We’re back for another week with Miss Tyra and the Misfits. I meant to sound like that was some kind of 80′s girl band cartoon, like Jem, but I can already tell that I failed. Miss Tyra and the Models? Gah, that’s even worse. I suck so bad! Whatever, it’s America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion!!!!!
Remember last week? The models had to pose like creepy, sexy babies with creepy, not-so-sexy Kris Jenner. A few of them (Azmarie, Ashley, Laura) really rocked the challenge, while a few (Kyle, Eboni, Seymone) floundered. Ultimately, though, our little Native American, Mariah, went home.
niiiice and creepy.
This ep kicks off with the girls coming back to the house post-elimination. The U.S. has won the challenge again, thanks to Laura’s upside down creepy dolly trick, so they get the enormous box of presents. It’s the same mish-mash of clothes and makeup and whatnot. Whatever was near the register at TJ Maxx, from the look of it. The Brits seem bummed that they’re not winning boxes of generic crap, but they also have their eyes on the grander prize.
So, now it’s 2:30 AM and the Brits are wide awake. I guess they’re still on UK time (which is, like opposite of LA time, 11 hours ahead?). They decide to play a prank on the US girls, which mostly just consists of throwing balled up magazine pages. They crack me up as they infiltrate US territory–the one girl swings her arms like a toy soldier in the Nutcracker, and another one’s doing Navy SEAL gestures. Then they basically all run in ONCE with those balls of paper, throw them, laugh hysterically, then run screaming back to the UK side of the house.
A little like this…
No, actually more like this.
Seymone ain’t having none of it. She gets up, muttering *** this and *** that, stalking after the UK girls. Then she goes off on some rant, how she’s not like the other girls in the house, how she was trying to SLEEP, bitches. The UK girls are kinda like, “Dude, lighten up. We just threw some dumb paper.” I guess Seymone was trying to nip that shit in the bud, but at the same time, I think she just opened herself up to be a prime target for the next prank. This is why I don’t react when the neighbor kids do shit to my car when they’re playing in the street. If I react, they’ll remember my car as something special that they SHOULD do shit to. (And now I park in the driveway, nyah nyah, little fuckers!)
By the way, Seymone is SCARY when she’s mad. Her walk changes into this 250-lb boxer stride and muscles you didn’t realize she had start poppin’. She charges after Alisha, who yapped back about going to bed. Now they’re screaming at each other to GO TO *** BED!! Ridiculous!!!
“I said, Go to **** bed!!!”
(Also, how hot is Allistair Overeem?)
What is Tyra doing/saying at the end of the opening credits? Asking if we want some of the ear cheese she just procured?
Okay, that shit is over. It’s the next day, a sunny LA day, and the girls are all getting up. Alisha’s practicing emoting with just her eyes, since Tyra called her out last week for conveying totally the wrong look. The UK girls are totally helping her, which is cute. I like this team concept if only because it makes them nicer to each other a little bit. Anyway, Alisha grew up in the ghetto area of London and had trouble in school because of dyslexia. They show childhood photos of her, and she’s adorable. She looks like shit in those confessional videos, though. Why aren’t the confessional video cameras in HD? It looks like shit!
They cut to a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt that reads “Smize.” I remember being thoroughly confused on my first watch of this last night when they kept mentioning smize and smizing. Remember, this is my first time watching this show for reals, not five years later on a Bravo marathon while cleaning all the baseboards in my apartment. Off I go, to Google WTF “Smize” means!
From Urban Dictionary: “Smile with your eyes,” as coined by supermodel Tyra Banks on the thirteenth cycle of America’s Next Top Model. Ever since its introduction, the term became part of the daily lexicon of Tyra and her minions. The art of smizing is epitomized by the legendary Super Smize.”
Oh! It’s that simple!
Speaking of Tyra, she’s here! She’s here! The girls come screaming down the stairs of their house to greet her, ready to show her around to all their cool rooms and shit. Tyra’s wearing some dress with day-glo safety straps and heels, but her hair and makeup look really natural. And she just genuinely seems interested in these girls and in seeing what they’ve got going on. That’s really precious, and I’m not snarking. It really is! You can’t see the genuine tear in my eye or the choke in my throat, but it’s there!
