An ill-conceived extreme-couture salute to US veterans betrays the models’ lack of basic training.
Let’s bitch it out…
This week Yu Tsai brought in Canadian style-child Joe Zee to produce a military inspired photoshoot with wounded US veterans. The guest models included professional kick-butt paralympian Melissa Stockwell and drop-dead-sexy male model Alex Minsky (perhaps best known for his work with male-nude photographer Michael Stokes). If the brief had stayed as simple as “stand out while posing with a ‘real’ hero,” perhaps there may have been some hope for compelling creative, but sadly Yu Tsai and Joe Zee concocted a confused and misguided attempt at pseudo-journalistic guerrilla modelling. Before the shoot, Zee instructed the models to go for “extreme couture poses.” Okay, fine. But the resulting photos of glammed-up over-privileged civilians against a backdrop of military personnel unloading war-related sundries in “Mock-istan,” ranged from ridiculous to offensive. Only Ava and Lacey were able to wade through the semantic minefield and produce meaningful work. The other models simply couldn’t grasp the, albeit ridiculous, drastic juxtaposition. I loved Lacey’s arm-wrestle pose with Alex (so many wonderful layers of meaning), and Ava’s broken-back side pose managed to evoke both power and innocence.
For the rest, Kelly’s critique at judging represented my thoughts on the shoot perfectly (with the exception of her lady-boner for Mikey). By and large she found that the models failed to connect with the guest-models and the military scene around them. Tyra, on the other hand, playing the part of the sympathetic sister, found positive feedback for even the worst pictures. Unfortunately, Miss J was strangely absent in the judging this week (or he was edited out) — it’s also possible that he had little useful critique to contribute given the poor quality of the photos.
Adding to the lack-lustre judging was an obvious disconnect between the recently made-over models and their pre-makeover pictures. Which leads me to the second major flaw in this episode: why was the photoshoot before the Ty-overs? Not only did the clumsy order of events disrupt the flow of the episode as a whole, it meant that the models weren’t able to rock their new “fierceness” at the extreme-couture shoot. Even Tyra noted that she wasn’t able to reconcile Ashley’s “catalogue” photo with her new top-model look. It’s a damn shame the models didn’t get to flaunt their upgrades because the ty-overs were awesome this season (again, with the exception of Mikey — why do I feel he’s going to win): I can almost take Devin seriously with his shorn locks; Lacey, Ava, and Ashley’s short hair commands attention; Courtney’s “fashion grey” is gorgeous; and Mamé and Bello now have the hair to match their over-the-top personalities. Sadly, Mikey gets to keep his hair, and gets to continue being a walking-erection (not only do those dashiki pants attract the ladies, they’re also quick release). I can put up with the a-hole rocker for another few weeks though, now that we’ve seen the back of alpha-make Stefano and his guitar-wielding chauvinistic attitude. One down, one to go.
- Looks like Mikey and Ashley were the first to mate.
- House drama: Devin and Hadassah this week — is it bad that I like how Bello is emerging as the puppet-master in the house?
- What is with Devin’s “bird of paradise” pose, and why are the judges encouraging it?
- I want to like Dustin, but he’s just so lost in the photoshoots
- Nyle ownes Hadassah while she’s complaining about her amazing new hair cut.
- Stefano (during confessional): “I’m extremely good looking, and I know that.”
- Joe Zee (to the models at the photoshoot … with no sense of irony): “This is your chance to be heroic.”
- Joe Zee (in response to Yu Tsai talking to Hadassah at the shoot): “I don’t want to be pooped on.”
- Mamé (in response to Stefano attitude): “You … Damn … Right … Imma’ … Flick … My … Hair..!!
- Nyle (to Hadassah about her hair): “I just want to say that you all are complaining about hair, hair, hair! Am I complaining about my deafness? No, I am not. I feel like you guys are complaining about something so simple.”
Your turn: What were your thoughts on the US Veteran photoshoot? Did the concept work for you? It seems like Mikey is not being judged as critically as the other models. Do you think the judges are setting him up to win? Did you like the Ty-overs this season? Which was your favourite?
Sound off below …
ANTM airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on CW.