America's Next Top Model: "The Girl Who Is Afraid Of Heights"
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America's Next Top Model: "The Girl Who Is Afraid Of Heights"

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America's Next Top Model

"The Girl Who Is Afraid Of Heights"

Season 9, Episode 5


The description of this episode on my digital cable read, "Models learn to pose with movement; gargoyles." That pretty much sums it up. (Although I'm sure Time Warner meant to write "gar-GIRLS," right, Tyra?)

This episode still officially falls in the weeding out phase of the ANTM season, which means there is virtually no element of surprise when it comes to figuring out who is going to be in the bottom two: it's going to be the two girls from the unwieldy pack that we suddenly see a lot of. In tonight's episode those two were Ambreal and Janet. Before tonight, all I knew about Ambreal was that her name was ridiculous and they cut her hair short hair shorter during the makeover episode. And all I knew about Janet was that she was a kitty-cat waxer whom the judges liked to compare to Liza Minelli at every possible opportunity.

But in tonight's episode, these girls miraculously became two hastily fleshed out characters. I learned that Janet has a Southern accent of some kind! And that she's shorter than everyone else! And allegedly curvy! Also, she hates messiness! I also noticed that she seems to talk out of only one side of her mouth, which gives her face a kind of twisted feel--unique! As for Ambreal, I learned that she's a dancer, which means she has full control over all her limbs! (Unlike, apparently, Stripper Lisa who has all the grace of a newborn giraffe crossed with Regis Philbin--or at least his hair.) And she's afraid of heights! Also, Ambreal is into musical theater, which is a fact that ANTM would only reveal as part of a desperate pre-bottom-two characterization push. (When Ambreal revealed her love of musical theater in the beginning of the episode, I wrote "passion = going home" in my notes.)

Ultimately, though, it was Janet who was cut, which makes sense because all the panel could think to say about her during the past two episodes was, "Liza!"

As for the rest, Stripper Lisa was deemed the most convincing "super high-fashion gargoyle," as well as the best at conveying a simple emotion while being twirled around the ice by Lloyd Eisler and his black hole of a goatee. Bianca is constantly jealous of Lisa, which is great because it's incredibly easy to imagine her stroking her phantom hot-pink weave ponytail while plotting revenge. Ebony's patience with everything and everyone is wearing so thin it's turned into part giddyness (did you see her on the trampoline?) part barely concealed contempt (her awesome take attempt at sorrow on ice, and her phony smile at panel), which is hilarious. Jenah continues to be living proof that make-up and photography are magic (how else could they consistently transform a real-life albino fraggle into something vaguely attractive on film?). Saleshia still exists. And "Real-Size" Sarah's days are numbered, and I think that number is one more episode.

Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

--The line between "super high-fashion gargoyle" and "background Wheelie from Return To Oz without the wheels" is a thin one.

--Did anyone else notice the look on Heather's face when they opened the 2nd Tyra mail? That expression of shock, frozen for just a little too long? I'm pretty sure she's mocking them. Either that, or it's the Asperger's.

--Shockingly, Chantal didn't make any "I, Model" assertions this episode, although considering her superfluous over-explanation of the photo shoot, I'm pretty sure she had no idea what a gargoyle was.

--How does Tyra consistently get the girls to open up about their emotions? By diagnosing them with chest congestion: "What's stifling [points to chest] here?"

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