'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Viva Italia
'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Viva Italia
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Tonight on America's Next Top Model: The final six girls fly overseas and the competition heats up on the muggy waterways of Venice, Italy.

America's Next Top Model is available on Amazon Prime.


But first, back in Amerkuh:
Miss J is all about tricking the models this season! Last week, he convinced a bunch of bitchy professional models to Mean Girls the crap out of his noobs, and this week he puts one over on them after an awkward, operatic bike ride. He takes them to a tiny bridge and says their next photo shoot will be to jump off of it.

antm-bridge-ep9.jpg
Practice jump! Go!

It's a play off your parents' ol' "If Miss J told you to go jump off a bridge, would you do that, too?" lecture, and the girls believe him, but they don't have time to really fall for it (PUN!) because the weekly meeting of Overactors Anonymous shows up.

There is only one member of Overactors Anonymous, and she does NOT abide by the "anonymous" part:


Tyra screams up at them like, "I told this stupid, stripe-shirted idiot to take me to VENICE, not Venice BEACH, BEETCH" and OMG, now they get it: It's the big international RE-VEEEEEE-AL! They're going to ITALY! And we get to live vicariously! Pinch me!

"Get off of this damn bridge and go home and pack your bags." - Miss J, still the greatest.

What I like about this point in the competition is that each girl has her own, distinct, label-able personality. And what I also like about this point in the competition is that they all get very talkative about labeling each other, in case we missed who's who in the final group.

So, who's who in the America's Next Top Model Cycle 15 Final Six? Let's break it down:

chelsey-excited-antmep9.jpgChelsey: The old pro. She is the only one who actually knows anything about the modeling/fashion industry. But she is also the ripe old age of (get those GASPS! ready) almost 23, which means her clock is ticking. Her knowledge helps the other girls to gauge how excited they ought to be about various announcements. Example: When Liz hears "Milan," she thinks Mulan, "so of course I'm thinking Japan and dragons" (of course!) she says, but then she looks at Chelsey, and realizes it's actually, you know, Italy, as in Italian Vogue, as in what this competition is all about. Chelsey is human modeling SparkNotes.

liz-italyexcited-antmep9.jpgLiz: The complainer. Whether it's a bird pooping on her arm the minute she gets to Venice (OMEN!) or the hot, hot Italian heat, Liz can't keep her disappointment or discomfort to herself. The other girls grow tired of her constant, in Chelsey's terms, "waa, waa, waa, bitch, bitch, bitch," but also don't disagree with her about the heat, even though she's prone to hyperbolic descriptions about it. ("I'm dying! My knees were burning! I literally almost exploded!" and so forth.)

jane-nerd-antmep9.jpgJane: The nerd. I had to include this photo because it shows, word for word, where Jane's head is at during their gondola tour of Venice: Absorbing more KNOWLEDGE!  She's a history major at Princeton, so you can't blame her, and the nerdiness is quite endearing. I can't blame anybody in the world for actually seeking out "lots of pamphlets." If only we were all so focused on learning. She's quiet and seems sort of awkward, but also ridiculously beautiful and graceful. Jane is basically every nerdy girl from a romantic comedy post-makeover, except she just never went through the initial ugly duckling phase. Damn her.

chris-exaggerate-antmep9.jpgChris: The comedian. She has a comment about everything, and it is almost always hilarious. She also has a gift for delivery and facial expressions. "Mama wouldn't mind me bringing HIM home, honey." "It's nice. [pause] It ain't all that." Her life could believably be scored by a laugh track. But this tendency toward humor has a risk: "Chris is not high fashion," says Kayla.

happyan-antmep9.jpgAnn: The prodigy. She's got everything they're looking for, but doesn't yet know how to wield her goods, and gets overwhelmed and upset when she fears she'll disappoint everyone. The pressure is getting to her at the same time that she's started to get used to it. She's blossoming, but maybe not fast enough for the pace of this show.

kayla-antmep9-pose.jpgKayla: The firecracker. It's not just about the red hair. Kayla's good, but it doesn't always come naturally. She has to work for it--and sometimes it doesn't work out, like during last week's commercial shoot. Like a firecracker, she either goes big or falls flat--rarely in between. She's harder to pin down, sometimes strong and sassy, sometimes unsure and vulnerable, which often makes her the most relatable person on the show. She also says some funny stuff: "I could probably get used to living a fabulous life. I mean, I'm gay. That's what we're used to."

