I apologize for the tardiness of this recap, my darling Top Model devotees. I’m sure no less than three of you sat up all night hitting the refresh button until your thumbs were as shiny and sore as Nigel Barker’s head. Did you worry that, after reading ANTM demigod Rich Juzwiak’s confessional allocution on never recapping again, that I’d gone out of the business for good? No, my sweets. While Rich raises many great points about how recapping for hours and days and weeks and months and years on end can break your soul, just like Tyra, I’ve never been burdened with one of those. And so the two of us will soldier on, she creating episodes of Top Model and I recapping them, until the revolution comes and our televisions are occupied by more pressing matters, like those jolly Hunger Games I keep hearing so much about. Now that’s a reality show with some stakes!
Actually, I’m late because it took me forever to get the maple syrup out of my hair and laptop keys and living room rug and cat. I tried to organize a themed “Top Model Goes to Canada” viewing party for my closest friends, complete with maple syrup dipping fountain, and they went nuts and destroyed the place! (My closest friends are bears.)
ANYWAY — what happened on America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion, aka ANTM: BI, aka Chicks With Low BMIs, last night? Let’s talk about it:
Laura’s sick of seeing the girls (Kyle and Eboni) complain about petty stuff because before she left for the show, one of her best friends died in a motorcycle accident. Heavy stuff. Then, almost immediately, as if to explicitly mock Laura’s real emotions, there’s another plug for Verizon mobile phones. Annaliese plugs her phone into the TV and magically transfers Jay Manuel’s face inside! He says they’re going to Toronto Fashion Week and walking in runway shows there. THE PRESSURE IS ON. Except — is it really? Canadians are so nice. Even if you walk like a duck and then fall at the end of the runway and start quacking, won’t they be like, “Well at least she has a unique energy”?
The Toronto Go-See Challenge
Jay drags the girls all the way up the CN Tower as a joke. “No, we’re not doing a photo shoot dangling from the tower!” he says. (The real shoot is much worse. More on that soon.) They’re going on go-sees to book shows for Toronto Fashion Week, and whoever books the most shows gets clothes from JAY’S OWN FASHION COLLECTION! Whaaaat? Well now that a suitcase full of plaid suits and shiny button-downs is on the line…
The girls go as an entire group to all eight designers, which unfortunately does away with the race element that we’ve come to know and love about go-sees. But it DOES mean that they get to watch and viciously critique each other, so it’s sort of a wash.
Laura, Kyle and Sophie book the first job, because apparently that designer wants “confidence” (blondes). Speaking of — how quickly did all of Sophie’s pink wash out of her hair? A week, tops?
The next meeting is make or break: Six designers behind a table, any of whom could book the girls for their shows. Annaliese, AzMarie, Alisha and Sophie book a couple shows. Eboni books FOUR, and can’t wait to gloat about it.
Ashley and Seymone have booked zero by the time they get to Jay Manuel, who is the final “designer” of the day. Jay says he “wants” to use Seymone, but her walk is so weak. Ashley looks like Bridget Jones, trying to strut all sexy with morning-after hair in a sweater dress with another sweater draped over her shoulders. Even Jay looks second-hand embarrassed for her. Poor Ashley.
Laura, Kyle, AzMarie and Sophie book Jay’s show. Not even a pity-book for Seymone! She’s like, “I tried. Didn’t get it. Didn’t care.” With an attitude like that, I can’t imagine why she isn’t the entire world’s curvy muse.
Sophie and Eboni each booked four shows, so the challenge winner will be determined by who does the best at the runway shows tonight.
The Runway Shows
At rehearsal for their first show (Pink Tartan), Kyle and Laura forget how to walk like human beings with human personalities, and the designer immediately regrets her decision to book reality show contestants in her show. “I don’t think we’re going to get it in the next five hours,” the director says about the girls’ ability to walk normally. (FIVE HOURS!) So Pink Tartan cuts Kyle and Laura from the show.
Seymone is in a “bad, bitchy mood” and has been all day. Jay tries to encourage her, but she’s still pouting like a baby even when she says “I plan to kick butt at my photo shoot.”
On the runway, Eboni looks beautiful, but serious and stern. AzMarie looks like a badass, per usual. Annaliese is breathtaking. But the star is clearly Sophie. She looks amazing on the Pink Tartan runway. Like a sexy mad scientist in one, and a beautiful cancer patient in another. I loooove her.
Back at their Toronto condo (Torondo?) Catherine adorably tells AzMarie how amazing she looked on the runway, and we see a little crack in Az’s armor. She still has wounds from coming out at a young age, and doing so well in this competition is really boosting her confidence.
