'America's Next Top Model: All-Stars' Recap: The Four All-Stars of the Apocalypse
'America's Next Top Model: All-Stars' Recap: The Four All-Stars of the Apocalypse
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
We're down to the final four. Honestly, at the beginning of the season, I'd have predicted only one of these girls would make it this far: Allison. But that was back when I still thought Top Model was about, you know, modeling. BUT IT'S NOT. It may never be again. Now it's about who act the craziest and be the loudest and make up the most stuff on cue without being tied down by bothersome things like "self-respect" and "foresight." So it actually makes sense that these four remain:

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Allison: the doll-faced weirdo
Lisa: the attention addict
Angelea: the drama queen
Laura: the precious mess

This week, it's the race to see whose crazy-tank still has enough gas to make it to the finale, with the show's first ever blogging challenge (and, as a blogger, may I please say, "Like we really needed help seeming more useless") and the pinnacle of Tyra's career in self-indulgent self-promotion: the filming of the "motion editorial" based on her book, Modelland. I've never read it, so I hope I understand what's happening in the video! I've totally been meaning to read it, but haven't because the first part of this sentence is a lie.

The Challenge:

Guard your sensitive heart and protect your fragile loins, all-stars, because the unforgiving iron fist of the fashion industry, FRANCA SOZZANI, is here to f*ck sh*t up with her realistic expectations and brutal honesty! Since the season winner's prize includes being a blogger for Vogue Italia, the editor-in-chief (and mother to my boyfriend, Francescooooo) will judge a fake "blogging challenge" to see who's really cut out for the hard-knock life of writing on the internet.

Each girl picks out an outfit, then gets in a cab to find a place that "inspires" them, where they need to take some photos, and then come back and write all about their fashion-tourism adventures. Lisa asks her driver to take her "where he'd take his girlfriend to make love." Oh, Lisa and her dangerous sex banter with strangers! Allison asks to be taken to an abandoned building, because that's how she interprets "inspiring." (Was there some secret task where you were supposed to test if your cab driver is a sex criminal?)

Drive, drive, drive. Pose, pose, pose. Write, write, write. Then Nigel shows up and actually forces the girls to put their hands up in the air, like...

laura-blog.jpgTIME'S UP! NO MORE BLOGGING! ("But I accidentally typed 'further' instead of 'farther'?") I SAID STOP, EDITING IS FOR THE WEAK AND BLOGGING TIME IS OVER.

(I do kind of wish someone would do that to me sometimes. Y'all know I can get verbose.)

"I'm gonna take your blogs now," Nigel says like they're physical objects, and "tomorrow evening, we're going to announce who has the best blog." It's America's Next Top Blog-Off, and I'm blogging about it. Nigel boxes up the blogs and transports them in his car to Franca, and the girls go off to this week's non-photo shoot.

MODELLAND MOTION EDITORIAL:

Jay and Tyra greet the final four in the streets of Crete for the big announcement: Tyra wrote a book! A 192 page book! It took her five years, but she DID IT. Jay says, "First of all, don't you mean BEST-SELLING BOOK? Like, NEW YORK TIMES best-selling?" It's weird how he can say all that AND have his mouth glued to Tyra's ass at the same time.

So this week's "motion editorial" (it's like modeling + video - sanity) is inspired by Tyra's book Modelland, which sounds like what an 8th grader would come up with if their Language Arts/Health class assignment was to write a Harry Potter parody about eating disorders. There's this magical modeling school at the top of a mountain (Hogwarts), and there's an awkward girl with a disgusting, borderline-scatological name, "Tookie De La Creme" (Harry Potter) and the book is about all her magical body-image adventures and fashion-obsessed dreams.

But it's also so much MORE than that! More in a bad way. One Amazon user reviewer wrote (I highly recommend this reading material over the actual book), "Parts of this book were just plain WTF. Not alternate-universe-or-dystopia-WTF, which my suspension of disbelief covers, but this-makes-no-sense-in-any-universe kind of WTF." No ghostwriters here. That's what Tyra's brain looks like, alright.

And, since it's inspired by the book, the motion editorial is ALSO inspired by the spirit of "this-makes-no-sense-in-any-universe-kind of WTF." Except even more so, because there's one set of cameramen filming the girls in these nonsensical, bizarre scenes that seem to possess no point or meaning whatsoever. And then there are other cameramen a foot behind them, filming all of Tyra's stupid artistic directions and Jay's futile attempts to make this thing pretty, for this episode of the TV show about Tyra, which is about the motion editorial, which is about the book, which is about Tyra. WTF piled upon WTF, like a pile of nachos where each layer is a different type of garbage.

