Gaybashing! Stomach flu! Dicks made out of snow! This episode of Make Me a Supermodel has it all! Will our favored son come to see the errors of his ways, or forever be banished from the catwalk by America?
Better make some room in that mouth for your foot.
Yay! In the little recap of last week’s episode, we get to see Feministephanie sent home again! Hope she’s enjoying working at Barnes and Noble for the rest of her life with that art degree!
The rest of the models wake up to a wintry New York morning. Ben, Perry, and Jacki are up for elimination. Perry prays to the modeling gods, and says, “In the names of GQ, Calvin, Tommy, and Nautica, please grace me with your presence.” Maybe they would have in about 1996, when any of them were mildly relevant. I think the modeling gods might punish Perry for his ignorance. Beautiful Frankie wants to know why their bedroom can’t stay out of the bottom three. It’s probably because, I don’t know, two thirds of the occupants are completely obnoxious. (Sorry – Casey is still totally adorable and humble and sweet.)
Perry, Jacki, and Ben report to panel. Niki opted out this week to get some toner on her brassy highlights. Tyson, wearing all purple, looks like a buff version of Grimace.
“You guys seen the Hamburgler anywhere around here?”
The results are in – and Jacki is out! She can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. She can model circles around Ben and Beautiful Frankie. It’s like America decided to go to a big NKOTB concert, but kicked out Jordan Knight first. Not a whole lot of talent left. (Shut up, Joey fans.) Jacki was robbed.
And with that, there are 5 dudes and 2 girls left in the house. Ben walks in the front door and Holly says his name with a hilarious amount of incredulity. We’re shocked too, honey. Then Ben tells us that he learned a valuable lesson this week. That arrogance isn’t a supermodel quality. Then he says, “Come here, sweetheart,” and Perry rushes in. Oh Ben, don’t be made into a pawn in Perry’s giant game of ego-chess. Despite playing along with his stupid joke, Ben tells us that he wishes it would have been Perry that had left. So does Ronnie. So does Shannon. Would this show be more or less interesting if the models got to vote each other off?
After Holly and Shannon participate in the requisite girl power talk, the models get a message on the kitchen chalkboard. Did a bum sneak in or something while they were upstairs? Nope! Just a PA delivering the poor man’s version of Tyra Mail. The chalkboard says to prepare for a winter weekend away from the house. They’re instructed to leave at 3:00AM.
Shannon says that she’s been sick and nauseated all week, which looks like dangerous foreshadowing for our resident string bean.
The models show up at Wyndham Mountain, on a ski slope. Niki pulls up on a snowmobile with a hippie wearing a shit-eating grin, who just so happens to be the ex-photo editor for Harper’s Bazaar. By the looks of him, apparently now he just eats magic mushrooms and stares at the coffee table all day.
Niki tells us that this week is about speed and motion; going fast and capturing the moment. A supermodel must learn to keep his face and body in control for all frames. I. LOVE. THESE. SHOOTS. Because it inevitably means everyone’s going to be falling on their asses.
The hippie reviewed the models’ portfolios, and put them into groups based on looks and personality. He tells them that their job is to look like rich kids that everyone wants to be. The model who does the worst during the shoot will be sent back to New York, while the rest of them will stay in a cabin at the resort. Shannon’s so overcome with gratitude that she keels over. Wait, no, not gratitude. Nausea.
A medic shows up on a snowmobile and presses on her stomach until she winces in pain. That was nice of him. They determine that she’s actually ill, not just sick at the prospect of potentially having to work with Frankie again, and they cart her off to the infirmary.
Ronnie and Perry are paired up in the shoot. Ronnie says that the both view each other as their biggest competition. The boys get tiny plastic skis, and the hippie sends them up a hill and shows them their mark, which they’re to ski to. He says to try to give him personality and work together. Well, that might work out if Perry could even stand up on his skis. He falls down immediately, and splits his pants.
