Tonight: The models make their "signature fragrances," and then pose as either Snooki or Nene Leakes on the back of a motorcycle, thus completing their symbolic transformation from mild-mannered model cocoons into fully-formed, blood-sucking reality star butterfly-monsters.
Lisa notes that the house is going to get "interesting" now that Bianca's "bodyguard" Bre is gone. Alexandria and Shannon both make Elimination Watch-worthy speeches about how they are floundering in their photos (as if THAT matters!). Alexandria is upset that Tyra said her photo looked like a "reality star" (haaa, I still love how meta-stupid-true that is), while Shannon is offended that the judges want her to look less "safe," because she thinks that means she should be raunchy, and that offends her pure, good, Christian, boring "brand."
Bianca is still stirring the pot, this time with Alexandria. They get into a non-starter about who-knows-what. The only important things about this mini-fight are A) that Bianca yelled, "Call me when you become an all-star!" and B) Alexandria's face:
Weird. When did Angelina Jolie's character in Girl, Interrupted get here?
Later, Kayla and Bianca tell each other their strengths and weaknesses: Bianca says Kayla is a great model, but has no personality ... that shines through. (That pause was suspicious.) Meanwhile, Bianca is memorable, but mostly because she's a complete bitch, and Kayla says "bitches never win." Bianca: "In WHOSE world?" Thus begins Bianca's truth-telling crusade this evening. She knows, just like we know, that we're in Tyra's world, where bitches OFTEN win -- or at least get second place.The Challenge: Eau de Toilet
Nigel meets the girls on the top of a hotel for literally no reason to tell them they'll be creating their own "signature fragrance" for this challenge. Nigel promises that the winner's perfume will actually get MADE. But he doesn't specify how it will get made (in his basement) or where it will be sold (in the canteen stores of women's prisons).
Lisa decides to call her fragrance Neon,
which isn't a terrible name, especially for her brand (what is it again? "Psychotic"?) But what does "neon" smell like? That sounds like something only someone on an acid-trip could answer. Shannon's fragrance is called Smitten
-- or is it "SMITE-en"? Allison, angel of my life, decides hers will be called Honey Blood
If it smells like honey and blood and has her creepy-chan face on the bottle, I will buy no less than a BILLION bottles.
Kayla and Bianca both show off their bottomless creativity by calling their fragrances by the branding words they were given, "Free" and "Candid." I can see owning a fragrance named Free
, but Candid
? How do you market a fragrance named Candid
? "Candid ... smell unprepared." "Candid ... they can smell you, but you don't know it."
Plus, any fragrance by Bianca will just smell like rage, no matter what she puts in it. Candid
probably smells exactly like that moment when Naomi Campbell punched that cop at the airport. No thank you.
Alexandria calls her scent Diamondatrix
, not realizing that sounds like something a hooker would buy out of a vending machine. She then spends 20 minutes picking out the perfect mixture of top, middle and bottom notes. (Baby powder, brisket, and despair.) Everyone claps when she's done making her magic potion of potent prostitution, like "FINALLY!" I hope they all clap like that when she gets eliminated, too.
Scents now selected, the models then await the next step of the challenge: And it wouldn't be a fake fragrance creation challenge without a fake FRAGRANCE LAUNCH PARTY!
The once-"models" are each put at stations where they must interact with fans and sell them on their fragrance ... while swimming around in a bathtub. Bianca immediately hates this idea. She's fine with being on a reality show (twice) whose very name has become a synonym for "silly garbage." She's fine with making up hot dog creations, and with pretending to act near a fake dead body, and with lampooning Michael Jackson's memory, and with picking petty fights all over the place on national television, but sitting in a bathtub to sell perfume? That is where she DRAWS THE LINE!
I make fun of Bianca's complete inconsistency with how she chooses to conduct herself, but still ... she has a point: This bathtub thing IS pretty humiliating. If someone is going to be in a bathtub at a fragrance launch party, it should NOT be the person whose name is on the bottle. It should be a skanky nameless "spokesmodel" that you hire on craigslist the day before the party. Because that sh*t is degrading.
But Bianca goes about proving her point all wrong: "Tyra would never sit in a bath tub and sell her perfume. Absolutely not. Do you see how she conducts herself? She's a business woman. She's a LADY." No, Bianca. If I've learned anything from my time within these recaps, it's that Tyra will do anything
. But the trick is that she'll also
find a way to spin it so that it sounds inspirational and meaningful. So if she REALLY wants to be like Tyra, Bianca should get in that tub and sell the damn perfume, but then also take the opportunity to rap at her young fans about positive body image and smelling for success.
Eva, the Top Model
winner better known for being the host of the amazing HAIR BATTLE SPECTACULAR
, is in the house to fake-interview the models about their fragrances. We see her for about two seconds, and then it's time for the models to rub-a-dub-degrade themselves in the tub.
Do I look like a lifestyle magnate yet? Look, now I'm splashing like a baby would! How about now?
