The fifth installment of Cycle 22's America's Next Top Model
is entitled "The Guy Who Gets a Hickey." That pretty much tells us there is going to be some hooking up going on. Who wants to bet on Mikey being the one to play kissy-face with one of the remaining female models? Or maybe it's Nyle, or adorable Dustin? What about Justin, the man whose still waters run deep? I don't feel his allure, but viewers seem to.
Copious amounts of drama fills the screen in as the models focus on becoming as camera ready as possible. In other words, models who need little to no touch-ups of their photos are more profitable for the publishers and therefore are also more bookable and bankable. So, who can look practically perfect ... naturally? Let's find out.
Sparks Fly Between the Boys and Girls of Cycle 22
"The Guy Who Gets a Hickey" opens with talk of who's crushing on whom and who's in this cycle's mean girls club. During last week's panel we learned that Mikey and Ashley are now a couple, as are Justin and Mame. Courtney, the little gal who got her grill whitened last week, is depressed because she thought Mikey was her own main man. Oops. "Nobody saw that coming," said no viewer ever.
Dustin and Nyle have become a couple, though not a romantic couple, just a couple of honest to goodness bros. Nyle says Dustin is the only one making an effort to learn sign language so they can talk. (That Dustin is a cutie patootie, ladies. Not only does he look like the towheaded dreamboat who grew up next door, but he's got a hot physique and he's sweet as apple pie as well. Can we give this man-child a collective dreamy sigh from the estrogen-rich crowd? Actually, let's include 10% of the male viewing population as well.)
Every Crowd Has a Mean Girl Clique
As for the mean girls club, Mikey, Ashley and Devin are the three stuck-ups who stick out. These three spend the opening of the episode strutting down the runway poking fun at the other models. Really? Are we back in high school people?
After the sun goes down, Mikey and Bello get in a nasty verbal altercation over Mikey making too much noise for Bello to get to sleep. It seems pointless, way over-blown and gets loud. The whole house comes into their bedroom to weigh in. If the others hadn't intervened, Mikey would have knocked Bello out and would have been sent home just like Romeo from cycle 21. Now that was some drama. This kerfuffle between Mikey and Bello? Not so much.
Oh, and It turns out that Justin is the man who gets a hickey, and it's from Mame. This news seriously suffers from an anticlimactic unveiling. (ANTM must have been hard-up to get a good title for the episode.)
Nobody's Perfect ... Especially Without Photoshop Assistance
Joining Yu Tsai for this week's challenge are Anthony De La Rosa, the New Face Agent for NEXT Management, and photographer Massimo Campana. The models will do a photo shoot with phone cameras and then have only 30 minutes to consult with a professional re-toucher to finalize the images for their comp card, which is the head and full body shot models use as their business cards. That means they have to be as perfect as possible all by themselves without relying on much technology to correct for angles, lighting, balance, skin tone, and a whole cadre of other elements that make up the perfect shot.
So, when given the chance to made changes to their images, what do the models do? Mikey has a tattoo removed. Bello has his muscles enlarged. Lacey gives herself a longer torso. Ashley cleans up the bags under her eyes and de-chopifies her hair. Nyle removes an earring hole. Mame lengthens her arm and bust. Justin gets his abs touched up. Devin removes the bags from under his eyes. Someone else has some scratches removed from their chest, but no one mentions Justin's hickey. This would have been a great time to demonstrate the power of proofing.
A Hickey Can Cost You A Million Dollars
Mikey gets kudos for his photo during the review by Yu Tsai. Lacey's photo ends up very editorial and Tsai loves it. Justin's up next and finally, finally, the hickey issue is addressed. He says showing up with hickeys (or any kind of bruising for that matter) is one of the worst mistakes a model can make. Duh! Devin is complimented for decreasing the arch of his eyebrow, but needed to remove his earring hole. Dustin is way too sweet and advised to not smile so grandly.
Mikey Wins a Romantic Night on the Town ... With Devin
Mikey wins the challenge for his photo, but chooses Devin to share his prize: a romantic night on the town instead of his lady love, Ashley. Screeeeeeech. What? Was this man dropped on his head as a baby? He tells the video journal that Ashley is his "undercover lover." This is television, baby. Nothing, nothing, is a secret. Mikey is going to have a couple cold nights on the floor if Ashley knows what's good for her.