There's a scene where Lisa stands in an ancient doorway and caresses a plastic babydoll, because "IN THE BOOK, TOOKIE'S MOTHER IS OBSESSED WITH A DOLL." Tyra is the worst at making her own book sound not-terrible.

lisa-baby.jpgThe doll's t-shirt reads "I USED TO BE HUMAN, TOO"

Then Laura rifles through the trash (sorry, girl, your dignity's not in there). Because one character is "IN LOVE WITH WHIPPED CREAM," Tyra forces Laura to orally service a spray-can of Reddie Whip until her lips fall off. And tells her she can't be sexy while she does it. Talk about a CATCH-22!

laura-whippedcream.jpgIf I eat it sexily, they'll yell at me. But if I eat it any other way, I'm going to kill myself?!

The girls run down the streets in dresses, and Jay has to yell, "Run like a normal person! Run like a normal person!" Then they play with weapons and yell while sporting silver mohawks.

Cut! Next scene! Action! Allison makes a Catwoman Youtube tribute video. I like her gigantic sequined cat-shaped bike helmet, it really screams "TAKE ME SERIOUSLY AS A PROFESSIONAL MODEL."

allison-catwoman.jpg"MEEEEEEEEE, YOW!"

Then Allison makes out with a grapefruit because "ALL OF MODELLAND SMELLS LIKE GRAPEFRUITS." But -- and I'm just interpreting the images I'm being given here -- it's actually full of blood instead of grapefruit juice, and the blood is poisoned, so she goes insane. (Am I doing art-interpretation right?)

Next, Angelea accesses her real, deep-seated insecurities and gives a convincing performance as a woman in love with a ladder. But the ladder doesn't love her back, so she cries about it.

Aaaand ... that's a wrap on DAY ONE of shooting. There's more to come. America, this is what happens when we tell pretty, ambitious people (named Tyra) that they can do anything. Some of them actually do it. And we pay the price.

BLOG-OFF UPDATE:

While the girls are busy dancing on the beach in their banana gowns and metal mohawks, Nigel calls up Franca Sozzani to see if his package arrived. ("Hello, Franca, did you get the blogs I sent via courier?") She did, and she gives Nigel the scoop on what she thought of those BLOGS:

Allison: Franca says Allison's blog was too short ("it was more like a quote"). And her language was too "high falootin'" ... SAID THE BRITISH FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER. Yeah, Allison, you uppity bitch, how dare you say you "felt so inspired"?
Laura: Franca doesn't think she made any interesting points, but she looked sexy in her photos. Style over substance, that's the important thing!
Lisa: Franca loved all of Lisa's personality and the idea of her "VIP" post, but she didn't get all the way there.
Angelea: Franca thinks her blog showed "a certain kind of class," and she liked how Angelea compared the graffiti in Greece to the graffiti to her hometown.

Angelea wins the blog-off, and her prize is a trip back to Greece someday. She gloats while literally wearing her other prize, the Best Blogger Golden Greek Goddess crown. ONE BLOG POST AND SHE GETS A FREAKING CROWN. Do you know how many unsung, uncrowned blogs I've written? Why can't I ever win the blog-off? Why can't I ever win the Golden Bloggess Crown???

BACK TO THE MOTION EDITORIAL I GUESS:

It's day two of the shoot, and Tyson Beckford is here. Everyone is happy because he's so famous and sexy. Angelea especially fawns all over him, because that's what Angelea does. Maybe she actually just flips out all the time on this show because she's so sexually frustrated? I'll make sure to not ask her that when I interview her. (Toooo personal!)

Tyra stars in the next couple scenes of the M.E. ... whoa, wait. Haha, "motion editorial" abbreviated is "ME"? Did Tyra actually INVENT the term? Because that makes sooo muuuuch seeeense now.

-america-s-next-top--1.jpg"MEEEEEEEEEEE, me me me me me ME!"

Anyway, first she's in a light pink jumpsuit with random words all over it. (Typical.) Then she puts on a mask that's attached to a human sized "cone of shame" and makes dramatic motions on a cliff while waves crash behind her. (Normal.) Then she shoots a scene with Tyson Beckford in an intimate ocean cave where HE licks HIS finger and sticks it on HER face, and then SHE sticks HIS finger in HER mouth. Ooh, the girls are running on the beach again. Quick cut to a baby goat, running. (Again, all systems normal.)