Anyhoo, they have a catwalk in their backyard. Yawn, don’t we all. And Tyra has them walk the catwalk while announcing stuff about themselves. It’s the usual fluff of self-esteem bolstering, and Louise mutters about how awesome she is at modeling. She can’t do fuck all, but she can model.
Up in the bedroom area, Tyra engages in a 10-min slumber party with the girls, laughing her ass off at Eboni’s rap: “Take that ride back to the UK, it’s eleven hours, it’s gon’ take all day!”
And then they’re back downstairs, where the crew was busily setting up some signage. It’s a big purple wall that says “Super Model”. And then Tyra starts spouting off some gibberish over a very patriotic and swelling brass score. Something about her book ModelLand, and being asked by reporters if she has super powers, and her saying “Of course I do!”, which we all know is crazy, and that these supermodels with super powers are called “intoxibellas.” What in the fuck. I really do love Tyra a lot, she seems like a fun gal, but this shit’s crazy.
The models don’t care. They know they have to suck up and smile, so they all gobble up the crazy and get excited about receiving capes and their new Intoxibella street names! I shake my head in a “hold on, let me clear this nonsense” move. And Tyra’s slapping these velcro signs onto the girls’ t-shirts right around the boob area, which makes me laugh because she really seems to be slapping hard on some of those nips. Maybe she’s been reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Oh, and after they get tit-slapped, they stand in front of a fan and pose like superwomen flying or something. It’s very, very, very strange.
So, who’s who, in Intoxibella world? Well, Sophie is “Illuminata,” because she lights up the room. Alisha’s got crazy long legs, so she’s “Gam-a-tronica”. Louise can do lots of looks, so she’s “Chameleone”. Image an accent over the last “e” there, please. Catharine, the very pinchy faced Brit who now has very pink (and very dry) hair, is praised for being versatile throughout different eras of fashion, so she’s “Era-descent”. Little Ashley (Shirley Manson-Lite) is “Charismia.” And Annaliese? Tyra says Annaliese gets inside her head and coerces her to buy things, so she’s “Excite-to-Buy.” What kind of fucked up Intoxibella name is that?!
So the US girls–what do they get? Azmarie? She’s “Andro-genia,” obviously. Duh. Crazy Laura? She’s “Zagalicious.” Cuz she zags when everyone zigs. Oh, then she pops her booty a bunch. Seymone’s curves earn her the name “Fiercely Real” or “FR”. Kyle is the girl next door, so she’s…”Next Doorsia.” Yep. Candace. I never remember this girl, but maybe her funky name will help me. She is all kinds of races, so Tyra calls her “Exotica.” Finally, Eboni gets named “Thirty Never” because she’s so young and cute. (And she is, especially in those pigtails.)
So that sign? It went from “Super Model” to “Super Power,” and now Tyra rips off a panel and it says, “Super Mogul.” I Google the spelling just to check myself (and the show), especially because I keep thinking of the moguls you ski on. Turns out, they’re spelled the same way! Holy shit!
Now Tyra talks about her degree from Harvard Business school, a three-year program for business, for owners and management and whatnot. I want to snark on her for bringing this up in the context of a reality modeling show on the CW, but the woman’s worth something like a bajillion dollars, and she’s obviously doing something right–and doing it smart. It’s just funny to think of Tyra Banks at Harvard, I guess. And the way she talks about the stuff she learned, her staccato speech patterns, sounds stupid. (Also, I Googled this, and Wiki says it was a nine-week program, not three years. Who’s right, I wonder?)
So she tells the girls to always think about the stuff SHE (Tyra) learned in business school. Marketing: How do I differentiate myself from the other girls? Leadership/Strategy: How do I get from point A to point B, especially in a competition? Global Market: How can I relate to the entire world? (That’s a simple question, Tyra! Glad you asked!) Oh, she wants them to think about more, just so she can impress them with the stuff she learned at Harvard. Accounting. Finance.
The girls are really getting pumped after this talk! Sophie, in particular, is excited to get super famous and start designing stuff! Good luck!
The girls head out to Hollywood for their main challenge of the week. They arrive at this beat-up warehouse where a beat-up warehouse of a woman is waiting for them. Oh hi, Kelly Cutrone. Those are lovely old Frye boots you’re wearing. Did the Doc Martens run away? She reminds me of Tim Burton or some other goth kid I went to high school with. Only she’s a very scary version of a very important woman in business. Truthfully, I find her fascinating because she obviously gives not a shit about her appearance and yet she’s responsible for the appearances of many famous people and brands. And she’s ruthless and a bitch and gets shit done. I admire that, and I’m also wiping a crap out of my hipster briefs right now.
Wow, she’s consistent. Consistently bleak.
*Poop in panties!*
I love it when you can tell that they dubbed over the original scripted speech with a better dubbed scripted speech. We get just that as Kelly explains the challenge. Basically, the girls, as two teams, will each take on an ad campaign for Very.com, a client of Kelly’s. They’ll design the whole thing, from soup to nuts. Or from props to the male model’s nuts. They’re in charge of design, makeup, props, art direction, and model procurement. All they have to do is represent the very.com stuff using the theme of “luxury and love”.
The Brits feel like they’re all over this one, that they GOT it, because very.com is a British brand. They all know it and know its place in society. (It’s like American girls knowing the difference between, say, Deb and Nordstrom.) (I was made to shop at Deb a lot in junior high. I was also picked on a lot in junior high. I blame Deb! Not my own nerdery!) So, they’re a shoo-in, right?
Group challenges tend to suck, because other people suck. But if they can work together, and if they have a good leader, they’ll be fine. It’s a lot to do, but I think they probably have enough time. And really, the show’s no fun if someone REALLY fucks up, so I’m sure some producer intervention will help keep things running smoothly.
Not only are we pimping very.com today, we’re also promoting Virgin Mobile phones. As in, you will be awesome at this challenge simply because you can communicate with these VIRGIN MOBILE phones we have given you. “There’s no reason you guys can’t stay connected and get everything done,” Kelly notes. Bye, she waves.
The teams disperse and get cracking on their ad campaigns. Annaliese hesitantly steps up to be the leader, mostly because it seems like maybe the other girls want her to. She lets them know that she’s going to try to keep it calm. The other British girls take notes.
Azmarie takes on the leadership role over on the American team. She doesn’t seem any more willing than Annaliese was, but at least she gets started right away in assigning tasks to people.
Team UK is brainstorming about their campaign, mostly just talking about the concept and how it’s a British brand, and how it’s got to have English style, and how it’s got to have continuity. That’s great and all, girls, but functionally, how are you going to accomplish it? Then they’re all standing around chatting about something, and Kelly nudges them to go, go, go. They seem confused, and Kelly asks who the leader is. Annaliese? She’s not a leader. Kelly’s a leader. She practically thumps her chest like King Long. hahahahaha to my typo. KING KONG. I’m not even drinking!!
Not King Long.
So what ARE the campaigns? The Brits are going for a mod, 60s vibe. Think Twiggy. Think simplicity. And the Americans? They want to work the British punk angle. I think the Brits have a closer call to the “love and luxury” theme with the 60s/simple thing, but what do I know? I’m wearing yoga pants that are too tight because I’m getting fat.
Kelly continues to brow-beat Annaliese about her leadership choices, nitpicking at how she’s NOT thinking ahead about props and shot choices and whatnot. Louise is standing by, only slightly participating in the conversation, but otherwise sucking on a fingernail and looking anxious. She later interviews about how awful Kelly Cutrone is, how she’s speaking to them, how rude she is.
Some of the girls are heading to the Universal Studios prop house to get items for their shoot. The Brits are looking for some romantic items, and some royal items. The Americans are also looking for royal items and some punk items. They pick up a Victorian chair and some crowns and sceptors and shit. The Brits look at delicate watches. Huh? Who cares about a delicate watch? They end up getting large, very fake flowers. And they keep sending photos to Annaliese and calling, but no one responds or picks up. That’s BAD. Kelly Cutrone just said “there’s no reason you can’t stay connected and get everything done”!!!
