America's Next Top Model: "Do You Light The Way I Look?"
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America's Next Top Model: "Do You Light The Way I Look?"

Now that Ru Paul's Drag Race has the market thoroughly cornered when it comes to high-camp reality competition shows that are vaguely about modeling, do you think Tyra knows she's obsolete? Do you think she sits at her perch on the edge of the abyss cursing Ru Paul for his perfect, crystalized layers of kitsch? I mean, how can a pseudo drag queen like Tyra hope to compete with an actual drag queen—the actual drag queen? Ru Paul's catchphrase on that show is "Don't fuck it up," for God's sake. No one can compete with that. 

We all know that the Goddess Of Fierce is TIRED, because she said as much last week. But the depth of her exhaustion wasn't made clear until this week's episode, which just so happened to be everyone's favorite episode: Makeovers.

Tyra Is Tired, Act One: The girls all pile into their pepto bismol pink faux-Burberry plaid stretch SUV (remember the green cycle? Tyra doesn't!) and head off to Bergdorf's. Meanwhile, the Jays are enthusiastically enduring Tyra's lame spy narrative for the makeovers. She was going for mission impossible, maybe, but ended up more Inspector Gadget. Honestly, Tyra. A spy theme? Just last year you were dressing up like a nightmare fairy godmother, with a creepy pin voice to match. How depleted are the creative reserves at Bankable Productions? 

Tyra Is Tired, Act Two: Inspector Gadgetyra tells the Jays to turn the girls into "high-fashion top fierce femme fatale-ian models." Translation: "You know, the usual makeovers that everyone has seen before." Jessica got "edged out," although what's edgy about subtle red highlights is probably a mystery not even revealed on her makeover dossier. Sandra became Dennis Rodman. Allison the Lemur got Whitney's blonde Anna Nicole weave from Cycle 10 (recession special!). Aminat had her fro weave removed, and a long straight weave put in its place. Why? So Tyra could use the "Naomi Campbell look" line for about the 12th time. London got Agnes Deyn's haircut, not because it does anything for her, but because someone has to. Dale Earnhart Jr's onetime girlfriend, Kantspell, became a redhead.  Talia got a Mariah-Carey-esque honey blonde weave, while Celia, the natural blonde, became even blonder and much shorter. Fo got a short, dark gamine cut that actually suits her well, so naturally she starts crying. And two girls (Nijah and Natalie) didn't even get makeovers. Nijah's hair was allegedly "exaggerated" but I didn't see the difference, while Natalie's hair went untouched, despite a fakeout by Mr. Jay that caused her to freak out. ("We're not making decisions for shock value." What? Since when? Why not? Ru Paul would.) The only completely fresh makeover was Teyona's windswept jheri curl weave created to match her windswept face. That's an ANTM makeover.

Tyra Is Tired, Act Three: They built a Wal-Mart aisle because there are no Wal-Marts in New York City. Does the "Wal-Mart" part of the "Cover Girl Wal-Mart Challenge" really have to be taken that literally? And it was just a sad Cover Girl wall. If you're going to build a Wal-Mart, might as well go all out. Ru Paul would.

Tyra Is Tired, Act Four: The girls meet Mr. Jay and Nigel in an alley in Greenpoint for a...vaguely rock & roll, hold your own glowsticks photo shoot? Just two cycles ago, Tyra was making the girls pose wearing meat diapers in a meatpacking plant. Now they just have to hold two lamps and wear eyeliner? Still, a few of the girls did manage to deliever some of the most unattractive photos in ANTM's recent history, including Aminat's "hush puppy" picture, Sandra's bitchface, Kantspell's awkward akimbo stance, and Jessica's harsh monster face. And, for once, the ugliness of those photos actually factored into judging—although so did attitude. Fo was in the bottom two because (at Mr. Jay's insistance, really) she cried about her hair in front of Nigel Barker—and there is no crying in front of, on, or near Nigel Barker when he's pretending to work. Jessica was in the bottom two because her photo was pretty awful and she's over-confident. In the end, Tyra had to send Jessica home because Jessica's ego was rapidly approaching the size of Tyra's, and only Tyra is allowed to have a Tyra-sized ego.

Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

--Tyra Is Tired, Act Five: "Once there lived a supermodel who wanted to guide future girls so she broke out the rules to owning your inner fierceness. When beauty is reflected, beauty is perfected." Is she going to do this half-assed-nursery-rhymes-in-the-presence-of-children thing all cycle/season?

--Speaking of which, where did Tyra get that child?

--Nole is back. The question is: why? Also, Allison isn't alien-like. She's clearly lemur-like. Creepy doll-like would also be acceptable.

--"Make sound effects inside yourself." Like pffffft.

--"You're saying 'Wait!' not only to John. You're saying 'Wait!' to Tyra." Two for one.

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