And then there were five beautiful people competing for the title as America’s Next Top Model. Or should we call it America’s ‘Last’ Top Model since it’s been announced that this cycle is the last of the franchise? Lacey, Mikey, Devin, Mame and Nyle are the last of the original 13. By the end of “The Girl Who Took A Shot In The Dark,” one more angel will slowly fade from the group photo at the end of the episode. 

The models learn a lot about personal branding as well as shooting in the cold and dark in this episode. Lacey hasn’t fully recovered from being in the bottom two last week, but now that Hadassah, her detractor, is no longer there, hopefully she’ll be able to get her game back. Mame does a miserable job in her challenge, but her photo kicks ass. Mikey continues to speak from his libido, but the camera is the only one he’s getting any love from. Nyle is Nyle, and Devin is loopy, but tolerable. Which do we get to keep and which is sent packing?

ANTM Recap: Which Troublemaker Is Sent Packing? >>>

What Will You Do When What’s On the Outside No Longer Matters?

Tyra challenges the models to develop their own brands. Eventually, boobs will start to sag as will the bags under the eyes and the wrinkle fairy is kind to no one. The men’s asses will melt off to be replaced with paunches. Basically, Mother Nature can be a bitch, so the beautiful people need be wise and head Miss Tyra’s sage advice. Tyra encourages the five remaining models to have a business plan for the post-beautiful Act II part of their lives.

Fierce-a-Preneurs Start with Arts and Crafts

PR maven Kelly Cutrone meets with the models in a room full of poster board, markers, glue and a myriad of other artsy-fartsy supplies and jewelry with which the models are to create a branding campaign. They are also tasked with using the camera functions on their OPPO phones to get double exposures and panoramic images.

The prize for this challenge is $2,500 of seed money to start their own brand. The models are excited, but have any of them been to Office Max or the grocery store lately? That really ain’t a lot of dough. After watching these people for over twelve hours, I don’t have high hopes for any of their business acumen. They all need help from the guy who wrote “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”

Brand Yourself For Success

What kind of products are they supposed to be marketing for this challenge? In past ANTM seasons models have had to convince viewers that they simply cannot live without whatever compelling makeup, clothing, perfume, shoes or accessories sold by the sponsors of that particular America’s Next Top Model episode.

This challenge is different. The models have to come up with their own brand, something that expresses who they are as models. After four hours they will be pitching their branding concepts to some highly influential, yet unnamed entrepreneurs. So, we’re kinda looking at Shark Tank Meets ANTM here. This should be fun. 

ANTM Meets Shark Tank

Joining Tyra and Kelly on the judging panel for the Fierce-a-Preneur brand challenge are two impressive women CEOs who have been listed in the prestigeous 40 Under 40 list in Fortune Magazine. Alli Web is the founder of Dry Bar and Marie-Pier St-Hilaire is the genius behind AFI Expertise.

Mikey is up first. He tells us that he’s comfortable being the boy toy for cougars. (So charming these four thirty and fourty-somethings should be a snap.) He presents spray painted socks and tee shirts. He’s calling his brand, “TOCKS: Inspired by the lifestyle of Mikey.” Kelly likes his price point and Tyra is impressed that he read the book given to him by the Zappos guy during a previous episode … or maybe she’s just impressed that he can read.

Devin is less comfortable in the hot seat as he presents his fragrance, “Emotions: Crazy, Sexy, Cool.” He brings samples which stink to high heaven. His supporting point-of-purchase materials are colorful and well designed. He goofs off, of course, and it’s entertaining. Tyra, however, points out that a perfume called “Emotions” doesn’t at all represent who he is as a person. Wah – wah- wah. Check please!

Lacey presents a book she’s written, called A Small Town Girl Surviving the Real World and mentions her virginity again. (Maybe virginity should be her brand?) Tyra gives Lacey some sound advice about how to present a book by first talking about all the successes you’ve had, and then going back to share how it all came to be. Lacey does fantastically with the OPPO camera creating double exposure images, which Kelly applauds her for.

Nyle’s brand is “Sign That! with Nyle.” It’s an app for people to find out how to sign things. It’s a video dictionary, sort of. Some of the judges think it’s cool. Kelly is concerned about how much it would cost to market the thing profitably.

Mame’s brand is “Goddess Tribe” and she’s a sloppy ball of nerves. The judges all look bored during the presentation. Her business will be selling jewelry. Kelly says Mame doesn’t connect with women. Major splat, baby girl.

Mikey wins the challenge and gets the seed money. His mind is completely blown by the win because he came from nothing. His mind bounces swiftly back, however, when he finds out what they’ll be doing next.

