We’re back for the fourth episode of SGTL with only two more to go. That means that the judges, editors and producers have just three hours left to whittle seven model wannabes down to one all-encompassing, beautiful, poised, and above all relatable Wilhelmina Model. But, this is the ninja production team from hell. Three hours is way too much time for them. I’m guessing that they’ll wrap this season up in just over 90 minutes of footage, spread out over three hours and filled in by commercial after painful boring commercial. And, if the commercials aren’t enough to take up the slack, the producers have a new trick up their sleeve–invite the sponsors on the show for their own mini infomercial segment. Wheeeeee!!! This week we get to watch Jenny Craig advertising during the commercial breaks and during the actual show. How cool is that.
Coming soon to Reality TV everywhere.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our ladies, which is why I hate being robbed of watching them. Seriously, the actual footage from the show felt like it amounted to a whopping 20 minutes at the most. If this trend keeps up, us poor recappers might end up being forced to recap the commercials as well…Anyway, on to our awesome, if shortened, episode.
Our remaining wonderous grannies:
Self Flash The Newest Trend in Sadism
Once again, we start the day with the creepy stalker photogs slinking around the sleeping models’ bedrooms. I’m telling you there’s no way in hell that I would agree to be filmed when I was sleeping. Way too creepy and beside, mouth open drooling happens to the best of us.
Note to Self: Never sleep with ear plugs on a Reality TV show
Our beautiful ladies peaceful slumber is shattered by a crack addict corporate jogger that some idiot handed a whistle and let in to the loft.
I can’t believe this woman hasn’t been shot by now.
Oh, oops, my bad. The crack addict corporate jogger turns out to be Meghan Buchan, the fitness director of Self Magazine. What the hell is Self Magazine putting into their employees’ coffee? And, what sadistic PA gave her a whistle? Not surprisingly our groggy models are a little less than enthused by this development.
“You can drop the whistle or we’re going to put it where the sun don’t shine.” Of course, she’d probably still continue to blow on it, even if it hurt a little bit.
Manic Meg manages to gather the women into the living room for a formal introduction and explains that she comes bearing gifts. And what a gift it is. Introducing the Jump Snap!!! A ropeless jump rope. How clever is that? Now, there are two articles to keep track of instead of one. The Jump Snap consists of two handles with a short stretch of dangling rope hanging off of each. Meg happily explains that the idea is to mimic the motion of the jump rope and in time the jumper can even add weights. But, I suspect they may have other hidden benefits.
Okay, so exactly where do you want me to put these?
After the women use their fantasy ropes, Manic Meg gives them the marvelous news that women after 35 start losing bone density, so it’s imperative that they start weight training to compensate and speed their metabolisms. Toward that end she passes out elastic bands and the women embark on a series of resistance exercises while good ole Meg leads them in the most sexist chant. Ever. I’m serious. This chant dates back to the time when gym classes were separated and the single goal of most women was to marry and have children. For those of you who are young enough to have been spared the humiliation of standing in sweating rows while squeezing your palms together to flex your pecs to the catchy refrain, I thought it was worth repeating. “We must, we must, we must increase our bust. The bigger the better, the tighter the sweater, the boys depend on us.” Thank you Self Magazine. In one Self-Flash you not only managed to make one of my favorite childhood pastimes technologically obsolete, but you also brought the idea of self-empowerment through physical fitness to a virtual standstill.
The Morning Call
After listening to Self Magazine’s psycho fitness trainer, the Kimsicle’s disembodied voice on the morning call actually sounds somewhat soothing. She tells the women that today they are going to apply what they learned from the Self Flash when they step outside their comfort zone and fly high. But, first, they have to choose an emotion, write it down and seal it in an envelope. The savvier women realize that a sealed envelope means that the emotion they are choosing is the one that they are going to be stuck with later and there ain’t going to be no changing it. Smart women go for easy non-complicated emotions: surprise, excitement. Others go for more abstract emotions: longing, passion. And, moving on from the morning call…Anybody else feel like these clips are shorter than usual?
The Leg-Up Challenge
To appropriately showcase the maturity and elegance of older models, the producers take them to Hudson River Trapeze, where low and behold a trapeze is set up with a lunatic swinging back and forth. The ladies reactions to the sight are varied. Roxanne thinks that she’s going to be a natural because she hangs upside down all the time. Kind of like a bat or the undead.
