This week ANTM goes back to being offensive toward Australian culture. Natasha’s trek through the woods in wedge heels for the challenge causes her to come down with a cold. Subsequently, she misses a night out with the girls, who take this opportunity to bash her and solidify their clique. She goes on to struggle at the photo shoot and I almost worry myself into a stroke.
But Natasha’s not the only one who struggled. Dionne is not a dancer. I know, shocking, considering she’s such a warm presence. Can she pull through? It’s getting down to the wire and harder and harder to predict who’s going home, so all the girls must be at the top of their game. So who got the boot? Read on…Previously on ANTM, we saw perhaps the biggest tantrum ever from someone over the age of 5. Between go-sees and a double photoshoot, the girls were tested on their versatility. Though Brittany never failed to take amazing pictures, her dismal go-sees and tantrum got her sent back to the US. Only four girls remain, who’s going home tonight?
The girls return from the previous panel to find Tyra Mail! Blah blah blah, something about soul, spirit and heart. Really, what do souls, spirits or hearts have to do with modeling? Look at Naomi Campbell! Certainly no soul or heart there. Dionne is exhausted and doesn’t want to bother figuring the clue out – she just wants to go to bed. Probably a good idea after last week’s failed summit of the brain trust.
Before bed, the girls discuss the previous week’s panel. None of the girls expected Brittany to go home until they were at panel and saw the judges’ reaction to her behavior. Dionne was shocked to be in the bottom two because she does “this thing called ‘scowling’ a lot, which means [she] looks mean all the time.” Thanks for the vocab lesson, Brown. Dionne doesn’t mean to put on a mean face, it’s just there.
Renee observes you can always tell when the panel doesn’t like your photo because they go completely silent. “They’re trying to figure out why they don’t like it.” Renee astutely points out. Ominous music plays as a coyote howls. Um, random. And way to snark on your own show, Renee. Please leave the recapping to the unpaid professionals.
“The Twiggy hates you. You disgust her. Leave the Twiggy’s Presence!”
Porn-y music starts up as Natasha calls her husband. Okay, this next bit is very weird, but she’s foreign! And different strokes for different folks. Natasha has set up the cell phone on her pillow so she can sexy talk with her husband and kind of jedi-snuggle at the same time. Now if I were Natasha, I would take the phone (and pillow) in the next room, but she does it in front of Renee and Dionne, who are laughing their asses off in the background.
Mother Renee, of course, is just so happy someone else in the house is now the subject of everyone’s scorn and derision. “Natasha is weird.” She says. Or, you know, just different from you. I know, crazy! How dare she! Natasha knows the other girls are watching her behavior and judging, but remains self-assured that they know she’s strong competition and are threatened by her. The freaking confidence on this woman.
The next morning the girls are whisked away to the location for their next shoot. Apparently somewhere it was explained that they would have to go on a little hike in the woods to get there, but we never hear that part, we just see the other girls criticizing Natasha for wearing heels for their trek. It’s a rainy, windy, cold day and Renee is more than happy to point out that Natasha is going to get sick because she’s not wearing proper footwear. Ugh, shut up Renee. She’s such a smug, manipulative, know-it-all bitch and I’m afraid she’s going to win. HATE HER!
Yeah, not the best choice for a hike in the woods.
The girls finally reach their destination and are greeted by “Uncle Max,” identified as an aboriginal elder. Love the title. It just reeks of wisdom. His niece, Calita is also there to aid in today’s lesson/challenge. She explains that storytelling is a big part of aboriginal culture, as stories are passed through the generations via words, body art and dance. A group of girls are there to show the perspective top models an example of the dances they perform and the stories they tell.
Tasty! Also, adorable.
Uncle Max beats some sticks to keep a beat as the girls dance. It has something to do with gathering food. The littlest ones are the cutest, though often behind the beat. So this isn’t a strenuous dancing task, with precise movements as, say, the Thai dancing two seasons ago. I think as long as a girl tries, she should be okay.
