On this episode of America’s Next Top Model, the models face their fears and still try to look fierce in their first challenge. Tyra is adding new life to the photo shoots. Some couples falter on their way to the alter in a wedding themed photo shoot. Two models are sent home.
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Rapelling the Runway
The sixteen former hopefuls barely have time to celebrate securing one of the coveted finalist berths before they are faced with their first challenge. They get the chance to flaunt their stuff in a Guess fashion show in front of the company’s CEO, Paul Marciano. As if that isn’t nerve wracking enough for the fledgling models, they’ll also have to rapel, face first, down the side of a building, land with a modicum of grace and strut down a more traditional runway.
Backstage everybody is still enjoying the afterglow of their victory. Judge Kelly Cutrone and social media correspondent Bryanboy are trying to get a vibe on the early frontrunners. Renee thinks Jourdan is probably her biggest competition. Kelly and Bryanboy also discover a potential love triangle in the making when they find out Marvin is attracted to Bianca, but Bianca has eyes for former ice cream man Mike. Sorry Marvin, Mike is definitely feeling Bianca’s vibe.
One contender is nervous about the steep drop, Don. He attributes his fear to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by a brutal beating in 2009. He says now whenever he feels out of control in a situation, he mind reverts back to that event.
The challenge is judged by Jessica Hart who was a former face of Guess. The winner of the challenge wins the key to the “Tyra Suite” a luxury private bedroom in the house as well access to the Guess closet.
As the models get strapped in, the skies open, and it begins to downpour. Nina and Chris S. are the first to take the plunge. Nina bites it, because unlike the boys who get to wear sensible shoes, the ladies have to maneuver this stunt in heels. Nina recovers, and both make it safely to the bottom.
Chris H. descends looking like a zombie and while Jiana struggles, Cory doesn’t miss a beat. Chlea screams and stumbles the whole way down. Mike gets off to an awkward start, and his runway walk falls flat with Jessica Hart. Jessica thinks he’s literally walking “like he’s got something stuck between his legs.” I guess Jessica doesn’t know much about male anatomy because he does indeed have something stuck between his legs.
Bianca, who is unable to maintain an upright posture, slides down the wall. Both she and Mike are called out for their poor performances by Jessica and Rob Evans. Rob tells Bianca she appeared to give up and says Mike was too stiff. Marvin gets recognized for making hanging perpendicular to the ground look effortless, and Jessica praises Renee for her confidence and amazing poses. Renee winds up the challenge winner.
Renee picks Kanani to share the suite with her. Next the girls head to the closet which is stocked with which is stocked not only clothes but purses, jewelry, sunglasses and shoes as well.
Here Comes the Brides and Grooms
The contestants find out this photo shoot will have a wedding theme with a twist, of course. They also learn that this season, their pictures will take on a live quality because the show will be utilizing Flixel, which combines aspects of still photography and video. They saw an example of this technology in their Tyra mail in which Banks’ hair was blowing around her otherwise stagnant image.
Tyra informs them she will also be doing their make-up and setting their looks, with help from her fashion minions of course.
There is mad flirting going on during preparations. Phil says there is a huge opportunity to be distracted, and both the guys and girls are going to have a hard time controlling their hormones.
Jeremy and Jourdan’s theme is a nudist wedding. Jeremy, a virgin, feels awkward especially since he has a crush on Jourdan. The bride has her own issues since this photo shoot is a reminder of her own disastrous nuptials. After their shoot, Mark Homza, one of the co-founders of Flixel, gives a brief demo on how Flixel works. If you’re interested in the details, look it up. Just know that Homza is able to make the grass in Jeremy and Jourdan’s pics sway just like Tyra’s locks.
Alexandra “Alex” and Mike’s photo portrays a shotgun wedding. Once again, Mike comes across as being too stiff.
Other non-traditional twists include: Kanani/Jiana in a same sex wedding, Cory/Chlea in a biker wedding, Chris H./Don also have a same sex twist, Phil marries a remote control in his Objectophilia wedding, Nina/Marvin/Bianca in a Polygamist wedding and Chris S./Renee in a Hip Hop wedding.
The Honeymoon is Over
The models go before the judges: fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone, Tyra Banks, supermodel Rob Evans and blogger Bryanboy. Tyra goes through the whole prize package spiel. Scoring is the same as last season. Each competitor receives a score between one and ten for the challenge and from the judges for their photos. The final deciding component is the social media score. Those are the votes the fans’ cast for their favorite photos and models back in the spring.
Praise is scarce. Alex fares well as does Jiana who is also a hit with the public. Rob tells Chris H. he killed the shot, and if he didn’t know better, he would think Chris H. was gay. The panel praises Don for his confidence. And, while Marvin isn’t a hit with the ladies, the judges think he owns his shot.
The criticism is widespread and brutal. Kelly says Mike has the worst walk she’s seen in her life, and he shows no connection with Alex in their photo. The judges think Chris H. looks like a lesbian, and Renee looks too “hoochie” Rob and Kelly feel Cory needs to butch it up. Chlea and Kelly don’t mesh personally, and the publicist scores her accordingly. Rob and Tyra are slightly more forgiving. Phil doesn’t score high with the judges or his fans. Rob tells Jeremy he has one of the best bodies in the house, but he’s not working it. The panel agrees Jourdan just comes across as flat. Rob says Bianca looks better in person than on film, and that’s not a good thing.
The time arrives to announce the winning and losing photos. Marvin comes in first place. Tyra tells him he outshines the female models, and though as a female model that upsets her, as a mentor, she’s very proud.
Mike, Chris S. and Bianca are the bottom three. Tyra tells him he shrinks in photos, and his performance on the runway is the worst the judges have ever seen. She tells Bianca her looks and personality fade away on film. She criticizes Chris S. for failing to be strong and hard. Bianca and Chris S. are the first two eliminated.
Next week is makeover time, so there is sure to be some unhappy campers.
America’s Next Top Model airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on the CW.
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