Ronnie tells us the snow is icy and it hurts to fall on it. They try again and again not to fall down before their mark, but it just isn’t happening. The hippie says they’re harshing his mellow and he’s worried they aren’t going to get the shot. He said the magic words! Every time a photographer gives the slightest bit of negative reinforcement, those scrappy models manage to pull together and make it happen! It’s absolutely Pavlovian.
After the shoot, Perry and Ronnie are finally BFF. The hippie says that they surpassed his expectations and got a great photo.
Ben and Holly are up. Still reeling from his umpteenth placement in the final three last week, Ben wants to knock it out of the park, which would be easier if he knew how to model. They get out an old style toboggan identical to the one that’s been rotting in my grandma’s garage for the last 60 years. But just riding it would be too easy – Ben and Holly are supposed to stand up on it while they slide down the hill. After a couple trial runs, they get the hang of it, and Ben makes the exact same face for about 80 frames. Holly, however, looks adorable. The photographer loves her, but says that Ben only had two looks, which I think he may have overestimated by about one look.
Casey says he and Beautiful Frankie were worried about Shannon, but she got a little rest while the other models worked, and showed up for her shoot. The hippie tells them that they’re supposed to look like friends having a good time. Their movement assignment is to run down the hill and slide towards the mark. They put Casey in a reindeer sweater. Aren’t they supposed to look like rich kids, and not dumpster divers? The three models hold hands and run toward the hippie. He likes Shannon and Casey’s faces, but Frankie’s got his piehole wide open and looks cartoonish.
Frame after frame, Shannon is praised, Frankie is jeered, and Casey is just kinda there. After they finally get the shot, the hippie tells us that Shannon is gorgeous, Casey is dead in the eyes, and he loathes Beautiful Frankie’s smile – even calls him a little geeky, which is awesome.
I’ve heard that nerd chic is in, but I don’t know if I’d take it this far.
The models reassemble on the mountain, and the hippie reveals the results – Beautiful Frankie has to go back home! He’s a little upset, but it can’t be that bad to have an incredible house to yourself and no cameras in your face for a night. If he had any brains at all (let’s not kid ourselves), he would have thrown the photoshoot on purpose.
The next morning, the models wake up around 9:30. Holly is basking in the privacy of the cabin – she remarks that no one can find them, not even Clay. And as I’m wondering who the eff Clay is, a ear-splitting whistle blows. It’s everyone’s favorite gym rat, Clay Burwell! Hey, since they stopped showing the models getting their weekly measurements taken, we need Clay around to let us know whose six packs are starting to resemble pony kegs.
Clay gets the models outside and picks Shannon and Perry to be two team captains. Shannon selects Holly and Ben, and Perry takes Casey and Ronnie. Clay has designed a competition for them, with the losing team being forced to clean the apartment with toothbrushes. Even on days when up is down and hamburgers eat people, there is one thing that you can always count on in life. Reality show contestants are given the most gorgeous places to live, but invariably live like pigs. Point being, I really really wouldn’t want to lose this challenge, because by Week 8, there’s no doubt that the models’ house is absolutely foul.
In the first event of the day, each team is given a big stack of firewood that they have to transfer across a field. Perry’s team wins, no problem. Then, when Clay explains the next event, Ben blows my mind and alienates probably 80% of his fan base by saying, “Perry, we both have two girls on our team, so its going to be hard for both of us.” There’s a brief stunned silence across the board, and Ronnie tells Ben that he just lost his respect. Casey (the other “woman” in question) just looks sad.
And what happens next is the reason that I took so long with this recap- ever since Dawn Wiener gave the speech on dignity in Mrs. Grisham’s class in Welcome To The Dollhouse, I have been a dignity fan. (Excerpt: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a girl or boy, man or child, rich or poor, fat or thin. You-you should never be a grade grubber. Therefore, dignity is a quality everyone should have.”) I hate situations where everyone is uncomfortable because someone is making an ass of themselves and won’t just stop. Incidentally, this is also why I sometimes have a hard time watching Rock of Love (I’m looking at you here, Bret Michaels). But I digress.
