'America's Next Top Model: British Invasion' Recap: All Bottled Up
'America's Next Top Model: British Invasion' Recap: All Bottled Up
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Last week on Top Model: Tyra eliminated Eboni, and Alisha eliminated herself, which left one American, Laura, and two Brits, Sophie and Annaliese, in the running to become the next red carpet correspondent at the Kids' Choice Awards for Extra!

This week, the final three girls are still in Hong Kong, where they're all still reeling from that traumatizing panel where Alisha offed herself. You know, for a minute. Then they shake it off and bask in the glory of being #1, #2 and #3! Laura spins it even better, now that the only other American girl is gone: "I'm technically #1 on the American side." It's good practice for after the show, when padding that resume will really become essential.

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The TYRA MAAAAAIL comes, and the girls learn they're doing go-sees. Laura starts yelling and complaining about how much she hates go-sees. In photo shoots, she's been accused of being an overconfident sex maniac, but when it comes to her walk, she's insecure. Will it be her undoing?

The Challenge: Go See, Get Paid

To get to the area of Hong Kong where they'll be goin' and seein', the girls board a sketchy, cramped-looking ferry.  And, even worse... Noooo! Get off the boat! IT'S A TRAP!

Oh, it's just Kelly Cutrone.

kelly-antmep11.jpgPR Maven; Angry Sea Monster


Glad to see how much effort Kelly puts in. Since she's in public relations. And on a TV show. And the TV show is about modeling. Every piece of this puzzle just fits together so well.

Anyway, Kelly explains that the girls will each go on four go-sees, and for each that they book, they will get $1000 in Hong Kong money! So if they book all four go-sees, they get $4000HK!!! And that's ... almost $500 in American dollars. Oh. It sounded a lot more exciting before the conversion.

Kelly then lets three terrified Chinese men out of the closet, whom she has stolen from their families to accompany the girl on their go-sees  as their companions, bodyguards and translators.

Sophie gets to her first appointment with a designer named William Tang, who is stoic and discerning, but he decides that he likes her "in a way." He doesn't think that Laura's walk is "stable" enough. Annaliese discovers that being the only black girl left in the competition has its own edge, as William loves her entire look, and smiles as he remembers Annaliese's amazing "flair."

I feel like I've seen the designer from "House of Siren" before. Is this him? His clothes are loud, over-the-top, and stupid, but at least he's crazy about Sophie. Meanwhile, Annaliese goes to the house of "Spy," who asks her to walk three times -- not a great sign. Maybe his heinous arm-length leather red gloves threw her off.

At her second booking, Laura looks good in the clothes, but yet again fails to impress with her walk. Annaliese has just the right "nutty bananas" goodness for House of Siren ... which puts her in a bikini with actual bananas all over it. Again, his clothes are awful. But he LOVES her! The only one that the House of Siren guy doesn't love is ... surpriiiise! ... Laura, who, again, gets the critique that she's great in the clothes, but her walk needs work.

Meanwhile, over at Spy, Sophie has booked another job with her sexy, confident walk. Laura, too, books Spy -- based mostly on her look and portfolio. The fourth designer at "Nude is Rude" (worst label name ever or WORST LABEL NAME EVERRRR?) loves Sophie, and loves Annaliese even more.

The results:

After the race, Kelly meets the girls and her hostages on the Hong Kong junk boat where Bachelorette Ashley had an awkward dinner date that one time! (Anyone else remember that? Just me? God, my life is depressing.)

Laura booked two of her four jobs. Annaliese booked three. And, ching chong bing bong (that's the offensive Chinese drum roll music playing in the background) ...

Sophie booked ALL FOUR jobs. Not only does she win almost $500, but she'll be the FACE of "Nude is Rude" for a whole year. Who wouldn't want to have their face plastered all over Hong Kong's floating cat-covered digital singing billboards with such an amazing collection of expensive jersey ponchos? That honor is priceless.

Kelly then tells the girls that their extra prize is a night on the town with their Asian boy-servants ... which apparently the show did NOT pay for, so Sophie ends up spending her junkboat winnings in about five minutes on shots. What a magical day.

Photo Shoot: I'm Trapped in a Glass Coffin Dressed Like a Piece of Bubblegum, What a DREAM COME TRUE!

Jay greets the girls for this week's photo shoot, which is to pimp shill choke on PROMOTE the exclusive America's Next Top Model fragrance, "Dream Come True." They'll be literally trapped inside a gigantic bottle, a la Jasmine in Jafar's hourglass of evil in Aladdin. But, you know, this one isn't filled with sand. And this shoot's theme is PINK and CUTE and OMG FAIRYTALE MAGIC!!! Ben Bennett, the head of some beauty company, is there to be the pretty, olive-skinned, effeminate yin to Jay Manuel's yang.

