Bonjour, ‘Gasmii! Welcome back to the free-for-all that is America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion. I hope you weren’t too sad that the show wasn’t on last week. I guess some other show that’s been on a long time that I never watched had a series finale or something.
But we’re back now! And though you hate my ANTM niavete, I’m going to keep plugging through this season and hopefully make you laugh once! Or twice!
So, two weeks ago, on our last episode, Eboni won best picture mostly because A) she tied for the most go-sees at the Toronto Fashion Week and B) they didn’t want Azmarie to get too cocky. Three wins in a row may have been too much for her big androgynous head.
And who went home? I’m trying to do this from memory while the DVR is on pause, and…dang it, they just reminded me last night and I STILL can’t remember. Ashley? That’s who went home last time, right? Cute little not-Shirley Manson?
We come back this week to the girls arriving at their rent-a-mansion. Eboni shrieks “USA USA USA” as they walk in towards the giant box of TJ Maxx goodies. Is it me, or is her voice really annoying? It’s like it’s constantly cracking. She’s not actually a 13-yr-old boy, is she?
Speaking of speaking, Alisha’s NOT speaking until she’s picture of the week. She says so in the confessional, via notepad. She ends it with “Fuck’s sake” or “Fuck sake.” Or it could be “Shit sake,” they have every single letter asterisked. And to ME, the expression is “FOR fuck’s sake.” So “fuck sake” or “ass sake” makes no sense. Crickets chirp.
Another dearth of photos this week, so here’s my little kitten at Christmas this year, hoarding ALL THE TOYS.
Laura, meanwhile, is huddled in a blanket by the pool, mournfully remembering her friend Kevin who died a few weeks ago in the motorcycle accident. Later, she’s upstairs with the girls, cuddling a teddy bear that Kevin had given her. It’s name is Alan, for some reason. Anyway, Sophie decides to kidnap Alan, taking him down to the pool. She dangles Alan over the pool a bit while Laura screams.
Then Laura grabs the bear and starts to run, but Sophie’s still got the ear and it rips right off. We’re all wondering right now if these girls all know this is the gift of a dead man or not, right? And if Laura’s going to freak the fuck out, because we know that bitch is crazy, right?
She does kind of shriek a little, but I can’t tell if it’s in fun or in pain. Annaliese, I think, drops the ear in the pool. Well, that’s mean! These girls CAN’T know the bear is from the dead friend, can they?? And then Kyle kinda dips a foot into the pool near the bear ear, and I can’t tell if she’s pushing it away or trying to draw it closer–it’s that ambiguous. Laura, of course, decides that Kyle was trying to push it away. Kyle doesn’t have a personality, how could she decide to do anything interesting at all?
I do kinda think that Laura’s milking the dead friend thing a little bit, maybe, but then again, it JUST happened and she’s not getting a lot of sleep, living in a houseful of girls in a competition, AND the producers probably keep asking her about it. I don’t know.
So Laura starts to cry and heads upstairs to sob. Oh, Sophie just told us the girls didn’t know what the teddy bear meant. Awww. Now they all feel like shit. And Laura vows to hate Kyle forever now. That’s fine, Kyle’s useless.
But these tulips aren’t useless! They’re the harbingers of spring!
Then some girl walks in the house. She looks familiar to me. Oh, she’s a former Top Model AND was on the all-stars cycle. So I must’ve watched some of her original cycle (are you kidding–me, know anything about the all-star cycle? You guys know I suck). Lisa D’Amato. Name is not familiar to me at all, just her Sandra Bernhardt face. She’s wearing a lovely gray sheath dress with a weird bandage shrug over it. Whatever, models are weird. And I’m wearing Old Navy fat-pants with a too-small hoodie from Target.
Lisa’s here to introduce the challenge for this week. And it’s recording and taping their own music videos. Everyone starts jumping around, wide-eyed and excited. Kyle looks excited, except we know it’s just that wide-eyed stare she does whenever she’s awake. It has nothing to do with feelings.
Anyway, whoever wins this cycle gets to record a CD single, and my boyfriend says for the 6th time this season, “I don’t understand why models are getting a recording contract at all.” I don’t either, honey.
