Apparently, an entirely different shoot had been planned but when Tyra caught a matinÃ©e of “Fuerza Bruta” she decided to scrap that idea and model the shoot after what she saw in the show. Claire’s up first this week.
Claire fesses up to her face plant and Tyra says that she heard that Claire had been instructed not to slide in, but decided to do it anyway. False, Tyra. Jay initially said that Claire “didn’t have to” slide into the water. That’s not a firm denial. Perhaps you should have a panel with all your little birdies and give one of them the boot for not relaying the proper information to you. Nigel thinks it’s a beautiful shot but that the profile of her face is weak. He tries to share strategy for catching the light while looking into the camera. Ms. Asymmetry agrees with him, but Paulina thinks it’s a beautiful shot. Mizz Jay says she looks like a bug splattered on his windshield.
Stacy-Ann gets snaps for booking the most gigs at the go-sees. Nigel likes that Stacy-Ann managed to catch the light on her face while still looking into the camera. Ms. Asymmetry’s would have liked to see Stacy-Ann’s mouth more relaxed. Tyra says that her film wasn’t strong and Stacy-Ann admits that she struggled with all the aspects of the shoot. Tyra decides to give her a little tutorial on how to hold your breath underwater. Just in case some of you are like Fatima and unable to swim, it goes a little something like this. Step 1: Take a breath. Step 2: Hold that breath. Step 3: Put your head into the water underwater. Don’t say Tyra never taught you nothing.
Week Seven and Tyra’s still butchering Katarzyna’s name. The judges fawn over the haircut. “That weird Eastern European tackiness is now gone!” Paulina exclaims. *record scratches to a stop* “Thank you,” Kat graciously offers. Tyra thinks it’s a beautiful shot and it’s the first picture that Nigel thinks looks like a model.
Ms. Asymmetry thinks that the picture looks like a sonogram. Mizz Jay loves the full-figured fetus. Tyra thinks Whit looks really alive in the picture and says that the film blew her away.
Tyra criticizes Dominique’s outfit. Is it a shirt? Is it a dress? Dominique titters nervously while Tyra tells her that her tights are too sheer to be wearing the outfit as a dress. As for the picture, Tyra loves the look on Dom’s face and thinks it looks like pain and orgasm all into one. So you’re saying she nailed “The Tyra” that all the girls were taught last week, eh? Nigel makes a snarky comment about Dominique’s wacky hairstyle and says she looks too Something-About-Mary.
At least we know she’ll never run out of man-made hair gel.
HA! Well done, Nigel! Bravo!
Wow, for as much as everyone on this show stresses how models need to lengthen and stretch out your limbs, you’d think Lauren would have caught on a little bit by now. She just looks like a lump in this picture. Nigel goes so far as to say that she looks dead. Tyra suggests that Lauren had a little trouble with the shoot and Lauren explains that having her contact lens fall out was quite stressful. Mizz Jay deems this irrelevant because the point of the shoot was to embrace movement. Tyra said that this week was Lauren’s weakest shoot to date.
Hoolia thinks, holy crap, that’s one crazy skeletor hand. Seriously! Cheeseburger for this girl! Stat! Tyra thinks it looks perfect. Fatima claims to have practiced a lot for the shoot. How the hell would one practice for this? Nigel tests her preparation and demands that she strike a pose. She comes up with this:
Here is my handle, Here is my spout.
“Like a teapot?” Nigel questions. Oh Nigel, you’re killing me today! Tyra says that the film was stunning and Nigel thinks that this is the best shot of the bunch.
Nigel loves the lighting. Ms. Asymmetry concurs. Tyra loves the eye and says that the picture makes her think “H2Oh no you didn’t girl!” Uh, what? Someone really needs to stop shuffling her cue cards because she’s making zero sense in this context.
The judges deliberate and Tyra calls the girls: Fatima (is anyone else sick of her pathetic little beauty queen fake cry that she does every week when she gets called? oh, everyone is? cool), Anya, Kat, Whit, Stacy-Ann, and Dominique. Claire and Lauren get the bottom two speech: Claire takes gorgeous pictures but they all look too similar while Lauren still cant get a grip on her awkwardness. Lauren gets saved because Tyra believes that a girl so beautiful has something deep inside of her that’s not awkward and she needs to learn to embrace it.
Personally, I think that both Claire and Lauren were justified to be in the bottom two. I have always thought Claire takes pretty good pictures but the judges were very correct in pointing out that she makes slight variations of the same face in all of them. As for Lauren, her lack of self-esteem and completely awkward personality are truly holding her back. I’ve had arguments with friends over the importance of a model’s personality and ability to carry themselves. I always maintain that it’s essential but I know other people are of the persuasion that it doesn’t matter at all as long as the model is taking great pictures. Once the 15 minutes of ANTM quasi-fame wears off, the awkward models are never going to be able to book any gigs at their go-sees if they’re incapable of normal socialization.
Initially, Lauren reminded me so much of Shandi from Cycle Two, but Shandi was such a great example of how to get over the awkwardness. She never totally transformed into a graceful, elegant supergoddess but she did make consistent improvements and they didn’t happen overnight. Lauren is still no different whatsoever than she was seven weeks ago at the beginning of the competition. If she had been put in the final two in the first or second week for this reason, I’d understand giving her a second chance and passing her through to the next round. But at this point, I think it’s ridiculous that she’s still given yet another chance when she had a horrible shoot to boot. Long story long – I would have much rather seen Claire have one more attempt at trying a new look instead of seeing Lauren’s mopey ass slouch around the house for at least another week.
Well Gasmii, you guys were surely heating up the comments section last week with some very opinionated views, so I can’t wait to hear what you’re thinking this week. Were you disappointed in the untraditional approach to go-sees because it meant that no one got lost and no one showed up late? Did you like the photo shoot or did it fall flat for you? Were you as incensed about Dominique’s blatant lies as I was? Do you think Whitney should have been sent on go-sees to designers who had no use for a plus-size model or should she have been sent to designers who specifically catered to a fuller figure? Have you ever drank coffee out of a wineglass or wine out of a coffee mug? And of course, was Claire justified in being sent home or did she deserve another week?