Tonight's America's Next Top Model
installment focuses on two of the most iconoclastic pop culture phenomenons: mega stars and soap operas. After a challenge that brings surprising results, the models head to a photo shoot to see which man best embodies the spirit of Elvis and which woman most alluringly captures the essence of screen icon Marilyn Monroe.
We're down to the final five contestants on Cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model
and most of the drama darlings have been removed from the gene pool. Remaining are Lenox The Virgin, Adam the Party Animal, Keith the Black Adonis, Will the Male Barbie Doll and Shei the boochin'-toochin', sizzlin' hoochie mama.
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A Soapy Challenge With No Conversation Bubbles
The models are led to N Seoul Tower where they learn all about the locks of love wall where people from all over have come to leave being little padlocks bearing the names of the people they are in love with. Awaiting them there are Miss J. Alexander and two of the most famous actors on the Korean soap opera scene, Jong Hoon Yoon and Clara. Jong and Clara will participate in each shoot with one of the five models. This is an acting challenge.
The night before, Miss J. visits the party house and delivers the bilingual scripts to all the ANTM competitors. Lenox is worried because she sucked last time they had to act. Keith is equally worried, but he's pretty pumped after having been so successful in last week's challenge and photo shoot. Will is concerned that he won't be able to portray the straight man in love without coming off as too gay, and Adam is so confident that he either throws away his script or burns it, it's not completely clear.
Who Sinks, Who Swims?
Will is gorgeous. His insecurity over his performance isn't altogether unfounded, but he's masculine enough physically to pull off the straight male if he would just strap on a bigger set of balls for the job. The only thing holding him back is his confidence level. He's nowhere near being pathetic or whiny, I'm just saying he's got the raw materials to go all the way. His performance in the soap opera challenge isn't as bad as he thinks. At least, that's my two cents.
Lenox flubs the whole thing, poor kid. She's a bundle of nerves. Period. Shei does okay, but then Adam is totally get's tongue-tied. It serves him right after being so damn cocky. He does, however -- and this is a big however -- do the best at looking natural and genuine when he looks at Clara's face and speaks to her. Then we have Keith. The voice overs point out that he turned the scene into a comedy of sorts, but that's not what I see on the screen. He seems to really connect with Clara and he works at charming and distracting her. In the end, Clara says she felt attracted to him. Bingo. So, I'm interested to see who wins this challenge and $1000 worth of sunglasses.
Keith Wins His Second Challenge in a Row
What a surprise, right? Not really, though everyone else (the models at least) can't believe it. Even Keith is surprised. I think what we're learning here is that while the dialogue is important in delivering a scene, the characterization and the embodiment of the spirit of the scene is equally crucial. Both Clara and Jong mention how Keith brought his own character to the scene. Way to go, Keith. As we move forward through the competitions and we hear the voice overs from Keith, we are seeing how he has developed as a model.
At the beginning of this cycle, Keith appeared to focus more on being attractive rather than on developing modeling skill. At this point, it's clear he's developing as a model, and his personal character has shown through. I'm still amazed by his clarity over what Chantelle was experiencing emotionally after being caught in a lie last week. That blew me away.
Keith's Future's So Bright, He Has To Wear Shades
So, Keith won the $1000 in sunglasses. Back at the party house, the models' voice overs mention the jealousy from the other models, but it's not a malicious sentiment. Come on, Keith is just too nice of a guy to wish ill upon, but each of these hopefuls has a dream that means everything to them. Shei tries to figure out how to get rid of Keith, which I don't think she has an icicle's chance in the tenth circle of hell at doing. Up to this point Shei has made it to the top five by not being worse than anyone else. She may not have been in the bottom much, but she hasn't been in the top either.
Elvis and Marilyn Come at Gungnam District, the Heart of Seoul
The next afternoon America's Next Top Model's red bus pulls up to Gungnam district where Yu Tsai is joined by photographer Massimo and supermodel Evelyn Presrow, AKA, Tyra Banks, to introduce the photo shoot for this installment of ANTM. The guys and dolls will be made up like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and staged right there that evening at Gungnam.
Lenox, who can't stop talking about how un-sexy she is, is tasked with recreating Marilyn's iconic scene from The Seven Year Itch where the updraft from a street grate blows her dress up around her ears. Classic. Shei, the ever-sexy boocher and toocher, gets to emulate Marilyn's famous pin-up pose. Will will be dancing Elvis, Keith gets Jailhouse Rock Elvis and Adam gets the pre-Vegas crazy glam Elvis.
