Is anyone else still reeling that AzMarie got eliminated last week, just because she refused to wear a butt pad? I guess that’s just where we are now. Preferring to model your real ass is a sign that you have disrespect for the people who could make your career. (Or, you know, put you in an embarrassing butt pad and then throw you by the wayside when the next batch of would-be models comes along.)
On a lighter note, I’m so happy for Alisha that she got first call-out last week! She’s so pretty and I like hearing her talk, so I hope she sticks around. But I worry about her, seeing that the only challenge she’s excelled in so far was the only non-photo challenge. And she’s supposed to be a model. Or so the TV show’s name says.
Back at the house after elimination, Laura is “PISSED” that AzMarie got eliminated, mostly because that means Kyle didn’t. So Laura and the British girls sit by the pool and vent about how Kyle is the worst and useless and not even that good looking if you REALLY look at her so she’s “ready to go home.” If only Tyra and her absent panel of judges could just see it! La-la-la-laura and the Brits have formed an alliance, and that alliance’s name and motto and purpose is “Send Kyle Home.”
And that was just the first five minutes. Should be a really fun episode.
The Challenge: “Beauty is in the Smize of the Beholder”
Nigel tells the girls that they have to create a two-minute PSA (“what’s a PSA?” – some of the girls, for real) for Tyra’s “Bio” campaign, which is I guess something to do with promoting positive body image, which is always the perfect message to be promoted by BEAUTIFUL MODELS.
The girls are already thrilled, and then they learn that THE WINNER GETS A VIDEO MESSAGE FROM A LOVED ONE ON HER VIRGIN MOBILE PHONE?! That’s almost as good as an email or a hug or literally any other sort of interaction you might get from a loved one on a normal day, no strings attached, for free.
It’s time to prep for the PSAs, and each model is matched up with an adorable little teen girl! YAY! It’s both adorable and refreshing to see innocent, narcissistic-agenda-less human beings featured on this show. The little girls confide in the models about the times they’ve gotten made fun of or bullied for how they look, and each time it’s SO SAD, but then each of the models does her best Zooey Deschanel/Oprah impression and is like, “It gets better! Like, I swear! You are so beautiful!” and everyone hugs. It’s honestly very sweet, and (FOR ONCE) this show has a relevant and admirable and touching message: Every girl is beautiful and special. Every girl deserves to and should feel good enough. No girl should get critiqued ad nauseam for features of her body she cannot and should not attempt to change. And F*CK Disney for making beautiful little girls of color think that they aren’t pretty because no princesses look the way they do.
If every episode of this show could be about this, it would be a much better show. Sadly, it would also be a canceled show. Still, I’m glad we’re doing away with the maple syrup and fur suits for a moment to think about THE CHILDREN.
Each model and her ward decide on a brief script for their PSA, each of which centers around the thought, “Beauty is…” They draw hearts on their cheeks and have cute little “Kids Say the Darndest Things” moments on camera, with the cute little girls saying “Beauty is my family!” and “Beauty is MOLD!” (No, beauty is “breaking the mold,” Laura breaks it to her sweet little gal gently.) According to the PSAs, beauty is also being smart and funny and family and showing your inner confidence with a smile and dancing and being silly and being confident and BEING YOU.
So now it’s Nigel’s awkward job to look at these unabashed love-fests and criticize them. He decides that the winning team is … THE BRITS. They scream. The American girls frown. So then the group goes home, and see their messages on their “Virgin mobile phones” (on their huge flat-screen TV) and it’s so cute to see the British girls’ families! Alisha’s little brother is TO DIE FOR adorable. And Sophie’s stupid twat of a boyfriend is completely unemotional and awkward. “That was such bollocks,” she says. MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED HERMIONE FOR THE MESSAGE, THEN.
