Finally! A Renee-centric episode! JUST WHAT I WANTED, Tyra, how did you know? Mother Renee is either the most self-aware evil person I’ve ever seen, or the most evil evil person I’ve ever seen, and in an attempt to bridge the rapidly-forming gaps between her and the rest of the girls, she vows too change her ways for the better.
But other things happened besides Mother Renee’s official canonization. This show further devolved and we were treated to a challenge that seriously made me wonder if I was watching Zoolander. Plus, Tyra got to play out her fantasy of murdering every wannabe model under the age of 27. Fun!
As the sun rises over LA, Renee is talking to the camera in the room whose only identifying feature is that it is filled with pictures of girls from past seasons. Except that’s every room in HOUSE OF TOP MODEL so it’s really not that helpful a description, I know. Renee says she knows she’s been fighting with everyone a lot, but she wants to win and can’t with the bitchy attitude she’s had lately. So she’s making a change. It’s gonna feel real good. Chaaaange! “Man in the Mirror” is totes my favorite MJ song too, Renee! Look at that, we’re building bridges.
Her first attempt at making nice is very awkward, and it’s not just because of all the mannish shoulders involved. Jael is standing at the mirror, readying for her day when Renee comes in and says she has something for Jael. Ducky seems uninterested until Renee’s like, “Now I don’t want you to be offended…” and Ducky’s head whips around all, “Are you seriously starting with me this early in the morning?”
But Renee really wants to mean it in a good way! She drew a picture of Ducky and wants to give it to her. Jael is like, why would I be offended? And Renee says because she’s wearing a straitjacket, but it’s not tied so don’t be offended! LOL, oh Renee, you slay me. For those of you who missed the episode, the picture basically looked like a Bratz doll… wearing an untied straitjacket. Nothing says “forgive me” like a drawing of yourself with massive eyes!
Jael pretends to like it, but you know she’s just thinking, “I can’t throw this piece of crap out as long as Renee is still in. SHE MUST GO.” Though really, knowing our happy duck, she probably loves it and has it framed in her nest as we speak.
The white, stretch Hummer, aka The Classmobile, pulls up to a twirling man dressed as a traffic cop. Natasha says she was nervous because there was a police officer waiting for them when they got out of the car and Renee wonders what they’ve gotten themselves into. Oh, but don’t worry girls, he’s not really a traffic cop! Shocking, I know, what with all the twirling and cavorting and such.
His name is Benny Ninja. Seriously, where does Tyra find these people?? Apparently he is the father of the House of Ninja. The claim to fame for the House of Ninja is not flipping out and killing people, as realultimatepower.net would have you believe. Instead, they perfected Voguing. Seriously, WHERE TYRA? Voguing started in the 70′s in Harlem, where they had posing battles. I guess like a bendier Stomp the Yard.
Also, we get the scientific definition of Voguing: Posturing + Movement = Voguing. The whole time he’s explaining all this, Benihana is also constantly voguing and changing positions. He just seems like a less-than-talented contortionist to me.
As a little precursor to this week’s challenge, Benihana is going to pit the girls against each other in one on one posing battles. First up, Felicia vs. Sarah, Face Battle. Benihana liked Felicia and thought she was a natural poser and Felicia is happy to have kicked some ass.
All the other girls get their turn to battle, but it looks like by the end he kind of lost steam and stopped naming winners. Why do I care unless someone is losing and crying about it?
Back at the house that night, Whitney asks Felicia the eternal question: “What is a fierce face?” Of course, Baby Tyra is more than happy to oblige with a few demonstrations of the patented Fierce Eyesâ„¢. Oooooh, Tyra’s gonna be pissed Felicia’s stealing her moves!
Whitney says she loves Felicia and thinks of her as a little sister. Since this is the first we’ve really heard of Felicia, and all of a sudden they’re building her up so we like her, she’s clearly going home today. It probably also didn’t help Felicia’s chances when Whitney said they should go find a picture of Tyra to study and Felicia replies, “Yeah. Does she have a fierce one?” Um, YES. She’s TYRA! She invented fierce! Or so you have to believe to remain in the running to be America’s Next Top Model.
In another part of the house, Renee is braiding Brittany’s hair. Yes, Renee’s even extending her new nice attitude to her arch-nemesis from the previous week. However, Brittany does not trust this new saintly Renee completely. She says Renee can be fun and nice, but has a “bitchy undertone.” But Brittany doesn’t mind Renee as long as she’s being nice.
Diana watches them from another part of the deck, which, creepy, and explains that Renee is manipulative and always likes to have one girl in the house “be there for” and “control.” Methinks someone is jealous she’s no longer Renee’s #1 BFF! Needless to say, Diana doesn’t buy it.