Ben forges on with the inappropriateness, as Clay gives them the next assignment. Each team is to make a pile of snow as tall as their tallest team member. Perry’s team quickly deduces that it’s easier to make a cylinder than just a heap of snow, and Clay comments that it looks a little phallic. Ben says that they build big penises because they’re gay. Casey and Ronnie both appear hurt, but that doesn’t stop Ben from raging on with the most immature display of rampant homophobia since 6th grade gym class: “What kind of guy builds penises in the snow? The kind that’s secretly gay.” Seriously, Ben? There is so much material between Perry, Ronnie, and Casey to make fun of (reference my archives if you need inspiration), do you really need to take it there?
Then Ben interviews that “you can’t make a supermodel out of some guy that makes penises in the snow.” But we CAN make a supermodel out of a guy who acts like an infant when he doesn’t get his way? He’s miles and miles away from being as famous as Naomi Campbell, so maybe he should save the tude until he’s earned it.
After Perry’s team prevails over the taunting, Ben takes a look at their magnificent snow penis, and looks back at his meager snow-choad. He decides to perform the piece de resistance of his infantile behavior, and takes down Perry’s team’s wintry homage to dick in a flying tackle. At least he knows when he’s bested.
“Remember, girth matters more than length.”
They models get back to the house and Ben, Shanon, and Holly need to clean up. Afterwards, Ronnie asks Ben to meet with him and Casey. Here’s hoping this is where everyone’s dignity gets restored. I say a quick prayer to Dawn Wiener that that will be the case.
Ronnie calls Ben out for his comments earlier, saying that they were offensive, whether Ben realizes it or not. Ben decides to play dumb and says, “the gay thing?” Yes, the gay thing. Ben took Ronnie to a dark place in his life; he’s been called names and beaten up for being gay. The part he really took issue with was when Ben called him and Casey women; Ronnie points out that being gay doesn’t make him less than a man. Ben backpedals furiously, saying that he didn’t mean any harm, but can understand how his comments could be taken that way. In the end, Ronnie forgives him, and they hug. If I were Ronnie, I’d hold it over his head for a while and make him sweat it out. You know, ask him to cook my dinner and do my laundry for a couple weeks, at the very least. Opportunities to make people feel that guilty don’t come along every day – you have to take advantage.
But back to the other drama in the episode – Shannon is still really sick. She was throwing up all night, so she reports to the emergency room in the morning. Will she miss the catwalk? Will they punish her for it? Even if she does miss it, isn’t she still better than Beautiful Frankie’s hot mess of a portfolio?
The models arrive in the studio, to be greeted by Niki. In continuing with the motion theme, she directs them to the catwalk, with a rotating platform at the end. Their challenge will be to get up on the platform and strike three poses without falling or looking stupid. Fat chance. They’ll be modeling Ben Sherman clothes, and the models are pretty psyched about it. They’re supposed to bring a little cockiness to the walk to go with the attitude of the brand.
The models start practicing, and start stumbling. I’m sure this is way harder than it looks – the platform is moving pretty fast and 95% of the population wouldn’t be able to even walk in a straight line in the shoes they’ve got Holly in. Shannon makes it back to the studio in time to walk, but doesn’t get to practice on the platform at all. Everyone is all over her, asking what her diagnosis is, and if she’ll be able to walk. The doctors don’t know exactly what’s wrong with her, and she has to go back to the hospital after judging.
Holly’s out on the catwalk first. Her technique was to clench her butt cheeks to keep from falling. Be that as it may, she kept great eye contact and her poses looked professional.
Frankie, on the other hand, looks like a kid playing dress up in his dad’s suit. Is he really short, or does he just always look short? His poses look stilted and unnatural.
