'America's Next Top Model' Week 11 Recap: Beauty and Brains
'America's Next Top Model' Week 11 Recap: Beauty and Brains
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Tonight on America's Next Top Model: The final four girls, Alexandria, Hannah, Brittani and Molly, continue their Moroccan adventure with Tyra with a tray-balancing walking challenge and a photo shoot in an outdoor market.

And speaking of crazy divas who are now in control of young, impressionable lives, did you guys see that Mariah Carey named one of her new twins Moroccan, after the theme of the room where Nick Cannon proposed? WHAT. (Good thing he didn't propose in a casino or a Blockbuster or something.) And the other one is named Monroe, after Marilyn Monroe. Again, WHAT. OK, celebrities, it's time to chill out with the insane baby names. Like Mariah Carey's kids weren't going to grow up with enough reasons to seek therapy. Anyway, my point is: I really hope there's truth to the rumor that Tyra is trying to get pregnant, because I can only imagine what she would name her child.

Back to business: After last week's panel, Molly is stoked for her best photo, and "definitely" feels like she'll get to the final two. Hearing those ominous words makes me worry she might not. Meanwhile, Alexandria is disappointed in herself for being in the bottom two again, and for having an attitude issue, AGAIN. Hannah does her little "this is your niche" speech, and Alexandria's "I want to change the world one day" still makes me laugh.

Tea Time with Franca

franca1.jpgHiiiii, boyfriend's Mom!

The girls follow Miss J to meet Franca Sozzani, the editor in chief of Vogue Italia. Miss J says they're just meeting for tea, but it's really an interview, since we all know Franca is calling the shots (or at least having a big fat say) in who wins a spread in her magazine. Franca looks through their books and the girls try to impress her. Hannah is sweet and soft but well-spoken. Brittani asks a lot of questions, and Hannah thinks Franca is looking at her a lot. Alexandria tells Franca, "I love the internet." Molly doesn't seem to say much at all. Whether any of this had any impact on Franca whatsoever is anyone's guess. "I want the girl who loves the internet!" is probably what Franca told Miss J immediately after.

Challenge: Tea Tray Dancing

Miss J introduces the girls to a woman named Noor, who is a "professional tea tray dancer." The girls are just as surprised as I am that that is a thing as which you can be a professional. Alexandria clearly wants to say something about the dancing, but is working on her diplomacy skills: "It was ... very cultural."

When done well, it's AWESOME. Like this:

But when our girls do it, they look like this:

alexandriatray.jpgThe girls learn how to balance the tray, or in Brittani's case, how to say "Sorry!" every 15 seconds when the tray falls off her head and the candles crash all over the ground. Alexandria can't help herself and, tray on head, starts grinding and saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." I was hoping she'd rap again, but Miss J shuts her up and reminds them to keep it classy.

Again it's like they've never seen this show before: The girls are shocked, SHOCKED I say, when Miss J reveals they'll be performing their new dance in front of a live audience that night. He plays off this challenge as a test of posture and dexterity, but we all know the truth: It's a test of who will flip out when she inevitably embarrasses herself.

The girls get into their sexy tray balancing outfits and go to the venue where they learn they'll also be dancing with a group of professional tea tray dancers, and they'll be walking with lit candles on their trays. So not only will they look extra terrible by comparison to the other girls, but the girls who suck most will be punished with accidental self-burns. Ahh, this takes me back to the beginning of the season, when bubble-walking and bee photo shoots were the norm. America's Next Top Fear Factor returns!

61967.jpgMolly is the first girl to walk down the stairwell with the tray on her head. In her neon pink outfit and with not a clue on her face, she looks like Cultural Appropriation Barbie. Not even all the way down the stairs, she trips on her skirt and starts swearing up a storm. Classic Molly. Miss J told them to pick up the candles when they dropped, but Molly is like "eff that noise" and just keeps going. She looks pissed off through the rest of her dance, and yells "NO, it's NOT f*cking OK!" when Brittani tries to comfort her after. What a firecracker. Gawd, I love her so.

brittanitray1.jpgAll of a sudden Brittani is like the Bobby Fischer of balancing stuff on your head, and she doesn't drop the tray once. She even does the moves and looks like she's having fun. Maybe she was just pretending to suck earlier, to throw the other girls off her scent! It's these street smart tactics that give our trailer park girl an edge on the competition.

