If you are anything like me – and to be quite honest I hope you are not too much like me because I am kind of a jerk, and I don’t want to think all of the people who read my babblings about Top Model are jerks – you were quite distraught over being pre-empted for a baseball game. To make matters worse, this wasn’t the World Series or even the clinching game of the series, but a stupid game 2. If people can’t afford to buy cable to get the game on ESPN, well, maybe they should listen to the game on the radio. And isn’t this something that KCAL is supposed to be bothered with? But whatever, I got over the slap in the face from networks, and realized I would just have to wait until Saturday. I had originally planned to watch it last night and blog it right away, but I decided that I would go and watch Serenity. Although NBCU gave screenings to every blog and their sister, they somehow left TVgasm off of their blog sphere of influence. How that happens is beyond me, but I still thought it was worth $14, if for nothing else than to see Julia Mililken kicking some ass other than that of Sherry Palmer.Last week we lost Ebony, but the girls seemed to get over it pretty well. During dinner in Hollywood (they are spending a lot of time there so far this year), Diane talks about being up there with the judges. Yeah, it’s tough to go up there and get criticized, but if you are one of the final two and survive, there is a lot you can learn from their comments. I am not sure if Diane was intimidated by all of the other girls, but she really has no sass anymore, and her attitude is one of the reasons the judges picked her in the first place.
Tyra makes a surprise visit to discuss the judging. As expected, the girls are always excited to see her. Each time she makes a visit, they act like she was lost and they didn’t expect her to come back, like some lost cat they had spent hours making posters for and putting up all over the neighborhood. Kim said that it was such a boost to see Tyra, and I am sure it was a boost for Tyra to see that Kim had actually started to put on some makeup and act like a model, even though she had a long way to go. Jayla decided to ask what is probably on the minds of a lot of girls. Basically, she said that she was trying to do her best with the pictures, but it’s not like she could take herself out of her own body to look at how she was doing. True, that may be impossible; generally people are able to tell in the mirror if they look good. It’s like all those American Idol contestants who really have no idea how awful they are. Come to think of it, a lot of Idol contestants don’t know how bad they look either. At that moment, Tyra goes all Zen on them. You see, when you perfect your style, you will be able to do that. Sort of like an athlete in the zone, the game will slow down all around you. And if you have trouble getting to that point, your photographer probably has enough of a pharmacy with him to convince you that you are floating anyway.
The girls returned to their house and learned from Tyra Mail that they would be swimming with the sharks the next day. Swimming with sharks is a game that a lot of people in this town know very well. It seems like the entire population between the ages of 18 and 25 in this town are doing it, and they even made a movie about it. Were they going to bring Janice back and have her yell at people until they cried? Would they learn how to fend off agents who tell them they can get them auditions but are only interested in getting in their pants? And why didn’t Tyra just tell them what was going on when she was at the restaurant an hour earlier? I guess we’ll find out the next day.
The big theme for much of this episode however was the budding relationship between Sarah and Kim. I think that Sarah is generally interested in getting to know Kim, but I think it is just curiosity at this point. She’s from Missouri, and she’s 18, and she is naive enough to have paid people to give her modeling lessons. Now, I am certainly not an authority on whether Sarah’s sapphic desires are the real thing or not, but Kim probably is, and when she was talking about Sarah, she said that she has dealt with straight girls for a long time and knew them like the back of her hand. This tells me that she might think Sarah is going through a phase, although if I were Sarah’s boyfriend and was watching this episode I don’t think I would be happy seeing her discussing with another person (boy or girl) whether she had met the right person or not. Then again, maybe he would be more disappointed that this conversation took place on a couple of lounge chairs while smoking some cigarettes and not while they were on the bed in their bra and panties painting each other’s toenails. Not that it would bother anybody if that’s how the scenario worked out, I’m just sayin, you know?
As a non sequitur, I’ve decided that I write a lot better when I am away from the TVgasm offices, so I have taken to recapping most of my things on a laptop away from my desk. And even though it usually involves me going no farther than the balcony of the TVgasm offices, I think it works for me. Now, I am not saying this just because I want to add another paragraph to this recap, but I really had to share something that disturbed me as I watched some people walking their dogs past the offices. Now, I really appreciate it when people pick up after their dogs after they do their business on the beautiful landscaping, but don’t people have limits? I understand how you eventually get to the point where a small plastic bag is enough of a buffer between you and your dog’s steaming waste, and I wouldn’t advocate that people need to wear HAZMAT suits or anything, but is it too much to ask that people wear something on their feet when they are walking their dog and picking up shit? I prefer sandals, and often go barefoot, but would you walk around without ANYTHING on your feet to not only walk your dog around the block, but to venture into the grassy area where it just dumped. I didn’t see any other dogs get the urge around the same area in the few hours I was outside, but isn’t the threat that a dog might have pissed or even worse at that very spot enough of a deterrent to not go BAREFOOT?
Sorry, I had to get that off my chest, as I thought the crime was heinous enough that the 50 people I tell at the office tomorrow is not enough punishment. The 10,000 or so of you who read it over the next few days should indirectly shame this person enough that I won’t have to worry about it anymore. Anyway, we found out that swimming with sharks had really nothing to do with the traditional or Hollywood definition, but was probably just a way to tell them to get into their bathing suits. The ladies piled into their Hummer and drove to a ritzy neighborhood. I am not sure about where you grew up, but I would also consider the models’ house to be fairly ritzy, so what would make this place so much better? Ahhh yes! Jay Alexander! Sarah said there might be a pool party, but it looks like there is going to be some runway learnin’ going on.
Earlier, Tyra said that each of the girls had that model thing going on, but looking at them congregating around Jay, I could only think that Tyra had confused “model” with “cheap hooker.” Hey, I like short skirts as much as the next guy, but that micro that you buy a bebe is different than the one that is sold at the Hustler store, you know? If you think you might look like a skank before you go out, here is a tip. If you think you may be advertising the date of your last bikini wax whenever you sit down, stand up, or take a step up the stairs, stick with a nice pair of low-rise jeans. Guys will still go ga-ga, trust me.
Jay told each of the girls that they were going to walk in heels. Jay is good at this stuff, but combined with the fact that he is on the panel giving just about the same advice and criticisms kind of takes away from the segments where he pops up. For now, he’s just a prop that they dress up in ridiculous outfits, and his swimsuit was WAY too close to showing us a sequin-covered bulge, and really did nothing for the legs either.
Other than telling them that they might be asked to walk on anything and everything including water, broken glass, hot coals, and lava flows, Jay really didn’t do tell them that much. I suppose he could have had a little private session with each of them off camera, but I doubt it. Despite the lack of commentary, the walks still gave us plenty of laughs. Bre has this stomp that is really exaggerated like she left a thousand cigarette butts on the ground and has to put them out before the Simi Valley goes up in flames, but she does work it. You could even call her fierce. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Sarah and Kim.
We know Sarah’s problem; she is really uncoordinated. Why these girls even bother showing up without knowing how to sprint in stilettos is beyond me. Sarah has yet another problem, however, and that is the disappearance of her neck when she walks. Her shoulders are already broad, and although she has kept them in check and been able to take nice photographs, they are still a problem on the runway, and runway competence is at least half the battle as a top model. But as bad as Sarah was, I think I would have to say that Kim is worse. It’s hard to describe how bad her walk is, but the judges had it right earlier in the season when they said she walked like a man in a dress. I am not sure if she looks so unnatural because she is trying to be more feminine and is failing miserably, but I just can’t imagine that she actually that horrible walking normally. Don’t get me wrong, I think Kim is cute, but put that body in motion and you are thinking less hot androgyny and more gross hormonal accident.
I thought I would have my laughing done after the walks, but then Jay told everybody to pick up a skirt and a hat. See, you have to be able to pull off a character, and they need the girls to be a little more over the top. If by “over the top” they mean “flailing around like you’ve been hit with a tazer,” then the girls really did a great job. I wasn’t expecting miracles, and some of them weren’t that bad. We had a few Elaine Benes specials, some drunk in Cancun wet t-shirt contest shakes, and even a few that looked like they knew what they were doing, but then there was Sarah and Kim. I have seen people who have told me that they have no rhythm, and they weren’t as bad as either of these two. Jay called Sarah one big ball of confusion, which could describe her walk, her dance, and her own sexual awareness.
Some might like to call these girls stupid, but a number of them realized that it might be a good idea to practice their walks. If Jay gave them a lesson, what are the chances that they will be asked to apply that lesson and be judged on it? It’s like those chemistry labs in college. If you had to learn about some reaction, it was going to be on the test. But instead of picking a lab partner and studying for her exam, Kim decides to stick with a subject she knows well: getting girls to love her. This means more flirting with Sarah, and even though she knows that it might be confusing for Sarah, even mentioning that she is used to straight girls getting crushes on her, she makes her breakfast, and prepares an omelet, cracking eggs mere inches away from Sarah’s ass, which was resting upon the kitchen counter. (Don’t worry, Kim told us she always cleans the kitchen, especially after sex.) It turns into breakfast in bed, and more confusion for Sarah, who says it is strange to say that she has feelings for another girl.
The Western Omelet: an underrated aphrodisiac.
