When we left them, the all-stars were reeling after a rare moment of kindness from La Toya Jackson saved either Lisa or Angelea from
elimination. "I was in the bottom two again. DAMN," says Angelea, who can't quite figure out when over-confidence helps or hurts in this competition. (Nobody can!)
The spirit of La Toya dies as soon as the models get out of the judging panel room, thanks to Bianca, who had a REALLY bad week, but refuses to give an inch. She's a six-foot lightning rod ... if lightning rods actively tried to stand under thunderstorms and electrify their enemies. Bianca barks something egomaniacal about how she "deserves to be here." Lisa smacks her gum like, "No one is arguing that you don't deserve to be here, though we could raise a pretty solid case for why you shouldn't be, based on your increasingly threatening behavior and long-term anger issues." Being an all-star means not having to speak to get your point across.
The "Charity" Challenge: Powder Puff Fluff
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Nigel meets the girls on the beach, with some random friends in tow: Brittny Gastineau, a model and socialite I've never heard of but who is apparently very fancy and important, and Julie Henderson, a "Fiercely Real" supermodel, are here for the all-stars' "charity challenge." Henderson apparently started a charity of her own, but the show glazes over it so quickly that I didn't even hear the name. That's how much Top Model
The challenge is as pointless as it is confusing: They're playing flag football, along with the help of the eliminated all-stars (who get almost ZERO airtime, booooo!) and some NFL players, who are each here to earn money for their chosen charities (and probably as some sort of punishment from their coaches). Each team gets two NFL players to climb all over, and the winning team gets $5,000 ... to split between their NFL players' chosen charities. Talk about INCENTIVE. Also, there's a haphazard photo element, because an all-star has to be ready for ANYTHING. When the "ref" throws a flag some of the models have to stop and pose for a photographer. And the girl who gets the best photo gets some free jewelry? I'm really sorry for the word "charity" for being associated with this.
Lisa and Bianca are on opposing teams, of course. Lisa has Kayla, who's motivated to win "because I'm a lesbian, and we all have to win at sports." I think she's joking. I hope she's joking. "My goodness, we are looking like football players!" Nigel says when the girls emerge in half-shirts and bikini briefs. Remember, he's British.
And so ... they play some football. But really, it just looks like a game of blurry Sand Tag.
The all-stars run around and slam into each other for a while, and then a flag gets thrown, and it's PHOTO CHALLENGE time! Each girl takes turns posing all over one of the NFL players while Nigel yells nonsensical things like, "Sporty!" "Tough!" "Give me groupie!"
(Give me groupie? How are they supposed to get to a hotel room in time?!) Thanks to this photo shoot, the Black Eyed Peas are no longer the worst halftime show I've ever seen.
With four seconds left in the game, one of the Blue Team NFL players scores a touchdown, and the Blue Team wins. "The fun and games are OVER," declares Nigel. As if they ever began. After deliberating, he decides that the winner of "Most Valuable Model" is ... Kayla.
She wins some "sick jewelry," and her photo will appear on Tyra's TypeF.com, her fashion website about how to embrace your individual beauty by dressing exactly as she tells you. Stupid "challenge" gets an appropriately stupid "prize."
A very effusive, jovial Chinese field worker is on hand to help Kayla for her TypeF.com photo shoot. Oh, no. It's just Andre.
Andre's "casual Friday" look
During the shoot, Tyra also appears, giving Kayla HER feedback in a picture-in-picture "Tyra Cam." And by "feedback," I mean she screams and makes stupid faces for no reason.
Between Andre's outfit and Tyra's tiny screaming, I'm so distracted that I cannot focus on Kayla's modeling. I guess that's fitting for this cycle, which isn't about modeling and never has been, but tonight's episode feels even more like a cracked-out Japanese game show than usual. The last fragments of logic and purpose are falling away. It's disconcerting.Photo Shoot: "Good Ol' Fashioned Bitch Fight"
The models arrive at a bar, and Jay explains today's photo shoot: It's a good old fashioned bitch bar fight! Since models are always fighting, why not make the violence artsy and cool? They're posing in pairs with the PHENOMENAL Coco Rocha, modern model royalty. She's going to kick their asses, in both senses.
Shannon and Bianca, who have real "beef" off set (Remember their fight last week? And by "fight," I mean how Bianca mumbled under her breath, and Shannon burst into tears? TWICE?) pose with Coco first. It's hard to tell if they're fighting Coco, or fighting OVER Coco, or fighting each other and Coco is breaking them up? Not important. The important thing is that Bianca looks terrifying.
She's harnessing her natural beautiful monster. This might be her best shoot yet, especially next to Shannon, because, as my viewing buddy Carla notes, "Everything Shannon touches turns to CSPAN."
Allison and Kayla's shoot is "kind of embarrassing to watch," says Jay, because Coco is a professional, and it looks like there are "two amateurs dangling on her arms." It looks like that because that is what is happening. Shockingly, Kayla outshines Allison. Those doe eyes don't work so well when the goal of the shoot is unbridled aggression.