The next morning, Jay announces that Eboni and Sophie are both the winners of the challenge. And, in addition to a look from the “Jay Manuel: Attitude” collection soon to be sold at Wet Seals everywhere, they also win a trip back to Canada for the Calgary Stampede, the biggest rodeo in North America! “AND,” Jay says ecstatically, “it’s their 100th anniversary!” Eboni and Sophie take a second to realize that yes, that’s it, and that no, it has nothing to do with modeling. They clap for a second. “Yaaaaay?”
The Photo Shoot
Because Tyra has no problem mixing the real aspects of modeling with her completely made-up stupid aspects, after a day of genuine runway shows, the girls are now to be dressed in maple leaves and doused in a maple syrup shower (ORGANIC maple syrup, Jay makes sure to mention) for the photo shoot. Disturbing, on both cultural and hygienic levels. Soiling the country’s national symbol within its own borders. Is Tyra actively trying to start a war with Canada? What is that evil mastermind’s endgame here?
And so the girls take turns caressing themselves while gobs of syrup cascade down their arms and chests and stomachs and expensive weaves. The pressure starts to get to Laura, and before it’s her turn to shoot, she suddenly breaks down about her friend who died. But she’s a strong girl, and recovers quickly enough to look amazing even while syrup bubbles out of her mouth like delicious, sugary bile. There’s nothing this girl can’t do!
… Unlike Ashley, who’s having a hard time finding something that she can do. She didn’t book any shows. She got syrup in her eye. And she really misses her kids. Poor, sad Ashley then watches AzMarie’s shoot and says, “Why can’t I be more like Az? I wish I was Az.”
Jay says that this was Seymone’s best shoot so far. Meanwhile, Eboni keeps going for sexiness, even though Tyra keeps telling her to look young and innocent. Both of them look a little too turned on to be playing the role of human pancake.
Beverly Johnson, the first black woman to grace the cover of Vogue, is the guest judge. Oh great, there’s Kelly Cutrone. I had hoped she had enough criminal charges for harassment and battery that they wouldn’t have let her into Canada. On to the judging…
Alisha: The judges still have faith in her, but she’s not showing off her inner supermodel in the photo.
Sophie: Nigel loves her “piercing” eyes. Beverly likes how it’s not “sexual,” it’s “high fashion.” But Tyra wants more.
Catherine: She breaks down while talking about how she didn’t book any shows. She’s so polite and endearing that the judges don’t seem to mind. And they love her photo. “You are smizing through my soul,” Tyra says, pretending to have one of those.
Ashley: She looks too afraid in her photo. Kelly thinks she looks like she’s an “elf who lost her clan.” When unable to give actual feedback, Kelly just says stuff sometimes.
Annaliese: It’s animalistic, and the judges love it. Her bone structure looks amazing.
Laura: Nigel thinks it’s beautiful and stunning. Kelly thinks she needs more energy. (WRONG.) Tyra loves its vulnerability.
Kyle: Beverly loves the eyes, and the waist. I like how it looks like Kyle has a syrup mustache.
AzMarie: There’s a “story” here, possibly about a tattooed woman slathering herself with syrup to bring all the boys to her yard. It’s “smoldering hot, boiling hot, chica chica chica, yes” says Kelly. Someone stop this woman.
Seymone: Nigel calls it the best beauty shot of the bunch. Beverly hasn’t been here all season, so it’s forgivable that she thinks Seymone “really knows her body.”
Eboni: Kelly explains that “there’s a French painter named Matisee,” and in France they call beautiful women “matissee,” and that’s what Eboni is. Do you guys think Kelly bought her drugs in Canada, or smuggled them in?
In deliberation, the judges harp on Ashley’s fear and Alisha’s “safe”-ness. When it comes time to talk about Annaliese, Kelly says, “Sometimes I wake up and have dreams of her talking.” Uhhhhhhhh… come again, Female Busey? Is Annaliese your Freddy Kruger? What the hell are you talking about?
Best photo of the week goes to: EBONI
Well, I didn’t see that one coming. I guess Tyra decided to forget about the whole “30-Never” thing.
And the rest, in order:
Seymone (Really? Her?)
Bottom Two: Catherine and Ashley
Neither of them booked any shows, but Catherine’s strong photo prevails. Low self-esteemed Ashley and her precious Scottish accent are eliminated. Tyra says that Ashley has the most amazing personality and thinks she should be a presenter. “You have that extra-special something,” Tyra says. Just not for modeling. But still, for a woman who usually kicks you out the door with a, “Go home and look in the mirror,” that was a nice consolation remark.
Next Week: Sophie throws Laura’s teddy bear in the pool and Laura LOSES HER MIND about it. Then, Lisa D’Amato, winner of the All-Star cycle, returns to help revive last cycle’s most awful, hilarious task: THE MUSIC VIDEO CHALLENGE.
(Images courtesy of CW)