Renee condescendingly explains that she strongly believes that this lesson will serve them well as models, since “models are storytellers… they tell through dance, we tell through pictures and runway.” What a fucking kiss-up.
Dionne, on the other hand, is not so pleased with the prospect of dancing. She explains, “When someone says ‘dance,’ I automatically assume they mean ‘shake that,’ all this, dance.” but as she watched the demonstration, she got a better idea of what they meant.
Dionne, still working on that mean face.
After the dance ends, Calita explains that for today’s challenge, the girls must tell their own story in the aboriginal tradition: using oral speech, body art and movement to express themselves. Young girls from the community will watch, along with someone from Seventeen Magazine, and all are hoping to be inspired. Hah, yeah right.
The girls have 15 minutes to prepare. They will be decked in little black dresses they must decorate themselves. Renee is daunted by the thought of wearing only that little dress, as it is freezing cold out. But like the US Postal Service, these models know they must work come rain, snow or sleet. Renee is not excited, but says that if “those girls can do it for us, I can do it for them.” God, what a giver.
Renee (Nene) is up first. Is she really keeping that stupid name? Suck up! She begins her story. Of course, it’s about her abused past. And I’m certainly not mocking her history of abuse, that’s horrible, but it does seem like a cheap ploy for sympathy. Like, the girls of the community demonstrated a dance about gathering food – not tragedy – and this just seems like the easiest choice. She does incorporate movement into her speech and the “symbolic” body painting fits with her story, but I still don’t like her. Renee said she was glad she had the opportunity to impress the representative from Seventeen, but was even more glad that her story was heard. I reiterate: What. A. Giver.
Jaslene’s story is also tragic. Pain, agony, suffering. But she came through it thanks to her dream of becoming a model. Stop with the suffering! I can’t snark on that! Jaslene’s story and makeup are weak and her movement is non-existent. At the end, the girls don’t realize the story is over and she gets a weak slow clap. Ouch.
Dionne is up next and she is noooot looking forward to it: “I don’t want to do no damn dance! First of all, how the hell do you think I can dance while telling a story? And what story do you want to hear? My boyfriend tries to get me to dance with him all the time and I just do not do it. I do not want to dance. Period.” Come on Dionne, you had to know dancing was coming. But Dionne doesn’t think what happened in her past is relevant to the competition and I agree. For realz, who cares where models come from? Just look pretty and stand there. I mean, I certainly don’t want to hear them speak.
Anyways, Dionne’s solution is to make this as short as possible. Like Jaslene, Dionne totally skimps on the movement aspect, but continues the tragedy theme. She also doesn’t make much sense. She gets some applause, and joins the other girls under a blanket.
Last up is Natasha. Now, Natasha is speaking very softly, and we probably wouldn’t be able to hear her if it weren’t for her microphone, but she is really the only one that performs any sort of dance. She even incorporates leaves! Come on! Of course, The Three Bitches, as I’ve taken to calling them, are off to the side and can’t hear a word she’s saying. I don’t know why they’re so up in arms about it, as it probably means there’s a better chance of them winning anyways. Natasha’s also the only one that put on makeup that wasn’t overtly symbolic and didn’t make her look like a rabid clown.
What? She’s just on the phone with her husband. Give her a minute.
The representative from Seventeen declares Renee the winner. BOOOO! She played you, Seventeen. She thinks the readers of Seventeen would find her relatable and care about what she had to say. That makes sense, considering the base for Seventeen is high-school girls, and Renee’s manipulative nature most resembles that of a cliquey high schooler.
Renee gets to pick one friend to share in the “special prize,” and she chooses Jaslene, since they share an abused past. When will this woman be sainted already??
As the girls return to their apartment, they are greeted by a creepy old man. He’s there from Autore Pearls, and as you can probably guess, their prize is pearls. The girls try them on, and Renee ends up with a necklace and ring, while Jaslene gets a bracelet and earrings.