Jungle gyms, people’s closets, billboards, really anytime I get the urge.
The Kimsicle is waiting for them, wearing a perky ponytail and flanked by two male statues. Except, that they’re not statues, they’re aliiiiive. I think that sounded better in my head.
The Kimsicle’s statuesque accessories are introduced as photographer Bradford Noble and trapeze owner Jonathon Conan. Now, without offending any of my readers, (World Harmony this is for you) I would like to suggest that Bradford Noble might possibly represent a walking stereotype for a flaming gay male. Any humor that I might find in his character is based on the stereotypical part of the description, not the gay part. Personally, if reincarnation exists, I want to come back as Tim Gunn. I’m not kidding. But, the Dr. Seuss outfit, the persistent lisp, and the obvious compulsion on the part of Bradford to strike a pose are just too funny. Maybe, I want to come back as Bradford. This is a guy that appears to be loving life.
Guess which one is Bradford? Hint: It’s not the one in the middle.
The Kimsicle is working hard to inveigh some drama into her carefully memorized lines. “Remember the sealed envelope I asked you to bring?”
Blank look…pause…remember next line…
Raise eyebrows. Deliver line:
“The one with the emotion chosen by you?”
The women all nod. Which is good, because that’s the emotion that they will have to portray when they’re swinging back and forth on the trapeze. So, WTF does this challenge have to do with the Self-Flash fitness fiasco from that morning? But, sadly, nobody asks and the Kimsicle has no answers for me. The women that chose simple emotions are grinning broadly. And, then, there’s Karin…
But, I was sure Beverly would appreciate the existential aspects of longing…
The Kimsicle ruthlessly continues explaining that there’s a lot at stake today, because the prize is “safety from elimination of this round.” First, that makes no sense. Second, WTF? Did Bravo patent the term “immunity”? In an effort to clarify, the Kimsicle adds, “That’s right, the winner automatically stays on the board.” Which is another way of saying that the winner gets immunity. Who is coming up with this stuff? Immunity is a hallowed Reality TV precept, there’s history there. You hear that SGTL? Don’t f*ck with immunity. Having delivered the dire news, the Kimsicle retreats leaving the women to do their best Cirque de Soleil imitations.
Just me and Leonardo. I believe. It’s meant to be.
The women bustle around getting into makeup and sharing their worries. Then, Melissa is up first and Tanya immediately launches into a full on cheer. “Melissa she’s our girl. Melissa. Go! Go!” Which is kind of sweet in a bizarre high school kind of way. Melissa perches on the edge of the platform gripping the trapeze bar for dear life while Bradford, the photog, reads out her emotion. Fear!! He announces dramatically. Really? Melissa answers, no irony here. And with that, Melissa launches. It’s kind of weird that even though she’s clearly scared, her expression doesn’t emote much fear; just an open mouth.
Tanya’s emotions is confidence and Bradford is nice enough to act it out for her.
I’m not sure how much attention Tanya is paying him while she chants, “I’m so scared. I’m so scared.” But, somehow, she pulls it together and launches herself.
Hope’s emotion is excitement and she’s totally on board with this lunatic challenge. Bradford loves her and how could he not, she’s adorable.
As previously mentioned, Karin’s emotion is longing and Bradford thinks that she did a good job of bringing it through her body and out. I kind of think that her long slender body looks awesome up there. And she’s really gets into to it swinging back and forth on the trapeze to go higher. You go, Karin!!
Roxanne’s emotion is passion. Bradford is not impressed especially since he was nice enough to give a demo of passion.
He tells us that he felt that she wasn’t really emoting, she only showed one face in all of the pictures and they all had squinty eyes.
Celeste’s emotion is surprise and once again, our little diva photog demos the emotion.
Overall, Bradford is pleased with Celeste. He thinks she has a great expression, but he’d like to calm her down a little. I think that pretty much sums up how I feel about Celeste as well. Her personality and physical size are so big that she’s a little overwhelming.