The next morning the girls prepare for their posing challenge. Ducky explains that she burnt her face yesterday with a curling iron. I really don’t know how you can burn yourself with a curling iron that badly, that far into the middle of your face, with so little hair. It was totally Renee’s drawing that hypnotized her with those crazy Bratz eyes.
Come on, hold the curling iron against your face. It’ll look hot.
Ducky thinks it might be frazzled nerves because of her friend’s death. Better pull it together, Duckman. The judges gave you a free pass last week, but that’s going to get old to them real fast.
The Classmobile pulls up to a big warehouse. As they enter, they are greeted by Benihana sneaking out of a bank vault. I think he’s supposed to look all stealth, but Benihana just looks completely ridiculous because someone ordered his spandex unitard 2 sizes too large.
Benihana explains that the girls are in the House of Le Banks, where Tyra keeps all her most Bankable poses. This show crossed the line into ridiculous long ago, but it has officially entered Zoolander territory. FOR REAL? A BANK VAULT OF POSES?? Hire the writers back, Tyra!
Yesterday the girls learned about posing and movement and today they will be tested on that. The girls must cross a room filled with a maze of lasers beams without touching said beams. Think Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment, but uggo. Seriously, this is so budget.
The prize is actually pretty sweet. The winner of the challenge gets a $40,000 diamond charm bracelet. It’s actually kind of tacky, but you could TOTES sell that. The girls are in disbelief.
Before they can begin, the girls must change into a unitard and slippers. The ‘tard is not kind to anyone’s figures. Renee says she would love to win that bracelet because she has a FAMILY that is broke and could really use the money. Well good thing you’re here, then, and not somewhere, I don’t know, WORKING. For MONEY. You get no sympathy from me Mother Renee.
The rules of the challenge: Each girl has two minutes to make it through the maze. If they touch a laser, a buzzer will sound which means they must go back to the beginning and start over. Each girl who makes it through gets a key, which will open a box. The girl Benihana thinks did the best will find the diamond bracelet in her box.
Dionne is chosen too go first, much to her chagrin. She starts strong, going right into a split. Unfortunately, her hair passes through a laser. What’s funny about this is that the lasers don’t automatically set off the buzzer – Benihana is watching on monitors in the back and has to push a button every time he sees her hit a beam. And he’s such a spazz about it, it’s hilarious.
At twenty seconds, Dionne knows she just has to go through it and she dives through, not worrying about the poses. Brittany is up next and gets through pretty quickly without touching the lasers, but has to be reminded to pose.
Right? So budget.
Whitney goes in thinking she should just pose her tail off cause she wants that bracelet. As she begins striking some poses between the lasers, Benihana likes what he sees and indicates it by calling out “Correct!” So weird. Benihana loves that she kept eye contact with him the whole time. That also probably means he wasn’t paying as close attention to the monitors as he should have been, but hey, Tyra’s always stressing the importance of eye contact.
Everyone else gets through without incident until we get to Renee, who is last up. She starts well as Benihana compliments her movement, but she immediately hits the beams. She messes up over and over again until eventually she is out of time. BURN! Everyone got a key and you didn’t! That totally just made my week.
Renee cries because she can’t believe everyone else got through and she didn’t. Plus she really needed that money. Well why don’t you cry me a river, build a canoe, paddle downstream and GET A JOB!
A little while later the girls are lined up at a table. Aw, everyone has a box except Renee, ’cause she’s sucks. He tells everyone to open their boxes. Of course, the girl who gets it is the last one to get her box open – Whitney!!
As is to be expected Whitney is thrilled and shows off her new bracelet. She owes her father $9000 for this semester of college she’s missing (which seems reaaaally cheap for a semester at Dartmouth with no financial aid.), but Whitney’s going to keep the bracelet. It does look cuter on than it did in the box.
TyraMail awaits when the girls get home: “Don’t kill yourself with over-thinking the competition, but kill me with your drop-dead gorgeous looks. Love, Tyra.” This should involve no crying from Ducky. Timely as ever, Tyra.
Renee is feeling broken by the competition. She thought she would do better than she has been. Wah, wah. She talks in a baby voice on the phone to her husband, asking if he’ll come pick her up. He asks what’s wrong and she says she doesn’t want to be there, it’s stupid and she should be with her family and not with all these stupid girls.
As we look in on Renee crying into the phone from outside, we hear girls complaining that they were waiting for the phone and it’s someone else’s turn. I mean, Natasha has been waiting for like five minutes. More girls bitch about the phone and Felicia drags Natasha with her as she goes to ask Renee about the phone.