Perry is given big black plastic glasses. The better to annoy me with, I guess. He mentions that bringing arrogance to a runway is not something that they ever need to ask of him, and he’s right.
Ben calls his walk flawless, but I have to beg to differ. His last pose especially looked uncomfortable and unnatural, as he stuck his hands in his back pockets. Men in suits don’t stand like that. Thumbs down.
Casey insists on posing like he’s in an episode of Saved By the Bell and Zach wants to talk to the camera. I don’t think he understands that poses are meant to look natural, not like someone froze time on him.
Ronnie looks adorable in the suit (it’s no secret by now that I play favorites) and his poses seem…you know what? Who am I kidding? I can’t tell a good walk from a bad one. And I think Corey Bautista’s a big faker too. He’s like the Paula Abdul of Make Me a Supermodel – he just says whatever everyone else said before him. Anyway, here’s Ronnie.
Shannon doesn’t look sick at all, but missing practice hurt her. She hesitates before stepping on the platform, but her poses look really high fashion and cool. She definitely takes the most risks out of everyone, and definitely did well for not having practiced.
And it’s judging time! They love Holly, saying she was flawless. Jennifer starts to praise her toughening up, when Holly starts with the waterworks. She talks about how many times she’s been rejected, and Corey interrupts her to tell her to suck it up. There’s no crying in supermodeling!
The judges though that Perry did great, and really embodied the brand, he just needs to watch his head bopping. He’s asked who he thinks should be in the bottom three, and he throws his BFF Beautiful Frankie under the bus. He doesn’t really say why though, so they turn the questioning over to Frankie.
They ask why he did so poorly in the photoshoot. He thought he was following directions, and when he didn’t get any more feedback, he assumed he was doing it right. Jennifer says that Beautiful Frankie’s walk was the worst of everyone’s – it was boring and didn’t make a statement. Seriously, HOW can they tell the difference?
Ronnie, on the other hand, has been able to pull a 180 and go completely editorial. Jennifer apologizes to him for doubting him. They call him diligent, hardworking, and thorough.
When Ben’s up for questioning, he gives the judges a hopeful grin, only to have his hopes dashed. He’s told he only has two looks, smiley and serious, neither of which are particularly impressive. Tyson asks him if he considers himself sexy, and he says no. His conception of sexy is how well girls react to him, and he’s never been great with girls. (Remember his wife? In keeping with the SbtB theme, let’s just say that she’s definitely more Jessie Spano than Kelly Kapowski).
Casey gets called out for only doing two poses on the runway. They say he didn’t know what to do with his hands or his face. Corey says that Casey’s walk was his worst ever. They think he’s too sensitive for the business, but the poor kid is only 19 years old. He takes responsibility for his failures, and promises to change.
Shannon, however, can do no wrong. They praise her professionalism, and loved her photoshoot. The models are excused for the judges to deliberate. Holly looked beautiful and professional. Beautiful Frankie is growing as a person, but not as a model. It’s obvious that Ben doesn’t think he’s sexy, which doesn’t sell the clothes. Casey’s uncomfortable and nervous. Ronnie could be cast for Ben Sherman tomorrow. Shannon’s dedication is admirable, but she still doesn’t know how to showcase garments on the runway.
The models come back out, and the judges announce that Perry and Ronnie are safe, and Holly is this week’s winner (this is her second win). Casey has a great look, but can’t model. Shannon’s walk needs work. Frankie can’t sell clothes. Ben is mediocre. And with that, they excuse Shannon, leaving Beautiful Frankie, Ben, and Casey in the bottom three. Please bring me my Casey back! I think Ben’s comment this week will really hurt him. He obviously hasn’t learned the lesson of American Idol contestant Mandisa – make derogatory remarks about gay people, and America turns on you. This isn’t 1950.
What do you guys think? Who’s going home? Did Jacki deserve to leave over Perry and Ben? Are you going to quit watching if this show doesn’t pick up the pace anytime soon?