Tyra redeems herself with an animal-inspired “teach,” and the models find their fierceness, though some take the attitude a little too far.
Let’s bitch it out…
After last week’s farce of an episode, I was prepared to write the season off. Thankfully, Tyra came back strong this week with a low-tech teach and some authentic connection with the aspiring models. First the Top 22 were subjected to one of ANTM’s most humiliating elimination rituals to date. Breaking with tradition, Tyra bowed out of personally selecting the Top 14, opting instead to crush the rejected models hopes by literally “dropping” them. Not only were the cast-asides forced to needlessly participate in this week’s challenge (a 4-story high Fear-Factor style runway walk-off), they were then unceremoniously dumped to the ground after walking the plank. The scene was reminiscent of some post-apocalyptic Darwinian ritual … only the fiercest will survive! No emphatic words and consoling hugs from Tyra, no lingering shots of heart-broken tears, just a brief shot of the models looking shocked and disappointed as they drop out of the frame.
The 14 models who make the cut are treated to an all-too-rare Tyra teach aimed at controlling the “no-neck monster.” In possibly the most informative modelling lesson in ANTM history, Ms. Banks draws examples from the animal kingdom to instruct the models on how to move and control their freakishly-long necks (I’ll definitely be remembering “horse” and “owl” for my next vacation selfies). At the “Bound By Love” photo shoot the models deliver on what they learned (well, most of them do). Justin, Devin, and Ashley all successfully channel their inner giraffes, but Hadassah and Courtney only manage to evoke deer-in-the-headlights.
Yu Tsai and Tyra’s pairings for this shoot are a tad obvious, and I suspect that’s what the producers were going for. Certainly, putting Justin with Mamé is guaranteed to ignite some animal passions (I’ll bet this showmance is the first to start mating). The passions, however, fail to flare for Courtney and Mikey, although the pairing does produce some unexpected drama. Turns out Mikey is a complete jerk. After gallantly bolstering Courtney’s extremely low self-esteem before the shoot (his intentions are entirely self-serving), he proceeds to bully both her and Ava back at the house. I’m usually pretty wary of the ANTM Power Christians, but Ava won my respect this episode. Not only did she shut-down “accessory” Stefano at the shoot when he told her to follow his lead, she refused to back down from full-metal-jacket Mikey when he goes into all-out Alpha-Male assault mode.
Unfortunately, Mr. Rock n’ Roll doesn’t get owned by the panel at the first judging; as Kelly Cutrone points out, he delivers the goods to support the attitude, backing up her statement with a whopping score of 9.5 for a mediocre shot at best (apparently she loves his a-hole Rocker attitude). Instead of the judges announcing their scores, this season their votes are registered secretly, only being revealed during the best-photo ceremony. While this helps prevent the judges from scoring reactively (this happened a lot in cycle 21), it also eliminates the added entertainment value of scoring a coveted perfect 10 (Devin got two 10s for his photo, but you’d never have known it from the judging). For the viewer, this means we don’t have a sense of how each model actually fared until Tyra pulls their picture from her photo-stash. I for one, was caught off guard by Devin scoring top picture, especially given his low challenge score. My money was on Lacey.
- House bitch this week goes to Mikey.
- Ava, I wan’t to take you seriously, just please lose the flower headband.
- I can’t deny I was happy to see the back of Bryant and his enormous ego.
- We get it … Bello and Devin don’t like each other. Hopefully their feud doesn’t claim too much screen-time, but I’m not optimistic.
Best Lines: It’s all Kelly Cutrone this week
- After being introduced at panel: “… The clapping won’t help …”
- About Lacey’s smouldering photo: “For a Southern virgin Baptist, I’m gonna hate to see you after you have sex … cause if you look like this before sex, I don’t even know what you’re gonna be like afterward.”
- About Delaney and Nyle’s ship-wreck of a photo: “You guys look like you were found, like washed up on the shore at the end of the Titanic.”
Your turn: Did the show go too far with how it revealed the Top 14, especially considering that there was no real dramatic tension? What parings would you have preferred to see in the photo shoot? Will Justin and Mamé connect? It seems like Tyra want’s to take Mikey down a peg, but do you think she’ll be willing to cut his hair to do it? What are your thoughts on this week’s worst photo?
Sound off below …
ANTM airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW