Many people have been lamenting this year as the ugliest in the history of America’s Next Top Model, but I have to disagree. For me, it is playing out like many previous seasons. The judges think they saw something in somebody, but after the makeover, sometimes girl’s unique look may end less fierce and more fugly (thanks Lluvy). ANTM was not created because there is a lack of models in the world, and so I tend not to worry that I may never see the winners of this competition modeling again after CoverGirl stops forcing them upon us. And now that I am done with the lecture, we can get back to the show. Each week is another chance for these girls to step up and prove that they have what it takes to be a diva. At least one girl wanted to prove that she had more game than the rest.Some people are going to call me a wimp and a sellout because this week, I really started to like Jade. At first, I thought I couldn’t stand her, but I really liked Lisa so much last year, so why can’t I like Jade? Like Lisa she is older than most of the other girls, and like Lisa, she thinks that she has all of the moves to be a model, and like Lisa, she tries to find weaker opponents and point out their flaws in order to make herself feel good. One difference, of course was that Lisa could really work it. Lisa might have had an easier time with her makeover than Jade, but in the end, it comes down to the pictures.
Sure her hair was bad, and it seemed like Jade was finding a way to cover it with any spare piece of fabric available, but it’s not like Rosie O’Donnell when she got that hella-dyke haircut so long ago. Jade has plenty of other good parts to work with, and it looked like she was starting to realize that. Jade said that she was not only going to step up the game, but step up the GIZ-ame, which is like ten times cooler than stepping up just the plain old game. Try it sometime for yourself. Walk into Starbucks and ask for a VIZ-enti HIZ-alf SIZ-oy latté. It’s, like, wild and stuff. After you get your coffee, they usually hand you a Mac-10.
Being in the bottom two seemed to actually humble Jade a little bit, and she didn’t even have it in her to bother Gina, not that Gina would care because she has found a new friend in Danielle. At first you may think that this is a strange pairing. Danielle, who is as country as ham hocks and collard greens, pairing up with Gina, who is as suburban as a white kid with an Eminem ringtone? Seems so crazy, but they both bonded because they seemed to be the only ones who wanted to do any cleaning, or perhaps because Danielle was the only person who didn’t run away when Gina opened her mouth. I think Danielle feels sorry for Gina more than anything else. She sees that people are taking advantage of her and since Gina was so sheltered, she has a tough time dealing with conflict and adversity, something Danielle has no problem dealing with.
As much as Danielle wanted to be Gina’s friend, she does have her limits. When they were done cleaning up the kitchen, Danielle said that she was going to take a shower, and Gina wanted to watch. I am not sure if she is in love with Danielle, or just wanted to know whether the carpet matched the curtains, but Danielle wasn’t really down for any of that. Unfortunately for Danielle, as soon as she was nice to Gina, she would go wherever Danielle went like she had just been rescued from a burning building.
After you’re done with the counter, will you do my back?
Now that the competition has picked up a little, it is time for the next part in our hopefuls’ evolution to becoming a model. It’s time to for them to learn how to walk the runway, and whenever it is time for a runway lesson, you can be sure that J. Alexander is not far behind. I always liked J. Alexander, but he is much better in small doses. He seems like he is trying too hard on the judging panel, but when it comes to the stomp, Miss J is the man to call. You know how like if the government has a position that is not quit cabinet level but still is a priority, they call that person a czar? Miss J. could be runway czar, or czar of catwalk, if you want to get all Marv Alberts and Mike Fratello.
I do love the time to critique the walk, but let’s face it, the only reason that we care is because we would like to see somebody fall. I’m not talking about a little trip, or a bit of a goof, we want to see somebody tumble, especially if it is somebody that we don’t like. That’s why I loved the photo shoot where the girls were on roller skates from a couple of years back. As they practiced for Miss J, I think the girls actually walked OK. I think the person with the worst walk is Leslie. Some girls may not have a signature style, but Leslie’s was the only one that was actually unattractive to watch. Even if she was naked, I would probably look away, because things weren’t hanging they way they should.
Kari was the only person who messed up. OK, maybe I have never walked in high heels but if you were going to be on a show judging to be a model, you would find it a good idea to get comfortable in heels. Like Miss J said, if you can’t slinky slink, you will probably stinky stink. To step up the difficulty a little bit, the girls were asked to do the same thing in dresses that they picked out for themselves. Once again, Kari messed up, but she was not alone. Danielle slipped, and I thought she was actually going to fall over.
That was close.
Miss J. promised that the girls were going to be judged on their walks, and they found out the next day what it was going to be. The girls got a note that had only two words: Gromphadorina Portentosa. Without an ability to consult Google or the Wikipedia, the girls had no clue what it could be. Somebody said that it was Spain, and the girls started to get really excited that they were all going to get a chance to get out of Los Angeles, and then came back to their senses. The word might be Spanish, but that doesn’t mean they are going to Spain. Still, what could it mean? Apparently Leslie didn’t know enough Spanish to translate, or had never heard of the word, but Jade brought a translator with her, you know, one of those things that looks like a little calculator, but can actually translate English and Spanish and French? I didn’t even know they made those things anymore. Shit Jade, I know you aren’t a highly paid model, but might you try perhaps a Palm Pilot next time? Or maybe, I don’t know, a brain?