Dionne knows she didn’t give it her all today, and now, upon viewing the prizes, she wishes she’d done more today to try to win. Yeah, sucker. Since she can’t have pearls, Dionne wants to have some fun in Sydney. The girls decide they’re going to go out tonight. Renee, Jaslene and Dionne are all behind the idea, but Natasha isn’t feeling well and opts to stay behind and get some sleep. Renee feigns sympathy to Natasha’s face, but is actually glad she’s not joining them.
Now firmly entrenched in their clique, the Three Bitches take this opportunity to bash Natasha. Renee tells the other two they better bring it tomorrow so they can get rid of Natasha. Renee even says to Dionne, “None of this no contact with the camera thing, okay?” WHY are you suddenly excusing this bitchy behavior? This shit would not have flown with Jael. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I wish she was still there to keep “the evil ducks of the universe” (aka, Renee) at bay.
Jaslene knows it’s a long shot that Natasha will go home, considering she’s been improving week after week. Dionne, however, knows that she’s the mostly likely to be sent home this week, especially since she’s weak in the photo department, and would like to see Natasha go home. Of course you would! Certainly would save your ass.
Then the girls get personal. They bring up how sketchy they think her home life is, saying there are lies floating around and she never talks about it or flaunts pictures. Well maybe she’s just not as obsessed with the cult of wife/motherhood as you are, using it for sympathy, Renee. She’s there to be a model, so why does she have to talk about her home life all the time. And granted, they didn’t get to see how truly upset she was during the family visits, or hear how her husband kindly comforted her on the phone, but SHUT UP!
Dionne says she doesn’t know Natasha’s husband’s name. Well have you tried asking? I really can’t picture someone asking Natasha that and her dodging the question. It just seems like she’s been an outcast the whole time and while she wasn’t blabbing her personal information all over, they never bothered to ask.
Natasha knows she’s been talked about by the other girls through the whole competition, but doesn’t let it get to her because she knows they’re just jealous. And it’s pretty true, Natasha has consistently been in the top for the past few weeks. The other girls have to know she’s a strong threat. Natasha’s not going to let them get in her head and distract her from the competition.
The drunkards return from their night out to find Tyra Mail! “Sorry girls, you’re history!” They don’t know what that means exactly, but opt for sleep over thinking. Good move.
The next morning the girls wake up and ready for their next photo shoot. Natasha got a good night’s sleep, but it didn’t help much. Today she has a fever and “the stuffed nose” and a sore throat. She’s feeling the pressure, though, as there aren’t many girls left, so she knows she has to perform. Yeah, this would be, like, the worst time to get sick.
The girls pull up and are greeted by Man Jay. He explains the girls are meeting with the Ngemba tribe today, and each girl will learn a story of the tribe and have to act it out in their photo. Man Jay gives a useless introduction to their photographer for the day, Kane, who gives an equally useless greeting, telling them he thinks it will be a cool shoot that day. Great, thanks for the update.
The girls then meet Sharon, a representative of the tribe who will show the girls the stories they must incorporate into their photo shoot. Dionne is not pleased by the prospect of more dancing: “Do we have to dance again? Please tell me we don’t have to dance again. And I’ll be damned. We have to dance. Again.” The girls head off to hair and makeup. Natasha is still sick. Jaslene practices some awesome moves, which I can’t get a screen grab of because YouTube is being a little bitch. It joins Renee, Dionne and Jaslene on my shit list.
Jaslene is up first, and her dance is about the Red-Breast Robin. There’s lots of bird-like movements – proud chests and shaking knees. As the real shoot begins, Jaslene tells the tribe girls behind her, to “have fun with it.” That’s why I do like Jaslene, as much as I think she’s being a bitch this episode, she’s a freaking great model. Man Jay loves her intensity and instructs her to tip her head down so they can’t see up her nostrils in the final shot. Man Jay thinks Jaslene picked up the spirit and movements, but also added her own interpretation and likes her for it.
Rawr!! A rare Man Jay in the wild, stalking his prey with jazz hands.
Dionne is assigned a food-gathering dance. She picks up on quite a few moves she can use in her photo. Before they even start, Man Jay warns Dionne against the mean face. Dionne does her best to keep the scowl away and draw on the “beautiful energy” of the women around her. At one point Jay tells her he loves the body movement, but asks that she give more in the face, which of course means Dionne reverts right back to the scowl. She gets upset, and Jay comments on how frustrating it is to work with Dionne because he still has to direct her every step of the way.
Natasha’s dance is about the Willie Wagtail Bird. Thank you, Wikipedia, for informing me it’s not the “Wiggly-Wag-Tailed Bird” as I originally thought. Natasha views the bird as always jumping and happy. Her shoot is the exact opposite. Man Jay recognizes how miserable she is, but still thinks she could be giving more. I mean, Tyra did it in front of his eyes in St. Barts, so Natasha should really get with the program. Yeah, I wonder how much she was being paid for that. Also, she was in sunny St. Barts, not the cold, rainy woods of Australia. Not that I’m excusing her flatness.
Natasha wishes she could just lay in bed and have one day off. And really, models can. Just think of Vinci from 8th and Ocean! He had like 12 days off a week. Ominous music plays as Man Jay implores Natasha to try harder, but she continues to struggle.
Renee is last, and her dance is about the flight of the butterfly, or “Bulupula.” Renee thinks it’s a beautiful dance and loves it because she has a brown nose. It’s so brown, she looks like one of those lost climbers from Grey’s Anatomy last night. Zing! Inspirational music plays as her shoot goes on without a hitch. Shut up, show. She does get in some really pretty shots. Shut up, me.
Renee thinks she got some killer shot and “made it very fashion” so Tyra will like it. The English Language continues to weep for this show. The only shows that butcher grammar more are those in the Flavor of Love spectrum.
Tyra Mail! Panel tomorrow, and then we’ll get our final three. Aaaah! Natasha asks if the girls have any idea what will happen tomorrow. “I think we’ll meet with the judges,” Renee snottily responds. Asshole, you know that’s not what she meant.
Renee says she hopes Natasha isn’t going to try to use her illness as an excuse, because “the judges will eat her alive.” Wow, so magnanimous, Renee. You’ve totally convinced me you’re looking out for Natasha’s best interests.
Before panel starts we are treated to pictures of Tyra with a boomerang. For real, why does she do these? I bet it’s some weird thing so she can get an extra paycheck. Also, to remind us she’s still a model. Prizes, Judges. Today’s guest judge is Carissa Rosenberg, that representative from Seventeen Magazine.
Dionne’s up first for criticism. The judges think this picture is very strong, though Carissa thinks she has dead eyes. Twiggy points out that this has been a continuing problem with Dionne. Tyra is glad Dionne didn’t look mean this week, but perhaps this is a little too nice and she needs to find a happy medium. Overall they’re happy with her progress. Tyra reads comments from Man Jay that say how hard it is to work with Dionne, as she still needs a lot of coaching.
Then Tyra whips out this week’s judging test, which they clearly don’t do every episode anymore, but in any case, Dionne must critique the other girls, saying who she thinks has the most potential, and who she thinks has the least. Dionne starts off completely wrong, saying she thinks Jaslene has the most potential. Regardless of whether that’s true or not, the moment she said someone other than herself has the most potential, she totally shot herself in the foot. Dionne goes on to say Natasha has the least potential. LIE! Dionne thinks something is missing from her personality.
Next up is Jaslene. Nigel thinks it’s beautiful, but doesn’t like that they’ve seen that same expression on her face over and over again. Tyra acknowledges that a model with one strong look will get booked for that, but says generally there’s not a lot of longevity with that, so she needs to find some variety.
When Tyra asks her who she thinks has the most potential, Jaslene answers correctly, saying herself. When asked who has the least potential, Jaslene reluctantly says Natasha. Once again, Jaslene cites personality instead of pictures or modeling skillz.