61954.jpgHannah doesn't drop anything either, but she has a hard time with the hip movements and ends up looking like she's at a luau. She looks great in a cat-eye though, so ... there's that!

alexandriatray1.jpgBefore her performance Alexandria is confident: "Please, I was made to do this." Made to balance a tray on your head? Do you hate yourself or something? But actually, according to Molly, that may be true. When Alexandria gets up there and confidently grooves her way around the room, Molly sees the audience eating it up and grumbles, "Her head is flat on the top. That's unfair." Ha! At that point, Alexandria gets too confident and her tray crashes to the floor. But at least she was really memorable, she tells herself.

Miss J announces the challenge winner: Brittani. For her prize, she gets to work with Miss J on her runway walk (Hey, remember when Erin in cycle 13 got all pissed off when her prize for a challenge was a helicopter tour of Hawaii? LOL! Yeah, they got worse), and she picks Hannah to go with her, because Hannah needs the most help. That might sound mean if it weren't true.

At Miss J's outdoor runway teach, Miss J's face says Hannah sucks at walking. She's a bit of a Zoolander when it comes to turning. But she leaves the teach feeling more confident, and starving. Time for dinner! How about some...


The girls sit down to eat in the market and freak out about all the goat brains and heads sitting on the table. Hannah is all about it, though."Let's eat brains!" she screams, and the girls eat tear off a chunk of brain. I never thought I would hear those words on America's Next Top Model. At least, I never thought I'd hear them coming out of someone other than Tyra's mouth as she finally unzipped her human suit and unleashed her massive army of zombie models upon us. It could still happen, though. You never know with Tyra(nt)!

"The texture of a brain is just squishy, gooey and disgusting." - Brittani. Now we know! I'll still probably try it for myself later, though. Just to be sure. (Dooon't worry. It won't be a human brain! Unless I get desperate.)

That night, Brittani feels sick from eating the goat brain. WEIRD. The goat brain makes her brain do this:

brittani-sickfrombrains.jpgHer body is suffering from TOO MUCH BRAINS

Hannah just wants to go back to the market and shop, shop, shop! I feel kindred with her, because that's totally what I would want to do the entire time I was in Morocco. SCARVES. Give me SCARVES. MORE and MORE and MORE SCARVES!

Photo Shoot: Marketplace Models

The morning of the shoot, Hannah is still jonesing for more Moroccan shopping (love ya, gurl), and Brittani is still feeling ill. I have no evidence to support this, but the bit of goat brain has probably grown and changed and morphed (with science and/or magic), and a baby goat is now growing in her stomach. That explains it!

Mister Jay greets the girls and tells them they're in the Medina, the largest outdoor market in Morocco. The concept of today's shoot is that they are "continuing the story of the caravan" from last week. So basically they rode their camels into Marrakech, and now they're in different clothes and weirder hair and makeup, hanging out in the market. Cool and complex story, very intriguing, can I order 5,000 copies? (The "...NOT!" here is implied, right?)

HANNAHHAIR.jpgYummmm, Cinnabon!

Hannah's Shoot: Jay thinks Hannah seems to be lost at first. She's imagining she's looking at her lover, but I thinks her lover might be a donut, because she's looking "very glazed" and her hair is looking very "cinnamon bun." The photographer, Friedmann Haus, thinks she's "too posey" and Jay says it looks like she has a "question mark on her face." The criticism gets to Hannah, and she thinks she's going home now. Her hair is making me hungry.

molly-crowd.jpgHow do you say "Get the hell out of our market so we can shop in peace!" in Arabic?

Molly's Shoot: Friedmann likes Molly and thinks she's a good editorial girl. A huge crowd gathers to see what the big fuss is all about as she poses on a wagon, but it doesn't bother Molly. Practically EVERYTHING bothers Molly, but not this attention. She was truly made to be a model.

61973.jpgIt's very Prince meets bellboy meets lifesize lipstick.