Instead of individual videos, they’ll do a group challenge, US vs. UK girl groups. And each group gets a mentor to help them along the way. The UK girls get Nadine Coyle, part of the UK girl group Girls Aloud. The US girls get to work with Jessica Sutta of the Pussycat Dolls. Oh, I sense a bunch of “Dontcha” jokes in our future! (Or, reading this before I submit it, no “Dontcha” jokes at all!)
It was actually my birthday last week, and we got petite fours instead of cake. It was lovely!
Lisa hands the girls their VIRGIN MOBILE PHONES and they get right to work. There’s a song written for each team, and they each have lyric sheets to study. The girls are fascinated by the wireless technology the producers told them to mention, how they can play the song through a speaker that’s not actually connected to the phone!
Jessica advises the US team that each girl’s gotta have her own thang. Azmarie, wearing the harem pants, an enormous hoodie, and a big ol’ hipster knit cap, knows this. Cuz, ya know, she knows about music. She’s written ten tracks of her own already, fools.
Over on the UK side of things, the girls know they have to really work together to win. And Nadine Coyle’s here to help. That woman has got THE STRANGEST accent ever. It’s like a Southern drawl and a Scottish brogue all at the same time, with a hint of that back-teeth lisp sound that deaf speakers have. (I hope that didn’t come out rude–I’m really just trying to describe it, not mock the deaf!)
By the way, I Google her and she’s (northern) Irish. Huh.
Which reminds me of:
The UK girls really seem to be all in and supportive of each other, and I realize that I actually like all four of them that are left. I mean, of the remaining girls, Catharine would probably be first to go. But Sophie and Annaliese are definitely contenders. Alisha’s actually really cool. I hope she goes pretty far.
On the US side, I gotta think Kyle’s time is coming to an end soon. Same for Seymone. And while everyone thinks Azmarie’s going to win, I keep thinking her look is very one-note, AND she’s kinda cocky. Like, humbly cocky, but still thinks her shit don’t stink.
It’s the next morning, and the girls arrive at the recording studio to lay down their tracks. Lisa’s all mouth and jazz-hands, and she introduces a balding paunchy guy who’s producing the actual music. Oh, I think he wrote this stuff, too. Good for him. (Lisa wrote, too? Ugh. That explains it.)
Oh, the girls picked group names. “Fiercely British” and the “United Sirens of America.” Stupid! Sophie makes me laugh with her quip: “I wanted to call it ‘Sophie…and the others.’”. HA!
So the girls are basically rapping about themselves in these songs. As in, “I’m Sexy, I’m Panda, I write recaps for the ‘Gasm.” Some of the lyrics are a real stretch. Like how Azmarie is a “lion or a lioness.” Terrible. YOU try to rap that. Go on! It’s bad, right?
The UK girls are doing pretty well, but I’m not that impressed until I hear how AWFUL the American girls are. They are dreadful! None of them has any sense of meter or rhythm or rhyme (even just to read rhymes other people wrote!)! Kyle sounds dead, Seymone sounds weird, and Azmarie’s doing this super-affected voice that’s whiny and bad. It’s just bad! (And when she’s done? She drops this super-deep-voiced, “Gucci.” Stupid.)
Special props to Kyle for making me LOL everytime I watch her “Hiiii, I’m Kyle….and I smile for a mile.” It’s sooooooooooooooooooooooo bad and sooooooooooooooo funny! The producer guy is like, “Try to make it breathier,” and she does it the exact same way. So then he says, “Okay, that’s just who she is, we’re just going to roll with it.” I.e, “She just sucks, let’s move on!” Hahahaha
(“hey, gurl, hey, I’m Seymone, and I ain’t no clone.” GAH.)
Probably rude to put a photo of Paula Deen right after talking about Seymone. I mean no harm. Pure coincidence.
So NOW the girls go to the dance studio to learn their moves for the video shoot. As they stand around waiting, Tyra comes out in a black leotard and bright yellow dancer’s shrug. She looks great, but the pants overtop the leotard aren’t doing her guny any favors. I think a little of that weight she lost is coming back. (And I really have no room to talk, so I’ll end that discussion/observation there.)
Tyra’s here to teach the girls the art of the bootie tooch. I don’t know what the heck that is. (<–channeling someone’s grampa there) It’s something about a padded ass. And Tyra’s got padded asses for everyone! Azmarie looks really embarrassed by all of it.