A Little Cabin in the Woods … for Cuddling?

Tyra tells the models to pack warm clothes because they are going camping the next morning. Yu Tsai meets the models out in the wooly wilderness, but the “camping” ends up being in a cabin. (That’s not camping!) There’s lots of flirting going on between the models. Apparently Lacey and Nigel have been getting cozy, though it’s remained rather vanilla. Mikey is planning to cuddle with Mame because … well, because she’s there and she’s a girl. 

Around the fire that evening Yu Tsai tells a ghost story, then lets the models know they will be doing their photo shoot in the dark.

Turning Fear Into Fashion Sans Flashlights

Eric Asla will be taking the photos once again. The only lights the models will see are camera flashes so they must be posing and ready for those three magical seconds. Using night vision, we are shown how the model is doing as they pose. The models can’t see how the fabric of their clothing behaves as a result of their movement. Lacey is first and Yu tells her to take the stick out of her butt and move more interestingly. The models have to stand on a square box and can see absolutely nothing around them. How are they supposed to move around? I guess we’re going to find out.

Devin flaps his arms around during his shoot and ends up taking a backward tumble off the block. I can’t wait to see what the end result is from these shoots. Right now it just looks like a waste of film.

Mikey is getting the feels that Mame is open to getting down and dirty with him soon. Of course he has to tell America all about it. During his shoot, Yu is impressed. Very impressed. He’s wearing a coat that looks like a picnic table cloth and swaths of fabric that look a lot like toilet paper that’s been thrown up into a tree.

Yu has difficulty communicating with Nyle in the dark. Duh. He’s dressed in similar clothing as Mikey. He doesn’t look any worse than anyone else though, so who knows what the final result will be?

Mame is in a gorgeous frilly white gown. Her makeup makes her look a little vampirish. Yu has an orgasm over her entire shoot. At this point, it looks like Mikey and Mame are in the top two. From the little we could see during this odd shoot, Mame did better than Mikey. 

Cabin Cuddle Time

The shoot ends in the wee hours of the night. Mikey is convinced that Mame wants him, and, guess what, they do end up sharing blankets to keep warm. Nyle and Lacey cuddle, but that situation has all the signs of remaining rather celibate. Did I mention that the models were sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor in this cabin in the woods? You have to give them kudos for that. Apparently it was frigid all night as well. All Devin had to snuggle up with was his bottle of cheap gin. 

Mame tells her video diary that she misses Justin. Mikey is just not the one for her, so nothing is happening between her and Justin. Good girl.

Evaluating Shots In The Dark

Lacey is up first at panel evaluations. Red has been added to the dress in the middle of what appears to be a black and white photo. Tyra is disappointed in her arm placement, but says nothing else about the photo.

Mame’s blue dress is stunning in the dark. Kelly wants to see her having bigger eyes. 

Nyle says it was awful being deaf and blind throughout the shoot. His plaid jacket is bright blue and he’s looking vampirey. Kelly says it wasn’t his best shot and Nyle agrees.

Mikey gets nothing but kudos for his red plaid modeling. The swath of fabric across his body look like a Scottish plaid and should have a kilt to go with it. Tyra says she was impressed with this shot and admits that half a season ago she did not think he would still be part of the competition at this point. Interestingly, Miss J. and Kelly are not at all surprised.

Devin’s photo is trashed by Kelly to the max. I think he looks classy and sharp. Tyra appreciates how far Devin has come in learning to relax. Kelly crawls down Devin’s throat about his continual flaunting of working with so many modeling houses. Why aren’t you out there working, she wonders. He says he’s here to learn. That’s the first I’ve heard that from him. Kelly says his perfume in the branding challenge should have been “Delusion” rather than “Emotion.” Ouch.

The Model Who Still Have a Shot at Being America’s Last Top Model

First: Mikey and Mame

Middle: Lacey

Bottom: Nyle and Devin

Result: Devin is sent packing.

Finally, Finally, Finally … Devin Is Sent Home

Though Devin has been annoying the piss out of me (and most everyone around him), I have to admit that he wasn’t that bad in these last two episodes. It is still a relief to see that he’s going home. Naming this goofball as the final winner of America’s Next Top Model would be making a mockery of the entire franchise. He does have amazing facial contours, and we wish him well … just go get it somewhere else, please and thank you.

And then there were four. We have three episodes left, people. One regular episode where one of the four will get knocked out of the running, and then a two-part finale. Who will be denied the opportunity to slither down that final catwalk?

America’s Next Top Model airs Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW. 

(Images Courtesy of The CW)

Catherine Cabanela

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV