'America's Next Top Model: All-Stars' Week 5 Recap: Jackson Family Values
'America's Next Top Model: All-Stars' Week 5 Recap: Jackson Family Values
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Tonight on America's Next Top Model: Two American royal families come to visit, and the girls learn a lesson about kindness and love. But not before they tear each other apart with jealousy and hatred.

Somehow, a few of our all-stars were under the impression that success in the outside world of modeling would translate to success in this freaky funhouse mirror world of modeling/acting/hot dog making. Bre, specifically, worries that she's not as pro as she thought she was, and thinks since she's been hovering toward the bottom every week, she's bound to drop through Tyra's trapdoor soon. Meanwhile Lisa takes all her criticism, ignores the parts that she doesn't like and ingests the rest, for the attention only makes her stronger. "Hold on tight, kids!" she warns us, because before she was just being herself, which is already high-levels crazy, and now she's consciously going for it.

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After getting best photo last week, Angelea has a bit of chip on her shoulder, at once proud that she's In the game now, but also assuming everyone underestimated her from the beginning. She thinks THEY think she's not good enough to be a real model, because every modeling agency she applied to since she was on Top Model told her the same thing... Actually, maybe Angelea does have a good reason to have that chip there. And it makes everything out of her mouth at least 20 times more interesting and candid than anyone else. Keep the chip!

Meanwhile, Bianca is losing it. She says something about how this is not a "realistic situation" (nooooooooo, youdon'tsay!) and that she holds herself to a high standard, but really, she's just pissed that she's not winning. "She thinks she's above this, and you can never be above an opportunity," says Dominique. Actually, I think MORE of these girls should consider themselves "above this," but that doesn't make Bianca's pouting any less obnoxious or any more productive.

Unfortunately for Shannon, she chose the same day as Bianca's meltdown to organize a phone schedule, and Bianca randomly drew phone session #10, and she thinks people are going over their phone time limit. (It's 2011, and a phone schedule is a conflict on a REALITY show! That's going to be confusing for the imaginary people watching reruns of this show in 20 years.) Bianca's presence is SO intimidating, and Shannon is SO terrified of conflict, that as soon as Bianca opens her mouth, Shannon bursts into tears and offers Bianca HER phone time, like she's being held at gun point. "Take my time, I don't even need it! Just, please, don't shoot!" Shannon pleads, "I have a sensitive spirit." Ain't that the truth. Bianca is confused, and worried: "You can't cry when I'm talking to you, I'm already the villain on television!" You'd think she'd be proud: Bianca has officially achieved Reality TV Platinum Status. She can actually cause drama JUST BY STANDING THERE. And she's like ...

bianca-face-ep5.jpg
But 'just stand there' Bianca does not, at least not for long, because Lisa rides in on her white horse to defend Shannon (and traumatize Allison, who freezes and floats out of the room like the force of the conflict killed her and turned her into a ghost). Lisa accuses Bianca of thinking she's more important than everyone else, and then screams "I DON'T CARE!" until Bianca leaves the room. Lisa slam-poems at us about her exciting new decision to be Bianca's nemesis: "She's afraid of the water, I'm the deep end. She hates dogs, I'm a pit bull."

lisa-screaming-ep5.jpgShe's claustrophobic, I'm the elevator she's stuck inside! She's allergic to nuts, I'm the peanut brittle in her Christmas stocking! All she needs is a knife, and I'm the 10,000 spoons!

Bianca then fumes to Bre about Lisa, "Celebrity Rehab 4, 5 and 6 is calling her name. I'm done." OH SNAP. Is it bad that my first thought was, "Whoa, Bianca's a little behind on her CRWDD episodes," and then, a few second later: "HEY! She's mocking and deriding someone's former drug addiction, that's not cool!"? Yeah, probably. But I still think I'm thinking better than Bianca. 

The Challenge: Kareening on the Kardashian Karousel

Miss J greets the girls dressed like a Grandma fisherman at high tea. God, don't you love him? And love how your love for him never, ever fades away?

missj-fisherwoman.jpgThe models learn that today's challenge is a special runway show: they'll be stepping off of a moving carousel onto the runway. Another day, another videogame-style runway show where the main concern is survival, not fashion.

During runway prep, Bianca is still being a Negative Nancy and Bre, her only friend, tries to comfort her. Even though they hate Bianca and Bre is her ally, the other girls seem to merely pity Bre because, as Lisa says, "It's like Bre has a toddler at Disneyland on a leash. She should be focusing on herself."

Having changed into a more normal outfit (Jazz Era Funeral Attendant) Miss J waltzes into the makeshift beauty parlor with a surprise: THE KARDASHIANS!

kimkardashian-designer.jpg"Designer." Is that a noun or an adjective?