They all get changed into little Beyonce dance leotards with padded asses, but Azmarie refuses to wear the ass. Tyra asks Azmarie about it, and Az says she refuses to wear the tooch. Well, if that’s true, then she doesn’t get to learn the tooch dance. Is that what you want, Az? Apparently, it is. So she heads backstage and gets changed back into her man clothes. Tyra, to her credit, handles it really maturely in a way that conveys her irritation without giving it too much attention. Azmarie reminds us that she’s a “grown ass woman” and “doesn’t have time for that shit.” Nod. Okay.
Once Azmarie’s gone (and the girls all have something to say about how rude and ungrateful that was), we’re ready to tooch! Whatever the fuck that is!
It’s all ridiculous, is what it is. Not to sound all old-white-girl on you, but I understand “tooching” to be “booty-popping.” As in, “Hello, fellas. Here is my butt! Look upon it, now!” We hear “tooch” and “tooching” approximately 100 times tonight. (Did someone count? Lemme know.) And it’s all about teaching the right and the wrong ways to tooch.
The wrong ways to tooch? (And by the way, Tyra’s in full Tyra mode, over-zealously explaining it all with great wonderment and gyration. The girls are LAPPING IT UP.) Well, the hoochie tooch is a bad one. I guess that’s just being slutty about it. Letting your gut hang out? That’s a poochie tooch. When you are poppin’ that butt and feeling all hot about yourself in the mirror, you’re smoochie tooching, and that’s bad. My favorite moment of the episode is RIGHT NOW, when Tyra explains the “dookie tooch”. LOL. Girls, don’t look like you’re dropping the kids off at the pool when you’re trying to booty-pop.
Now the GOOD tooches. Booty-tooch is the best one. Then there’s the side-tooch. (Alisha’s like, “Haha, Azmarie won’t know the tooches and Tyra’s going to be looking for them!” In all seriousness, she used the word “tooch” in a sentence. Wow.) And then there’s the Goochie Tooch, which I wish was spelled “Gucci Tooch,” but I guess there’s a copyright infringment issue there. The Goochie Tooch is the high-fashion tooch, by the way. Like, arms all akimbo and butt popped.
When Tyra explains the Juicy Tooch (a sexy rumba of a tooch), I see wisps of her Higher Learning self in her. Awww. She warns to not let the juicy tooch not get too sexy. Wiggle wiggle! Catharine thinks the American girls really know how to pop their butts. That’s cuz we’re all sluts! Or have hyperlordosis! You pick!
Oh, then there’s the Smize dance. It’s not a tooch. You just wave your hand near your face and strut around. The girls let loose and smize it up. Tyra warns the girls not to bad-tooch during their video. And that’s that!
Back at home, Azmarie’s worried that she made a mistake by not wearing the tooch pads, so she sets off to really learn the choreography. The girls are rehearsing but it’s just a bunch of synchronized wiggling, nothing special. Kyle looks like a Tin Man when she dances.
At 6AM the next morning, the girls arrive at some club in Hollywood to shoot their videos. Wow, that is EARLY. Like, still dark. And they have to get all dolled up and lip-sync to their dumb song and smize? Wow, that’s asking a lot. Jay Manuel is there to help, though! Let’s get to hair and makeup!
Oh. Tony Croll is the video photographer. He’s short.
I think the UK got a MUCH better song to work with. The vibe is much better suited to this type of challenge. And the girls really have fun with it. They actually look pretty awesome. Nadine garbles some compliments about how they’re doing. Like, Catharine’s vibe is sleek and smooth, except when she does a stutter-step dance with a shoulder during a part of her “rap.” It works. Sophie’s adorable, as is Annaliese. And Alisha’s super powerful in her shots. I love them! Why am I gushing??! Oh, the wine.
Then the American girls go. Their song is so much worse, and the girls just aren’t working together nearly as well as the UK girls. Like, Laura and Kyle have their little rivalry going, and Kyle’s a wooden Indian, and Azmarie’s too cool for school and Seymone thinks it’s all kinda lame. Eboni’s the only one without a dog in the fight, I guess. Other than having a stupid voice. They kinda dance awkwardly together and have weird energy for the whole shoot. UK definitely wins this.
