It’s go-see week on ANTM, which is usually one of my favourites, but the belaboured addition of has-been models substitutes fun for f words of another kind.
Let’s bitch it out…
Your regular reviewer, harrisonfanatic, is off this week, but he’ll be back next week. In the interim you’re stuck with super bitchy, opinionated me. Enjoy!
It’s a time honoured tradition in reality TV: ousted contestants get an opportunity to redeem themselves and re-enter the competition. Last season of ANTM the eliminated models were required to complete each photoshoot and the individual who did the best (according to popular vote on social media) came back. It proved to be a bit of a mysterious process, so I’m glad that this cycle Tyra Banks and co. elect to switch it up and force the evicted
losers models to participate in something that happens in front of the camera, not just online.
Unfortunately the return of the seven eliminated models occurs during what should be the best week of the cycle (after makeover week of course): go-sees. Go-see week is my favourite because it forces the models out of the model house cocoon and makes them interact with real (“real”) people, ie: potential clients who will book ’em or throw their asses to the curb. It’s usually a good wake up call for the models who have fooled themselves into thinking they’re awesome (cough Devin cough) and it frequently highlights the strengths and deficiencies of each model.
I’ll admit that the decision to include the has-beens with a surviving model baffles me because there’s nothing remotely pair-worthy about the challenge. It is suggested that the partners will influence each other, but this is clearly untrue since some individuals book all of their go-sees while other barely book a single one but their challenge scores are unaffected. Add to this the fact that none of the partners produce anything resembling conflict or chaos…unless we’re meant to interpret Bello ditching Devin in the cab as high drama (for the record: it is not). The only remotely interesting thing that occurs is when Justin and Dustin turn into frat-boys and crash Mikey and Ashley’s go-see, for which they are rightfully dressed down by both the client and Tyra.
The concept for the photo shoot is even less compelling – an uninspired matchy-match that finds the models posing with lookalike dogs (cue the shaggy hair!). I’ll confess, however, that the results are actually pretty decent. Lacey, Nyle, Hadassah, Bello, Stefano, Dustin and Ava all produce photos that range from good to great. At the bottom: Justin, who struggles physically with his pooch; Devin, whose eyebrows I just want to shave off at this point; and Courtney, who looks like a Pris-reject from Bladerunner, but somehow earns kudos from the judges.
In the end Ty Ty breaks out her cruel mistress attitude and individually dismisses the previously eliminated contestants one by one. It’s actually really uncomfortable watching Ava weep silently as she gets closer and closer to returning to the competition before she is cut in the second runner-up position. Ultimately it comes down to “corn-fed bore” Dustin and “cocky, failed to meet his potential” Stefano, with the blander, more generic option winning. Welcome back, Dustin. Good to know a decent side profile is all it takes to win this thing!
Things get real as the remaining contestants are told their fates. Unsurprisingly Nyle’s exceedingly handsome photo with the husky takes top spot, while Hadassah and Lacey nip at his heels in second and third. It all gets narrowed down to two: fading Justin and crazy Devin. With the announcement that only one of them can survive, Ty Ty pauses to announce that The CW has slashed the cycle 22 travel budget so dramatically that they can only afford to go to Las Vegas. Confetti rains down like this is the craziest news ever while everyone stifles a yawn.
As for who gets eliminated? Oh, well Top Model has taken a page from The Bachelorette‘s game plan and you’ll just have to wait until next week to find out. Have fun spending the week hoping it’s Devin when we all know it will be Justin (because there is no god)!
- The brief drama between former friends Bello and Hadassah in the hot tub is enough to make me celebrate that he isn’t brought back. With that said, I can’t believe that Ty Ty passed up a chance to inject more unnecessary drama into the house by keeping him around.
- The other reasons that the go-sees disappoint is that they occur on home turf. I’m much more of a fan of foreign go-sees where the challenge of navigating the traffic in an unfamiliar city produces genuine tension. Instead we just see that Mame underestimates LA traffic jams. Zzzzz.
- Lacey and Nyle continue to dominate the photoshoots. At this point is there any question about whether they’ll make the finals?
- Hadassah’s high tea with the bougey French Poodle photo seems like a deliberate attempt by Ty Ty and Yu Tsai to play to her pageant strengths. I guess they’ve decided that her redemption from head bitch to humbled “real model” makes for a compelling character arc.
- Why was Yu Tsai encouraging Justin to pick up a 70 pound dog and then berating him when Justin struggled to keep his composure? In other words, why is Yu Tsai such an asshole?
- Courtney’s pic is described as, I kid you not, a “badass Lolita fairy warrior.” This literally does not make any sense, nor does it work in the context of the picture aside from her pigtails. The judges need to stop pulling sh*t out of their asses at panel.
- Finally, I’m super glad that someone finally called Mikey out for delivering the exact same face in all of his pictures. Honestly, his signature rocker / stoner look is great the first time, but nine weeks in he really should be displaying more versatility.
Your turn: who do you hope/think will be eliminated? Are you excited to have Dustin back in the competition? Is Vegas a huge-letdown? Does Hadassah suddenly have a chance or do Lacey and Nyle have this thing locked down? And who peed in Yu Tsai’s cornflakes to make him this way? Sound off below.
America’s Next Top Model airs Fridays at 9pm EST on The CW