"The Girl Who Gets Possessed" is one of those ANTM episodes that reminds us why America loves this show: the creativity and the art of editorial photography. Okay, we also love the clothes, the physical beauty of the models, and, of course, a bit of the drama. America's Next Top Model gives us all of that.
However, some of the most interesting shoots are those where the models are transformed, broken-bodied, uglified. Give me something ethereal and powerful, something with a social message: men made up as women, women made to look like robots or warriors or animal heads mounted on a wall, models staring at reflections of themselves with mottled skin eaten away by the ravages of smoking. The ugly beauty of the humanity shows up in these images revealing human solidarity behind unavoidable vulnerability. That's what makes it all interesting. That's what "The Girl Who Gets Possessed" brings to episode 6 of cycle 22.
Some Like It On Top
We're six episodes into cycle 22 and down to just 11 models. Lacey, Ava and Devin have earned first call-out once each, though both Lacey and Devin have been in the top three twice. Also having been in the top three were Mame, Mikey, Bello and Justin. Who has been on the bottom? Ashley, Justin and Hadassah. Hadassah has the distinction of having been in the bottom twice. Only one model has consistently remained dead center: Nyle. But things are about to drastically change.
In regard to another meaning of "being on top," once again the models talk about who is bedding whom. Surprisingly, Mikey doesn't seem to have suffered for having taken Devin on his romantic night out which he earned last week for winning the challenge. Hadassah and Mame seem to be competing for the title of queen pageant model, so it looks like something nasty may happen between the two of them this episode. And it certainly does. Stay tuned.
Cycle 10's Whitney Thompson Advises the Models to 'Simply Be' Themselves
Kelly Cutrone introduces cycle 10 ANTM winner, the fiercely beautiful and curvaceous Whitney Thompson, who will participate in the challenge with the models. Whitney is representing Simply Be fashion, which is also one of Kelly's clients. The models will be paired up and must create an ad campaign for a photo shoot featuring themselves and Whitney. Each team must develop their own tagline to inform their creative design for the shoot.
Courtney and Devin choose Simply Be Unique. During the shoot, Devin clearly overshadows Courtney. Justin and Nyle are Simply Be Heard. How appropriate, right? They have Whitney on a picnic blanket while Nyle plays guitar. Then Kelly recommends Nyle take his shirt off, which he does. Kelly, girl, you need a cold shower ... but so do the rest of us at this point!
Bello, Mame and Mikey choose Simply Seductive. Kelly suggests Mikey and Mame kiss each other during their shoot and they go for it. Justin gets a little green-eyed since he's "dating" mame, but the shoot goes well and Kelly is pleased. Hadassah and Lacey choose Simply Sassy, but it's a painful shoot and not at all sassy.
Nyle Wins His First Challenge
... and surely there will be many more. If, that is, Nyle can get down with his bad self and reveal his steamy side. It takes more than just good looks an fantastic abs to launch and maintain a modeling career, baby. The tide has definitely turned for this silent contender.
Naked Hadassah Gets an Unwelcome Visitor
The models decide to clean the house the next morning. Hadassah and Bello are still in bed while the merry maids are working, causing a bit of tension later when Mame needs to use the bathroom while Hadassah is in the shower. A verbal altercation ensues over the appropriate manners of interloper Mame who needs to pee and brush their teeth while someone else (Hadassah) is stark naked under the shower head. The argument continues all the way to the photo shoot. Thankfully, no one intervenes in the verbal sparring, so it does not escalate. However, as every good ANTM fan knows, the editorial focus on a fight usually means one of the participants will be handed their pink slip at the end of the show. Let's see if that happens.
Swinging Devils with Icy Blue Eyes
The models are given bright blue contact lenses for this shoot and are told to act possessed. They are fitted with harnesses and suspended in midair covered in talcum powder and dressed in gauze-y outfits. Yu Tsai spends the entire photo shoot screaming at the models. Ava doesn't "howl" how he wants her to. Hadassah smiles too much. Justin and Mame do well, but Courtney squirms like a cockroach. Nyle does awesomely now that he has the confidence of having won the challenge. Devin, Mikey and Bello are beginning to feel threatened by Nyle's modeling improvement. Good. And let's face it, none of them are nearly as handsome as Nyle.
The House Holds an Intervention with Mame and Hadassah
The models are tired of all the drama between Mame and Hadassah. Justin calls a meeting and insists that both women see things from the other person's point of view. There's a lot of pouting. We'll see if they both survive the remainder of the episode. I can't imagine Mame being sent home ... and though Hadassah has been in the bottom twice, I can't see her being sent home either.
The Panel Haunts the Guys and Girls with Their Feedback
Lacey's photo has a lot of fluidity, says Kelly, but Miss J. wants a little more tension from her. Justin looks like he's flying through the room in his photo. Miss J. says his face is always the same. Courtney's photo doesn't impress Kelly. Hadassah's photo earns major kudos from all the judges, shocking Hadassah to tears. Tyra calls Nyle's photo the Sistine Chapel ceiling of photo shoots. He's hanging completely upside down and it's a killer shot. Bello's photo is mostly of his booty. Kelly says his face looks like a dehydrated apple. Ouch.
Ashley's photo is haunting. Her eyes and cheekbones are extraordinary. Tyra is bowled over by her muscle control. Miss J. says Mame's face is fiercely snatched. Tyra says Mame needs to show more leg and foot control. She asks Mame for a display of leg while keeping her face fierce. Mame obliges and rocks it. Devin hangs upside down in his photo. The judges compliment him, but you can tell they aren't as impressed with his photo as they have been with some of the others. Tyra says Ava looks like a housewife at panel. Miss J. says he wishes she'd been more involved in her own photo. Tyra says she looks constipated. Wow. That's not at all good, baby girl. Tyra says Mikey's photo isn't amazing. Miss J. says Mikey has too much control. Casting Bits: Violett Beane Joins The Flash, Tyra Banks Heads to Black-ish and More >>>
Who's Still in the Running to Be America's Next Top Model?
Top Three: Nyle, Lacey, Mame
Middle Five: Hadassah, Justin, Devin, Ashley, Mikey
Bottom Three: Bello, Courtney, Ava
How about that: two major breakthroughs. Nyle broke his streak of mediocrity to land both the challenge and first call-out. Hadassah clawed her way out of the bottom three to land fourth call-out. Way to go, girlie girl. On the sad side, Courtney fell to the bottom three for the first time, and Ava was sent packing.
Okay, it was an awkward photo shoot, but which final image was your favorite?
America's Next Top Model airs Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Images Courtesy of The CW)