I'm not sure what to say ... there are literally no more Kardashian jokes left, are there? They're here to promote their new Sears clothing line of leopard-print power suits, all of which is just about the most perfect loveless marriage of glamour and mediocrity that I've ever heard of. The Kardashi-drones explain that the most confident model will win, and get a full "head to toe outfit" for free! From SEARS! The girls scream in ecstasy, and Khloe Kardashian screams back, "Yarrrrrrrrrgh!" like pirate Chewbacca. She's my favorite. She never learns!

The Carousel Runway: Each girl has to hold onto the carousel, ride a pony and then smoothly jump off at the runway and walk. "It's kind of circusy. It has Lisa D'Amato written all over it," says Lisa, and then she DELIVERS. A lot of the girls stumble (Allison says it feels like "whiplash"), but a few manage to make the carousel ride cute, while others look confused and embarrassed. Bre does a funky spin move off of the carousel and tells us, "I feel like a million bucks!" I love Bre, and I want to save her from Bianca.

In the audience, Miss J, not at all forced by product placement contract stipulations, screams at Kim Kardashian: "The CLOTHES are really, really CUTE!" I'm surprised he doesn't continue: "And WHERE did you say I can get them again? At my local SEARS?"

biancarunwayep5-0-1.jpgBianca Stink Fest '11 continues: She "looked like a mean dog" on the runway, says Lisa. Even the Kardashians can look outside of themselves long enough to notice her lack of energy. When it's her turn, Alexandria says something about how the all-stars are "big dog sharks" or something. Just imagine. Teeth and fins everywhere! That's Bianca's worst nightmare -- according to Lisa, she hates water AND dogs!

THE WINNER: The Kardashians babble over each other for a minute until they finally spit it out that they couldn't agree on who should win this fake contest, so there's a two-way tie between Bre and Lisa. WHAT? TWO free Sears outfits? Is this the Kardashian Kollection or the MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION?

After the show, Miss J asks Bianca in front of everybody, "Who you mad at?" and she says "Everybody." At least she's being honest. But this sets Bianca off. Like the self-described shaken soda bottle that she is, she goes on her rant: "None of these girls work as hard as I do!" She rages, and cries, and points around the room, accusing everyone of targeting her. This is what happens when egomaniacs feel threatened, but the other girls clearly resent that Bianca is using her temper tantrum as an excuse to badmouth everyone else, and they don't mind saying so within earshot of Bianca. If they weren't openly against her before, they sure are now. Bre tries to play peacekeeper, but it's a losing battle. There's a clear line in the sand now. The sand on the island where Bianca lives, alone, while the rest of the girls circle the island on their pirate ships, and Bre tries to hold them off in a tiny rowboat.

Later, while Bianca's crying on the phone to her boyfriend, the rest of the girls stand around and talk about how Bianca is cracking under the pressure, and it would be better for everyone, ESPECIALLY her wellbeing, if she just bowed out now. Bre, eavesdropping from the next room like a good little sidekick, is furious, especially at their hypocrisy. Bre says that Shannon is supposed to be a Christian, but she's just pretending to be kind and generous by saying Bianca should leave when really, she wants less competition.

Of course, Bre runs to Bianca and tells her everything. They vow to "play" AND "fight" with such aggressive glee that they sound like they're going to stab the other girls, not try to out-pretty them.

Photo Shoot: Bad, Bad, C'mon, Really, Really Bad

The photo shoot is about depicting Michael Jackson through the ages. I honestly don't know what to think about this, so I'm just going to list out some ideas: It feels too soon, yet celebratory. It seems poorly timed with his murder trial happening right now, but maybe that's what makes it the BEST time to honor his actual life. But can a reality show modeling competition REALLY honor, more than dishonor, someone's life? Maybe a different show, but probably not THIS show. There may, in some way, have been a right or better or at least sweet way to go about this 'tribute,' but I don't think putting one girl in blackface and several girls in Jerry curl wigs was it.

lisa-alexandria-ep5.jpgLisa and Alexandria, honoring his memory.

I'm tempted to say that, like so many on Top Model, it seems like this photo shoot was poorly, but innocently (or at least ignorantly), conceived. But then how do I justify the presence of LA TOYA? Yes, La Toya Jackson is in the building for this one, and she's just so thrilled to be included. ALMOST as thrilled as Angelea, who loooooves the Jacksons. Every single one of them! And she makes sure we know that by naming them all in a row like the seven dwarves.

