"The Girl Who Starts To Lose Her Cool" S9 / E9
America's Next Top Model asks us to believe a lot of things that are obviously lies: That these girls could actually be high-fashion models, for one. That Mr. Jay's advice is constructive and coherent. That there is a difference between sliding down a wall "like a model," and sliding down a wall like a hoochie. But in last night's episode, they asked us to believe something more absurd than usual, namely that the girls were driven out into a desert in the middle of nowhere and then abandoned, with no sign of civilization around. Really, ANTM? Really?
First off, as we've seen in the past, these girls aren't the best actresses. And maybe I would have believed it if it had only been Chantal who panicked and started running after the bus, cause she's a little, you know, incredibly stupid. But we're supposed to believe that they don't see the line of trailers and cameras in the distance? And that they can't identify the person running toward them? "OMG! Who's that?" Come on, girls. It's Mr. Jay. This game isn't fun. Even if you forget for a second the fact that he looks like a highlighter with the cap off, who would it be?
Still, what ANTM lacks in plausibility, it makes up for with sheer ridiculousness. Case in point: the long, awkward, Chinese-dragon-filled reveal that the girls are going to China. It started out as an surreal hallucination (was that a dragon that popped up behind Twiggy?), then moved into an idiotic kids show ("What's that? Girls, this lion just told me that we're going to China!!!!"), and then turned into a lame cultural street fair, with multiple dragon/lions, dancers, and lots of screaming. Simply put: best trip reveal ever. Yes, even better than Cycle 7, when Tyra flamencoed into the room with a rose in her mouth, yelling something about Spain. Also, I love how Tyra still found a way to showboat by being the dragon/lion's interpreter. She definitely dragged that out for so long to make up for the fact that she wasn't wearing a costume.
The China trip reveal was also great because they did it right before elimination, giving Tyra the opportunity to say to each of the girls, "You're going to China," which is one of the weirder things you can say to a person. It also meant that when Tyra kicked off Ambreal, she was essentially saying, "Wooo!! We're all going to China! See ya, Ambreal." Nice.
Elsewhere in the episode, there was a fight in the communal shower, a burning car in the desert (how does that fit in to the "green cycle" idea, Tyra?), and the girls had to participate in a low-rent version of Project Runway presided over by Benny Ninja (who very closely resembeled a mall-goth Braveheart), the annoying woman from Seventeen magazine, and a creepy guy from Elite Models who sounded like Tim Gunn using a Speak-and-Say. The models had to inspire the designers to create dresses, and, not surprisingly, they inspired some pretty awful stuff. Saleisha's dress had actual fairy wings, no doubt because the designer was trying to figure out how to artfully distract from that haircut, and was probably just like, "Fuck it. I'll do a life-size Tinkerbell."
--"Chantal said her look was 'ethereal' but she walked like she was mad." Thanks, woman from Seventeen. Do you think that maybe, possibly, definitely Chantal has no idea what "ethereal" means?
--Asking models to speak is just wrong, and, as evidenced by Jaslene's completely incoherent "This is my life" commercials, it's definitely not required to win ANTM.
--The saddest revelation to date? Heather believes in astrology: "I'm not the ocean. I'm not even a water sign, I'm a fire sign." Either that or she was just looking for the world's greatest excuse.
--"It's called compartmentalizing." Do tell, Tyra. Is that how you keep Tyra the model, Tyra the actress, and Tyra the ham apart? (Hint: it's not working.)
--Speak-And-Say Tim Gunn about Saleisha: "She looks like someone you'd want to hang out with." Ew. It's so pervy when you say it, Speak-And-Say Tim Gunn.