America's Next Top Model: "The Fiercee Awards"
B+

America's Next Top Model: "The Fiercee Awards"

B+

America's Next Top Model

"The Fiercee Awards"

Season 11, Episode 7


It's the episode we've all been waiting for (besides the makeovers, the go-sees, and the commercial tapings): the one where Tyra teaches the girls how to move their bodies. In previous cycle/seasons, this lesson involved unfortunate body stockings, nude leotards, and lots of crawling. This Cycle, however, Tyra merely issued the girls little black dresses and had them work on their "signature pose," something that she, naturally, assigned to them. After all, Tyra knows best.

Tyra's signature pose is...wait for it...her eyes. Which is kind of like saying your signature dish is a fork, but whatever. How can eyes be a pose? Turns out anything is possible in the logic void that is ANTM and Tyra's brain: "No matter what pose I am doing, it is always this [Tyra points at her eyes]." Well, pointing at your eyes is a pose, but I don't think that's what she meant.

Still, Tyra's teachings were invaluable. Annaleigh (Baby Topanga) thought her signature pose was "Ice Skater," turns out it should be the completely nonsensical "Rebel Skater." McWig believed her signature pose to be "Punches," but Tyra managed to show her that in fact it should be "Neck." Of course! Icy, see-through blonde Lauren Brie desperately wanted her signature pose to be "awkward," and it was, kinda: Tyra told her to be more "surfer." Sheena's signature pose was "Diva S," aka, "Girl, I'm just gonna go up there and give them Diva S. Click Click." Tyra, however, gave Sheena the pose of "cultural dance." Which culture? You know, whichever. African, maybe? But Tyra issued the best signature pose to Marjorie, whose mild form of realism and uber-Frenchness clearly inspired Tyra. Marjorie's signature pose was "The hunchback of Notredame," which I naively thought was going to be the ridiculousness high for this episode, the spike on the seismic stupidity graph of ANTM. But then I hadn't seen the photoshoot.

The photoshoot was a look at award show mistakes, but more importantly it was an excuse for Tyra to bring up the Tyra Banks Show, and the sorry spectacle that was the Fiercee Awards. Once again, Marjorie got the best/worst assignment: She had to depict having to pee in a gown. Naturally she nailed it thanks to all of her hunchback of Notredame training. The other girls' assignments were stupid, yes, but not that stupid. Baby Topanga was asked to portray "an interviewer with an attitude," and she excelled. All that rebel skating really paid off! Sheena used her cultural dance knowledge to muddle through "someone steps on her dress," while Elina tried to exhibit actual emotions--which is hard for her unless the emotion is "I hate my mom,"--to portray "Overemotional winner." It was translucent-to-the-point-of-invisibility Lauren Brie, though, who struggled the most. She had to act out "trips on stairs," but she couldn't do it without looking like a statue that had tumbled over. As she floundered, she no doubt looked deep inside herself, calling upon her Tyra pose training, trying to remember what it was like to pose like a "surfer" because a severe egomaniac was yelling that word at her, but it was to no avail. Thinking "surfer" while trying to trip up stairs convincingly doesn't help any more than thinking "frisbee" while trying to convey sadness.

So when the models were brought before Tyra, excuse me, Little Black Riding Hood, Lauren Brie and Sheena were in the bottom two (they were also part of the bottom two edit of this episode. Coincidence?): Lauren Brie because her picture was lackluster and she has the personality of cream-of-wheat. Sheena because her picture was lackluster, and she could never actually be a model. But Sheena had lots of personality (read: praise for Tyra, and also sassitude), so she was allowed to stay. Lauren Brie, who was speaking more in this episode than in the cycle as a whole, was sent home, mostly because she fit the "Model" part of America's Next Top Model too well for Tyra's liking.

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:

--"Why am I so theatrical? Because your photo shoot was so theatrical. So I decided to be little black riding hood." Oh, that explains it. Why even try? Honestly, if Tyra's going to try to explain all the weird, narcissistic stuff she does in this show, it's going to be a lot longer than an hour.

--Ironically, Tyra's hood made her look almost more like the wicked queen/old lady from Snow White than Ms. Jay did.

--"I couldn't show my emotions. You don't do that in Europe," so says Ukranian-born Elina. She's just doing her part to stick with the blame-Europe-for-everything theme of this cycle.

--Elina's tattoo reads: "A voice for those who can't speak." Did Europe make her do that as well?

--[on seeing Tyra posing for photos] "That's how she do it! That's how she got all them pictures!" Sheena's ghetto-tinged enthusiasm for Tyra is the only reason she's still on the show.

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