Allison attempts to relate to her fans what Honey Blood
means: "Whimsical, mysterious, like a safe place to go." So, like ... Hogwarts? And then it hits me: Allison is totally Luna Lovegood.
Lisa turns her bathtub into a private rave. Nigel once again gives his typical Lisa analysis: "Whatever you think of Lisa ... she makes a splash!" (Yuck, yuck.) I, too, go back and forth between loving and being tired of her constant antics, but tonight Lisa's whole message is "FUN!" and that's something I can get behind. This cycle could use a lot more of it.
Bianca refuses to get in the tub -- she's trying to act professional, but she just comes off as stuffy and uptight, which are basically the opposite of "candid." Even proper Nigel jumps into Shannon's pool, but Bianca won't budge, repeatedly saying it's "not her thing." Well, it was nice knowing you, Bianca. (Actually, you know what? No, it wasn't, really. You can be VERY mean sometimes!)The Winner:
One model will see her perfume manufactured and sold "nation wide" (in Grocery Outlets?) and that winner is ... LISA!
This also means that Lisa is immune from elimination tonight. I never seriously considered this before, but could Lisa actually win this thing? Now that the show isn't about modeling anymore, she's actually a competitor. The Photo Shoot: Wild Hogs
"Tonight's shoot is a night shoot!" says Jay. "Tyra came up with SUCH a great idea to help you step out of your comfort zone." (Have they ever been IN their comfort zone this cycle?) For the shoot, they'll be riding on the back of a motorcycle, holding on to a burly guy who looks straight out of Sons of Anarchy
. And each girl will do this while channeling one of two reality stars, both role models of grace, class and beauty in their own way: Snooki from Jersey Shore
or Nene Leakes from The Real Housewives of Atlanta
(a show that is horrible and trashy and that comes back next week OMG yesssss!!!). Seriously, those are their only two options? Unhinged sassy lady-Hulk or roly-poly slutty pumpkin? Personally, I'd rather be Nene, so I could yell, "I'M RICH, BITCH!" like she did on Celebrity Apprentice
. But I do that anyway. Moving on.
So Tyra has gone from criticizing Alexandria last week for looking like a trashy reality star, to assigning "trashy reality star" as the goal for a shoot. Alexandria realizes this and is understandably frustrated. I mean...
Being asked to embody this... ...makes a model feel like this.
Nevermind that these girls are the "all-stars," meaning they are better known as reality stars than as models, anyway. This shoot has layers I won't even bother unpacking, because it's too stupid and not worth the effort. I'm mostly just disappointed that Snooki and Nene aren't present to give workshops on how to act like them. ("Here's how you get up in someone's face and tell them to mind their business." "Here's how you flash your kookah in the club." "Here's how you pee out of a car window." And cetera.)
The girls have a hard time figuring out how to pose in the shoot. How do you ride a motorcycle, and look like you want to kill/hump/snort everything in sight, and also be a "model"? "I was trying to give Snooki in the face," says Kayla, thereby being inadvertently disgusting, which is very Snooki.
Laura takes the "hostage" approach...
Of all the girls, you might think Angelea would be the best at portraying a loud-mouthed reality star, but she seems one of the most subdued during her shoot. Lisa, meanwhile, has the double advantage of being immune AND being a convincing character actress,. She's never seen The Real Housewives of Atlanta
, but portrays Nene better than most of the girls, just off of what she learned about her from Bianca -- before Bianca "remembered it's a competition" and shut herself up.
Speaking of Bianca: Once again, she believes she is above the challenge. And, once again, she has a valid point, because this shoot is completely idiotic, but I just want to jump into my TV and ask, "WHAT ELSE DID YOU EXPECT?" For her portrayal of Snooki, Bianca requests a jar of pickles (Snooki's favorite food), and then refuses to give any of them to Shannon, who wants to hold one in her shoot, or Allison, who's merely hungry. What are you, DEAD INSIDE? Give the poor, hungry ghost girl a freaking pickle to munch on. She's wasting away before our very eyes!
In a delicious, briny twist of fate, it ends up being a good thing for Shannon and Allison that Bianca was so selfish, because Jay hates the pickle. Every way Bianca tries to wield it, it's too raunchy and phallic. And she does try to wield it in every
The AROUND THE HEAD pickle nibble!
Snooki may be shameless, but she's not "pose with a dill-scented dick" shameless.
More than anything, Jay feels embarrassed for Alexandria, whose only Nene move is wagging her finger ... but at whom? "You're on the back of a bike! Who are you waving that thing at?" (That's what she said?) Alexandria looks like an SNL
character that would have been outdated 20 years ago. Shannon's "wild side" consists of putting her hand behind her head. It's a good thing the biker wasn't actually driving, because she would have put him to sleep, even though he couldn't see her.Judging and Deliberation
Kathy Griffin is tonight's guest judge (YAAAAY!), and she surprises the models by standing in Tyra's spot and doing a little monologue about how Tyra was fired and Kathy's her replacement. Then Tyra comes out and Kathy says, "How did you get out of your dressing room?" It's nice to see a little bit of mixing-it-up at judging, but they should have pushed the skit even further by actually locking Tyra in the dressing room. Kathy, we've seen you better.
