'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Are You Ready to Stumble?
'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Are You Ready to Stumble?
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
It really was only a matter of time before Top Model ditched its new, more reserved, hoity-toity high fashion airs for Tyra's tried and true theatrics. Tonight, we got twice the insanity to make up for lost time: A conveyor belt (of love?) runway challenge AND a Mexican Wrestling photo shoot. It's like ANTM Christmas in October! (Sidenote: Imagine Tyra in a Santa suit. Terrifying.)

I feel like we should actually give Tyra some credit for waiting until episode 5 to really unleash the ridiculousness. That's a level of self-restraint I would not have expected, even with (fancy accent time) ITAAAALian VOOOHHgue on the line. But as a viewer and a blogger and a believer in the art of the screencap, all I have to say is: F***ING FINALLY.

Actually, that's not even close to all I have to say. TO THE RECAP!

The Runway Challenge:
... is just plain MEAN. Can't you just imagine the producers sitting in a back room giggling as they turned the knob on the "conveyor belt" runway up to 11 and then picked out four inch heels for each girl? It's just literal sabotage for the sake of (entertaining) television at that point. Where's Justin Bieber? Cuz these girls just got PUNK'D. Anyway, to make matters MEANER, they also brought back the male models (Hi, Kacey's crush!) to smoothly strut the airport-walkway-for-lazy-people in sneakers, between the girls, just to make extra sure the audience was aware of how awkward and terrible and ungraceful the girls were.

chelsey-runwayep5.jpgChelsey might as well change her name to Honkey Grandma, cuz she BE TRIPPIN'!

Liz's train on her dress turned her into a trainwreck, and she made matters worse by getting all blurrymouthed about it. The split-screen of her reenacting what happened as we watched what happened (because of how this is a reality show and everything gets filmed, and thus there is NO NEED FOR REENACTMENT) definitely helped all our understanding:

liz-splitscreen-ep5.jpg"And I was like ... wait, just watch the footage, right there, next to me. Just SEE what I was like!"

This challenge was stupid, pointless punishment orchestrated for the sake of seeing Kendal lose her shoe, Esther scream "Eeek!" and Liz proclaim she'd rather push another full grown fetus out of her hooha without the help of drugs than walk this runway again. It only weakly pretended to contain a lesson about modeling ("holding your composure" on a treadmill death trap, like that's useful or relevant), when really it was just an outright vehicle for the audience to laugh in the models' faces, and us to laugh along with them, and for that, I was a little insulted on the models' behalf. But the challenge also begot this series of screencaps, so you be the judge of whether it was all worth it:

chris-runwayep5-1.jpgWHOOOOO JESUS!


chris-runwayep5-3.jpgAAAAAND ... saved.

The answer is: DUH, yes. 

Later, Andre Leon Talley brings over Karolina Kurkova to talk to the girls about healthy eating. (And, as a pal o' mine pointed out, ALT conveniently bolted when the subject turned to food. "Capes are one size fits all," she reasoned.)

karolinakurkova-eating.jpg"Eating tip #1: Don't do it! Eating tip #2: Only eat disgusting things, so you're more likely to throw them up later! Or now! Eating tip #3: Eat as much sand, dust and air as you want. Those are FREEBIES! Eating tip #4: DON'T DO IT!"

Just kidding. Karolina's message is to eat veggie smoothies. (Because life is too short to eat ANYTHING but veggie smoothies. YUM!) And that even those of us with lightning speed metabolisms (ANN) shouldn't build our personal food pyramids on foundations of fried Oreos. 

For Karolina's sincere message about models and eating, read her Top Model interview. She's a sweet, smart lady with a good message for aspiring models, for real. Sorry to make fun, but "models + not eating" is the town square of Jokesville: UNAVOIDABLE.

Also unavoidable (apparently) on this season: Everyone fighting with Kacey. This week, Ol' Blurrymouth gets all blurry-mouthed in Kacey's face because she's mad that Kacey and Lexie were screaming at each other about bobby pins and old food on the counter and blah blah blah. It gets heated, but neither girl is actually nuts enough to take it to the next level. In reality show fight terms, I'd vote it a 2 for excitement (but an 8 for presence of cropped sweatpants!)

liz-blurrymouth.jpgTHAR SHE BLURS!

