Usually, it's a fairly painful exercise to watch the contestants on America's Next Top Model stumble through the prerequisite acting challenge. Watching people stumble over a handful of lines about cosmetics just evokes that horrible fourth-grade-play feeling in your stomach. But this is Top Model All-Stars, people. These models have experience and have been out in the wide world! At the very least, they would probably have been expecting something along the lines of spitting out a few scripted lines to a camera, right? And yet, this week's CSI: Top Model acting challenge was perhaps one of the most cringe-worthy sets of performances in the history of the show.
Luckily, it was also one of the most hilarious. I'm not sure which producer decided that merging the two shows would work to anyone's advantage, but watching the models all stumble through the phrase "gas chromatograph mass spectrometer" while executive producer Anthony Zuiker looked on with the expression of a man getting a Texas-sized migraine was oddly entertaining. Not only did they all have to deal with that technical tongue-twister—as poor Kayla said, "half the words are longer than my face"—they also had to list a series of substances supposedly found in the CSI corpse.
Answers ranged from Bianca's substitution of "Neosporin" for "methamphetamine" to Lisa's exasperated attempt to just list all the drugs she knows. Dominique opted to fake some of it, leading to her giving the results from a "mass grass ass," and Alexandria's acting was clearly learned from the Joey Tribbiani "act like you just smelled a fart" school. Allison's performance was pretty unremarkable, which is a shame, given how perfect her Tim Burton kewpie doll look would be for a goth intern. Super-earnest Bre won the guest spot on the show on the basis of pronouncing everything correctly and not looking like an automaton. (As Tyra said while congratulating her at panel, "So you said all the words?") It was particularly amusing to watch all the models enthuse about how CSI is one of the longest-lived franchises on TV because, well, they're already on one of those, and it didn't seem to make them any more famous the first time around.
Lisa was noticeably flagging this whole episode—you can tell she's feeling sad when she wears normal pants—and it was pretty disappointing to see her lackluster performance in both the CSI segment and the semi-confusing Express photo shoot. Now that Celebrity Rehab Lisa is trumping Crazy Wine-Drunk Lisa, maybe the house is less bearable. Watching her make nothing interesting with three male models and glitter pants was one of the more depressing parts of the episode. Not that she had that much to work with: The labels the girls had to choose from to match their werewolf-chic Express clothes were "girlfriend," "flirt," "socialite," and "cool chick," which are pretty meaningless categories. But it seemed like Lisa heard "cheerleading captain" as one of those—why was she jumping in every shot? The only one who did really well was country bumpkin Laura, who captured the essence of flirt. Poor Kayla did well despite her not fun-looking cardiac arrhythmia earlier in the episode and her here-to-for distaste for working with male models. "I did that photo shoot and the CSI challenge all while going through a mini heart attack, OK?" she protested. Fair enough, though I still think Kayla's up to the chopping block soon.
Though she mysteriously didn't get in trouble for it, the one to look out for in terms of sassing-the-judges trouble is Bianca, who, perhaps rightly, complained that in the real modeling world, photographers don't have their subjects think really hard about the word "flirt." The problem was informing Mr. Jay of that, and also that she's the only "model" amongst the contestants. Ooooh, girl. I suspect Tyra's going to call you on that before too long. In the meantime, I think it will likely lead to some knock-down drag-out fights of the kind that haven't happened on this cycle yet.
Lisa ended up in the bottom, with her shiny pink holster shirt a-blazin', and the unfortunate Tyra-given nickname of "excuse monster." But it was pretty clear all day long that Camille of the sad face was on her way home. (One of the sure signs was that she kept repeating her age and how many bills she had. That spells Top Model doom.) I would miss Lisa more than Camille, but having Angelea and Dominique end up with some of the best pictures is so confusing—is Tyra setting them up for a fall, or is she honestly interested in All-Stars with little clout but decent photos?
- Man, Tyra really locked onto that "Express train" thing, huh?
- Watching Mr. Jay deal with Lisa is one of the funniest things on the show. His sigh of exasperation coupled with "Just let her do it" pretty much sums up their relationship
- Does Anthony Zuiker actually watch Top Model? Why do I feel sort of creeped out by that?