Angelea openly admits that she's "really scared" and "intimidated" by Coco. It's knocking her off her game, and Jay notices her lack of energy immediately. Her shoot with Laura is very Matrix, with Laura getting thrown through the air and falling to a pad on the floor. Angelea looks "half asleep," says Jay. Uh oh. She's been in the bottom two twice in a row, and this could be the beginning of strike three. Angelea runs off, mid-photoshoot, and starts crying. Angelea: "I'm trying, but it seems like no matter what I do, it's not good enough." Aw, girl. Jay gives Angelea a pep talk about believing in herself and loving herself enough to give herself what she wants. "Maybe I AM beautiful!" she declares. It's cheesy but adorable; no hate from me. With that, Angelea then goes back to the shoot and grimaces and screams bloody murder like a pro. True beauty.
Speaking of confidence ... here's Alexandria! "This is my chance to get number one ... or number two," she says, the only all-star who's OK with second-best. (She's been middling-to-low since she got here, so second-best would be her personal best.) Bre acts completely mental in their play-fighting photo shoot, screaming "Nooooo!" over and over to try to capture the spirit of the bitch fight. Instead, it's just really loud and obnoxious (which, I suppose, is kind of the spirit of a bitch fight). It's like the two all-stars are on loop: Bre kicks, Alexandria screams, Bre screams, Alexandria writhes, repeat. Coco is caught in the middle, and flabbergasted.
My thoughts exactly.
"I've never worked with someone like that," she says about Bre. It even threw Coco off her modeling. That probably won't go over well at judging.
Coco, Lisa and Dominique, meanwhile, make the "perfect trio," says Jay. They manage to look dramatic without yelling like they're in a haunted house, so I guess that's "perfect" by comparison to Bre and Alexandria.
Apparently it's Movie Costume night! Tyra is dressed like Gordon Gecko.
Andre is dressed like Morpheus.
And Lisa is dressed like Robocop.
Funnnn! Every week is Halloween week on Top Model
.Kayla and Allison's Photo:
Despite their terrible feedback during the shot, the judges love it. Andre calls their shot "cinematic." Coco looks like a matador, and Kayla looks like she has a "fear of death." Coco reveals that while Allison looks great, she "wasn't expecting" this solid shot. I don't understand why the judges are so in love with Allison's gaping mouth and confused look in this shot, but I don't care, because I love Allison.Shannon and Bianca's Photo:
Nigel says Bianca is "exquisite" and believable. Coco is "the master of ugly pretty," he says, and the other girls are following suit. Shannon got upstaged (what else is new?) and her legs "look weak," says Andre. Bianca looks like a "predatory praying mantis," says Andre.Angelea and Laura's Photo:
Angelea is "the beautiful bride of Frankenstein," says Tyra. Coco reveals that even though Angelea "had a moment," she turned it around quickly and professionally. Laura's energy isn't "modelesque," says Tyra. Um, maybe because she's being thrown through the air?Bre and Alexandria's Photo:
"This looks like some reality show contestant who got to do a photo shoot with a supermodel," says Tyra of Alexandria. HAHAHAHA. Way to call a spade a spade without actually calling it a spade. It just looks like
a spade. Coco says that Bre's screaming was "too much" during the shoot, and Nigel says the end result is too slapstick.Lisa and Dominique's Photo:
Dominique looks like she's controlling the shot. Andre says it's like "a still from Kill Bill 12." In a good way, I guess. Coco calls them hard workers. Nigel loves this photo of Lisa, but notes that her mouth is open in "literally every frame." Luckily for Lisa, "here, it works." From her photo to her chic Judging outfit, the judges call Dominique a "rising star."Elimination
"This week was interesting [no, it wasn't] because you all had a photo shoot where you were fighting each other," says Tyra. "It was a physical fight, and a figurative fight ... because you're fighting for your spot in this competition."
Thanks for spelling it out, Professor. We're all so new to this. Best Photo: DOMINIQUELisa
LauraBottom Two: BRE and ALEXANDRIA
Tyra compares two of their "most popular" girls from past seasons. (Alexandria was popular?) Bre is a stunning woman, but "feels guarded." She wasn't guarded in this shoot, but it didn't come across in the film. Meanwhile, Alexandria's photos were strong last season, but "from week to week this cycle, you're losing your competitive edge. You're gettin soft." Eliminated: BRE
WHAT?! This is PREPOSTEROUS. I guess it's appropriate that Alexandria's Movie Night outfit makes her looks like she just escaped from Shawshank, because she just escaped JUSTICE in the ANTM
Or maybe she's Amish? Like in Witness? Alright, ANTM fans, it's time for some real talk:
Is it just me, or was this episode a complete, uninspiring mess? From that haphazard, hectic and ugly football "charity challenge" to Bre getting eliminated over Alexandria, I just couldn't make heads or tails of any of it. I could barely even laugh at it, because I was too busy wondering what any of it had to do with anything else. Am I the crazy one, or is Tyra? Let's hope our relationship gets back to normal (they act insane but at least PRETEND to make sense, and I make fun of them but at least PRETEND it's real modeling) next week. Speaking of next week:
Kathy Griffin comes to town, something involving motorcycles, a fragrance creation competition in a bathtub (wha?) and drama between Bianca and Alexandria. Bianca will say, "Call me when you become an all-star!" Ha! Bitchy, yet ... I see her point.
(Images courtesy of CW)