Then it's time to shoot the final scene of the film: The "reveal" of America's Next Top Model! Which means we have to wait to see the whole "film" until the end of next week's finale. So Jay films each girl emerging from behind a mask, like you might reveal the murderer at the end of a really bad high school play, and the mask-reveal of the one true winner of the All-Star cycle will air next week.

angelea-mask-america-s-next-top--2.jpgSpeaking of the finale: I'm sad to say I've never been more excited for a season to put itself out of its misery and END. When did we pass the threshold where Top Model's inane antics stopped being hilarious and became so completely expected and dull? I didn't laugh once during the entire filming of the motion editorial. It's almost like 17 seasons of Tyra doing the exact same egomaniac act over and over is getting old or something.

Judging

It's judging time, and Tyra's wearing peach suspenders and a button-down with wings, like a  bat that got a job at an investment firm.

tyra-wingcape.jpgSO WHY AM I STILL SO BORED?

We're only going to see "Part One" of the motion editorial because of next week's Part Two containing the whole mask-reveal thing. The suspense, you could cut it with a zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Lights down, popcorn up, roll Part One: Well, somebody certainly had fun in their "basics of Final Cut Pro" night class! (Tyra. Tyra had fun.)

plasticbaby-best.jpgBEST SHORT FILM OSCAR MONEY SHOT

The sight of Tyra Banks sucking on Tyson Beckford's thumb will haunt me forever. And of COURSE, the whole thing ends with Tyra whispering, "I'm Tyra, and I'm Tookie." And double-of-course, judging-panel-Tyra watches motion-editorial-Tyra on screen and calls it her "dream come true." Hey Tyra, I think we've all witnessed enough of your dreams coming true. You've used up all the good dreams and you're at the bottom-barrel dreams now. Maybe just leave a couple of the leftover ones unrealized?

Critiques:

Angelea: Her running looked stupid and hilarious, but the part where she was crying about her ladder was really special.

Laura: She seemed self-conscious and "engaged" the camera too much. But the judges liked her mini-episode of "My Strange Addiction" about being addicted to whipped cream.

Allison: She squinted too much because the sun was shining in her face. She needs to train her huge, satelitte-dish eyes to become less sensitive, or maybe she's just not cut out for this biz.

Lisa: "You went Keanu Reeves on me," says Tyson -- but he means her Matrix-style moves, not that she actually can't act. BUT WHAT SHE CAN DO IS GROWL! Boy, Lisa growls a lot. I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing. Do "good" and "bad" even exist in this dimension?

Deliberation:

Andre calls Angelea a "phoenix who rose out of ashes" of last week, while Nigel thinks she's a "timebomb." Lisa is a performer through and through. Tyra says that she gave all the difficult scenes (?) to Lisa, and she delivered. Laura, Nigel says, is "apple pie," but sometimes she's too-sexy apple pie, like that one in American Pie that that kid stuck his dick inside. Tyson Beckford didn't like that Allison was quiet and shy, but Nigel liked her strange and interesting performances.

Cut to 1.5 hours later: The judges are STILL deliberating. Nigel is standing up and yelling about something or other ("SHE'S APPLE PIE!"), while Andre refuses to stand up (how gauche) but is content to yell from his seat. ("BUT I SAAAID I WOULD NOT PUT HER IN MY SALON!")  Hey judges, you don't ACTUALLY care this much about who's going home. The all-stars don't, so I know you don't. Just pick one!

Elimination

lisa13-america-s-next-top-.jpgBest Motion Editorialing (Finalist #1): Lisa. Apparently the growling was a good thing.

Runner-Up (Finalist #2): Angelea. The unmodeliest models are KILLING IT.

Bottom Two: Allison and Laura

I think we all know what's about to happen here, but Tyra goes through the motions of comparing the girls anyway. Laura is sweet and personable and adorable, but that doesn't always translate the right way. Meanwhile, Allison is strange and unique and awkward, but takes great photos and gives great performances. And soooo...

Eliminated: Laura

"Push the personality," Tyra advises Allison for next week. Laura cries and tells Tyra she wants to be remembered as a great model, and Tyra comforts Laura that she used to be a great model, until something changed. GREAT, THANKS.

In closing:

I'm Meghan, and I'm Tookie.


Oh, wait. Two more things. Have a question for Laura? You know the drill. (In the comments. Be original. Go.)

AND, Next Week: It's the finale, and strangely, after a season full of non-modeling challenges, the show will go back to its roots, in terms of finale challenges, which appear to be a beauty shot and a runway challenge. WHO WILL/SHOULD WIN? Time to pick your horse...


(Images courtesy of CW)

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