Renee is next up for criticism. Twiggy loves the picture. Nigel comments that Renee found the light very well. The Seventeen representative continues to love Renee, which makes me worry that she’ll win. They can’t have two blondes win in a row, can they?
When asked who has the most potential, Renee of course says herself, citing blah blah blah bullshit. Who has the least? Natasha. Shocker. Renee thinks she plays games. No, that’s you, Renee. You’re the biggest faker in the world!!
Last up is Natasha. Her best shot is not great. Nigel points out that this is a good example of what the wrong makeup will do to her face. Yeah she looks like she has a snout. The judges think it looks awkward and uncomfortable, and Ms. Jay thinks something is lacking in the face. Tyra says the film this week was worse than her film from week 1. Tyra brings up Natasha’s illness, which Man Jay told her about, but says that’s no excuse for a complete lack of substance. Natasha explains that she pulled herself together to even go to the shoot and did the best she could. Tyra won’t let it go, though, and says that Man Jay thinks she regressed back to all her old weaknesses.
When Tyra asks who Natasha thinks has the most potential she says herself, and not because she wants it more than anyone else, as the other girls did, but because she has the Eastern European features that are very popular right now. Natasha goes on to say she doesn’t hate the girls for their criticism, but thanks them for it. I bet that just makes them sooooo pissed. Twiggy, for one, is shocked by the criticism, because she thinks Natasha is one of the warmest girls who takes critique so well. Twiggy thinks the other models are jealous. BUUUUUURN, witches! Twiggy’s got your number!
Natasha agrees, saying if Giselle Bundchen were standing behind her right now, Natasha would say she is the weakest because she’s the biggest threat. The other girls are totally chastised. Natasha knows she’s always talked about, but thinks it’s better to be noticeable than forgettable. Ha, the Bitches’ plan to oust Natasha totally backfired!
Tyra dismisses the girls so the judges can deliberate. In the judging holding room, Natasha expresses that she wishes all the girls well, and says that’s just how she is, she’s not trying to be fake. Jaslene responds that they in turn, just don’t accept who she is. Nice. Jaslene denies that she’s jealous or finds Natasha a threat. Someone’s awfully defensive.
Deliberations. Dionne is beautiful in this photo, but has definitely been the weakest overall. Plus, she was the only girl who didn’t say she had the most potential. Jaslene’s photos are great, though we’re getting the same look week after week. Tyra is worried that the competition is Jaslene’s life and what would happen if she got eliminated? Renee’s photo is great. They love her, but think she can look old. Tyra tells the rest of the panel how just a few weeks ago Tyra had to hold an intervention because all the girls hated Renee. What does it mean that now they’ve all turned against Natasha? It means Renee is a manipulative bitch! She knows the best way to make the other girls not hate her is to make them hate someone else. High School Female Political Science 101. Natasha’s photo is definitely her weakest, but Twiggy is impressed by how she handled the criticism today. True. Just about any other girl would have been bawling her eyes out up there.
Four girls stand before Tyra, but she only has three photos. The first goes to Renee. Fine, it was a gorgeous photo, but BOOO! Jaslene is also safe, which means Dionne and Natasha are in the bottom. Dionne had a strong photo this week, but still requires a lot of coaching. Natasha had a bad photo this week, but the judges know she’s improved a lot in the previous weeks. Tyra thinks there must be a reason the girls have banded against her…
Because they’re jealous!! Natasha gets the photo and she’s safe for another week. IN! YOUR! FACE! Dionne handles her ousting with no class and doesn’t hug Natasha back. Bitch. Tyra says that while Natasha struggled this week with her cold, her body of work is, on the whole, stronger than Dionne’s.
Dionne’s disappointed to go, but knows she tried. She’s going to miss getting “beautified.” Nonetheless, she’s grateful for the chance and proud of herself.
Next week: The Big Finale! Cover Girl commercial and final runway show. Who’s going to win? This week I’ve been clouded by my rage at everyone but Natasha, but I truly believe any of them can take the crown.