(Don’t let me forget to mention how dead-eyed Kyle is picked out for sucking so bad. Like, shows no emotion, doesn’t move, has no depth. The UK girls have a ball making fun of her wide-eyed blankness. And Kyle needs to take a bathroom break to not have emotions (sarcasm, but not really), since she knows she sucks. Azmarie talks her off the ledge.)
Tyra Mail! Guess what, girls? You’re going to get judged on the videos and then someone’s going home! Kyle thinks it’s her. And I think it might be, ‘cept Azmarie really paved a path for herself to elimination because of the tooch refusal.
Judging panel! Jessica and Nadine are the guest judges this week, of course.
It’s pretty sad that the US team filmed after the UK team and clearly didn’t even come close to doing as well…and it’s nice of them to show the US video for judging first, because it would have looked even worse coming after the UK video!
Oh, it’s so bad. “Hiiii, I’m Kyle, and I never smile!”
The judges loved Seymone. That’s nice. They thought Laura was great, except that she was giving such a weird snarl before getting pretty. But she had good personality during the shoot. Azmarie, they weren’t too impressed with. Like, she just kinda limped through the whole shoot and they hated her vocal. Tyra gives her a little shit about the booty tooch situation, and Azmarie apologizes. But it’s not enough. Eboni was fine, except for a little smoochie-tooching during her dance. And Kyle stunk! But since she totally admits it, they’re kind to her.
Then the Brits…they kicked ass. They just did. Don’t argue. I LOVED Alisha’s schtick, and their song is just way better.
The judges loved it, too. Catharine was fierce, Sophie was a bombshell. Tyra points out that Sophie’s dancing was a little weaksauce, but also compliments Sophie’s willingness to commit to dancing. Like, she stinks but she’s doing it! (And to be fair, it wasn’t that bad!) They LOVED Alisha (told you not to argue with me), citing her professionalism during the shoot and how well she milked her time in the spotlight. And they’re right, she just nailed it. Annaliese was great, too. Tyra says she’s the “sensible” girl in the group, the one the parents would all love their little girls to meet. Not sure how much of a compliment that is, ha!
The judges talk amongst themselves a while, and nothing new or surprising comes out of it. You can tell they want Alisha or Sophie or Catharine to win it, and I think Kyle and Azmarie are on the chopping block.
I love when Tyra makes faces about the girls making faces, like about Eboni’s smoochie-tooch face.
Does anyone get the whole inside joke going on with the panel about Annaliese, about how Kelly is haunted by her photos every Saturday morning? What am I missing? Sorry, the niavete is showing, maybe. Don’t hate me too much.
So, winning photo? ALISHA!!! Ya know, she might win this whole thing. I’m saying it now. Her or Sophie. Runner up? Sophie!! See, I know what I’m talking about. Catharine is next, and then Annaliese. The UK team for the sweep!
Seymone is the winner for the US team, and then Laura. Eboni comes in third, and that leaves Azmarie and Kyle. Oooh. I think because we’ve seen more of Azmarie this week than we have of Kyle, it’s going to be Az going home. I hate having to base things on editing, but…well, I do think the judges are kinda over it at this point. (Kelly said so herself.) The lack of tooch training did her in, I think!
And I’m right! It was a worse sin to have a big head than it was to be stiff and dead during a video shoot. Bye, Az! You were fine, and now you can go home!
Tyra gives Azmarie a lesson in humility before she sends her off. Be hungry, and be humble. Hugs! Bye!
(I’m LOLing as I write this, because the boyfriend is writing raps about the cats. “Hi, I’m Ding Dong, a miniature version of King Kong!” “HI, I’m Punkin. I get my coffee at Dunkin.” Ah, it’s great.) (And then we keep doing, “Hiiii, I’m Kyle!” to each other, which eventually turns into me doing it in a barely-intelligible Cartman voice, which is just silly and now I’ve officially had too much wine.)
Does anyone else play the game at the end of each episode where they show the group shot and you have to find the girl they’re eliminating before she disappears? I never win!
Anyway, next week! More Kyle and Laura drama, including “I’m not here to make friends” crap. Estelle is the guest judge. The photo-shoot has something to do with a buffet and food-fight. Or something. The usual. Come back and we’ll talk!