Last up is Bahia and this is the preview that we’ve been seeing for the last few weeks. Bahia is experiencing the all consuming terror that comes when a person is confronted with a real phobia. She’s shaking, nauseous and has really bad hair. Seriously, I had a lot of trouble watching this segment. This woman is putting herself through hell for this competition and it’s not at all clear to me that winning is really going to pan out to be anything worthwhile. Yes, I am a little cynical. Bahia barely drags herself up the ladder and on to the platform, where she sits shaking, hyperventilating and crying.
Somebody, better give this poor woman a friggin modeling contract.
I have to say that I’m also really impressed to see how the other women are supporting her. Basically, this seems to be a group of really nice women caught in some bizarre Reality TV twilight zone.
Bahia makes the decision not to do the trapeze thing and descends to the ground. But that’s not the end. Bahia’s one tough cookie. Wanting to at least have some picture for the imaginary client, she once again forces herself to ascend the ladder so Bradford can take some shots of her hanging from it. Okay, I so respect Bahia right now. And, I’m so annoyed that this show would create such ridiculous challenges.
When all of the women are back on solid ground, Kim returns to tell the women that she’s going to name the winner she and Bradford chose, but not until the elimination ceremony. All the women groan and I cry foul. Me thinks that maybe they want to make sure that the women who receives “IMMUNITY” from the Leg Up challenge is someone that also does well in the elimination challenge. I told you, I’m cynical about these things.
The Jenny Infomercial
Dear God, if I’m really nice to my hubbie for a week, will you save me from any more diet advertising and infomercials? I mean, really, what are the producers thinking? Just when I thought that Reality TV could go no lower, SGTL decides to sell out part of it’s format to be an infomercial for a sponsor. When the tired ladies return from their high flying high jinks, they find Kathryn Kilburn, a rep from Jenny Craig, waiting for them in the kitchen. Ms. Kilburn gets right down to marketing as she goes through through three tips for a healthy lifestyle, maximizing food and eating in a busy day and age. These tips involve eating Jenny Craig prepackaged snacks, eating foods like celery and aiming for progress not perfection.
If they all sign up my commission will go through the roof.
Mercifully, the segment is short and she leaves the women to enjoy a Jenny Craig feast. I have to say that this segment made feel a little cheap, like my Reality TV’s been pimped out to Jenny Craig.
The Backstabbing That Wasn’t
What’s Reality TV without some serious backstabbing bitchiness on the part contestants? Sigh. For the first time, I’m feeling kind of bad for our producers. I mean these are not backstabbing women. They’re nice, open women. The majority of which I’d be happy to hangout with. So, what’s a Reality TV producer to do without any psychos to carry the show? Well, they do their best to stir up a little drama by showing us a short interlude with Tanya asking Hope who she would eliminate. Now, on ANTM these conversations are almost always the basis for some screaming and some tears. Sadly, not much happens here. Hope says that she would eliminate Melissa because she thinks her pictures look like a pinup girl. Tanya is shocked. Tanya thinks that Melissa has a clean, fresh look. But Hope is not to be swayed and points out that Melissa’s huge boobs contradict any clean fresh look that she might have. And that’s pretty much it. Not much drama here. But we do get some humor as we cut to a Jenny Craig commercial for those viewers who might be sufficiently overwhelmed and brainwashed to call in. Followed by a laxative commercial for those viewers suffering from eating/digestive disorders. And, finally, for those of us who don’t bother with dieting, we get a Dairy Queen commercial advertising 99 cent hot dogs. Okay, Dairy Queen wins. I’m getting some food…
This week our elimination challenge is all about selling diamonds and I’m psyched. I love diamonds. So, I’m set for a little vicarious hedonism. The Kimsicle explains to our ladies that the challenge is to sell jewelry by telling a story in a single photograph. The story that they tell is up to them. Then she introduces their photog Fadil Berisha. He’s photographed Cheryl Tiegs, Halle Berry and Botox Bev. Since I have never heard of Fadil Berisha, I did some googling to discover that he’s been heavily involved the pageant world for the last several years. And, sticking with the pageant theme, the women are going to wear dresses designed by Sherri Hill, designer to pageant winners the world over. But the most important component is the diamonds. Our ladies will get to wear diamonds by Barbara Parker Jewelry and me likey:
Note to Flipit: I have a birthday coming up…
And, just in case the photog, dresses and diamonds aren’t enough, the ladies will get the two final accessories that no mature women should be without:
Note to Flipit: Forget the diamonds. We can split the boys. Heart, Yenta
Nothing like handsome young male models to put a smile on a mature woman’s face. Okay, this show is definitely getting to me. Much more and I’ll be locked in my bedroom chanting, “we must, we must…”
Now, Fadil might be the best photog going, but personally I find him a little creepy. He decides to shoot Hope as a black Audrey Hepburn and keeps trying to hide her tattoos with her shawl. Hope’s story is that she’s a rich glam woman and the boys are the playmates that serve her when she needs them to. Fadil chuckles over the sexual implications and during the shoot implores Hope to give him sexy, really sexy. So, Hope does. Maybe Fadil should have asked for moderately sexy, because when Hope turns it on, Fadil is suddenly imploring, “Not that much sex. Calm down.” Hope, you little vixen, you scared him.