Photo Shoot: BODY (IMAGE) SLAM!
First of all, we need to revisit each of the Mexican wrestlers' descriptions. Someone in the Top Model captioning department was having a GRAND ol' sassy day!

chupacabra-ep5.jpgcrazychicken-ep5.jpgzokre-ep5.jpgshamujr-ep5.jpgIn the mental battle of which caption is the best, I'm torn between "galactic boy toy," because of how that is definitely Jay Manuel's OKCupid screen name, or "not really a whale," because THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP.

And then there's "fast food entrepreneur," which is some sort of dark indictment of the fast food industry. (Don't eat their chicken--it's CRAZY... crazy BAD FOR YOU!) And "goat eater" is a funny term, except that "chupacabra" literally means "goat SUCKER," which is an even funnier term. A near miss, ANTM captioner. Learn your lore.

The girls got all Avril Lavigned up to pretend to kick the Mexican wrestlers' asses, and earned some scary wrestler nicknames of their own (bestowed by yours truly):

liz-wrestling-ep5.jpgScream Mask

kendal-wrestlingep5.jpgWhitney Houston's Coke Days

esther-wrestlingep5.jpgKat Von D-mon (NOT a morning person)

From the overall premise down to the double photographers giving mixed directions to a bunch of clueless girls in multicolored wigs pretending to stomp on a bunch of old fat guys in leather, the photo shoot is a big bundle of crazy. Ann freaks out during her shot when she gets too much negative feedback (Including one of the best sentences in English: "Don't just stand there holding the chicken head.") and "cracks" (egg pun!) under the pressure. Chris recognizes that this sensitivity will ultimately be Ann's undoing.

BUT NOT TODAY. Oh, no. Not today. The gas leak that inspired Tyra to host a wrestling photo shoot in the first place has apparently still not been plugged up by judgment day, because the judges' being HIGH as KITES is the only logical explanation for what happens next.

Judging Panel
The madness starts when Tyra says this hair style works on Kayla:


But then, she gives Ann her FIFTH FOURTH BEST PHOTO IN A ROW for THIS:


The judges all rave about how Ann shouldn't sell herself short, because she's "creating magic" simply by just standing there. Not only that, but instead of giving her a tough-love pep-talk about how she shouldn't shut down during a photo shoot and, instead of worrying about disappointing people, she should just shake it off and deliver (a standard pep-talk from Tyra), Tyra actually SAYS: "I appreciate that she thought she was disappointing people. That's business." While I am an Ann fan, and am also truly dismayed to discover I care this much, I have to say: That is some serious, bold-faced favoritist bulls*** right there.

Ann owes whatever "magic" this photo possesses (which, if you ask me, is little to none) to her natural proportions, not any actual effort--which the judges sort of acknowledge, but in such an over-the-top praising way that they forget to fit in any real criticism about how she might, I don't know, DO SOMETHING in the next photo shoot. The message this sends is that the best models actually do nothing (and doesn't that make all of Tyra's "lessons" on how to model totally moot?). If she keeps getting first photo for just standing there and looking like she looks, without any constructive criticism about HOW and WHY she's achieving that and WHEN it might be more appropriate to try something else, well then ... they're really building her up for a big, messy fall in the end. There's "so wrong it's right," and then there's "so wrong it will eventually lose its impact and people will discover you don't actually know what you're doing." Not to mention: THIS IS NOT THE BEST PHOTO OF THE BUNCH. Just saying. I'm no Vogue editor like the illustrious ALT, but ... it isn't.

Anyway, Ann gets best photo for the fifth fourth time in a row (five episodes, four photo shoots ... I got confused)--a Top Model record. Chris gets runner-up, and is thrilled to the point of tears.

Then it comes down to Lexie and Jane in the bottom two. Tyra tells Lexie that some girls need "more practice" before they're Top Model material ("Practice? What practice?" - Ann) and sends her on her non-merry way, cursing Kacey's existence until the bitter (BITTER) end: "I wish them all the best ... all but one. I wish eight of them the best."

byelexie-ep5.jpgBye, Lexie!

Next Week: Ann bombs the Covergirl challenge ("Goliath, meet David") and the models do what looks like a Pretty Woman inspired photo shoot on Rodeo Drive.

Tell me:
What did you think of tonight's episode? Silly fun or silly nonsense? And do you agree that Ann shouldn't have gotten best photo this week? Surprised or sad to see Lexie go? (Got any questions for her?) Sound off in the comments!

(Images courtesy of the CW)