Tyra explains the photo shoot again, and it sounds even stupider than before, especially because the judges continue to use the reality stars' names throughout the critiques, like: "Our next Nene is..." "I don't want you to just BE Nene..." and "I'm loving the Nene's cheekbones." Laura
both get good critiques about channeling Nene. The judges actually like Alexandria
's finger-wagging, because it's embracing the "caricature" nature of the shoot. (In that it is cliche.) Tyra doesn't think she looks tough enough, but Andre likes Alexandria and thinks she is improving.Lisa
's photo shows off her strong bone structure. Nigel has been hardest on Lisa in the past, but this week he loves her shot and can't find anything to criticize. Maybe because her legs are finally closed in this one.Kayla
doesn't look "Snooki" enough, says Kathy. "I wish it had more of Snooki's ... hot mess." Basically, if you look pretty and classy, you failed. With Lisa in his good graces, Kayla is Nigel's new least favorite all-star. He calls her forgettable. In deliberation, Kathy compares Kayla's photo to "Paris just out of prison." She channeled the wrong trashy famous-for-nothing girl. DAMMIT.Dominique
's photo is fine, but in deliberation Nigel gets catty about how she wears too much makeup. Allison
's photo is awkward, but Tyra "feels the Snooki energy." It's like Allison is a model trying to look like Snooki, who's trying to look like a model. VERY existential. I expect no less from brilliant Allison.
's Snooki shot, "there's something kind of fun about how she's passed out on a guy," says Kathy. You can't really see the pickle, which was probably intentional on Jay's part. It looks more like a cigar in the shot that the judges chose.
Nigel then asks Bianca about why she refused to sell perfume from a tub. "You wouldn't see Beyonce selling her perfume in a bathtub," she says. Tyra's psychic powers tell her that Bianca's main defense was that Tyra herself
would never do the challenge, and lays down the lecture: "You're not Beyonce. And if I was you, and that was the assignment, I would DO IT." In deliberation, Kathy gives a little speech about how Bianca doesn't "know her place," and knowing her place is why she called her TV show My Life on the D-List.
So, just so I'm sure I'm getting this right: "Know your place" and do what you're told, even if you feel that it degrades you, and then you'll become rich and be able to call your own shots later? Good lesson for all the young girls out there, ladies.Shannon
isn't bringing enough sizzle in her shot. Again. Tyra loves her conviction -- in person -- but her photos are still just bleh.
Before the girls hear their fate, Tyra says, "It's time for the judges to deliberate, and decide who's not going to be in our motorcycle club anymore." CAN YOU IMAGINE being in a motorcycle club with Andre Leon Talley, Tyra Banks, Nigel Barker and Kathy Griffin? The thought of Tyra at the helm of a hog fills me with terror (you know she'd rev the crap out of that thing and then laugh maniacally, like, ALL THE TIME), but I'd love to see Andre as a leather daddy. EliminationBest Photo: LISA!
Even though she was immune from elimination, Lisa still gave a "fabulous" Nene, of course. Lisa is a caricature in her own right. That shoot was her cake walk.Second Best: Angelea
Even though her shoot didn't seem that amazing, the result was a photo that showed off her beauty while still giving solid Nene vibes. Oh God, the second half of that last sentence is disgusting.
DominiqueBottom Three: Shannon, Kayla and Bianca
Tyra only has ONE photo in her hands, which means it's a double elimination. Sidenote first: Tyra, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?
Is that a black button-down under a leather bustier? WHAT.
OK, time for the triple critique. Tyra to Shannon: She's stunning, but she's "too safe to stand out." Kayla: She used to stand out, but now she seems "watered down," like she's "melting away." Bianca: She used to be "so strong," and she's professional, but the judges fear that she's not comfortable.Eliminated: Kayla and Bianca
WHAT? Of all those three, Tyra chose to save SHANNON? That honestly shocks me. Choosing the boring, old girl over the adorable lesbian and the psycho-diva? We're really going off book now. Tyra! Think of the
Kayla says she wishes she'd won, but she learned a lot and is proud of what she did. As she should be. Bianca says her experience was amazing, and she's going to continue being candid. Which is GREAT NEWS for us, because I'm talking to both girls on Friday. Have a question for Kayla or Bianca? Most of the time the questions don't come in until after I've interviewed the girls, but this week you've got until Friday morning to post it in the comments. Make it count!Next Week:
The models will star in their own music videos, directed by The Game. Allison will freak out because she can't sing, and Angelea's video will be one for the BOOKS! (The So Bad It's Hilarious Books.)
(Images courtesy of CW)