Tonight on Top Model: It’s down to the final three. As their final challenges before the coveted final two, the girls model in three tried-and-true ANTM staples: A video challenge, a romantic shoot with a male model (with noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker) and a beauty shoot with Tyra as both their stylist and photographer. A little strange that Tyra waited until so late in the game to spring these requisite shoots on the remaining girls, and it no doubt makes you wonder, just as I am right now:
WHAT, NO MOTION EDITORIAL?!?!
Anyway, after Alexandria’s elimination, Brittani is relieved the “drama bitch” is gone, but the relief doesn’t last. They’re all feeling the pressure now because, as Brittani puts it: “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Hannah is still reeling from her dip into the Bottom Two, and she’s trying to pump herself up, but she says that dreaded word about herself in the process: “commercial.” Molly is confident after two wins in a row, and says she “understands life” better than Hannah and Brittani, whom she thinks are sheltered and weepy (as opposed to herself, who is angry and negative).
Mister Jay comes over and excitedly reveals that he has a message for them “from Hollywood”! Oh my god, WHO SENT IT? SOMEONE FAMOUS? IS IT FROM HEIDI? OR SCARLETT? PARIS? KIM? Let’s seeeeee OMG!!!
… Oh. Well. Um. What do you want, Lara from The Insider? (Hey, you guys wanna hear a terrible joke I just made up? Yeah? OK: What’s worse than insider trading? Insider TALKING! …I told you it was terrible.)
Lara explains that each model has homework: She needs to pick* a Moroccan fashion trend, research** it, write up questions about the topic and interview*** a random person off the street about that trend, all in an hour! “You’ll need to fill 90 seconds in what we call a live shot,” Professor Celebrity Gossip Journalism explains.
*Choose one of three topics pre-chosen for them and conveniently presented in an envelope.
**Go to the address of a shop provided to them by the producers.
***Talk over the person or ask them leading questions to which they can only respond “yes.”
Jay says the winner’s video will appear on Insider.com, which has an audience of millions of people! (Millions of people? Wait, REALLY? Naaaah…) Then he gives his own Journalism Tip: “It’s about the three Ws: Where are we? What are we talking about? And why are we talking about it?” Weird, those are the exact same questions I ask every time I wake up from a blackout when someone is telling me a boring story.
“Let’s talk about eyeliner, angry lady to lady!”
Molly has black kohl, which is funny because it rhymes with “black soul,” which is funny because that is what this show wants us to think Molly has. And she brings her signature can-do attitude to the shoot! “Let’s just do it, it’s going to be f***ed. … I’m just hoping Brittani and Hannah suck.” But it’s not f***ed! Molly doesn’t look all that friendly, but she sounds like she knows what she’s talking about, and she’s the only one who had a demo in her video. She’s very professional and not overly scripted, until the end of her video catches her saying “…that was horrible” before the camera turns off. Ha!
“Dohohdfnsebids areojunsibok pifadpoinfeenl HENNA?” – What this guy is hearing, and is understandably annoyed about.
Brittani can’t find anyone who speaks English to talk about henna with her, so she grabs a random guy off the street and instructs him to just say “yes” as she asks important, investigative questions like, “Is henna an ancient arm form that expresses women’s beauty?” She fumbles over her words a bit in the beginning, and then accidentally runs away from the camera in the middle. Her yes man isn’t exactly an impressed man, either. It’s not pretty.
“Argan oil! What is it? Who is it? Where, and why? But most importantly, when?”
Hannah studied journalism in school, so she thinks she’s got this one in the bag! Her topic is “argan oil,” and I don’t know what that is. I still don’t know what that is, because her introduction was so fast and jam-packed that I couldn’t process it. She asks questions of her woman-off-the-street and expert, but doesn’t give them time to answer, and then goes over her time limit and gets cut off. THANKS FOR NOTHING, JOURNALISM SCHOOL! Back to never talking and just looking pretty (“Plan A”).
After watching the videos, Jay says, “That was … interesting,” and declares Molly the winner. Molly is a humble champion: “Hahaha, bitches!”
Later: Tyra shows up at their place to “chat.”
Tyra’s “I’m listening” face.
Now that it’s Week 12, she’s finally ready to get to know these girls. How magnanimous! Molly opens up about her abandonment and anger issues, and how much she loves her adoptive parents. Hannah says the competition has helped her become “more herself.” Brittani talks about her mother, who is a recovering agoraphobe, and how much she loves and appreciates her now that she’s been gone so long. Tyra hugs it out with all of them and gives her overall lesson: “Perfect is boring.” (That’s why I make sure to make at least five big mistakes every day!)
Then, just for fun/added stress, Tyra draws on their faces, greases up their hair and photographs each them outside their house. These photos have no real bearing or importance in the competition, which, you know, good thing:
Hannah wants to remind Brittani and Molly that she’s competition, but when she says “I know I can kick their asses!” she sounds like she might burst into tears at any moment.
Tyra says the girls need to work on their “isolations” and “micro-movements,” and she teaches them how with a little dance as she leads up to the roof of their house. And, SURPRISE! There’s a traditional Moroccan band there, and they put on traditional Moroccan fez hats with traditional graduation cords and do the traditional helicopter dance.
It’s all very traditional! We watch in slo-mo as Tyra and the girls twirl and laugh and dance around together. It’s very Eat Pray Love. (I have not seen Eat Pray Love.)
Sidenote: Molly’s been to rehab? For what? That was really thrown out of left field, and then went right back to left field as soon as we heard it. Like a Left Field Boomerang of “HUH?” Moving on…
Photo Shoot: Getting Romantic Right Near DA BEACH!