When they got to matchbox studios, they met Jared Gold. Right away you knew this was going to be an interesting photo shoot. He looked like their had been a casting call for a Trainspotting sequel, and Anthony Soprano decided to try out. He’s a famous designer who said he is going for sort of a psychedelic babushka look. I already thought this guy was really going to suck, and then I got to take a look at his fashion advisors, last seen advising Darryl Hannah for her role in Blade Runner and later Milo Javovich in The Fifth Element. These folks were so crazy, even Mischa Barton wouldn’t be caught dead hanging around them.
As the girls got dressed, psychedelic babushka sort of turned into vintage slut, or as Kari said, “a hooker from back in old hooker times”. But unchaste Victorian wear is not off the wall enough for Jared Gold, so he decides to turn it up a notch. The competition is all about handling adversity, so why not see how they deal with Madagascar hissing cockroaches or as they are more properly known, Gromphadorina Portentosa. Yes, that’s right. Cockroaches. Giant. Hissing. Cockroaches. I can deal with spiders, but I can’s stand roaches, so this was particularly difficult for me. You can only imagine how difficult it was for the girls.
I couldn’t really say that there was anybody who wanted to have cockroaches on them, but nobody was freaking out like Gina. I thought she was going to cry or pass out. To tell you the truth, these roaches are apparently “docile” which I guess means that they won’t chew your flesh despite being bigger than some bats, and they were not there just for the hell of it. They were an actual accessory, and these accessories were accessorized themselves, as it looked like somebody had spent days and nights with a bedazzler getting a bunch of sequins on these things.
Earlier in the episode, Miss J. wondered if they had broken Jade’s spirit. This caused Jade to tell us that she was in her shell, but needed to break out, complete with overly dramatic hand gestures. Whatever Jade did to get out of her shell, it looked like it worked, because Jade really worked the runway. I guess when she isn’t focusing on her hair and complaining about how it sucks, she does have some skills. If modeling is about making the best out of your situation, Jade was up to the task, going so far as to kiss her little cockroach accessory. Gina was her drama queen self, needing to be pushed onto the runway and admitted she felt like she was going to throw up, but Jade kissed a roach! And without having to use a paper clip or pair of tweezers. What can you say about that? Nobody was even close.
You have to admit, Jade was fierce
For her win, Jade got to pick four friends to go to a runway show during Mercedes Benz fashion week. Oooh, and they were getting VIP treatment! I really don’t care about watching professional models, but I guess you have to find some room for some product placement every now and then. Besides, the only thing Jade needed she got from her father last night. No, Jade’s dad hasn’t been hanging around Donald Trump and thought it would be fun to hook up with his daughter. He basically reassured her that she is just fine the way she is, and to him, she has already won. Awwww. That’s so sweet and brought Jade to tears, although let’s be honest, she really isn’t fine the way she is unless you have a thing for arrogant bitches.
With the challenge out of the way, the girls had to go to their photo shoot. Since they were learning about falling down, why not take pictures where they are supposed to be falling down? And to add a little of that Top Model flair, the girls would be dressed up as modern interpretations of Fairy Tales. Furonda was Rapunzel, Leslie was the Big Bad Wolf, Jade – Red Riding Hood, Mollie Sue – Little Boy Blue, Danielle – Snow White, Gina – Sleeping Beauty, Brooke – Emperor’s New Clothes, Kari – Goldilocks, Nnenna – Princess and the Frog, Joanie – Cinderella, and Sara – Gretel.
Brimming with confidence from the roach walk, Jade decided that was in the perfect frame of mind for this shoot, and she was able to go first, and set the bar pretty high for the rest of the contestants. And when you have to fall for a photo shoot, you never want the bar to be high, or something. hmm, should have used the high joke with the roaches, I guess. The photo shoot was interesting. When their bodies are in they are and they don’t know how to land, it makes it difficult to be aware of the camera, keeping your chin, down, having a smile, etc. I am also reminded to that shoot a couple of seasons ago when they were jumping on the trampoline, back when Tyra cared more about couture than theming every single shoot. If there was anything this photo shoot needed more of, it was the producers asking the girls about the meaning of their fairy tales. Like when Furonda was asked about why Rapunzel grew her hair, she said “To get a man.” That’s what we like about girls from Stuttgart, GA, they’re very direct and to the point.
As you might have guessed, this was an awful photo shoot for Gina. Jade went first and did well, which is bad enough, because it means Jade was going to be yapping in her ear about it all day, but Gina was forced to go near the end, meaning that she would be obsessing about what she had to do. Like Jade has proven, if you aren’t self-conscious and are instead just confident, you’ll take great pictures. One surprise for me this episode was that Nnenna had to work a little bit to get through. That’s not to say I think she did badly, but it didn’t come easy, which is good, because if she just kept on winning, the show would be boring. I also had a feeling that Joanie would do well at this because she is from Beaver Falls, PA.
Get it? Beaver Falls?