Photo Shoot: Dinner Party
Jay Manuel is still trying to make “booty tooch” happen, but that’s not REALLY the point of this photo shoot. The point is to look like a “living art installation” (code for frozen hoochie) at a dinner party shoot at a fancy mansion. After hair and makeup, Jay introduces the guest judge/model: Estelle, whom we all know as that British woman who sings “American Boy” with Kanye.
“I’m British! But otherwise, I don’t know why I’m here, either!”
The girls pose in groups at a fancy dinner table, and the point for each of them is to “stand out.” For the girl whose job it is to be the focal point of the photo, that inevitably means straddling the table or writhing around sexually on the table while biting or licking or squeezing various meats. Even though they WANT the girls on top of the table, it still feels wrong. The other girls toe the line between supporting and undermining her in the background, making crazy faces and grand gestures and just generally acting like NO ONE would ever act at a dinner party — which is how you know it’s a good photo shoot. AzMarie is probably so happy she got eliminated right now.
Sophie does a good job of looking like a really hungry high-end escort on top of the table. Very 3/4-of-the-way-through Pretty Woman. Seymone is doing crazy upside-down poses that are embarrassing, but then she throws a PIE in Annaliese’s FACE, Nickelodeon style!
The show is still trying to make the “Booty Tooch” thing happen, and Kyle gets a fake butt pad put in under her dress so she can really “tooch” (pop) her “booty” (ass). The other girls get angry, because the rest of THEM had to painfully shove the non-existent asses THAT GOD GAVE THEM into the camera, while Kyle got to rest on her padded laurels like a lazy, unnatural ass-thief. It’s just not fair!
It’s elimination time. Estelle is the guest judge. Tyra is dressed like a crossword puzzle mated with a Japanime character. Everything’s normal.
Catherine: Her butt is up in the air, like she was reaching for seconds when she lost balance. The judges can’t seem to decide what they think of it, but they might be impressed? I’m so tired of hearing the non-word “TOOCH.” This whole photo shoot feels like a superficial way for Tyra to force it down our throats even though none of us want or ever wanted it.
Alisha: The general consensus is that she’s not as impressive in photo as in video.
Sophie: Kelly thinks it looks like “Ivanka Trump’s divorce party.”
Annaliese: Nigel thinks it’s fabulous, and Estelle loves it. Kelly says it’s the best shot she’s done, but Tyra doesn’t love it as much. She thinks it’s more commercial than high fashion.
Eboni: The judges think she has a beautiful body and face, but Kelly calls it “topsy-turvy.” Tyra loves that Eboni embraced her young face, FINALLY.
Kyle: Tyra calls it her “training tooch,” and I frankly want to die, I’ve just heard the fake word too many times to reasonably handle. DOWN WITH THE TOOCH! WHO GOT THE TOOCH? Anyway, the judges are disappointed with Kyle and she’s almost certainly going home.
Laura: Her face is great, but the judges are in disagreement whether her body is icy or hotttt.
Seymone: Kelly and Estelle love it. Tyra calls it an “upside down arched rainbow tooch.”
In deliberation, the judges sh*t on Catherine, show faith in Alisha, adore Sophie, disagree about but generally adore Eboni, are too ambivalent about Kyle and her “hoochie tooch,” look down upon Laura and her “stripper gymnast” contorting, adore Annaliese’s energy and seem to sympathize with Seymone even though none of them can muster a single ounce of enthusiasm about her.
Best photo of the week goes to: SOPHIE (Yay!)
Runner-up: Seymone (Uhhhhh… what?)
And the rest:
Bottom Two: Kyle and Alisha
Kyle is here because the judges don’t think she’s great OR diverse in her poses. And Alisha is here because her photos don’t measure up to her in-person or video persona. But Alisha is saved by her energy in the background of the other photos. Kyle is eliminated.
Tyra comforts Kyle by saying that SHE, TOO was a “girl next door” when she started out. Shut up, Tyra. The end.
Next Week: The models meet with major names in the fashion industry, and then model outfits made of Hello Kitty memorabilia.
(Images courtesy of CW)