The girls in charge of selecting a male model for the shoot arrive at the modeling agency. Candace, the girl I never, ever remember, who I said I’d remember after heading her Intoxibella name (what was it? Oh yeah, Exotica. That’s boring, which is why I don’t remember it), is like a drill seargant, standing in front of the guys, tersely commanding them to smile, “intensity,” take their shirts off, etc. She wants to hit it and quit it. The British girls are like, “OMG, so rude” and very sweetly ask their guys if they’ll model for them a little bit.
Anyway, in stark contrast to the Brits, Candace sends the photos of the male models she chose back to Azmarie, who sees them immediately on her VIRGIN MOBILE phone. She likes the choices, and the girls congratulate themselves on being able to communicate well. I believe that’s called foreshadowing.
Back at the warehouse, Kelly’s drilling Azmarie about her team’s plans. Azmarie deferentially explains everything, and when Kelly’s got a question about something and goes into lecture mode about it, Azmarie remains deferential and listens very carefully. She understands how powerful Kelly is, and she isn’t all freaked out by the OMG rude. Ah, the one time the rude American ‘tude is okay–business (among Americans). Kelly responds well to Azmarie’s attitude and helpfully explains why she’s being kinda snarky about their original plan. It all ends up being very mentor/mentee, and everyone’s mostly happy. Also, I think Kelly would like to lick Azmarie in special places.
Back home for the night, the teams are camped out, working on their campaigns. The US team seems pretty confident in what they’ve got, and they seem calm. The Brits decide to storyboard their shot ideas, and it devolves quickly into cat-fighting. Nothing major, just loud voices of people trying to talk over each other. And ideas like, “Have her looking at the camera.” Genius work, girls.
And now it’s the next morning, and it’s time to get this photoshoot done! It’s funny to see everyone schlumped up, with zit cream on Azmarie’s cheek. But I guess if you’re just going to get changed and put into hair/makeup, who cares?
I LOL at the Brits’ storyboard drawings. You know those flowy, totally nonhuman-proportioned drawings the fashion designers do? Those cool drawings that I never seem to be able to do? Yeah, these aren’t those. The Brits’ storyboards are really straight, lumpy human figures in awkward poses. It’s actually really endearing. Me, I’d probably have drawn the storyboard with stick figures. You can do surprisingly elegant things with a stick figure if you just try. I wish I could find a screen grab (off to try!). (Many minutes later: holy hell, I can’t get the CW site to cooperate, sorry!)
The girls get their props all set and the set all set. Azmarie reminds her teammates about their Intoxibella names, which is a good idea. Remember to play up what Tyra has already noticed about you!
The photographer today is Jerry Metellus, who reminds us and the makeup artists that the teams have two hours to get everything done. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, and the actual photography! Sponsor alert! Kelly Cutrone asks how the COVER GIRL makeup is going.
Anyway, the shoots begin. Candace goes first for the American team. She mostly looks pissed off as she sits in a “royal” chair, holding a crown. Jay Manuel tries to direct her a little bit, to be a little more alive. No go.
Punk rock? Love? Luxury? Anything?
The girls are shooting in front of a graffiti’d wall. Seymone goes next, and she’s just standing there in a dress, head cocked to the side a little, holding a crown like a tambourine. Alisha doesn’t think the American girls know a thing about British punk. Kelly tries to advise the girls on the whole punk thing. Kyle takes the advice and looks dead in her photos. Then she tries to jump like a corpse would. I don’t think her new hair color is very flattering, do you?
Still not getting the love and luxury thing.
Laura, the formerly crimped, is rocking a leather jacket and cobalt blue skinnies. She keeps doing a fierce stomp pose that looks silly in action but might look cool in print. Then Eboni goes, and she’s doing this vampy pose in a doorway, with the crown perched sexily on her head. It’s too sexy, and totally not punk rock.
Sex and Crown Royal?
And finally, it’s Azmarie’s turn. She’s wearing an all black ensemble with a bright red jacket, and she’s looking fierce. The team (Jay, Kelly) think she’s great. Meanwhile, I’m wondering where the luxury and love is. Honestly.
