The girls have/get to walk with professional models in a runway show for Zac Posen's fall collection, "Z. Spoke." (But what did Z.
? Cliffhanger!) The stakes are high, as Zac Posen is an actual BFD in the fashion world, and there are actual people with actual peepballs who will be watching them walk and judging them against the pro models.
To make matters worse/waaaaaay more interesting and delicious, J. Alexander instructs the pro models to be total bitches to the
noobs. One of the models tells Ann that she's lucky to be on
, because she's not Zac's "normal type." (Translation: "You're a weirdo!") Ann doesn't need anyone to psyche her out. She does it well enough on her own, and anyone who's ever talked to her or seen her pulse beating in her eyeballs could tell. But, clearly relishing the assignment, one of the pros decides to super-psyche out Ann just for the hell of it.
PSYCHED OUT TO THE MAX! Poor Ann. The girl is already the crumbliest cookie in the jar. "Here, crumble some MORE!" But since it's make believe, it's OK to laugh, right? Because I did. Outloud. Heartily. There's a great David Sedaris line about how fake violence is even more twisted than real violence because of the psychological fake-out: "I'm going to hurt you
." That's what this feels like, especially with Ann. It's like seeing someone fake-kick a scared little bunny. So mean and so unexpected but not actually harmful, so you can't help but let out a laugh-gasp. Plus, I'm bitchy about these girls for a living. So duh, how could I not LOVE THIS?
This girl didn't know that she was dishing her sh*t to the queen of snark. OH NO DON'T EVEN GRRRRRRL!
"If I had a chance I would have put my foot so far ... she would have been hurting." - Chris
On the runway, Kayla and Chelsey look the most like real models. Jane looks beautiful (because that's her face) but uncomfortable. Liz has Snooty Chin Syndrome, and Chris's steps are a little too short. By far the worst at walking (which, let's all take a step back, regain some perspective and recall, is SO HARD) are Esther, who just got her hip replaced and looks like she's still on that g-d treadmill from the last runway, and Ann, who looks like someone trained a deer to walk on its hindlegs (in front of an oncoming semi).
Chelsey wins the challenge, and five looks from the "Z. Spoke" collection, and then Miss J makes the mistake of telling the models that the professionals were only pretending to be bitches. "Just kidddding! Everyone here is super duper nice always!" Noooooo. Boooooo. First of all, that can't be true. I've seen the way Kate Moss pretends she can smile even though her heart was amputated to fit into a corset ten years ago. ("Yes, please take it. I wasn't using it anyway.") And second of all, it would have been much more fun if this experience had tainted their entire view of the modeling world before they even got half a foot in the door, which then would make some of them (the sweet ones) decide that perhaps this cutthroat industry isn't actually the right fit for them, and they'd rather be teachers and nurses, because at least then they'd get some respect. BOOM, you just got incepted into being public servants, models! (Inception
jokes ARE SO still funny. Shut up.)Commercial:
Tonight is a double anti-Ann whammy, as the girls will be shooting a "commercial" for a "product" named "H2T," described as "beauty and energy water." ("H2T" is Tyra's word for "head to toe," in case you don't hate yourself as much as I do, and there aren't enough sarcastic air quotes in the WORLD.) And how can I feel beautiful and energetic if the name/concept/color of your "water" is making me barf almost constantly? But I don't have time to engage my gag reflex about the "H2T" nonsense, because there's a real, genuine problem on set:
------ ENTERING THE NO JOKE ZONE -----
Kayla is uncomfortable with the kissing, because she was sexually assaulted as a young girl. This is not something to joke about. Hence the No Joke Zone. (Like Fox's "No Spin Zone," but real. Dammit! That was a joke. Get yourself together, Carlson.) OK. Kayla tells Mister Jay that when she was 11, she was assaulted for a year and a half by a man, and since then she feels "personally uncomfortable about intimacy with men." When she thinks about kissing one on set, it scares her. She has never told anyone about the assault, even her family, and Jay gives her the good, honest, real advice that she can't go through life avoiding this pain, and needs to deal with it and get support for it.