Celeste’s story is that she’s a jewel thief. She’s looking gorgeous but after fourteen years of marriage, she’s a little bit nervous about working with the male models. I actually appreciated hearing this, it make Celeste seem a little bit more human to me.
Tanya’s story is that both of the male models are boyfriends from the past, but now she’s the black widow. Despite being married, Tanya’s not too concerned about posing with the young men. She figures that her husband thinks she’s sexy so the picture should turn him on. Honey, either your hubby is a decided voyeur or you’re in fantasyland. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a voyeur.
Melissa’s story isn’t so much a story as a state of being. She just wants to be the center of attention and adored by all men. And the male models are quite willing to adore her, as they nuzzle and kiss her shoulders. And it seems like Melissa could use a little shall I say ‘affection’ in her life, or at least a vibrator. Her response is immediate and obvious, as she has a tiny little orgasm on the spot saying, “Oh, that did something to me. That sent chills down my entire body.”
No, really I’m okay, but I’ll need to take him with me.
Fadil chooses an amazing red dress for Bahia to wear and I have to say, he was spot on in his choice. It’s the exact kind of dress that I would love to wear and could never pull off. But, Bahia looks incredible. Her story is that women might get confused about a lot of things but they never get confused about diamonds. I have to say that I’m really beginning to believe that Bahia is one of the most gorgeous women that I’ve seen.
Now, a sideline that’s been interspersed throughout the others woman’s shoots is Roxanne’s ongoing power struggle with her hairdresser. And it’s hard to tell if the hairdresser is truly terrible or if Roxanne is just so obnoxious that the woman decides to sabotage her. And, of course, it could be a mixture of both. One of Roxanne’s more endearing lines occurs when she tells her stoic hairdresser that, “I’ve been working with my hair a lot longer than you have.”
Will Roxanne become the first Reality TV contestant to be strangled on air?
Sadly, no, but she will have the worst hair ever.
So, I’m kind of leaning on the side of hairdresser’s revenge. But, whatevs, Fadil is not happy when he sees her hair and fixes it himself. Roxanne’s story is simply that she and the men are friends hanging out for a night flirting. Except for the hair and her almost sheer gown, there’s nothing too exciting here.
After, Roxanne’s shoot Fadil mops his face saying that he feels like he just had sex himself and EEEWWWW!!! Come on, with all the footage that’s been cut in this show, you had to keep that little tidbit.
Karin is the last model out and she looks stunning, but in true Karin fashion her story is a little complicated. It starts with her first time at a ball where she had a great night and then goes on from there. Luckily, she eventually stops talking and gets to the pictures where she continues to look stunning. Sadly, after the shoot Karin has another breakdown about realizing that she’s not just comic relief and is really beautiful. The really weird thing about Karin is how her face can vacillate from resembling a transsexual clown to a real Scandinavian beauty.
After the shoot the Kimsicle is waiting for the women with one over her manic smiles, which is never a good sign. After taking a moment to ask the women how they liked being wrapped in jewels and hot male models, she tells them that they’re going straight to elimination and two of them will not be going back to the loft tonight. Damn!!! Way to be a downer, Kim.
I feel goooood!!!
The Final Cut
Our Panel of judges are waiting for the women in the elimination room.
The little General:
Before the judges announce which contestant received “IMMUNITY” (no, I still haven’t gotten over that) in the Leg Up challenge, they go through the photos.