Will is first and comes off looking more like someone from a boy band than the actual Elvis. He struggles at first, but in the end it looks like he probably got an awesome shot.
Keith is next and he looks amazing in his tight black jeans and his horizontally black and white striped shirt. He struggles horribly with the shoot. He has to spend a lot of it on his toes or hopping up in the air. By the end he's worried that this may be the end for him.
Shei is the Asian Marilyn and she does look beautiful but she's holding back. Yu Tsai takes a moment to speak to her heart about giving more of herself to the camera and that seems to do the trick.
Lenox looks like a rag doll that got left out in the rain when she's in hair and makeup before her shoot. What's missing for her is the boobs. Marilyn Monroe was a size 14. Did you know that? Real women, Marilyn was representing for us all before a lot of us were born. Let me say that again: Marilyn Monroe was a voluptuous size 14, baby. Lenox, however, ain't got no boobies, and her hair looks like it was stolen from albino Raggedy Ann. Her face, however, is absolutely gorgeous.
Adam lets loose in his Elvis suit and he kicks ass like he has never yet kicked ass all cycle. Yu Tsai is partying, the crowd is yelling and we all want him to do well because of this shoot. Yu mentions that Adam has finally found what he's good at -- entertaining the crowd. He's yet to win first photo and his challenge score wasn't that great this week, so we'll see what happens.
Tyra and Her Hair Hold Court
It's panel time and all the judges are loving Adam. Tyra says 'Stiffy Doo' Adam has left the building. She and Kelly Cutrone give Adam 10s, but Miss J. gives him a nine. We'll see if his social media and challenge scores can get him to the top this week. Kelly also says Adam's image better be on the cover of the newspaper this week.
Kelly says Shei looks a little too trailer trash for her and a little too old. The judges give her a combined score of 22. Shei breaks out in quiet tears. The hard work is getting to her. For all her effort ... a 22?
Will takes it in the chin for his shoot, but gets a score of 24. Tyra takes him to task for having to be coached in how to move like a dancer when that's exactly what he is in real life. Despite all this, a social media message says he killed the shot more than anyone else. At least, I think that's what it meant. Did I read that wrong? Anyway, he gets a 24... even after all that he's two points ahead of Shei, so that can't be bad.
Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch was having a blast in that steam-blown image. Lenox looks way too dark. Her features are too dark -- the eyes, brows and lips. Kelly says she's not buying the sex appeal (more like sex un-appeal). Miss J. and Kelly almost come to blows once again over Lenox and it's an awkward moment for everyone. Tyra mentions the bit about the heavy styling and says it looks more like it's wearing her rather than her wearing it, and Lenox ends up with a 24.
Kelly Cutrone says Keith did a great job of bringing Elvis' energy to the shot. Tyra, however, gets a little harsh on Keith, saying she had to show him how to model for about two hours. Ouch. Was it really two hours, Tyra? She says Keith just did not show up to the set. He was dead on film. Wha? Miss J. isn't that impressed with it either. Miss J. and Tyra are astounded at Kelly's exuberance for the shot and let her assign all the scores for everyone. Kelly gives Keith a total of 24.
Adam Makes Memphis Proud With First Photo
Need I say more? This was exactly what was supposed to happen. Runner-up is Keith, who won by the skin of his beautiful white teeth. Third is Will, what a relief! Bottom two are Lenox and Shei. Shei is stunning in person, wins challenges, is likable, but her photos aren't the best. Lenox, on the other hand, rocks the photo shoots, but lacks in all the other areas. I want Shei to move forward.
Result: Shei goes home. Girl didn't exactly get robbed, but she hits on so many more modeling cylinders than Lenox does. The problem is, if the portfolio isn't filled with lots of excellent images, how will she get hired? Fortunately, a person can learn and improve on their posing skills. It's more difficult to learn how to be sexy, to have a personality and a warmth that will keep modeling jobs coming your way.
Only good wishes go with you on your way to your next great challenge, Shei. We wish you the best.
Two weeks from now on December 5th, the remaining four models compete for the final three spots. See you then, ANTM friends!
America's Next Top Model airs Fridays at 9pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of The CW)