While Kim was deciding whether she should use the willow or the spinal tap on Sarah, Cassandra was worried that Tyra would make good on her promise and cut her hair even shorter. She knew that she might have to go home if she said no to another haircut, and it was quickly becoming a question of her commitment. If you really want to be a model, just cut your hair and shut up. Cassandra tried to get some moral support from her mom, but her mom wasn’t having any of it, telling her that she is not standing up for any principle, she is just being vain. Still, nobody had said anything yet, so maybe they would forget.
The next task on the list was advanced runway walking with Sue Wong, who will be played by Margaret Cho in the Lifetime movie of her life. Yes, I know Ms. Notorious is Korean and Sue Wong is Chinese, but do you really think it is going to be possible for Lucy Liu or Ming Na to put on 100lbs to pull it off? I didn’t think so. How advanced was the runway they were going to be on? Well, there would be runway, but at the tip, there would be a rotating platform.
Having the platform move proved quite difficult for a number of the girls. They all had to wear one of Sue’s very dramatic and elegant (her description, not mine) evening ensembles and walk down the runway assuming the character that their gown represented. If they were unsure how they were supposed to act, Sue Wong let them know. “You are lovely Persian princess” or “You are a blushing Indian bride” or “You are marrying a man of 40 at age 12 because you marriage is arranged.” She was really sure what she wanted, but to be honest a lot of the dresses looked the same, and everybody was more worried about not falling off the platform than putting on some awesome performance.
I can understand the reasoning behind some of the very elaborate and original runways they have used, but can somebody please tell me why the platform at the end rotated? They were told to stand in the middle and face one direction the whole time. I also thought this was a pretty boring challenge. If you hadn’t figured it out yet, Sarah and Kim did the worst. Sarah thought she could help by walking slowly, but she was unlucky enough to have to deal with a gown that had a large train all while balancing the largest tiara EVER on her head. Even if there was one homecoming game per planet per century, it didn’t justify a tiara the size that Sarah had on.
The winner of this challenge received a chance to wear a Sue Wong-designed gown for a very special evening on the town. This wasn’t just any ordinary gown though, it was the one Tyra had worn to a special event, and the winner was able to pick not one, not two, but four close friends from among her roommates to go with her. Bre won the challenge easily, showing plenty of confidence imagining herself as Dorothy Dandridge. She picked Coryn, Kim, Nik, and Jayla to go with her, making them a sort of urban clique. When they were all picked up for dinner, they learned that they were going to be eating caviar for dinner. Somebody once told me to think of caviar or other fish roe as a fish, period, and it would go down easier. Obviously, they were trying to gross me out, and I never bothered getting my red wings, even if it was beluga caviar.
After some jokes about throwing up and in general how gross caviar is (these kinds of scenes really bug B-Side, who could probably eat a pound of caviar like Gus eats spicy Hungarian soup), we were able to return to what was really of interest; hot girl-on-girl action. Kim and Sarah had a little flirty dip in the pool. Despite the disapproving glare of Grandma Bre, who was trying to throw some cold water on Kim before she ruined her relationship with her girlfriend (even though they agreed they both could see other people), there was no denying how close these two were becoming. It finally got to the point where there was no denying what was going to be going on.
We didn’t get any Real World-style night vision or Big Brother-style captioned groans, so it would be impossible to tell if Sarah was a pillow queen or not, but we did get to see the morning after, with Sarah slowly putting her fingers through Kim’s hair. It’s hard to say if she was glowing or not, but you can tell that she wouldn’t have been upset if it happened to them again. Nicole didn’t necessarily disapprove of what was going on, but she wondered why anybody would spend time seducing their roommates when there was so much they had to work on, which in reality makes a lot of sense. Bre was once again doing her part to keep these two apart, asking Kim how realistic she thought this whole thing was and if she thought Sarah was going to fly to New York each weekend to visit her. Meanwhile, Sarah was telling her boyfriend about it, and told her boyfriend that she “doesn’t swing that way.” Well Sarah, we know that you swing both ways, so don’t try and hide it. Sarah’s boyfriend was either upset that he was losing his girlfriend or pissed off that she didn’t make a DVD of the event.
Sarah’s confusion trickled over to the photo shoot. Kim basically admitted that she was just playing around and that the sex, or what she was just trying to tell people was kissing and nothing more, was harmless and meant nothing. There was only one girl for Kim, and she was in New York. Sarah might not know it, but it seemingly put the kibosh on any more fooling around in the house.
When they arrived at the shoot, which took place at Quixote studios, home of the not very glamorous zodiac photo shoot. This time, they had another complicated setup. The setup was equivalent to having a huge treadmill in the middle of a runway, meaning that the girls could run in place without going anywhere. But what were they running from? We weren’t told those details, but the girls had to imagine it was something scary, probably mean and ugly.