When Mikey and Devin return to the house after their date they are obnoxious. To add to the drama, Mikey and Devin dog Ava's first call-out photo on the wall from last week. This pisses Courtney off, who gets her revenge on Mikey by tattling to Ava about the boys' comments. We've seen this before; someone saying they have to be a friend by passing on hurtful information. Word to the wise: Passing on hurtful information like that is one of the most passive aggressive forms of bullying in existence. Instead, advise your friends not to trust the perpetrators, but keep the stinky details to yourself. Passing them onto you is just rude.
Ava decides to confront Mikey and Devin, hoping for an apology. She doesn't get a sincere one and Devin continues looking like a complete ass hat. Mikey has the gall to tell his video journal that Courtney was a liar after we've all seen that he really said what she told Ava.
Hot Nyle Comforts (Super Lucky) Courtney
Courtney is off crying once again. She's in a towel when Nyle finds her. He's shirtless and yummy when he hugs her. So far Nyle has shown himself to be one of the most mature of the group, but I'm thinking, um, if a hot guy came to comfort and hug me half naked, well, that might be fodder for a nice fantasy, but in reality it would feel completely awkward and inappropriate. Not the comforting ... just the half-naked hugging. These are real people after all. Kinda. As expected, nothing happens between Nyle and Courtney (as if it ever would) and we move on.
Models in the Raw
Yu Tsai and photographer Erik Asla meet the troops the next morning for a photo shoot that will be shown to the judges without alterations, improvements, retouching. Mikey announces that he never needs touching-up because he's pretty perfect as he is. (Gag me.) But, one has to admit he photographs well. The camera and Yu Tsai love him. The same goes for Devin in his self-proclaimed perfection and in his affair with Tsai and the camera. Devin manipulates his environment and does pretty well. He just has that bone structure that goes for miles.
Dustin tries to look more butch, but his youth and happy demeanor are detriments to him. Courtney's photo shoot is a car accident. She ends up bawling again. Courtney, honey, it's time for you to pack it in.
Lacey does beautifully. She learned a lot the previous day and it shows in her shoot.
The Judges Critique Raw Model Photos
Mame is gorgeous and her hair is "insane" according to Miss J. Kelly says Mame's tripping. A rock star. Nyle is complemented for twisting his body better, but Tyra says he lacks tension in his pose. Lacey gets major kudos. Kelly says Lacey's "super pop-tart," whatever that means. Kelly says Justin looks like a bag of potatoes in his photo. Hadassah is critiqued for being, well, boring. Dustin's face is perfect. He's finally captured that snarly masculine growl, but his neck and body have shrunk to nothing. Dang. Please don't send our boy home, Tyra.
Devin is "Diggity Damn" according to Tyra. He is limitless. He looks like both an athlete and a model. Tyra says he had 30 good shots and it was hard to choose the best. As long as he keeps his nose clean, this obnoxious flouncy just may take home the title for cycle 22. I'm thinking he had the best photo yet.
Ashley's body looks good and strong. Tyra says Courtney's face is amazing, but Kelly says her personality is unemployable. Up next is Ava. Nothing much is said about her photos. Bello is called "super current" and "major" by Kelly, though I don't know what she sees in them in the least.
Kelly doesn't like Mikey's photo. His neck is missing. Tyra says he's boring. Kelly says he's too "yesterday." I agree. I wish he had more substantial thigh and calf muscles. He looks okay from the waist up (if you like lithe rather than muscular male bodies, which I don't), but he's weak as hell from the waist down.
Who's Still in the Running to Be America's Next Top Model?
Top Three: Lacey, Mame, Devin (Was anyone else surprised by this order?)
Middle Six: Mikey, Ashley, Bello, Nyle, Ava, Courtney
Bottom Three: Justin, Hadassah, Dustin
Sadly, my boyfriend Dustin is sent home. Who will get the chop next week in "The Girl Who Gets Possessed? Join me and we'll find out together. Until then, who do you think had the best photo of "The Guy Who Gets a Hickey?"
America's Next Top Model airs Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Images Courtesy of The CW)