During the photo shoot, Bianca finally turns it around and gets great feedback. Bre too impresses Jay with her poses, but he thinks she's "holding her breath" too much. There must be a metaphor for her mediator position in there somewhere. Alexandria looks like a creepy marionette in her sparkly-gloved MJ ensemble. Angelea attempts to "channel" Michael in her "Bad" video shoot, but Jay thinks she channeled a "neanderthal" with her wide open mouth.

La Toya sees Shannon's outfit and thinks it needs a little more sparkle, so she brings Shannon her PERSONAL diamond Jackson belt. It must be magical, because Shannon gets rave reviews in her shot. For her 90s Michael, Laura calls it her "modern tribute to Michael" and then she gets on her knees, falls backward and thrusts. The room goes crazy! Laura is the best at channeling Michael because she's an angel.

For her 70s MJ shot, Allison is the only girl in blackface. Sigh. I don't even want to unpack that one, let's just leave it in the box.

Lisa is manic, and spends (what looks like) her entire session dancing around and doing the splits. Bianca watches from the sidelines, pretending not to care but secretly riveted. "She looks old. I'm not intimidated by Lisa in the least. She means nothing to me," says Bianca. SURE SHE DOESN'T. But at least Lisa can handle the hate. Bianca's other nemesis, Shannon, cannot. She starts crying again after her "REJECTED!" high-five joke gets, well, rejected by icy-cold Bianca. "She has an ugly soul," Bianca says to Bre. Or was it to a mirror?

Judging

The great La Toya Jackson is tonight's guest judge. If I were in that room, I'd love to say to Tyra, "Remember when Ru Paul's Drag Race did it first?" and then sit back and watch which method she chooses to have me killed!

On to the photos...


Shannon: Nigel calls it "genius." La Toya: "She became that character, almost!"

Kayla: Andre loves the tension, energy and passion.

Dominique: She's a model-esque "Smooth Criminal."

Angelea: She's "Bad" the music video, and slightly bad in her critique. The judges don't hate it, but aren't crazy about pretty much everything in the shot.

Allison: La Toya says she "captured the essence of that era," but not Michael of the era. She looks like Black Donnie Osmond.

Bre: Nigel says he SEES Michael in the photo, but not in a good way? It makes him "nervous." What does that mean? I start to realize I didn't understand the assignment.

Alexandria: Tyra says it's "quirky" and has "a sense of humor." Like a doll that comes to life and murders you?

Lisa: Andre hates the slutty retro housewife outfit she's wearing, but Tyra loves it, so that's a wash. Lisa is doing the splits for the fourth time in five photo shoots, and Nigel is SICK OF IT! Andre: "This picture is not Michael Jackson. This is the weakest link in the whole series." Ouch. La Toya tries to defend Lisa, saying she tried hard during the photo shoot. What she doesn't know is that Lisa always tries hard. She just can't always harness it.

Laura: The judges LOVE her photo, saying it's "regal and elegant." I still don't understand the assignment. Nor what "regal" means, apparently.

Bianca: It's "the wrong kind of naivete," says Nigel. Bianca says she's surprised at her bad feedback, and Tyra calls her out for having told Miss J that she "doesn't know why she's here" at the runway show. Bianca accuses everyone of thinking she's too big of competition and attacking her out of jealousy. Everyone else looks on like, "Suuuure. OK. Go ahead and self-destruct. We don't need to say a thing."

Elimination

Tyra reveals that the judges have asked La Toya to make the photo order, including who should be eliminated. Whoa, TWIST! That's like asking a puppy to break up with somebody for you.

Best Photo: Laura

I don't get it. I think I would have chosen Dominique. But sure. Who am I to criticize La Toya?

Bottom Two: Lisa and Angelea

Tyra explains that Angelea feels all over the place, while Lisa feels one note (and that note is doing the splits). "So who goes home?" Long pause.

Then La Toya pipes in, and the happy ending music pipes up: "My brother was about love, about expression, about giving." Michael and La Toya believe in second chances, and that's whyyyyy ... NO ONE IS GOING HOOOOOME! Tyra: "I have two photos in my hands." TWO PHOTOS! It's a Michael Jackson miracle! I could really use some doves to release right now.

Angelea: "I feel like somebody saved me. It could have been La Toya." (It was La Toya.) "It could have been Michael." (It was La Toya.) "It could have been Jesus." (It was still La Toya.)

This episode had so much fighting, yet it ended on a note of charity and love. Thank you, La Toya Jackson. You are a beautiful, giggling, velor-draped angel. Why can't you stay here forever and keep these girls on their best behavior?

Next Week: The models play flag football, which Biance may turn into punch and kick football, and then do some sort of painful/fetish photo shoot with Coco Rocha.



(Images courtesy of CW)

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