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America's Next Top Model: "Now You See Me, Now You Don't"


America's Next Top Model

"Now You See Me, Now You Don't"

Season 11 , Episode 9

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If most episodes of America's Next Top Model are like being trapped in a constantly spinning gravitron of ridiculousness, tonight's episode was like being trapped in a gravitron of ridiculousness as it's bouncing on a trampoline in the back of a clown car that's barreling down a waterslide. Was there a fire sale on eccentricity? Did the CW demand that Tyra squeeze all of her menagerie of weirdos into one hour, or never use them again? How else can we explain tonight's episode, which featured the Aswirl twins, James St. James, an invisi-model green screen technology cabaret fashion show, a designer who looks like a "Crazy Cat Lady w/ Pink Wig" Halloween costume, Cover Girl commercials-which are always hilarious, and a solid 90 seconds of the going-to-Amsterdam circus (with windmill dancers). Do kids still run away and join the circus, or has that idea been completely overtaken by kids running away to audition for ANTM?

But even before we could delve into the ample layers of flailing ridiculousness of tonight's episode, the girls themselves were supplying some of their own thoroughly non-manufactured ridiculousness in a form that comes naturally to all ANTM contestants: pointless fights. The crux of these fights? Europe vs. America. Apparently, Europe strips its citizens of all their emotions, which really sucks for some of those citizens when they move to America and try to impress a woman who wants to wring every emotion out of them to make great modeling television. At least, that's the way Elina and Marjorie see it. I'm sure all the citizens of Ukraine and France are happy to have a steely killjoy and an awkward stumbly urchin, both of whom think their respective countries emotionally hobbled them, as their ambassadors to American television.

The fight in the beginning of the episode was, quite simply, sublimely stupid. Elina explains that she can't show emotion because "I am from Europe. We have a different way. Unless you're from Europe, you don't understand." Marjorie pecks her head enthusiastically in agreement. But then when Samantha gazes through her duh fog long enough to point out that Elina left Europe when she was, like, eight, Elina shows emotion, more specifically, pain and anger: "Do you understand how hurtful that is?" Does anyone understand what the hell is going on?

Later, the girls pour themselves in their green casings for the invisi-model green screen technology cabaret fashion show, and Elina somehow impresses Crazy Cat Lady. She told Elina, "You really used the sleeve, which is an important feature of the dress." Um, it was the only feature of that dress, but whatever Elina is the winner. Her prize? A holiday photo shoot in Seventeen magazine. Samantha and Sheena both "confront" Elina about this. Why? It turns out Elina is an atheist! How can she participate in a teen magazine holiday photo shoot that is clearly about revering the Christ child? "They're calling you a hypocrite," Marjorie tells her fellow member of the European No-Emotion Except Sometimes Yes There's Emotion Alliance. Not quite, Marjorie. I'm sure Sheena and Samantha would call Elina a hypocrite if someone told them what the word means. Instead when Elina asks, "Are you serious?" Sheena smirks, "You just don't know how to answer that," and smiles triumphantly. What has Sheena won? Round 2 of the Europe vs. America dumb cup.

At the commercial shoot, America's dominance in dumbness continues with Annaleigh, Sheena, and Samantha delivering the most believable walking-and-talking-about-Lash-Blast performances. The Europeans on the other hand were either rushed and full of tics (Marjorie), or stiff and creepy (Elina). (If only Europe had taught them how to feel! They'd be so much better at selling bright eyeshadow.) But it was Joslyn--a sensible American ("I don't have time to worry about immigration or who's crying over there.")--who was sent home after the 90-second going-to-Amsterdam circus parade. According to Tyra, Joslyn is a survivor so she'll survive getting kicked off, and "the judges don't award pity points." (Since when?) But the wink at the end of her commercial was the real reason Joslyn was sent home--only Tyra gets to do stuff like that. There's only room for one ham at ANTM

Grade: A-

Stray Observations:

--Poor Joslyn: she puked on camera and she got kicked off. And her over-the-top commercial was probably just overcompensation for how sick she was feeling.

--Did anyone else notice that when Ms. Jay essentially called Marjorie a chickenhead, the camera cut right to Sheena?

--Between Marjorie "topless" in the invisi-model challenge, and Aswirl, and the terrible Cover Girl line readings, I laughed more at this episode then I have at ANTM in a while.

--How will the Europeans do in Europe?!?