Alexandria's Shoot: Jay approaches Alexandria and sweetly (comma, back-handedly) tells her not to be "Miss Controlling" today. This pisses Alexandria right off, but she attempts a sweet smile and says she will just "do what's in her heart" during the photo shoot. But her face is too pursed during the shoot, and the photographer tries to tell her to relax, but instead she "loses the fun" she worked so hard to achieve (in her mind). Her strategy to convey the story of a cross-dressing princess did not play out the way she planned, but Alexandria seems like she's been doing a lot of meditating or Secret-ing or something lately, because she's eerily serene after the shoot goes poorly, saying she gave it her all in her heart. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH OUR DRAMA?

61976.jpgOHMYGOD I'M TURNING INTO A GOA -- oh wait that's just the makeup, phew.

Brittani's Shoot: She's still feeling ill, but she promises Jay she's saving up her energy for the camera. It starts to rain, but Jay is impressed with the way Brittani manages, and she gives him lots of great movements and angles. "I really believed that she reached this destination." Friedmann thinks Brittani "has a natural elegance" and she inspired him today. What a champ.

Judging and Elimination

Tonight's guest judge is Daniella Issa Helayel, whose designs the girls wore during their photo shoot, and who is also recently super-famous for designing for PRINCESS! Kate Middleton. She even got to go to the royal wedding. Luckyyyyyyy.

Tyra is all slicked back today. I miss her bangs. They made her seem more down to earth.

tyra-morocco1.jpgKey word: Seem.

Time for critique:

Alexandria: Andre says, "You look as if you've lost your mind," but he kind of means that in a nice way. Nigel thinks she looks beautiful, but the story isn't coming across, and her angles aren't interesting enough. Tyra says, "I'm getting Conde Nast Traveler." In deliberation, Nigel says she looks like a flight attendant. OUCH. Daniella thinks Alexandria looks great and the other judges are being a bit harsh. Maybe they are just too biased against her at this point. I don't think it's that bad, either.

Brittani: She looks beautiful, but like she's missing an arm. (Instantly this pops into my head from Aladdin: "Where they cut off your ear, if they don't like your face, it's barbaric, but hey, it's home!" Classic horrifically racist Disney.) ALT loves her angles, and Tyra says it's a little closer to a high fashion magazine than Alexandria's. I love this shot. It's very mysterious.

Hannah: Nigel says her pose and body language are very editorial, but the facial expression isn't extreme enough. Daniella loves the shot, but ALT says it's not a "Wow!" moment, and he needs one of those to live. I think the shot looks too candid and Hannah's hair looks ridiculous (and she could use a bra?), but WHAT DO I KNOW?

Molly: Nigel says it's finally some real drama and he loves that she's committed all the way. Tyra: "You do a great job of showing the clothes without getting too catalog." Tyra then goes on a rant about showing the clothes. Molly looks fab, if a little mean. The end.

The best photo of the week goes to:


Tyra: "What you're doing is fabulous. Modeling the clothes." But she warns Mollyr to mix it up and get away from the mean faces.

Runner up: Brittani

Bottom Two: Alexandria and Hannah

Can Alexandria dip down into the bottom two and survive again? She definitely improved her attitude this week, but that didn't keep her photo from underwhelming the judges.

Tyra goes off on some rant about how everyone thinks blond girls are the same (since when?) but Alexandria and Hannah are different, because Alexandria is "holding on to the handlebars of control" too much while Hannah lacks control.

Eliminated: Alexandria

alexandria-eliminated.jpgTyra's parting advice to Alexandria: "You can't be sometimey." It horrifies me a bit that I understand what that means.

Alexandria says she failed herself. "This is what I love to do, maybe that's why I was controlling too much." But she has a positive attitude: "I'm coming out of this with so much more knowledge and so much more experience, and I can't wait to go use it."

I'm sure so many of you are overjoyed to see Alexandria go after all the drama and attitude that seemed to stem from her this season, but I will say this: She kept things interesting, knew how to make a soundbite, took some great photos and actually seemed to be getting better, attitude-wise, toward the end. Even the other girls didn't seem quite so annoyed with her by the end. I'll actually miss her cockiness in the last couple of weeks -- it would have made the final push to the finale extra competitive. Alas, now she's off to change the world one day. But first, she's talking to me for a few minutes tomorrow morning. Have a question for her? (I BET YOU DO!) Write it in the comments!

Next Week: The final three will pose on the beach, and Brittani will get super duper weepy during the shoot with Nigel.

(Images courtesy of CW)