Laura is nervous about how important this shoot is, especially since she didn't do so hot in the challenge. But she's not comfortable pretending to be a Barbie. "I used to burn the heads off of my Barbie dolls," she says. A life of healthy decisions, this one.

With her cute pixie waif-ness, Sophie seems build for this shoot, and she looks adorable on set, but Ben Bennett is extremely withholding at the end, saying that "there were some good things," but she came off as repetitive.

Annaliese looks gorgeous and different and fashion-forward modern princess, but starts off flat when she should be excited. Which is weird, because she's normally so vivacious. It's like her emotions are ALL BOTTLED UP. Like she felt TRAPPED. Like she was STUCK. But then she loosens and opens up by the end and gets some good shots.

Laura can't stop saying, "I'm not a princess," so she simply can't muster the emotion when she gets on set, and gives less Christina's "Genie in a Bottle" and more Xtina's "Dirrrty" in her photos. Most of her photos are too raunchy to work, but she looks so gorgeous that I bet they got some decent shots in between her actual poses.

From the wings, Annaliese decides that America's Next Top Model needs to be a role model to a lot of young girls, and Laura is too much "sex, sex, sex" to be deemed a good role model by the judges and win.

Unfortunately, I can immediately think of three arguments against that theory: 1. Adrienne Curry, 2. Lisa D'Amato, and 3. Tyra Banks.

Jay's worried, though: "Today's shoot may knock Laura out of being in the top two."

Judging

The photographer, whose name I never bothered to catch, is this week's guest judge.

Even when it's down to just three girls, Annaliese and Sophie get to stand together, and Laura has to stand all the way across the stage in front of the American flag. Which she's decided to honor, oh so patriotically, with a Bret Michaels headband that just screams, "REBEL WITHOUT A JOB." 

laura-headband.jpgNow, then. Time to peep those photos!

laura-america-s-next-top--4.jpgLaura: Nigel LOVES it! He calls her ethereal. The photographer loves his own shot and calls Laura a "goddess." Kelly hates it as an ad, and thinks Laura looks more like an ad for a plastic surgeon than she does an idol for teen girls. Tyra also worries that it's a good shot, but not for "the target demo."

annaliese-america-s-next-top--3.jpgAnnaliese: Kelly decides that she forgives Annaliese for how she used to hate Annaliese for no reason. How magnanimous of her. The shot looks too muscular and lacks Annaliese's presence, Nigel says. The photographer loves that she didn't give up, though. Tyra: "I'm feeling a little bit Michelle Obama meets Serena Williams meets..." and then I tune her out, because girl's just naming muscular black ladies now just because Annaliese's bicep is slightly pronounced. Anyway, the judges end up ambivalent about Annaliese's shot, but they unequivocally love HER as a person.

sophie-america-s-next-top--2.jpgSophie: Kelly thinks it's youthful, but could be more fun, like if Sophie hiked up her poofy skirt and kicked up her heels. (Which, if she'd done that, Kelly would have criticized for looking immature and not ethereal enough because KELLY HATES EVERYTHING.)

Tyra says, "Myself, Kelly and my twins here have to deliberate," and I thought she was talking about her BOOBS! But she's actually talking about the bald, British guys to her left. Who do kinda look and act like boobs. Two shiny, pretty, just kinda hangin' out boobs.

In deliberation, the judges debate whether Laura's photo would appeal to older women or teens. (Normal older women? No.) Everyone loves Annaliese's personality, but the photographer thinks there was no personality in the photo. (I DISAGREE.) Nigel thinks Sophie's photo was too much like, "Ohhh, I'm a priiiincess! Ohhh, I'm a fairy!" By the way: If someone were to, by chance, send me a clip or GIF of Nigel's princess fairy dance, THAT WOULD MAKE MY DAY! (meghan@buddytv.com, please and thank you.)

Elimination

Tyra hands out the first photo to...

sophie1-ep11finalist.jpgFirst Finalist: SOPHIE

So it's down to Laura or Annaliese. They love how Laura zigs when others zag ... but that might be why she can't seem to walk straight enough to get a booking.

Meanwhile, Annaliese has an amazing personality, but this is not America's Next Top Personality. Oh, and she can model pretty well, too. But not well enough, apparently.

laura2-ep11finalist.jpgSecond Finalist: LAURA

You didn't really think they'd let two British girls finish out a show whose name has British AND America in the title, did you? But Laura's photo comes with a warning: that she has a lot of work to do in the art of walking.

Tyra hugs Annaliese and tells her that she's a STAR, so she better go after it. Annaliese leaves with her head held high, feeling proud that she can do a lot more than she initially thought, and knowing that Kelly finally came around on her.

Next Week: Well! It's come down to one British girl and one American girl, JUST AS WE PREDICTED. And it's the two volatile blondes in the running, Laura and Sophie. Who do you think should win? Who do you think WILL win? (And did I see that preview right? Will Laura pass out at the final runway show? Ahh!)

(Images courtesy of CW)

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