Felicia actually handles it well and asks Renee if she’s okay before telling her that other people are waiting. Natasha is more inclined to wait because she thinks Renee misses her baby, when we all know she’s really just a bitch. Renee won’t even answer and tells them to go away. Productive and cooperative, that Renee. And one bad challenge later and we’re back to square one with her attitude, as she tells her husband she’s going to beat them all down. Classy!
Felicia is still recounting the story to everyone outside as Renee leaves the phone room. She totally overhears Felicia as she calls her a bitch, but Renee just stews in her hearty gumbo of self-pity.
The next morning the girls pull up to a hotel and are led up to the 12th floor of an 11-floor building, known in some circles as “the roof.” They are greeted by Man-Jay who explains that the girls are going to have to bring life to a dead pose because in today’ shoot they are going to be crime scene victims. Oh pleeeeaaaase give Ducky a drug overdose.
Man Jay explains that they can’t just lie there, but have to bring some life to the pictures. Needless to say, some of the girls are confused. Oh how I wish Kathleen was still around.
Up first is Renee, playing “poisoned by a model.” I don’t know what part is supposed to say “by a model,” but whatever. Man-Jay thinks Renee looks so eerie and is looking editorial and High Fashion. He praises her, but she says she’s not going to tell the other girls because they already hate her enough. Ugh, get over yourself.
Too bad Jay’s already gone down the hall and told everyone how well he thought Renee did. When Jay tells her he told them, Renee tells him they already hate her as it is. When he asks why she replies in a whisper, “I’m a bitch.” I really don’t know how she can be so self aware and such a bitch at the same time. Oh wait, I’m kind of exactly the same way, but that’s why I don’t put myself on TV so the whole world can see.
Renee watches Jaslene’s shoot without crying for once. Now that she’s been praised, Renee is secure enough to just view her as stiff competition instead of FLIPPING THE FUCK OUT, as per usual. Jaslene’s picture is “pushed off a building” (I’m leaving out the “by a model” from now on.) Jaslene looks good while modeling, but in her interview in full makeup after her shoot, she looks a hot mess. I think it’s the teeth.
Brittany is doing “electrocuted” so is trying to find a way to pose in the bathtub. Since she’s mostly obscured by the shower door if she lies in the tub, she decides the best position would be falling out of the bath. It really works and Man-Jay likes her commitment.
This is really an episode where the makeup staff gets to show their stuff. They’re totally the unsung heroes of ANTM. Dionne tells us how some people’s makeup really started to freak her out.
Diana had all of her organs stolen. In a hallway, apparently. It’s a really tight space, but she eventually finds a good pose. Sarah is “pushed down the stairs” and both Man-Jay and the photographer tell her at the beginning not to over think things.
Jael is up next and is totally not thinking about modeling, but can only focus on her dead friend. Serious music plays as her shoot falls flat. After she finishes, Jay asks what was up with her, and she explains about her friend. I gotta give her props she didn’t tell Jay about it last week when it was really fresh. Maybe she’s not as much of an attention whore as I thought.
Felicia is supposed to be “decapitated,” but I think the word they were looking for was “strangled.” That would be some fancy makeup indeed if she could look decapitated. The photographer comments that she’s not looking into the camera and is glazing over too much. Jay is too creeped-out by how much she looks like a corpse to focus on giving her helpful criticism.
Whitney is “stabbed” and poses draped across a red velvet couch. She’s really trying to project “model” more, based on last week’s criticism.
Natasha shrieks as bottles of water are poured all over her for her “drowned” shoot, but Jay admonishes that this is not as cold as Russia. And if you don’t shut up Tyra will return you to the bride store! Natasha gets over the cold though, and rocks her shoot. Dionne explains that for her shoot, she “looked like a dead-ass rich woman, for real.” Yes, but do you look like a model?
At the end of the shoot Jay thinks the judges will have a tough time deciding who will go home because all the girls were really good this week.
When they arrive home, TyraMail awaits. Panel tomorrow and someone will be eliminated. Later some girls hang out by the pool, discussing who they think will go home. Felicia says she just wants a good review on her picture because then she’ll know she’s not going home. Then she chants “I’m not going home” in a sing-songy voice, as if her off-ing wasn’t already clearly established. But Felicia’s positive she got a good shot.
Ducky, on the other hand, isn’t so sure and knows she didn’t do her best. She stresses that she could be sent home.
So, I’ve been calling Tyra “Pirate Tyra” because she always got a big ol’ headband hiding the wig line and this week is no different. Panel, Prizes, Judges. As she introduces the judges I realized this is the first time all episode we’ve seen Ms. Jay and I didn’t miss her at all. This week’s guest judge is the photographer from this week’s shoot, Mike Rosenthal, whom Tyra introduces as one of her “most favorite” photogs. Tyra is the new Sojourner Truth.
