To kick off the week, Dominique gives a speech about how she's here for her kids, which immediately puts her on ELIMINATION WATCH. Meanwhile, Angelea is wallowing in a pit of petty jealousy against Dominique, while Lisa is wallowing in an adjacent, identical pit against Allison. This lashing out is pretty standard practice for this stage of the competition. With five girls left, the end is in sight, and it's also been weeks since any of them interacted with another human being. Everyone's on edge, and ready to sneak up to every other girl's edge and push her off of it.
Just when everyone is feeling most insecure about her ability not only to win this competition, but to even escape it intact (this whole thing being an obvious farce and all, it seems like most of them are more worried about that second one), they get a message on their Tyra-Vision: "Tomorrow, you'll meet with the judges..." WHAT? That's now how the regular timeline works! Someone wonders if it's a surprise elimination, while Lisa thinks the challenge will INCLUDE the judges. One thing is for certain, based on this cycle's precedent: Whatever is about to happen, it's going to be unfair and stupid.
Challenge: YOU Be the Judge!
Miss J shows up in a typical casual day look: A silky brown toga with a curtain tassel wrapped around his head.
He announces that this week, the all-stars will be the "judges" of each other. GREAT. Basically, this cycle is attempting to facilitate what used to happen on Top Model naturally: Verbal attacks and lots of pointing.
Each girl does her walk while the other four sit at a table and judge her. Then they look at her photo book and criticize it openly. Everyone miraculously keeps fairly civil ... until it comes time for the question and answer portion of this ticking time-bomb of a mini-pageant.
Miss J asks each girl. "Who doesn't deserve to be here?" As we all know, this is the loaded gun of reality show questions, a question that will only lead to hole-digging and back-stabbing, to be avoided at all costs unless you REALLY, TRULY are "not here to make friends." Laura, Allison and Lisa effectively dodge the question, each saying something about diversity or the element of chance. Just vague enough to work. Good job, ladies.
But when it's Dominique's turn, she steers her Honesty Bus straight over the cliff, declaring Angelea the least deserving because she's "lacking in confidence" and doesn't "own" her all-star-ness. Just to prove that she really, REALLY wants this to hurt, Dominique adds, "I see so much of myself in you. I say this because I love you." That level of self-righteous patronizing is how actual wars get started.
Then, it gets worse. The other girls turn this into an opportunity for intervention, each taking turns angrily criticizing Angelea for not believing in herself. (Which is like saying, "Why don't you love yourself? That's one of the things I really hate about you!") Even Laura gets into it! She's slamming her hand on the table! "THIS IS ME MAD. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN!" Laura screams in Angelea's face. Whoa. Did anyone else get just a flash of Tyra in Laura's "mad" face? For a split second, she was a woman possessed. But compared to Dominique, she seems to actually care about Angelea's feelings. She REALLY WANTS Angelea to love herself. And you know somebody's a real problem when Laura decides to speak up about it.
Angelea stands up and declares that nobody understands her story, and everybody's attacking her. "Y'all bitches, I KNOW what you're trying to do!" she declares, and runs off in tears. "But ... wait ... come back ..." nobody says. Angelea is most pissed off that the girls shrouded their criticism in love: "We only say this because we love you," she mocks them. "Really? REALLY?"
Miss J's head-broom eventually runs after Angelea and convinces her to come back. He asks her the same question ("Who doesn't belong here?") and she relishes the chance to dish the hate right back: "Hmm... none of 'em," she declares, and sits back down. This would be a good time for Angelea's signature, "Ba-DAM!" but her spirit has been broken. By all the other girls saying that her spirit was broken.
Oh good grief, it's not even over yet! The girls then sit down with an actual piece of paper and VOTE on who among them is strongest and weakest at everything.
Who's the strongest paper towel? What does this even have to do with ANYTHING? ... Well, it's Lisa, obviously.
Miss J tallies the FIVE votes and declares the consensus:
Um. Sure. ON OPPOSITE DAY. Lisa immediately admits that the voting has been skewed: "Everyone voted for Laura because they DON'T feel threatened by her." You can't trust anybody.
After they just spent hours picking apart each other's faults, the girls then jump on the yacht of some model whose name I didn't bother learning, and spend the day pretending to like each other while swimming. Later, what's-her-name takes the girls out to a club in Crete, where techno music and swarthy men invade their personal boundaries. There are literally PLATTERS of shots making their way to the models as I sing "Awww, Crete, crete, crete, crete, crete, crete!"
to myself, shamelessly.
It looks like things are about to turn into America's Next Top Jersey Shore Season 4
, because what's-her-name is a big drinker, but the potential for drunken hilarity is immediately lost. Allison and Lisa both decide to abstain (Allison because she's uncomfortable enough as it is, Lisa because she's a recovering alcoholic who wants to prove she's responsible) and then the show cuts to commercial. When it returns, there isn't so much as a single hangover to make this little scene worthwhile. Like I said, you can't trust anybody.
Photo Shoot: Ancient Olympians
The girls arrive on a gorgeous cliff over the water, where huge broken Greek pillars have been strategically placed like a giant just got done playing Lincoln Logs up there. Nigel, our photographer this week, tells each girl she needs to embody "the classic athleticism" of the ancient Olympic games. To do this, each model is given different sport to pretend to play, and zero instruction on how to play it. Just like the original ancient games! They didn't even have instant replay back then. Savages.
Dominique (javelin): After she figures out how to "hold the thing" (giggle), Dominique still doesn't seem to know what to do with herself, or her prop. Angelea spits Haterade from off camera about how Dominique should have never made it into the top five. She does NOT follow this up with "because I see so much of myself in her."
Allison (discus): Apparently the ancient discus looked like a handbag. Oh, that IS a handbag. But WHY? Nobody else had to play pretend with an accessory. "It kind of looks like you're hailing a cab," says Nigel. Well, yeah. Because you gave her a handbag to hold up in the air! Allison's photo shoot starts off weak, but once she enters her Allison Zone (it's neighbors with the Twilight Zone), she gets some good shots.
Lisa (hurdles): Lisa's been given hurdles, specifically because the judges told her never to jump in a photo again. That's been DONE. Nigel asks Lisa why she's not jumping, and then she REALLY lets the cat out of the bag: "I'm trying to be safe, because I feel like if there is a bad shot, you guys might pick that one." Whoooooa. Did she really just SAY THAT? And by "that," I mean "the TRUTH"? The weirdest part (besides that this MADE IT TO AIR) is that Lisa said this TO A JUDGE. You don't just go up to Agent Smith and say, "I feel like somebody might have me stuck in a Matrix?" You don't go up to Sonny Corleone and be like, "I feel like your Dad, y'know, the Godfather, might have business dealings that aren't completely legal." Dude. Lisa. HE'S IN ON IT.
Laura (archery): Laura was "a lot of fun," says Nigel. She's like "Athena, Warrior Princess." Maybe because she's so comfortable around her prop: "My sister can kill with a bow!" she brags to Nigel. I wonder if Laura's heart hurts from me blessing it so much, but whatever, I have to say it again: BLESS. HER. HEART.
Angelea (shot put): Angelea doesn't know what a shot put is and keeps calling it a "put shot." (WHATEVER! Y'all bitches don't know her story!) And so her photo shoot, like her talking, ends up mostly awkward and confused. When she's supposed to be putting the shot, she shooting the put! At times, it looks like she's trying to highfive a really tall person with a rock. It's a mess.
Judging and Deliberation
Tyra marvels at how she keeps eliminating girls, and yet fewer and fewer of them show up to panel each week! It's so weird how cause and effect works that way. Miss J is our guest judge this evening, praise be to whatever god convinced him to keep wearing that crazy-ass wig, which seems to be growing.
On to the critiques:
Allison: Tyra loves that it's high fashion and awkward. Andre HATES that her back heel is sinking into the ground. How DARE her stiletto adhere to gravity!
Lisa: Tyra once again loves that it's high fashion. Andre, still foot-fixated, thinks her toes don't have enough tension.
Dominique: Andre says, "Sweetie, I think you're beautiful... BUT." That's never a good thing. After the ominous "but," he says Dominique looks like a princess, and her leg is weak.
Angelea: "Which sport were you?" Tyra asks. "Pit shot?" Angelea trys again. SO CLOSE. Maybe you'll get it on the 50th try! Angelea's shot works, but Nigel says a lot of her film was "stilted." Tyra says Angelea's eyes were "dead," and that the photo was saved by her "reaching" ... in both senses of the word, really.
Laura: "Absolutely stunning!" says Nigel. He loved how she powered through her mask and tried a lot of things. Once again, Andre hates on the legs: Her knee poking through the dress bothers him. Maybe his Louis slippers are on too tight.
Tyra again praises Allison's "weirdness," while Andre thinks it's too "modern interpretive dance." Nigel is Laura's new champion. He loves her photo and loved her even more on set.
Lisa didn't jump enough, says Andre. And her face is too dead, thinks Miss J. But Nigel thinks it's "dreamy." Everyone keeps disagreeing with Andre, and he is so OVER IT.
As for Dominique, Nigel thinks she's forgettable. The word of death on a show that doesn't understand the difference between good and bad attention!
Andre loves Angelea's photo, but Nigel says that he had to lead her by the hand the entire time. Then Miss J relates the tale of Angelea's meltdown during the challenge. Tyra wonders if Angelea could handle being a guest correspondent for EXTRA! (Uh, yeah, I think my moldy refrigerator leftovers could handle being a guest correspondent for EXTRA!) "What if she's on the red carpet and has to interview Angelina Jolie?" Well that's a stupid example, since ANYONE would sh*t their pants in that scenario, and Angelina Jolie would never stoop to being interviewed on an early evening gossip show by a Top Model All-Star, but we get the point. And that point is that Angelea's probably doomed.
Best Photo: Laura
Stuck in the Middle: Lisa
Bottom Two: Dominique and Angelea
Ah. So the season's most epic feud (more like tepid feud) all comes down to this. Like Harry Potter and Voldemort, neither can live while the other survives! (Sorry. I've got HP on the brain. There's a marathon on ABC Family this week.) WHO WILL WIN?
Whaaaa? Ta-WIST! (Sorry again. That's just a dumb thing to say.) I definitely thought Angelea was headed for elimination because she completely BOMBED that hypothetical Angelina Jolie interview. And it looks like Dominique did, too. Her photo wasn't THAT bad, and she's been more consistent than Angelea, but personality beat out performance. Dominique says she can't wait to go home and see her kids, and she's a "survivor," so don't worry about her. "I always stay true to who I am. And with that in mind, I can't go wrong."
So we've got our final four -- and Dominique's not in it. Sniff. Do you have a question for Dominique? I'm talking to her tomorrow (11:30 PST) so leave it in the comments before then. Try to make it something that wouldn't be super-awkward for me to ask. Extra points for creativity.
Next Week: Tyra takes her seasonal turn as photographer, and the models pose with ... baby dolls? Creepy. And then Tyson Beckford shows up? And Angelea cries while Tyra nods understandingly. Typical Top Model, basically.
(Images courtesy of CW)