Everybody was getting ready and Jay finally brought Cassandra the news that she didn’t want to hear: her hair was going to get cut shorter. Jayla was also getting her hair cut, but since they had put extensions in, it was returning more or less to the state that it was when she arrived, therefore, she had no problem. Cassandra was still anxious and told Jay she was scared of getting her hair cut, because she still wasn’t comfortable rocking what she currently had. Jay told her to think about it, and he would ask her after she had some breakfast.
The rest of the models weren’t nearly as high maintenance. Then again, they had the attitude that the people who have, you know, careers in the modeling industry might have a better idea of what’s going on than they do. Even Lisa, who will give more advice than asked to any of the other girls, doesn’t dare question what is going on with Jay, Tyra, or the rest of the panel. Bre told Cassandra that she’ll respect her decision, but it was God who gave you your instincts and that is what you have to trust. So even though losing another inch of hair would have cost her nothing but a little more time waiting for it to grow in, Cassandra told Jay that she wasn’t going to have her hair cut. Instead of throwing a fit about it, he simply kicks her off of the shoot, which means she is kicked off the show.
You would like the think that Cassandra was devastated, but she was really more relieved than anything else. She packed up her things and left. The rest of the girls were shocked, but more because they learned that there would still be an elimination. Bre said that she felt bad for what happened to Cassandra, which makes sense since she was the only one who was telling Cassandra to defy the powers that be. Cassandra left, saying that she would go home, get some hair extensions, and go right back to doing pageants. Look for her in a future Miss Criminally Insane Universe competition, coming to a town near you.
The rest of the girls did their things without hitch. Poor Sarah still looked horribly unnatural, even just holding a purse, but a lot of other people had the right balance of beauty and fear that they were looking for in this shoot. For me, I wasn’t too crazy about the pictures, especially after they had filled in what was chasing the girls – a fashion witch played by Jay Alexander. Here are my favorites from this shoot:
At panel, Tyra gave a little speech about Cassandra, commitment, and the rules of being a top model. You need to learn, you need to adapt. She said that they can think long and hard about committing to being a top model or they could step forward and go home right then and there. Nobody stepped forward, and so we went on to the judging.
Yet again, the girls were asked to walk; this time though, they were asked to give their signature walk. In the words of Camille from Cycle 2, they wanted the walks that would make them famous. Sue Wong was there as the guest judge – either that or to bore us to death. She really didn’t do anything more than nod her head in approval or appallingly shake her head when things went wrong.
If you hadn’t been able to guess who did poorly on this challenge, you didn’t watch the show or read this alarmingly long recap. Yes, yes, yes, Sarah and Kim sucked. There was plenty of criticism to go around. I think Nik walks really well, but she constantly bobs her head. In the strongest criticism of Lisa to date, they said that her walk was really safe. Even Bre, who most judges though had the best walk, was not free from criticism with Twiggy saying her stomp wasn’t that great, and it looked like she had horse legs. Still, it was Kim, who decided to give the judges a disclaimer on how bad she looked, and Sarah, who was described as looking like somebody out of “My Left Foot” with her inelegant gait, who reminded us what sucking was really like.
When it came time to eliminate people, the judges called Jayla first. I really did like her picture and she does look a lot better. There was also a solid consensus about Bre (so fierce she deserved a snap from Tyra), Nicole, Nik, and Kyle. Somehow, Diane was spared from too much criticism this week, even though I think she hasn’t shown us anything all season, but let’s be honest, we knew it was all going to come down the disasters-waiting-to-happen, i.e. Kim and Sarah. Even though they admitted that Sarah was learning and getting better, they decided that it was Kim who had more to offer and she stayed. Sarah (whose skirt I loved, btw. Call me a sucker for pleats) hugged Kim for a long time and then tearfully said goodbye. During the time Tyra was telling Kim how she needed to improve, which mainly consisted of saying how she needs to be more confident and how the judges will not be impressed if you tell them you suck right before they ask you to perform, Sarah was busy hugging Coryn in the background with the kind of verve she normally saves the for the lesbians who have initiated her in the bedroom.
I was sad to see Sarah go, because I do love all Sarahs, and I think that she really did have potential, and I think Diane is more dead weight than anything else right now, but Sarah was very happy with the experience. Let’s face it, she probably wasn’t going to win, and what it taught her about life might have been the most valuable lesson. She learned a lot about herself; how to be more confident, and of course, how to munch box.
What did you think of this episode? Did the right girl go home? Is Sarah gay for play, or will she start listening to more Melissa Etheridge real soon? Is anybody that sad to see Cassandra go?