Renee is up first for critiquing with her “poisoned” photo. The judges love it across the board. Twiggy likes her jaw, and Nigel thinks she looks like a model in her picture and standing in front of them. Eh, I don’t really like how she looks in front of them now. Her hair and her outfit don’t match. The hair says punk and the clothes say “Desperate Housewife of Orange County” to me.
Dionne is next. For the fourth panel in a row, Tyra admonishes Dionne’s appearance immediately, telling her she doesn’t look like a model. Twiggy agrees, saying she hates Dionne’s shirt and Nigel thinks she belongs in a mall. They love her positioning in the photo, but once the judges learn that Jay had to put Dionne in position, she loses major points. Nigel wonders what the photo would look like without Jay’s help and the lighting effects. (But really, what would a lot of these girls photos be without all those effects? I’ll tell you – UGLY.)
Natasha’s “drowned” photo gets high praise. Tyra says this week and last, does Natasha know what the photos had in common? “The eyes?” Natasha’s guesses. Uh, no, you were upside down, which helped to keep Natasha from squinching her face like she’s auditioning for Bridget Jones III. The photographer compliments her for taking such a great photo when she was so cold.
Ms. Jay describes Diana’s photo as “broken-down dolls… marionettes,” which, helpful, Ms. Jay, thanks. Nigel thinks she really got the photo and the photographer compliments her for being such a giant, and yet still finding a way to make it work in a tiny hallway.
Tyra acknowledges that Jael probably had a hard time with the shoot this week, because of last week’s events. Aside from her awkward hands the judges like her picture. But really, those hands are awful, they should have give her stronger criticism.
Jaslene is wearing a ridiculous purple, polka-dotted headband. The judges think that equals personality and compliment her. No! Don’t encourage the ugly! I love Ugly Betty as much as the next person, but ugly is NOT the new pretty. The judges love her photo, especially the eye contact.
Sarah’s face gets high praise in her picture, but I think you just lose her eyes. The guest photog thinks she’s still over-thinking a little bit, but she did a good job in the end.
All the judges love the leg in Brittany’s photo and the fact that she made the suggestion to be outside the tub. Tyra thinks its one of the best of the bunch.
Nigel thinks Felicia actually looks dead in her picture. Ms. Jay proves she can spell dead. Bravo. Her film didn’t have a lot of variation and Tyra thinks she’s starting to lack life.
As Whitney goes up to panel, she makes sure they can see her new bracelet so the judges can compliment her on her win. The judges also love her photo. Twiggy actually thinks her picture looks like a fashion shot and Nigel thinks she doesn’t look dead.
The judges deliberate. Natasha and her big head look amazing. Dionne has no fashion sense or presence, but Tyra believes there’s something to her. Twiggy and Nigel are disturbed by Diana’s smile. LOL, totes agree there. Tyra says Diana can learn to smile like Tyra had to all thos years ago.. Twiggy hates the hands, but finds Jael’s face beautiful. There’s no light in Felicia’s eyes. Nigel thinks she’s gotten cocky as “Baby Tyra” and doesn’t try as hard as she should. Brittany’s picture actually makes the clothes look good. Twiggy’s not the biggest Whitney fan, but she does like her photo this week. Oh we can’t all be twigs, Twiggles. Sarah isn’t typically pretty but looks great on film. Jaslene has consistently strong photos. Renee’s photo is Twiggy’s favorite and thinks she jumps out of the line. Nigel thinks she looks old, though. I think she looks like a bitch.
10 girls… 9 photos… First photo goes to RENEE. VOM. Ugh, just want to punch her in the kidney. Natasha is thrilled to be called second, and even says “oh my God, I’m second,” acknowledging the unspoken ranking of this photo handing-out ceremony. Natasha thanks her in Russian and Tyra comes back with gibberish. Culturally sensitive, that Tyra Banks. Brittany, Whitney, Jaslene, Jael, Diana and Sarah are all safe. Brittany is already crying because that leaves Felicia and Dionne in the bottom. Both must step forward, but there is only one photo in Tyra’s hand. Dionne: The judges want to be inspired by what you look like. How do you compare the girls when all the photos are great? Good point. Felicia’s gotten weaker week by week. Is she falling apart? No, I think she was just a one-trick pony.
Dionne is saved and Felicia must pack her bags and SCRAM. Tyra tells Dionne she better not look like ass at panel next week and to show some progression!
As Felicia leaves, everyone’s crying and she’s glad that everyone is sad to see her go. Heh. Oh well, by loser! She and her tiny suitcase and eyebrows leave the house.
Next week: Natasha meows and everyone’s creeped out by her mail-order-bride-ness, while Renee alienates girls in the house. Surprise!