After getting things off her chest and hearing this Real Talk, Kayla bounces back impressively, and delivers a believable enough commercial, even if she was still uncomfortable with the guy. Way to go, Kayla! I'm sincerely sorry that you had to share such a personal story on national TV, but hope that the experience will help you cope with it in the long run.
----- LEAVING THE NO JOKE ZONE, BACK TO JOKE BUSINESS NOW ------
Anyway: Rollerskating. Shilling some bullsh*t garbage water. Talking like a human. We all know that Ann is going to suck at this. Ann knows that Ann is going to suck at this. And worse, Ann knows that Ann knows that Ann is going to suck at this, and she knows that she knows that she's going to suck SO HARD that she starts crying, and starts beating herself up for crying, and then starts crying harder because she's beating herself up for crying for knowing that she'll suck. WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Ann is afraid that she will fall on the roller skates, make a fool of herself and that people will laugh. I don't know if it qualifies as a "self-fulfilling prophecy" or "logical results of putting a 6'2'' woman on roller skates," but that is what happens:
What's worse, she's so distraught and distracted during her commercial that she delivers her lines like a drunk on rollerskates. So it's half true. Or mostly true, because she's drunk on sadness and fear.
BUT THERE'S A SILVER LINING!
Way to go, Ann! You're alive! And honestly, it could be worse. At least she doesn't piss off Nigel the way Liz does:
"OY! What's so funny, poppet? 'ave some respect before I run over you with a lorry!" (Haha, Nigel is British.)
Maybe Liz is laughing because this commercial shoot is a JOKE. H2T isn't real. The lines are so cheesy they give my brain diabetes. And there is literally no reason it needs to be on rollerskates. I mean, I know we're on Venice Beach, but when you're rollerskating, you're not talking to your friends about infused iguanas and vitameens and berry axetracts. (Kayla's words, not mine.) "Mmm, it's more watery than water! It makes my eyelashes tingle and my teeth sing! Also, I'm wearing a yellow diaper and a new "urban" weave, do you like it?" No, you're ROLLERSKATING. It's all just so silly. This show is silly. The world is silly. Why shouldn't
Liz laugh at it all?
? Here are Jane and Chelsey:So high fashion. So selling me the water.
Judging and Elimination
The guest judge is Zac Posen, who, though he's no My Boyfriend
, is so very adorable, and unquestionably LEGIT.
I'm only here because I lost a bet to Karl Lagerfeld.
All the commercials are terrible except for Chris's. Let's just get that out there. And it's not like saying that is a massive insult to the models. We saw what they had to work with. "H2T"! It's a massive relief (masked as an afterthought) when Tyra reveals that it's a fake product, but then it hits me that of course we should have known that. That's why Nigel didn't give a lengthy speech about all its high points, and the hair stylists and makeup artists didn't force it into conversation during the shoot. WILL I NEVER LEARN?
The best thing Tyra can say about Kayla is "I like how you felt urban." And the best thing that Andre can say to Ann is "Poor thing." At least they still have sympathy for her.
Liz still has her backstory on speed dial. When Nigel criticizes her for laughing during the shoot, she immediately starts crying about taking care of her baby. Yes, OK, but what does that have to do with anything? Whatever. Babies = Truth and purity = Better modeling, or something, according to Tyra.
Best Commercial Winner: Chris
Damn right.Bottom Two: Ann and Esther.
I purposefully did not mention Esther during the commercial shoot, because that's the point: Everyone forgot about Esther. And Tyra says that the judges don't think Ann is "capable" of presenting herself in person. They said "CAPABLE." But, lucky for Ann, those first five photos are her savings account, and tonight she's making a MASSIVE withdrawal.Eliminated: Esther.
Bye, Esther!Next Week:
It's international destination time, and we're going to Italy. Well, they're going to Italy. We're sitting at home and watching them go to Italy on TV. It's the American way!
Also: Did anyone catch that Tyra said "final seven" when there are only six girls left? (Right? Kayla, Ann, Liz, Chris, Chelsey and Jane? Yes, that's six. LEARN TO COUNT, TYRA!)
(Images courtesy of CW)