They don’t like Melissa’s because she doesn’t show fear:
They love Hope:
Roxanne has a dead face:
Tanya nailed confidence. Botox Bev loves that it’s not a girly picture and the General is very impressed:
All the judges think that Karin captured the essence of longing in her picture:
Robbie loves Celeste’s body in photo and the General thought that she nailed it:
And, then, they show Bahia’s photo on the ladder.
Botox Bev asks her what happened and Bahia explains about her fear of heights. Bev asks when she let people know about her fear. And the General interrupts Bahia’s answer to explain that the earlier the client knows the better, because if the client doesn’t get their shot they won’t pay her and they’ll sue both the General and her together.
I hate being sued.
After the leg up critique, the Kimsicle announces that Celeste is safe from elimination.
And Celeste takes the news with a well bred restraint.
I have to say that, personally, I thought Karin did a better job with a more difficult emotion, but that might also be bias on my part. I’m still rooting for Karin, Hope and I think Bahia.
Because Celeste is safe from elimination, the judges critique her photo first. And, OMG, it’s gorgeous. They love it. I love it. I might be turning into a reluctant fan.
Tanya’s photo is pretty hot and the judges comment on her transformation from pageant girl to model. Tanya says that she felt sexy for the very first time. I’m telling you, this woman has been repressing one hot tiger. Her poor hubbie’s going to get a hell of a shock when she comes home. Botox Bev likes the picture so much she says that she’s jealous. I’m kind of wondering what happened to mellow Bev out this week. She’s gone from flaming bitch to supportive mentor in two episodes. While this week’s bonhomie gives me less to write about, it does make look forward to next week to see which Bev will be featured.
I’m not that big a fan of Roxanne’s photo, but I’m not that big a fan of Roxanne. I actually feel guilty writing that. I suspect that Roxanne is the most insecure and vulnerable of these women and it just comes off badly on camera. Anyhoo, the Kimsicle says that it looks like she was having fun. Bev thinks she looks like a movie star. But, Robbie is all over her droopy boobs. The General agrees saying that Roxanne’s picture is case of the face looking confident, but the body not so much. Okay, guys you want a mature women, you have two choices, droopy boobs or silicone. Gravity is in fact a law of nature so, if you want to overcome it, offer a Self-Flash on plastic surgery.
The judges think Hope’s picture is nice, but the General hates the shawl draped over her shoulders. That is so not fair, but at least Hope gets to explain that the photog kept putting it on her.
Bahia’s picture is breathtaking. Robbie tells her that, “Its ridiculous, you’re so incredibly gorgeous.” And everybody is blown away.
Melissa’s picture seems to split the judges. The women love Melissa and think she looks beautiful. But, the General and Robbie don’t like what they call her forced pout.
Karin seems to glow between the men in her picture. And all the judges think she’s incredibly gorgeous, even breathtaking.
They all love it and want to know how it makes her feel.
I’m so happy.
All of the elimination pictures were amazing and the General is really concerned that they’re going to end up eliminating somebody with a great photo. And the women are warned that since they were all so good the judges are going to have to look at all the other stuff.
While the judges consider the women wait in the waiting room and we learn that Hope, Melissa, Roxanne and Bahia all think that they’re going home. I’m having mini-anxiety attacks. I’ll be seriously bummed if Hope or Bahia gets sent home. And, I won’t be happy if Melissa is sent home. Eliminating two contestants a week is brutal to watch.
The ladies are called back before the judges and the Kimsicle assures them that it was a very difficult decision for the judges to make.
Celeste, Karin and Tanya are still on the board. Roxanne is called forward and after some hemming and hawing on the part of the General the Kimsicle gives her the axe. I feel kind of bad for Roxanne. Especially, when they show her exit shot where she does her best not to sob. That’s the thing about this show. At this point, even my least favorites are still pretty good and it’s hard to see them disappointed.
Hope, Bahia, and Melissa are left. The General hems and haws some more before handing the dirty work over to Kim. And without further ado we find out that Melissa is no longer on the board.
And that, my dear Gasmii, is that. I’ll see you next week for acting lessons, Daisy Fuentes, and whatever product placement the producers decide to pimp the women out for.
****To read Chapter 13 of YentaPatrol’s novel, “Honor Among Thieves”, click here.
To start from the beginning, click here.