I thought it was an interesting shoot, but not a lot of great pictures. I usually judge on the faces in the closeups, and this week only two really stood out: Danielle and Jade. I though Nnenna was good, and Sara and Joanie were almost there, but just not like the other two. Feel free to disagree with me though.
When it came time for panel, the girls learned that their runway work was not close to being over. As one last challenge, Tyra told them about Vivian Westwood, who is famous for runway shows, which often feature some of the more ridiculous heels you have ever seen. The looked like Disco Stu decided he was going to take on Manolo Blahnik. The girls were going to have to walk with them in front of the judges, and you just know that the judges wanted to see somebody fall. In fact Tyra mentioned a very famous supermodel that fell at a Vivienne Westwood show. I want to say that it was Naomi Campbell, but the picture was, uh, too dark for me to tell.
As I said before, I love watching people fall, so I thought I would really enjoy this segment. Unfortunately, it turned into one of the most painful things to watch on television. These girls were strapped in, and if they slipped in their shoes, they would basically be turning on their ankles. Some people were able to get through it OK. Sara, who must have been like seven feet tall in those things had no problem, and neither did Joanie, but she was a stripper and they were shoes like that a lot. Almost everybody else had trouble, including Danielle.
Watching Danielle walk in those shoes really hurt. She kept on slipping, and towards the end almost completely bit it. Like I said before, you kind of just rest on your ankles. How she still has any tendons inside her foot is beyond me. I sprained my ankle badly in one basketball game in my sophomore year of high school. I taped my ankle up just as a precaution the next two years. I felt like finding some ace bandage and a bucket of ice just watching this portion of the show. Having to get these screencaps is just killing me as well. You know Danielle would never complain about pain, having seen what her mom was going through, but she fell so many times, they actually had to have the medical staff look at her, and when the girls came back for the challenge Danielle was on crutches.
Not for the faint of heart
When it finally came around to judging, the panel had high praise for Jade, who they said was in control the whole time, and yet managed to be both strong and soft. She wasn’t great in the big heels, but after winning the roach challenge, she was clearly feeling good about herself. The other person who drew a lot of praise was Danielle. She might have been awful when it came to the walking, but she was performing. When she got up after nearly breaking her ankle, she had a smile on her face in front of the judges. That sort of attitude really impressed the judges, but of course Danielle is going to be happy when she gets up, as long as she doesn’t chip another tooth. Combined with her strong picture, she wasn’t going to go home. I thought Nigel was going to spooge himself when he saw Danielle’s picture, saying that “falling is her specialty”.
The rest of the criticisms were things we heard before. Nnenna and Mollie Sue need to show a little personality, and Sara had to be a little more aware of what was going around her. I still don’t see what they see in Brooke. Nigel says she has that thing that is wrong that makes her right, but we’ve seen that with other girls on the show, and the camera doesn’t seem to be loving Brooke as much as some of the others. But she is one of Nigel’s favorites, as is Leslie, who he called the hottest wolf he has seen in his life. I’m going to guess he hasn’t seen Scott Speedman in Underworld, or he wouldn’t be making such rash judgments. And while I am on the topic of Nigel’s favorites, I think he likes our stripper Joanie was well.
As the names were read off, it came down to a decision between Gina and Kari. Obvs, I usually dig what Tyra is wearing, but this time I have to say something, like WTF? This was worse than when we saw her wearing the same thing as Kennedy. The only thing I could think of was that she let those gay cowboys she had on her show dress her. Tyra in leather should be a beautiful thing, so I hope she makes up for it somehow.
Anyway, it came down to Kari and Gina like I said. I never thought Kari’s pictures were that good, but she had those lips that the judges love that kept her in it for the first couple of weeks. This time, however, we started to hear things from the judges saying that she needs to tone up a little bit, which in the modeling world means starve yourself so you can barely walk. Tyra tried to make is sound like losing weight was all about seeing the bone structure of your face, but we know it’s all about seeing the bone structure of your hips. Clearly she is not overweight by most standards but when you have to stand next to Furonda and Mollie Sue, who are like double zeroes when they’re bloated, you do start to look a little chubbs.
There was no wondering about why Gina was there. A top model requires confidence, which Gina is lacking, and even if you don’t have confidence, you have to fake it, especially when it comes to designers. Even if you are a super model, you are still trying to sell a look. When Gina couldn’t go on because of the cockroaches, I knew that she was going to be done. I was ready for Tyra to give the little speech about how Eva was scared of spiders, but was fine with the tarantulas, and how Nicole was scared of pooping birds, but managed to win after the pigeons.
But that’s not what happened.
I have not been a fan of Kari’s, but I guess they really saw something in Gina that Kari didn’t have (shoulder blades, one chin)and decided to go with potential and eliminate Kari. After her name was called, I don’t think Gina could believe it, so maybe knowing that the judges see something in her will help her confidence. That is not to say that Gina is long for this competition, because I don’t know how long people are going to deal with her immaturity and constant whining. I still think she is better than Furonda or Brooke.
They both sort of suck
What did you think of this week’s episode? Did Jade redeem herself?