Check out Mister Jaaaay, haaaay!
Jay Manuel in The Big C. (The “C” stands for CRAMAZING!)
The girls will be styled in Moroccan wedding gowns and posing with a male model on the beach for Nigel. The male model is hot and the dresses are beautiful. (Is that the dumbest, most obvious sentence ever written OR WHAT?)
Molly’s Shoot: She wants to use the guy as her “prop” (atta grrrrl) but Jay tells her not to ignore him. Jay is a little disappointed in her. “She was giving sexuality to a wall. There was very little chemistry.” Molly almost cries after the shoot but Jay reassures her that there were great moments.
Hannah’s Shoot: She wants to look like she’s in love but pulling away, but she looks too aggressive at times for Nigel, though he likes her “commitment” to the role. Jay likes their chemistry.
Brittani’s Shoot: She pitches a similar narrative to Hannah’s, but it looks like “disdain” to Jay, and he wants more connection. He asks her to dig into a real emotion, and Brittani gets frustrated and starts crying. “Love the tears!” says Jay. Haha. “She can’t cry every time she gets photographed to truly emote,” says Nigel. Yeah, especially when the emotion Jay asked for is sexiness. Sex and crying don’t usually go well together.
Judging Panel and Elimination:
In her pre-panel handheld footage, Tyra reveals that she is sewn into her dress, which she got in London. Then she does a terrible British accent for Nigel and asks if they have zippers in his country. Classic Tyra! Tonight’s guest judge is Ivan Bart of IMG, and he looks exactly like a guy named “Ivan Bart.” (Snooty and square-shaped.)
For panel, Brittani and Molly are doing the “wet, slicked back” Sharon Stone thing for panel, while Hannah went that “stacked on top of my head” look that’s so hot right now.
Tyra speaks: “I loved all of your film so much, every girl has two shots.” Nigel is so proud! And the girls are happy when they should be terrfied, because that just means they each have two chances for Andre Leon Talley to say they stink of dreckitude.
My favorite shot of each girl is below. Check out the slideshow at the bottom of the recap to see all six final shots. And, the critiques:
Brittani’s first shot: Nigel says she seemed like she was doing the gesture but not backing it up with the emotion. “Remember not to be SO literal,” said the woman who once dressed up as a kangaroo to announce a Top Model trip to Australia.
Brittani’s second shot: Ivan doesn’t think she quite “went there,” but Andre loves her belt and thinks the shot is “beautiful.” Tyra: “I’ve lived this. I think this picture tells your story.” Lesson: If Tyra has lived it, then (and only then!) it’s a good story.
Hannah’s first shot: Andre is all about the belt again, and Tyra interprets what he means: “You’re taking what the stylist put on you, and you’re selling it. Modeling is about selling clothes.” OHHHHHH. But what about naked models, Ty-Ty? Modeling is so confusing. Nigel says Hannah “lost her model” when she got into the character so much.
Hannah’s second shot: It feels like a continuation of the story to them, and they generally like it, though Andre doesn’t like her foot, and Nigel says it’s crossed the line over into “gauche.” Andre: “GAUCHE! THAT WORD! EEEEE!” I… I don’t even.
Molly’s first shot: It’s beautiful, says Nigel, but as the photographer he didn’t think she connected with the male model. Andre LOVES her foot in this one. Feet and belts: He’s so hot and cold about ’em! Tyra thinks Molly is great with subtleties, and then puts on an over-the-top display to show what she means.
Molly’s second shot: The camera (and the photographer) loves her. “I could dance with you,” says Nigel (as the photographer). Molly’s giving great face in this one. The judges are all about Molly in this shoot — she’s got it in the BAG.
Before she sends them off so the judges can deliberate, Tyra reveals that the final two will walk in a runway show for Vivienne Westwood! Molly’s face mirrors my own, and it looks like this: 0_0 (“AWESOME!”)
In deliberation, the judges talk more about each model’s body of work. Brittani has delivered throughout the season, but Nigel wasn’t too impressed in the beach shoot. Andre was “turned off” by Hannah’s vulnerability in panel, and she’s been weak in person throughout the competition. They’re still in love with Molly on the page, but in person Ivan isn’t as enamored of her “energy.” Tyra says Molly was “lovely” in person when she went to visit them at their house this week, and Nigel says, “You believed that, then?” OH SNAP!
Best Photo Goes to: Molly! But you knew that! Though she looks shocked:
Bottom Two: Hannah and Brittani
Tyra says the judges deliberated intensely over the two of them, and have very specific reasons for why they should each be finalists. “Hannah, you have a face that can sell, sell, sell. Your photos have shown that the pretty girl next door is an edgy girl when she has the talent and fire inside of her.” And Brittani: “Domestically, started off so strong in this competition. But we’ve noticed something since you’ve crossed the Atlantic, your photos don’t seem to be as strong.”
Eliminated: Hannah. But she probably knew that.
Tyra tells Brittani that this is her chance to show “her strength on the inside.” Tyra hugs Hannah goodbye, touches her heart and says, “We want to feel it HERE.” Hannah is in tears as she says she wishes she’d been more consistent, but she’s a bit confused about why Tyra said she wasn’t strong enough.
So: Molly vs. Brittani! That’s our final two, folks! The two girls many of you — and almost ALL the eliminated models I’ve talked to this season — said you could see taking home the title. Who do you think will win? Share your thoughts about tonight’s episode and next week’s finale below!
(Images courtesy of CW)