Now it’s the Brits’ turn to shoot. Remember, they only have two hours to get hair, makeup, wardrobe, AND the photography done. Annaliese is a little frazzled about it all, and her team doesn’t seem very confident in her abilities. And actually, Annaliese doesn’t seem to know what she should be doing, so the other girls are going to Louise for info. Louise is pushing back, since Annaliese is the leader and she doesn’t want to step on toes. Ugh, this isn’t going to end well, is it?
So, the photoshoots for the Brits is a bit of a mess. They don’t seem to have a real plan, save for the storyboards. And Jay thinks they’re off to a boring start. So he tasks Annaliese with fixing it–where should Ashley stand in her shoot so she’s less boring against the brick wall?
At least I’m feeling “love and luxury” a little more here.
Kelly Cutrone is like, “shit flows downhill”. Not really–what she means is that Annaliese’s nervous energy is negatively impacting her team. They’re all running around, no one knows what to do. It’s a big fucking mess. So they just take some damn photos and that’s that.
Alisha’s never been in love, so she doesn’t know how to look like she’s in love with the dude in her photos. When it’s Annaliese’s turn to shoot, Kelly’s really not happy about the gigantic fake flower she’s holding. But Annaliese stands by it for a while. In our second reference to King Kong tonight, Kelly says the flower looks like it’s from King Long’s garden. I DID IT AGAIN!!! i swear I didn’t mean to. LOLOLOLOL.
Okay, wow, they only have twelve minutes left for their shoot, and Louise is still walking around in denim shorts and a white tank. She needs hair, makeup, and wardrobe, STAT. Kelly sees her running across the set and gets a bee in her bonnet about it. She asks Louise why she’s running, and Louise is like, “Duh, I’m getting to my shoot.”
Kelly warns Louise to “watch her energy” and Louise mumbles, “My energy is fine” and walks away. Wow, shit talking to Kelly C. I’m scared for Louise. Meanwhile, in Louise’s interviews, she’s all made up for her shoot and she’s GORGEOUS. Stunning. Really fucking pretty. But Kelly comes over to exert dominance one more time, telling Louise to watch her energy and not run around. Louise knows now to just keep her mouth shut, so she okays Kelly and Kelly stomps away.
Louise then has, like, three minutes to take photos. Good thing she’s a knockout. And her energy’s off because of the interaction with Kelly. But she keeps it together, puts on a fierce show, and only lets the tears flow once the time is up. I kinda feel bad for her. I’m probably way off, but it’s like she learned to be tough because she thinks it’s easier than getting heartbroken about every little thing, but she still kinda gets heartbroken by stuff sometimes. Not so tough.
Louise says her tears were more release because of the tension of the whole situation, that the shoot was over, etc. And I will give her that. But I’m sure she was not really loving it when Kelly was like, “That was a great shot.”
So NOW the girls have to go through all the photographer’s shots and pick the best one of each girl. The only thing I like about this part is seeing all those jump poses as final photos. They don’t look as silly as I expected. (Though they’re still silly.)
Time for the judging! Just as I was thinking, “Tyra looked so nice with bangs when she was visiting the house earlier,” here she is with everything slicked back a la that girl she played in Higher Learning (forever my memory of Tyra Banks). Cat Deeley is the guest judge this week. I know I’ve heard her name before, but honestly? When I saw the name on my DVR, I thought the guest judge was going to be Kat DENNINGS. That’s a different person. oops! Anyway, Cat Deeley is very pretty and seems very nice.
So, let’s look at the photos.
Annaliese goes first for the Brits, as team leader. She admits she probably wasn’t any good, which makes Kelly cringe. Kelly tells the team how Annaliese was a little anxious and crazy. Tyra asks Annaliese to remind the judges of her supermodel name: Excite-to-Buy. As for her photo? Well, it was pretty good. The jump mostly worked, made Annaliese look young. Tyra thought it was a little catalog-y.
Sophie? They loved it. She looks like she’s about to fall over, but she looks very light and fresh and bright and young. To me, it looks a little like that poster of a suit with a hat floating over it, no head. What is that piece? (Googling: Um, it’s The Invisible Man. Makes sense!) The judges think she looks like Twiggy, which is a high compliment.