Photo Shoot
To mark their change of scenery from Venice Beach to Venice, Italy, the girls' photo shoot this week involves a sexy man, a Gondola and a whole lot of corsets. It's their first group shot, and their job is to command the Casanova's attention, and thus the photo's attention. He's no Francesco Carrozzini (still my boyfriend, CALLED IT) but he will do just fine:

malecasanova-antmep9.jpg"Like."

Too bad they covered him up for the whole shoot!

malecasanova-antmep92.jpgStill hot, regardless.

For the shoot, the girls sit in threes in the gondola and spend a lot of time shifting around uncomfortably. Kayla and Ann are both sitting on the floor in their respective shots, but Kayla looks amazing while Ann just looks uncomfortable most of the time. Chris can't figure out what to do with her face, while Liz's hair keeps attacking her mouth. Chelsey engages well with the male model, but Jane steals the shot from behind. The shoot gets rained out before Ann really finds her groove.

After the photo shoot, the girls go to Milan and see their new apartment, which is tiny. Kayla calls it a "grandma" apartment. It has pull-out beds! What is this, Italy or HELL? Tyra comes by and explains that, this year, the CW was able to save money on their apartment by saying they're preparing the girls for the real world of modeling. Skinny people need less space, anyway. And besides, every couple of days one of them will get the boot--that ought to free up some space!

Then they go to the fashion headquarters of Missoni in Milan to try on their winter collection, where the most interesting thing that happens is this:

BEFORE:

missjbefore.jpgAFTER:

missjafter.jpgAll I see is Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber. What do YOU see?

Judging & Elimination
Andre was on tonight. He also clearly has a new favorite vocab word! Let's revisit what he had to say about each girl:
3465121_c94a162e-6509-41a6-9350-109f11384588-60009.jpgChelsey: "Volcanic sultriness under the iceberg of cold, icy incandescent beauty."
Ann: "Incandescent aristocrat."
Jane: "The star of this photograph."

3465121_7fe5c8c6-e399-4a89-bda2-8c40cc16e7ed-59998.jpgChris:  "You're afraid a huge crow is coming into the gondola."
Liz: "Declasse stance."
Kayla: "You're mistress #1." (Nigel said this, and it reminded me too much of Sister Wives not to include.)
 
Our word of the week is incandescent, which means: "Whatever the hell Andre wants it to mean; something about being icy and rich."

During elimination, the girls are still in their winter wear, and the room gets so heated that Chelsey almost faints. Tyra's solution: The girls should sit, but "sit fiercely," during judging. For a second I thought we might be in for another one of these, but thankfully (for the girls) and alas (for The Soup) everyone makes it through conscious.

Not surprisingly, Kayla goes from mistress #1 to #1 call out, followed by Jane, and then Chelsey. Tyra makes some not-very-well-veiled height jokes when she calls out Ann: "The judges feel that you are shrinking. You have to be able to stand tall and perform even if you're not at the top of the pack." (That's about one degree shy of "How's the weather up there?")

Bottom Two: Chris and Liz.

chris-liz-bottom2-antmep9.jpgEliminated: Liz.

Which I knew half way through the show, because A) They showed her crying on the phone to her daughter (ANTM death knell) and B) my news station aired a commercial during the broadcast teasing a post-show interview with Liz! North Texas, you need to post a spoiler alert on that s***!

Next Week:
Go-Sees!!! (I love go-sees. DRAMA GALORE.) And the girls get turned into Venetian statues for their photo shoot.


(Images courtesy of CW)

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