Catharine is complimented for her Lady Di eyes. They like her shot. Ashley, though, didn’t pick her best shot, they think. She looks nice but the camera is too present. Then Alisha? Well, she’s the one with the legs…and she chose a photo where her legs are cropped out. Duh! The judges are like, “Ya biffed it!”
And then Louise….Louise, Louise, Louise. Nigel says she looks strong, tough, and mean. “Mean?!” Louise thinks that’s wrong–she farts her lips at that. Nigel wasn’t being mean about it, either! He was quite jovial! “I feel like I can’t win,” Louise sighs. Kelly tells her to put “some gratitude in your attitude.” Louise shakes her head. Nigel calls her out for her constant head-shaking, and then Kelly says she (Louise) was rude to her on set. “No no no no no, unh unh, YOU were rude TO ME.”
Kelly blinks and says, “okay, I’m done talking to you now.” Louise is like, “Fine.” Tyra calls Louise out for her problem with authority. Louise defends herself by basically calling Kelly rude. Tyra tries to school Louise PDQ on the fact that she’s a fucking MODEL and Kelly is a fucking PUBLICIST, and there’s a rank there, and models don’t get to talk shit to publicists, or they don’t make money as models for very long. Ahem.
Code for: “Suck it”
Cat Deeley chimes in to help Louise take this lesson to heart, very sweetly, and Louise shakes her head and looks down. Cat stops speaking immediately and can’t believe Louise is shaking her head. ANNNNNNND….Louise stomps away. She’s gone. She’s outside, crying and screaming about needing to go home NOW. Some stumpy PA guy is trying to tame her like a lion–I’m surprised he doesn’t have a chair and a whip. She will NOT be soothed.
Meanwhile, the judges are kinda wide-eyed and maybe trying not to laugh. The models are all like, “Whoa.” I think they mostly feel bad for Louise but they probably are also a little entertained by the drama. I know I am! Oh, fun, Louise just said if Kelly Cutrone was in the street, she’d knock her out! Yay!
After all that, it’s decided that Louise is definitely not coming back. Good, because I’m finding her name a pain in the ass to type out. Tyra says that they’ll continue with everything until they find out who is eliminated. Ooh, cool, double elimination week!
Back to photo discussion. Azmarie is first, and they love her shot. Kelly compliments her leadership, too. Kyle’s dead-girl jump looks terrible to me, but the judges think she did a great job.
Seymone didn’t have the best shot, and Cat thought it was maybe too mature for very.com. Oh well. Laura’s, though, is great. The stomp came out well, although Nigel complains about not seeing her whole face.
Eboni’s doing over-sexy, and the judges aren’t a fan. Candace, too, didn’t do so well. The judges think her posing is cheesy, and her face just didn’t do it this time around.
Now time to deliberate. There’s nothing really new here, just discussion about poor photo choice and bad posing and whatnot. So let’s just go back and find out who had the best photo and who’s going home. Cool?
Best photo, as chosen by very.com? Azmarie! Excellent! The Americans win a box of crap again! Second was Sophie. Then Laura, Kyle, and Catharine. Seymone and Annaleise also become a part of the very.com ad campaign. The last photo the client liked was Louise. OUCH.
So there are four girls standing there: Candace, Eboni, Ashley, and Alisha. Tyra asks ‘em to step forward so she can delight in the pain in their eyes when she tells them that very.com didn’t want to use their photos for their campaign. Burn. They all look so sad.
And they’re all wondering who’s going home, too. I mean, Louise left, but Tyra still mentioned elimination. So who will it be? Honestly, I’m thinking it’ll be Candace, but then Tyra reveals the final photo and…it’s a quadtych! They’re all safe! Louise went home and that was enough for this week! Relief!!!
Louise’s final interview shows her brazenly talking about how she stayed true to herself. True, but you just blew up on (inter)national TV. Have fun with that! (I wonder if that will garner her fewer bookings, or will it make her popularity explode? What do you think?)
And that’s that! Next week, the models have to sell common everyday items, which is usually pretty bad (and funny), and then there’s some fighting between the girls. WHAT’S NEW.
So what’d you think of this week’s episode? Do you think Louise had a lot of life left in her with this competition and shot herself in the foot? Let me know in the comments!